Drive-by Planet: Sarkozy offers three debates: Sarko aide says Hollande ‘scared’

During his speech to a partisan crowd after his recent loss in the first stage of the French presidential race, Sarkozy put out a challenge. He offered Socialist challenger François Hollande three debates. The occasion in itself was a little odd. A casual viewer tuning in might have mistakenly thought Sarkozy was celebrating a victory ...

Drive-by Planet: Jean-Luc Mélenchon: Left-Front surges in French polls

Left-Front firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon has moved ahead of far-right Marine Le Pen to become the third placed contender in the presidential campaign. He pulls no punches in his colorful descriptions of Le Pen and her far-right views, calling her “a dark presence” and a “filthy beast spewing out hatred.” Mélenchon is sometimes misrepresented as a ...

Drive-by Planet: Merah killings: more about psychiatric issues than jihad?

To describe the Mohamed Merah killings as the act of a jihadi-on-a-mission is the type of simplistic narrative that short circuits more in-depth discussion about Merah’s motivations. There are questions about his psychological state that raise questions about whether he was acting as the “mujaheddin” he claimed to be. Merah grew up in one of ...