Macron Lectures Lebanon: The Condescending Politics of Aid – Global Research

macron-lectures-lebanon:-the-condescending-politics-of-aid-–-global-research

12-08-20 03:34:00,

The explosion in a Beirut portside warehouse containing over 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate on August 4 has done its bit to light more fires under Lebanon’s ruling powers.  With the blast still bloodily fresh and traumatic – the destruction of the city’s port with over two hundred deaths and thousands injured – promises of assistance and messages of solidarity were conveyed.  A donor summit of fifteen government leaders was cobbled together in haste with French President Emmanuel Macron leading the show.  “Assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people,” went he words of the communique. But it was to be “directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency.” 

Aid is very much a tool of politics.  Used to affect change, it often ends up having its own distressing consequences, entrenching a set of other power interests more amenable to the donor and enervating to the recipient.  Governing classes in the recipient state are not so much replaced as redeployed; the canny and guileful adapt, donning new clothes for the institution approved by those providing aid. 

When models of aid are celebrated, the common example is that of the Marshall Plan, advertised by its proponents, US Secretary of State George Marshall, and Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman, as both noble yet self-interested.  By providing aid to a devastated Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War, the US tax payer would be inoculating the patient against the Communist virus while making the world safe for capitalism.  Marshall put forth the case in an address to Harvard University during the course of receiving an honorary degree, a speech that has come to be associated with the aid and reconstruction plan that bears his name.  “Aside from the demoralizing effect on the world at large and the possibilities of disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people concerned, the consequences to the economy of the United States should be apparent to all.”

In its post-colonial context, the donor-aid paradigm has its specific, troubling features.  Former colonies, for instance, tend to receive more from the former colonial power than those lacking those ties.  Sentiment is less important than attractive conveniences.

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Macron lectures UK on democracy while France burns every Saturday – George Galloway

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23-03-19 11:31:00,

French president Emmanuel Macron, who rebuked British MPs for failing to respect the will of the people after they repeatedly refused to accept Theresa May’s Brexit deal, has been criticised for ignoring his own people.

Former UK parliamentarian George Galloway said that Macron’s lecture came from a leader whose country was “on fire every Saturday”.

Macron, one of the European Union’s harshest critics of Britain’s indecisiveness over Brexit, told a meeting of the European Council on Thursday that the result of the British referendum must be respected.

 “We need to hear our people, we need to address their fears. We can’t play with fears, or simply tear up pages without offering anything else,” he said.

But former Labour MP Galloway said that Macron’s own record of listening to the people was far from flawless.

There have been on-going anti-austerity protests in France since last November and the French authorities have been criticised for their heavy-handed approach against the demonstrators.

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And earlier this week, the French Interior Ministry announced plans to ban rallies in some parts of Paris following rioting last weekend.

Macron has also announced plans to deploy French soldiers in the streets this Saturday to secure government buildings and symbolic sites. Critics said this move was reminiscent of last time the army patrolled the streets in France, in the late 1940s.

 “As I recall, [Louis XVI] Bourbon, the king of France, banned demonstrations back in 1789. We know what happened next. The French people are not to be excluded from their own streets,” Galloway told RT.

 By the way, he was lecturing [Britain] about democracy, while his whole country is on fire every Saturday afternoon.

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