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I can't recall the last time that a former POTUS turned up not once but twice in MSM before an election in a foreign country to endorse a candidate.

Black propaganda or White propaganda? Meddling or interference?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat May 6th, 2017 at 03:10:38 PM EST
Popular though Obama may be - certainly in comparison to Trump - I doubt he will have much influence on the French elections.  Yanis Varoufakis' endorsement is probably of more value to Macron in terms of actual votes.  Perhaps Obama's endorsement will reassure some centrist voters that Macron is a capable enough kind of guy with the right sort of connections, but these were always likely to vote for him anyway.

Neither do I see why voters should get upset at this sort of "foreign interference".  Obama is as entitled to his opinion as the next guy, and it's not as if he has been running some kind of disinformation programme in favour of Macron.  If anything, his intervention might be perceived as a welcome corrective to suspected alt-right and Trumpist meddling in French affairs.

Obama didn't seem to have much influence on the Brexit referendum, and I doubt he will have any more on the French elections. He does however signal that there is an activist blowback against far right extremism, from the left, from centrists, and from establishment politicians. Comparisons with Weimar are overblown, but the EU needs to be defended to survive.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat May 6th, 2017 at 03:55:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know what happens when an interested party attempts to exculpate US gov't meddling&interference in foreign "democratic process?"
< wipes tears >
Xe crashes into the wall of the world's history of kinda sorta protected "free speech" and "white" propaganda a/k/a first world hegemony manifest as victory, not death and casualty, claimed by world wars and any antithetical commentary.

Such as published by not-first world nationals.

Abridged.
What Was the Liberal International Order?

Unlike Mr Kennedy, Mr Putin or even Mssrs Árbenz and Carter, Mr Mr Obama believes himself to be an influential agent of a "democratic process" that do not exist. So. He broadcast a electioneering message rather than commit executive agency funds to "counter intelligence" or DoD military campaigns that disrupt
"democratic process" in forgeign nations, all of which to be understood vital assets of USA "national interest," i.e. going concern to USA public and private-chartered corporations.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat May 6th, 2017 at 05:04:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are a number of ways in which I disagree with your assessment. But mostly I find it funny that people ascribe importance to Obama's clip. If it has any effect at all, it may be that a few people on the hard left who were going to vote against Le Pen, and switch back to abstemption. But anti-Americanism isn't what it used to be over here.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat May 6th, 2017 at 05:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ì don't mention Mr Obama's endorsements to test either "anti-American" or among French voters who may or may not be aware of his broadcasts this day. For, evidently, Mr Obama himself believes --regardless of his official posture and incumbent status as leader of the free world"-- that he can and should influence opinions of people the world over in the matter of who is best qualified to represent the state of France. He tweets like any man except he is not any man. Ipsa res loquitur.

I draw attention to Mr Obama's performance to illustrate the importance and spurious arguments which politicians have lately assigned to "meddling and interference" with the judgments of their constituents by aliens such as Mr Putin, thereby Mr Trump, but not Mr Obama nor any of his predecessors.

I remind you all that these aliens (except Mr Obama) possess preternatural powers to influence "free" press, "free" speech, "fake" news, controversy, and unauthorized propaganda in lieu of the actual democratic processes and institutions, chiefly, the right of any man to vote as xe will. For manifest corruption of the franchise that can quash competition among nominees and suppress free exercise of one's vote remains surely the prerogative of our national leadership.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun May 7th, 2017 at 05:43:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems plausible that Obama and Macron agree abouv stuff, so I see no underhand motive or subterfuge in announcing his support. He has no particular political power, so there is nothing inappropriate in that. The US and French polities both value free speech (the parameters of which are variable, but which is nevertheless a thing). His support is of the same nature as that of any other celebrity : film star, sportsperson or whatever. Personally I hate that shit. But it's merely tiresome, not important or dangerous.

Putin met Le Pen; he has funnelled bank loans to the FN (the technique seems to be that these loans are subsequently ceded to failing banks, with the understanding that they need never be repaid). He seems to be the inspirer, almost certainly but unproveably the funder of the hacker teams that performed the successful phishing operation against Macron.

If Obama or anyone else is also pursuing black ops against Le Pen or anyone else in France, I'm interested in hearing about it. If you're looking, you should check out Médiapart, a decent investigative site, it's free today.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun May 7th, 2017 at 08:23:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He seems to be the inspirer, almost certainly but unproveably the funder of the hacker teams that performed the successful phishing operation against Macron.

I'm still not quite sure why the Russians have to be behind every low level phishing attack. Maybe, maybe not but definitely not "almost certainly".
As Mig used to say -

The failure mode of the system of liberal democracy and economic liberalism is depression and fascism, for the second time in 80 years.

Which is exactly what is happening. Focusing too much on supposed external enemies can't be good for our chances to get through this.

by generic on Sun May 7th, 2017 at 09:46:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because any "low level phishing attack", such as those aimed at your average bank account, would end up with a 9 GB dump of documents on Pastebin? And the same "low level" phishers would of course activate recently created Twitter bots to spread the topic all over the place? (h/t Mediapart). At this point, even the presence of Cyrillic meta data among some of the "leaked" documents seems almost anecdotal (many criminal operations at the source of phishing attacks are based in eastern Europe, so it doesn't prove anything).

There are a few intelligence operations in the world with technological capacities way above your average hacker: according to B.Schneier, the Russian side seems to have taken the lead.

by Bernard on Sun May 7th, 2017 at 11:18:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama being out of office for months now, his support has just about the same importance as any celebrity endorsing Macro, and there's quite a number of them; if anything, Zinedide Zidane has probably more weight with the French voters than BHO.

Juncker or Merkel publicly encouraging Macron is actually more of a meddling because they are sitting leaders (of the EC and of Germany) and France is part of the EU, not the USofA.

A sitting POTUS supporting one of the candidates, on the other hand, is meddling. And we're not even going to mention Bannon and his Alt-right merrymen.

Same for Vladimir Putin and his crowd. Surely, no one is suggesting that IOKIYAR? ('R' standing for Repug or Russian, of course)

by Bernard on Sat May 6th, 2017 at 06:53:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When "meddling and interference" in the electoral events of some NATO member is a euphemism for free exercise of speech by anyone anywhere in the world who is NOT a citizen of the specific jurisdiction, whether to praise or slander a candidate, it's probably time to invent a planet-size, elastic cone of silence, as no one should be trusted to don personalized cones of silence before, during, or after each campaign.

God will have sole authority to flip the switch.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun May 7th, 2017 at 06:04:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
time to invent a planet-size, elastic cone of silence
Because free speech suppression has worked so well for democracy thus far.

I was merely highlighting that endorsements of this or that candidate come from different people with different level of power, proximity to France and of course celebrity status. Everyone of us is of course entitled to view these through any set of prisms one favors.

Then, there are those who can mount very skilled and professional hacking operations; this could be more powerful in the end than any open "endorsement". Or not.

by Bernard on Sun May 7th, 2017 at 11:00:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not sure that NATO membership is the relevant criterion. I seem to remember quite a lot of "meddling and interference", in the form of free speech, exercised by other European leaders with respect to recent manifestations of "democracy" in Turkey.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun May 7th, 2017 at 02:06:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In 1952, Greece and Turkey became members of the Alliance, joined later by West Germany (in 1955) and Spain (in 1982).

You were saying?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue May 9th, 2017 at 11:24:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I must have completely misunderstood your post. I thought you meant that criticism of electoral shenanigans in NATO member countries didn't count as "free speech" (your quotes). I offered Turkey as a counter-example, because the recent egregious violations of the liberal-democratic framework have been widely (and justly) criticized.

But we don't seem to share much in terms of referential : I have a great deal of difficulty parsing you, there seems to be a lot of missing subtext. So it's probably pointless to pursue this particular discussion.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed May 10th, 2017 at 05:18:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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