Saturday, May 12, 2007


The Flemish Lion, symbol of FlandersOn February 21, DowneastBlog reported on the visit to Washington undertaken at that time (February 20-23) by Vlaams Belang leaders Filip Dewinter and Frank Vanhecke. In the meantime, a summary of that visit has appeared in the party magazine, and its author, Jan Lievens, who is a town council member for the VB in the town of Lede as well as chairman of the VB chapter there, has posted it on his site Amerikaans Conservatisme as well. I thought it would be interesting for our conservative readership to have a translation of that summary on our blog. Readers should therefore know that the views expressed in this summary are not necessarily the same as MFBB's, though the correlation is of course very close. Through DowneastBlog I want to express my sincere thanks to Mr. Lievens for kindly permitting me to use the photos from his site, as well as for answering my phone call on the ungodly hour of 11.45pm last week.


In February a delegation of the Vlaams Belang took to Washinton, D.C.

Filip Fewinter, fraction leader for the VB in the Flemish ParliamentThe purpose of the journey was to establish contacts and have talks with equal minded politicians, opinion makers, organizations and think tanks. The conservative movement is still the most powerful political movement in the US. That fact alone justifies the trip to the US to clarify the goals of the Vlaams Belang, and to highlight the political prosecution in Belgium and the lack of freedom of speech in Europe. On top of the agenda stood the immigration problem - in particular the islamization of Europe - and promoting Flemish independence. Of course the Vlaams Belang has for years tried to get these views known to a wider public through, amongst others, our English-language newsletter The Flemish Republic, but it was felt that there was a need for more direct and closer contacts.

Frank Vanhecke, Party Chairman and European MP for the VBParty Chairman and European MP Frank Vanhecke and fraction leader in the Flemish Parliament Filip Dewinter first addressed the influential Wednesday Meeting. This group was established by conservative activist Grover Norquist of "Americans for Tax Reform" shortly after Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992. When Hillary Clinton in 1998 dubbed her husband's political enemies as a "vast rightwing conspiracy" she undoubtedly also had the Wesnesday Meeting on her mind. Their weekly meetings are meant to coordinate the conservatives' activities and strategies. The day after the delegation was awaited by Guy Vanderjagt, a former Republican member of Congress from Michigan - with Dutch roots - for a visit to the Capitol. After viewing the House of Representatives and the Senate some talks were held in Capitol Hill Club where Republicans meet.


The US is currently facing an ever more serious immigration problem. An estimated 10 million illegal immigrants live in the country. Bush pleads for amnesty, the conservative base revolts. So the Vlaams Belang held talks with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an important organization with around 250,000 members. FAIR wants the immigration policy to serve national interest: "With more than a million legal and illegal immigrants settling in the US every year, immigration has an impact on education, healthcare, government budgets, employment, environment, criminality and countless other aspects of American society. For most Americans it is evident that massive immigration does not serve the needs and interest of the country."

FAIR is politically independent and counts liberals as well as conservatives among its members. They support enhancing border controls, a halt to illegal immigration and plead for a temporary moratorium for all immigration with the exception of spouses and minors of US-citizens and a limited number of refugees. Their focus is mainly on investigation, awareness of public and media, government relations and supporting local initiatives. Academicians and politicians use their publications for preparing new immigration legislation. FAIR is regularly in the media given their expertise. They are also frequently consulted to witness for Congress with regards to immigration legislation, more than any other organization.

The VB's Filip Dewinter (left) and Frank Vanhecke (right) listening to Patrick Buchanan

Filip Dewinter (left) and Frank Vanhecke (right) listen attentively to Mr. Buchanan.

The peak moment of the journey was undoubtedly the meeting with Patrick Buchanan, author of amongst others "The Death of the West", "Where the Right went Wrong" and recently "State of Emergency". Buchanan was twice a presidential candidate for the Republicans in 1992 and 1996, and a third time for the Reform Party. In 2002 Buchanan was one of the founders of the magazine The American Conservative which serves as a counterweight to the neoconservatives and their campaign for the invasion of Iraq. He is so to say the most important representative of traditional conservatives (also called paleoconservatives - a term used to distinguish themselves of the neoconservatives). The Vlaams Belang-delegation attended the NBC's recording of "The McLaughlin Group" programme, where apart from Buchanan Tony Blankley, a conservative journalist of The Washington Times and author of "The West's last chance", is a political commentator.

From left to right, John McLaughlin, Filip Dewinter, Tony Blankley, Patrick Buchanan and Frank Vanhecke

After the NBC's talk show The McLaughlin Group was recorded, Frank Vanhecke and Filip Dewinter posed together with talk show host John McLaughlin, journalist Tony Blankley and Patrick Buchanan.


On the last day the Vlaams belang delegates ceossed the Potomac to Arlington, Virginia, to address the Robert A. Taft Club - a debating club named after the conservative senator from Ohio and where traditional conservatives and libertarians meet each other. Their speeches on immigration, multiculturalism and the end of freedom of speech in Europe were well received. Frank Vanhecke expressed his view as follows: "Europe is slowly becoming a totalitarian society. We think that Americans should be aware of his. What happens in our country, can happen in yours too, if you are not watchful. There is, however, a positive way to look at this. The fact that we are constantly harassed with lawsuits against us shows that our enemies regard us as dangerous. They fear the truth, but ultimately the truth will prevail."

Filip Dewinter addresses the Robert A. Taft Club

Filip Dewinter addresses the Robert A. Taft Club.

The VB's most important message, that Flanders is preparing for independence, was well received too. Filip Dewinter: "We want Flanders to become an independent nation because we believe that Flemish independence offers the best guarantee for the well-being and future of the Flemish people." This Flemish independence must be promoted too overseas. Not once but on a regular basis with regards to future international recognition.

The Vlaams Belang's visit was suspiciously monitored by the Belgian regime. The commentaries in the regime press were as prejudiced as they were predictable. In contrast to what Greet De Keyser claimed in her coverage for the VRT (24 February), as well as the De Standaard newspaper in its 26 February issue, was it not that Buchanan had had a problem with the Vlaams Belang but that he hadn't given authorization to be filmed by a Belgian TV crew. Moreover, the report above disclaims Greet De Keyser's suggestion that the Vlaams Belang had paid a visit to the Ku Klux Klan.

Jan Lievens.

Those who have followed DowneastBlog for some time know that, while I can find myself in 75% of the VB programme, I disagree with the most basic tenet of the party - Flemish Independence. Personally, I think we Flemings have still much more to lose in case of an implosion of Belgium. Belgium is riding - and let us be honest about it, benefiting greatly too - on the waves of the European dynamic towards a USE - a United States of Europe. We have been talking about that before and let us for a while forget the hollow anti-EU rhetoric - if the European peoples are not pleased with European laws, let them elect other European lawmakers instead of breaking the building down. As for Belgium, already, the country's capital, Brussels, is seen throughout the world as the EU's Capital. It is home to hundreds of international organizations and thousands of international companies. The very peculiar geographical situation of Brussels as lying in Flanders while not formally being a part of it - Brussels, like Washington, is an entity on its own - places it in the position of a pin securing the belt of the Belgian federal framework around Flanders and Wallonia. To those unfamiliar with Belgium, these are our country's Flemish-speaking and French-speaking regions respectively. Any attempt of the Flemings to break free would lead to a geopolitical calamity of the first order in the heart of Europe, because the Walloons - so much more shrewder in their negotiations - will never allow Flanders to take Brussels with it. Think a very ugly divorce with the ex-spouses burning the house down. Do we really want that? Then there is also the fact that Belgium boasts both NATO's headquarters in Evere as well as SHAPE in Cambron-Casteau. The country erupting in vicious quarrels at best and civil war at worst is, in the current international climate, the last thing the occupants of the NATO and SHAPE buildings want on their plate.

The reason of course why the VB so fiercely strives for Flemish independence, are the financial woes of poverty-stricken Wallonia, Belgium's French-speaking, socialist dominated southern half. Here the Parti Socialiste, arguably Europes most corrupt party - it is nicknamed "the Party of 1,000,000 scandals", but these days it seems one could add a zero - has managed to completely ruin an economy and industrial assets that were once among the foremost in the world. This near-communist state is in such a dismal condition that it needs a Flemish financial influx of 11 billion EUR annually - some 2,300 US$ for every Fleming from the youngest newborn to the oldest centenarian - just to keep the basics of its decrepit social security system afloat. In fact, the only solution to Wallonia's problems would be the total destruction of the Parti Socialiste. That is not to say there is no place for leftist discourse - in a democratic society, there should be a leftist discourse. But just not from this party. The truth for Belgium's belgicists - those who want to keep the country together at all cost - is not that the VB is the greatest danger for Unity. The greatest danger for Unity is the Parti Socialiste. Had it governed over Wallonia the right way, there would be no need for the Vlaams Belang's call for Flemish Independence - probably not even a need for the VB itself. Personally, I find myself in the strange situation of wishing the VB to keep up its fiery fight - if only for the mere reason of scaring sufficient Walloons that the manna from their northern brothers is not going to last forever.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007


cars torched in France during the night of Sunday, May 6, to Monday. This in response to Nicolas Sarkozy's victory in the French presidential elections. The perpetrators are violent groups of muslim youths and hard core extreme leftist youth movements. And it was not just one outburst. The night after, an estimated 365 cars went up in flames. That makes almost 1,100 cars destroyed in a little over 24 hours. Some reports even cite a total of 500 plus instead. Nor were vehicles the only targets. Police officers were pelted with stones and moltov cocktails, resulting in 28 wounded nationwide during the first night. In Normandy's well-known capital Caen, a UMP Headquarters (Sarkozy's party) was set alight, luckily without human loss. The perpetrators were a mob of the LCR (Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire).

All of which now sheds a rather unpleasant light on a warning - The Brussels Journal called it a threat - Ségolène Royal, Sarkozy's adversary, gave just days before the elections:

Fri May 4, 2007 11:22 AM ET - By Kerstin Gehmlich

PARIS (Reuters) - Socialist opponent Segolene Royal said on Friday that France risks violence and brutality if her opponent right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy wins Sunday's presidential election.

On the last day of official campaigning, opinion polls showed Sarkozy enjoyed a commanding lead over Royal, who accused the former interior minister of lying and polarizing France.

"Choosing Nicolas Sarkozy would be a dangerous choice," Royal told RTL radio. "It is my responsibility today to alert people to the risk of (his) candidature with regards to the violence and brutality that would be unleashed in the country (if he won)," she said. Pressed on whether there would be actual violence, Royal said: "I think so, I think so," referring specifically to France's volatile suburbs hit by widespread rioting in 2005.

In other words, vote Left, or else! Luckily, enough French made the Right decision, and if anything, the viciousness with which the alliance of leftist and islamic youths demonstrated their anger, proves how utterly necessary it had become for France to change course. Last year, massive demonstrations by the former sufficed to thwart the government's plans to implement a law which would without doubt have resulted in hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Today, demonstrations and riots by the former AND the latter aim at destablizing and frightening the better part of a nation in accepting their baseless demands: perpetual pampering of the lazy by the state and gradual submission to other laws than French Law, in casu Sharia. There is something else: in Europe, for decades the Right has lost elections, but always accepted it. By contrast, now that by and large the voting behaviour of the greater majority of Europeans shows a shift to the right, the left reacts with anger. Bad losers, I says.

NoPasaran! has a telling series of videos from the French riots over the past days. The following one shows the Place de la Bastille, one of the focal points of the Parisian riots, literally engulfed by tear gas, testimony of the tough measures needed to keep the "disgruntled" in check.

Look, it's high time we in the West wake up. I there is still anyone out there who thinks the violent riots in France, where muslims constitute 10% of the population, the arrest of ten islamic extremist planning to attack Fort Dix, NJ, muslims taking over the city of Blackburn, Lancaster, the ongoing slaughter in Thailand by muslim separatists, Umberto Eco lamenting that muslims in Milan, Italy, succesfully demanded all non-muslim kids be expulsed from a school class, or Britain's MI5 tracking 4,000 islamic terrorists are non-related items, you are increasingly beginning to look like a fool. In my opinion, since I assume no sensible human being desires as yet to wipe out 1.3 billion muslims to save the planet, all support should still be given to the one and only strategic undertaking the West has currently in motion: the prodigious, albeit costly, US-led endeavour to remake the Middle East. Indeed, the very viciousness with which Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are trying to thwart democracy of taking root in Iraq and Afghanistan, is testimony of their fear that the US plan might actually work. Squemish leftists in the US are trying to derail that crucial undertaking by stabbing the troops in the back. It is the same squeamishness shown by European leftists when confronted with our homegrown islamic extremists. Both forms of squeamishness may be equally dangerous. The former because pulling back the troops will only embolden the islamists. AQ's no.2, Ayman al-Zawahiri recently said that the bill refected America's failure and frustration, and if after such a confession you still feel like voting for Baraka Hussein Obama would be cool, like Matt Damon, you must be an idiot, like Matt Damon.

The latter squeamishness may be dangerous because caving in to islamic demands is eroding our power base in our very countries. In few places is this more apparent than in Antwerp, where non-muslim kids have to eat halal meat too, and where gangs clad like Taliban forbid westernized muslim youngsters to enter discos. Or threaten to smash the shops of muslim alcohol vendors in Borgerhout if they don't remove the beer bottles from their shelves. In the meantime, Antwerps leftwing leadership looks decidely the other way.

On both fronts, in the Middle East and on the home front, the West must show resilience and patience, and above all, CONFIDENCE in our own culture and values, which have brought humanity so far. In Iraq and Afghanistan, we should soldier on, how ungrateful that job may look like sometimes. At home, we must make it clear to our muslim communities they have to abide Western Laws, or ... LEAVE.


Sunday, May 06, 2007


The horrible Chirac Era is over. Nicolas Sarkozy has won and will be the next French President. Today, May 6, was the second round of the French Presidential elections, which had become necessary since none of the candidates got over the 50% treshold in the first round, two weeks ago. As of midnight, Sarkozy's and Royals electoral results stood at 53,28% for the former and 46,72% for the latter. At that time 3/4 of the vote, with a record turnout of 85%, had been counted, and Royal conceded defeat. One must conclude that finally - finally, after a dreadful Chirac presidency which left France with a stagnating economy, a public debt of 66% of GDP, and 25% of those under 24 without work - enough French apparently decided that enough is enough.

Image from NoPasaran!

It is in this light that the defeat of the Socialist candidate, Ségolène Royal, must be seen. To combat France's woes, she promised... more of the same. E.g., as late as the televised debate between the candidates, one week ago, she still gave lukewarm support to the catastrophic 35-hour working week implemented virtually everywhere, from cafes over large companies to public offices. By contrast, Sarkozy, the 52-year old son of a Hungarian immigrant, has vowed that 35 hours of working a week should be a minimum, not a maximum. For decades, Frances politicial class has actually looked down on labor itself, and indeed, when the 35-hour working week was introduced in the mid-nineties by then Minister of Work and Employment Martine Aubry, one of the stated goals was that the French should have more leisure time! Talk like that never cut wood with human dynamo Sarkozy, who was already a mayor of the Parisian suburb Neuilly at age 22. Instead, he, a great admirer of Anglosaxon work ethics, based his campaign on the right of people to work, and work hard, and get rich with it:

"I want the workers to be respected. I want to protect the French from seeing their jobs going abroad. I don't believe in living on social welfare. I don't believe everyone is the same. I believe in merit, I believe in effort and reward for that effort and I believe in social mobility. But above all, I believe in hard work."

As for the other chalklines of Sarkozy's policy, it is assumed that the relations with the US will become significantly better. With regards to Europe, he champions a softly-softly approach towards more integration, proposing a mini-Constitutional Treaty to be ratified by French Parliament instead of risking a new referendum to get the European Constitution through. Being a firm believer in a United States of Europe myself - although I am aware that it will create even more "state" at the supranational level - I think this is indeed the right way too follow. After all, as long as Europeans don't bother to actually understand what the European Project really is, a ratification by Parliament is perfectly legal and sufficient. A referendum is useless as long as people generally don't even know what it is they are against. The only caveat I am making here is that the 500-plus page monstrosity be reduced to at least one tenth of its actual size, and with the US Constitution as an example.

Furthermore, Sarkozy wants to reduce the number of French bureaucrats - the French State is indeed top-heavy, with one in four jobs being provided by the government in one of its forms. As good as that may sound, though, it would be premature to call Sarkozy a libertarian, or indeed even a free markets advocate. He, too, does not want to touch the social welfare state, apart from some streamlining. And he; too, has protectionist reflexes. But all in all, I expect French policy under Sarkozy to undergo a sea-change to the right after Chirac, who was a rightwinger in name only. Another very significant stance: he doesn't want Turkey in the EU. And given the developments in that country - I am not overly optimistic about the recent secular showdown there - damn right he is.

Last but not least, as for France's un(der)reported Intifada, we may expect a crackdown on the bad*sses, and I do hope the new French President will make hard his promise to "kaercher the banlieuses" (a "Kaercher" is a High Pressure Water hose). Hell, as far as I am concerned he can deploy Leclerc tanks instead of Kaerchers. As if in anticipation, the more it became clear this evening that Sarkozy would be the winner, the more the famous French "youths" became agitated. They were obviously not amused. The irreplaceable French blog NoPasaran! reports:

Mohamed Mechmache, President of AC Le Feu -- an association created following the November 2005 riots, has ominously warned that "France did not understand the message sent during the riots in October and November of 2005."

In Lille, just before 22h00, around 200 anarchists French youths with black flags grouped around the Grand Place and chanted "Fascist Sarko, the people will have your hide". After pelting riot police, the demonstrators were dispersed. One demonstrator was injured. Firemen in the south of Lille have answered 20 alarms for torched vehicles...

*sshole. To me it looks like France DID understand the message. Anyway, here's more:

500 demonstrators, composed of people coming from Ségolène Royal's
headquarters as well as suburban French youth, converged towards a barge docked on the Rhône river that was rented for a Sarkozy victory party. Fully loaded garbage cans were thrown from a nearby bridge, missing the barge. Fights broke out on the riverside shortly shortly after. Riot police surrounded the barge and aimed flash guns at the demonstrators.

At 10PM France2 TV mentions anti-Sarkozy demonstrations by French youths in the city centers of Rennes and Nantes. Groups of 20-30 French youths have started pelting police in Sevran, Blanc-Mesnil, Aulnay-sous-Bois and Villepinte. TF1 TV has just shown video of French youths vandalizing the area around the Place de la Bastille in Paris where Ségolène Royal would have had her victory celebration had she won.


Several towns in Essonne have experienced violence following the Sunday night election results. Open air sporting event structures and schools have been targeted by firebombs in Ris-Orangis, Corbeil-Essonnes et Evry. In Evry, a police patrol was shot at at the Place de la Commune. Unidentified gunmen armed with pump rifles were spotted in the Grande Borne à Grigny."

So it already looks like France's president elect has some work cut out for him. However, let some reports from no doubt very upset and extremely humiliated muslim French youths whose just grievances are not listened to not spoil the party folks. If you don't have to work tomorrow, get drunk as a monkey because France... France has the most pro-US President ever!!!!!