A Shift in World Politics?
Cheminade in Breakout Mode
by Nancy Spannaus
April 17—The April 22 Presidential elections in France could provide the shock needed to break the political controls which have kept trans-Atlantic politics under the thumb of the British financial oligarchy, remarked Lyndon LaRouche on April 14. A marker for that change will be the impact of the campaign of Jacques Cheminade—a close associate of LaRouche, and one of ten candidates on the ballot—on the decision-making process of the next President-elect. Cheminade is campaigning aggressively for an immediate reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, and the establishment of a sovereign credit system to launch great projects in collaboration with other nations.
Running on the campaign theme "A World Without the City or Wall Street, Great Infrastructure Works for Tomorrow," Cheminade has propelled himself into prominence both in France and internationally, due to his policies, but also because, he has enjoyed equal coverage with France's two main contenders for the presidency, François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. His recent prime-time appearances on two major French TV stations, France 2 and TF1, where he discussed his policy of eliminating illegitimate debts through a Glass-Steagall Act, and answered questions about his comparison of U.S. President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, have reached close to 9 million people.
Although subject to a massive slander campaign by a small, but influential group of the "major" media, Cheminade has already had a palpable effect on the political debate in France. This was visible in the immediate wide response to his April 8 blast against the Eurex plan to market new financial instruments speculating against French state bonds, in which he identified the measure as an attack operating out of the City of London and Wall Street to make France—and more generally all nation-states—crawl after the elections (see below).
With the Euro-system entering an aggravated state of breakdown, and Cheminade the only candidate putting a competent solution on the table, Cheminade and his ideas could well take off in France. The fact that Cheminade established himself in a position of prominence in France through his candidacy, his ideas, and his talents, could have immediate repercussions in opening up the politics of France's European neighbors. And, in tandem with promising developments in the same direction ongoing in Russia, it "will cause a collapse over the control of politics in Europe," and mean "a shock effect inside the United States," said LaRouche.
Such a shock—of putting the urgently necessary banking reform and global program for a recovery of the physical economy on the table internationally—is precisely what the world needs. The alternative of sticking to the current trend, promises nothing less than the collapse of civilization, with the British Empire's "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" given free rein to reduce the world population by billions in short order.
The Gaullist Legacy
Cheminade's growing public influence in France owes a considerable debt to the last great President of the French Republic, Charles de Gaulle, who set up a system for qualifying for the ballot, and for equal time in the major media, which has given individuals without major institutional or financial backing, but espouse a serious project for the nation, a chance to put their ideas before the public.
Thus, through putting forward his record on the economy and his solutions, Cheminade and his supporters were able to present his candidacy for ballot status, astounding the major parties. And, as of April 9, Cheminade was entitled to get equal advertising time on public TV, for ten spots of one and a half minutes each, and eight spots of three and a half minutes, to put forward his message, without mediation, to the public, along with the other nine candidates who qualified for the Presidential race.
Cheminade identifies himself as a "left-wing Gaullist," and looks to restoring de Gaulle's resistance to the British oligarchical system, and vision for France's role as a leader of great science and industry in the world. In fact, following former President Jacques Chirac's betrayal of many of de Gaulle's ideas, and the transformation of his old RPR (Gaullist) party, into the present UMP of President Nicolas Sarkozy, Gaullism ceased to exist as an organized movement. Cheminade also looks to the Socialist tradition of Jean Jaurès, and here again, the official Socialist Party, whose candidate Hollande is the second leading candidate, has almost totally abandoned the positive principles of the party.
The reality is that the 70-year-old Cheminade, a retired career officer in the Directorate of Foreign Economic Relations of the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Industry who decided to leave his position in order to lead a political movement inspired by LaRouche's ideas since the mid-1970s, terrifies the party and financial establishments, which are finding themselves increasingly hated by the population. During his Presidential campaign in 1995, Cheminade forecast the collapse of "casino capitalism" within about 15 years—and his credibility is now at an all-time high. With vicious legal and political attacks at that time, the corrupt Establishment attempted to destroy Cheminade, but they did not succeed.
The danger for the Establishment is that the disenchanted population will break the trend.
Despite the "equal time" provisions, a small but influential group in the national media in France are spending their time trying to make voters believe that Cheminade is a wierdo or extremist. This bias has gone so far as to prompt Le Monde to literally black out coverage of his candidacy in its original listing of qualified candidates, and has announced its refusal to cover him at all, claiming that "he is unclear about his policies." Other journalists in the national media have served as virtual attack dogs in their interviews with Cheminade.
In a recent interview with Darcy Richardson of the "uncovered politics" website, Cheminade commented on this fact:
"The reason is simple: fear! The financial oligrachy is not afraid of me as an individual, but by the potential rise of a popular movement that would break free with the City of London monetarist empire, as well as my association with American system economist Lyndon LaRouche."
Where the Message Is Hitting Home
In contrast to the slanders in the media, especially in the large cities, Cheminade and his campaigners are getting a very open response in the smaller cities and rural areas. In addition, some of the major media's attempts to slander Cheminade are backfiring. Many people respond to the candidate immediately by commenting on the bad (and false) treatment he is getting in the press—even if they don't agree with Cheminade's program.
One of the most notable cases came after a major TV station chose to feature the U.S. LaRouche movement's "moustache" poster of Obama on the screen for several minutes, in hopes of trying to get Cheminade to repudiate LaRouche and his views. But, as Cheminade told Richardson, instead
"it turned out to be a great opportunity to expose how financial fascism is at play in the United States with Obama and his Wall Street crowd organizing bank bailouts, cuts in public and social services, a health policy excluding the poor and suffering, a policy of targetted assassinations, and NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) kidnappings, etc.—all issues that had not been covered in the French media!"
Cheminade has received a very warm response in many cities, such as Lille and Nancy, where he has met with citizens for free-wheeling discussions. In a recent visit to Lille, more than 100 citizens showed up, having been informed by a mass-leafletting by campaign volunteers in the days before. The candidate has also made a point of visiting many high-technology centers, especially of the nuclear industry, and expressing his support for not only continuing, but dramatically advancing nuclear power. While France has been a nuclear pioneer, and currently gets 80% of its electricity in this way, the British-inspired genocidal green movement has launched a sustained assault, and is making substantial inroads in the political parties.
The other area where Cheminade's ideas are having a visible impact is among political circles which are both aware and very concerned about the financial and physical economic implosion threatening the nation. Some individuals in these circles clearly believe that Cheminade's analysis and solutions should get a hearing, at a minimum. Interestingly, Cheminade's consistent call for smashing financial speculators with a Glass-Steagall-type reform, has spurred some of his opponents, such as Hollande, to mimic his call for banking separation, although falling far short of the measures required.
It is unfortunately the case, that several weeks of increased publicity since Cheminade qualified for the ballot, cannot overturn the effects of decades of blackout (and, in some cases, slander) among the general population, so organizers still often find voters who don't know the candidate at all. The fact that the French state sends out a programmatic statement by each candidates to every voting household, in the last week before the first election round (see Cheminade program, EIR March 23), will help this situation, but it's impossible to know how much.
The Potential Is Growing
Asked how he expects to do in vote counts in the election, Cheminade has stated repeatedly that, in the current cirumstances, he is not so much concerned with vote results, but rather, that his campaign, which is aimed at introducing key ideas into the race, can transform the political debate, opening up the situation to the fundamental changes he is proposing as the crisis evolves. He notes that he has already seen a shift in the seriousness with which his (and LaRouche's) economic policies are being taken, and that, especially given the deepening crisis, the genie will not be able to be put back in the bottle.
One senior intelligence source in the United States has told EIR that Cheminade has already moved up to the second tier of candidacies in the field of ten, from the bottom third—and has clearly made a major impact on policy discussion already.
Cheminade has also already made a significant impact through international press coverage, including in his birthplace, Argentina, where the official news agency ran a substantial article last weekend; in Great Britain, where the Guardian covered him early on; and also in the United States, where a recent intervention by LaRouchePAC at a Brookings Institution event on the French election, made it clear that Cheminade and his campaign for Glass-Steagall were already known.
Cheminade's initiatives are also very well known in Africa, and several African institutions have hosted him for events. His championship of major infrastructure projects such as Transaqua has earned him a great deal of support and respect in those circles.
Whatever the result on April 22—out of which the top two candidates will go on to compete in a run-off—Jacques Cheminade is a political force for the ideas that will save civilization, who will not go away.