Attentat de Nice: L’Apocalypse, c’est maintenant ! (From 9/11 to Nice: Slouching towards the Apocalypse, one massacre at a time)

https://i1.wp.com/extremecentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Nice.jpgTout se disloque. Le centre ne peut tenir. L’anarchie se déchaîne sur le monde Comme une mer noircie de sang : partout On noie les saints élans de l’innocence …Sûrement que quelque révélation, c’est pour bientôt … Sûrement que la Seconde Venue, c’est pour bientôt. La Seconde Venue ! A peine dits ces mots, Une image, immense, du Spiritus Mundi Trouble ma vue : quelque part dans les sables du désert, Une forme avec corps de lion et tête d’homme Et l’oeil nul et impitoyable comme un soleil Se meut, à cuisses lentes, tandis qu’autour Tournoient les ombres d’une colère d’oiseaux… La ténèbre, à nouveau ; mais je sais, maintenant, Que vingt siècles d’un sommeil de pierre, exaspérés Par un bruit de berceau, tournent au cauchemar, – Et quelle bête brute, revenue l’heure, Traîne la patte vers Bethléem, pour naître enfin ? Yeats (1919)
Une nation ne se régénère que sur un monceau de cadavres. Saint-Just
For many Israelis, the horrifying images of a truck plowing through crowds for more than a mile in the French resort town of Nice struck a macabrely familiar chord. (…)  Nice was an even more direct, if far deadlier, echo of a 2011 rampage in which an Arab-Israeli man’s truck barreled down a Tel Aviv street for a mile, killing one and wounding 17. These followed a spate of attacks with heavy construction vehicles and cars as weapons in 2008. And since October, according to Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency, at least 32 Palestinians have rammed vehicles into people at bus stops, intersections and military checkpoints. The French prime minister said after the Nice attack, the nation’s third mass killing in 18 months, that France “must live with terrorism.” That is what Israelis have been doing for decades, through the plane hijackings of the 1970s; the suicide bombers of the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, which began in 2000; and the lone-wolf stabbings and shootings of the past 10 months. In Israel, ordinary citizens, security officials and experts feel they have seen it all and say they have adapted to a perennial, if ever-changing, threat. They speak of constantly staying alert, exercising caution and growing accustomed to what some may find to be intrusive levels of security, but essentially carrying on.  (…) That routine includes opening bags for a check and passing through metal detectors at train or bus stations, shopping malls and movie complexes. At the height of the suicide bombings, customers paid a small surcharge at cafes and restaurants to subsidize the cost of a guard at the door. Hundreds of armed civilian guards have been deployed to protect public transportation in Jerusalem in recent months amid the wave of attacks, which have been glorified by some Palestinians on social media. The guards stand at bus and light-rail stops, and hop on and off buses along main routes, with the same powers to search and arrest as the police. Israel has also invested hugely in intelligence, its tactics evolving as its enemies change theirs. Several psychological studies in Israel have found that people habituate quickly to threats, making adjustments to daily life — keeping children at home, for example, rather than sending them to summer camp — and adopting dark humor about the randomness of the threat. (…) Some Israeli politicians have been disparaging about what they view as European negligence in security matters. After the attacks in March in Brussels, for example, a senior minister, Israel Katz, said Belgium would not be able to fight Islamist terrorism “if Belgians continue eating chocolate and enjoying life and looking like great democrats and liberals.” In a radio interview on Sunday, Yaakov Perry, a former Shin Bet chief now in Parliament, recommended deeper intelligence supervision of neighborhoods “where Muslims, refugees, Daesh supporters of various sorts live,” using an Arabic acronym to refer to the Islamic State. He also suggested that the French police were complacent, referring to news reports that the driver in Nice had told officers he was delivering ice cream. “If the driver says he has ice cream, open the truck and check if he has ice cream,” Mr. Perry said. That the attack occurred at a mass gathering for Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, had Israelis shaking their heads. Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said that to secure a major event like Independence Day celebrations, when tens of thousands of people gather along the Tel Aviv seafront to watch an air and naval display, officers gather intelligence for weeks beforehand, and erect a 360-degree enclosure of the area, with layers of security around the perimeter. Main roads are typically blocked off with rows of buses, and smaller side streets with patrol cars. In addition to a large uniformed and undercover police presence, counterterrorism teams are strategically placed to provide a rapid response if needed. For intelligence gathering, Shin Bet has used a “basic coverage” method, which involves homing in on a particular neighborhood or population sector that is considered a potential security risk. The agency then builds an intimate system of surveillance and a network of local informers who can point to any sign of suspicious or unusual activity.(…) But several security experts acknowledged that with citizens in a democracy, including Israel’s large Arab minority, these methods of intelligence gathering — “neighbors informing on neighbors,” as one put it — can be difficult to balance with civil liberties. These measures are also less effective, they say, in trying to prevent individual attacks that are not affiliated with any organization and that at times appear to have erupted spontaneously. The NYT
Even the Sicilian mafia has to deal with the wave of migration from Africa. The neighbourhoods under mafia control have changed profoundly in recent years due to the growing presence of foreigners, especially Nigerians coming on boats. Among them, there [are a small number] of people who want to transfer their illegal trafficking, linked to prostitution and drug dealing, to Sicily. And the mafia was quite happy to integrate them into their criminal business. Leonardo Agueci (Palermo’s deputy chief prosecutor)
Nous imaginons, parce que la Guerre froide est finie en Europe, que toute la série de luttes qui ont commencé avec la Première guerre mondiale et qui sont passées par différents mouvements totalitaires — fasciste, nazi et communiste — était finalement terminée. (…) Hors de la Première guerre mondiale est venue une série de révoltes contre la civilisation libérale. Ces révoltes accusaient la civilisation libérale d’être non seulement hypocrite ou en faillite, mais d’être en fait la grande source du mal ou de la souffrance dans le monde. (…) [Avec] une fascination pathologique pour la mort de masse [qui] était elle-même le fait principal de la Première guerre mondiale, dans laquelle 9 ou 10 millions de personnes ont été tués sur une base industrielle. Et chacun des nouveaux mouvements s’est mis à reproduire cet événement au nom de leur opposition utopique aux complexités et aux incertitudes de la civilisation libérale. Les noms de ces mouvements ont changé comme les traits qu’ils ont manifestés – l’un s’est appelé bolchévisme, et un autre s’est appelé fascisme, un autre s’est appelé nazisme. (…) À un certain niveau très profond tous ces mouvements étaient les mêmes — ils partageaient tous certaines qualités mythologiques, une fascination pour la mort de masse et tous s’inspiraient du même type de paranoïa. (…) Mon argument est que l’islamisme et un certain genre de pan-arabisme dans les mondes arabe et musulman sont vraiment d’autres branches de la même impulsion. Mussolini a mis en scène sa marche sur Rome en 1922 afin de créer une société totalitaire parfaite qui allait être la résurrection de l’empire romain. En 1928, en Egypte, de l’autre côté de la Méditerranée, s’est créée la secte des Frères musulmans afin de ressusciter le Califat antique de l’empire arabe du 7ème siècle, de même avec l’idée de créer une société parfaite des temps modernes. Bien que ces deux mouvements aient été tout à fait différents, ils étaient d’une certaine manière semblables. (…) La doctrine islamiste est que l’Islam est la réponse aux problèmes du monde, mais que l’Islam a été la victime d’une conspiration cosmique géante pour la détruire, par les Croisés et les sionistes. (le sionisme dans la doctrine de Qutb n’est pas un mouvement politique moderne, c’est une doctrine cosmique se prolongeant tout au long des siècles.) L’Islam est la victime de cette conspiration, qui est également facilitée par les faux musulmans ou hypocrites, qui feignent d’être musulmans mais sont réellement les amis des ennemis de l’Islam. D’un point de vue islamiste, donc, la conspiration la plus honteuse est celle menée par les hypocrites musulmans pour annihiler l’Islam du dedans. Ces personnes sont surtout les libéraux musulmans qui veulent établir une société libérale, autrement dit la séparation de l’église et de l’état. (…) De même que les progressistes européens et américains doutaient des menaces de Hitler et de Staline, les Occidentaux éclairés sont aujourd’hui en danger de manquer l’urgence des idéologies violentes issues du monde musulman. (…) Les socialistes français des années 30 (…) ont voulu éviter un retour de la première guerre mondiale; ils ont refusé de croire que les millions de personnes en Allemagne avaient perdu la tête et avaient soutenu le mouvement nazi. Ils n’ont pas voulu croire qu’un mouvement pathologique de masse avait pris le pouvoir en Allemagne, ils ont voulu rester ouverts à ce que les Allemands disaient et aux revendications allemandes de la première guerre mondiale. Et les socialistes français, dans leur effort pour être ouverts et chaleureux afin d’éviter à tout prix le retour d’une guerre comme la première guerre mondiale, ont fait tout leur possible pour essayer de trouver ce qui était raisonnable et plausible dans les arguments d’Hitler. Ils ont vraiment fini par croire que le plus grand danger pour la paix du monde n’était pas posé par Hitler mais par les faucons de leur propre société, en France. Ces gens-là étaient les socialistes pacifistes de la France, c’était des gens biens. Pourtant, de fil en aiguille, ils se sont opposés à l’armée française contre Hitler, et bon nombre d’entre eux ont fini par soutenir le régime de Vichy et elles ont fini comme fascistes! Ils ont même dérapé vers l’anti-sémitisme pur, et personne ne peut douter qu’une partie de cela s’est reproduit récemment dans le mouvement pacifiste aux Etats-Unis et surtout en Europe. Paul Berman
L’erreur est toujours de raisonner dans les catégories de la « différence », alors que la racine de tous les conflits, c’est plutôt la « concurrence », la rivalité mimétique entre des êtres, des pays,des cultures. La concurrence, c’est-à-dire le désir d’imiter l’autre pour obtenir la même chose que lui, au besoin par la violence. Sans doute le terrorisme est-il lié à un monde « différent » du nôtre, mais ce qui suscite le terrorisme n’est pas dans cette « différence » qui l’éloigne le plus de nous et nous le rend inconcevable. Il est au contraire dans un désir exacerbé de convergence et de ressemblance. (…) Ce qui se vit aujourd’hui est une forme de rivalité mimétique à l’échelle planétaire. Lorsque j’ai lu les premiers documents de Ben Laden, constaté ses allusions aux bombes américaines tombées sur le Japon, je me suis senti d’emblée à un niveau qui est au-delà de l’islam, celui de la planète entière. Sous l’étiquette de l’islam, on trouve une volonté de rallier et de mobiliser tout un tiers-monde de frustrés et de victimes dans leurs rapports de rivalité mimétique avec l’Occident. Mais les tours détruites occupaient autant d’étrangers que d’Américains. Et par leur efficacité, par la sophistication des moyens employés, par la connaissance qu’ils avaient des Etats-Unis, par leurs conditions d’entraînement, les auteurs des attentats n’étaient-ils pas un peu américains ? On est en plein mimétisme.Ce sentiment n’est pas vrai des masses, mais des dirigeants. Sur le plan de la fortune personnelle, on sait qu’un homme comme Ben Laden n’a rien à envier à personne. Et combien de chefs de parti ou de faction sont dans cette situation intermédiaire, identique à la sienne. Regardez un Mirabeau au début de la Révolution française : il a un pied dans un camp et un pied dans l’autre, et il n’en vit que de manière plus aiguë son ressentiment. Aux Etats-Unis, des immigrés s’intègrent avec facilité, alors que d’autres, même si leur réussite est éclatante, vivent aussi dans un déchirement et un ressentiment permanents. Parce qu’ils sont ramenés à leur enfance, à des frustrations et des humiliations héritées du passé. Cette dimension est essentielle, en particulier chez des musulmans qui ont des traditions de fierté et un style de rapports individuels encore proche de la féodalité. (…) Cette concurrence mimétique, quand elle est malheureuse, ressort toujours, à un moment donné, sous une forme violente. A cet égard, c’est l’islam qui fournit aujourd’hui le ciment qu’on trouvait autrefois dans le marxisme. René Girard
(Le 11 septembre,) je le vois comme un événement déterminant, et c’est très grave de le minimiser aujourd’hui. Le désir habituel d’être optimiste, de ne pas voir l’unicité de notre temps du point de vue de la violence, correspond à un désir futile et désespéré de penser notre temps comme la simple continuation de la violence du XXe siècle. Je pense, personnellement, que nous avons affaire à une nouvelle dimension qui est mondiale. Ce que le communisme avait tenté de faire, une guerre vraiment mondiale, est maintenant réalisé, c’est l’actualité. Minimiser le 11 Septembre, c’est ne pas vouloir voir l’importance de cette nouvelle dimension. (…) Mais la menace actuelle va au-delà de la politique, puisqu’elle comporte un aspect religieux. Ainsi, l’idée qu’il puisse y avoir un conflit plus total que celui conçu par les peuples totalitaires, comme l’Allemagne nazie, et qui puisse devenir en quelque sorte la propriété de l’islam, est tout simplement stupéfiante, tellement contraire à ce que tout le monde croyait sur la politique. (…) Le problème religieux est plus radical dans la mesure où il dépasse les divisions idéologiques – que bien sûr, la plupart des intellectuels aujourd’hui ne sont pas prêts d’abandonner.(…) Il s’agit de notre incompréhension du rôle de la religion, et de notre propre monde ; c’est ne pas comprendre que ce qui nous unit est très fragile. Lorsque nous évoquons nos principes démocratiques, parlons-nous de l’égalité et des élections, ou bien parlons-nous de capitalisme, de consommation, de libre échange, etc. ? Je pense que dans les années à venir, l’Occident sera mis à l’épreuve. Comment réagira-t-il : avec force ou faiblesse ? Se dissoudra-t-il ? Les occidentaux devraient se poser la question de savoir s’ils ont de vrais principes, et si ceux-ci sont chrétiens ou bien purement consuméristes. Le consumérisme n’a pas d’emprise sur ceux qui se livrent aux attentats suicides. (…) Allah est contre le consumérisme, etc. En réalité, le musulman pense que les rituels de prohibition religieuse sont une force qui maintient l’unité de la communauté, ce qui a totalement disparu ou qui est en déclin en Occident. Les gens en Occident ne sont motivés que par le consumérisme, les bons salaires, etc. Les musulmans disent : « leurs armes sont terriblement dangereuses, mais comme peuple, ils sont tellement faibles que leur civilisation peut être facilement détruite ».
L’avenir apocalyptique n’est pas quelque chose d’historique. C’est quelque chose de religieux sans lequel on ne peut pas vivre. C’est ce que les chrétiens actuels ne comprennent pas. Parce que, dans l’avenir apocalyptique, le bien et le mal sont mélangés de telle manière que d’un point de vue chrétien, on ne peut pas parler de pessimisme. Cela est tout simplement contenu dans le christianisme. Pour le comprendre, lisons la Première Lettre aux Corinthiens : si les puissants, c’est-à-dire les puissants de ce monde, avaient su ce qui arriverait, ils n’auraient jamais crucifié le Seigneur de la Gloire – car cela aurait signifié leur destruction (cf. 1 Co 2, 8). Car lorsque l’on crucifie le Seigneur de la Gloire, la magie des pouvoirs, qui est le mécanisme du bouc émissaire, est révélée. Montrer la crucifixion comme l’assassinat d’une victime innocente, c’est montrer le meurtre collectif et révéler ce phénomène mimétique. C’est finalement cette vérité qui entraîne les puissants à leur perte. Et toute l’histoire est simplement la réalisation de cette prophétie. Ceux qui prétendent que le christianisme est anarchiste ont un peu raison. Les chrétiens détruisent les pouvoirs de ce monde, car ils détruisent la légitimité de toute violence. Pour l’État, le christianisme est une force anarchique, surtout lorsqu’il retrouve sa puissance spirituelle d’autrefois. Ainsi, le conflit avec les musulmans est bien plus considérable que ce que croient les fondamentalistes. Les fondamentalistes pensent que l’apocalypse est la violence de Dieu. Alors qu’en lisant les chapitres apocalyptiques, on voit que l’apocalypse est la violence de l’homme déchaînée par la destruction des puissants, c’est-à-dire des États, comme nous le voyons en ce moment. Lorsque les puissances seront vaincues, la violence deviendra telle que la fin arrivera. Si l’on suit les chapitres apocalyptiques, c’est bien cela qu’ils annoncent. Il y aura des révolutions et des guerres. Les États s’élèveront contre les États, les nations contre les nations. Cela reflète la violence. Voilà le pouvoir anarchique que nous avons maintenant, avec des forces capables de détruire le monde entier. On peut donc voir l’apparition de l’apocalypse d’une manière qui n’était pas possible auparavant. Au début du christianisme, l’apocalypse semblait magique : le monde va finir ; nous irons tous au paradis, et tout sera sauvé ! L’erreur des premiers chrétiens était de croire que l’apocalypse était toute proche. Les premiers textes chronologiques chrétiens sont les Lettres aux Thessaloniciens qui répondent à la question : pourquoi le monde continue-t-il alors qu’on en a annoncé la fin ? Paul dit qu’il y a quelque chose qui retient les pouvoirs, le katochos (quelque chose qui retient). L’interprétation la plus commune est qu’il s’agit de l’Empire romain. La crucifixion n’a pas encore dissout tout l’ordre. Si l’on consulte les chapitres du christianisme, ils décrivent quelque chose comme le chaos actuel, qui n’était pas présent au début de l’Empire romain. (..) le monde actuel (…) confirme vraiment toutes les prédictions. On voit l’apocalypse s’étendre tous les jours : le pouvoir de détruire le monde, les armes de plus en plus fatales, et autres menaces qui se multiplient sous nos yeux. Nous croyons toujours que tous ces problèmes sont gérables par l’homme mais, dans une vision d’ensemble, c’est impossible. Ils ont une valeur quasi surnaturelle. Comme les fondamentalistes, beaucoup de lecteurs de l’Évangile reconnaissent la situation mondiale dans ces chapitres apocalyptiques. Mais les fondamentalistes croient que la violence ultime vient de Dieu, alors ils ne voient pas vraiment le rapport avec la situation actuelle – le rapport religieux. Cela montre combien ils sont peu chrétiens. La violence humaine, qui menace aujourd’hui le monde, est plus conforme au thème apocalyptique de l’Évangile qu’ils ne le pensent.
(la Guerre Froide est) complètement dépassée. (…) Et la rapidité avec laquelle elle a été dépassée est incroyable. L’Union Soviétique a montré qu’elle devenait plus humaine lorsqu’elle n’a pas tenté de forcer le blocus de Kennedy, et à partir de cet instant, elle n’a plus fait peur. Après Khrouchtchev on a eu rapidement besoin de Gorbatchev. Quand Gorbatchev est arrivé au pouvoir, les oppositions ne se trouvaient plus à l’intérieur de l’humanisme. (…) Cela dit, de plus en plus de gens en Occident verront la faiblesse de notre humanisme ; nous n’allons pas redevenir chrétiens, mais on fera plus attention au fait que la lutte se trouve entre le christianisme et l’islam, plus qu’entre l’islam et l’humanisme. Avec l’islam je pense que l’opposition est totale. Dans l’islam, si l’on est violent, on est inévitablement l’instrument de Dieu. Cela veut donc dire que la violence apocalyptique vient de Dieu. Aux États-Unis, les fondamentalistes disent cela, mais les grandes églises ne le disent pas. Néanmoins, ils ne poussent pas suffisamment leur pensée pour dire que si la violence ne vient pas de Dieu, elle vient de l’homme, et que nous en sommes responsables. Nous acceptons de vivre sous la protection d’armes nucléaires. Cela a probablement été la plus grande erreur de l’Occident. Imaginez-vous les implications. (…) Nous croyons que la violence est garante de la paix. Mais cette hypothèse ne me paraît pas valable. Nous ne voulons pas aujourd’hui réfléchir à ce que signifie cette confiance dans la violence. (Avec un autre événement tel que le 11 Septembre) Je pense que les gens deviendraient plus conscients. Mais cela serait probablement comme la première attaque. Il y aurait une période de grande tension spirituelle et intellectuelle, suivie d’un lent relâchement. Quand les gens ne veulent pas voir, ils y arrivent. Je pense qu’il y aura des révolutions spirituelles et intellectuelles dans un avenir proche. Ce que je dis aujourd’hui semble complètement invraisemblable, et pourtant je pense que le 11 Septembre va devenir de plus en plus significatif. René Girard
Deux romans français prestigieux, dissemblables dans le temps et le ton, décrivent deux visions influentes de la France dans l’avenir. Non seulement intéressants à lire (et toutes deux traduits en anglais), ils stimulent ensemble la réflexion sur les crises de l’immigration et du changement culturel dans le pays. Jean Raspail (1925-) imagine une invasion raciale venant de la mer par canots et bateaux depuis le sous-continent indien et se dirigeant lentement, inexorablement vers le Sud de la France (…) dans le « Camp des Saints », publié en1973   (…) Michel Houellebecq (1956-) raconte l’histoire non pas d’un pays (la France) mais d’un individu (François) dans « Soumission » (2015). (…) Si le roman de 1973 ne mentionne jamais les mots islam ou musulman, sa contrepartie de 2013 insiste sur les deux – à commencer par le titre : Islam signifie en Arabe soumission. A l’inverse, le premier livre est centré sur la race alors que le second la note à peine (la prostituée favorite de François est Nord-Africaine). Un récit s’achève diaboliquement, l’autre agréablement. Le premier livre est un traité politique apocalyptique déguisé en amusement, le second livre une vue littéraire et sardonique de la perte de volonté de l’Europe sans exprimer d’hostilité envers l’islam ou les Musulmans. Le premier documente une agression, l’autre une consolation. Les romans décrivent deux courants croisés majeurs presque contradictoires d’après-guerre. L’attrait d’une Europe libre et riche pour des peuples lointains et pauvres, en particulier des Musulmans. ; et l’attrait d’un islam vigoureux pour une Europe affaiblie, postchrétienne. Dans les deux cas, l’Europe – représentant seulement 7 % des terres émergées du monde mais la région dominante pendant cinq siècles, de 1450 à 1950 – s’apprête à perdre ses coutumes, sa culture et ses mœurs, en devenant une simple extension, voire une dépendance de l’Afrique du Nord. Les romans impliquent que le souci alarmant exprimé depuis des décennies (des masses de peuples sombres, violents, en colère) est devenu familier et même bénin (les universités du Moyen Orient offrent de meilleurs salaires). Ils suggèrent que le temps de la panique est passé, remplacé par le temps d’une capitulation progressive. « Camp » a éclaboussé la Droite quand il a paru mais les deux livres traitent de préoccupations plus largement partagées aujourd’hui : la réimpression de « Camp » en 2011 a atteint le sommet de la liste des meilleures ventes en France et « Soumission » est devenu simultanément la meilleure vente quatre ans plus tard en France, en Italie et en Allemagne. Quarante-deux ans séparent ces deux livres ; en sautant 42 ans de plus dans le futur, quelle histoire un roman futuriste publié en 2057 pourrait-il raconter ? Des penseurs comme Oriana Fallaci, Bat Ye’or et Mark Steyn s’attendent à un compte-rendu présumant la victoire de l’islam et raconte la chasse des quelques croyants Chrétiens restant. Mais je prédis le contraire pour bientôt : un rapport qui présume le grand remplacement de Camus a échoué et imagine une violente répression des Musulmans (selon les mots de Claire Berlinski) « titubant hors des brumes de l’histoire européenne » accompagnée d’une réaffirmation nativiste. Daniel Pipes

L’Apocalypse, c’est maintenant !

Et si au lendemain de Nice

Sur fond d’israélisation de plus en plus avancée du reste du ronde …

Et sans compter la simple criminalisation

Derrière cette guerre vraiment mondiale rêvée par le communisme …

Et cette tentative de refondation qu’on trouvait autrefois dans le marxisme …

Loin des slogans creux de nos Obama et de nos Hollande …

Comme des Grands soirs ou lendemains qui chantent de nos communistes …

Ou même le grand feu d’artifice final de nos fondamentalistes …

Ce n’était pas ca comme le suggérait René Girard …

La révélation (premier sens du mot apocalypse) qui arrivait …

Ou plutôt qui rampait comme l’avait vu Yeats …

Massacre après massacre …

Ou alors comme Houellebecq …

Soumission après soumission ?

Qui écrira l’avenir de la France?
Daniel Pipes
Washington Times
7 juin 2016

Version originale anglaise: Who Will Write France’s Future?
Adaptation française: Sentinelle 5776

Deux romans français prestigieux, dissemblables dans le temps et le ton, décrivent deux visions influentes de la France dans l’avenir. Non seulement intéressants à lire (et toutes deux traduits en anglais), ils stimulent ensemble la réflexion sur les crises de l’immigration et du changement culturel dans le pays.

Jean Raspail (1925-) imagine une invasion raciale venant de la mer par canots et bateaux depuis le sous-continent indien et se dirigeant lentement, inexorablement vers le Sud de la France. Dans le « Camp des Saints », publié en1973, il documente d’abord la réaction française impuissante, paniquée face à la horde (mot utilisé 34 fois) « continuant de venir rejoindre les foules gonflées ».

Dans une puissante fantaisie dystopique sur la race blanche et la vie européenne correspondant aux peurs décrites par Charles de Gaulle, le politicien dominant de la France d’après-guerre, qui faisait bon accueil à des citoyens français non blancs « à la condition qu’ils demeurent une petite minorité. Faute de quoi, la France ne serait plus la France. Nous sommes après tout, d’abord un peuple européen de race blanche ».

« Camp » anticipe aussi la notion du « Grand Remplacement », conceptualisé par l’intellectuel français Renaud Camus, qui prédit le remplacement rapide « du peuple historique de notre pays par des peuples d’origine immigrée et non Européens dans leur immense majorité ». Globalement la même peur – des immigrants repoussant le peuple français indigène pour s’emparer du pays – inspire le Front National atteignant désormais près de 30 % des suffrages et il poursuit sa croissance.

Michel Houellebecq (1956-) raconte l’histoire non pas d’un pays (la France) mais d’un individu (François) dans « Soumission » (2015). François est un professeur blasé, quelque peu décadent, du mouvement décadent de la littérature française. Il n’a pas de famille, d’amis, ni d’ambition ; bien qu’arrivé seulement à la mi-quarantaine, sa volonté de vivre s’est érodée dans l’ennui d’une nourriture à emporter et d’une procession de partenaires sexuelles interchangeables.

Quand un politicien musulman ostensiblement modéré devient de façon inattendue président de la France en 2022, beaucoup de changements radicaux s’ensuivent rapidement dans la vie française. Dans un mouvement surpris, ce qui commence de façon menaçante (un cadavre dans une station d’essence) se transforme assez vite de façon inoffensive (délicieuse nourriture du Moyen Orient). Attiré par un job satisfaisant et bien payé avec l’avantage d’un accès à de nombreuses étudiantes jolies et couvertes, François abandonne facilement sa vie d’avant pour se convertir à l’islam, qui lui offre les récompenses du luxe, de l’exotisme et du patriarcat.

Si le roman de 1973 ne mentionne jamais les mots islam ou musulman, sa contrepartie de 2013 insiste sur les deux – à commencer par le titre : Islam signifie en Arabe soumission. A l’inverse, le premier livre est centré sur la race alors que le second la note à peine (la prostituée favorite de François est Nord-Africaine). Un récit s’achève diaboliquement, l’autre agréablement. Le premier livre est un traité politique apocalyptique déguisé en amusement, le second livre une vue littéraire et sardonique de la perte de volonté de l’Europe sans exprimer d’hostilité envers l’islam ou les Musulmans. Le premier documente une agression, l’autre une consolation.

Les romans décrivent deux courants croisés majeurs presque contradictoires d’après-guerre. L’attrait d’une Europe libre et riche pour des peuples lointains et pauvres, en particulier des Musulmans. ; et l’attrait d’un islam vigoureux pour une Europe affaiblie, postchrétienne. Dans les deux cas, l’Europe – représentant seulement 7 % des terres émergées du monde mais la région dominante pendant cinq siècles, de 1450 à 1950 – s’apprête à perdre ses coutumes, sa culture et ses mœurs, en devenant une simple extension, voire une dépendance de l’Afrique du Nord.

Les romans impliquent que le souci alarmant exprimé depuis des décennies (des masses de peuples sombres, violents, en colère) est devenu familier et même bénin (les universités du Moyen Orient offrent de meilleurs salaires). Ils suggèrent que le temps de la panique est passé, remplacé par le temps d’une capitulation progressive.

« Camp » a éclaboussé la Droite quand il a paru mais les deux livres traitent de préoccupations plus largement partagées aujourd’hui : la réimpression de « Camp » en 2011 a atteint le sommet de la liste des meilleures ventes en France et « Soumission » est devenu simultanément la meilleure vente quatre ans plus tard en France, en Italie et en Allemagne.

Quarante-deux ans séparent ces deux livres ; en sautant 42 ans de plus dans le futur, quelle histoire un roman futuriste publié en 2057 pourrait-il raconter ? Des penseurs comme Oriana Fallaci, Bat Ye’or et Mark Steyn s’attendent à un compte-rendu présumant la victoire de l’islam et raconte la chasse des quelques croyants Chrétiens restant. Mais je prédis le contraire pour bientôt : un rapport qui présume le grand remplacement de Camus a échoué et imagine une violente répression des Musulmans (selon les mots de Claire Berlinski) « titubant hors des brumes de l’histoire européenne » accompagnée d’une réaffirmation nativiste

Voir aussi:

To France From Israel: Lessons on Living With Terror

JERUSALEM — For many Israelis, the horrifying images of a truck plowing through crowds for more than a mile in the French resort town of Nice struck a macabrely familiar chord.

“We had tractors!” said Ami Zini, 49, who runs a boutique on the shopping street of the leafy German Colony neighborhood of Jerusalem. “One of them flipped over a bus with its bucket.”

He was referring to a 2014 attack, by a Palestinian resident of the city, that killed an Israeli pedestrian. Nice was an even more direct, if far deadlier, echo of a 2011 rampage in which an Arab-Israeli man’s truck barreled down a Tel Aviv street for a mile, killing one and wounding 17.

These followed a spate of attacks with heavy construction vehicles and cars as weapons in 2008. And since October, according to Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency, at least 32 Palestinians have rammed vehicles into people at bus stops, intersections and military checkpoints.

The French prime minister said after the Nice attack, the nation’s third mass killing in 18 months, that France “must live with terrorism.” That is what Israelis have been doing for decades, through the plane hijackings of the 1970s; the suicide bombers of the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, which began in 2000; and the lone-wolf stabbings and shootings of the past 10 months.

“There were times when we were afraid to stop our cars at a red light next to a bus,” Mr. Zini, whose clothing store is named Rendezvous, to lend an air of French chic, recalled of the years in which buses were a frequent bombing target. “We live with terrorism. But we are not fearful. It is part of our daily routine.”

That routine includes opening bags for a check and passing through metal detectors at train or bus stations, shopping malls and movie complexes. At the height of the suicide bombings, customers paid a small surcharge at cafes and restaurants to subsidize the cost of a guard at the door.

Hundreds of armed civilian guards have been deployed to protect public transportation in Jerusalem in recent months amid the wave of attacks, which have been glorified by some Palestinians on social media. The guards stand at bus and light-rail stops, and hop on and off buses along main routes, with the same powers to search and arrest as the police.

Israel has also invested hugely in intelligence, its tactics evolving as its enemies change theirs.

Several psychological studies in Israel have found that people habituate quickly to threats, making adjustments to daily life — keeping children at home, for example, rather than sending them to summer camp — and adopting dark humor about the randomness of the threat.

“If I don’t get blown up, I will meet you at Dizengoff Center in about 45 minutes,” a Tel Aviv bus rider told a friend over a cellphone, in a conversation overheard by Israeli psychologists researching the aftermath of the second intifada.

The survey of 458 people, led by Yechiel Klar of Tel Aviv University, found that 55 percent had changed their behavior — spending less time outside the house, for instance, or making fewer long trips by public transportation. The other 45 percent said they had made no changes.

A separate study, done in 2003-4 at Ben Gurion University, found that residents close to attack sites — in this case, those living in Israeli settlements then in the Gaza Strip — reported a lower sense of personal threat and stress than those in two other communities, one in a Tel Aviv suburb and one in a larger settlement near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. The research suggested that the religious fervor of the Gaza residents might have been a key factor.

In a radio interview on Sunday, Yaakov Perry, a former Shin Bet chief now in Parliament, recommended deeper intelligence supervision of neighborhoods “where Muslims, refugees, Daesh supporters of various sorts live,” using an Arabic acronym to refer to the Islamic State. He also suggested that the French police were complacent, referring to news reports that the driver in Nice had told officers he was delivering ice cream. “If the driver says he has ice cream, open the truck and check if he has ice cream,” Mr. Perry said.

That the attack occurred at a mass gathering for Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, had Israelis shaking their heads. Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said that to secure a major event like Independence Day celebrations, when tens of thousands of people gather along the Tel Aviv seafront to watch an air and naval display, officers gather intelligence for weeks beforehand, and erect a 360-degree enclosure of the area, with layers of security around the perimeter.

Main roads are typically blocked off with rows of buses, and smaller side streets with patrol cars. In addition to a large uniformed and undercover police presence, counterterrorism teams are strategically placed to provide a rapid response if needed.

For intelligence gathering, Shin Bet has used a “basic coverage” method, which involves homing in on a particular neighborhood or population sector that is considered a potential security risk. The agency then builds an intimate system of surveillance and a network of local informers who can point to any sign of suspicious or unusual activity.

Lior Akerman, a former Shin Bet division head, said that while an attack like the one in Nice could certainly happen in Israel, “it should be emphasized that the French, like the rest of the European countries, do not conduct themselves intelligence-wise in this way at all.”

But several security experts acknowledged that with citizens in a democracy, including Israel’s large Arab minority, these methods of intelligence gathering — “neighbors informing on neighbors,” as one put it — can be difficult to balance with civil liberties. These measures are also less effective, they say, in trying to prevent individual attacks that are not affiliated with any organization and that at times appear to have erupted spontaneously.

“The bad news is that even Israel doesn’t have good experience in preventing lone-wolf attacks,” said Boaz Ganor, who heads the International Institute for Counterterrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, “or local network attacks, because traditional intelligence is almost nonrelevant in those cases.”

Many here said that even if Israel’s security apparatus could not have prevented an attack like the one in Nice, they imagine it would have been ended far sooner — with many fewer casualties.

“It would be impossible here because there is good security,” said Muhammad Anati, 18, a Palestinian resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem.

Inbal Berner, 37, an Israeli school librarian who was sipping an iced coffee at a nearby bus stop, gave voice to the new normal the French may now face.

“I look around; I don’t go to crowded places if I don’t have to,” she said. It has been that way “forever,” Ms. Berner added, or at least since the bus bombings of more than a decade ago. Because while people do get used to terrorism to some extent, she said, “something always remains.”

Voir par ailleurs:

An uneasy alliance exists on the streets of Palermo between the traditional Sicilian mafia and Nigerian migrants encroaching on their illegal trades

Prosecutors in the Sicilian capital of Palermo are warning that a new alliance between the mafia and Nigerian criminal gangs moving in from Libya could herald a new era of organised crime.

“Even the Sicilian mafia has to deal with the wave of migration from Africa,” said Leonardo Agueci, Palermo’s deputy chief prosecutor. “The neighbourhoods under mafia control have changed profoundly in recent years due to the growing presence of foreigners, especially Nigerians coming on boats. Among them, there [are a small number] of people who want to transfer their illegal trafficking, linked to prostitution and drug dealing, to Sicily. And the mafia was quite happy to integrate them into their criminal business.”

In Ballarò, a mafia stronghold market area in the historic centre of the city, a whistle is traditionally used by drug dealers to attract customers, who are offered hashish, marijuana and cocaine. In the past this signal was only used by Italian dealers working for Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia. About two years ago, when Nigerians adopted the whistle, offering drugs at a discount, it was clear that a new criminal organisation had set foot in the city.

State prosecutors in Palermo say the mafia brings in drugs and the Nigerians distribute them among both Italian and African clients.

“It is clear there is a subordinate relationship between Cosa Nostra and the Nigerian clans, with the former controlling the latter,” said Agueci. “If a Nigerian boss tried to rebel against Cosa Nostra, he would probably end up incaprettato [tied up and killed] in the countryside.”

In Ballarò, profits from pizzo – the tax levied on merchants by the Sicilian mafia – are reinvested to buy drugs for resale to Nigerian clans and their dealers. To have better control of their new African partners, Cosa Nostra seems to have made another rule clear: no guns.

“We have reason to assume,” said Agueci, “that the mafia prohibits Nigerians from owning firearms. So when Nigerians have to settle accounts within their community, they do it with axes and machetes.”

Prostitution is thought to be one of the most profitable businesses for the Nigerian clans. According to police data, 90% of prostitutes in Palermo come from Nigeria. Traditionally, Cosa Nostra is reluctant to directly manage this business – according to the old mafia codes of honour, prostitution is considered a shameful activity.

Recent months have seen a spike in violence linked to Nigerian gangs.

In the state court of Palermo a trial against an alleged Nigerian gangster, Austin Ewosa, 32, is under way. His street name is John Bull and he was arrested in September 2014, in a local bar in Ballarò. He stands accused of assault, intimidation, criminal association and attempted murder, charges that could see him jailed for 10 years.

According to the prosecution, Ewosa is the head of the feared Nigerian clan Black Axe, a criminal organisation born as a sort of student fraternity in the 1970s at the University of Benin City.

On the night of 27 January 2014, Ewosa and his thugs allegedly dragged a 27-year-old man called Don Emeka down Via del Bosco, not far from Piazza Ballarò, where they brutally disfigured him with axe and machete blows. Emeka was allegedly one of dozens of Ewosa’s victims and was punished for not having submitted to his power.

The risk of Nigerian criminals operating in Europe was revealed in a letter sent to the Italian prosecutors from the Nigerian ambassador to Rome in 2011.

“I would like to draw your attention to the new criminal activity of a group of Nigerians belonging to secret societies, forbidden by the government because of violent acts,” wrote the diplomat. “Unfortunately, former members of these sects were able to get into Italy where they re-established their criminal organisations.”

According to the prosecutors, some of the Black Axe members, including Ewosa, and also his victims, arrived in Sicily by boat. Most of them were temporarily hosted in the immigration camp at Caltanissetta, in the centre of the island.

Legal and well established Nigerians in Sicily are paying the price for this new criminal alliance between the gangs and the mafia. “Many honest Nigerians live in Palermo,” says Osas Egbon, 35, vice-president of Women of Benin City, an association that tries to take Nigerian prostitutes off the streets. “They work hard and live in fear. These families are victims on two fronts. They are victims of both Sicilian and Nigerian criminality.”

For now, Nigerians and Sicilians live in peace with the Abuja clans at the service of Cosa Nostra. But the equilibrium may not last.

“At the moment,” says Agueci, “it is hard to imagine Nigerians taking over the Sicilians. Cosa Nostra is too strong and can’t be compared to the Nigerian clans.’’

But the old Palermo godfathers have been replaced by young mafiosi who don’t seem to carry the same authority as their predecessors. Meanwhile, the Nigerian gangs are getting stronger.

Voir par ailleurs:

Slouching Toward The Center

Charles Krauthammer

The Washington Post

October 8, 1999

There are a lot of ways to say « becoming decadent » or « losing our moral moorings » or « in steep social decline. » « Slouching toward Gomorrah » is not the one that comes most readily to mind.

But that was precisely the way George W. Bush phrased it in his speech to the Manhattan Institute in New York last Tuesday. « Too often, on social issues, my party has painted an image of America slouching toward Gomorrah. »

Interesting locution. « Slouching Towards Gomorrah » happens to be the title of Robert Bork’s bestseller decrying American cultural decline. And Bush did not just allude to the title. He took exception to Bork’s very premise when he said: « Something unexpected happened on the way to cultural decline. Problems that seemed inevitable proved to be reversible. »

Of course, Bork did not originate the « slouching » image. But Bush was hardly dissing William Butler Yeats. Bush was doing an ever so subtle Sister Souljah on Robert Bork.

You remember Sister Souljah. She is the black rap artist known for inflammatory racial rhetoric whom President Clinton pointedly denounced in a 1992 campaign speech before Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition. It helped define Clinton as a Democrat who was not a captive of his party’s staunchest constituency, and helped position him as a centrist in the general election.

Bush’s Manhattan Institute speech was clearly meant to distance him from his party’s extremes and position him as a centrist too. Not content just to define his own conservatism as « the creed of social progress » concerned with « human problems » and not « CBO and GNP, » he conjured up a foil with his veiled reproach to Bork and Borkian pessimism.

Just when we thought W. was struggling to get out from under the shadow of dad, it turns out he’s trying to get out from under the cloud of Robert Bork. Bork is a central figure among social conservatives, not just for the valiant way he soldiered through his failed confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1987, but even more so for the moral passion of his subsequent writings excoriating every manifestation of American decline from euthanasia to abortion.

To be sure, the Bush speech was full of specifics and programs on how to improve education. Some very sound ideas, although none of them varied greatly from the general conservative approach of testing, excellence and vouchers–or last-resort « scholarships » as Bush delicately calls them–when the public schools utterly fail.

But Bush’s « slouching » speech will no more be remembered for its content than will Clinton’s Sister Souljah speech.

In the 2000 campaign, issuelessness reigns. Positioning is everything. Indeed, the main function of « issues »–education, health care, Medicare–is not to provide governing programs or even debating fodder. It is to serve as a vehicle for political positioning.

What, after all, are the issues in a time of amazing prosperity at home and tranquillity abroad? The traditional cutting-edge issues of taxes and abortion are both being finessed. Taxes died after the Republican Congress went home this summer and failed to find any resonance in the electorate for a tax cut.

And abortion is being smothered by the vast number of Republicans who do not want it barring their road back to the White House. (Invaluable aid is provided by Pat Buchanan’s imminent defection to the Reform Party, which is indifferent to abortion–making the point that even a pro-life totem such as Buchanan will play down abortion in order to fight for bigger prizes.)

And what, on the Democratic side, are the real issue differences between Al Gore and Bill Bradley?

There is but one overriding issue in this campaign season: electability. Bradley is rising largely because Gore looks–as Pat Moynihan so rudely pointed out–like a loser. And George W. continues his high-wire act–fantastic fund-raising and runaway poll numbers–because he looks like a winner.

How to keep looking like a winner? Slouch toward the center. With electability next November being the main campaign issue, the major candidates are not playing to their extremes–as they traditionally do to win their hard-core party primary voters–later to tack back. They are straddling the center now.

George W. begins by attacking his own party in Congress for a budgetary device that would have delayed paying income support to the working poor. « Balancing the budget on the backs of the poor, » he said with Gephardtian flourish.

Then he triangulates off Robert Bork.

Next thing you know he’ll say he loves the Edmund Morris book.

Voir enfin:

« La Seconde venue »

W. B. Yeats serait devenu, selon un article du New York Times, le poème officiel de la guerre en Irak. A vous d’en juger.

Tournant, tournant dans la gyre toujours plus large,
Le faucon ne peut plus entendre le fauconnier.
Tout se disloque. Le centre ne peut tenir.
L’anarchie se déchaîne sur le monde
Comme une mer noircie de sang : partout
On noie les saints élans de l’innocence.
Les meilleurs ne croient plus à rien, les pires
Se gonflent de l’ardeur des passions mauvaises.

Sûrement que quelque révélation, c’est pour bientôt.
Sûrement que la Seconde Venue, c’est pour bientôt.
La Seconde Venue ! A peine dits ces mots,
Une image, immense, du Spiritus Mundi
Trouble ma vue : quelque part dans les sables du désert,
Une forme avec corps de lion et tête d’homme
Et l’oeil nul et impitoyable comme un soleil
Se meut, à cuisses lentes, tandis qu’autour
Tournoient les ombres d’une colère d’oiseaux…
La ténèbre, à nouveau ; mais je sais, maintenant,
Que vingt siècles d’un sommeil de pierre, exaspérés
Par un bruit de berceau, tournent au cauchemar,
– Et quelle bête brute, revenue l’heure,
Trâine la patte vers Bethléem, pour naître enfin ?

COMPLEMENT:

Terror, Brexit and U.S. Election Have Made 2016 the Year of Yeats

Amid a bevy of bad news and political upheaval, journalists, commentators and others are turning to W.B. Yeats’s chilling 1919 poem ‘The Second Coming’ with unusual frequency

So long, 2016: the year of the political earthquake

Farewell Barack Obama, David Cameron and Europe: how will this year go down in history?

On the evening of 8 November, the world gathered in front of TV screens for the news. In the early hours of 9 November, it began to dawn on us that what we were watching was no longer news but history. Not since 9/11 could many recall such a sense of incredulous dread, and as Florida fell to Donald Trump, I found myself seized by an eerie premonition. I saw schoolchildren turning over history examination papers in the future, to find a question as predictable and familiar to their generation as one about the origins of the second world war had been to mine: “Identify and analyse the parallels,” it would read, “between the 1930s and the 2010s.”

No one yet knows how 2016 will be remembered, and if Boris Johnson turns out to be right, we will wonder why anyone ever worried about the arrival of another “liberal guy from New York” in the White House. If, however, pupils do one day have to answer that exam question, they might well begin by observing that we were every bit as slow as our forefathers to recognise impending catastrophe.

When David Cameron returned from Brussels in February, brandishing his peace-in-our-time renegotiated EU membership terms – can anyone now even remember what they were? – it looked as if the referendum promised nothing more sinister than the entertaining spectacle of the government tearing itself apart. No one was surprised to see Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling, John Whittingdale and Theresa Villiers side with Vote Leave, but Michael Gove’s defection was a bombshell. When Johnson followed a day later, “after a huge amount of heartache”, the audacity of the pretence that he was acting on deeply held anti-EU conviction fooled nobody. As the columnist Nick Cohen put it after the vote, “There are liars, and then there’s Boris.”

In Johnson’s defence, he wasn’t the only one exploiting Europe for personal ambition. Cameron’s motives for calling the referendum had little to do with principle and everything to do with neutralising Ukip’s threat and silencing internal dissent. Europe had been a toxic nuisance to Tory leaders for 40 years, and back in 2006 Cameron famously blamed “banging on about Europe” for his party’s unpopularity (“Instead of talking about the things that most people care about,” he declared, “we talked about what we cared about most”). By the time the campaign began, fevered speculation about its implications for the Tories left little room for much thought about the damage it could do to the country.

The remain campaign imagined they’d put this right by orchstrating a chorus of hair-raising warnings. Everyone from Mark Carney to Richard Branson, the TUC to the IMF, warned of economic Armageddon. Such a powerful consensus seemed so self-evidently persuasive to remain campaigners that when voters said they were fed up with Project Fear, they refused to believe them and wheeled out President Obama, only to give leave another boost in the polls. “Bring Obama back again!” Nigel Farage gloated gleefully. “Let’s have another visit!” The then Ukip leader was more attuned than most to the new populist mood of anti-elite resentment; and when Gove told us “the people of this country have had enough of experts”, liberals were so quick to ridicule him that few considered the possibility he might, in fact, be right.

In a year when the phrase “post-truth” entered the Oxford Dictionary, and fake news helped win the White House, facts were at best worthless and at worst a liability. Once again, many of us were slow to grasp the implications of this new paradigm. Focus groups of undecided voters told remain’s leaders that their minds would be made up by hard facts – and were taken at their word. Remain duly kept churning out data – Brexit would cost “£4,300 per household”, claimed George Osborne – apparently unaware that no one likes to think, let alone admit, that what really informs their decisions is much more elusive and emotional. In the febrile new mood of 2016, remain’s threat that you would lose “vital EU funding for the farming, scientific and medical research and programmes that make a real difference in your local community” was no match for the potent promise of leave’s “Take back control”.

For a fleeting moment, the campaign seemed almost festive, when Bob Geldof and Farage traded insults across the Thames from rival flotillas. The leave boats had Joey Essex on board, while the 60s soul song The In Crowd blasted out from Geldof’s. The referendum had everyone talking, and optimists could feasibly mistake the national conversation for a unifying moment. But seven days before the vote, the mood darkened. Ukip revealed its infamous Breaking Point poster, an almost exact copy of footage from a Nazi propaganda film; hours later, an idealistic young pro-EU Labour MP was shot and stabbed to death on the street in her constituency by a Nazi sympathiser shouting “Britain first”. Even Farage privately admitted that Jo Cox’s murder would finish off leave’s chances, and liberals, though deeply shaken, assumed such grotesque ugliness couldn’t fail to bring the country to its senses. All the polls agreed.

They were wrong. On 23 June, 52% of us chose instead to vote for chaos; by breakfast the following morning, the prime minister had resigned, and even Johnson and Gove looked shell-shocked. Within days, they would destroy one another in a Shakespearean bloodbath to succeed Cameron. Once Andrea Leadsom’s misapprehension that motherhood qualified her for the job had ruled her out, Theresa May was the only one left standing, and thus became our new prime minister.

But if the Tories’ leadership race was unedifying, Labour MPs could only look on with envy. Incensed by Jeremy Corbyn’s absenteeism during the referendum campaign, more than 60 resigned from the shadow front bench, and days later 172 voted no confidence in their leader. Corbynistas retaliated with a torrent of online abuse, much of it violent and misogynistic, and a brick through leadership challenger Angela Eagle’s window put paid to any hope of a “kinder, gentler politics”. After an inflammatory summer of courtroom battles, allegations of MI5 infiltrators, rock star-style Corbyn rallies and squabbles over a £25 fee to vote, Corbyn was duly re-elected Labour leader, and promptly vanished from view again.

Historians will probably argue for ever about why we voted to leave the EU, but none could conclude that immigration played little part. The 58% spike in hate crimes that followed the vote only confirmed what the result had already told us: our compassion for migrants had curdled into fearful hostility as the crisis in mainland Europe spiralled. Hungary declared a nationwide state of emergency, and Italy replaced Greece as the people traffickers’ destination of choice, with 180,000 reaching its shores this year. The likelihood of drowning while crossing the Med narrowed from the previous year’s record of one in 269, to just one in 88; but sympathy hardened as the crisis became fatally entwined in public minds with the Islamic terror attacks rocking the continent.

Seven of the nine jihadis who attacked Paris late last year, killing 130, were reported to have smuggled themselves into Europe disguised as Syrian refugees. In March, Brussels became the next target, when bombs at the airport and a metro station killed more than 30 and injured 300. But July was to be the deadliest month: Bastille Day celebrations on a balmy night in Nice became a massacre when a Tunisian man drove a truck into the crowds, killing 86 and injuring more than 400. Twelve days later, two 19-year-old jihadis forced an 85-year-old priest to kneel at his own altar in a Normandy church and slit his throat. In Germany, an Afghan asylum seeker ran amok with an axe on a train, a Syrian refugee blew up a wine bar, another hacked a colleague to death with a machete, and a German-Iranian teenage gunman went on a rampage, killing nine. Earlier this week, a Tunisian asylum seeker was was shot dead by Italian police after being identified as the man who drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas market, killing at least 12 people.

Measures that would only recently have been unthinkable were passed with little public protest. Denmark introduced a law authorising the confiscation of jewellery and cash from asylum seekers to pay for their care, undeterred by UN warnings against fuelling “fear and xenophobia”. French seaside resorts imposed a burkini ban, leading to the surreal spectacle of armed policemen ordering Muslim women on beaches to undress, which was reversed not by public revulsion (opinion polls found two-thirds of French people in favour) but a court ruling. When the migrant camp in Calais was bulldozed, Britain agreed to take its unaccompanied minors, only for our tabloids to whip up outrage about arrivals who didn’t “look” under 18. A Tory backbencher proposed subjecting them to dental tests, to determine if they were deserving of British kindness.

The three biggest nationalities pouring into Europe were fleeing conflicts caused by events long predating 2016 and not confined within their borders. Fifteen years after western coalition forces first sought revenge for 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq remain locked in bloody turmoil, but it was the tragedy of Syria that horrified the world this year. Five years into civil war, the president, Bashar al-Assad, remained undefeated and the international community paralysed, unable to decide which, if any, side to support.

Diplomatic scruples did not inhibit Vladimir Putin, who was all too happy to fill the vacuum. Any hope that Russian airstrikes on Syria would be confined to Isis targets soon faded as Moscow subjected eastern Aleppo to the same ruthless bombardment that had once reduced Grozny to rubble. Cluster and barrel bombs rained down on civilian homes and hospitals, even a UN aid convoy, rendering Aleppo our Guernica and killing more civilians, according to one NGO monitoring the war (the UN-sanctioned Syrian Network for Human Rights), than even Isis has. The world was shaken by footage of a shell-shocked five-year-old boy being pulled from the wreckage of his home, coated in grey dust, dazed – but still it wasn’t moved to act. “All the world has failed us,” a resident of Aleppo despaired. “The city is dying. Rapidly by bombardment, and slowly by hunger and fear of the advance of the Assad regime.” As the year drew to a close, the fall of Aleppo to Assad became inevitable, and from the ruins of one of the world’s oldest cities rose a resurgent Kremlin, restored as a global superpower.

A once faintly ridiculous figure, mocked in the west for his fondness for posing topless, Putin could plausibly claim to be the most influential world leader of 2016. For the first time in history, a Russian president was accused of deploying cyber warfare to influence the outcome of a US presidential election. Putin denied the CIA’s charge, but few in Washington doubted that he was behind the Russian hackers who infiltrated Democratic National Committee email servers and the private email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, releasing material calculated to embarrass and undermine their candidate. Her rival had even urged Moscow to hack her account: “Russia, if you’re listening,” he declared at a press conference in July, “I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” In the words of one stunned Clinton aide: “This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent.”

But it was only one of many firsts in a US presidential election unlike any the world had seen. When Donald J Trump entered the race, few imagined the reality star and property tycoon with four business bankruptcies and two ex-wives behind him stood a chance against the most qualified Democratic candidate in history. This would be the year America elected its first female president, not the first leader of the free world to have never held public office. Pundits shook their heads and laughed back in January when Trump told a rally, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” Who was he kidding? Every bizarre step he took towards November’s vote was judged by sniggering pundits to be leading him farther from the White House.

Build a wall on the Mexican border to keep out all those Latino rapists? The idea was surely absurd. Punish women for having abortions? Even pro-lifers were appalled. July’s Republican Convention was meant to confer respectability on Trump’s maverick campaign, but unravelled into farce after his wife, Melania, delivered a speech lifted verbatim from one Michelle Obama made eight years earlier. Matters only got worse when Trump launched a Twitter attack on the Muslim parents of a US soldier killed fighting in Iraq. The following week he suggested a Clinton presidency could be dealt with by “the Second Amendment people”, by which he could only mean that they assassinate her.

When a tape emerged of Trump boasting in 2005 about grabbing women “by the pussy” and getting away with it because he was famous, he retaliated by inviting three women who had accused Bill Clinton of inappropriate sexual conduct to the next presidential debate. The tape was nothing but “locker room banter”, Trump scoffed, showcasing his unparalleled gift for post-truth politics with the solemn assertion: “Nobody has more respect for women than I do.” He announced his intention to jail Clinton if he won. Even George W Bush’s former secretary for homeland security was appalled: “It smacks of what we read about tinpot dictators in other parts of the world.”

Trump dismissed as “liars” the 12 women who came forward to accuse him of having acted out his banter. Some, he sneered, weren’t even good-looking enough for him to sexually assault. “Look at her,” he mocked one. Of another: “That would not be my first choice.” In the campaign’s final weeks, what caution he ever had was thrown to the wind, as he led rallies in a mob chant of “Lock her up!”, “Build that wall!” and “Drain the swamp!” Channelling his new best friend Farage, he urged America to make 8 November “our independence day”.

As Noam Chomsky observed, “Every time Trump makes a nasty comment about whoever, his popularity goes up. Because it’s based on hate, you know. Hate and fear,” he warned, “reminiscent of something unpleasant: Germany, not many years ago.” Yet even at the 11th hour, when the FBI reopened its investigation into Clinton’s private email server, the polls still assured the world Trump could not win. And then, on 8 November, a man widely described as a sociopathic bully, grandiose narcissist, dangerous demagogue and pathological liar, who scored higher than Hitler in an Oxford University study of psychopathic tendencies, became the 45th president of the USA. It was indeed “Brexit plus plus plus”, celebrated by America’s white supremacist “alt-right” movement with cries of “Hail Trump!” and rigid one-armed Nazi salutes. In the words of veteran constitutional historian Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Trump’s election was “the most troubling political event in my lifetime. It’s not difficult to arouse nationalist passions. We saw that in the 1930s.”

The world waits to see whether President Trump will govern as he campaigned. So far he has appointed a Texan oilman and Putin ally as secretary of state, put a retired general nicknamed Mad Dog in charge of defence, a climate change denier in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, and chosen for his chief strategist the head of Breitbart news. His foreign heroes are Putin and Farage, and his preferred medium for conducting international diplomacy is Twitter. At the very moment when America’s system of checks and balances has never been more necessary, his party controls the White House, the house and the senate.

Meanwhile, the global institutions designed to keep us safe are in trouble. The UN secretary general used to be a household name, but Ban Ki-moon’s only discernible achievement in eight years was to make himself and the UN so invisible that most of the world would struggle to recognise, let alone name, his successor taking office in January. (It’s António Guterres.) The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, has gone on trial in France charged with criminal negligence, and Nato’s member states have failed to pay their dues for so long that they could hardly be surprised by Trump’s reluctance to carry on bankrolling an “obsolete” institution costing the US “a fortune”. The fourth estate’s future has become increasingly fragile, too, as readers and viewers defected to the raunchier wilds of social media, and politicians from left and right discovered they could escape scrutiny from the mainstream media by simply snubbing it. When Facebook is the primary source of many voters’ news, and a conspiracy theory as crazy as Pizzagate (which linked Hillary Clinton and other Democrats to a child-abuse network run from a Washington pizzeria) can command global attention, how the powerful will be held to account is no longer clear.

If western liberal democracy reached its high point with the fall of the Berlin Wall, by the end of this year its very survival began to look in doubt. As Timothy Garton Ash put it, 2016 was “1989 in reverse”. The far right is on the rise across Europe; Marine Le Pen is a frontrunner in 2017’s French presidential election; and even if Angela Merkel holds on to power next year, the anti-immigration, populist, far-right Alternative for Germany is predicted to win seats in the Bundestag. It is with this fractured and fractious EU that Britain will negotiate the terms of its departure, cheered on by flag-waving tabloids, unconstrained by a functioning opposition, and we will finally find out what “Brexit means Brexit” means.

How did all of this happen? Following David Bowie’s death in January, and Britain’s vote to leave in June, the actor Paul Bettany tweeted one suggestion: “In January I dismissed my mate’s theory that David Bowie was the glue holding the universe together but I don’t know man… I don’t know.” After so many shockwaves and dramas, it was tempting to view the year as a freak surge of ahistorical exceptionalism, analogous to nothing and a law unto itself. History will see it differently. Just as the legacy of the great crash of 1929 took several years to manifest itself, so the consequences of the financial crash of 2008 are only now becoming clear. There was nothing magical or inexplicable about 2016. We were merely reminded of what happens when most of us do not have enough money, and a few of us have much too much.
Additional research by Matilda Munro

Where did it all go right? For a more positive view of the world in 2017, follow the Guardian’s Half Full online series, with reports on innovative ideas and solutions to the challenges of the day. Wishing you all a happier new year.

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One Response to Attentat de Nice: L’Apocalypse, c’est maintenant ! (From 9/11 to Nice: Slouching towards the Apocalypse, one massacre at a time)

  1. jcdurbant dit :

    WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN ?

    Multiple senior U.S. law enforcement officials briefed by British authorities told NBC News that forensic evidence at the scene — including a body found at the blast site — indicated a suicide attack. British and U.S. law enforcement officials said they believed they had tentatively identified the bomber. U.S. officials said initial reports indicated that some of the casualties might have been caused by a stampede of concert-goers…

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/22/serious-incident-at-uks-manchester-stadium-during-concert-where-loud-bang-heard.html

    J'aime

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