France's Macron Covers For Saudi Aggression

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

France’s invitation to beleaguered Lebanese premier Saad Hariri for him and his family to spend “a few days in Paris” has been viewed as French President Emmanuel Macron stepping in with deft soft power to resolve tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

Less charitably, what Macron is really doing is giving cynical cover to the Saudi rulers for their extraordinary acts of aggression towards Lebanon and their violation of that country’s sovereignty.

Two of Hariri’s children were left in Saudi capital Riyadh while he visited France over the weekend. Were they being used as hostages by the Saudis to ensure that Hariri maintains the Saudi spin on events? Certainly, the arrangement raises suspicions, but the French president sought instead to affect a “normal” nothing-is-unusual appearance.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun last week publicly accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri in Riyadh against his will. Aoun said the Saudi rulers were violating international law by detaining Hariri and forcing his resignation as prime minister of Lebanon. Such acts were tantamount to aggression, said President Aoun.

Yet Macron has said nothing about Saudi interference. He has instead turned reality on its head by censuring Iran for regional “aggression” and thereby backing Saudi claims that Iran is supplying ballistic missiles to Yemen. Iran swiftly condemned Macron for “stoking regional tensions”.

Credit goes to President Aoun for speaking out plainly, telling it like it is and expressing what many Lebanese citizens and many other observers around the world have concluded. The whole debacle is an outrageous affront to Lebanon and international law by the Saudi rulers, when it is taken into consideration Hariri’s hasty summoning to Saudi capital Riyadh earlier this month, his subsequent televised resignation speech on Saudi TV, and his long-delayed sojourn in that country. What is even more despicable is that the Saudi interference in the sovereign affairs of Lebanon is threatening to re-ignite a civil war within the small Mediterranean country, and, possibly worse, a war across the region with Iran.

Hariri has claimed in a later media interview, held in Saudi Arabia, and in reported communications with family and friends who are back in Lebanon, that he was not under duress while staying in Saudi Arabia. That claim beggars belief given the bizarre circumstances of Hariri’s sudden departure and his protracted nearly two-week stay in Saudi Arabia.

In any case, the president of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, has concluded that something is badly amiss in the saga, and he has explicitly accused Saudi rulers of violating his country’s sovereignty.

Therefore, if there were any principle or adherence to international law, the actions of Saudi Arabia should be condemned categorically by the international community, the UN, the European Union and France in particular owing to its historic relations with Lebanon as the former colonial power before independence in 1943.

But no. What we have instead are either shameful silence from Washington, or mealy-mouthed statements from the EU. The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a vague statement warning against “foreign interference” in the affairs of Lebanon. What kind of cowardly circumlocution is that?

Lebanon’s prime minister Saad Hariri was, in effect, detained by Saudi Arabia and forced to tender his resignation from public office as a matter of ultimatum. It has been reliably reported that the Wahhabi Saudi rulers were exasperated with the Shia group Hezbollah being part of the coalition government in Beirut. Hariri is a Saudi-sponsored Sunni politician who is antagonistic to Hezbollah and by extension, Iran. But apparently, he was not sufficiently hostile, in the view of his Saudi backers. Hence, Hariri was summoned to Riyadh and ordered to resign on November 4. (The defeat of the Saudi-sponsored covert terror war in Syria no doubt was a factor too in the timing.)

France’s President Macron is playing a particularly slippery game of pandering and expedience towards the Saudi despots.

As the Washington Post’s WorldView briefing reported last week: “French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters that it was important to dispel the implication that Hariri was a Saudi prisoner.”

The newspaper goes on to quote Macron saying rather vacuously: “We need to have leaders who are free to express themselves. It’s important that [Hariri] is able to advance the political process in his country in the coming days and weeks.”

The question should be asked: why is it important for Macron to “dispel the implication that Hariri was a Saudi prisoner”?

From virtually all accounts, including that of Lebanese President Michel Aoun whose view should surely be paramount here, that is exactly what Hariri was made by the Saudis – a prisoner.

Three days before his summoning to Riyadh and his scripted resignation speech on November 4 – in which Hariri claimed with incredible drama that he was in danger of an assassination plot by Hezbollah and its ally Iran – it was reported that Hariri was having dinner with the French culture minister in Beirut. During their meal, he received a phone call. His demeanor darkened, and immediately departed from the table for a flight to Riyadh. Without the company of aides, Hariri was met on his arrival by Saudi officials who took his mobile phone from him. He was not greeted by senior Saudi rulers like Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which would have been customary diplomatic protocol.

Everything about the next two weeks of Hariri’s stay in Saudi Arabia signals a de facto detention against his will. Admittedly, he made a brief flight to the United Arab Emirates during the time period, which was claimed by the Saudis to be proof of his free movement. The UAE rulers are closely aligned with the House of Saud, and besides Hariri was soon back in his Riyadh residence, from where he continued to tweet to friends that he was “fine”.

This is nothing but a sham. The stark facts are that Saudi Arabia has brazenly interfered in the internal affairs of Lebanon, trying to force its prime minister to step down. Furthermore, the Saudi rulers have accused Lebanon of “acts of war” by allegedly supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen; the Saudis have also ordered their nationals to leave Lebanon; and there are reports emerging of the Saudis now pushing to suspend Beirut from the Arab League. This is reckless incendiary behavior by the Saudi rulers.

Should we be surprised though? Saudi Arabia has shown absolute criminal disregard for international law over its bombing and genocidal blockade of Yemen, where humanitarian aid groups have warned that 50,000 children may die this year due to enforced deprivation from the nearly three-year American and British-backed Saudi war on Yemen.

The absolute Saudi monarchy has also gone on an internal rampage of arresting its own government ministers and other businessmen in an audacious power-grab under the guise of “an anti-corruption drive”. Moreover, Saudi rulers have been instrumental in organizing a legally dubious trade and diplomatic blockade of Qatar over trumped claims that the latter is a stooge for Iran and singularly supporting terrorists (this from the Saudis who have bankrolled terrorist proxies to overthrow the government in Syria.)

The criminality and rogue conduct of Saudi Arabia is legion and brazenly in your face.

That is why the so-called “international community”, the UN, Washington, the European Union, and France in particular are deserving of withering censure. Their mealy-mouthed muted statements on Saudi misconduct towards Lebanon are a disgrace. They are complicit in wanton lawlessness by their pandering to Saudi despots.

But France’s Emmanuel Macron has emerged as the prime disgrace. His invitation to Saad Hariri and his family to come to France is a cynical move to give cover to the Saudi despots. Tellingly, on the announcement of the invitation, Macron said that “it was not an offer of exile”. That’s Macron making it all sugary nice as pie.

On Friday, the day before Hariri arrived in Paris, Macron actually accused Iran of “aggression” and has called for sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile defense program. So, Macron, sneakily, is giving the Saudi narrative succor, and blaming Iran, instead of condemning Riyadh for its flagrant interference and aggression.

Again, by inviting Hariri to Paris, Macron is indulging the Saudi-Hariri charade that all is “normal” – when in reality the sordid shenanigans over the past two weeks amount to an outrageous and very grave violation of international law and of a neighboring country’s sovereignty by the Saudis.

With this kind of cynical “diplomacy”, Macron is showing that France is far from capable of having any leadership role or moral authority in the Middle East or the world.

Of course, France’s vested economic interests with the Saudi despots, from arms sales to energy and infrastructure projects, are central to Macron’s expedient calculations.

Macron’s ambitions of engendering some kind of renaissance of France as a global power are futile and nothing but sheer vanity. The cowardice of the French president in the face of Saudi aggression towards Lebanon shows that Macron and his pretensions of “global power” are a puff of cheap cosmetic powder.


French Bloke BennyBoy Wed, 11/22/2017 - 15:44 Permalink

Macron is a puppet of the Rothschilds and doing their bidding. CRIF rule France. To have a puppet you have to have something on them. I just found this article regarding him alledgedly being gay (can't be doing his granny wife - surely not! Isn't one a paedo when the subject is only 15 and you're 39? And it's a criminal offence in France for a teacher to have sex with a student... Oh, well):… are lots of others out there (articles, that is).Back to this piece though - Hariri brings up many questions:1. Is he a Saudi citizen, and if so, how did he get to PM of a foreign country?2. Is the reason he got on a jet to Saudi anything to do with having his family held hostage? (hmmn - why else would he shoot from the resto?)3. Is France playing good cop whilst Saudi is bad cop in order to achieve the same goal? (Probably)4. Will Hariri cary out the bidding of the Saudi's at the behest of the Israeli's? (You bet your ass he will)5. Does France's economy benefit from any of this and, by default, the people? (Nope - Goes straight to the Rothschilds, not the hoypolloy)6. Is Macron a zionist cunt? (....  )7. Should Lebanon hold an election to purge this man (Hariri) from politics in order to release him from being a zionist pawn, thus releasing his family from danger?Saudi/Israel think Hariri can achieve something for them but I don't see it. Saudi can't geographically support Israel in any attack on Lebanon. Israel would need to go it alone, and the Saudi's are militarily inept in any case. Surely they've worked this out so it has to be false flag all the way. The only way Hariri was allowed back to Lebanon is that he will be sacrificed in said operation that will be blamed on Iran/Hezbolah and used to get jUSA into a war... All IMO of course

In reply to by BennyBoy

jeff montanye Setarcos Tue, 11/21/2017 - 05:42 Permalink

not no chance.  israel's president reuven rivlin wants to give those in occupied greater israel the vote.… that happens, and it will, there well may be a "right of return" for palestinians.  seems unlikely though, right?bust 9-11 and change the world.….…

In reply to by Setarcos

Setarcos Tue, 11/21/2017 - 05:12 Permalink

What's seldom or never mentioned in any of this (and a lot more) is that Imperial France and Imperial Britain caused this mess in the first place - no doubt with Macron seeing himself as a present day head of the erstwhile empire, these days having been subsumed by the Washington Empire of Chaos (as it has become in recent decades especially).Anyhow even though any historical "starting point" is somewhat arbitrary, the present situation began during WW1, especially with the Balfour Declaration enabling Rothschild & Co to kick-start the Israhell colony which has caused SO much trouble, including for its sponsors London, Washington and probably Rothschild too, truth be told. But in particular there was the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916? which carved up the ME, with London getting the major share, i.e. from Palestine down to the Arabian Peninsular (later set up as Saudia Arabia) and across to Mesopotamia, out of which entirely new "countries" got drawn on the map, e.g. Iraq and artificaially separate Kuwait, the latter being a staging point for access to the British Raj in India (this led directly to conflict with Saddam Hussein in the late 1980s).Meanwhile Paris got what was the Ottoman region of Syria generally, which had included what became split off as Lebanon, hence numerous conflicts over the decades, including this latest involving Hariri, who is a Western stooge as a matter of fact.  So his rhetoric against Iran is probably not coerced and he is probably in cahoots with Macron and whatever ambitions he has to restore past "French Glory".  I wouldn't mind betting that my speculations are closer to facts than anything in the MSM.

Fed-up with be… Tue, 11/21/2017 - 05:42 Permalink

How dare the authors make Macron and France the only idiots selling out the House of Saud.  EVERYONE IS!   Including Trump with the Blather about Iran, who is NO WY the demons made out to be as well as Russia....this is ALL BULLSHIT guys, and Macron is a cog in wheel. "Another Brick in the Wall."

Brazen Heist Tue, 11/21/2017 - 05:43 Permalink

The French are poodles for Anglo Zionists and the Saudis.Nobody should legitimize these barbaric Saudi acts, especially not a power like France.Macron should have told Hariri to man the fuck up and go back to Lebanon instead.Imperial powers in bed with Saudi Arabia....Saudi Arabia will keep embarassing the West for its inane support of its stupid acts.

falak pema Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:19 Permalink

C'mon don't push your reasoning to the absurd.Macron is trying to SAVE Lebanon from being drawn into the Iran/Saudi stand-off.That is GROUnd zeRO today.Taking sides between Russia-Assad-Iran-Hezbollah vs Saudi-Israel-US backing line-ups is NOT his line of argument.He just tried to save Hariri-- who is both a Saudi pawn and a Lebanese strategic leader-- to ensure UNITY between Hez-Marronites-Sunni triangle  vital to Lebanon's survival (understand Hariri's own double role); showing that France considers Lebanon's survival as more important from its perspective than the FITNA wars that Saud wants to play, along with its Israeli machiavellian ally and Pax Americana's guaranty to both ISrael and Sauds.Macron is NOT a US stooge nor is he a Russian cum Iranian stooge. If they want to blow up the world the French have a limited say on that issue : its Putin vs Duck with China in background and Iran-Sauds-Israel as SURROGATES.DON'T CONFUSE THE GEOPOLITICAL HEIRARCHY.

gdpetti falak pema Tue, 11/21/2017 - 16:42 Permalink

I would disagree... Macron is an oligarchic puppet. He lost both elections in France to LePen... of course, there shouldn't have been a second given the real outcome of the first. So, the little Macron does as he is told to do... and kids like little M enjoys this dance... he isn't old enough to have felt the fatigue of being a stupid puppet for long, he's only been at this for a few months... and is totally expendable with his 'let them eat cake' games with the masses. THe 'elite' have to have someone to dangle before the public as its anger grows. For a puppet like little Macron, the cake is tasty, the dance is fun and it's all a farce anyway, right?I doubt little Macron knows much of anything, nor needs to. He just needs to follow orders... same as our presidents here in the States. Look at Trumpy, all talk and so little action... a cabinet full of swamp monsters... it's almost as if we are France... hard to tell the difference when it's the same SG running the script all the time... at least until Mother Nature swings on in.

In reply to by falak pema