© ReutersFrançois Hollande.
François Hollande's presidential campaign largely consisted of denunciations of the catastrophic policies and garishness of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. He pledged that change would come immediately. One hundred days after his election, Hollande may have altered the style of rule but not the policies which remain the same even as France sinks ever deeper into crisis.

The main themes being debated by the French press as well as the manner in which these themes are framed expose the rank submission of the French governing classes to U.S. domination. They also serve to justify that acquiescence.

The French people expected that once the elections were over several large firms would announce layoff plans. The release of an internal memo from France's biggest carmaker, PSA Peugeot Citroën, contemplating the closing of its factories in Aulnay-sous-Bois and Sevelnord and the elimination of more than 8000 jobs, not counting all the ancillary employment, came as a bombshell. The government responded with empty gestures by summoning the CEO of the PSA, questioning his competence while falling back on a stereotypical portrayal of a big boss exploiting the working class.

In reality, PSA Peugeot Citroen is involved in the process of forming a strategic alliance with General Motors. Having succumbed to the pressure of the Zionist lobbying group called United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) in the U.S., GM demanded its French partner to cease its business relationship with Iran, which it did without hesitation. Previously, the firm had conducted one quarter of its activities in the Islamic Republic.

During this entire affair, French management has abjectly folded to U.S. dictates and the government has not dared rebuke it. Both sides have preferred to emphasize fake economic problems rather than admit to public opinion that they have sacrificed their economy to the demands of Washington.

Another controversy has erupted over shale gas. French territory has the most important gas reserves in Europe after Poland. Nicolas Sarkozy handed out 64 exploration permits. François Hollande, as candidate, promised to backtrack given the disastrous effects of hydraulic fracturing on the environment. His government has since made contradictory pronouncements while finally allowing exploration to proceed.

Again, the governing class generated a phony debate to keep its voluntary servitude from being seen clearly for what it is. The press dutifully repeated that the low costs of natural gas would enhance the competitivity of the French industry, while balancing economic recovery with ecological concerns.

It should be kept in mind that natural gas exploitation was a White House directive formulated in Cheney's energy task force in 2000 which is now being carried forward by the Obama administration. At issue here is preventing by whatever means Paris from turning to Russia for natural gas which would inevitably distance France from Washington and bring it closer to Moscow.

It might also be noted that the German governing class, confronted with the same dilemma, has not buckled to U.S. pressure. Business leaders have chosen to supply their industries with Russian gas. Former Social-Democratic chancellor, Gerhard Schroder, himself has been appointed chairman of the board of North Stream AG, the gas company that will begin to supply his country by the end of the year. That the Atlanticist chancellor Angela Merkel is still in office can only be comprehended as a desire on the part of German elites to stall Washington at this pivotal moment.

Yet another subject dear to the mainstream press is the debate which has pitted Nicolas Sarkozy against his successor on the issue of Syria. The former president asserts that François Hollande cannot repeat his own successes in Libya. The lobbyist Bernard-Henri Lévy, with his usual finesse, is accusing Vladimir Putin of killing children in Aleppo and demanding planes to bombard the thugs of Assad the tyrant.

Mr. Hollande is caught in the trap created by his own cowardice. He accepted that the Security Council mandate to protect the Libyan population be used to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. Rather than prosecute Sarkozy for an illegal war that claimed 160,000 victims, he is apologizing for not being able to do the same thing to Syria. Feigning candor, his Foreign Minister explains that one can't violate international law by openly bombarding Damascus but one can do so discretely, by arming terrorists for example.

There is nothing new in this tactic. Three previous ministers; Bernard Kouchner (independent), Alain Juppe (Right) and Laurent Fabius (Left), have also devoted themselves to destroying the foreign policy inherited by them. Once a "defender of Nations", France has become the obedient purveyor of Blair's doctrine of "humanitarian intervention". They can't even use the cynical pretext of pursuing colonial aims since it is the Anglo-Americans who have profited the most from the French attacks on the Libyan people. Similarly, it is the Anglo-Americans who will grab the lion's share of Libyan gas, while if France continues to support the secret war against the Syrian people it will make itself increasingly hated throughout the Middle East.

Carefully distracted by their media, the French people seem not to be able to make the connection between betrayal by their elites and their own economic problems.

Thierry Meyssan, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. Professor of International Relations at the Centre for Strategic Studies in Damascus. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

Translated from French by Michele Stoddard.