The godfather of the French right and the founder of the French Front National Party may be out of politics, but he is not out of the public spotlight. While he never held office higher than membership in the European Parliament and the French National Assembly, Jean-Marie Le Pen’s progeny seeks to succeed where he failed. And she may do just that; Marine Le Pen has repeatedly shown that she has the savvy and moderation that her father lacked. Her biggest obstacle to advancing in French politics may be the fact that her dad just won’t stop talking. Sound familiar? It should.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France’s leading right-leaning party, recently told a pro-Putin Russian newspaper exactly what they wanted to hear: The West’s intelligence agencies, and not radical Islamist terrorism, were responsible for the attack on the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo.
Via The Independent:
In an interview with a virulently anti-Western Russian newspaper, Mr Le Pen, 86, gave credence to conspiracy theories circulating on the internet suggesting that the attack was the work of American or Israeli agents seeking to foment a civil war between Islam and the West.
His comments – only partially retracted in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde today – provoked outrage amongst French politicians. They will also infuriate Marine Le Pen, his daughter, and successor as leader of the FN, who has been trying to distance the party from her father’s extreme and provocative remarks.
“The shooting at Charlie Hebdo resembles a secret service operation but we have no proof of that,” the newspaper quoted Mr Le Pen as saying. “I don’t think it was organised by the French authorities but they permitted this crime to be committed. That, for the moment, is just a supposition.”
In the Le Monde interview, Le Pen repeated his claim that it was just too convenient for one of the Kouachi brothers to leave his identity card in a getaway car. He said that he could not recall, however, blaming the attack on American and Israeli intelligence agencies.
Surely, Le Pen was just asking questions. That’s precisely what former Rep. Ron Paul was doing when he was asked to explain why the institute that bears his name published a report also claiming that the Charlie Hebdo attack bore “many of the characteristics” of a “false flag” operation.
When asked point-blank if he agreed with the assertion that the attacks in Paris were actually the work of Western intelligence agencies, Paul said he did not. He told a NewsMax host that the author who inferred Western complicity in the attacks, Paul Craig Roberts, was only asking pointed questions about the terrorist assaults in Paris. Questions that Paul enthusiastically repeated:
I think he wanted a discussion and he has some really good things in there. It’s a shame the media doesn’t pick up and say, ‘Hey, you know, what about this chief investigator of the event who committed suicide right in the middle of it.’ I have no idea what’s going on there but that, to me, is big stuff.
Paul Craig Roberts is determined to get truth out and to get people to listen and pay attention. The people in this country have lost a lot of confidence in governments, per se, including our own. We have been trying to get all the answers on Benghazi and of course Fast and Furious was a scandal. Nobody believes those answers. 80 percent of the American people don’t even believe the Kennedy Commission on who killed [John F.] Kennedy.
Then, of course, we have Rahm Emanuel, who says don’t ever let an emergency go to waste. I think this is part of what’s going on there that this is a design to restructure and reorient people on foreign policy. I think that is what’s going on.
Paul added that, while it is “news” and a “problem” that 17 civilians were killed in Paris by terrorists, he was disturbed that the fact that the revelation that 50 civilians may have been killed by a coalition airstrike in Syria in late December did not garner as much attention in the Western press.
Much like Marine Le Pen, Sen. Rand Paul’s biggest obstacle to holding office is his father. Like Rand Paul, Le Pen shares many of her father’s views on foreign affairs but can articulate them in a fashion that is both reasonable and compelling. Also like Ran Paul, Le Pen is unlikely to advance farther in French politics than she already has so long as her father keeps talking.
Rand Paul shares his father’s suspicions of America’s hands-on approach to foreign affairs challenges and, if he had is way as president, would embark on a campaign of retrenchment and disengagement. In that project, Paul would have the support of millions of Americans – possibly even a majority — who believe that this would be a productive course of action. But so long as Ron Paul continues to blame the West for virtually all foreign aggression, ranging from Islamist terrorism to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, American’s won’t trust Rand Paul to serve as a capable manager of America’s foreign affairs.