The first round of the French presidential elections will be held on Sunday, April 23. Eleven presidential candidates will compete in this session. Two candidates will remain for the second round, which will be held on Sunday May 7.
The French election campaign is in full swing amid uncertainty over the general orientation of the French electorate, especially with the sudden rise of the American lobby candidate, Emmanuel Macaron, and the media campaigns against the candidate of the Republican right, former Prime Minister [in Nicolas Sarkozy's era] François Fillon, who is calling for improving relations with Russia and aspires to change the French policy in Syria according to his remarks.
For more perspective, the Al-Ahed website interviewed French diplomat and former French Ambassador Michel Rimbaud.
How do you see this election from a French internal and external perspective?
Usually, the candidates for the French presidential elections avoid talk about foreign matters. They focus their attention on France's internal affairs. This does not mean that events abroad are not an issue, but candidates for the French presidency avoid getting involved in matters of foreign problems. For example, the subject of the EU, which is an essential and daily problem in France is not being accurately addressed. At home there is more than one party fighting in this election, most powerful of which is the American and the Zionist lobby, which includes candidates in all parties. There is the French sovereign lobby represented by the National Front candidate Marine Le Pen and some other candidates like Jacques Cheminade and Francois Asselineau.
You talked about the America- Zionist lobby, what and where exactly are the reasons for its strength?
This lobby is located deep in the French state, in banks, in the army and in the security services, in the job sector, and it is particularly found among intellectuals and graduates of higher education. It depends on civil associations and separate clubs that gather elites in the fields of education, finance, media and others. This lobby also depends on the Protestant Church, which has been popular in Europe and in France in particular. This trend goes back to the state of admiration for what is American. Therefore they benefit from the state of activity, preaching and powerful propaganda. This lobby can be seen in advocacy groups that practice preaching on the public road and wear a unified black uniform and talk to people about the resurrection and the coming Messiah. They form the lobby that begins from Jehovah's Witnesses and does not end at the invitation of the seventh day. These missionary and occult groups are not limited to Jehovah's Witnesses. There are five or six active associations in this area.
This lobby also depends on the program of future leaders, where these types of people are invited to America in groups that are received for intermittent periods in the United States to be adapted and included under the lobby. There are two chosen people in the world [laughs]; the first everyone knows in the Middle East and the second in America.
What about the Catholic lobby and its support for Francois Fillon?
There is support from some of the Churches for Fillon. There are also those in the Catholic lobby who are under the control of the American-Zionist lobby. For example, in the French Foreign Ministry there are cadres who decide on policies away from diplomats. A lot of them are subject to the American lobby and follow it. Francois Fillon is an example of a French Catholic conservative, he said so himself. But I do not know if he will win especially since he was subjected to an extensive, negative media campaign. So far it is not clear who will prevail.
What about the far-right candidate Marin Le Pen?
She is also from the French sovereign team and has great chances of winning the first round. But will Jacques Chirac's scenario be repeated with Jean-Marie Le Pen? When everyone ganged up on her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in the 2002 elections and voted for Chirac, I think that might happen with her as well.
Can we say that these elections represent a situation of conflict that transcends the French borders?
There is certainly a conflict of identities in these elections, where we are seeing a struggle over Europe, which is essentially an American project of domination and control. The sovereign currents want independence from the tyranny and domination of the European lobby. There is also the struggle to join NATO. The traditional parties are pro-European and pro-Atlantics. America liberated France from Nazi Germany but colonized it in a different way. General Charles de Gaulle tried to get away from the American hegemony. There was a historic alliance between him and the Communist Party, but did not last long.
Is there an Arab policy for France?
I do not think so. Charles de Gaulle tried to get closer to the Arabs, but there is no such thing as an Arab policy for France.
What about the relationship with Russia?
Historically, Russia was a close ally of France. Historically, this alliance was the result of the permanent conflict between Germany and France. There is a large part of France that wants strong relations with Russia. There is no doubt that these are present in sovereign parties, including sovereign figures in traditional parties.
Michele Rimbaud: former French ambassador to Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Mauritania. He was a diplomat in Syria, Algeria, Lebanon and Brazil. He worked in the French Foreign Ministry for four decades. He has written books on the Middle East and Africa [most notably Storm on the Greater Middle East where he revealed the truth behind the war to destroy Syria]. He is a lecturer in political seminars in France and around the world.