Médias: Pluie de météorites sur Jérusalem (How the NYT deliberately disinforms its readers)

17 septembre, 2015

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https://jcdurbant.files.wordpress.com/2006/06/7a2ad-muslems-praying2.jpg?w=449&h=305
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CO5Iz2qWEAEhEKt.jpg https://i2.wp.com/www.dreuz.info/wp-content/uploads/12009609_10156011291100392_4024590049811794780_n-300x274.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/jpupdates.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/stone-throwers.jpg AlexanderMa maison sera appelée une maison de prière pour tous les peuples. Esaïe 56: 7
C’était une cité fortement convoitée par les ennemis de la foi et c’est pourquoi, par une sorte de syndrome mimétique, elle devint chère également au cœur des Musulmans. Emmanuel Sivan
Le choix du lieu lui-même est extrêmement symbolique : lieu sacré juif, où restent encore des ruines des temples hérodiens, laissé à l’abandon par les chrétiens pour marquer leur triomphe sur cette religion, il est à nouveau utilisé sous l’Islam, marquant alors la victoire sur les Chrétiens et, éventuellement, une continuité avec le judaïsme. (…) Enfin, l’historien Al-Maqdisi, au Xe siècle, écrit que le dôme a été réalisé dans la but de dépasser le Saint-Sépulcre, d’où un plan similaire, mais magnifié. De cette analyse on a pu conclure que le dôme du Rocher peut être considéré comme un message de l’Islam et des Umayyades en direction des chrétiens, des Juifs, mais également des musulmans récemment convertis (attirés par les déploiements de luxe des églises chrétiennes) pour marquer le triomphe de l’Islam. Wikipedia 
Selon Jérôme Bourdon, l’expression « esplanade des Mosquées » est une appellation utilisée par la presse française qui n’a pas d’équivalent dans d’autres langues. Pour les juifs, c’est le mont du Temple, pour les musulmans le Haram al Sharif, c’est-à-dire le Noble Sanctuaire1. La presse anglophone utilise plutôt « mont du temple » (Temple Mount) ou plus récemment « Haram al-Sharif ». Un exemple de cette différence d’appellation entre anglophones et francophones est donné par l’ouvrage de Bill Clinton My life qui évoque page 923 le mont du Temple (Temple Mount) quand la traduction française Ma vie parle, page 965, de « l’esplanade des Mosquées ». Wikipedia
Si vous pouvez tuer un incroyant américain ou européen – en particulier les méchants et sales Français – ou un Australien ou un Canadien, ou tout […] citoyen des pays qui sont entrés dans une coalition contre l’État islamique, alors comptez sur Allah et tuez-le de n’importe quelle manière. (…) Tuez le mécréant qu’il soit civil ou militaire. (…) Frappez sa tête avec une pierre, égorgez-le avec un couteau, écrasez-le avec votre voiture, jetez-le d’un lieu en hauteur, étranglez-le ou empoisonnez-le. Abou Mohammed al-Adnani (porte-parole de l’EI)
La libération de la Palestine a pour but de “purifier” le pays de toute présence sioniste. (…) Le partage de la Palestine en 1947 et la création de l’État d’Israël sont des événements nuls et non avenus. (…) La Charte ne peut être amendée que par une majorité des deux tiers de tous les membres du Conseil national de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine réunis en session extraordinaire convoquée à cet effet. Charte de l’OLP (articles 15, 19 et 33, 1964)
Je mentirais si je vous disais que je vais l’abroger. Personne ne peut le faire. Yasser Arafat (Harvard, octobre 1995)
Il n’est pas suffisant de dire que des colons sont venus, ils doivent être empêchés d’entrer sur le site par tous les moyens. C’est notre Al-Aqsa et notre lieu saint, ils n’ont pas le droit d’entrer et de le désacraliser. Jérusalem est le bijou de la couronne et la capitale éternelle de l’Etat de Palestine. Sans elle, il n’y aura pas d’Etat. Il est important que les Palestiniens soient unis afin de protéger Jérusalem. Mahmoud Abbas
Nous devons empêcher les juifs d’entrer sur l’esplanade de la mosquée, ils n’ont pas le droit de la souiller. Nous devons les empêcher par tous les moyens. Nous devons les empêcher d’entrer. Dressons-nous devant eux pour protéger les lieux saints. Mahmoud Abbas (17.10.14)
The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours… and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem. We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah. Mahmoud Abbas [Official PA TV, Sept. 16, 2015 and official website of PA Chairman Abbas, Sept. 16, 2015]
Les pierres tuent et nous voulons qu’une personne arrêtée pour en avoir jeté soit considérée comme quelqu’un ayant en main une arme mortelle.  Ayelet Shaked (ministre de la Justice israélienne)
« Nous déclarons la guerre aux lanceurs de pierres et d’engins incendiaires », a lancé M. Netanyahu sur les lieux où un Israélien de 65 ans, Alexander Levlovitz, s’est tué en perdant le contrôle de son véhicule dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi, apparemment à la suite de jets de pierres. Des centaines de personnes ont participé en soirée aux funérailles de la victime. Jérusalem, dont la partie orientale et palestinienne est occupée et annexée par Israël, est le théâtre depuis des mois de violences entre Israéliens et Palestiniens. Mais les derniers affrontements frappent davantage les esprits en raison du caractère explosif du lieu, vénéré par les musulmans et les juifs, et de l’enjeu religieux et international. Pour les Palestiniens, ce lieu est en effet une sorte de bastion ultime de leur identité. M. Netanyahu souhaite un renforcement de l’arsenal répressif contre ceux qui lancent des pierres, des engins incendiaires, des pétards ou des bombes artisanales sur des policiers et les civils. (« Les pierres tuent et nous voulons qu’une personne arrêtée pour en avoir jeté soit considérée comme quelqu’un ayant en main une arme mortelle », a dit la ministre de la Justice Ayelet Shaked sur la radio militaire.(…) En vertu des règles tacites qui régissent le site depuis 1967 (« statu quo »), les musulmans peuvent aller sur le site quand ils veulent, et les juifs seulement pour quelques heures, et pas pour prier. La Dépêche
Jewish man dies as rocks pelt his car in West Bank NYT headline
Jewish man dies as rocks pelt his car in East Jerusalem Corrected NYT headline after complaint
Correction: September 16, 2015: An earlier version of the headline with this article misstated the location of the rock-throwing attack. As the article correctly noted, it was in East Jerusalem, not the West Bank. NYT
Palestinians frequently argue that rocks and crude incendiary devices are among their only weapons to press for independence, and to defend themselves against Israeli forces during confrontations. For some young Palestinians in areas where there are frequent tensions, their use has become a rite of passage. (…) Similar clashes took place in July, as Jews held an annual fast day commemorating the destruction of two ancient temples believed to have once stood at the holy site.(…) The tensions that led to the fighting are a product, at least in part, of growing Palestinian fears that Jews are visiting the Temple Mount as part of an Israeli plan to assert sovereignty over the site or to divide it. (…) Non-Muslim prayer is banned at the site, and Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly said he has no intention of changing that. (…)Many Palestinians do not believe his claims, noting that some nationalist Jewish activists have been agitating for increased access and prayer rights at the site, and that some members of Mr. Netanyahu’s government have supported the call for open Jewish prayer there. (…) After the clashes on Sunday, Uri Ariel, a right-wing minister who has urged Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, visited the site in what was interpreted by some as a provocation. (…) Israel recently outlawed an organization of Muslim women who chase and shout at Jewish visitors at the holy site, along with an affiliated, less-vocal group of men. The government accused both groups of inciting violence.(…) This site is in the Old City of Jerusalem, in territory Israel seized from Jordan in the 1967 war and then annexed in a move that has not been internationally recognized.(…) The compound has a special status: It is administered by the Islamic Waqf trust, under Jordanian custodianship, but Israel controls security. Tensions over the site have mounted over the past year and have often resulted in violence. NYT
In its article, the New York Times refers to a “Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem.” Of course, stoning cars is wholly unacceptable wherever it takes place. Unfortunately, the dominant zeitgeist in the New York Times and other media outlets tends to create an ‘understanding’ of or excuse acts of terror if they happen to occur in areas that the media deems to be ‘Arab.’ In fact, the New York Times has previous form when it comes to acting as an apologist for Palestinian stoning attacks. In this particular case, the Jewish victim was on his way home to a town within the Green Line i.e. he cannot be labelled as a ‘settler,’ and the incident occurred as he was travelling within Jerusalem next to a Jewish neighborhood. Yet the New York Times headline deliberately sets out to muddy the waters and is quite simply misleading. In addition, the headline removes all Palestinian liability for the attack by virtue of its passive language. The Jewish man did not simply “die” and rocks did not “pelt his car” of their own accord. Palestinian attackers were responsible for hurling those rocks at the car. Perhaps the New York Times might wish to consider the comments of Mr. Levlovitz’s son: “I am in shock as I write this, but my dad was murdered yesterday, the eve of the holiday, when he was on his way home. He was killed by rock throwers. One stone changed the course of my entire life. Dad, I love you.” Honest reporting

Comment le New York Times désinforme ses lecteurs

Erreurs factuelles, omissions volontaires, formes passives, explications et justifications aussi tendencieuses qu’à sens unique …

En ce Nouvel an juif et en ces temps étranges où personne ne semble plus s’étonner …

Que le seul endroit au monde où un juif ne peut prier se trouve être son lieu le plus saint (le Mont du Temple escamoté, dans les médias français, en « Esplanade des moquées »)…

Et ce pour protéger le droit des musulmans, outre l’entrepôt occasionnel des fameuses pierres, à prier (face à La Mecque et donc) dos à leur prétendu troisième lieu saint

Pendant que le nouveau calife de l’Etat islamique appelle, en conformité avec l’enseignement du Coran et avec le succès que l’on sait, à « tuer le mécréant » à coup de pierres, au couteau, à la voiture-bélier ou en le jetant d’un lieu élevé, l’étranglant ou l’empoisonnant …

Et qu’à l’instar de la charte de l’OLP, le président de l’Autorité palestinienne appelle à « protéger la mosquée Al Aqsa de la contamination juive » …

Comment, avec le site de réinformation Honest reporting, ne pas voir …

La désinformation délibérée de médias occidentaux …

Qui, entre erreurs factuelles, omissions volontaires, formes passives ou explications et justifications tendencieuses, finissent par transformer le meurtre délibéré d’un homme …

En pur accident voire en phénomène quasi-naturel …

Et surtout, quand il s’agit des nouveaux damnés de la terre que sont les Palestiniens, à dédouaner et justifier les pires méfaits ?

New York Times Headline Fail Over “West Bank” Attack in Jerusalem

UPDATE

Following the publication of this critique and a request from HonestReporting, the New York Times has changed its headline and issued a correction at the foot of its article.

While the correction is a step in the right direction, it still, however, fails to address the primary issue covered in the critique that follows.

nytimes140915ii

nytimes140915iii

* * *

A Palestinian rock-throwing attack on Sunday night led to the death of Alexander Levlovitz, 64, as he lost control of his car and drove into a ditch. The attack took place in the East Talpiot neighborhood of southeast Jerusalem within the city’s municipal boundaries.

This is the New York Times‘ headline:

nytimes140915

In its article, the New York Times refers to a “Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem.” Of course, stoning cars is wholly unacceptable wherever it takes place. Unfortunately, the dominant zeitgeist in the New York Times and other media outlets tends to create an ‘understanding’ of or excuse acts of terror if they happen to occur in areas that the media deems to be ‘Arab.’

In fact, the New York Times has previous form when it comes to acting as an apologist for Palestinian stoning attacks.

In this particular case, the Jewish victim was on his way home to a town within the Green Line i.e. he cannot be labelled as a ‘settler,’ and the incident occurred as he was travelling within Jerusalem next to a Jewish neighborhood. Yet the New York Times headline deliberately sets out to muddy the waters and is quite simply misleading.

In addition, the headline removes all Palestinian liability for the attack by virtue of its passive language.

The Jewish man did not simply “die” and rocks did not “pelt his car” of their own accord. Palestinian attackers were responsible for hurling those rocks at the car. Perhaps the New York Times might wish to consider the comments of Mr. Levlovitz’s son:

“I am in shock as I write this, but my dad was murdered yesterday, the eve of the holiday, when he was on his way home. He was killed by rock throwers. One stone changed the course of my entire life. Dad, I love you.”

A request has been sent to the New York Times to amend its headline. Watch this space.

Voir aussi:

Middle East
Jewish Man Dies as Rocks Pelt His Car in East Jerusalem

Diaa Hadid

The New York Times

Sept. 14, 2015

RAMALLAH, West Bank — A Jewish man died early Monday morning after attackers pelted the road he was driving on with rocks as he was returning home from a dinner celebrating Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, the Israeli authorities said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency meeting to discuss rock-throwing, mostly by Palestinian youths.

The man was identified in local news reports as Alexander Levlovich, 64. His death was reported as the police and Palestinian youths clashed for a second day at a contested holy site in Jerusalem, amid tensions over increased visits by Jews for Rosh Hashana. The two-day holiday began at sundown on Sunday.

A statement from the Israeli police said the assailants were throwing stones on Sunday night on a road that runs between a Palestinian and Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The police said the stone-throwing “led to a self-inflicted accident,” as the man lost control of the car and smashed into a pole.

Ynet, an Israeli news site, quoted a woman who said that she was a passenger in the car and that it crashed after being hit by a thrown object. The site did not identify the woman.

Luba Samri, a police spokeswoman, said the rock-throwing appeared to have caused the accident but that “nothing is 100 percent sure.” The police, with a court’s permission, said no more details about the case could be published while an investigation was continuing.

On Monday, Mr. Netanyahu said he would call a special meeting after Rosh Hashana ends Tuesday evening to discuss “harsher punishments and strict enforcement” and other means to combat rock-throwing.

The government had already said, on Sept. 2, that it was considering harsher measures against Palestinian stone-throwers, including more use of live ammunition and tougher minimum sentences.

Israeli security forces have increasingly grappled with rock-throwing, particularly along a highway in the occupied West Bank that is mostly used by Jewish settlers and on roads leading to Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

Last week, the Israeli police reported that stone-throwing episodes had increased 53 percent in 2014 from the previous year.

Palestinians frequently argue that rocks and crude incendiary devices are among their only weapons to press for independence, and to defend themselves against Israeli forces during confrontations. For some young Palestinians in areas where there are frequent tensions, their use has become a rite of passage.

In East Jerusalem, Ms. Samri, the police spokeswoman, said protesters had thrown rocks at officers who had entered the holy site — revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, one of the three holiest sites in Islam and the holiest site in Judaism — so they could allow non-Muslims, including Jews, to enter the area. Many Palestinians also refer to the site as Al Aqsa Mosque, named after the holiest shrine there.

Three people were arrested, Ms. Samri said. Palestinians posted photographs on social media of a bloodied elderly man who they said had been hit in the eye with a rubber bullet. The violence began Sunday, when youths holed up in the mosque overnight, hoping to confront the police and Jewish visitors.

Similar clashes took place in July, as Jews held an annual fast day commemorating the destruction of two ancient temples believed to have once stood at the holy site.

The tensions that led to the fighting are a product, at least in part, of growing Palestinian fears that Jews are visiting the Temple Mount as part of an Israeli plan to assert sovereignty over the site or to divide it.

Non-Muslim prayer is banned at the site, and Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly said he has no intention of changing that.

Many Palestinians do not believe his claims, noting that some nationalist Jewish activists have been agitating for increased access and prayer rights at the site, and that some members of Mr. Netanyahu’s government have supported the call for open Jewish prayer there.

After the clashes on Sunday, Uri Ariel, a right-wing minister who has urged Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, visited the site in what was interpreted by some as a provocation.

Israel recently outlawed an organization of Muslim women who chase and shout at Jewish visitors at the holy site, along with an affiliated, less-vocal group of men. The government accused both groups of inciting violence.

Before the ban was imposed, Muslim women were barred from entering the compound during the early morning, when foreign visitors and Jews are allowed to enter, said Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at Ir Amim, an organization that advocates for Palestinians in Jerusalem.

This site is in the Old City of Jerusalem, in territory Israel seized from Jordan in the 1967 war and then annexed in a move that has not been internationally recognized.

The compound has a special status: It is administered by the Islamic Waqf trust, under Jordanian custodianship, but Israel controls security. Tensions over the site have mounted over the past year and have often resulted in violence.

Correction: September 16, 2015
An earlier version of the headline with this article misstated the location of the rock-throwing attack. As the article correctly noted, it was in East Jerusalem, not the West Bank.
Correction: September 16, 2015
An earlier version of this article misstated the officers’ actions during the clashes. They fought with protesters on the perimeter of Al Aqsa Mosque, but did not enter it. The article also referred imprecisely to the area that Muslim women were barred from entering during the early morning. It is the entire compound, not Al Aqsa Mosque itself.

Gabby Sobelman contributed reporting from Rehovot, Israel.

Voir encore:

Un juif de 64 ans tué à coups de pierres, devinez par qui

Dreuz info

Alexander Levlovitz, 64 ans est décédé après que des musulmans ont jeté des pierres sur sa voiture, à Jérusalem, en fin de journée le 13 Septembre dernier.
Levlovitz est mort lundi matin 14 septembre, le premier jour de Roch Hachana, le nouvel an juif.

Son fils, qui n’est actuellement pas en Israël, a écrit sur ​​Facebook : « une pierre qui change mon chemin de New York en Israël, qui change le chemin de ma vie. »

«Je suis en état de choc, mon père a été assassiné hier à la veille de la fête à son domicile par des lanceurs de pierres, dans le quartier Arnona à Jérusalem. Papa, Je t’aime. Que ta mémoire soit un bénédiction « , a écrit son fils endeuillé.

Les médias se concentrent toujours sur l’indignation musulmane parce que la police israélienne a fait irruption sur le mont du temple pour neutraliser toute attaque terroriste, et ils ignorent avec dédain et indifférence, voire dégoût, les victimes juives de la terreur musulmane, pour ne jamais les montrer sous un mauvais jour.

Des colons nazis musulmans attaquent les juifs à Roch Hachana, et l’on nous dit que nous devons les respecter ? Le monde n’a rien appris de l’Holocauste, ni de leurs rejetons hitlériens musulmans. Rien.

Les médias parlent d’ »affrontements » entre palestiniens et israéliens. Affrontements ? Alexander Levlovitz rentrait d’une soirée où il avait célébré le soir de Rosh Hashana, quand il a été caillassé par une horde de sauvages, de colons musulmans, de voleurs de la terre des juifs.

Le terrorisme musulman en Israël se nourrit du suprémacisme islamique, qui est fondamentalement raciste, et veut affirmer son pouvoir sur une minorité juive régionale.

Cela inclue les jets de pierres, les bombes incendiaires, les coups de couteau dans le dos, les attentats, les voitures bélier. Leur intolérance est au cœur de l’islam.

Ce n’est pas une coïncidence si cette escalade de la violence se passe en général autour des fêtes juives.

Pour les musulmans, il ne s’agit pas de la «Palestine», ce pays imaginaire qui n’a jamais existé qu’à l’ONU pour fournir un prétexte à la terreur, à leur guerre de religion.

Des heurts avaient éclaté lundi matin entre colons musulmans et policiers israéliens, pour le deuxième jour consécutif, sur le Mont du Temple ainsi que dans les ruelles de la vieille ville de Jérusalem. La racaille islamiste et des photographes occidentaux qui collaborent activement en passant commande d’images de propagande pallywoodienne où l’on voit des juifs en train de commettre des fautes, même s’ils répondent à des agressions qui ne sont jamais filmées, ont été dispersés par les forces de l’ordre.

Une trentaine d’excités radicalisés qui ressemblent à ceux que vous avez en France dans les banlieues, armés de pierres, de barres de fer et de bombes incendiaires se sont retranchés dans la mosquée al-Aqsa. C’est donc cela, un lieu saint pour eux : une base de retranchement pour se regrouper et repartir en guerre ?

La vérité sur le Mont du Temple et les affrontements d’Al-Aqsa
Depuis 3 jours, les colons arabes y stockaient des pierres, des objets métalliques et des cocktails Molotov dans le but de harceler et d’attaquer les non musulmans.

Le journaliste Khaled Abu Toameh a révélé que le Hamas travaille activement avec le Mouvement islamique (une organisation israélienne qui fait du prosélytisme pour l’islam guerrier parmi les citoyens arabes d’Israël) afin d’empêcher les juifs d’entrer sur leur lieu saint, le Mont du Temple : le premier qui me parle d’un islam religion tolérante, je le traine par le collet sur le Mont du Temple pour l’affronter de face, la religion tolérante.

Ce regain de tension s’est produit alors que débute la période des fêtes juives, qui s’est ouverte lundi dernier par la célébration de Rosh Hashana et se poursuivra d’ici la fin septembre, par celles de Yom Kippour et de Sukkot.

Comme les jours précédents, la police israélienne était déployée lundi matin sur l’Esplanade et avait sécurisé les lieux avant l’ouverture aux touristes et aux fidèles juifs.

Des heurts ont aussitôt éclaté entre les forces de l’ordre et plusieurs dizaines de colons palestiniens masqués. Ces hommes recoivent un salaire mensuel de 1.400 dollars pour mener à bien leurs activités terroristes, selon le Shin Bet. Et comme ils manquent de tout et n’ont aucune ressources, l’argent ne peut venir que de l’aide internationale et européenne supposée être consacrée à sortir la population arabe de la misère et apporter la paix.

Les grenades lacrymogènes et assourdissantes ont répondu aux jets de pierres, de boulons, et de bombes incendiaires des enragés islamistes qui se sont retranchés à l’intérieur de la mosquée. Ils y sont restés enfermés pour attirer les caméras du monde occupées avec la crise des refugiés en Europe.

Suite à cela, le premier ministre israélien Netanyahu a demandé des peines sévères contre les terroristes jeteurs de pierres. Le président israélien Rivlin et le maire de Jérusalem ont également demandé au gouvernement qu’il prenne des mesures pour rétablir l’ordre.

«Nous allons opérer une sérieuse modification de la politique contre les jeteurs de pierres et de bombes incendiaires», a déclaré le Premier ministre. «Aucune mesure ou action ne sera épargnée pour rétablir le calme à Jérusalem et ses environs.»

Voir enfin:

Jérusalem: Netanyahu « déclare la guerre » aux lanceurs de pierres
La Dépêche

15/09/2015

Règles révisées pour ouvrir le feu, répression renforcée contre les mineurs: le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu a « déclaré la guerre » mercredi aux lanceurs de pierres après trois jours de violences sur le site très sensible de l’esplanade des Mosquées à Jérusalem.

Le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas l’a accusé en retour de « mener une guerre féroce et implacable à Jérusalem ».

« Nous déclarons la guerre aux lanceurs de pierres et d’engins incendiaires », a lancé M. Netanyahu sur les lieux où un Israélien de 65 ans, Alexander Levlovitz, s’est tué en perdant le contrôle de son véhicule dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi, apparemment à la suite de jets de pierres. Des centaines de personnes ont participé en soirée aux funérailles de la victime.

Jérusalem, dont la partie orientale et palestinienne est occupée et annexée par Israël, est le théâtre depuis des mois de violences entre Israéliens et Palestiniens.

Mais les derniers affrontements frappent davantage les esprits en raison du caractère explosif du lieu, vénéré par les musulmans et les juifs, et de l’enjeu religieux et international. Pour les Palestiniens, ce lieu est en effet une sorte de bastion ultime de leur identité.

‘Les pierres tuent’

M. Netanyahu souhaite un renforcement de l’arsenal répressif contre ceux qui lancent des pierres, des engins incendiaires, des pétards ou des bombes artisanales sur des policiers et les civils.

Le gouvernement va ainsi se pencher sur de nouvelles règles commandant l’ouverture du feu par les membres des forces de sécurité. Il va examiner des peines minimales contre les lanceurs de pierres ou de cocktails Molotov, et de lourdes amendes contre les mineurs (que sont souvent les lanceurs de pierres) mais aussi leurs parents.

« Les pierres tuent et nous voulons qu’une personne arrêtée pour en avoir jeté soit considérée comme quelqu’un ayant en main une arme mortelle », a dit la ministre de la Justice Ayelet Shaked sur la radio militaire.

La fin des festivités du Nouvel an juif mardi soir semble avoir ramené un calme relatif sur l’esplanade et ses environs.

La journée a cependant été émaillée par plusieurs incidents, comme des échauffourées entre policiers israéliens et gardiens sur le site.

Ailleurs à Jérusalem-Est, des Palestiniens ont lancé des pierres sur le tramway dans le quartier de Chouafat, selon la police. Et à Issawiya, des membres des forces de l’ordre ont tiré sur un Palestinien qui était sur le point, selon la police, de leur jeter une bombe incendiaire. Aucune information n’était disponible dans l’immédiat sur son état.

Des groupes de juifs ont en outre fait le tour de l’esplanade sous très haute protection et sous les invectives de quelques musulmans.

En vertu des règles tacites qui régissent le site depuis 1967 (« statu quo »), les musulmans peuvent aller sur le site quand ils veulent, et les juifs seulement pour quelques heures, et pas pour prier.

Mais pour Elisha, 31 ans, les juifs finiront « inévitablement » par pouvoir prier un jour sur l’esplanade.

‘Rumeurs’

Le maire de Jérusalem Nir Barkat a estimé à cet égard que les dernières tensions étaient le résultat de « rumeurs » qui circulent parmi les Palestiniens.

« Les gens disent qu’Israël veut changer le statu quo (…) ce n’est pas vrai », a-t-il dit aux journalistes.

M. Netanyahu, à la tête d’un gouvernement de droite dont certains membres ont ouvertement défendu le droit des juifs à prier sur ce site, a aussi réaffirmé n’avoir aucune intention de toucher au statu quo. Mais il a assuré « qu’on ne laissera pas les émeutiers empêcher les juifs de visiter le mont du Temple ».

A l’étranger, le président français François Hollande a exprimé sa « vive préoccupation » devant la recrudescence des affrontements.

Alors que le conflit israélo-palestinien ne semble offrir aucune perspective de règlement, l’une des figures récentes de la lutte palestinienne, Mohammed Allan, a été remis mercredi en détention sans inculpation après avoir obtenu en août la levée de ce régime d’emprisonnement controversé au prix d’une grève de la faim qui a failli lui coûter la vie.

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Postérité d’Obama: Le grand ennemi de la vérité (The great enemy of the truth: How Obama swindled Americans and the West caused its own self-implosion)

11 septembre, 2015
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQbu19dZWNCrWKb85Gg-RdHsKLkbRMWcyBbzczdhvR6qEp9ILcFTrès souvent, le grand ennemi de la vérité n’est pas le mensonge – délibéré, factice et malhonnête – mais le mythe – persistant, persuasif et irréaliste. John F. Kennedy (Yale, juin 1962)
Il est clair qu’une civilisation qui se sent coupable de tout ce qu’elle est et fait n’aura jamais l’énergie ni la conviction nécessaires pour se défendre elle-même. JF Revel
On ne peut plus continuer le prosélytisme occidental comme si rien ne s’était passé. (…) un jour on se dira peut-être que les droits-de-l’hommistes n’auront pas eu plus d’influence sur la Chine que les missionnaires catholiques. Hubert Védrine (janvier 2009)
Le monde doit être multipolaire, un monde unipolaire est inacceptable. Medvedev
The tragedy of 9/11 should no longer be allowed to haunt the world’s collective memory and define its sense of purpose and orientation. Under the pretext of wiping out the terrorists and their movements, the United States and its allies continue to spread sectarian poison and bring pain and suffering to many others. For fourteen years, the world has only seen wars, interventions, assassinations, torture, kidnappings, black sites, the growth of the American-European spying program, and the spread of terrorism. The consequences are so terrible that those running the circus of “Global War on Terror” are no longer able to justify the burial of freedom and democracy, the fierce prosecution of whistleblowers, the militarization of the police, state-sanctioned killings without trial, as well as astronomical expenses, bombing campaigns galore, repeated defeats, disasters, and failed states. After so many years of blind faith in military-first foreign policy, the bankrupt coalition of regime changers have failed to turn Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen into protectorates. They have failed to extricate themselves from the four major wars of the century. Thanks to their chest beating jingoism, millions have also become stateless throughout the region. More than 380,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean this year in search of safety in Europe. Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Africans, and many others walk for days and months, sleep rough on station platforms or by the side of the road, are tear-gassed and beaten at overwhelmed borders, and crammed into trains like cattle as they try to make their way north. The numbers keep on growing, as the “Global Terror on Terror” keeps on spreading. The warmongers have just begun bombing Syria to make it “theirs”. But for those on the edge of Europe struggling with their own troubles, this is wishful thinking. « Syrian refugees continue to risk their lives to reach Europe and no amount of barbed wire or steel can stop them. For “please don’t come” Europe the nightmare has only just begun. The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and destructive. The mass flight of people will go on as long as the world buys the fables of 9/11 and the “War on Terror” players show no urgency in trying to end it. Fars news
Oui, notre monde est en passe de devenir multipolaire. C’est un processus objectif et irréversible. On peut toujours essayer de le ralentir, mais personne n’est désormais en mesure de l’arrêter. De fait, dans l’ambition d’assurer leur hégémonie, de maintenir la domination unipolaire, les Etats-Unis suivent le cap de l’endiguement de nouveaux pôles d’influence – avant tout la Russie et la Chine. (..)  A l’égard de la Russie, cette politique d’endiguement prend une forme ouvertement agressive. On inflige à mon pays des sanctions chaque fois nouvelles – et ce, sans plus aucun lien avec la situation en Ukraine. Des bases militaires américaines et de l’OTAN poussent sur ses frontières tels des champignons, on y construit le bouclier antimissile américain. On lui livre une guerre médiatique, psychologique et économique. Pour la Chine, cette même politique d’endiguement revêt un caractère latent, voilé. C’était d’ailleurs pareil pour la Russie, jusqu’à ce que la crise en Ukraine ne fasse tomber les masques. La tactique utilisée est pourtant la même. Pour justifier cette politique d’endiguement, on impose à l’opinion publique toutes sortes de mythes – sur la « menace » russe ou chinoise ou sur « l’antagonisme idéologique » entre l’est et l’ouest. Mais en réalité, ni ces menaces imaginaires, ni l’antagonisme idéologique, propres à l’époque de la guerre froide, n’existent. Il n’y a que l’ambition américaine de domination universelle. De la géopolitique à l’état pur. (…)  Les États-Unis ont échoué dans le rôle de leader universel. Ils se sont comportés tel un éléphant dans un magasin de porcelaine. Ils ont piétiné le droit international – en Yougoslavie, en Irak, en Libye ou au Yémen. Ils ont poussé le Moyen Orient dans le bourbier du chaos et des guerres civiles, ils ont libéré de sa bouteille l’esprit de l’islamisme radical. Ils ont trahi la confiance de leurs alliés les plus proches, car eux-mêmes ne faisaient confiance à personne, les considérant comme des Etats satellites ou des vassaux, d’où l’espionnage et l’ingérence dans les affaires intérieures, y compris par l’application extraterritoriale des décisions de justice américaine. Pour beaucoup d’Occidentaux l’émergence d’un nouveau monde multipolaire apparaît comme chaotique, mais c’est parce que les vielles méthodes unipolaires de prise de décisions et de règlement des conflits ne fonctionnent plus. Nos partenaires occidentaux n’ont toujours pas appris, ou ne veulent tous simplement pas apprendre à travailler d’une façon nouvelle – par le compromis. Ainsi ils associent la fin de l’ordre unipolaire à la fin de l’ordre tout court, à l’arrivée du chaos universel. (…) En même temps, la Russie a des raisons de croire que l’idée de déstabiliser l’Asie Centrale selon le scénario moyen-oriental – c’est-à-dire sur le fond de discours sur les  »transformations démocratiques » et sous les drapeaux de l’islamisme radical, – peut être envisagée aux Etats-Unis comme une des « options » en vue d’affaiblir la Russie et la Chine, de créer sur leurs frontières des foyers permanents de tension, de semer la discorde entre eux. Nous devrons, ensemble, contrecarrer ces tentatives. (…) Certains préfèrent vivre dans un monde imaginaire – se croire exceptionnels; inventer des mythes sur les « menaces » russes et chinoises; alimenter en armes et en argent l’inexistante « opposition modérée » en Syrie; croire que des tribus moyenâgeuses peuvent en un jour se transformer en démocraties de type occidental; se persuader que les Criméens ont voté leur réunification avec la Russie sous la menace des armes… Mais le monde réel revient toujours et le dégrisement peut être amer. Le carrosse de Cendrillon se change en citrouille, les « opposants modérés » en djihadistes, les « démocrates ukrainiens » en nationalistes agressifs… Sauf qu’en se battant contre des moulins à vent, on risque de laisser passer les vraies menaces. Je suis persuadé que la stratégie de la communauté internationale doit consister à se mobiliser pour résoudre les vrais problèmes et faire face aux réelles menaces, dont la plus dangereuse est aujourd’hui l’islamisme radical. Alexandre Orlov (ambassadeur de la Fédération de Russie à Paris, Colloque du 28 août 2015)
Nous sommes certains que l’accord pose les bases nécessaires pour résoudre de façon permanente le conflit sur le programme nucléaire iranien. David Cameron, Angela Merkel et François Hollande
Ce vote est une victoire pour la diplomatie, pour la sécurité nationale des Etats-Unis et pour la sécurité du monde. Barack Hussein Obama
Mais il y a peut-être pire que la bonne conscience suintante: l’exploitation à mauvais escient de la mauvaise conscience. (…) Et si une fois de plus, ceux qui donnent aujourd’hui, profitant de l’effet de sidération qui interdit la réflexion, une leçon de morale humaine n’étaient pas les premiers responsables en Europe du malheur des migrants et de l’impossibilité de leur apporter toute l’aide souhaitée? Les braves gens, qui pleurent sans pudeur sur le sort des Syriens. Pendant des décennies, la presse convenue n’estimait pas convenable de critiquer, sauf à être raciste ou islamophobe, la radicalité arabo – islamique. Ni celle du nationalisme alaouite des Assad qui gazaient déjà sans problèmes les malheureux kurdes et qui bombardent à présent les quartiers rebelles à coups de barils de dynamite, ni celle plus récente d’un islamisme dont l’usage du mot même était jusqu’à peu tabou pour cause de préfixe amalgamant. Depuis le début d’une guerre qui a fait près de 300 000 morts, aucune manifestation d’ampleur n’a été organisée en France en solidarité avec les populations qui souffrent en Syrie. Le sort du peuple kurde, encore moins son destin national, n’a jamais intéressé qui que ce soit en France. Comment se fait-il qu’alors que des milliers de djihadistes français partent en Syrie, aucun jeune et généreux rebelle progressiste , aucun aventurier du macadam parisien, aucun juste de la 25e heure, n’ait seulement l’idée de former une brigade internationale qui irait combattre les premiers responsables de la mort du petit kurde, aux côtés des forces kurdes à Kobané ou ailleurs? La réponse est facile: nos donneurs de leçons de morale se moquent comme d’une guigne du sort des Syriens en Syrie. La seule chose qui les intéresse, sans qu’ils s’en rendent compte eux-mêmes, c’est de pouvoir fustiger les Européens en Europe et les Français en France qui osent, les égoïstes, les rabougris, s’inquiéter que leur pays ne devienne dans une décennie une nouvelle Syrie. (…) Se préoccuper de son pays, de sa sécurité, de sa cohésion, de son identité (et oui, le mot-dit, le mot est dit) du sort de ses enfants, et de la possibilité d’accueil et d’intégration des populations étrangères n’est pas un signe particulier d’indifférence. Il vaut peut-être mieux que les élans du coeur irréfléchis, ou le suivisme conformiste sur fond de parallèle historique hystérique. Car les Français ont payé très cher pour apprendre et ne plus croire le discours des apprentis sorciers. Les déclarations extatiques sur l’immigration «chance pour la France» ou sur l’islam, forcément , toujours et encore «religion de paix». La manière dont on moqua les «fantasmes» de bouleversements démographiques pour expliquer un beau matin qu’il était trop tard pour regarder en arrière la France des clochers, puisque la France était devenue «multiculturelle». Alors oui, les Français ne croient plus dans les paroles verbales de la gauche gauchisante. Ils savent qu’à côté de populations terriblement souffrantes-et à qui ils veulent apporter assistance-se trouvent d’autres populations qui aspirent à profiter d’une Europe aujourd’hui saturée et appauvrie. Ils savent que tous les réfugiés ne sont pas des résistants anti-islamistes, et que certains même sont des djihadistes envoyés par l’État Islamique, comme ces quatre arrêtés il y a quelques jours à la frontière bulgare, et qui pourront peut-être aussi causer des morts à immortaliser sur papier glacé. Ils savent-exactement comme les forceurs de clôtures- l’Europe faible, et ses frontières totalement battues en brèche, enfoncées, niées . Ils savent qu’en dépit ou à cause des quotas accordés (qui en eux-mêmes seraient supportables), les déboutés du droit d’asile, piétineront les frontières délibérément violées et outragées. Ils savent, que les politiciens tétanisés et les fonctionnaires émasculés, n’exécutent plus ou presque les arrêtés d’expulsion qui s’imposent pourtant, précisément pour autoriser, valider et légitimer l’arrivée légale des bénéficiaires du droit au refuge. Ainsi donc, les premiers responsables de l’impossibilité d’accueillir tous ceux qui le mériteraient sont à rechercher chez ceux qui ont fait échouer une immigration bien tempérée et une intégration nécessaire. Ils l’ont fait échouer, parce qu’au fond d’eux-mêmes, même s’ils se refusent encore à le reconnaître, ils récusent la notion éculée à leurs yeux de nation, et obscène d’État-nation disposant de frontières, et de sa corollaire légale, le droit existentiel pour un peuple souverain de réguler souverainement les flux migratoires. (…) Un dernier mot: l’ONU, à l’efficacité bien connue , voudrait imposer à l’Europe l’accueil de 200 000 migrants. Curieusement, elle ne demande aucun effort aux pays arabes du golfe. Depuis deux ans, et notamment dans ces colonnes, je m’épuise régulièrement, mais bien seul, a demander pour quelles raisons ces pays désertiques et richissimes n’accueillent pas chez eux des populations souffrantes avec lesquels les unissent des liens ethniques, linguistiques, religieux et culturels fraternels. Ils devraient être à d’autant plus enclins à le faire, que leur responsabilité dans la montée de l’islamisme est certainement plus grande que tout ce que les esprits les plus torturés en Europe pourraient reprocher aux occidentaux. Gilles-William Goldnadel
Congress is finally having its say on the Iran deal. It will be an elaborate charade, however, because, having first gone to the U.N., President Obama has largely drained congressional action of relevance. At the Security Council, he pushed through a resolution ratifying the deal, thus officially committing the United States as a nation to its implementation — in advance of any congressional action. The resolution abolishes the entire legal framework, built over a decade, underlying the international sanctions against Iran. A few months from now, they will be gone. The script is already written: The International Atomic Energy Agency, relying on Iran’s self-inspection (!) of its most sensitive nuclear facility, will declare Iran in compliance. The agreement then goes into effect and Iran’s nuclear program is officially deemed peaceful. Sanctions are lifted. The mullahs receive $100 billion of frozen assets as a signing bonus. Iran begins reaping the economic bonanza, tripling its oil exports and welcoming a stampede of foreign companies back into the country. It is all precooked. Last month, Britain’s foreign secretary traveled to Tehran with an impressive delegation of British companies ready to deal. He was late, however. The Italian and French foreign ministers had already been there, accompanied by their own hungry businessmen and oil companies. Iran is back in business. As a matter of constitutional decency, the president should have submitted the deal to Congress first. And submitted it as a treaty. Which it obviously is. No international agreement in a generation matches this one in strategic significance and geopolitical gravity. Obama did not submit it as a treaty because he knew he could never get the constitutionally required votes for ratification. He’s not close to getting two-thirds of the Senate. He’s not close to getting a simple majority. No wonder: In the latest Pew Research Center poll, the American people oppose the deal by a staggering 28-point margin. To get around the Constitution, Obama negotiated a swindle that requires him to garner a mere one-third of one house of Congress. To get around the Constitution, Obama negotiated a swindle that requires him to garner a mere one-third of one house of Congress. Indeed, on Thursday, with just 42 Senate supporters — remember, a treaty requires 67 — the Democrats filibustered and prevented, at least for now, the Senate from voting on the deal at all. But Obama two months ago enshrined the deal as international law at the U.N. Why should we care about the congressional vote? In order to highlight the illegitimacy of Obama’s constitutional runaround and thus make it easier for a future president to overturn the deal, especially if Iran is found to be cheating. As of now, however, it is done. Iran will be both unleashed — sanctions lifted, economy booming, with no treaty provisions regarding its growing regional aggression and support for terrorists — and welcomed as a good international citizen possessing a peaceful nuclear program. An astonishing trick. Iran’s legitimation will not have to wait a decade, after which, as the Iranian foreign minister boasts, the U.N. file on the Iranian nuclear program will be closed, all restrictions will be dropped and, as Obama himself has admitted, the breakout time to an Iranian bomb will become essentially zero. On the contrary. The legitimation happens now. Early next year, Iran will be officially recognized as a peaceful nuclear nation. This is a revolution in Iran’s international standing, yet its consequences have been largely overlooked. The deal goes beyond merely leaving Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact. Because the deal legitimizes that nuclear program as peaceful (unless proven otherwise — don’t hold your breath), it is entitled to international assistance. Hence the astonishing provision buried in Annex III, Section 10 committing Western experts to offering the Iranian program our nuclear expertise. Specifically “training courses and workshops.” On what? Among other things, on how to protect against “sabotage.” The House’s Better Alternative to Corker-Cardin Boehner Reportedly Caves to House Republican Rebellion on Iran Deal Imagine: We are now to protect Iran against, say, the very Stuxnet virus, developed by the NSA and Israel’s Unit 8200, that for years disrupted and delayed an Iranian bomb. Secretary of State John Kerry has darkly warned Israel to not even think about a military strike on the nuclear facilities of a regime whose leader said just Wednesday that Israel will be wiped out within 25 years. The Israelis are now being told additionally — Annex III, Section 10 — that if they attempt just a defensive, nonmilitary cyberattack (a Stuxnet II), the West will help Iran foil it. Ask those 42 senators if they even know about this provision. And how they can sign on to such a deal without shame and revulsion. Charles Krauthammer
Europe’s openness rests on America’s strength. You can’t have one without the other. This was supposed to be the Era of No Fences. No walls between blocs. No borders between countries. No barriers to trade. Visa-free tourism. The single market. A global Internet. Frictionless transactions and seamless exchanges. In short, a flat world. Whatever happened to that? (…) We mistook a holiday from history for the end of it. We built a fenceless world on the wrong set of assumptions about the future. We wanted a new liberal order—one with a lot of liberalism and not a lot of order. We wanted to be a generous civilization without doing the things required to be a prosperous one. In 2003 the political theorist Robert Kagan wrote a thoughtful book, “Of Paradise and Power,” in which he took stock of the philosophical divide between Americans and Europeans. Americans, he wrote, inhabited the world of Thomas Hobbes, in which “true security and the defense and promotion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might.” Europeans, by contrast, lived in the world of Immanuel Kant, in which “perpetual peace” was guaranteed by a set of cultural conventions, consensually agreed rules and a belief in the virtues of social solidarity overseen by a redistributive state. These differences didn’t matter much as long as they were confined to panel discussions at Davos. Then came the presidency of Barack Obama, which has adopted the Kantian view. For seven years, the U.S. and Europe have largely been on the same side—the European side—of most of the big issues, especially in the Mideast: getting out of Iraq, drawing down in Afghanistan, lightly intervening in Libya, staying out of Syria, making up with Iran. The result is our metastasizing global disorder. It’s only going to get worse. The graciousness that Germans have shown the first wave of refugees is a tribute to the country’s sense of humanity and history. But just as the warm welcome is destined to create an irresistible magnet for future migrants, it is also bound to lead to a backlash among Germans. This year, some 800,000 newcomers are expected in Germany—about 1% of the country’s population. (…) If Germany had robust economic and demographic growth, it could absorb and assimilate the influx. It doesn’t, so it can’t. Growth has averaged 0.31% a year since 1991. The country has the world’s lowest birthrate. Tolerant modern Germany now looks with justified disdain toward the petty nationalism, burden-shifting and fence-building of the populist Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán. But it would be foolish to think of Hungary as a political throwback rather than as a harbinger. There is no such thing as a lesson from the past that people won’t ignore for the sake of the convenience of the present. Is there a way out? Suddenly, there’s talk in Europe about using military power to establish safe zones in Syria to contain the exodus of refugees. If U.S. administrations decide on adopting Kant, Europe, even Germany, may have no choice but to reacquaint itself with Hobbes by rebuilding its military and using hard power against unraveling neighbors. Europeans will not easily embrace that option. The alternative is to hasten the return to the era of fences. Openness is a virtue purchased through strength. Bret Stephens
In Europe and the West, the crisis is quieter but no less profound. Europe today often doesn’t seem to know where it is going, what Western civilization is for, or even whether or how it can or should be defended. Increasingly, the contemporary version of Enlightenment liberalism sees itself as fundamentally opposed to the religious, political and economic foundations of Western society. Liberal values such as free expression, individual self-determination and a broad array of human rights have become detached in the minds of many from the institutional and civilizational context that shaped them. Capitalism, the social engine without which neither Europe nor the U.S. would have the wealth or strength to embrace liberal values with any hope of success, is often seen as a cruel, anti-human system that is leading the world to a Malthusian climate catastrophe. Military strength, without which the liberal states would be overwhelmed, is regarded with suspicion in the U.S. and with abhorrence in much of Europe. Too many people in the West interpret pluralism and tolerance in ways that forbid or unrealistically constrain the active defense of these values against illiberal states like Russia or illiberal movements like radical Islam. Europe’s approach to the migration crisis brings these failures into sharp relief. The European Union bureaucracy in Brussels has erected a set of legal doctrines stated in terms of absolute right and has tried to build policy on this basis. Taking its cue from the U.N.’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other ambitious declarations and treaties, the EU holds that qualified applicants have an absolute human right to asylum. European bureaucrats tend to see asylum as a legal question, not a political one, and they expect political authorities to implement the legal mandate, not quibble with it or constrain it. This is, in many ways, a commendable and honorable approach. Europeans are rightly haunted by what happened in the 1930s when refugees from Hitler’s Germany could often find no place to go. But solemn declarations to “do the right thing” do not always lead to sound policy. Under normal circumstances, the rights-based, legalistic approach can work reasonably well. When refugee flows are slack, the political fallout from accommodating them is manageable. But when the flow of desperate people passes a certain threshold, receiving countries no longer have the will (and, in some cases, the ability) to follow through. Ten thousand refugees is one thing; 10 million is another. Somewhere between those extremes is a breaking point at which the political system will no longer carry out the legal mandate. To pretend that this isn’t true is to invite trouble, and Europe is already much closer to a breaking point than Brussels or Berlin would like to admit. In eastern and central Europe, the social and economic conditions for absorbing mass migration from the Middle East simply don’t exist. The relatively homogenous ethnic nation states that now comprise the region were created through generations of warfare, often accompanied by episodes of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Most of these states enjoyed a brief period of independence between the two world wars and were then engulfed, first by the Nazis and later by the Soviet empire. Their independence and security still feel fragile, and most of their citizens still believe that the role of the state is to protect the well-being of their own ethnic group and express its cultural values. Larger, more self-confident and richer societies in Europe’s west and north are better prepared to cope with immigration. But rules that work for Germany and Sweden can produce uncontrollable backlashes in other parts of Europe. Add to this picture the continuing budgetary and welfare crises and the mass youth unemployment in many Eurozone economies, and it is easy to envision a point at which Europe’s capacity to absorb refugees reaches a ceiling. And the flow of refugees to Europe could easily grow. The Turkish war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party could escalate. Social breakdown or the victory of radical Islamist forces in Egypt could provoke a mass flight of the Copts, the last remaining large Christian population in a region that has seen one Christian community after another exterminated or forced into exile over the last 150 years. The sectarian war in Syria could intensify and spread into Lebanon. The intensifying religious conflict across the Sahel and northern sub-Saharan Africa could create the kind of political and economic insecurity that would produce vast flows of desperate migrants and asylum seekers. The breaking point may be reached sooner rather than later. In the short term, Europe’s attempts to welcome and resettle refugees will accelerate the flow. The news that rich countries like Germany are welcoming migrants will stimulate many more people to hit the road. (…) The EU has failed to see that refugee and asylum policy must have three distinct components: the compassionate embrace of those in great need, a tough-minded effort to reduce the flow at the source by correcting or preventing the problems that give rise to it, and an effective border-control regime that limits the number of refugees and migrants who reach EU soil. The humanitarian question of refugees and asylum seekers cannot be separated from the bankruptcy of Western security policy in Syria and Libya, and the bankruptcy of Western policy cannot be separated from the long-standing difficulties that many European states have in taking a responsible attitude toward questions of military security. The utter failure of Western policy in both Libya and Syria has to be seen for what it is: not just a political blunder but a humanitarian crime. The feckless mix of intervention and indifference in Libya and the equally feckless failure to intervene in Syria have helped to trigger the flows of migrants that are overwhelming Europe’s institutions. It is impossible to have a humane and sustainable asylum policy without an active and engaged foreign policy that from time to time involves military action. The West’s current stance on human rights and asylum is reminiscent of the liberal approach to questions of peace and war in the early 1930s. On the one hand, the West adopted a high-minded, legalistic stand that declared war illegal (the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928); on the other, we adhered to a blind commitment to disarmament. A noble ideal was separated from any serious effort to create the conditions that would make it achievable. The dream of a liberal, humanitarian peace that both the Obama administration and the EU share may not be achievable in the wicked and complicated world in which we live. It certainly cannot be achieved with the kinds of policies now in favor in capitals on both sides of the Atlantic. Walter Russell Mead
Immigration is a one-way Western street. Those who, in the abstract, damn the West — as much as elite Westerners themselves do — want very much to live inside it. The loudest anti-Western voices in the Middle East are usually housed in Western universities, not in Gaza. (…) Elites who are exempt by virtue of their money and influence from the consequences of living among millions of displaced Africans, Arabs, or Latin Americans berate ad nauseam their less-well-connected, supposedly illiberal fellow citizens. But note that no elite Westerner wants to face the cause of the malady: namely, that the failure in the Third World to adopt Western ideas of consensual government, equality between the sexes, free-market capitalism, individual liberty, and transparent meritocracy logically leads to mayhem and poverty. Westerners are afraid to explain why the non-West suffers and what it might do to end its own miseries. To do that would be imperialistic and neo-colonial. But it is worse than that: Western elites deny their own exceptionalism, and deny any reason for their own privilege other than the easy private guilt of citing the Holy Trinity of “race/class/gender.” They dare not associate Islam with the self-professed Islamists of ISIS who wreck the world’s archaeological treasures and who behead, burn alive, drown, and dismember Christians and supposed heretics. Indeed, Western op-ed writers go so far as to offer heated advisories that we must not confuse the source of this nihilist furor with radical Islam. So we tire of a New York Times columnist or an EU apparatchik who will never give up his own 1 percent lifestyle, but will castigate the values that ensure its continuation — on the understanding that such invective will assuage his guilt and never be taken too seriously. Surely 100 Hondurans will not be sleeping in the halls of the former’s Upper West Side co-op, and 500 Somalis will not camp out on the veranda of the latter’s Portofino estate. Could not Harvard and Stanford invite Central American illegal-alien youth to spend their summers in the shelter of their empty dorms and unused basketball arenas? Latino students at UC Irvine allege that flying the American flag is an act of micro-aggression, even as they decry the American unwillingness to open the borders to another 10 percent of Mexicans, who apparently would not mind the micro-aggressions. Go figure the hypocrisies, and all one can come up with is either ignorance, or a vague notion that such on-campus play-acting will lead to some career advantage to be harvested from bored elites. The Black Lives Matter movement in the last few months has often marched chanting for the death of “pigs,” while intellectuals contextualized their anger — and while police were shot at and sometimes killed. No one dares to make the argument that an absence of parity is due not to Bull Connor Redux, but rather to self-inflicted pathologies of the post–Great Society age that have annihilated the black two-parent family and led to inordinate crime, illegitimacy, illiteracy, drug use, social dependency, and, of course, furor at the system for allowing that disparity to happen. It is much easier to blame an old white cop than a bureaucrat at social services or the careerist Al Sharpton, whose racialist perks are predicated on their permanent absence in others. (…) The future of the European Union is bleak. It cannot define what a European is, so why should its borders not become porous? Who is to say that a German should not retire at 67 so a Greek can at 55? The sin of debt lies on the richer nations, who had the money to lend and profit, not the poorer, who imprudently borrowed. Thus default is little more than overdue redistribution. Europe is shrinking because child-raising is seen as a drag and the state ensures old-age care without the need for family support — until the money runs out. It no longer believes in its own defense, and it brilliantly contextualizes the aggression of Vladimir Putin, sort of like Athenian rhetoricians circa 340 b.c. assuring their fellow citizens that Philip II was merely into a macho schtick. America is Europeanizing itself, an odd thing, given that Europeans always feared that their Hellenism would be buried under crass American Romanism. It turns out that once liberty and freedom have ensured prosperity — the underclass of today has access to better communications, transportation, and computer-driven knowledge than the 1 percent of 30 years ago — then that achievement can be consumed by “fairness” and “equality.” What the West worries about is not poverty, but disparity: No one argues that the rioters at Ferguson did not have smartphones, expensive sneakers, hot water in their homes, air conditioning, and plenty to eat — it’s just that they did not have as many or as sophisticated appurtenances as someone else. Michael Brown was not undernourished or in need of the cigars he lifted. Is this decline just circular, as a Chamberlain leads to a Churchill, who leads to an Attlee, and eventually back to Thatcher, or as Carter begets Reagan, who begets Obama, who loses the Congress and the nation’s support? Certainly, equality and fairness are parasitical luxuries that depend first upon Western productivity, which is the harvest of personal freedom and economic liberty. Before you can have Cornel West, Sandra Fluke, Barack Obama, and Bernie Sanders, you first have to have grimy frackers and horizontal drillers, pajama-boy techies, the loggers of reality TV, long-haul truckers — and, yes, conniving capitalists at Goldman Sachs and showmen like Donald Trump. So far, the West has been lucky. The present generations of nihilistic redistributionists are no Sullas, Robespierres, or Lenins. They do damage, but for now not enough to endanger the architecture of their own privilege. Al Gore still jets around the world to hector about climate change. Barack Obama won’t retire to an iffy neighborhood in Chicago. Al Sharpton won’t order the police away from his doorstep. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates believe in property rights. Mark Zuckerberg assumes that he has the right to buy up his neighbors’ property to create a moat defense against those who he insists must be allowed into the United States without following legal immigration procedures. Even George Soros adheres to international finance laws, most of the time. At least for now, we are in a cycle of Western decline, waiting either for another Churchill, Thatcher, or Reagan to scold us out of it — or for an existential enemy, foreign or domestic, of such power and danger that all our progressive pieties will dissipate in the face of danger. (…) Bounty to boredom to decadence to panic to reawakening to ascendance has always been the cyclical way of the West. Its curse has been that the cycles of nihilism are as long as they are unnecessary. Victor Davis Hanson
Attention: un mythe peut en cacher un autre !
.
Alors qu’en ce 14e anniversaire des attentats islamistes du 11 septembre …
Où le prétendu Chef du Monde libre se félicite qu’à deux voix près la minorité démocrate du Congrès ait réussi à empêcher même pour la forme un vote sur un traité nucléaire iranien déjà préalablement entériné par le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU (en transformant de fait tout rejet en violation du droit international) et réduit à un simple accord pour lui éviter un vote à la majorité aux deux tiers …
Et que le reste dudit Monde libre se réjouit d’un texte qui accorde à un pays qui prône depuis des décennies l’annihilation d’un de ses voisins le droit au « nucléaire pacifique » …
Pendant que, citation plagiée de Kennedy à l’appui et sur fond d’invasion musulmane de l’Europe via l’immigration forcée, les faux passeorts, les fausses conversions et les vrais djihadistes, nos nouveaux amis iraniens nous rappellent …
Que l’origine de tous nos maux n’est autre que les fables du 11/9 …
Et  qu’avec le défaussement du prétendu Leader du Monde libre que l’on sait, nos amis russes et chinois célèbrent le nouveau monde multipolaire que nous avions si longtemps appelé de nos voeux …
 .
Comment ne pas voir, avec l’historien militaire américain Victor Davis Hanson, la double hypocrisie …
D’élites non-occidentales qui n’ont de cesse de condamner un Occident qu’elles cherchent par tous les moyens à rejoindre ..
Comme d’élites occidentales qui n’ont pas de mots assez durs pour dénoncer un système dont elles profitent si largement ?
.
Is the West Dead Yet?
The West is paradoxically dominant on the global stage and eroding from within.
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online
September 9, 2015

Never has Western culture seemed so all-powerful.Look at the 30 top-ranked universities in the world; they are all American, British, or European — albeit these rankings are based largely on the excellence of their science, engineering, medicine, and computer departments rather than their English and sociology departments.

The American West Coast changed the world’s daily lifestyle with Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo.

The worldwide reach of schlock American pop culture is frightening. Hollywood psychodramas, rap vulgarity, reality TV, crude body tattooing and piercing, and the sorry, unhinged Miley Cyrus find their way up the Nile and around Cape Horn.

The United States, even with recent defense cuts, has more conventional military power than nearly the rest of the globe combined. American oil entrepreneurs have changed the global energy calculus.

Millions flee their homes to enter Europe — not Russia, China, or India. Ten percent of Mexico lives in the United States. Polls in Mexico suggest that half the remaining Mexican population would prefer to head north into the U.S., a nation to which, polls also suggest, they of course are hostile.

Immigration is a one-way Western street. Those who, in the abstract, damn the West — as much as elite Westerners themselves do — want very much to live inside it. The loudest anti-Western voices in the Middle East are usually housed in Western universities, not in Gaza. Jorge Ramos is a fierce critic of supposed American cruelty to illegal immigrants — so much so that he fled Mexico for America, became a citizen (how is that possible, given American bias against immigrants?), landed a multimillion-dollar salary working for the non-Latino-owned Spanish-language network Univision, and then put his kids in private school to shield them from hoi polloi of the sort he champions each evening. Now that’s the power of the West.

The alternatives are uninviting. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Pervez Musharraf, and Mohamed Morsi all resided in the West for long periods of time until political power beckoned at home. Putin’s Russia is a geriatric and unhealthy kleptocracy. China will never square the circle of free-market capitalist consumerism and Communist state autocracy. India, like Brazil, is always corrupt and always said to be full of potential. Neo-Communism has all but wrecked Latin America. The African nations are still tribal societies beneath a thin statist veneer. The Middle East is now mostly pre-civilized. (The Asian Tigers have escaped these fates by becoming mostly Westernized.) And, in our wired age, the maladies of the Third World are all instantly known and contrasted with the civilized alternative in the West.

But as in mid-fifth-century Athens and late-republican Rome, there are signs that the West is eroding — and fast. The common Western malady is age-old and cyclical. It was long ago described, over some thousand years of decline, by an array of Classical scolds, from Thucydides and Aristophanes to Tacitus, Petronius, Plutarch, Suetonius, and Procopius. In the case of modern America, Britain, and Europe, the sheer material bounty spawned by free-market capitalism and legally protected private property, combined with the freedom of the individual, creates a sort of ennui. Boredom is the logical result of that lethal mix of affluence and leisure.

It is not just that Westerners forget who gave them their bounty, but they tend to damn anonymous ancestors who worked so hard, but without a modern sense of taste and politically correct deference. Of course, so far, Western civilization presses on, despite the periodic sky-is-falling warnings that echo the likes of Friedrich Nietzsche, Oswald Spengler, and H. G. Wells. But does it press on as it did before?

Take the ongoing mass exoduses from the Third World into Europe and the United States. The reaction on the part of the host countries is largely paralysis, as the contradictions of professed Western liberalism hit the hard reality that Westerners are reluctant to accept millions of poor foreigners arriving en masse. Westerners are hoist on their own petards of “fairness” and “equality” in the age of globalization and instant communications: If Sudanese or Oaxacans are deprived of free annual check-ups or are in need of climate-change instruction, then Brussels and Washington are just as culpable for their plight as if they had shorted their own Slovakians or Alabamans.

Elites who are exempt by virtue of their money and influence from the consequences of living among millions of displaced Africans, Arabs, or Latin Americans berate ad nauseam their less-well-connected, supposedly illiberal fellow citizens. But note that no elite Westerner wants to face the cause of the malady: namely, that the failure in the Third World to adopt Western ideas of consensual government, equality between the sexes, free-market capitalism, individual liberty, and transparent meritocracy logically leads to mayhem and poverty.

Westerners are afraid to explain why the non-West suffers and what it might do to end its own miseries. To do that would be imperialistic and neo-colonial.

But it is worse than that: Western elites deny their own exceptionalism, and deny any reason for their own privilege other than the easy private guilt of citing the Holy Trinity of “race/class/gender.” They dare not associate Islam with the self-professed Islamists of ISIS who wreck the world’s archaeological treasures and who behead, burn alive, drown, and dismember Christians and supposed heretics. Indeed, Western op-ed writers go so far as to offer heated advisories that we must not confuse the source of this nihilist furor with radical Islam.

So we tire of a New York Times columnist or an EU apparatchik who will never give up his own 1 percent lifestyle, but will castigate the values that ensure its continuation — on the understanding that such invective will assuage his guilt and never be taken too seriously. Surely 100 Hondurans will not be sleeping in the halls of the former’s Upper West Side co-op, and 500 Somalis will not camp out on the veranda of the latter’s Portofino estate. Could not Harvard and Stanford invite Central American illegal-alien youth to spend their summers in the shelter of their empty dorms and unused basketball arenas?

Latino students at UC Irvine allege that flying the American flag is an act of micro-aggression, even as they decry the American unwillingness to open the borders to another 10 percent of Mexicans, who apparently would not mind the micro-aggressions. Go figure the hypocrisies, and all one can come up with is either ignorance, or a vague notion that such on-campus play-acting will lead to some career advantage to be harvested from bored elites.

The Black Lives Matter movement in the last few months has often marched chanting for the death of “pigs,” while intellectuals contextualized their anger — and while police were shot at and sometimes killed. No one dares to make the argument that an absence of parity is due not to Bull Connor Redux, but rather to self-inflicted pathologies of the post–Great Society age that have annihilated the black two-parent family and led to inordinate crime, illegitimacy, illiteracy, drug use, social dependency, and, of course, furor at the system for allowing that disparity to happen. It is much easier to blame an old white cop than a bureaucrat at social services or the careerist Al Sharpton, whose racialist perks are predicated on their permanent absence in others.

The first casualty in a bored and would-be-revolutionary society is legality. And certainly in the West the law — whose sanctity built Western civilization — has become a joke. New Confederate-style nullificationists in San Francisco demand that federal immigration statutes not apply to their sanctuary city, even as they insist that a minor clerk in Kentucky be jailed for nullifying a Supreme Court edict allowing gay marriage. Kim Davis should indeed be jailed for obstructing a federal mandate, but only after the neo-Confederate nullificationist mayor, Board of Supervisors, and sheriff of San Francisco.

These activists are not the poor and ignorant, but the wealthy and educated who no longer believe in the law — at least any law that does not directly protect their quite ample property. It would be easy to say they are neo–French Revolutionaries who believe social justice, not old white men’s privilege, is the better law code. But that excuse would be too kind. Those who embrace sanctuary cities while wanting to jail any who object to the omnipotence of federal jurisprudence are mostly hedonists. Whatever they feel like doing becomes legal, and whatever they don’t feel like doing becomes felonious and deserving of incarceration.

The future of the European Union is bleak. It cannot define what a European is, so why should its borders not become porous? Who is to say that a German should not retire at 67 so a Greek can at 55? The sin of debt lies on the richer nations, who had the money to lend and profit, not the poorer, who imprudently borrowed. Thus default is little more than overdue redistribution.

Europe is shrinking because child-raising is seen as a drag and the state ensures old-age care without the need for family support — until the money runs out. It no longer believes in its own defense, and it brilliantly contextualizes the aggression of Vladimir Putin, sort of like Athenian rhetoricians circa 340 b.c. assuring their fellow citizens that Philip II was merely into a macho schtick.

America is Europeanizing itself, an odd thing, given that Europeans always feared that their Hellenism would be buried under crass American Romanism. It turns out that once liberty and freedom have ensured prosperity — the underclass of today has access to better communications, transportation, and computer-driven knowledge than the 1 percent of 30 years ago — then that achievement can be consumed by “fairness” and “equality.” What the West worries about is not poverty, but disparity: No one argues that the rioters at Ferguson did not have smartphones, expensive sneakers, hot water in their homes, air conditioning, and plenty to eat — it’s just that they did not have as many or as sophisticated appurtenances as someone else. Michael Brown was not undernourished or in need of the cigars he lifted.

Is this decline just circular, as a Chamberlain leads to a Churchill, who leads to an Attlee, and eventually back to Thatcher, or as Carter begets Reagan, who begets Obama, who loses the Congress and the nation’s support? Certainly, equality and fairness are parasitical luxuries that depend first upon Western productivity, which is the harvest of personal freedom and economic liberty. Before you can have Cornel West, Sandra Fluke, Barack Obama, and Bernie Sanders, you first have to have grimy frackers and horizontal drillers, pajama-boy techies, the loggers of reality TV, long-haul truckers — and, yes, conniving capitalists at Goldman Sachs and showmen like Donald Trump.

So far, the West has been lucky. The present generations of nihilistic redistributionists are no Sullas, Robespierres, or Lenins. They do damage, but for now not enough to endanger the architecture of their own privilege. Al Gore still jets around the world to hector about climate change. Barack Obama won’t retire to an iffy neighborhood in Chicago. Al Sharpton won’t order the police away from his doorstep. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates believe in property rights. Mark Zuckerberg assumes that he has the right to buy up his neighbors’ property to create a moat defense against those who he insists must be allowed into the United States without following legal immigration procedures. Even George Soros adheres to international finance laws, most of the time.

At least for now, we are in a cycle of Western decline, waiting either for another Churchill, Thatcher, or Reagan to scold us out of it — or for an existential enemy, foreign or domestic, of such power and danger that all our progressive pieties will dissipate in the face of danger.

If, God forbid, Putin moves into the Baltic states, if Iran launches a nuke into Israel, if North Korea shoots chemical shells into Seoul, if China absorbs Taiwan, if, in another 9/11, a dozen 757s take down the Sears Tower, if the interest rate on a soon-to-be-$20-trillion national debt hits 7 percent, if Social Security checks start to bounce, or if Wall Street trumps its 2008 implosion, then Miley Cyrus will go the way of Britney Spears, Barack Obama the way of Jimmy Carter, and Black Lives Matter the way of It’s a Black Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand. Then the televised presences of Caitlin Jenner and the Kardashians would vanish as the decadent indulgences of a society that could no longer afford them.

Bounty to boredom to decadence to panic to reawakening to ascendance has always been the cyclical way of the West.

Its curse has been that the cycles of nihilism are as long as they are unnecessary.

 Voir aussi:

How Obama Swindled Americans on Iran
Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
September 10, 2015
Congress is finally having its say on the Iran deal. It will be an elaborate charade, however, because, having first gone to the U.N., President Obama has largely drained congressional action of relevance. At the Security Council, he pushed through a resolution ratifying the deal, thus officially committing the United States as a nation to its implementation — in advance of any congressional action.
The resolution abolishes the entire legal framework, built over a decade, underlying the international sanctions against Iran. A few months from now, they will be gone. The script is already written: The International Atomic Energy Agency, relying on Iran’s self-inspection (!) of its most sensitive nuclear facility, will declare Iran in compliance. The agreement then goes into effect and Iran’s nuclear program is officially deemed peaceful.
Sanctions are lifted. The mullahs receive $100 billion of frozen assets as a signing bonus. Iran begins reaping the economic bonanza, tripling its oil exports and welcoming a stampede of foreign companies back into the country.
It is all precooked. Last month, Britain’s foreign secretary traveled to Tehran with an impressive delegation of British companies ready to deal. He was late, however. The Italian and French foreign ministers had already been there, accompanied by their own hungry businessmen and oil companies. Iran is back in business.
As a matter of constitutional decency, the president should have submitted the deal to Congress first. And submitted it as a treaty. Which it obviously is. No international agreement in a generation matches this one in strategic significance and geopolitical gravity.
Obama did not submit it as a treaty because he knew he could never get the constitutionally required votes for ratification. He’s not close to getting two-thirds of the Senate. He’s not close to getting a simple majority. No wonder: In the latest Pew Research Center poll, the American people oppose the deal by a staggering 28-point margin.
To get around the Constitution, Obama negotiated a swindle that requires him to garner a mere one-third of one house of Congress. To get around the Constitution, Obama negotiated a swindle that requires him to garner a mere one-third of one house of Congress. Indeed, on Thursday, with just 42 Senate supporters — remember, a treaty requires 67 — the Democrats filibustered and prevented, at least for now, the Senate from voting on the deal at all.
But Obama two months ago enshrined the deal as international law at the U.N. Why should we care about the congressional vote? In order to highlight the illegitimacy of Obama’s constitutional runaround and thus make it easier for a future president to overturn the deal, especially if Iran is found to be cheating.
As of now, however, it is done. Iran will be both unleashed — sanctions lifted, economy booming, with no treaty provisions regarding its growing regional aggression and support for terrorists — and welcomed as a good international citizen possessing a peaceful nuclear program. An astonishing trick. Iran’s legitimation will not have to wait a decade, after which, as the Iranian foreign minister boasts, the U.N. file on the Iranian nuclear program will be closed, all restrictions will be dropped and, as Obama himself has admitted, the breakout time to an Iranian bomb will become essentially zero. On the contrary. The legitimation happens now. Early next year, Iran will be officially recognized as a peaceful nuclear nation.
This is a revolution in Iran’s international standing, yet its consequences have been largely overlooked. The deal goes beyond merely leaving Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact. Because the deal legitimizes that nuclear program as peaceful (unless proven otherwise — don’t hold your breath), it is entitled to international assistance. Hence the astonishing provision buried in Annex III, Section 10 committing Western experts to offering the Iranian program our nuclear expertise. Specifically “training courses and workshops.” On what? Among other things, on how to protect against “sabotage.”
The House’s Better Alternative to Corker-Cardin Boehner Reportedly Caves to House Republican Rebellion on Iran Deal Imagine: We are now to protect Iran against, say, the very Stuxnet virus, developed by the NSA and Israel’s Unit 8200, that for years disrupted and delayed an Iranian bomb. Secretary of State John Kerry has darkly warned Israel to not even think about a military strike on the nuclear facilities of a regime whose leader said just Wednesday that Israel will be wiped out within 25 years. The Israelis are now being told additionally — Annex III, Section 10 — that if they attempt just a defensive, nonmilitary cyberattack (a Stuxnet II), the West will help Iran foil it. Ask those 42 senators if they even know about this provision. And how they can sign on to such a deal without shame and revulsion.

Voir encore:
Fables of 9/11: Persistent, Persuasive, and Destructive
Fars news

Sep 10, 2015
TEHRAN (FNA)- The tragedy of 9/11 should no longer be allowed to haunt the world’s collective memory and define its sense of purpose and orientation.
Under the pretext of wiping out the terrorists and their movements, the United States and its allies continue to spread sectarian poison and bring pain and suffering to many others. For fourteen years, the world has only seen wars, interventions, assassinations, torture, kidnappings, black sites, the growth of the American-European spying program, and the spread of terrorism.

The consequences are so terrible that those running the circus of “Global War on Terror” are no longer able to justify the burial of freedom and democracy, the fierce prosecution of whistleblowers, the militarization of the police, state-sanctioned killings without trial, as well as astronomical expenses, bombing campaigns galore, repeated defeats, disasters, and failed states.

After so many years of blind faith in military-first foreign policy, the bankrupt coalition of regime changers have failed to turn Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen into protectorates. They have failed to extricate themselves from the four major wars of the century.

Thanks to their chest beating jingoism, millions have also become stateless throughout the region. More than 380,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean this year in search of safety in Europe. Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Africans, and many others walk for days and months, sleep rough on station platforms or by the side of the road, are tear-gassed and beaten at overwhelmed borders, and crammed into trains like cattle as they try to make their way north.

The numbers keep on growing, as the “Global Terror on Terror” keeps on spreading. The warmongers have just begun bombing Syria to make it “theirs”. But for those on the edge of Europe struggling with their own troubles, this is wishful thinking.

The useless and costly war has displaced more than 4 million people, most of them to other countries in the region, though noticeably not to Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. A whole society has been destroyed, and the outside world has done very little to stop this happening.

The present refugee crisis in Europe is very much the “blowback” in Syria having a real impact on the continent for the first time. Syrian refugees continue to risk their lives to reach Europe and no amount of barbed wire or steel can stop them. For “please don’t come” Europe the nightmare has only just begun.

Another large refugee problem now looms and is unlikely to leave Europe unaffected. The Saudi-led war on Yemen is getting more destructive, with the potential for putting a large proportion of its 24 million people on the road and the seas. The UN says over 100.000 have already fled abroad.

Human traffickers smell money and soon they will start setting up shops on the Yemen coast. The chaos in Libya makes it a favored launching place for refugees attempting to get to Europe, and a stream of Yemenis are getting prepared to make their way to the Mediterranean coast.

Western politicians and chattering classes in the media might say Yemen is so much farther from Europe. The fact remains that the likelihood of another mass flight has become even greater.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and destructive. The mass flight of people will go on as long as the world buys the fables of 9/11 and the “War on Terror” players show no urgency in trying to end it.

Voir enfin:

Cameron, Hollande and Merkel: Why we support the Iran deal
David Cameron, François Hollande and Angela Merkel

Washington Post

September 10, 2015

David Cameron, François Hollande and Angela Merkel are, respectively, the prime minister of Britain, the president of France and the chancellor of Germany.

The U.S. Congress is voting this week on whether to support the agreement that our countries, along with the United States, Russia and China, reached with Iran to curb its nuclear program. This is an important moment. It is a crucial opportunity at a time of heightened global uncertainty to show what diplomacy can achieve.

Iran’s nuclear program has been a source of concern for more than a decade. Iran claimed that its ambitions were purely civil: All countries have the right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. But as recently as two years ago, we faced an alarming expansion in Iran’s program: a growing stockpile of uranium, some of it enriched up to 20 percent; an increase in the number of centrifuges, including more powerful new-generation machines; a deeply bunkered enrichment facility at Fordow; and the near completion of a research reactor at Arak capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. And, of course, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had limited visibility of some aspects of Iran’s program.

This posed a serious threat — not only to the security of Iran’s neighbors and for Israel, but also to our countries. A nuclear arms race in the Middle East would have added a disastrous new element to an already unstable region.

We had a shared responsibility to deal with this threat. The long history of fruitless nuclear talks with Iran did not give strong grounds for optimism. Nevertheless, two years of tough, detailed negotiation have produced an agreement that closes off all possible routes to an Iranian nuclear weapon in return for phased relief from nuclear-related sanctions.

We fully support this agreement because it achieves the goals we had set ourselves. It deals with the uranium enrichment route to a bomb by requiring Iran to reduce by 98 percent its stockpile of enriched uranium; to lower by two-thirds the number of its centrifuges; to limit uranium enrichment levels; and to stop using the deep Fordow site for enrichment. It closes the plutonium route through changes to the Arak reactor so that it does not produce weapons-grade plutonium. And it ensures the IAEA enhanced access not only to Iran’s nuclear facilities and the entire nuclear fuel cycle but also, where needed, to any undeclared site.

In return, Iran will get phased relief from nuclear-related sanctions — but only as it meets its own commitments in concrete ways, verified by the IAEA. And we have all agreed on provisions for the return of sanctions if Iran were to substantially breach the agreement.

This is not an agreement based on trust or on any assumption about how Iran may look in 10 or 15 years. It is based on detailed, tightly written controls that are verifiable and long-lasting. Iran will have strong incentives not to cheat: The near certainty of getting caught and the consequences that would follow would make this a losing option.

We condemn in no uncertain terms that Iran does not recognize the existence of the state of Israel and the unacceptable language that Iran’s leaders use about Israel. Israel’s security matters are, and will remain, our key interests, too. We would not have reached the nuclear deal with Iran if we did not think that it removed a threat to the region and the non-proliferation regime as a whole.

We did not reach the nuclear deal in the expectation that Iran’s external policy would change any time soon. But it does address the threat from Iran’s nuclear program and may open the way to recognition by Iran that collaboration with its neighbors is better than confrontation: Although we may not have the same interests as Iran, we do face some common challenges, including the threat from ISIL.

We are confident that the agreement provides the foundation for resolving the conflict on Iran’s nuclear program permanently. This is why we now want to embark on the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, once all national procedures are complete.

Voir par ailleurs:

Farewell to the Era of No Fences

Europe’s openness rests on America’s strength. You can’t have one without the other

Bret Stephens

This was supposed to be the Era of No Fences. No walls between blocs. No borders between countries. No barriers to trade. Visa-free tourism. The single market. A global Internet. Frictionless transactions and seamless exchanges.

In short, a flat world. Whatever happened to that?

In the early 1990s, Israel’s then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres published a book called “The New Middle East,” in which he predicted what was soon to be in store for his neighborhood. “Regional common markets reflect the new Zeitgeist,” he gushed. It was only a matter of time before it would become true in his part of the world, too.

I read the book in college, and while it struck me as far-fetched it didn’t seem altogether crazy. The decade from 1989 to 1999 was an age of political, economic, social and technological miracles. The Berlin Wall fell. The Soviet Union dissolved. Apartheid ended. The euro and Nafta were born. The first Internet browser was introduced. Oil dropped below $10 a barrel, the Dow topped 10,000, Times Square became safe again. America won a war in Kosovo without losing a single man in combat.

Would Israeli businessmen soon be selling hummus and pita to quality-conscious consumers in Damascus? Well, why not?

Contrast this promised utopia with the mind-boggling scenes of tens of thousands of Middle East migrants, marching up the roads and railways of Europe, headed for their German promised land. The images seem like a 21st-century version of the Völkerwanderung, the migration of nations in the late Roman and early Medieval periods. Desperate people, needing a place to go, sweeping a broad landscape like an unchanneled flood.

How did this happen? We mistook a holiday from history for the end of it. We built a fenceless world on the wrong set of assumptions about the future. We wanted a new liberal order—one with a lot of liberalism and not a lot of order. We wanted to be a generous civilization without doing the things required to be a prosperous one.

In 2003 the political theorist Robert Kagan wrote a thoughtful book, “Of Paradise and Power,” in which he took stock of the philosophical divide between Americans and Europeans. Americans, he wrote, inhabited the world of Thomas Hobbes, in which “true security and the defense and promotion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might.”

Europeans, by contrast, lived in the world of Immanuel Kant, in which “perpetual peace” was guaranteed by a set of cultural conventions, consensually agreed rules and a belief in the virtues of social solidarity overseen by a redistributive state.

These differences didn’t matter much as long as they were confined to panel discussions at Davos. Then came the presidency of Barack Obama, which has adopted the Kantian view. For seven years, the U.S. and Europe have largely been on the same side—the European side—of most of the big issues, especially in the Mideast: getting out of Iraq, drawing down in Afghanistan, lightly intervening in Libya, staying out of Syria, making up with Iran.

The result is our metastasizing global disorder. It’s only going to get worse. The graciousness that Germans have shown the first wave of refugees is a tribute to the country’s sense of humanity and history. But just as the warm welcome is destined to create an irresistible magnet for future migrants, it is also bound to lead to a backlash among Germans.

This year, some 800,000 newcomers are expected in Germany—about 1% of the country’s population. Berlin wants an EU-wide quota system to divvy up the influx, but once the migrants are in Europe they are free to go wherever the jobs and opportunities may be. Germany (with 4.7% unemployment) is going to be a bigger draw than France (10.4%), to say nothing of Italy (12%) or Spain (22%).

If Germany had robust economic and demographic growth, it could absorb and assimilate the influx. It doesn’t, so it can’t. Growth has averaged 0.31% a year since 1991. The country has the world’s lowest birthrate. Tolerant modern Germany now looks with justified disdain toward the petty nationalism, burden-shifting and fence-building of the populist Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán. But it would be foolish to think of Hungary as a political throwback rather than as a harbinger. There is no such thing as a lesson from the past that people won’t ignore for the sake of the convenience of the present.

Is there a way out? Suddenly, there’s talk in Europe about using military power to establish safe zones in Syria to contain the exodus of refugees. If U.S. administrations decide on adopting Kant, Europe, even Germany, may have no choice but to reacquaint itself with Hobbes by rebuilding its military and using hard power against unraveling neighbors.

Europeans will not easily embrace that option. The alternative is to hasten the return to the era of fences. Openness is a virtue purchased through strength.

Voir de plus:

The Roots of the Migration Crisis
The Syrian refugee disaster is a result of the Middle East’s failure to grapple with modernity and Europe’s failure to defend its ideals
Walter Russell Mead
The Wall Street Journal

Sept. 11, 2015
The migration crisis enveloping Europe and much of the Middle East today is one of the worst humanitarian disasters since the 1940s. Millions of desperate people are on the march: Sunni refugees driven out by the barbarity of the Assad regime in Syria, Christians and Yazidis fleeing the pornographic violence of Islamic State, millions more of all faiths and no faith fleeing poverty and oppression without end. Parents are entrusting their lives and the lives of their young children to rickety boats and unscrupulous criminal syndicates along the Mediterranean coast, professionals and business people are giving up their livelihoods and investments, farmers are abandoning their land, and from North Africa to Syria, the sick and the old are on the road, carrying a few treasured belongings on a new trail of tears.
It is the first migration crisis of the 21st century, but it is unlikely to be the last. The rise of identity politics across the Middle East and much of sub-Saharan Africa is setting off waves of violence like those that tore apart the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. The hatreds and rivalries driving endangered communities to exile and destruction have a long history. They probably have a long future as well.

What we are witnessing today is a crisis of two civilizations: The Middle East and Europe are both facing deep cultural and political problems that they cannot solve. The intersection of their failures and shortcomings has made this crisis much more destructive and dangerous than it needed to be—and carries with it the risk of more instability and more war in a widening spiral.

The crisis in the Middle East has to do with much more than the breakdown of order in Syria and Libya. It runs deeper than the poisonous sectarian and ethnic hatreds behind the series of wars stretching from Pakistan to North Africa. At bottom, we are witnessing the consequences of a civilization’s failure either to overcome or to accommodate the forces of modernity. One hundred years after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and 50 years after the French left Algeria, the Middle East has failed to build economies that allow ordinary people to live with dignity, has failed to build modern political institutions and has failed to carve out the place of honor and respect in world affairs that its peoples seek.

There is no point in rehearsing the multiple failures since Britain’s defeat of the Ottoman Empire liberated the Arabs from hundreds of years of Turkish rule. But it is worth noting that the Arab world has tried a succession of ideologies and forms of government, and that none of them has worked. The liberal nationalism of the early 20th century failed, and so did the socialist nationalism of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and his contemporaries. Authoritarianism failed the Arabs too: Compare what Lee Kwan Yew created in resource-free Singapore with the legacy of the Assads in Syria or of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Today we are watching the failure of Islamism. From the Muslim Brotherhood to Islamic State, Islamist movements have had no more success in curing the ills of Arab civilization than any of the secular movements of the past. Worse, the brutal fanaticism and nihilistic violence of groups like Islamic State undercuts respect for more moderate versions of Islamic spirituality and thought.

The Turks and the Iranians have had more economic and institutional success than the Arabs, but in both Turkey and Iran today, the outlook is bleak. Iran is ruled by a revolutionary alliance of reactionary clerics and hungry thugs, and it is committed to a regional policy of confrontation and sectarian war. Like the Soviet Union, Iran is an uneasy conglomeration of national and cultural groups held together by a radical but increasingly stale ideology. Turkey, too, is cursed by blind Islamist enthusiasm and unresolved ethnic and ideological chasms. Neither country is immune to the violence sweeping the region, and neither country has been able to develop policies that would calm rather than roil their turbulent surroundings.

At the same time, foreign values are challenging traditional beliefs and practices across the region. Women throughout the Islamic world are seeking to shape theological and social ideas to better reflect their own experience. Modern science and historical and textual criticism pose many of the questions for traditional Islamic piety that 19th-century science and biblical criticism posed for Christianity. Young people continue to be exposed to information, narratives and images that are difficult to reconcile with traditions they were raised to take for granted.

As hundreds of thousands of refugees stumble from the chaos of an imploding Arab world toward Europe, and as millions more seek refuge closer to home, we see a crisis of confidence in the very structures of Middle Eastern civilization, including religion. Reports that hundreds of Iranian and other refugees from the Islamic world are seeking Christian baptism in Europe can be seen as one aspect of this crisis. If people feel that the religion they were raised in and the civilization of which they are a part cannot master the problems of daily life, they will seek alternatives.

For other Muslims, this means the embrace of radical fundamentalism. Such fanaticism is a sign of crisis and not of health in religious life, and the very violence of radical Islam today points to the depth of the failure of traditional religious ideas and institutions across the Middle East.

In Europe and the West, the crisis is quieter but no less profound. Europe today often doesn’t seem to know where it is going, what Western civilization is for, or even whether or how it can or should be defended. Increasingly, the contemporary version of Enlightenment liberalism sees itself as fundamentally opposed to the religious, political and economic foundations of Western society. Liberal values such as free expression, individual self-determination and a broad array of human rights have become detached in the minds of many from the institutional and civilizational context that shaped them.

Capitalism, the social engine without which neither Europe nor the U.S. would have the wealth or strength to embrace liberal values with any hope of success, is often seen as a cruel, anti-human system that is leading the world to a Malthusian climate catastrophe. Military strength, without which the liberal states would be overwhelmed, is regarded with suspicion in the U.S. and with abhorrence in much of Europe. Too many people in the West interpret pluralism and tolerance in ways that forbid or unrealistically constrain the active defense of these values against illiberal states like Russia or illiberal movements like radical Islam.

Europe’s approach to the migration crisis brings these failures into sharp relief. The European Union bureaucracy in Brussels has erected a set of legal doctrines stated in terms of absolute right and has tried to build policy on this basis. Taking its cue from the U.N.’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other ambitious declarations and treaties, the EU holds that qualified applicants have an absolute human right to asylum. European bureaucrats tend to see asylum as a legal question, not a political one, and they expect political authorities to implement the legal mandate, not quibble with it or constrain it.

This is, in many ways, a commendable and honorable approach. Europeans are rightly haunted by what happened in the 1930s when refugees from Hitler’s Germany could often find no place to go. But solemn declarations to “do the right thing” do not always lead to sound policy.

Under normal circumstances, the rights-based, legalistic approach can work reasonably well. When refugee flows are slack, the political fallout from accommodating them is manageable. But when the flow of desperate people passes a certain threshold, receiving countries no longer have the will (and, in some cases, the ability) to follow through. Ten thousand refugees is one thing; 10 million is another. Somewhere between those extremes is a breaking point at which the political system will no longer carry out the legal mandate. To pretend that this isn’t true is to invite trouble, and Europe is already much closer to a breaking point than Brussels or Berlin would like to admit.

In eastern and central Europe, the social and economic conditions for absorbing mass migration from the Middle East simply don’t exist. The relatively homogenous ethnic nation states that now comprise the region were created through generations of warfare, often accompanied by episodes of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Most of these states enjoyed a brief period of independence between the two world wars and were then engulfed, first by the Nazis and later by the Soviet empire. Their independence and security still feel fragile, and most of their citizens still believe that the role of the state is to protect the well-being of their own ethnic group and express its cultural values.

Larger, more self-confident and richer societies in Europe’s west and north are better prepared to cope with immigration. But rules that work for Germany and Sweden can produce uncontrollable backlashes in other parts of Europe. Add to this picture the continuing budgetary and welfare crises and the mass youth unemployment in many Eurozone economies, and it is easy to envision a point at which Europe’s capacity to absorb refugees reaches a ceiling.

And the flow of refugees to Europe could easily grow. The Turkish war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party could escalate. Social breakdown or the victory of radical Islamist forces in Egypt could provoke a mass flight of the Copts, the last remaining large Christian population in a region that has seen one Christian community after another exterminated or forced into exile over the last 150 years. The sectarian war in Syria could intensify and spread into Lebanon. The intensifying religious conflict across the Sahel and northern sub-Saharan Africa could create the kind of political and economic insecurity that would produce vast flows of desperate migrants and asylum seekers.

The breaking point may be reached sooner rather than later. In the short term, Europe’s attempts to welcome and resettle refugees will accelerate the flow. The news that rich countries like Germany are welcoming migrants will stimulate many more people to hit the road. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, is calling on member states to accept 160,000 migrants through a quota system. What will be the response when the number of migrants shoots well past that number?

The EU has failed to see that refugee and asylum policy must have three distinct components: the compassionate embrace of those in great need, a tough-minded effort to reduce the flow at the source by correcting or preventing the problems that give rise to it, and an effective border-control regime that limits the number of refugees and migrants who reach EU soil.

When it comes to reducing the number of migrants at their source, the Europeans have gotten it partly right. The EU has been relatively generous with economic-development aid to North Africa and the Middle East. That aid often falls short of the hoped-for results, but at least the Europeans are trying.

There is a second dimension to this policy that runs into a buzz saw of European assumptions and beliefs: the security question. Poverty is one driver of migration to Europe, but what has turned a policy problem into an international crisis is the intersection of poverty and insecurity. It is the brutal war in Syria that has displaced millions of people from their homes and sent them streaming into refugee encampments from Amman to Budapest. It was the breakdown of order in post-intervention Libya that made the Libyan coast a point of embarkation for desperate refugees from Libya and farther south.

The humanitarian question of refugees and asylum seekers cannot be separated from the bankruptcy of Western security policy in Syria and Libya, and the bankruptcy of Western policy cannot be separated from the long-standing difficulties that many European states have in taking a responsible attitude toward questions of military security.

The utter failure of Western policy in both Libya and Syria has to be seen for what it is: not just a political blunder but a humanitarian crime. The feckless mix of intervention and indifference in Libya and the equally feckless failure to intervene in Syria have helped to trigger the flows of migrants that are overwhelming Europe’s institutions.

It is impossible to have a humane and sustainable asylum policy without an active and engaged foreign policy that from time to time involves military action. The West’s current stance on human rights and asylum is reminiscent of the liberal approach to questions of peace and war in the early 1930s. On the one hand, the West adopted a high-minded, legalistic stand that declared war illegal (the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928); on the other, we adhered to a blind commitment to disarmament. A noble ideal was separated from any serious effort to create the conditions that would make it achievable.

The dream of a liberal, humanitarian peace that both the Obama administration and the EU share may not be achievable in the wicked and complicated world in which we live. It certainly cannot be achieved with the kinds of policies now in favor in capitals on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mr. Mead is a professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College, a distinguished scholar in American strategy and statesmanship at the Hudson Institute and editor at large of the American Interest. Follow him on Twitter @wrmead.

Voir enfin:

Les réfugiés premières victimes du fiasco de notre politique d’immigration
Gilles William Goldnadel
Le Figaro
08/09/2015

FIGAROVOX/CHRONIQUE – Pour Gilles-William Goldnadel, l’échec de notre politique d’immigration et d’intégration explique que beaucoup de Français soient opposés à l’accueil de nouvelles populations.

Gilles-William Goldnadel est avocat et écrivain. Toutes les semaines, il décrypte l’actualité pour FigaroVox.

En principe, la gauche interdit formellement de réagir à chaud au plus dramatique des événements. C’est ainsi, qu’elle fustige ordinairement toute tentative de durcir les lois pénales à la défaveur d’un assassinat atroce. Elle hurle immédiatement à «l’instrumentalisation politicienne», au cynisme et au populisme primaire.

Mais la gauche, on le sait, piétine allègrement ses propres principes lorsque cela l’arrange.

Ainsi en a aura- t-il été de l’exploitation politique de la photographie du petit corps inerte et solitaire d’un malheureux petit kurde échoué sur une plage turque et dont la vue soulève le coeur et l’âme d’une pitié infinie.

Mais il y a peut-être pire que la bonne conscience suintante: l’exploitation à mauvais escient de la mauvaise conscience. Conscience: le «sursaut des consciences endormies» en Europe qu’imposerait la mort du petit Aylan. Une majorité de Français s’opposeraient à l’accueil sans frein des migrants venus de Syrie et d’ailleurs. Salauds de Français indifférents. Et pendant qu’on y est, salauds de polonais, de hongrois , de tchèques , de slovaques ,de canadiens et d’australiens.

Vive l’Allemagne! Vive l’Autriche! Mme Merkel, hier encore reine des boches, bourreau du peuple grec, héroïne de la nouvelle Europe antinazie.

Heureusement, des milliers de résistants et de justes se dressent, pour que plus jamais ça!

Les braves gens, qui pleurent sans pudeur sur le sort des Syriens. Pendant des décennies, la presse convenue n’estimait pas convenable de critiquer, sauf à être raciste ou islamophobe, la radicalité arabo – islamique.
Chiche. Et si une fois de plus, ceux qui donnent aujourd’hui, profitant de l’effet de sidération qui interdit la réflexion, une leçon de morale humaine n’étaient pas les premiers responsables en Europe du malheur des migrants et de l’impossibilité de leur apporter toute l’aide souhaitée?

Les braves gens, qui pleurent sans pudeur sur le sort des Syriens. Pendant des décennies, la presse convenue n’estimait pas convenable de critiquer, sauf à être raciste ou islamophobe, la radicalité arabo – islamique. Ni celle du nationalisme alaouite des Assad qui gazaient déjà sans problèmes les malheureux kurdes et qui bombardent à présent les quartiers rebelles à coups de barils de dynamite, ni celle plus récente d’un islamisme dont l’usage du mot même était jusqu’à peu tabou pour cause de préfixe amalgamant.

Depuis le début d’une guerre qui a fait près de 300 000 morts, aucune manifestation d’ampleur n’a été organisée en France en solidarité avec les populations qui souffrent en Syrie.

Le sort du peuple kurde, encore moins son destin national, n’a jamais intéressé qui que ce soit en France. Comment se fait-il qu’alors que des milliers de djihadistes français partent en Syrie, aucun jeune et généreux rebelle progressiste , aucun aventurier du macadam parisien, aucun juste de la 25e heure, n’ait seulement l’idée de former une brigade internationale qui irait combattre les premiers responsables de la mort du petit kurde, aux côtés des forces kurdes à Kobané ou ailleurs?

La réponse est facile: nos donneurs de leçons de morale se moquent comme d’une guigne du sort des Syriens en Syrie. La seule chose qui les intéresse, sans qu’ils s’en rendent compte eux-mêmes, c’est de pouvoir fustiger les Européens en Europe et les Français en France qui osent, les égoïstes, les rabougris, s’inquiéter que leur pays ne devienne dans une décennie une nouvelle Syrie.

Se préoccuper de son pays, de sa sécurité, de sa cohésion, de son identité (et oui, le mot-dit, le mot est dit) du sort de ses enfants, et de la possibilité d’accueil et d’intégration des populations étrangères n’est pas un signe particulier d’indifférence. Il vaut peut-être mieux que les élans du coeur irréfléchis, ou le suivisme conformiste sur fond de parallèle historique hystérique.
Et c’est là aussi, que nos donneurs de leçons feraient bien de méditer les conséquences des leçons que leur bêtise inouïe, leur arrogance insondable nous donnaient au détour des années 80.

Peine perdue, je sais, car leur mémoire sélective, n’enregistre jamais les malheurs qu’ils peuvent faire.

Mais une majorité de Français, s’en souvient, raison pourquoi, et en dépit de tous les matraquages médiatiques et idéologiques, on ne leur fera plus prendre des vessies pour des lanternes, ou l’immigration forcée pour une bénédiction.

Écrivons le nettement: les Français qui manifestent leur opposition à l’accueil sans limite ni réserve de nouvelles populations ne sont certainement pas plus racistes ou égoïstes que ceux, qui de manière extatique, voudraient les accueillir sans compter.

Se préoccuper de son pays, de sa sécurité, de sa cohésion, de son identité (et oui, le mot-dit, le mot est dit) du sort de ses enfants, et de la possibilité d’accueil et d’intégration des populations étrangères n’est pas un signe particulier d’indifférence. Il vaut peut-être mieux que les élans du coeur irréfléchis, ou le suivisme conformiste sur fond de parallèle historique hystérique.

Car les Français ont payé très cher pour apprendre et ne plus croire le discours des apprentis sorciers. Les déclarations extatiques sur l’immigration «chance pour la France» ou sur l’islam, forcément , toujours et encore «religion de paix». La manière dont on moqua les «fantasmes» de bouleversements démographiques pour expliquer un beau matin qu’il était trop tard pour regarder en arrière la France des clochers, puisque la France était devenue «multiculturelle».

Les premiers responsables de l’impossibilité d’accueillir tous ceux qui le mériteraient sont à rechercher chez ceux qui ont fait échouer une immigration bien tempérée et une intégration nécessaire.
Alors oui, les Français ne croient plus dans les paroles verbales de la gauche gauchisante. Ils savent qu’à côté de populations terriblement souffrantes-et à qui ils veulent apporter assistance-se trouvent d’autres populations qui aspirent à profiter d’une Europe aujourd’hui saturée et appauvrie.

Ils savent que tous les réfugiés ne sont pas des résistants anti-islamistes, et que certains même sont des djihadistes envoyés par l’État Islamique, comme ces quatre arrêtés il y a quelques jours à la frontière bulgare, et qui pourront peut-être aussi causer des morts à immortaliser sur papier glacé.

Ils savent-exactement comme les forceurs de clôtures- l’Europe faible, et ses frontières totalement battues en brèche, enfoncées, niées . Ils savent qu’en dépit ou à cause des quotas accordés (qui en eux-mêmes seraient supportables), les déboutés du droit d’asile, piétineront les frontières délibérément violées et outragées.

Ils savent, que les politiciens tétanisés et les fonctionnaires émasculés, n’exécutent plus ou presque les arrêtés d’expulsion qui s’imposent pourtant, précisément pour autoriser, valider et légitimer l’arrivée légale des bénéficiaires du droit au refuge.

Ainsi donc, les premiers responsables de l’impossibilité d’accueillir tous ceux qui le mériteraient sont à rechercher chez ceux qui ont fait échouer une immigration bien tempérée et une intégration nécessaire.

Ils l’ont fait échouer, parce qu’au fond d’eux-mêmes, même s’ils se refusent encore à le reconnaître, ils récusent la notion éculée à leurs yeux de nation, et obscène d’État-nation disposant de frontières, et de sa corollaire légale, le droit existentiel pour un peuple souverain de réguler souverainement les flux migratoires.

Les Français qui ont conscience de voir leurs droits foulées aux pieds, sont -ils sans conscience?

Un dernier mot: l’ONU, à l’efficacité bien connue , voudrait imposer à l’Europe l’accueil de 200 000 migrants. Curieusement, elle ne demande aucun effort aux pays arabes du golfe.

Depuis deux ans, et notamment dans ces colonnes, je m’épuise régulièrement, mais bien seul, a demander pour quelles raisons ces pays désertiques et richissimes n’accueillent pas chez eux des populations souffrantes avec lesquels les unissent des liens ethniques, linguistiques, religieux et culturels fraternels. Ils devraient être à d’autant plus enclins à le faire, que leur responsabilité dans la montée de l’islamisme est certainement plus grande que tout ce que les esprits les plus torturés en Europe pourraient reprocher aux occidentaux.

« Je veux que les gouvernements arabes, pas les pays européens, voient ce qui est arrivé à mes enfants et, en leur nom, qu’ils apportent leur aide »

Le père du petit Aylan Kurdi
Mais les malheureux réfugiés ne songent pas un seul instant à frais à frapper à une porte qu’ils savent de bois massif.

On ne voit d’ailleurs pas pourquoi royaumes et émirats se feraient violence, puisque les Européens eux-mêmes préfèrent se fustiger plutôt que de les inviter à l’hospitalité.

Et ceux qui ici osent en France le faire remarquer sont durement rappelés à l’ordre et aux convenances.

C’est ainsi qu’un prénommé Bruno-Roger, que je ne nommerai pas, petit journaliste mais grand dresseur de listes, m’a maudit sur un site, précisément parce que j’avais commis, à la télévision, ce crime de lèse-majesté envers ces potentats manquant d’humanité.

Me traitant d’«avocat réactionnaire» (sans doute pour me plaire) et même de «droitard»… Rien à faire, ce garçon écrit comme un gauchon.

Sur le fond, je me contenterai de citer quelqu’un que j’estime plus qualifié que lui. Le père du petit Aylan Kurdi: «je veux que les gouvernements arabes, pas les pays européens, voient ce qui est arrivé à mes enfants et, en leur nom, qu’ils apportent leur aide» (TF1, reportage de Laurent Hauben le 4 septembre 20h , le Figaro le 5 septembre page5)

Ce vœu d’un père éploré, devant la tombe de son petit , n’accablant pas les seuls occidentaux, n’était sans doute pas suffisamment pieux pour intéresser le reste de cette presse bien-pensante et consciencieuse qui ne pratique que la religion de mortifier les consciences européennes.


Accord nucléaire iranien: Si rien ne marche, envoyez les anciens du mossad (When all else fails, roll out the Israeli ex-security chiefs)

10 septembre, 2015

Ce qui se passe en Alaska nous touche tous. C’est un signal d’alarme. Et tant que je serai président, l’Amérique jouera un rôle central pour répondre à la menace du changement climatique avant qu’il ne soit trop tard. (…) C’est un défi qui définira les contours de ce siècle de manière plus spectaculaire que tout autre (…) Ce n’est plus l’heure de plaider l’ignorance. Ceux qui veulent ignorer la science sont de plus en plus seuls, ils sont sur une île qui est en train de disparaître. Barack Hussein Obama
I’m here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate threat to our national security. It will impact how our military defends our country. We need to act and we need to act now. Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security. It undermines the readiness of our forces. I know there are some folks back in Washington who refuse to admit that climate change is real. Politicians who say they care about military readiness need to care about this as well. I understand climate change did not cause the conflicts we see around the world, yet what we also know is that severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group Boko Haram. It’s now believed that drought and crop failures and high food prices helped fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended into civil war in the heart of the Middle East. Barack Hussein Obama
The extremism that we see, the radical exploitation of religion which is translated into violence, has no basis in any of the real religions. There’s nothing Islamic about what ISIL/Daesh stands for, or is doing to people. (…) We’re living at a point in time where there are just more young people demanding what they see the rest of the world having than at any time in modern history. (…) And that brings us to something like climate change, which is profoundly having an impact in various parts of the world, where droughts are occurring not at a 100-year level but at a 500-year level in places that they haven’t occurred, floods of massive proportions, diminishment of water for crops and agriculture at a time where we need to be talking about sustainable food. (…) In many places we see the desert increasingly creeping into East Africa. We’re seeing herders and farmers pushed into deadly conflict as a result. We’re seeing the Himalayan glaciers receding, which will affect the water that is critical to rice and to other agriculture on both sides of the Himalayas. These are our challenges. (…) As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL coalition, the truth is we – there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt – and I see a lot of heads nodding – they had to respond to. And people need to understand the connection of that. It has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity … John Kerry
L’Irak (…) pourrait être l’un des grands succès de cette administration. Joe Biden (10.02.10)
We think a successful, democratic Iraq can be a model for the entire region. Obama (2011)
What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision. Barack Hussein Obama (2014)
It also reminds us of the tragedy of Obama’s diplomacy, that he really did have something to contribute to U.S. foreign policy and really intended to contribute it but botched it through a peculiar, Carteresque feckless arrogance. When he took office the U.S. was overextended abroad, militarily and in the American public’s willingness to expend blood and treasure trying to bail ungrateful foreigners out of self-inflicted messes. Like many voters, Obama believed a prudent reduction in commitments and ambitions would be healthy for his nation and the world. Humility is good in one’s personal life and has its place in diplomacy. For America to elect a black president willing to be frank about the nation’s shortcomings was a powerful vindication of an open society’s capacity for honest, constructive self-examination. But inability to tell humility from feebleness not only created short-term danger for America and the world, it risks discrediting the option he so passionately championed. In his remarkable Special Providence, Walter Russell Mead identifies four principal schools in American foreign policy. “Hamiltonians” concerned about world order and “Wilsonians” crusading to impose American ideals abroad are the two familiar ones, generally described as “realists” or “idealists” (and prone to squabble over whether idealism is realistic in the long run or vice versa). But Mead adds two others of enormous and often overlooked importance. One is “Jacksonians, »often ignorant and scornful of foreigners but robust supporters of American sovereignty and decisive action when their country is challenged or insulted. And while it might seem petty to resent insults, in foreign policy in particular willingness to tolerate serious insults signals weakness that invites challenges, to such an extent that insults themselves become challenges. Their tendency to swing between scorning the world and kicking its equator imparts a certain volatility to America’s foreign relations. But Jacksonians also give it great supple strength, because they support vigorous action without tolerating hyperactivity. That brings me to the final school, smallest and least influential but still significant and useful, Mead’s “Jeffersonians.” These are idealists, like the Wilsonians. But instead of seeking to impose America’s special virtues on the world, they fear constant engagement in ugly foreign entanglements will tarnish American ideals and undermine domestic liberty. They are present in both parties, on the Democratic “left” and among Republican libertarians. And Mead argues they are another underappreciated source of supple American strength because when the U.S. gets overextended, as under the Wilsonian George W. Bush, they stand ready with an analysis and prescription for retrenchment. Obama is a “Jeffersonian,” despite his drone strikes and excessive surveillance at home and abroad. But, like Carter before him, he seems to have abdicated rather than reduced America’s positive role abroad and, indeed, to doubt it can play one. Mistaking the resulting upheaval for “tranquility” tarnishes not just his presidency but the whole notion of prudent, cautious global engagement. There lies the tragedy of his diplomacy. John Robson
The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached from the world’s convulsions. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising and photo ops, it’s for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced public statement.  Regarding Ukraine, his detachment — the rote, impassive voice — borders on dissociation. His U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, delivers an impassioned denunciation of Russia. Obama cautions that we not “get out ahead of the facts,” as if the facts of this case — Vladimir Putin’s proxies shooting down a civilian airliner — are in doubt. (…) Obama’s passivity stems from an idea. When Obama says Putin has placed himself on the wrong side of history in Ukraine, he actually believes it. He disdains realpolitik because he believes that, in the end, such primitive 19th-century notions as conquest are self-defeating. History sees to their defeat. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” said Obama in June 2009 (and many times since) regarding the Green Revolution in Iran. Ultimately, injustice and aggression don’t pay. The Soviets saw their 20th-century empire dissolve. More proximally, U.S. gains in Iraq and Afghanistan were, in time, liquidated. Ozymandias lies forever buried and forgotten in desert sands. Remember when, at the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, Obama tried to construct for Putin “an offramp” from Crimea? Absurd as this idea was, I think Obama was sincere. He actually imagined that he’d be saving Putin from himself, that Crimea could only redound against Russia in the long run. If you really believe this, then there is no need for forceful, potentially risky U.S. counteractions. Which explains everything since: Obama’s pinprick sanctions; his failure to rally a craven Europe; his refusal to supply Ukraine with the weapons it has been begging for. A real U.S. president would give Kiev the weapons it needs, impose devastating sectoral sanctions on Moscow, reinstate our Central European missile-defense system and make a Reaganesque speech explaining why. Obama has done none of these things. Why should he? He’s on the right side of history. Of course, in the long run nothing lasts. But history is lived in the here and now. The Soviets had only 70 years, Hitler a mere 12. Yet it was enough to murder millions and rain ruin on entire continents. Bashar al-Assad, too, will one day go. But not before having killed at least 100,000 people. All domination must end. But after how much devastation? And if you leave it to the forces of history to repel aggression and redeem injustice, what’s the point of politics, of leadership, in the first place? The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green. The arc of history may indeed bend toward justice, Mr. President. But, as you say, the arc is long. The job of a leader is to shorten it, to intervene on behalf of “the fierce urgency of now.” Otherwise, why do we need a president? And why did you seek to become ours? Charles Krauthammer
De l’Irak à l’Ukraine, de la Syrie à la Libye et à l’Afghanistan en passant par Gaza, les conflits sanglants se multiplient. «Le monde est devenu un foutoir», s’est même exclamée Madeleine Albright, ancienne secrétaire d’Etat de Bill Clinton qui utilise d’habitude un langage plus châtié. Cela n’a pas de sens de faire porter toute la responsabilité de ce «foutoir» à Barack Obama et à la diplomatie américaine. Pourtant, dans chacun des points chauds du globe –Irak, Ukraine, Syrie, Libye, Afghanistan et Gaza–, la Maison Blanche a commis de grossières erreurs: en se désengageant trop vite, en ne mesurant pas suffisamment les enjeux et les risques, en menaçant sans jamais agir et en étant incapable de se donner une stratégie. Barack Obama et les Etats-Unis sont ainsi devenus aujourd’hui presque transparents sur la scène internationale, incapables de forcer un cessez-le-feu à Gaza, de faire condamner la Russie de Vladimir Poutine après la destruction en vol d’un avion civil au-dessus de l’est de l’Ukraine ou d’empêcher l’effondrement de l’Irak, de l’Afghanistan, de la Syrie et de la Libye. La diplomatie américaine a perdu au fil des mois sa crédibilité et son autorité.Il faut dire que la politique étrangère américaine cumule les désastres. (…)  Le retrait de l’ensemble des troupes américaines d’Irak a débouché sur la partition de fait du pays. Sans les 15.000 soldats américains, que les généraux voulaient maintenir sur place, les Etats-Unis n’ont eu aucun moyen de soutenir l’armée irakienne et de l’empêcher de s’effondrer face aux djihadistes. La Maison Blanche a beau se justifier en expliquant que c’était sur l’insistance du Premier ministre irakien Nouri al-Maliki, c’était surtout Barack Obama qui ne voulait plus un seul soldat américain sur le sol irakien. L’erreur a encore été plus grande en Syrie. Obama a d’abord refusé de soutenir les rebelles modérés et prédisait alors la chute de Bachar el-Assad. Quand ce dernier a gazé à mort 1.400 civils, franchissant la ligne rouge fixée par Barack Obama, ce dernier a demandé l’autorisation au Congrès d’apporter une réponse militaire… et s’en est remis à Vladimir Poutine pour obtenir du dictateur syrien qu’il renonce à son arsenal chimique. Bachar el-Assad n’est pas tombé. Les rebelles démocrates ont été balayés. Le nombre de morts dépasse les 200.000 et les djihadistes qui mènent la lutte contre le dictateur ont les mêmes méthodes sanguinaires que lui. Il y a eu aussi l’épisode libyen. Sollicité par la France et le Royaume-Uni, Barack Obama a participé à l’intervention aérienne pour renverser Mouammar Khadafi. Mais il a refusé de soutenir le nouveau gouvernement libyen et d’entraîner son armée. En conséquence de quoi, la Libye sombre dans le chaos. La réponse américaine aux printemps arabes a été désastreuse. Quand des citoyens ordinaires sont descendus dans les rues pour réclamer la démocratie, les occidentaux, à commencer par les Etats-Unis, leur ont tourné le dos. «La réponse aurait dû être du même type que le plan Marshall après la Seconde Guerre mondiale…», explique Fred Hiatt toujours dans le Washington Post. Personne ne peut savoir si les Etats-Unis avaient eu un «grand» Président, si les occidentaux auraient pu soutenir activement les démocrates arabes, auraient pu empêcher l’Irak de s’effondrer, Bachar el-Assad de garder le pouvoir et auraient fait reculer Vladimir Poutine. Mais en manifestant une telle incompétence, indécision et même indifférence face aux affaires du monde, Barack Obama l’a indéniablement rendu bien plus dangereux au cours des cinq dernières années. Eric Leser
This may be the most surprising of President Obama’s foreign-policy legacies: not just that he presided over a humanitarian and cultural disaster of epochal proportions, but that he soothed the American people into feeling no responsibility for the tragedy. Starvation in Biafra a generation ago sparked a movement. Synagogues and churches a decade ago mobilized to relieve misery in Darfur. When the Taliban in 2001 destroyed ancient statues of Buddha at Bamiyan, the world was appalled at the lost heritage. Today the Islamic State is blowing up precious cultural monuments in Palmyra, and half of all Syrians have been displaced — as if, on a proportional basis, 160 million Americans had been made homeless. More than a quarter-million have been killed. Yet the “Save Darfur” signs have not given way to “Save Syria.” One reason is that Obama — who ran for president on the promise of restoring the United States’ moral stature — has constantly reassured Americans that doing nothing is the smart and moral policy. He has argued, at times, that there was nothing the United States could do, belittling the Syrian opposition as “former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth.” He has argued that we would only make things worse — “I am more mindful probably than most,” he told the New Republic in 2013, “of not only our incredible strengths and capabilities, but also our limitations.” He has implied that because we can’t solve every problem, maybe we shouldn’t solve any. “How do I weigh tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo?” he asked (though at the time thousands were not being killed in Congo). (…) Perversely, the worse Syria became, the more justified the president seemed for staying aloof; steps that might have helped in 2012 seemed ineffectual by 2013, and actions that could have saved lives in 2013 would not have been up to the challenge presented by 2014. The fact that the woman who wrote the book on genocide, Samantha Power, and the woman who campaigned to bomb Sudan to save the people of Darfur, Susan Rice, could apparently in good conscience stay on as U.N. ambassador and national security adviser, respectively, lent further moral credibility to U.S. abdication. Most critically, inaction was sold not as a necessary evil but as a notable achievement: The United States at last was leading with the head, not the heart, and with modesty, not arrogance. “ (…) When Obama pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq, critics worried there would be instability; none envisioned the emergence of a full-blown terrorist state. When he announced in August 2011 that “the time has come for President Assad to step aside,” critics worried the words might prove empty — but few imagined the extent of the catastrophe: not just the savagery of chemical weapons and “barrel bombs,” but also the Islamic State’s recruitment of thousands of foreign fighters, its spread from Libya to Afghanistan, the danger to the U.S. homeland that has alarmed U.S. intelligence officials, the refugees destabilizing Europe. Fred Hiatt
That’s always been this President’s problem: his complete inability to deal with the world at hand, as it exists right in front of his face. When the world forces Barack Obama off his script, he simply retreats to a golf course, ESPN, or most recently the remote wilds of Alaska. Nowhere was this more evident than when his habit of diplomatic detachment inconveniently washed up on the shores of the Greek island of Kos last week when a boat carrying Syrian refugees capsized. While President Jor-El embarked on a magical mystery end-of-summer climate cruise to call attention to Alaskan glacier-melt in summer, the world was suddenly captivated by the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi lying face down in front of rescue workers.It’s fitting in a way: it is the photograph of a young boy washed up on a Turkish beach that encapsulates the consequences of what happens when a coddled President, content to do as little as possible before turning over a world spinning off its axis to his successor, is allowed to distract himself with selfies in Alaska. As thousands sought asylum in Germany, Austria, Denmark and elsewhere, the leader of the free world sought it in the most remote part of the country for another stop on his ongoing Retirepallooza Tour of Meaningless Firsts. While Obama was posing for glorious-leader-make-wonderful-country photos in front of mountains, John Kerry, in one of many ongoing reminders of just how right this country got it in 2004, used the occasion not to address this very real catastrophe splashed all over social media and newspapers, but to hedge it against an imaginary possible future migrant crisis due to global warming. Addressing the world as it exists now means confronting more photos of his dinner-date with Bashar al-Assad (“a real reformer” – Hillary Clinton, 2011) and excusing away the faulty campaign promises of a President content to give Iraq up to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It wasn’t climate change that caused refugees, including Aylan Kurdi and several others, to wash up on a Turkish beach. The message is clear — Obama and his State Department are not going to be shaken off their climate paranoia narrative. When Obama vehemently denied he ever called for a red line of action in Syria, he blamed “The world” and he’s content to let “the world” handle it now in any attempt to repudiate any further responsibility. What do 300,000 refugees and the whole of Europe matter when there is a glacier in the Arctic that needs staring at. As Obama occupies himself with uncertain visions of the how the world will be in the distant future, he ignores it as it exists in the present day at our peril for the conflicts we face now. There will be a price to pay for this and it has nothing to do with sea levels rising 75 years from now. ISIS (that is, Obama’s JV Squad) is threatening to use the crisis of thousands of faceless and unnamed refugees as a gateway to European and western countries. There are very real security questions about who many of these refugees are as well as their intentions for fleeing. According to reports in the Daily Mail & others there has been for some time. Barack Obama maintains that the United States cannot intervene in every crisis in every part of the world and has the record of complete disengagement to prove he means it. But this is a conflict that has a very real chance of infiltrating our cities. This is a part of the world that, no matter how much we pull away from it, will one way or another find a way to pull us back in.(..) Our media collectively demands accountability for these conflicts from every single person…except the one person who has any real power to stop or mitigate it. This has always been the anecdote in Obama’s foreign policy: 1) show up 2) demand the world follow him 3) world leaders balk at his demands 4) he shrugs his shoulders and goes and plays with his selfie stick somewhere. If Obama really feels like going “all-out,” sometimes there will be an additional step 5 involving Twitter pictures of the State Department’s junior-hipster mall brigade flashing grins, thumbs-up, and razor-edged hashtags (fashioned by America’s sharpest military scientists working in the depths of DARPA to help win The Bloody War Of Memes). (…) The media demands we not ignore those fleeing from radical Islamic tyranny,  yet refuses to hold this administration accountable for turning its eyes away from comments made by the mullahs of Iran, so desperate are they to write a narrative about how an unenforceable deal would, in the cosmically perfect words of Rep. Patrick Murphy, “bring peace in our time.”  Americans have been abandoned overseas in Iran, their captivity used as a leverage against a reluctant U.S. Congress. The fight for democracy and the fight to redeem captive Americans or defend refugees in Syria and Iraq isn’t as easy as (in the words of the AP) staring down a melting glacier. The name of Scott Darden, currently being held captive by Houthi rebels in Yemen, takes a backseat to the name of a mountain in Alaska. The beautiful narrative of Obama’s presidency is so much more interesting, and so much easier to romanticize, than the world he’s going to leave behind. (…) And the results of that indifference have just washed up on shore. Steven Miller
When Steven Cohen, a professor at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, conducted a poll of American Jews, including those who, like myself, are not religious, he found that an astounding 63% approved of the nuclear deal, a figure impressively higher right now than American opinion on the subject generally. In other words, with the single exception of J Street, all the major Jewish organizations that are lobbying against the deal and claiming to represent American Jews and Jewish opinion don’t.  (…) But what about Israel, where support among key figures for deep-sixing the nuclear deal is self-evident? Again, just one small problem: almost any major Israeli figure with a military or intelligence background who is retired or out of government and can speak freely on the matter seems to have come out in favor of the agreement. (The same can be said, by the way, for similar figures in this country, as well as Gary Samore, a former Obama administration White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction and until recently head of United Against Nuclear Iran, a Sheldon Adelson-funded group whose job is to knee-cap such an agreement. He stepped down from that post recently to support the nuclear deal.) In Israel, a list as long as your arm of retired intelligence chiefs, generals and admirals, officials of all sorts, even nuclear scientists, have publicly stepped forward to support the agreement, written an open letter to Netanyahu on the subject, and otherwise spoken out, including one ex-head of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, appointed to his position by none other than Netanyahu. In other words, the well-financed fast and furious campaign here against the nuclear deal (which has left just about every Republican senator, representative, and presidential candidate in full froth) and the near hysteria churned up on the subject has created a reality that bears remarkably little relationship to actual reality. David Bromwich
There’s a deep crack emerging in the veneer of wall-to-wall support offered by Israel’s political leadership to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his war against the Iran nuclear agreement. The crack has a name you might recognize: the Israeli security establishment. (…) As unanimous as the politicians are in backing the prime minister, the generals and spymasters are nearly as unanimous in questioning him. Generals publicly backing Netanyahu can be counted on — well — one finger. Many of the security insiders say the deal signed in Vienna on July 14 isn’t as bad as Netanyahu claims. Some call it good for Israel. Others say it’s bad, but it’s a done deal and Israel should make the best of it. Either way, they agree that Israel should work with the Obama administration to plot implementation, rather than mobilize Congress against the White House. All agree that undermining Israel’s alliance with America is a far greater existential threat than anything Iran does.(…)  They include a former chief of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin , who now heads Israel’s main defense think tank; a former chief of arms technology, Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael , who now chairs both The Israel Space Agency and the science ministry’s research and development council; a former chief of military operations, Israel Ziv ; a near-legendary architect of Israeli military intelligence, Dov Tamari ; a former director of the Shin Bet domestic security service, Ami Ayalon , and a former director of the Mossad intelligence agency, Efraim Halevy . And there are others. The list would be longer if we included security figures who spoke in favor of the Lausanne framework agreement in April, which was the basis for this deal, but haven’t addressed the new agreement. And we’re not including anyone who retired with a rank below brigadier general. We’re just discussing the architects of Israeli defense. The roster should also include a onetime chief of military intelligence, Israel Defense Forces chief of staff and prime minister named Ehud Barak. (…) Barak called the nuclear deal a “bad deal” that legitimizes Iran as a nuclear threshold state. He predicted that Iran would have a nuclear weapon within a decade. But, he said, Israel “can live with whatever happens there. We are the strongest state in the Middle East, militarily, strategically, economically — and diplomatically, if we’re not foolish.” Again contradicting Netanyahu, Barak said: “The most important thing we need to do right now is restore working relations with the White House. That’s the only place where we can formulate what constitutes a violation, what’s a smoking gun and how to respond.” (…)  That’s the generals’ central theme: Don’t panic. “We need to be calm,” said Yadlin, the former military intelligence chief, in a Ynet online interview . “The agreement isn’t good, but Israel can deal with it.” Instead of “blowing off steam,” he said, Israel should be talking with the United States to prepare responses to violations. By contrast, Ben-Yisrael, who has twice won the Israel Prize for contributions to Israel’s weapons technology, told Walla! News that the Vienna agreement is “not bad at all, perhaps even good for Israel.” True, Iran still calls for Israel’s destruction. But, he said, from the nuclear perspective — which is what the negotiations were about — “it prevents a nuclear bomb for 15 years, which is not bad at all.” Halevy, the former Mossad director, elaborated on Ben-Yisrael’s point in a scathing Ynet op-ed. From the start, Israel “maintained that the Iranian threat is a unique, existential threat.” It wanted the international community to address the threat, and it did. “That was the only goal of the biting sanctions against Iran,” he wrote. Now, he stated, the government tries “to change the rules of the game and include additional demands from Iran in the agreement, like recognizing Israel and halting support for terror.” By threatening to block an agreement that addresses Israel’s “existential-cardinal” goal because it doesn’t address other, nonexistential issues, Halevy wrote, Netanyahu raises the suspicion that he doesn’t want a deal at all. (…) Last January, the Mossad’s director, Tamir Pardo, told a group of senators that imposing new sanctions on Iran, something Netanyahu favored, would undermine the nuclear talks. J.J. Goldberg
Are the quoted members of this community all experts on the Iranian nuclear negotiations, or on nuclear issues more generally speaking? The answer is no. Some are and some are not. And are there not other comparable figures making a very different case, indeed strongly arguing against the Iran deal? Of course there are. And finally, are ex-security establishment figures as a group necessarily the most authoritative voices on this particular topic in the Israeli domestic debate? Again, the answer is no. There are Iran experts, nuclear experts, and Iran nuclear experts, who have been following every detail for years – these individuals have vastly more relevant credentials to discuss the ins and outs and implications of the Iran deal than the ex-head of the Shin Bet. (…) Some of the figures – those that are authoritative – have been quoted as opposing the government’s position on the deal when they are actually trying to convey a more nuanced message than the one being framed by the media. Their message seems tailored primarily for internal consumption – to say to the Israeli public: yes, this deal is bad, but it is not a disaster. We are strong and will be able to deal with the adverse implications. Moreover, they say, Israel’s strategic ties with the US are of paramount importance and cannot be jeopardized by trying to influence an internal American debate. These arguments are quite valid, but they are not arguments in favor of the deal. They are arguments saying that we in Israel have no choice but to try to make the best of a bad situation over which we have no direct control. Some say that they favor the deal because it keeps Iran from nuclear weapons for 10 or 15 years. But does it? That’s exactly the essence of the very serious debate going on these days in Congress! The holes in the deal make that statement precarious at best. Moreover, what happens after 15 years? Unfortunately, Israeli ex-security establishment figures are no less prone than some Americans to focusing on short-term rather than long-term solutions. The current deal was always meant to be comprehensive and final, and yet it is nothing of the sort. This is an issue with serious ramifications for global security down the line, and a simplistic “well we’ve delayed the disaster…maybe”, especially when dealing with nuclear capabilities, is the height of recklessness.(…) what is at stake is not whether and how Israel makes the best of a bad situation, but rather the merits of the deal – most importantly, whether it will stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. (…) Unfortunately, the US administration is trying to advance two messages simultaneously: that this is a good deal, and that it is better than the alternative. But it is either one or the other. If it is a good deal, focus on that. And if the debate is actually over alternatives, then explain why the administration has, from the start, cut off any discussion of alternatives by placing all critics who suggested them (regardless of where they live) in the impossible situation of not being allowed to say anything before the deal is revealed, nor after. But of course, it is with regard to the question of alternatives that the Israeli voices now being quoted are most useful to proponents of the deal. Israel Ziv, one of the retired generals mentioned in the Forward, demonstrates how that works when he argues that the deal is better than the alternatives, like a military strike. But he also notes that “there is no one in Israel who thinks the nuclear agreement is a good agreement,” even if he thinks that that should not be the focus of discussion. Go figure. The recent attempt to say to Americans that they should listen to one set of Israelis rather than another is one more attempt to divert attention from what should be the only focus of attention in the current debate over the nuclear deal: the serious flaws in this deal that will legitimize Iran’s dangerous nuclear threshold status, and that could ultimately pave the way to Iran becoming a nuclear state. That scenario would be irreversible, and the Iranians know it. And when looking at this through Iranian eyes, 15 years is no time at all. Emily Landau
J.J. Goldberg at the Forward has been running a campaign to persuade Americans that Israel’s intelligence community is at odds with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran deal. Not only the preponderance of retired professionals but also currently serving ones, dissent from Netanyahu’s read of the deal. Netanyahu can’t silence the former, but he’s given a “gag order” to the latter — to no avail. Military intelligence has even produced a “surprising,” “game-changing” assessment that undermines him completely, according to which the “upsides [of the deal] aren’t perfect,” but “the downsides aren’t unmanageable… The disadvantages are not too calamitous for anyone to cope with them.” Military intelligence sees “an imperfect but real opening in Iran. It believes that opportunities are being lost.” Netanyahu’s own “diagnosis doesn’t match his own intelligence.” It’s all polemical and politicized nonsense. A real expert, Emily Landau (at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv) (…) points out that Iranian politics and nuclear issues are well beyond the expertise of most of them. (…). And most of those who think that Israel should back off a fight over the deal still think it’s a bad one. They just argue that it’s inevitable anyway, so why provoke Barack Obama? This isn’t support for the deal, it’s resigned acquiescence. (…)  Yes, the intelligence assessment is that Iran won’t be able to build a bomb under the terms of the agreement. (That is, if Iran doesn’t cheat—the assessment says the mechanisms for inspection are flawed.) Iran might even show short-term restraint over support for terror, to consolidate its gains from sanctions relief. But the estimate also holds that when the agreement expires, Iran will be only weeks away from a nuclear breakout. In the meantime, Iran gains undeserved legitimacy from the deal, which provokes Arab states to stock up on conventional weapons and accelerate their own nuclear programs. Some of these programs could be militarized over time. The bottom line of the assessment, as reported in the press, is that the risks of the deal outweigh the opportunities. (This formula appears in more than one press report. Goldberg omits it.) (…)  Debates in Israel’s intel community not only occur; they’re encouraged (there’s even an officer in military intelligence who’s a designated “devil’s advocate”). Likewise, it’s vital for Israeli planners to think about the day after a done deal on Iran, and how Israel can make the most of it. But that’s all it is. Goldberg’s latest job is a conspiracy theory for the gullible. You don’t have to be an intel officer to know that it’s a red herring. Martin Kremer

C’est le réchauffement climatique, imbécile !

A l’heure où après le fiasco irakien et syrien et à présent, entre faux passeports et fausses conversions, le chaos des réfugiés en Europe …

Se font chaque jour un peu plus sentir les conséquences catastrophiques de l’inaction d’un Chef du Monde libre …

Trop occupé, obsédé qu’il est par le changement à tout prix et sa place dans l’Histoire et protégé (jusqu’à invoquer le réchauffement climatique !) par une presse aux ordres, à se faire des selfies en Alaska ou à débaptiser des montagnes …

 Devinez qui l’Administration Obama est allée chercher pour faire passer un accord nucléaire iranien qui se révèle lui aussi chaque jour un peu plus catastrophique ?

Roll out the ex-security chiefs

Emily Landau
The Times of Israel
August 3, 2015

Imperialisme musulman: Attention, un colonialisme peut en cacher un autre (No imperialism or colonialism, please, we’re Muslims !)

6 août, 2015

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L’invasion du Timor oriental commence le 7 décembre 1975 lorsque les forces armées indonésiennes envahissent ce pays nouvellement indépendant en prenant le prétexte de la lutte contre le colonialisme. Le renversement de l’éphémère mais populaire gouvernement dirigé par le Fretilin marque le point de départ d’une occupation violente de vingt-cinq années au cours de laquelle entre 60 000 et 100 000 soldats et civils est-timorais trouvent la mort. Au cours des premières années de la guerre, les militaires indonésiens font face à une forte résistance insurrectionnelle dans la région montagneuse de l’intérieur de l’île. Toutefois, à partir de 1977-1978, les militaires obtiennent de nouvelles armes plus modernes de la part des États-Unis, de l’Australie et d’autres États qui leur permettent de détruire le cadre du Freitilin. Malgré cette supériorité, les deux dernières décennies du XXe siècle sont le théâtre de combats continuels entre Indonésiens et Est-timorais autour du statut du Timor oriental jusqu’en 1999. À cette date, les Est-timorais votent pour l’indépendance lors d’un référendum organisé par les Nations unies. (…) Les facteurs politiques internes à l’Indonésie du milieu des années 1970 n’étaient cependant pas propices à de tels sentiments expansionnistes. Le scandale financier de 1974-1975 entourant la compagnie pétrolière Pertamina obligeait l’Indonésie à faire preuve de prudence pour ne pas alarmer les donneurs et les banquiers étrangers. Schwarz suggère que cette crainte a dû jouer dans la réticence du Président-Dictateur Suharto à suivre le désir des généraux d’envahir le Timor Oriental au début de l’année 1975. De telles considérations ont cependant été occultées par la crainte des Indonésiens et des Occidentaux de voir la victoire de l’aile gauche du Fretilin mener à la création d’un état communiste à la frontière de l’Indonésie. Celui-ci aurait pu être utilisé comme base par des puissances hostiles à l’Indonésie et constituer une menace pour les sous-marins de l’Ouest. On craignait également que l’exemple d’un Timor oriental indépendant ne suscite des sentiments sécessionnistes dans d’autres provinces indonésiennes. Toutes ces préoccupations ont été utilisées avec succès pour obtenir le soutien des pays occidentaux soucieux de maintenir de bonnes relations avec l’Indonésie, en particulier les États-Unis qui, à cette époque, achevaient leur douloureux retrait d’Indochine. (…) Au début de l’année 1977, la marine indonésienne commande des patrouilleurs lance-missile aux États-Unis, à l’Australie, aux Pays-Bas, à l’Afrique du Sud et à Taïwan ainsi que des sous-marins à l’Allemagne. En février 1977, l’Indonésie reçoit 13 avions North American OV-10 Bronco de la compagnie Rockwell International avec l’aide officielle du gouvernement américain. Le Bronco est un appareil idéal dans le cadre de l’invasion du Timor oriental car il est spécifiquement conçu pour la lutte contre les mouvements insurrectionnels en terrain difficile19. Au début de l’année 1977, au moins six des 13 Broncos opèrent au Timor oriental, aidant l’armée indonésienne à localiser les positions du Fretilin. Outre ce nouvel armement, 10 000 hommes supplémentaires sont envoyés au Timor dans le cadre du lancement d’une nouvelle opération connue sous le nom de « solution finale ». Wikipedia
Whether it was the Romans in Gaul, the Arabs throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Asia, the Huns in Eastern Europe, the Mongols in China, the Turks in the Middle East and the Balkans, the Bantu in southern Africa, the Khmer in East Asia, the Aztecs in Mexico, the Iroquois in the Northeast, or the Sioux throughout the Great Plains, human history has been stained by man’s continual use of brutal violence to acquire land and resources and destroy or replace those possessing them. Scholars may find subtle nuances of evil in the European version of this ubiquitous aggression, but for the victims such fine discriminations are irrelevant. (…) Yet this ideologically loaded and historically challenged use of words like “colonial” and “colonialist” remains rife in analyses of the century-long disorder in the Middle East. Both Islamists and Arab nationalists, with sympathy from the Western left, have blamed the European “colonialists” for the lack of development, political thuggery, and endemic violence whose roots lie mainly in tribal culture, illiberal shari’a law, and sectarian conflicts … Bill Thornton
[La vie intellectuelle française] a quelque chose d’étrange. Au Collège de France, j’ai participé à un colloque savant sur  » Rationalité, vérité et démocratie « . Discuter ces concepts me semble parfaitement incongru. A la Mutualité, on m’a posé la question suivante :  » Bertrand Russell nous dit qu’il faut se concentrer sur les faits, mais les philosophes nous disent que les faits n’existent pas. Comment faire ?  » Une question de ce type laisse peu de place à un débat sérieux car, à un tel niveau d’abstraction, il n’y a rien à ajouter. (…) Comme observateur lointain, je formulerai une hypothèse. Après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, la France est passée de l’avant-garde à l’arrière-cour et elle est devenue une île. Dans les années 30, un artiste ou un écrivain américain se devait d’aller à Paris, de même qu’un scientifique ou un philosophe avait les yeux tournés vers l’Angleterre ou l’Allemagne. Après 1945, tous ces courants se sont inversés, mais la France a eu plus de mal à s’adapter à cette nouvelle hiérarchie du prestige. Cela tient en grande partie à l’histoire de la collaboration. Alors, bien sûr, il y a eu la Résistance et beaucoup de gens courageux, mais rien de comparable avec ce qui s’est passé en Grèce ou en Italie, où la résistance a donné du fil à retordre à six divisions allemandes. Et il a fallu un chercheur américain [Robert Paxton, NDLR] pour que la France soit capable d’affronter ce passé. (…) beaucoup d’intellectuels français sont restés staliniens même quand ils sont passés à l’extrême droite. Comment peut-on accepter que l’Etat définisse la vérité historique et punisse la dissidence de la pensée ? (…) Au Timor-Oriental, entre un quart et un tiers de la population a été décimée avec l’accord des Etats-Unis et de la France, et peu de gens le savent alors que tout le monde connaît les crimes de Pol Pot. Noam Chomsky
L’Arabie Saoudite n’est rien d’autre qu’un Daesh qui a réussi. Éric Zemmour
Obama demande pardon pour les faits et gestes de l’Amérique, son passé, son présent et le reste, il s’excuse de tout. Les relations dégradées avec la Russie, le manque de respect pour l’Islam, les mauvais rapports avec l’Iran, les bisbilles avec l’Europe, le manque d’adulation pour Fidel Castro, tout lui est bon pour battre la coulpe de l’Amérique. Plus encore, il célèbre la contribution (totalement inexistante) de l’Islam à l’essor de l’Amérique, et il se fend d’une révérence au sanglant et sectaire roi d’Arabie, l’Abdullah de la haine. Il annule la ceinture anti-missiles sise en Alaska et propose un désarmement nucléaire inutile. (…) Plus encore, cette déplorable Amérique a semé le désordre et le mal partout dans le monde. Au lieu de collaborer multilatéralement avec tous, d’œuvrer au bien commun avec Poutine, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Saddam Hussein, Bachir al-Assad, et Cie, l’insupportable Bush en a fait des ennemis. (…) Il n’y a pas d’ennemis, il n’y a que des malentendus. Il ne peut y avoir d’affrontements, seulement des clarifications. Laurent Murawiec
Voilà plus de 60 ans que les gouvernements américains successifs s’opposent à la nation iranienne. En 1332 [1953] avec un coup d’Etat ils ont renversé le gouvernement national de l’Iran et l’ont remplacé par un régime dur, impopulaire et despotique. (…) Le 15 Khordad 1342 [5 juin 1963] ils ont humilié notre nation et ont tué 15 000 personnes de cette nation et ont exilé le chef de notre nation [Ajatollah Khomeini]. En 57 [1978] ils ont tué plus de 1 500 personnes sur la place des martyrs et les tueurs ont reçu le soutien du président américain. Ils ont soutenu la dictature jusqu’au dernier jour. Ils se sont opposés à la révolution de la nation iranienne en quête de liberté, indépendance et justice. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (discours de Kermanshah, le 28 janvier 2009)
En pleine Guerre froide, les États-Unis ont joué un rôle dans le renversement d’un gouvernement iranien démocratiquement élu. Barack Hussein Obama
“We know they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful program.” Obama (Dec. 7, 2013)
Iran has never intended and will never wish to develop nuclear weapons. Hassan Rouhani (Apr. 9, 2015)
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi also (…) pointed to “unfounded allegations” by some world powers over the past 10 years against Iran’s nuclear program and said it has been proved that such false claims have aimed to “exert cruel and illegal pressure [on the country] to prevent the Iranian nation and government’s march on the path of all-out development and progress.” Presstv.ir
We’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we’re concerned about is going forward.” Kerry (Jun. 6, 2015)
Every one in the world knows that our Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) has placed a religious ban on the development, use or acquisition of military nuclear technology and Iran has never been after atomic bombs. » Hassan Rouhani (Jul. 14, 2015)
« I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously. But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts, or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hard-liners chant ‘death to America’ does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those hard-liners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hard-liners chanting ‘death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.” Obama (Aug. 6, 2015)
A senior intelligence official, when asked about the satellite imagery, told us the IAEA was also familiar with what he called « sanitization efforts » since the deal was reached in Vienna, but that the U.S. government and its allies had confidence that the IAEA had the technical means to detect past nuclear work anyway. Bloomberg
What’s curious is that the deal that the Obama Administration now celebrates is based on the same principles that the White House now derides as fairy tales. Like parents putting their children to bed, the White House once sang lullabies to congress and U.S. allies to quiet their concerns about the administration’s diplomatic approach to the Iranian nuclear program. Comparing the administration’s past public statements about the deal with its current positions is a lesson in the political uses of fairy tales … Tablet
The French Revolution, he insists, was a continental attempt to imitate England’s Glorious Revolution, and as soon as it went beyond installing a constitutional monarchy and descended into Jacobinism it drowned democracy itself in blood. Jacobin democracy—populist, egalitarian, naturally inclined to see Marx as the heir of Robespierre—is European. Real democracy—an independent civil society, rule of law, constitutional checks and balances—is an invention of « Anglo-Celtic civilization. »
Britain was lucky, rather than predestined, to be free. Liberty, he argues, is a happy accident of England’s history: « Since the collapse of Rome, there has never been any significant period in Britain when the state was strong enough to enforce its will without considerable concessions to the rights and liberties of important sections of its subjects and without reliance upon consent. » In Britain—and in America—society created and controlled the state. In continental Europe, the state created and controlled both society and nation.
In Conquest’s view, South Africa, India, and democratic Nigeria share more with Canada, the US, and Britain than they do with African and Asian neighbors with political cultures of non-English origin. Common institutions—liberal constitutionalism, the rule of law, checks and balances, and common values like tolerance and individual rights—as well as a common language provide the basis for « a more fruitful unity » than, for example, common membership in the divided and generally impotent United Nations. Michael Ignatief
“The mere existence of the U.S.S.R., and its ideas, distorted the way in which many people over the whole world thought about society, the economy, human history. Many were seduced by the comfortable word ‘socialism,’ even to the extent of rejecting the Western ideas of free discussion, political compromise, plural society, piecemeal practicality, change without chaos.” Robert Conquest
« The Arab conquerors acted in a typically imperialist fashion from the start, subjugating indigenous populations, colonizing their lands, and expropriating their wealth, resources, and labor. (…) From the first Arab-Islamic empire of the mid-seventh century to the Ottomans, the last great Muslim empire, the story of Islam has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less important, of imperialist dreams.” Ephraim Karsh
Whether it was the Romans in Gaul, the Arabs throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Asia, the Huns in Eastern Europe, the Mongols in China, the Turks in the Middle East and the Balkans, the Bantu in southern Africa, the Khmer in East Asia, the Aztecs in Mexico, the Iroquois in the Northeast, or the Sioux throughout the Great Plains, human history has been stained by man’s continual use of brutal violence to acquire land and resources and destroy or replace those possessing them. Scholars may find subtle nuances of evil in the European version of this ubiquitous aggression, but for the victims such fine discriminations are irrelevant. (…) Yet this ideologically loaded and historically challenged use of words like “colonial” and “colonialist” remains rife in analyses of the century-long disorder in the Middle East. Both Islamists and Arab nationalists, with sympathy from the Western left, have blamed the European “colonialists” for the lack of development, political thuggery, and endemic violence whose roots lie mainly in tribal culture, illiberal shari’a law, and sectarian conflicts … Bill Thornton

Cachez cet imperialisme et ce colonialisme que je ne saurai voir !

Au lendemain de la signature d’un accord historique …

Sur le programme nucleaire inexistant …

D’un pays en train d’en effacer les dernieres traces …

Par un president americain expurgeant une faute imaginaire

 Et combattant un ennemi sans nom

Quel meilleur hommage en cette disparition de celui qui fut si longtemps seul, pendant la guerre froide, a denoncer les mensonges du monde communiste …

Que ce rappel par l’islamologue Bruce Thornton et le site The Muslim issue …

Que l’imperialisme et le colonialisme occidentaux dont tant les islamistes que leurs idiots utiles nous rabattent les oreilles …

Ne sont non seulement pour rien dans la situation actuelle du Moyen-Orient …

Mais qu’ils ont historiquement peu a apprendre des quelque quinze siècles d’imperialisme musulman …

Y compris celui qui de Chypre a la Papouasie occidentale (respectivement depuis 41 et 49 ans) …

Et sans parler de la  pretendue et oxymorique Republique islamique d’Iran comme du soi-disant Etat islamique …

Continue a sevir dans la plus grande indifference, voire la complicite du pretendu Monde libre ?

MUSLIMS WORLDWIDE
West Papua: The small island where 15% of population have been killed by Muslims
The Muslim issue

August 2, 2015

Muslims are slaughtering the aboriginals of West Papua after taking occupation by force, and killing their dreams of independence granted onto them.

It’s so easy to forget that Muslim violence and oppression is an everyday reality in many small places around the world too.

The people of West Papua have been suffering under Indonesian occupation since 1962. Over 500,000 civilians have been killed, and thousands more have been raped, tortured and imprisoned by Muslims. Foreign media and human rights groups are banned from operating in West Papua, so people rarely hear about the situation there.

The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished.

Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought the now-dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia was granted its independence from the Dutch after World War II.The Dutch tried to avoid a Muslim takeover of the region and to prepare the natives for independence, the Dutch significantly raised development spending off its low base, began investing in Papuan education, and encouraged Papuan nationalism. But once the Dutch left freedom did not last long and the Muslims quickly moved in and took over.

Indonesia’s history has since been turbulent under its Muslim rule, with challenges posed by natural disasters, mass slaughter, corruption, separatism, a democratisation process, and periods of rapid economic change.

West Papua – The Secret War in Asia

The following short film gives a good introduction to what is happening in West Papua.

History

West Papua was colonised by the Netherlands in 1898, along with the islands that now make up Indonesia. When the Republic of Indonesia became an independent nation state in 1949, West Papua remained under Dutch control. The Dutch government began preparing West Papua for its own independence throughout the 1950s. At the end of 1961, West Papua held a Congress at which its people declared independence, and raised their new flag – the Morning Star.

But within months the dream was dead. The Indonesian Muslim military invaded West Papua and conflict broke out between the Netherlands, Indonesia and the indigenous population regarding control of the territory. The US intervened and engineered an agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands, which in 1962 gave control of West Papua to the United Nations and one year later transferred control to Indonesia. The Papuans were never consulted. However, the agreement did promise them their right to self determination – a right which is guaranteed by the UN to all people in the world.

Act of No Choice

By 1969 there was widespread resistance to Indonesian rule. The Indonesian military had killed and imprisoned thousands of Papuans in the seven years it had occupied the country – yet it was under these conditions that the people were supposed to exercise their right to self determination. It was agreed that the UN should oversee a plebiscite of the people of West Papua, in which they would be given two choices: to remain part of Indonesia or to become an independent nation. This vote was to be called the ‘Act of Free Choice.’

Protests at Act of Free Choice

West Papuans holding placards, calling for UN assitance, after Indonesia’s invasion of West Papua in 1962

But the Act was a sham. Instead of overseeing a free and fair election, the UN stood by while Indonesia rigged the vote. Declaring that the Papuans were too ‘primitive’ to cope with democracy, the Indonesian military hand-picked just 1,026 ‘representative’ Papuans, out of a population of one million, bribed them and threatened to kill them and their families if they voted the wrong way. So strong was the intimidation that despite widespread opposition to Indonesian rule, all 1,026 voted to remain a part of Indonesia. Despite protests from the Papuans, a critical report by a UN official and condemnation of the vote in the international media, the UN shamefully sanctioned the result and West Papua has remained under control of the Indonesian state ever since. The Papuans now dub this episode ‘the Act of No Choice’.

Consigning the fate of a million people to live under the brutal occupation that ensued is one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the UN. Recently there have been a number of detailed reports that heavily criticise the actions of Indonesia, the UN, and its member states during this period. One of the aims of the Free West Papua Campaign is to persuade the UN to review its role in this event and allow the Papuans a true act of self determination.

The People and Land Under Attack

Freeport Mine

Since the first days of Indonesian occupation, the people and land of West Papua have been under relentless attack. In an attempt to control the Papuans, and to claim the land to make way for resource extraction, the Indonesian army has systematically murdered, raped and tortured people in numbers that could constitute a genocide. One of the worst examples of this is the displacement and killing of thousands of people to make way for the giant American- and British-owned Freeport mine, the largest gold mine in the world, which has reduced a sacred mountain to a crater and poisoned the local river system. In a further attempt to eradicate Papuan culture, around one million people from overcrowded shanty towns across Indonesia have been moved into ‘transmigration’ camps cut into the forests.

Resistance to Indonesian Colonialism

Resistance to the Indonesian occupation started from the first days after the invasion. An armed guerrilla group called the OPM (Free Papua Movement) was formed in 1970 to resist the colonisation of West Papua. The OPM carried out a number of guerrilla attacks on the Indonesian military and on the holdings of multinational companies who had taken Papuan land and resources – including a successful attempt to close down the Freeport gold and copper mine. Armed mostly with bows and arrows, the small, ragged but determined OPM fought an almost unknown war against the well-armed, Western-backed Indonesian military for decades.

Recent Years

Following the fall of the Indonesian military dictator, General Suharto, in 1998, a political space briefly opened up in West Papua. The Morning Star flag was flown again and a huge public congress was held in the year 2000 with hundreds of delegates from tribes all across Papua. The Congress rejected the result of the 1969 Act of Free Choice and reaffirmed West Papua as an independent nation. It also gave power to the newly formed Papuan Presidium Council (PDP) to gain world recognition for West Papua’s independence. But these hopes were soon dashed. Fearing secession, the army moved in, and hundreds of people were shot and arrested for public flag raisings and independence rallies. Then, in November 2001, the charismatic president of the PDP, Theys Eluay, was assassinated by Indonesian soldiers.

Independence aspirations continued to be publicly demonstrated and whilst on the ground the police and military continued to respond with violence and intimidation, the Indonesian state attempted to quell these hopes by passing special autonomy legislation. The legislation was supposed to devolve some power and distribute more resources to West Papua but it is widely regarded as a failure by the indigenous Papuans with corruption leading to money being hoarded or misspent.

In recent years a new independence organisation, the KNPB (National Committee for West Papua) has become prominent. Under its guidance huge independence rallies have been held across West Papua and the West Papuan’s voice is united more than ever. As a result, many of its members have been arrested, tortured and killed. In 2012, the KNPB chairman Mako Tabuni was killed by Indonesian police, whilst many others face lengthy jail sentences of up to fifteen years just for raising the West Papuan flag.

Today West Papua’s tragedy continues with ongoing reports of villages being burnt, Papuans being arrested, tortured and shot and the beautiful natural wilderness being devastated by logging, mining, agricultural and biofuel interests.

“I recognise the inalienable right of the indigenous people of West Papua to self-determination which was violated in the 1969 “Act of Free Choice”. The human rights of each of us are undermined if the human rights of others are denied.”

But there is good news too. The issue of West Papua is creeping up the international agenda as campaign groups, Papuan leaders-in-exile and concerned people all over the world alert their leaders to the injustice that is happening in West Papua.

Despite a ban on foreign journalists, media outlets are beginning to cover the story and have exposed leaked videos of West Papuans being tortured by their Muslim occupiers.

With the advent of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) and the International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP) politicians and lawyers are beginning to engage with the issue. Things are moving in the right direction – but they need to move faster if more bloodshed is to be avoided, and the people of West Papua’s cry for freedom is finally to be heard.

Ahmad Zainuddin a member of the House of Representatives claims that West Papuan people voted to join Indonesia with the 1969 Act of free choice.

Ahmad Zainuddin, a member of the House of Representatives in Jakarta, Indonesia, claims that West Papuan people voted to join Indonesia with the 1969 Act of free choice.

West Papau occupied region filled with muslim violence

Herded up like cattle and led away onto Indonesian army trucks to be tortured and then murdered. This is the reality of life in occupied West Papua. A land where over 500,000 people have been murdered by the Indonesian army, and thousands more have ‘disappeared’, been raped, tortured and imprisoned.

Voir aussi:

The Truth About Western “Colonialism”

Bruce Thornton

Hoover
July 29, 2015

Language is the first casualty of wars over foreign policy. To paraphrase Thucydides, during ideological conflict, words have to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which is now given them.

One word that has been central to our foreign policy for over a century is “colonialism.” Rather than describing a historical phenomenon––with all the complexity, mixture of good and evil, and conflicting motives found on every page of history––“colonialism” is now an ideological artifact that functions as a crude epithet. As a result, our foreign policy decisions are deformed by self-loathing and guilt eagerly exploited by our adversaries.
The great scholar of Soviet terror, Robert Conquest, noted this linguistic corruption decades ago. Historical terms like “imperialism” and “colonialism,” Conquest wrote, now refer to “a malign force with no program but the subjugation and exploitation of innocent people.” As such, these terms are verbal “mind-blockers and thought-extinguishers,” which serve “mainly to confuse, and of course to replace, the complex and needed process of understanding with the simple and unneeded process of inflammation.” Particularly in the Middle East, “colonialism” has been used to obscure the factual history that accounts for that region’s chronic dysfunctions, and has legitimized policies doomed to fail because they are founded on distortions of that history.

The simplistic discrediting of colonialism and its evil twin imperialism became prominent in the early twentieth century. In 1902 J.A. Hobson’s influential Imperialism: A Study reduced colonialism to a malign economic phenomenon, the instrument of capitalism’s “economic parasites,” as Hobson called them, who sought resources, markets, and profits abroad. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin, faced with the failure of classical Marxism’s historical predictions of the proletarian revolution, in 1917 built on Hobson’s ideas in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. Now the indigenous colonized peoples would perform the historical role of destroying capitalism that the European proletariat had failed to fulfill.

These ideas influenced the anti-colonial movements after World War II. John-Paul Sartre, in his introduction to Franz Fanon’s anti-colonial screed The Wretched of the Earth, wrote, “Natives of the underdeveloped countries unite!” substituting the Third World for classic Marxism’s “workers of the world.” This leftist idealization of the colonial Third World and its demonization of the capitalist West have survived the collapse of the Soviet Union and the discrediting of Marxism, and have become received wisdom both in academe and popular culture. It has underwritten the reflexive guilt of the West, the idea that “every Westerner is presumed guilty until proven innocent,” as French philosopher Pascal Bruckner writes, for the West contains an “essential evil that must be atoned for,” colonialism and imperialism.

This leftist interpretation of words like colonialism and imperialism transforms them into ideologically loaded terms that ultimately distort the tragic truths of history. They imply that Europe’s explorations and conquests constituted a new order of evil. In reality, the movements of peoples in search of resources, as well as the destruction of those already in possession of them, is the perennial dynamic of history.

Whether it was the Romans in Gaul, the Arabs throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Asia, the Huns in Eastern Europe, the Mongols in China, the Turks in the Middle East and the Balkans, the Bantu in southern Africa, the Khmer in East Asia, the Aztecs in Mexico, the Iroquois in the Northeast, or the Sioux throughout the Great Plains, human history has been stained by man’s continual use of brutal violence to acquire land and resources and destroy or replace those possessing them. Scholars may find subtle nuances of evil in the European version of this ubiquitous aggression, but for the victims such fine discriminations are irrelevant.

Yet this ideologically loaded and historically challenged use of words like “colonial” and “colonialist” remains rife in analyses of the century-long disorder in the Middle East. Both Islamists and Arab nationalists, with sympathy from the Western left, have blamed the European “colonialists” for the lack of development, political thuggery, and endemic violence whose roots lie mainly in tribal culture, illiberal shari’a law, and sectarian conflicts.

Moreover, it is blatant hypocrisy for Arab Muslims to complain about imperialism and colonialism. As Middle East historian Efraim Karsh documents in Islamic Imperialism, “The Arab conquerors acted in a typically imperialist fashion from the start, subjugating indigenous populations, colonizing their lands, and expropriating their wealth, resources, and labor.” Indeed, if one wants to find a culture defined by imperialist ambitions, Islam fits the bill much better than do Europeans and Americans, latecomers to the great game of imperial domination that Muslims successfully played for a thousand years.

“From the first Arab-Islamic empire of the mid-seventh century to the Ottomans, the last great Muslim empire,” Karsh writes, “the story of Islam has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less important, of imperialist dreams.”

A recent example of this confusion caused by careless language can be found in commentary about the on-going dissolution of Iraq caused by sectarian and ethnic conflicts. There is a growing consensus that the creation of new nations in the region after World War I sowed the seeds of the current disorder. Ignoring those ethnic and sectarian differences, the British fashioned the nation of Iraq out of three Ottoman provinces that had roughly concentrated Kurds, Sunni, and Shi’a in individual provinces.

There is much of value to be learned from this history, but even intelligent commentators obscure that value with misleading words like “colonial.” Wall Street Journal writer Jaroslav Trofimov, for example, recently writing about the creation of the Middle Eastern nations, described France and England as “colonial powers.” Similarly, columnist Charles Krauthammer on the same topic used the phrase “colonial borders.” In both instances, the adjectives are historically misleading.

France and England, of course, were “colonial powers,” but their colonies were not in the Middle East. The region had for centuries been under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire. Thus Western “colonialism” was not responsible for the region’s dysfunctions. Rather, it was the incompetent policies and imperialist fantasies of the Ottoman leadership during the century before World War I, which culminated in the disastrous decision to enter the war on the side of Germany, that bear much of the responsibility for the chaos that followed the defeat of the Central Powers.

Another important factor was the questionable desire of the British to create an Arab national homeland in the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, and to gratify the imperial pretensions of their ally the Hashemite clan, who shrewdly convinced the British that their self-serving and marginal actions during the war had been important in fighting the Turks.

Obviously, the European powers wanted to influence these new nations in order to protect their geopolitical and economic interests, but they had no desire to colonize them. Idealists may decry that interference, or see it as unjust, but it is not “colonialism” rightly understood.

No more accurate is Krauthammer’s use of “colonial borders” to describe the region’s nations. Like all combatants in a great struggle, in anticipation of the defeat of the Central Powers, the British and French began planning the settlement of the region in 1916 in a meeting that produced the Sykes-Picot agreement later that year. But there is nothing unexceptional or untoward in this. In February 1945, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Yalta to negotiate their spheres of influence in Germany and Eastern Europe after the war. It would be strange if the Entente powers had notlaid out their plans for the territories of the defeated enemy.

Thus as part of the peace treaties and conferences after World War I, the French and British were given, under the authority of negotiated treaties and the supervision of the League of Nations, the “mandates” over the former Ottoman territories lying between Egypt and Turkey. In 1924 the goal of the mandates was spelled out in Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant: “Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.”

Thus the nations created in the old Ottoman territory were sanctioned by international law as the legitimate prerogative of the victorious Entente powers. There was nothing “colonial” about the borders of the new nations.

One can legitimately challenge the true motives of the mandatory powers, doubt their sincerity in protesting their concern for the region’s peoples, or criticize their borders for serving European interests rather than those of the peoples living there. But whatever their designs, colonizing was not one of them. Indeed, by 1924 colonialism had long been coming into question for many in the West, and at the time of the post-war settlement the reigning ideal was not colonialism, but ethnic self-determination as embodied in the nation-state, as Woodrow Wilson had called for in February 1918: “National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent.” The Anglo-French Declaration issued a few days before the war ended on November 11, 1918 agreed, stating that their aims in the former Ottoman territories were “the establishment of National Governments and administrations deriving their authority from the initiative and free choice of the indigenous populations.”

Again, one can question the wisdom of trying to create Western nation-states and political orders in a region still intensely tribal, with a religion in which the secular nation is an alien import. That incompatibility continues to be an ongoing problem nearly a century later, as we watch the failure of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the hopes of the Arab Spring dashed in the violence and disorder of the Arab Winter.

But whatever the sins of the Europeans in the Middle East, colonialism is not one of them. The misuse of the term may sound trivial, but it legitimizes the jihadist narrative of Western guilt and justified Muslim payback through terrorist violence, now perfumed as “anticolonial resistance.” It reinforces what Middle East scholar J.B. Kelly called the “preemptive cringe,” the willingness of the West to blame itself for the region’s problems, as President Obama did in his 2009 Cairo speech when he condemned the “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims.”

This apologetic stance has characterized our foreign policy and emboldened our enemies for half a century. Today the region is in more danger of collapse into widespread violence and more of a threat to our national interests than at any time in the last fifty years. Perhaps we should start crafting our foreign policy on the foundations of historical truth and precise language.

Voir également:

The Triumph of Robert Conquest
He chronicled the Soviet terror that so many in the West refused to see.

WSJ

Aug. 5, 2015

Robert Conquest was born in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution, so it seems fitting that he outlived the Soviet Union by more than 25 years.

The indefatigable historian, and enemy, of Soviet totalitarianism died Tuesday at age 98.

Conquest’s major themes were reality and delusion. “The Great Terror” (1968) was the first and still definitive treatment of Stalin’s purges, gulags, show trials and secret police, meticulously documenting the enormity of the death toll. “Harvest of Sorrow” (1986) chronicled what he called the “terror famines” that followed agricultural collectivization.

When sources inside Russia were few and most Kremlinologists were oblivious, these classics contributed immensely to understanding the nature of the Communist project. They also helped shape the response that won the Cold War; Reagan and Thatcher were among his readers.

Still, until Moscow opened the archives post-1989, leftist intellectuals and especially academics denied the realities Conquest exposed, claiming he exaggerated Stalin’s evil. That debate is now closed beyond challenge.

Conquest dedicated his later years at Stanford’s Hoover Institution to plumbing delusion, which he defined as “massive reality denial,” or why Russia had so many apologists and sympathizers. He blamed the persistence of destructive beliefs and the bottomless human capacity for self-deception.

“The mere existence of the U.S.S.R., and its ideas, distorted the way in which many people over the whole world thought about society, the economy, human history,” Conquest wrote in these pages in 1992. “Many were seduced by the comfortable word ‘socialism,’ even to the extent of rejecting the Western ideas of free discussion, political compromise, plural society, piecemeal practicality, change without chaos.”

Conquest added that the lessons of the bloody 20th century “have not yet been learned, or not adequately so.” Many today across the world still offer solace to dictators and mass murderers, whatever their reasons, so Conquest’s insights into human deception remain and will always be relevant.

Right now the United States of America is being led by the ideological heir of Lenin and Stalin, Barack Hussein Obama. A man raised and mentored by hardcore Communists. I have not read the « Great Terror », but I have read and own « Harvest of Sorrow » and the level of abject depravity depicted is beyond description, reducing Ukraine to the cannibalization of children. A systemic war against « the peasantry and the Kulaks » so brutal that it led Stalin’s wife, Nadya, to commit suicide from guilt. This ideology, morphed and re-marketed to fit 21st Century America, is alive and well in the policies of Barack Obama, who has wrecked the greatest nation in the course of human history with his Third World Bolshevism, paraded as democratic socialism.
Let us use the work of Dr. Conquest as a catalyst and a warning of the detriment a cult of personality wedded to totalitarian ideology can have on a people and a society, so as to stop what happened in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany from happening here, or else we are going to need historian’s like Robert Conquest to document Obama’s crimes and atrocities against America. You think we would have learned.

It is human nature not to want to believe the worst. It is what makes Leftism possible. To support Leftist causes, one is required to look away, to deny reality. One can only defend their extreme position on abortion if one does not look at sonograms or the recent videos of Planned Parenthood and refuse to hear the gruesome details of partial birth abortion. And so it is with the Iran peace ‘deal’; to support it one is required to ignore the anti-Semitic, anti American pronouncements of Iran’s leaders, their history of deception, their open support for terrorism, and the violent subjugation of their people . Obama argues that his critics are wrong to take things at face value and that the price of their misjudgment will be war. But if Obama is wrong, if the Ayatollah really means what he says, if history really does teach us, what will the price of Obama’s misjudgment be? Peace? Yep, you would have to believe that too.

Voir encore:

40 Years Later
The Mass Killings in Indonesia
John Roosa and Joseph Nevins
Counterpunch
November 5-7, 2005

« One of the worst mass murders of the twentieth century. » That was how a CIA publication described the killings that began forty years ago last month in Indonesia. It was one of the few statements in the text that was correct. The 300-page text was devoted to blaming the victims of the killings — the supporters of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) — for their own deaths. The PKI had supposedly attempted a coup d’état and a nationwide uprising called the September 30th Movement (which, for some unknown reason, began on October 1). The mass murder of hundreds of thousands of the party’s supporters over subsequent months was thus a natural, inevitable, and justifiable reaction on the part of those non-communists who felt threatened by the party’s violent bid for state power. The killings were part of the « backfire » referred to in the title: Indonesia ­ 1965: The Coup that Backfired. The author of this 1968 report, later revealed to be Helen Louise Hunter, acknowledged the massive scale of the killings only to dismiss the necessity for any detailed consideration of them. She concentrated on proving that the PKI was responsible for the September 30th Movement while consigning the major issue, the anti-PKI atrocities, to a brief, offhanded comment. [1]

Hunter’s CIA report accurately expressed the narrative told by the Indonesian army commanders as they organized the slaughter. That narrative rendered the September 30th Movement ­ a disorganized, small-scale affair that lasted about 48 hours and resulted in a grand total of 12 deaths, among them six army generals ­ into the greatest evil ever to befall Indonesia [2]. The commander of the army, Major General Suharto, justified his acquisition of emergency powers in late 1965 and early 1966 by insisting that the September 30th Movement was a devious conspiracy by the PKI to seize state power and murder all of its enemies. Suharto’s martial law regime detained some 1.5 million people as political prisoners (for varying lengths of time), and accused them of being « directly or indirectly involved in the September 30th Movement. » The hundreds of thousands of people shot, stabbed, bludgeoned, or starved to death were labeled perpetrators, or would-be perpetrators of atrocities, just as culpable for the murder of the army generals as the handful of people who were truly guilty.

The September 30th Movement was Suharto’s Reichstag fire: a pretext for destroying the communist party and seizing state power. As with the February 1933 fire in the German parliament that Hitler used to create a hysterical, crisis-filled atmosphere, the September 30th Movement was exaggerated by Suharto’s clique of officers until it assumed the proportions of a wild, vicious, supernatural monster. The army whipped up an anti-communist propaganda campaign from the early days of October 1965: « the PKI » had castrated and tortured the seven army officers it had abducted in Jakarta, danced naked and slit the bodies of the army officers with a hundred razor blades, drawn up hit lists, dug thousands of ditches around the country to hold countless corpses, stockpiled guns imported from China, and so on. The army banned many newspapers and put the rest under army censorship. It was precisely this work of the army’s psychological warfare specialists that created the conditions in which the mass murder of « the PKI » seemed justified.

The question as to whether or not the PKI actually organized the September 30th Movement is important only because the Suharto regime made it important. Otherwise, it is irrelevant. Even if the PKI had nothing whatsoever to do with the movement, the army generals would have blamed the party for it. As it was, they made their case against the PKI largely on the basis of the transcripts of the interrogations of those movement participants who hadn’t already been summarily executed. Given that the army used torture as standard operating procedure for interrogations, the statements of the suspects cannot be trusted. Hunter’s CIA report, primarily based on those transcripts, is as reliable as an Inquisition text on witchcraft.

The PKI as a whole was clearly not responsible for the September 30th Movement. The party’s three million members did not participate in it. If they had, it would not have been such a small-scale affair. The party chairman, D.N. Aidit, however, does seem to have played a key role. He was summarily and secretly executed in late 1965, as were two of the three other core Politburo leaders (Lukman and Njoto), before they could provide their accounts. The one among them who survived the initial terror, the general secretary of the party, Sudisman, admitted in the military’s kangaroo court in 1967 that the PKI as an institution knew nothing of the September 30th Movement but that certain leaders were involved in a personal capacity. If the movement’s leaders had been treated as the leaders of previous revolts against the postcolonial government, they would have been arrested, put on trial, and sentenced. All the members of their organizations would not have been imprisoned or massacred.

With so little public discussion and so little scholarly research about the 1965-66 mass killings, they remain poorly understood. Many people outside of Indonesia believe that the victims were primarily Indonesian Chinese. While some Indonesian Chinese were among the victims, they were by no means the majority. The violence targeted members of the PKI and the various organizations either allied to the party or sympathetic to it, whatever ethnicity they happened to be: Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, etc. It was not a case of ethnic cleansing. Many people imagine that the killings were committed by frenzied mobs rampaging through villages and urban neighborhoods. But recent oral history research suggests that most of the killings were executions of detainees. [3] Much more research is needed before one can arrive at definitive conclusions.

President Sukarno, the target of the PKI’s alleged coup attempt, compared the army’s murderous violence against those labeled PKI to a case of someone « burning down the house to kill a rat. » He routinely protested the army’s exaggerations of the September 30th Movement. It was, he said, nothing more than « a ripple in the wide ocean. » His inability or unwillingness to muster anything more than rhetorical protests, however, ultimately doomed his rule. In March 1966, Suharto grabbed the authority to dismiss, appoint, and arrest cabinet ministers, even while maintaining Sukarno as figurehead president until March 1967. The great orator who had led the nationalist struggle against the Dutch, the cosmopolitan visionary of the Non-Aligned Movement, was outmaneuvered by a taciturn, uneducated, thuggish, corrupt army general from a Javanese village.

Suharto, a relative nobody in Indonesian politics, moved against the PKI and Sukarno with the full support of the U.S. government. Marshall Green, American ambassador to Indonesia at the time, wrote that the embassy had « made clear » to the army that Washington was « generally sympathetic with and admiring » of its actions. [4] U.S. officials went so far as to express concern in the days following the September 30th Movement that the army might not do enough to annihilate the PKI. [5] The U.S. embassy supplied radio equipment, walkie-talkies, and small arms to Suharto so that his troops could conduct the nationwide assault on civilians. [6] A diligent embassy official with a penchant for data collection did his part by handing the army a list of thousands of names of PKI members. [7] Such moral and material support was much appreciated in the Indonesian army. As an aide to the army’s chief of staff informed U.S. embassy officials in October 1965, « This was just what was needed by way of assurances that we weren’t going to be hit from all angles as we moved to straighten things out here. »[8]

This collaboration between the U.S. and the top army brass in 1965 was rooted in Washington’s longstanding wish to have privileged and enhanced access to Southeast Asia’s resource wealth. Many in Washington saw Indonesia as the region’s centerpiece. Richard Nixon characterized the country as « containing the region’s richest hoard of natural resources » and « by far the greatest prize in the South-East Asian area. » [9] Two years earlier, in a 1965 speech in Asia, Nixon had argued in favor of bombing North Vietnam to protect Indonesia’s « immense mineral potential. » [10] But obstacles to the realization of Washington’s geopolitical-economic vision arose when the Sukarno government emerged upon independence in Indonesia. Sukarno’s domestic and foreign policy was nationalist, nonaligned, and explicitly anti-imperialist. Moreover, his government had a working relationship with the powerful PKI, which Washington feared would eventually win national elections.

Eisenhower’s administration attempted to break up Indonesia and sabotage Sukarno’s presidency by supporting secessionist revolts in 1958.[11] When that criminal escapade of the Dulles brothers failed, the strategists in Washington reversed course and began backing the army officers of the central government. The new strategy was to cultivate anti-communist officers who could gradually build up the army as a shadow government capable of replacing President Sukarno and eliminating the PKI at some future date. The top army generals in Jakarta bided their time and waited for the opportune moment for what U.S. strategists called a final « showdown » with the PKI. [12] That moment came on October 1, 1965.

The destruction of the PKI and Sukarno’s ouster resulted in a dramatic shift in the regional power equation, leading Time magazine to hail Suharto’s bloody takeover as « The West’s best news for years in Asia. » [13] Several years later, the U.S. Navy League’s publication gushed over Indonesia’s new role in Southeast Asia as « that strategic area’s unaggressive, but stern, monitor, » while characterizing the country as « one of Asia’s most highly developed nations and endowed by chance with what is probably the most strategically authoritative geographic location on earth. » [14] Among other things, the euphoria reflected just how lucrative the changing of the guard in Indonesia would prove to be for Western business interests.

Suharto’s clique of army officers took power with a long-term economic strategy in mind. They expected the legitimacy of their new regime would derive from economic growth and that growth would derive from bringing in Western investment, exporting natural resources to Western markets, and begging for Western aid. Suharto’s vision for the army was not in terms of defending the nation against foreign aggression but defending foreign capital against Indonesians. He personally intervened in a meeting of cabinet ministers in December 1965 that was discussing the nationalization of the oil companies Caltex and Stanvac. Soon after the meeting began, he suddenly arrived by helicopter, entered the chamber, and declared, as the gleeful U.S. embassy account has it, that the military « would not stand for precipitous moves against oil companies. » Faced with such a threat, the cabinet indefinitely postponed the discussion. [15] At the same time, Suharto’s army was jailing and killing union leaders at the facilities of U.S. oil companies and rubber plantations. [16]

Once Suharto decisively sidelined Sukarno in March 1966, the floodgates of foreign aid opened up. The U.S. shipped large quantities of rice and cloth for the explicit political purpose of shoring up his regime. Falling prices were meant to convince Indonesians that Suharto’s rule was an improvement over Sukarno’s. The regime’s ability over the following years to sustain economic growth via integration with Western capital provided whatever legitimacy it had. Once that pattern of growth ended with the capital flight of the 1997 Asian economic crisis, the regime’s legitimacy quickly vanished. Middle class university students, the fruits of economic growth, played a particularly important role in forcing Suharto from office. The Suharto regime lived by foreign capital and died by foreign capital.

By now it is clear that the much ballyhooed economic growth of the Suharto years was severely detrimental to the national interest. The country has little to show for all the natural resources sold on the world market. Payments on the foreign and domestic debt, part of it being the odious debt from the Suharto years, swallow up much of the government’s budget. With health care spending at a minimum, epidemic and preventable diseases are rampant. There is little domestic industrial production. The forests from which military officers and Suharto cronies continue to make fortunes are being cut down and burned up at an alarming rate. The country imports huge quantities of staple commodities that could be easily produced on a larger scale in Indonesia, such as sugar, rice, and soybeans. The main products of the villages now are migrant laborers, or « the heroes of foreign exchange, » to quote from a lighted sign at the Jakarta airport.

Apart from the pillaging of Indonesia’s resource base, the Suharto regime caused an astounding level of unnecessary suffering. At his command, the Indonesian military invaded neighboring East Timor in 1975 after receiving a green light from President Gerald Ford and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger. The result was an occupation that lasted for almost 24 years and left a death toll of tens of thousands of East Timorese. Within Indonesia proper, the TNI committed widespread atrocities during counterinsurgency campaigns in the resource-rich provinces of West Papua and Aceh, resulting in tens of thousands of additional fatalities.

With Suharto’s forced resignation in 1998, significant democratic space has opened in Indonesia. There are competitive national and local elections. Victims of the « New Order » and their families are able to organize. There is even an official effort to create a national truth commission to investigate past atrocities. Nevertheless, the military still looms large over the country’s political system. As such, there has not been a thorough investigation of any of the countless massacres that took place in 1965-66. History textbooks still focus on the September 30th Movement and make no mention of the massacres. Similarly, no military or political leaders have been held responsible for the Suharto-era crimes (or those that have taken place since), thus increasing the likelihood of future atrocities. This impunity is a source of continuing worry for Indonesia’s civil society and restless regions, as well as poverty-stricken, now-independent East Timor. It is thus not surprising that the government of the world’s newest country feels compelled to play down demands for justice by its citizenry and emphasize an empty reconciliation process with Indonesia. Meanwhile in the United States, despite political support and billions of dollars in U.S. weaponry, military training and economic assistance to Jakarta over the preceding four decades, Washington’s role in Indonesia’s killing fields of 1965-66 and subsequent brutality has been effectively buried, thus enabling the Bush administration’s current efforts to further ties with Indonesia’s military, as part of the global « war on terror. » [17] Suharto’s removal from office has not led to radical changes in Indonesia’s state and economy.

Sukarno used to indict Dutch colonialism by saying that Indonesia was « a nation of coolies and a coolie among nations. » Thanks to the Suharto years, that description remains true. The principles of economic self-sufficiency, prosperity, and international recognition for which the nationalist struggle was fought now seem as remote as ever. It is encouraging that many Indonesians are now recalling Sukarno’s fight against Western imperialism (first the Netherlands and then the U.S.) after experiencing the misery that Suharto’s strategy of collaboration has wrought. In his « year of living dangerously » speech in August 1964 ­ a phrase remembered in the West as just the title of a 1982 movie with Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver ­ Sukarno spoke about the Indonesian ideal of national independence struggling to stay afloat in « an ocean of subversion and intervention from the imperialists and colonialists. » Suharto’s U.S.-assisted takeover of state power forty years ago last month drowned that ideal in blood, but it might just rise again during the ongoing economic crisis that is endangering the lives of so many Indonesians.

John Roosa is an assistant professor of history at the University of British Columbia, and is the author of Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto’s Coup d’État in Indonesia (University of Wisconsin Press, forthcoming in 2006).

Joseph Nevins is an assistant professor of geography at Vassar College, and is the author of A Not-so-distant Horror: Mass Violence in East Timor (Cornell University Press, 2005).

They may be reached at: jonevins@pop.vassar.edu

Notes

1. A former CIA agent who worked in Southeast Asia, Ralph McGehee, noted in his memoir that the agency compiled a separate report about the events of 1965, one that reflected its agents’ honest opinions, for its own in-house readership. McGehee’s description of it was heavily censored by the agency when it vetted an account he first published in the April 11, 1981 edition of The Nation. Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA (New York: Sheridan Square, 1983), pp. 57-58. Two articles in the agency’s internal journal Studies in Intelligence have been declassified: John T. Pizzicaro, « The 30 September Movement in Indonesia, » (Fall 1969); Richard Cabot Howland, « The Lessons of the September 30 Affair, » (Fall 1970). The latter is available online: http://www.odci.gov/csi/kent_csi/docs/v14i2a02p_0001.htm

2. In Jakarta, the movement’s troops abducted and killed six army generals and a lieutenant taken by mistake from the house of the seventh who avoided capture. In the course of these abductions, a five year-old daughter of a general, a teenaged nephew of another general, and a security guard were killed. In Central Java, two army colonels were abducted and killed.

3. John Roosa, Ayu Ratih, and Hilmar Farid, eds. Tahun yang Tak Pernah Berakhir: Memahami Pengalaman Korban 65; Esai-Esai Sejarah Lisan [The Year that Never Ended: Understanding the Experiences of the Victims of 1965; Oral History Essays] (Jakarta: Elsam, 2004). Also consider the massacre investigated in Chris Hilton’s very good documentary film Shadowplay (2002).

4. Telegram from the Embassy in Indonesia to Department of State, November 4, 1965, in United States Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, vol. 26, p. 354. This FRUS volume is available online at the National Security Archive website: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB52/#FRUS

5. Telegram from the Embassy in Jakarta to Department of State, October 14, 1965. Quoted in Geoffrey Robinson, The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995), p. 283.

6. Frederick Bunnell, « American ‘Low Posture’ Policy Toward Indonesia in the Months Leading up to the 1965 ‘Coup’, » Indonesia, 50 (October 1990), p. 59.

7. Kathy Kadane, « Ex-agents say CIA Compiled Death Lists for Indonesians, » San Francisco Examiner, May 20, 1990, available online at http://www.pir.org/kadane.html

8. CIA Report no. 14 to the White House (from Jakarta), October 14, 1965. Cited in Robinson, The Dark Side of Paradise, p. 283.

9. Richard Nixon, « Asia After Viet Nam, » Foreign Affairs (October 1967), p. 111.

10. Quoted in Peter Dale Scott, « Exporting Military-Economic Development: America and the Overthrow of Sukarno, » in Malcolm Caldwell (ed.), Ten Years’ Military Terror in Indonesia (Nottingham (U.K.): Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation for Spokesman Books, 1975), p. 241.

11. Audrey R. Kahin and George McT. Kahin, Subversion as Foreign Policy: The Secret Eisenhower and Dulles Debacle in Indonesia (New York: The New Press, 1995), p. 1.

12. Bunnell, « American ‘Low Posture’ Policy, » pp. 34, 43, 53-54.

13. Time, July 15, 1966. Also see Noam Chomsky, Year 501: The Conquest Continues (Boston: South End Press, 1993), pp. 123-131.

14. Lawrence Griswold, « Garuda and the Emerald Archipelago: Strategic Indonesia Forges New Ties with the West, » Sea Power (Navy League of the United States), vol. 16, no. 2 (1973), pp. 20, 25.

15. Telegram 1787 from Jakarta to State Department, December 16, 1965, cited in Brad Simpson, « Modernizing Indonesia: U.S.­Indonesian Relations, 1961-1967, » (Ph.D. dissertation, Department of History, Northwestern University, 2003), p. 343.

16. Hilmar Farid, « Indonesia’s Original Sin: Mass Killings and Capitalist Expansion 1965-66, » Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 1 (March 2005).

17. For information on U.S.-Indonesia military ties, see the website of the East Timor Indonesia Action Network at http://www.etan.org/

Laskar Jihad (LJ)
Jacques Baud

Feb 23, 2014
Autres appellations :
Laskar Jihad Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah

(Indonésie) (Armée du Djihad) Mouvement islamiste salafiste radical, créé le 30 janvier 2000, comme aile paramilitaire du Forum Komunikasi Ahlussunnah Waljamaah (FKAW), lui-même créé à Jogjakarta au début 1998. Le Laskar Jihad est apparu à Ambon, dans l’archipel des Moluques, à la suite des violences interconfessionnelles survenues dans l’île de Maluku.

Il est dirigé par Jaffar Umar Thalib, un ex- ► Afghan, qui aurait rencontré Oussama Ben Laden au Pakistan en 1987, mais réfute l’affirmation selon laquelle il aurait des liens avec ► Al-Qaïda.(1)Sa philosophie, une combinaison d’islamisme et de nationalisme, prône un Etat indonésien basé sur l’islam, l’armée et un gouvernement fort (et non un émirat islamique).

En 2000, le Laskar Jihad a envoyé plus de 2 000 combattants dans l’archipel des Moluques, afin de participer au conflit entre chrétiens moluquois et musulmans(2), (pour la plupart issus des Célèbes du Sud et Java) et écraser le mouvement sécessionniste des Moluques du Sud, Republik Maluku Selatan (RMS).

Après les Moluques, le LJ a entrepris de prendre pied en Papouasie, où il a envoyé 2 000 combattants en mai 2002 et a rapidement installé des offices régionaux à Sorong, Fakfak, Timika, Nabire, Manokwari, et Merauke. Son quartier-général est à Yogyakarta, sur l’île de Java. Il disposerait de camps d’entraînement dans la région de Manokwari, où vit une importante communauté de musulmans javanais.

Le LJ revendique une mission qui comprend trois volets : le travail social, l’éducation islamique et la sécurité.


Mariage pour tous: A quand la légalisation de la polygamie ? (Time to legalize polygamy: Why group marriage is the next horizon of social liberalism)

27 juin, 2015
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Tout ce qui n’est pas nouveau dans un temps d’innovation est pernicieux. Saint-Just
Voilà, Monseigneur, une fête toute napolitaine : nous dansons sur un volcan ! Narcisse-Achille de Salvandy (au roi des Deux-Siciles, 1830)
Il n’y a plus ni Juif ni Grec, il n’y a plus ni esclave ni libre, il n’y a plus ni homme ni femme; car tous vous êtes un en Jésus Christ. Paul (Galates 3: 28)
La loi naturelle n’est pas un système de valeurs possible parmi beaucoup d’autres. C’est la seule source de tous les jugements de valeur. Si on la rejette, on rejette toute valeur. Si on conserve une seule valeur, on la conserve tout entier. (. . .) La rébellion des nouvelles idéologies contre la loi naturelle est une rébellion des branches contre l’arbre : si les rebelles réussissaient, ils découvriraient qu’ils se sont détruits eux-mêmes. L’intelligence humaine n’a pas davantage le pouvoir d’inventer une nouvelle valeur qu’il n’en a d’imaginer une nouvelle couleur primaire ou de créer un nouveau soleil avec un nouveau firmament pour qu’il s’y déplace. (…) Tout nouveau pouvoir conquis par l’homme est aussi un pouvoir sur l’homme. Tout progrès le laisse à la fois plus faible et plus fort. Dans chaque victoire, il est à la fois le général qui triomphe et le prisonnier qui suit le char triomphal . (…) Le processus qui, si on ne l’arrête pas, abolira l’homme, va aussi vite dans les pays communistes que chez les démocrates et les fascistes. Les méthodes peuvent (au premier abord) différer dans leur brutalité. Mais il y a parmi nous plus d’un savant au regard inoffensif derrière son pince-nez, plus d’un dramaturge populaire, plus d’un philosophe amateur qui poursuivent en fin de compte les mêmes buts que les dirigeants de l’Allemagne nazie. Il s’agit toujours de discréditer totalement les valeurs traditionnelles et de donner à l’humanité une forme nouvelle conformément à la volonté (qui ne peut être qu’arbitraire) de quelques membres ″chanceux″ d’une génération ″chanceuse″ qui a appris comment s’y prendre. C.S. Lewis (L’abolition de l’homme, 1943)
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
Muhammad révéla à Médine des qualités insoupçonnées de dirigeant politique et de chef militaire. Il devait subvenir aux ressources de la nouvelle communauté (umma) que formaient les émigrés (muhadjirun) mekkois et les « auxiliaires » (ansar) médinois qui se joignaient à eux. Il recourut à la guerre privée, institution courante en Arabie où la notion d’État était inconnue. Muhammad envoya bientôt des petits groupes de ses partisans attaquer les caravanes mekkoises, punissant ainsi ses incrédules compatriotes et du même coup acquérant un riche butin. En mars 624, il remporta devant les puits de Badr une grande victoire sur une colonne mekkoise venue à la rescousse d’une caravane en danger. Cela parut à Muhammad une marque évidente de la faveur d’Allah. Elle l’encouragea sans doute à la rupture avec les juifs, qui se fit peu à peu. Le Prophète avait pensé trouver auprès d’eux un accueil sympathique, car sa doctrine monothéiste lui semblait très proche de la leur. La charte précisant les droits et devoirs de chacun à Médine, conclue au moment de son arrivée, accordait une place aux tribus juives dans la communauté médinoise. Les musulmans jeûnaient le jour de la fête juive de l’Expiation. Mais la plupart des juifs médinois ne se rallièrent pas. Ils critiquèrent au contraire les anachronismes du Coran, la façon dont il déformait les récits bibliques. Aussi Muhammad se détourna-t-il d’eux. Le jeûne fut fixé au mois de ramadan, le mois de la victoire de Badr, et l’on cessa de se tourner vers Jérusalem pour prier. Maxime Rodinson
Cela fait un an maintenant qu’est apparu au grand jour l’Etat islamique (EI). Et l’on ne peut que constater qu’il a lancé les « festivités » de cet anniversaire, malgré les bombardements qu’il subit. Tout cela accompagne le début du ramadan la semaine dernière. L’EI a appelé la quasi-totalité de ses sympathisants à fêter cette première année par tous les moyens et partout dans le monde. Selon moi, les attentats perpétrés à Saint-Quentin-Fallavier (Isère), à Sousse et à Koweït City s’inscrivent dans cette macabre célébration. C’est un terrible pied de nez adressé à la communauté internationale. Et ce n’est que le début.(…) Souvenons-nous : l’EI a commencé son offensive au début du ramadan 2014. Il a déclaré le califat le 30 juin 2014. Je pense donc que cela risque de culminer dans les semaines à venir. En outre, le mois de ramadan est considéré comme propice au jihad. Je crains donc que nous soyons face au lancement d’une campagne d’attentats. (…) on n’est pas assez conscients de la portée symbolique des dates et des lieux. Désormais, l’EI se considère comme un Etat, gère les territoires comme tel, avec un gouvernement, une administration et un agenda. Nous sommes bel et bien face à un Etat terroriste. Mathieu Guidère
Je m’ennuie follement dans la monogamie, même si mon désir et mon temps peuvent être reliés à quelqu’un et que je ne nie pas le caractère merveilleux du dévelopement d’une intimité. Je suis monogame de temps en temps mais je préfère la polygamie et la polyandrie. Carla Bruni
A 80 ans, le cuisinier livre l’un de ses secrets : depuis près de quatre décennies, il partage sa vie entre trois femmes, déjeunant chez l’une, prenant le thé chez l’autre, dînant avec la dernière. (…) Ses trois femmes, en restant à ses côtés en toute connaissance de cause, font la démonstration qu’elles l’acceptent comme il est, depuis presque quarante ans, à partager sa vie en trois, ses journées en trois. Déjeunant chez l’une, prenant le thé chez l’autre, dînant avec la dernière. Partant à la montagne avec l’une, au Japon avec la deuxième, restant au coin du feu avec la troisième. Elevant une fille avec la première. Un fils avec la deuxième. Confiant à la fille de la troisième la rédaction de ce livre testament. Libération
Avec la crise économique dans mon pays, peu d’hommes peuvent entretenir plusieurs épouses. En France, c’est différent, tous ces enfants sont une source de revenus. Oumar Dicko (ministre chargé des Maliens de l’extérieur)
Is it just wishful thinking to imagine the end of liberalism? Few things in politics are permanent. Conservatism and liberalism didn’t become the central division in our politics until the middle of the 20th century. Before that, American politics revolved around such issues as states’ rights, the wars, slavery, the tariff, and suffrage. Parties have come and gone in our history. You won’t find many Federalists, Whigs, or Populists lining up at the polls these days. Britain’s Liberal Party faded from power in the 1920s. The Canadian Liberal Party collapsed in 2011. Recently, within a decade of its maximum empire at home and abroad, a combined intellectual movement, political party, and form of government crumbled away, to be swept up and consigned to the dustbin of history. Communism, which in a very different way from American liberalism traced its roots to Hegel, Social Darwinism, and leadership by a vanguard group of intellectuals, vanished before our eyes, though not without an abortive coup or two. If Communism, armed with millions of troops and thousands of megatons of nuclear weapons, could collapse of its own dead weight and implausibility, why not American liberalism? The parallel is imperfect, of course, because liberalism and its vehicle, the Democratic Party, remain profoundly popular, resilient, and changeable. Elections matter to them. What’s more, the egalitarian impulse, centralized government (though not centralized administration), and the Democratic Party have deep roots in the American political tradition—and reflect permanent aspects of modern democracy itself, as Tocqueville testifies. Some elements of liberalism are inherent in American democracy, then, but the compound, the peculiar combination that is contemporary liberalism, is not. Compounded of the Hegelian philosophy of history, Social Darwinism, the living constitution, leadership, the cult of the State, the rule of administrative experts, entitlements and group rights, and moral creativity, modern liberalism is something new and distinctive, despite the presence in it, too, of certain American constants like the love of equality and democratic individualism. Under the pressure of ideas and events, that compound could come apart. Liberals’ confidence in being on the right, the winning side of history could crumble, perhaps has already begun to crumble. Trust in government, which really means in the State, is at all-time lows. A majority of Americans oppose a new entitlement program—in part because they want to keep the old programs unimpaired, but also because the economic and moral sustainability of the whole welfare state grows more and more doubtful. The goodwill and even the presumptive expertise of many government experts command less and less respect. Obama’s speeches no longer send the old thrill up the leg, and his leadership, whether for one or two terms, may yet help to discredit the respectability of following the Leader. The Democratic Party is unlikely to go poof, but it’s possible that modern liberalism will. A series of nasty political defeats and painful repudiations of its impossible dreams might do the trick. At the least, it will have to downsize its ambitions and get back in touch with political, moral, and fiscal reality. It will have to—all together now—turn back the clock. Much will depend, too, on what conservatives say and do in the coming years. Will they have the prudence and guile to elevate the fight to the level of constitutional principle, to expose the Tory credentials of their opponents? President Obama’s decision to double down aggressively on the reach and cost of big government just as the European model of social democracy is hitting the skids provides the perfect opportunity for conservatives to exploit. His course makes the problems of liberalism worse and more urgent, as though he is eager for a crisis. Sooner or later, the crisis will come. If the people remain attached to their government and laws and American statesmen do their part, the country may yet take the path leading up from liberalism. (October 15, 2012)
La limitation du mariage aux couples de sexe opposé a pu longtemps sembler naturel et juste, mais son incompatibilité avec la signification centrale du droit fondamental de se marier est désormais manifeste. Cour suprême américaine
Aucune union n’est plus profonde que le mariage, car le mariage incarne les plus hauts idéaux de l’amour, la fidélité, la dévotion, le sacrifice et la famille. En formant une union maritale, deux personnes deviennent quelque chose de plus grand que ce qu’elles étaient auparavant. Le mariage incarne un amour qui peut perdurer malgré la mort. Ce serait ne pas comprendre ces hommes et ces femmes que de dire qu’ils manquent de respect à l’idée du mariage. Leur plaidoyer consiste à dire que justement ils le respectent, le respectent si profondément qu’ils cherchent eux-mêmes s’accomplir grâce à lui. Ils demandent une dignité égale aux yeux de la loi. La Constitution leur donne ce droit. Cour suprême américaine
 Le destin des homosexuels n’est pas d’être condamnés à la solitude, exclus de l’une des plus anciennes institutions de la civilisation. Ils demandent à bénéficier de la même dignité aux yeux de la loi. La Constitution leur garantit ce droit. Juge Anthony Kennedy
C’est une victoire pour les alliés, les amis et les soutiens du mariage gay qui ont passé des années, voire des décennies, à travailler et prier pour que le changement intervienne. Et cette décision est une victoire pour l’Amérique. Barack Hussein Obama
Les faucons affirment (…) que le président Ahmadinejad a déclaré vouloir « rayer Israël de la carte ». Mais cet argument repose sur une mauvaise traduction de ses propos. La traduction juste est qu’Israël « devrait disparaître de la page du temps ». Cette expression (empruntée à un discours de l’ayatollah Khomeiny) n’est pas un appel à la destruction physique d’Israël. Bien que très choquant, son propos n’était pas un appel à lancer une attaque, encore moins une attaque nucléaire, contre Israël. Aucun État sensé ne peut partir en guerre sur la foi d’une mauvaise traduction.  John J. Mearsheimer et Stephen M. Walt

Realists should celebrate gay marriage. Today’s Supreme Court ruling will help create a better, stronger America.
Stephen M. Walt
Do you want to fight the Islamic State and the forces of Islamic extremist terrorism? I’ll tell you the best way to send a message to those masked gunmen in Iraq and Syria and to everyone else who gains power by sowing violence and fear. Just keep posting that second set of images. Post them on Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and in comments all over the Internet. Send them to your friends and your family. Send them to your pen pal in France and your old roommate in Tunisia. Send them to strangers. Yes, it’s sappy. But this has always been the dream of America:(…) And I still have faith that this dream is the one that will prevail, in the end. That’s the lesson of history: Brutality and fear can keep people down for only so long. The Nazis learned this; the Soviets learned it; the Ku Klux Klan learned it; Pol Pot learned it; the Rwandan génocidaires learned it. One of these days, the Islamic State and al Qaeda will learn it too. I’m not a big fan of Twitter, but for once there’s a Twitter hashtag worth quoting, though it took my 13-year-old daughter to point it out to me: #LoveWins. Tweet it. Shout it. Sing it. Rosa Brooks
Major U.S. defense contractors stand to earn a windfall if President Barack Obama’s administration secures a nuclear deal with Iran that sends jittery, oil-rich Persian Gulf countries seeking advanced new weapons. But the contractors likely will also do just fine if the negotiations unexpectedly collapse. Fueling the coming spending is a controversial provision in the framework agreement, struck in April between Tehran and world powers, that largely left Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities untouched in the ongoing negotiations. The move angered White House critics on Capitol Hill and in parts of Europe. More urgently, it left Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) particularly uneasy because they are well within range of Iran’s increasingly advanced ballistic missiles. That means deal or no deal, the Gulf countries — already some of the world’s biggest weapons buyers — will be opening their wallets even wider in the years ahead. American defense contractors have long recognized the lucrative opportunity in the region, and they are counting on increased weapons sales to the Middle East to counteract a U.S. market that has slowed due to the relative flattening of the domestic defense budget. Paul McLeary
The whites didn’t want to come out against Obama since he endorsed it so strongly and they didn’t want to be called bigots — and the blacks didn’t want to say they were betraying a black man. (…) I absolutely would not do a gay marriage. (…) I think of our children. What it’s going to do to our children. What kind of world are they going to grow up in? I’ve said for two years that we’re going to have to have civil disobedience. They were very cunning in the way they did it. (…) The homosexual community has not shown all of what it’s going to do. They have a game plan that, now that the Supreme Court has ruled, will take this country down a very immoral path. (…) I knew that he was going to do it the second term. His deal was, ‘Get me elected the first time, and I’ll come out for same-sex marriage in my second term.’ He deceived the American people, because the black community would not have backed him had he come out the first time for same-sex marriage. Some people just didn’t want to speak against Obama.  (…) It’s going to be much harder, because we’re going to have to go from state to state. It’s going to be hard to do, but it can be done. Remember, blacks worked for 300 years for civil rights in the courts. Three-hundred long years. It’s not something that we’re going to win overnight. There is no quick fix, but I think now the church will rise up. All the Christian churches in the United States that believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, they need to rise up. (…) We’re asking people to rise up and be ready to go to jail. Why go to jail? To let it be known that we will not bow down, we will not give up, whatever the costs. It’s the new civil rights movement, because they are taking away our rights. They are taking away the Christian’s rights. This is just a start. We have nothing against homosexuals, but when you start talking about marriage, and then indoctrinating children, where are we going? Where is this society headed? Rev. Bill Owens (Coalition of African-American Pastors)
This morning’s ruling rejects not only thousands of years of time-honored marriage but also the rule of law in the United States. In states across the nation, voters acted through the democratic process to protect marriage and the family. Yet, courts around the country chose to disregard the will of the people in favor of political correctness and social experimentation. And we witnessed firsthand the consequences, as individuals were repeatedly targeted by the government for not actively supporting homosexual marriage. Sadly, our nation’s highest Court, which should be a symbol of justice, has chosen instead to be a tool of tyranny, elevating judicial will above the will of the people. There is no doubt that this morning’s ruling will imperil religious liberty in America, as individuals of faith who uphold time-honored marriage and choose not to advocate for same-sex unions will now be viewed as extremists. AFA President Tim Wildmon
Nationwide, according to the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg, just over 3.3 million individuals voted for same-sex marriage in three states—Maine, Maryland and Washington State—compared to more than 41 million who voted for marriage protection amendments or bans on same-sex marriage in 31 states—a ratio of more than 12 to 1. American Family Association
We should just start calling this law SCOTUScare. Anton Scalia
The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. (…) Today’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court’s abuse of its authority have failed. Samuel Alito
[T]his Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither force nor will but merely judgment.” (…) Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition. Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept. The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are? (…) Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law. The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer. (…) The premises supporting th[e] concept of [natural] marriage are so fundamental that they rarely require articulation. The human race must procreate to survive. Procreation occurs through sexual relations between a man and a woman. When sexual relations result in the conception of a child, that child’s prospects are generally better if the mother and father stay together rather than going their separate ways. Therefore, for the good of children and society, sexual relations that can lead to procreation should occur only between a man and a woman committed to a lasting bond. (…) The Constitution itself says nothing about marriage, and the Framers thereby entrusted the States with “[t]he whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife. (…) This Court’s precedents have repeatedly described marriage in ways that are consistent only with its traditional meaning. (…) Stripped of its shiny rhetorical gloss, the majority’s argument is that the Due Process Clause gives same-sex couples a fundamental right to marry because it will be good for them and for society. If I were a legislator, I would certainly consider that view as a matter of social policy. But as a judge, I find the majority’s position indefensible as a matter of constitutional law. (…) The truth is that today’s decision rests on nothing more than the majority’s own conviction that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry because they want to, and that “it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.” Whatever force that belief may have as a matter of moral philosophy, it has no more basis in the Constitution than did the naked policy preferences adopted in Lochner. (…) Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective “two” in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one. It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. (…) When asked about a plural marital union at oral argument, petitioners asserted that a State “doesn’t have such an institution.” But that is exactly the point: the States at issue here do not have an institution of same-sex marriage, either. (…) Nowhere is the majority’s extravagant conception of judicial supremacy more evident than in its description—and dismissal—of the public debate regarding same-sex marriage. Yes, the majority concedes, on one side are thousands of years of human history in every society known to have populated the planet. But on the other side, there has been “extensive litigation,” “many thoughtful District Court decisions,” “countless studies, papers, books, and other popular and scholarly writings,” and “more than 100” amicus briefs in these cases alone. What would be the point of allowing the democratic process to go on? It is high time for the Court to decide the meaning of marriage, based on five lawyers’ “better informed understanding” of “a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.” The answer is surely there in one of those amicus briefs or studies. Those who founded our country would not recognize the majority’s conception of the judicial role. They after all risked their lives and fortunes for the precious right to govern themselves. They would never have imagined yielding that right on a question of social policy to unaccountable and unelected judges. And they certainly would not have been satisfied by a system empowering judges to override policy judgments so long as they do so after “a quite extensive discussion. (…) Those who founded our country would not recognize the majority’s conception of the judicial role … They would never have imagined yielding that right on a question of social policy to unaccountable and unelected judges. (…) If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it. Chief Justice Roberts
The most striking aspect of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, which created a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, was its deep emotion. This was no mere legal opinion. Indeed, the law and Constitution had little to do with it. (To Justice Kennedy, the most persuasive legal precedents were his own prior opinions protecting gay rights.) This was a statement of belief, written with the passion of a preacher, meant to inspire. Consider the already much-quoted closing: As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. Or this: “Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there.” This isn’t constitutional law, it’s theology — a secular theology of self-actualization — crafted in such a way that its adherents will no doubt ask, “What decent person can disagree?” This is about love, and the law can’t fight love. Justice Kennedy’s opinion was nine parts romantic poetry and one part legal analysis (if that). And that’s what makes it so dangerous for religious liberty and free speech. Practitioners of constitutional law know that there is no such thing as an “absolute” right to free speech or religious freedom in any context — virtually all cases involve balancing the asserted right against the asserted state interest, with “compelling” state interests typically trumping even the strongest assertions of First Amendment rights. And what is more compelling than this ode to love? (…) This is the era of sexual liberty — the marriage of hedonism to meaning — and the establishment of a new civic religion. The black-robed priesthood has spoken. Will the church bow before their new masters? David French
Most dispiriting, and least convincing, are those arguments that simply reconstitute the slippery slope arguments that have been used for so long against same sex marriage. “If we allow group marriage,” the thinking seems to go, “why wouldn’t marriage with animals or children come next?” The difference is, of course, consent. In recent years, a progressive and enlightened movement has worked to insist that consent is the measure of all things in sexual and romantic practice: as long as all involved in any particular sexual or romantic relationship are consenting adults, everything is permissible; if any individual does not give free and informed consent, no sexual or romantic engagement can be condoned. This bedrock principle of mutually-informed consent explains exactly why we must permit polygamy and must oppose bestiality and child marriage. Animals are incapable of voicing consent; children are incapable of understanding what it means to consent. In contrast, consenting adults who all knowingly and willfully decide to enter into a joint marriage contract, free of coercion, should be permitted to do so, according to basic principles of personal liberty. The preeminence of the principle of consent is a just and pragmatic way to approach adult relationships in a world of multivariate and complex human desires. Progressives have always flattered themselves that time is on their side, that their preferences are in keeping with the arc of history. In the fight for marriage equality, this claim has been made again and again. Many have challenged our politicians and our people to ask themselves whether they can imagine a future in which opposition to marriage equality is seen as a principled stance. I think it’s time to turn the question back on them: given what you know about the advancement of human rights, are you sure your opposition to group marriage won’t sound as anachronistic as opposition to gay marriage sounds to you now? And since we have insisted that there is no legitimate way to oppose gay marriage and respect gay love, how can you oppose group marriage and respect group love?   I suspect that many progressives would recognize, when pushed in this way, that the case against polygamy is incredibly flimsy, almost entirely lacking in rational basis and animated by purely irrational fears and prejudice. What we’re left with is an unsatisfying patchwork of unconvincing arguments and bad ideas, ones embraced for short-term convenience at long-term cost. We must insist that rights cannot be dismissed out of short-term interests of logistics and political pragmatism. The course then, is clear: to look beyond political convenience and conservative intransigence, and begin to make the case for extending legal marriage rights to more loving and committed adults. It’s time. Fredrik deBoer

Attention: un drapeau peut en cacher un autre !

Au lendemain du triple attentat sous drapeau djihadiste qui entre la France, le Koweit et la Tunisie et en l’honneur de la première victoire musulmane du Ramadan et du premier anniversaire de l’Etat islamique, fera  une soixantaine de victimes …

Et à l’heure où après le véritable putsch juridique de la Cour suprême américaine, et de la Maison Blanche à l’Empire State Building, des chutes du Niagara aux frontons des mairies de San Francisco, Tel Aviv ou Paris ou des porte de Brandebourg, château de Disney World au pont de Minneapolis …

Entre les logos et les slogans les plus vides et les plus démagogiques (LoveWins/l’amour triomphe) de nos médias ou des entreprises de l’informatique et de l’Internet comme de nos prétendues lumières, d’Obama à Hillary Clinton et de Madonna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift ou Justin Timberlake, de la politique et du monde du spectacle …

Pendant qu’après l’abandon de l’Irak et bientôt de l’Afghanistan et l’autorisation de l’arme nucléaire accordée à un pays qui ne prône rien de moins que  la Solution finale  …

Et sans parler de l’irrédentisme russe ou de l’aventurisme chinois

Nos marchands de canons se frottent les mains et nos nouveaux croisés de « l’amour » prônent, pour contrer la barbarie islamiste et au nom s’il vous plait du « réalisme », le nouveau Grand mensonge   …

Le drapeau homo flotte désormais sur la quasi-totalité du Monde dit libre …

Comment ne pas repenser au mot fameux du comte de Salvandry au roi des Deux-Siciles à la veille de la Révolution de Juillet …

Et ne pas voir avec le juge de la Cour suprême John Roberts et  une tribune de l’hebdomadaire américain Foreign Policy

La logique et prochaine étape de l’ubérisation sociétale que nous vivons …

A savoir la légalisation de la polygamie ?

Politics
It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy
Why group marriage is the next horizon of social liberalism.
Fredrik Deboer
June 26, 2015

Welcome to the exciting new world of the slippery slope. With the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling this Friday legalizing same sex marriage in all 50 states, social liberalism has achieved one of its central goals. A right seemingly unthinkable two decades ago has now been broadly applied to a whole new class of citizens. Following on the rejection of interracial marriage bans in the 20th Century, the Supreme Court decision clearly shows that marriage should be a broadly applicable right—one that forces the government to recognize, as Friday’s decision said, a private couple’s “love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family.”

The question presents itself: Where does the next advance come? The answer is going to make nearly everyone uncomfortable: Now that we’ve defined that love and devotion and family isn’t driven by gender alone, why should it be limited to just two individuals? The most natural advance next for marriage lies in legalized polygamy—yet many of the same people who pressed for marriage equality for gay couples oppose it.

This is not an abstract issue. In Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissenting opinion, he remarks, “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.” As is often the case with critics of polygamy, he neglects to mention why this is a fate to be feared. Polygamy today stands as a taboo just as strong as same-sex marriage was several decades ago—it’s effectively only discussed as outdated jokes about Utah and Mormons, who banned the practice over 120 years ago.

Yet the moral reasoning behind society’s rejection of polygamy remains just as uncomfortable and legally weak as same-sex marriage opposition was until recently.

That’s one reason why progressives who reject the case for legal polygamy often don’t really appear to have their hearts in it. They seem uncomfortable voicing their objections, clearly unused to being in the position of rejecting the appeals of those who would codify non-traditional relationships in law. They are, without exception, accepting of the right of consenting adults to engage in whatever sexual and romantic relationships they choose, but oppose the formal, legal recognition of those relationships. They’re trapped, I suspect, in prior opposition that they voiced from a standpoint of political pragmatism in order to advance the cause of gay marriage.

In doing so, they do real harm to real people. Marriage is not just a formal codification of informal relationships. It’s also a defensive system designed to protect the interests of people whose material, economic and emotional security depends on the marriage in question. If my liberal friends recognize the legitimacy of free people who choose to form romantic partnerships with multiple partners, how can they deny them the right to the legal protections marriage affords?

Polyamory is a fact. People are living in group relationships today. The question is not whether they will continue on in those relationships. The question is whether we will grant to them the same basic recognition we grant to other adults: that love makes marriage, and that the right to marry is exactly that, a right.

Why the opposition, from those who have no interest in preserving “traditional marriage” or forbidding polyamorous relationships? I think the answer has to do with political momentum, with a kind of ad hoc-rejection of polygamy as necessary political concession. And in time, I think it will change.

The marriage equality movement has been both the best and worst thing that could happen for legally sanctioned polygamy. The best, because that movement has required a sustained and effective assault on “traditional marriage” arguments that reflected no particular point of view other than that marriage should stay the same because it’s always been the same. In particular, the notion that procreation and child-rearing are the natural justification for marriage has been dealt a terminal injury. We don’t, after all, ban marriage for those who can’t conceive, or annul marriages that don’t result in children, or make couples pinkie swear that they’ll have kids not too long after they get married. We have insisted instead that the institution exists to enshrine in law a special kind of long-term commitment, and to extend certain essential logistical and legal benefits to those who make that commitment. And rightly so.

But the marriage equality movement has been curiously hostile to polygamy, and for a particularly unsatisfying reason: short-term political need. Many conservative opponents of marriage equality have made the slippery slope argument, insisting that same-sex marriages would lead inevitably to further redefinition of what marriage is and means. See, for example, Rick Santorum’s infamous “man on dog” comments, in which he equated the desire of two adult men or women to be married with bestiality. Polygamy has frequently been a part of these slippery slope arguments. Typical of such arguments, the reasons why marriage between more than two partners would be destructive were taken as a given. Many proponents of marriage equality, I’m sorry to say, went along with this evidence-free indictment of polygamous matrimony. They choose to side-step the issue by insisting that gay marriage wouldn’t lead to polygamy. That legally sanctioned polygamy was a fate worth fearing went without saying.

To be clear: our lack of legal recognition of group marriages is not the fault of the marriage equality movement. Rather, it’s that the tactics of that movement have made getting to serious discussions of legalized polygamy harder. I say that while recognizing the unprecedented and necessary success of those tactics. I understand the political pragmatism in wanting to hold the line—to not be perceived to be slipping down the slope. To advocate for polygamy during the marriage equality fight may have seemed to confirm the socially conservative narrative, that gay marriage augured a wholesale collapse in traditional values. But times have changed; while work remains to be done, the immediate danger to marriage equality has passed. In 2005, a denial of the right to group marriage stemming from political pragmatism made at least some sense. In 2015, after this ruling, it no longer does.

While important legal and practical questions remain unresolved, with the Supreme Court’s ruling and broad public support, marriage equality is here to stay. Soon, it will be time to turn the attention of social liberalism to the next horizon. Given that many of us have argued, to great effect, that deference to tradition is not a legitimate reason to restrict marriage rights to groups that want them, the next step seems clear. We should turn our efforts towards the legal recognition of marriages between more than two partners. It’s time to legalize polygamy.

***

Conventional arguments against polygamy fall apart with even a little examination. Appeals to traditional marriage, and the notion that child rearing is the only legitimate justification of legal marriage, have now, I hope, been exposed and discarded by all progressive people. What’s left is a series of jerry-rigged arguments that reflect no coherent moral vision of what marriage is for, and which frequently function as criticisms of traditional marriage as well.

Many argue that polygamous marriages are typically sites of abuse, inequality in power and coercion. Some refer to sociological research showing a host of ills that are associated with polygamous family structures. These claims are both true and beside the point. Yes, it’s true that many polygamous marriages come from patriarchal systems, typically employing a “hub and spokes” model where one husband has several wives who are not married to each other. These marriages are often of the husband-as-boss variety, and we have good reason to suspect that such models have higher rates of abuse, both physical and emotional, and coercion. But this is a classic case of blaming a social problem on its trappings rather than on its actual origins.

After all, traditional marriages often foster abuse. Traditional marriages are frequently patriarchal. Traditional marriages often feature ugly gender and power dynamics. Indeed, many would argue that marriage’s origins stem from a desire to formalize patriarchal structures within the family in the first place. We’ve pursued marriage equality at the same time as we’ve pursued more equitable, more feminist heterosexual marriages, out of a conviction that the franchise is worth improving, worth saving. If we’re going to ban marriages because some are sites of sexism and abuse, then we’d have to start with the old fashioned one-husband-and-one-wife model. If polygamy tends to be found within religious traditions that seem alien or regressive to the rest of us, that is a function of the very illegality that should be done away with. Legalize group marriage and you will find its connection with abuse disappears.

Another common argument, and another unsatisfying one, is logistical. In this telling, polygamous marriages would strain the infrastructure of our legal systems of marriage, as they are not designed to handle marriage between more than two people. In particular, the claim is frequently made that the division of property upon divorce or death would be too complicated for polygamous marriages. I find this argument eerily reminiscent of similar efforts to dismiss same-sex marriage on practical grounds. (The forms say husband and wife! What do you want us to do, print new forms?) Logistics, it should go without saying, are insufficient reason to deny human beings human rights.

If current legal structures and precedents aren’t conducive to group marriage, then they will be built in time. The comparison to traditional marriage is again instructive. We have, after all, many decades of case law and legal organization dedicated to marriage, and yet divorce and family courts feature some of the most bitterly contested cases imaginable. Complication and dispute are byproducts of human relationships and human commitment. We could, as a civil society, create a legal expectation that those engaging in a group marriage create binding documents and contracts that clearly delineate questions of inheritance, alimony, and the like. Prenups are already a thing.

Most dispiriting, and least convincing, are those arguments that simply reconstitute the slippery slope arguments that have been used for so long against same sex marriage. “If we allow group marriage,” the thinking seems to go, “why wouldn’t marriage with animals or children come next?” The difference is, of course, consent. In recent years, a progressive and enlightened movement has worked to insist that consent is the measure of all things in sexual and romantic practice: as long as all involved in any particular sexual or romantic relationship are consenting adults, everything is permissible; if any individual does not give free and informed consent, no sexual or romantic engagement can be condoned.

This bedrock principle of mutually-informed consent explains exactly why we must permit polygamy and must oppose bestiality and child marriage. Animals are incapable of voicing consent; children are incapable of understanding what it means to consent. In contrast, consenting adults who all knowingly and willfully decide to enter into a joint marriage contract, free of coercion, should be permitted to do so, according to basic principles of personal liberty. The preeminence of the principle of consent is a just and pragmatic way to approach adult relationships in a world of multivariate and complex human desires.

Progressives have always flattered themselves that time is on their side, that their preferences are in keeping with the arc of history. In the fight for marriage equality, this claim has been made again and again. Many have challenged our politicians and our people to ask themselves whether they can imagine a future in which opposition to marriage equality is seen as a principled stance. I think it’s time to turn the question back on them: given what you know about the advancement of human rights, are you sure your opposition to group marriage won’t sound as anachronistic as opposition to gay marriage sounds to you now? And since we have insisted that there is no legitimate way to oppose gay marriage and respect gay love, how can you oppose group marriage and respect group love?

I suspect that many progressives would recognize, when pushed in this way, that the case against polygamy is incredibly flimsy, almost entirely lacking in rational basis and animated by purely irrational fears and prejudice. What we’re left with is an unsatisfying patchwork of unconvincing arguments and bad ideas, ones embraced for short-term convenience at long-term cost. We must insist that rights cannot be dismissed out of short-term interests of logistics and political pragmatism. The course then, is clear: to look beyond political convenience and conservative intransigence, and begin to make the case for extending legal marriage rights to more loving and committed adults. It’s time.

Fredrik deBoer is a writer and academic. He lives in Indiana.

Voir aussi:

Voice
Why Realists Should Celebrate Gay Marriage
Today’s Supreme Court ruling will help create a better, stronger America.
Stephen M. Walt
Foreign policy
June 26, 2015

Regular readers know I am often critical of the U.S. government because I believe pointing to flaws that could be corrected is part of my job. But it is also important to highlight those moments when my country does the right thing, and today’s SCOTUS decision on gay marriage is one of them.

For starters, the decision is consistent with the defining feature of American democracy: its emphasis on individual freedom and personal choice. As the court made clear, if consenting adults are not free to fall in love with whomever they are drawn to and to express that love openly in the institution of marriage, then they are being denied the full rights that other citizens enjoy and they are not in fact truly free. Today’s decision eliminated this obvious contradiction between our ideals and our practices, and it should be celebrated for that reason alone.

Second, along with U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to permit gay Americans to serve openly in the armed forces, the decision is a blow in favor of fairness and efficiency. Prejudice and bigotry are bad in and of themselves, but they also impede the optimal use of human resources. When gay people could not serve openly in the military, our country was denied the talents that these patriotic individuals could have brought to important national security tasks. Similarly, when gay Americans could not marry or live together openly without fearing persecution, and when companies discriminated against gay employees, it meant that our society could not reap the full benefits of their unfettered participation. Whenever we remove another plank of prejudice, we help the best people rise as far as their abilities can take them, and all of us benefit as a result.

Today’s decision is also a tribute to the power of America’s oft maligned democratic institutions and the ability of reasoned discourse to triumph over ancient stigmas. Gay marriage did not come about by accident or just because two gay people decided to file a lawsuit a few years ago. It came about because courageous writers like Andrew Sullivan wrote powerfully in its favor, because an array of people — both gay and straight — organized to carry these arguments forward, and because more and more gay people came out and the straight world learned to relish their friendship and see them as equals. Once these things happened, the contradiction between our values and our laws — and the obvious injustice of the latter — was increasingly apparent. The American political system does not change direction quickly or easily, but it is open to reasoned discourse and responsive to changing sentiments. Even a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives could not fail to see that the ground had shifted, and today’s decision reflects that welcome reality.

Finally, establishing gay marriage as a fundamental right removes one of the practices that has separated the United States from many of its democratic partners (the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Argentina, Iceland, Portugal, Denmark, Brazil, England, Wales, France, New Zealand, Uruguay, Luxembourg, Scotland, and Finland). It will increase pressure on some other countries to follow suit, especially within Western Europe. At the same time, it is likely to broaden the gulf between states where homosexuality is becoming a nonissue and those where it is still persecuted and even same-sex unions are illegal. For gay people around the world, the struggle is far from over.

The struggle for human rights of different kinds is long and slow. But today, the arc of history bent.

 Voir également:

Voice
Can Gay Marriage Defeat the Islamic State?
A few — admittedly sappy — thoughts on the power of #LoveWins.
Rosa Brooks
Foreign Policy
June 26, 2015

I was thinking about two sets of images this morning: one from an Islamic State-controlled city in Iraq, the other from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

The first set of images, from early June, shows masked gunmen surrounding a crowd of people, mostly men. Some of the faces in the crowd show fear or hatred; others are studiously blank. But all eyes are fixed on the rooftop of a nearby building, where a blindfolded man is dangling upside down, his ankle held tightly by another masked man. Next image: The blindfolded man’s body plummets headfirst toward the pavement below. Final image: a crumpled, bloody heap on the ground, surrounded by a sea of faces. Headline and caption, from Fox News: “ISIS conducts more executions of men for being gay.… On June 3, 2015, Islamic State (ISIS) operatives in Iraq’s Ninveh province published photos of a public execution in Mosul of three men convicted of acts of homosexuality. The three men were blindfolded and dropped head first from the roof of a tall building in front of a large crowd of spectators, including children.”

The second set of images shows another crowd, thousands of miles away from the first. This crowd is full of men and women, all ages and all races, and they’re waving American flags and rainbow-colored flags. This crowd isn’t flanked by gunmen; no one looks frightened or enraged. This crowd is laughing and embracing; a few people are weeping, their faces lit with relief and joy. Caption from the Washington Post: “Gay rights supporters celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington after justices ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry, no matter where they live.”

I know which crowd I’d rather be in.

Do you want to fight the Islamic State and the forces of Islamic extremist terrorism? I’ll tell you the best way to send a message to those masked gunmen in Iraq and Syria and to everyone else who gains power by sowing violence and fear. Just keep posting that second set of images. Post them on Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and in comments all over the Internet. Send them to your friends and your family. Send them to your pen pal in France and your old roommate in Tunisia. Send them to strangers.

Yes, it’s sappy. But this has always been the dream of America: a dream of freedom, of a land where no one would force their religious beliefs on anyone else. A land where all people would have the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A land where we could seek change peacefully and trust our laws and institutions to respond to our deepest hopes.

The fulfillment of that dream has always been just a little bit beyond our reach, and we can approach it only through ceaseless struggle against the forces of darkness and reaction. This country has seen its share of hate-filled crowds. It has seen its share of whippings, lynchings, and beatings.

But it’s a dream that has brought untold millions of immigrants to our shores over the years, fleeing religious persecution and war and repression and a thousand different brands of hatred. It’s a dream that helped make the United States emulated and admired around the world. And it’s a dream that isn’t dead, as the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage reminds us.

Yes, America still has gunmen who shoot up churches and schools and bombers intent on turning crowds of smiling athletes and spectators into bloody bodies. We still have plenty of bigots and bullies. But we also still have that dream.

And I still have faith that this dream is the one that will prevail, in the end. That’s the lesson of history: Brutality and fear can keep people down for only so long. The Nazis learned this; the Soviets learned it; the Ku Klux Klan learned it; Pol Pot learned it; the Rwandan génocidaires learned it.

One of these days, the Islamic State and al Qaeda will learn it too.

I’m not a big fan of Twitter, but for once there’s a Twitter hashtag worth quoting, though it took my 13-year-old daughter to point it out to me: #LoveWins.

Tweet it. Shout it.

Sing it.

Voir encore:

The Supreme Court Ratifies a New Civic Religion That Is Incompatible with Christianity
David French
National Review
June 26, 2015

The most striking aspect of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, which created a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, was its deep emotion. This was no mere legal opinion. Indeed, the law and Constitution had little to do with it. (To Justice Kennedy, the most persuasive legal precedents were his own prior opinions protecting gay rights.) This was a statement of belief, written with the passion of a preacher, meant to inspire. Consider the already much-quoted closing: As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. Or this: “Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there.” This isn’t constitutional law, it’s theology — a secular theology of self-actualization — crafted in such a way that its adherents will no doubt ask, “What decent person can disagree?” This is about love, and the law can’t fight love. Justice Kennedy’s opinion was nine parts romantic poetry and one part legal analysis (if that). And that’s what makes it so dangerous for religious liberty and free speech. Practitioners of constitutional law know that there is no such thing as an “absolute” right to free speech or religious freedom in any context — virtually all cases involve balancing the asserted right against the asserted state interest, with “compelling” state interests typically trumping even the strongest assertions of First Amendment rights. And what is more compelling than this ode to love? RELATED: Supreme Court Forces States to Perform Gay Marriage, 5-4

The challenge for orthodox religious believers is now abundantly clear: For years, they’ve been standing against “history,” “equality,” and — yes — love itself. Now, all of that rhetoric has been constitutionalized, embedded in the secular scripture of our land. To be sure, Justice Kennedy did at least nod in the direction of the orthodox, declaring: Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. But this rhetoric, as he knows, is legally meaningless in the face of the potent combination of emotion and legal doctrines that have long deemphasized religious freedom. Justice Kennedy’s rhetoric will slide neatly into existing balancing tests, leaving defenders of religious liberty grasping for persuasive rhetoric to counter the irresistible tide of the new, civic religion. More marriage The Supreme Court Has Legalized Same-Sex Marriage: Now What? Sweeping Aside Madison’s Handiwork Constitutional Remedies to a Lawless Supreme Court For many believers, this new era will present a unique challenge. Christians often strive to be seen as the “nicest” or “most loving” people in their communities. Especially among Evangelicals, there is a naïve belief that if only we were winsome enough, kind enough, and compassionate enough, the culture would welcome us with open arms. But now our love — expressed in the fullness of a Gospel that identifies homosexual conduct as sin but then provides eternal hope through justification and sanctification — is hate. Christians who’ve not suffered for their faith often romanticize persecution. They imagine themselves willing to lose their jobs, their liberty, or even their lives for standing up for the Gospel. Yet when the moment comes, at least here in the United States, they often find that they simply can’t abide being called “hateful.” It creates a desperate, panicked response. “No, you don’t understand. I’m not like those people — the religious right.” Thus, at the end of the day, a church that descends from apostles who withstood beatings finds itself unable to withstand tweetings. Social scorn is worse than the lash. This is the era of sexual liberty — the marriage of hedonism to meaning — and the establishment of a new civic religion. The black-robed priesthood has spoken. Will the church bow before their new masters?

— David French is an attorney and a staff writer at National Review.

Voir encore:

Report
Iran’s Missiles Are a Windfall for U.S. Defense Contractors
Nuclear deal or not, Tehran is keeping its ballistic missiles. And American firms are betting on a buyer’s market in the Persian Gulf.
Paul McLeary
Foreign Policy
June 26, 2015

Major U.S. defense contractors stand to earn a windfall if President Barack Obama’s administration secures a nuclear deal with Iran that sends jittery, oil-rich Persian Gulf countries seeking advanced new weapons. But the contractors likely will also do just fine if the negotiations unexpectedly collapse.

Fueling the coming spending is a controversial provision in the framework agreement, struck in April between Tehran and world powers, that largely left Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities untouched in the ongoing negotiations. The move angered White House critics on Capitol Hill and in parts of Europe. More urgently, it left Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) particularly uneasy because they are well within range of Iran’s increasingly advanced ballistic missiles.

That means deal or no deal, the Gulf countries — already some of the world’s biggest weapons buyers — will be opening their wallets even wider in the years ahead.

American defense contractors have long recognized the lucrative opportunity in the region, and they are counting on increased weapons sales to the Middle East to counteract a U.S. market that has slowed due to the relative flattening of the domestic defense budget.

At defense giant Lockheed Martin, Chief Executive Officer Marillyn Hewson wants the company to boost its foreign sales to about 20 percent of the firm’s revenues by the end of 2015, up from 17 percent currently. Most of that growth is expected to come from its sales of missile defense systems. The company already sells about $8 billion in missiles and fire controls annually, with close to half going to America’s allies in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.

“With the regional instability that’s going on [in the Mideast], we’ve seen a fairly large appetite for a layered air-defense capability,” said Joe Garland, vice president of international business development at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
“With the regional instability that’s going on [in the Mideast], we’ve seen a fairly large appetite for a layered air-defense capability,” said Joe Garland, vice president of international business development at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

In an attempt to deepen ties in the region, Lockheed in December set up what it has dubbed the Center for Innovation and Security Solutions in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Garland described it as an effort to collaborate with the UAE on “what type of systems they want to develop for their security,” while exploring new ideas for working with allies in the region.

It is not the number of deals that drives up profits, but the huge cost of fielding just a few systems. Over the past several years, the UAE has signed $1.9 billion in deals to buy two of Lockheed’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile systems. Qatar and Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, also are reportedly working to acquire the mobile, truck-mounted firing system, as well as an associated radar made by Raytheon.

Last year, an estimated 10 percent of Raytheon’s $23 billion in global sales went to the Middle East. The company has sold billions of dollars’ worth of Patriot missile systems to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE, along with multiple big-dollar follow-on contracts for maintenance work and a constant stream of upgrades. The company booked a $2 billion sale of Patriots to Saudi Arabia this year.

The Saudi military joined a select club of countries that have deployed the Patriot missile in combat, knocking down a Scud missile fired over the border by Houthi rebels in Yemen this spring.

Raytheon officials declined to comment for this story. But in April, CEO Thomas Kennedy said international business amounted to 28 percent of the company’s revenues for the first quarter of 2015.

Those numbers should go up in coming years, regardless of the outcome of the Iran negotiations.

“The Saudis and Emiratis don’t trust the deal, no matter what the deal is,” Grant Rogan, CEO of Blenheim Capital and a military sales expert, told Foreign Policy.
“The Saudis and Emiratis don’t trust the deal, no matter what the deal is,” Grant Rogan, CEO of Blenheim Capital and a military sales expert, told Foreign Policy. He predicted more sales of Patriot missiles and advanced radar systems “happening in Saudi substantially faster if there’s no deal — or if it’s a deal that doesn’t defang Iran.”

The expected surge won’t make a huge difference on the ground right away, since missile defense systems take years to contract and produce. But as they wait for the expected deals to go through, the six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have started to talk about pooling their missile defense and surveillance assets into a shared network to gain a clearer picture of what is flying through the region’s airspace.

But it is very much a work in progress.

“The problem there has been a political one,” said Thomas Karako, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Following a May summit of GCC leaders in Washington, the Gulf nations issued a hopeful joint statement for progress on the network they described as a regionwide early-warning system — ostensibly as a safeguard against Iran.

Yet real questions remain over the Gulf states’ ability to overcome deeply entrenched political issues that have previously kept them from sharing intelligence. There’s also the issue of long-term technological investment. Building a networked radar and missile system is not merely about putting interceptors in the desert and pointing them toward the sky. “It’s about stitching those assets together and stitching the networks together,” Karako said.

Currently, there is no regionwide shared system to ensure that incoming attacks or other errant airspace objects aren’t missed. And that raises the overall threat for the Gulf nations.

Lockheed has “talked to a number of these GCC countries about how we can help them tie together” missile defense assets, Garland said. “It’s not there yet.”

While talk of selling more missile defense systems to the Middle East may seem a relatively easy way to blunt the Iranian missile threat, Washington should be cautious about how it balances its priorities.

Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy for the Arms Control Association, said focusing too much on Tehran’s missiles ignores the true range of threats posed by Iran.

“To the extent that the U.S. [is] considering increasing arms sales, it should be focused on things like cyber and greater coordination on countering cyberthreats, which we know Iran is capable of,” Reif said.

But anti-ballistic missile systems are, to some degree, easier to sell to Gulf allies than other military weapons. The Defense Department has so far ruled out selling F-35 fighter jets, for example, since that would rile Israel and upset the qualitative military edge that Washington, by law, affords its staunchest ally in the region.

The growing distrust among some Gulf allies of Washington’s tentative agreement with Iran also risks changing the nature of some U.S. relationships in the region. Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen and airstrikes by both Riyadh and the UAE against jihadis in Libya are two examples of attacks launched without either Washington’s support or prior knowledge.

But the relationship will likely fray only so much, no matter the outcome of the eleventh-hour talks in Vienna between world powers and Iran. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies have suggested turning to France and even Russia for future arms, but the American defense industry, as well as Washington’s economic clout, still matters.

Following the May summit, GCC Assistant Secretary-General Abdel Aziz Abu Hamad Aluwaisheg told reporters the meeting “exceeded the expectations of most of us” in that it reasserted Washington’s commitment to Gulf security and containing Iran.

Obama assured Gulf states that a nuclear deal with Iran doesn’t reflect a “pivot” toward Tehran, Aluwaisheg said.

Obama “succeeded very well in putting those questions to rest,” he said.

At the same time, the Gulf is not about to let its guard down. Because Iran already fields a ballistic missile capability that has largely been left outside the nuclear negotiation process, any deal — or lack of a deal — still leaves a serious threat in place.

“Missile defense will continue to grow in the region, regardless,” Rogan said.

Voir de plus:

Over the rainbow
Mariage gay : déferlante de drapeaux arc-en-ciel dans le monde
Delphine Cuny | Rédactrice en chef adjointe
Rue 89
27/06/2015

Politiques et entreprises se sont emparé des symboles du mouvement LGBT au lendemain de la légalisation du mariage gay aux USA et à la veille de plusieurs Gay Prides. Entre joie sincère et récupération.
Au lendemain de la légalisation du mariage homosexuel aux Etats-Unis, le drapeau arc-en-ciel, emblème du mouvement LGBT, a inondé les « timelines » sur Twitter et s’est invité sur de nombreux monuments de grandes capitales, où avait aussi lieu la Marche des fiertés (Gay Pride), à Paris notamment.

Le fronton de l’Hôtel de Ville avait hissé haut les fameuses couleurs, comme l’a tweeté la maire de Paris, Anne Hidalgo, reprenant le hashtag #LoveWins (l’amour triomphe) qui a fait florès sur la Toile. L’ambassadrice des Etats-Unis en France, Jane Hartley, était d’ailleurs ce samedi au côté d’Anne Hidalgo dans la Marche des fiertés à Paris.

La Maison Blanche, bien sûr, avait prévu un éclairage de nuit spécial, tout comme l’Empire State Building à New York, l’hôtel de ville de San Francisco, le pont de Minneapolis, mais aussi la porte de Brandebourg à Berlin ou la mairie de Tel Aviv, comme le rapporte le site d’architecture Arch Daily.

On a vu aussi quelques monuments ou lieux plus inattendus, comme par exemple, le château de Cendrillon à Disney World (Floride) ou même les chutes du Niagara. Mais pas la Tour Eiffel.

Les politiques, à l’image de Hillary Clinton, qui a repeint sa photo de profil sur Twitter aux couleurs arc-en-ciel, ont été les plus prompts à surfer sur la vague #LoveWins mais pas les seuls. Quelques célébrités comme Madonna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift ou Justin Timberlake, se sont aussi associées à cette journée historique.

Taylor Swift s’autocite dans sa chanson ‘Welcome to New York’ : ‘Et tu veux qui tu veux, garçons et garçons et filles et filles’
De nombreux médias ont aussi modifié leur logo pour l’occasion, comme les sites spécialisés en high tech comme The Verge, Mashable ou The Next Web, le site de la Bible de Hollywood, Variety. Mais pas les grands journaux comme le New York Times ou le Washington Post, restés plus sobres, même s’ils ont largement couvert l’événement et joué un rôle dans l’évolution des mentalités.

Ce sont surtout les marques qui se sont emparées du hashtag et du drapeau, en particulier les entreprises de la Silicon Valley, où le mouvement est en pointe : Twitter elle-même, Yahoo ou YouTube (Google) et bien sûr Apple, par la voix de Tim Cook, son directeur général, qui avait fait son coming-out et milité contre la discrimination.

‘Les Etats-Unis ont fait un pas dans la bonne direction aujourd’hui. #Fierd’Aimer’
On pourra citer aussi Uber, dont on parle tant en ce moment, qui publie un Gif montrant vraisemblablement des salariés ‘réjouis’ et ‘fiers’.
De grandes entreprises américaines comme Visa, la compagnie aérienne Delta, la chaîne de supermarchés Target, les bonbons Skittles ont également surfé sur la décision, relève USA Today. Les céréales Kellogg’s n’ont pas hésité se faire un coup de pub, en mettant en avant ses bonnes notes en matière de diversité, quitte à être accusé de faire de la récup. D’autres marques comme la chaîne de restos mexicains Chipotle, qui emballe un burrito d’alu arc-en-ciel, se sont risquées aux jeux de mots de plus ou moins bon goût.

Como Estas (comment ça va) devient Homo Estas chez Chipotle
Au total, Twitter a recensé plus de 10 millions de tweets en six heures sur la légalisation du mariage des couples de même sexe, dont plus de 2,6 millions avec la mention #LoveWins. Un record de 35 000 messages par minute a été atteint dans la nuit (peu avant minuit heure de New York).
A titre de comparaison, en novembre 2014, lors des émeutes à Ferguson, la décision de relaxer le policier ayant tué le jeune noir Michael Brown avait déclenché une tempête de 3,5 millions de tweets en 24 heures. En janvier dernier, il y avait eu 2,1 millions de tweets #JeSuisCharlie dans les six heures suivant l’attaque de l’hebdomadaire satirique.

Voir encore:

Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism
Charles R. Kesler, Ph.D.
The Heritage Foundation
October 15, 2012

Abstract: Liberalism as we know it today in America is on the verge of exhaustion. Facing a fiscal crisis that it has precipitated and no longer sure of its purpose, liberalism will either go out of business or be forced to reinvent itself as something quite different from what it has been. In this careful analysis of Barack Obama’s political thought, Charles R. Kesler shows that the President, though intent on reinvigorating the liberal faith, nonetheless fails to understand its fatal contradictions—a shortsightedness that may prove to be liberalism’s undoing. This essay is adapted from Kesler’s new book, I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism.

Barack Obama had the distinction of being the most liberal member of the United States Senate when he ran for President in 2008. The title had been conferred by National Journal, an inside-the-Beltway watchdog that annually assigns Senators (and Congressmen) an ideological rank based on their votes on economic, social, and foreign policy issues.

Since then, we have learned a lot more about his political leanings as a young man, which were fashionably leftist, broadly in keeping with the climate of opinion on the campuses where he found himself—Occidental College, Columbia University, Harvard Law School.

As a senior at Columbia, he attended the 1983 Socialist Scholars Conference, sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America. Though a meeting of democratic socialists and, yes, community organizers, the conference as well as his long-running friendships with radicals of various sorts would have drawn more sustained attention if the Cold War were still raging. But it was not, and Obama pleaded youthful indiscretion and drift; and of course his campaign did its best to keep the details from coming out.

He still had to answer, in some measure, for his ties to William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, but the issue with, say, the good reverend concerned his sermons about race and Middle East politics, not his penchant for visiting and honoring Fidel Castro, not to mention the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua.[1] Partly by avoiding the worst of the old anti-Communist gauntlet, Obama became the most left-wing liberal to be elected to national executive office since Henry Wallace.

Still, the President is not a self-proclaimed socialist—nor, like Wallace, a self-deceived fellow traveler or worse. Obama never went so far, so openly—whether out of inertia, political calculation, or good sense—and therefore never had to make a public apostasy. As a result, we know less about his evolving views than we might like, though probably more than he would like.

He calls himself a progressive or liberal, and we should take him at his word, at least until we encounter a fatal contradiction. That’s only reasonable and fair; and it avoids the desperate shortcut, gratifying as it may be, of unmasking him as—take your pick—a Third-World daddy’s boy, Alinskyist agitator, deep-cover Muslim, or undocumented alien. Conservatives, of all people, should know to beware instant gratification, especially when it comes wrapped in a conspiracy theory. In any case, hypocrisy, as Rochefoucauld wrote, is the tribute that vice pays to virtue, and Obama seems to think it would be a virtuous thing to have been a lifelong liberal, even if he wasn’t.

And so the question arises: What does it mean anymore to be a liberal? To answer it, we must first retrace the history of liberalism over the course of the past century.

The Four Waves of Liberalism
The 20th century was, as the late Tom Silver used to say, “the liberal century.” Conservatism was a late arrival, debuting as a self-conscious intellectual movement only in the 1950s and lacking significant political success until the 1980s. By contrast, the liberal storm was already gathering in the 1880s and broke upon the land in the new century’s second decade. It had made deep, decisive changes in American politics long before conservatism as we know it came on the scene.

It didn’t, however, win these victories all at once. Modern liberalism spread across the country in three powerful waves, interrupted by wars and by rather haphazard reactions to its excesses. Each wave of liberalism featured a different aspect of it—call them, for short, political liberalism, economic liberalism, and cultural liberalism—and each deposited on our shores a distinctive type of politics—the politics of progress, the politics of entitlements, and the politics of meaning.

These terms are conceptual rather than, strictly speaking, historical. They help to organize our thinking more so than our record-keeping, inasmuch as elements of all three were mixed up in each stage. Although it wasn’t inevitable that one wave should follow the next, a certain logic connected the New Freedom, the New Deal, and the Great Society. Each attempted to transform America, as their names suggest, and the second and third waves worked out themes implicit in the first. But the special flavor of each period owed much to the issues and forces involved, the legacy of previous reform, the character of the political leaders, and the disagreements within and between the generations of reformers. The third wave, centered on the Sixties, showed just how fratricidal liberalism could become.

The first and most disorienting wave was political liberalism, which began as a critique of the Constitution and the morality underlying it. That morality, Woodrow Wilson charged, the natural rights doctrine of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, was based on an outmoded account of human nature, an atomistic and egoistic view that needed to be corrected by a more well-rounded or social view, made plausible by the recent discovery that human nature was necessarily progressive or perfectible. So-called natural rights were actually historical or prescriptive, evolving with the times toward a final and rational truth. The 18th century Constitution, based on the 18th century notion of a fixed human nature with static rights, had in turn to be transcended by a modern or living constitution based on the evolutionary view. Drawing on a curious and unstable mixture of Social Darwinism, German idealism, and English historicism, Wilson outlined the new State that liberals would ever after be building, the goal of which would be nothing less than man’s complete spiritual fulfillment.

The second wave explicitly adopted the name of liberalism, laying aside the old banner of Progressivism. It championed liberality or generosity in the form of a new doctrine of socioeconomic rights and tried to connect the new rights to the old, the Second Bill of Rights (as FDR called it) to the First. Instead of rights springing from the individual, the New Deal reconceived individualism as springing from a new kind of rights created by the State. The new entitlement-style rights posed as personal rights, even though they effectually attached to groups; but due to the slight family resemblance, they allowed Roosevelt to present himself and the New Deal as the loyal servants and successors of the American Revolution, of the old social compact suitably updated.

Liberalism’s third wave, cultural or lifestyle liberalism, hit in the 1960s. It was only when this wave crashed around them that the radical character of liberalism became clear to the American people; only then that conservatism became, at least temporarily, a majority movement, insofar as it stood for America against its cultured despisers and reformers. The Great Society agreed with the New Deal that government had to provide for Americans’ necessities in order that they may live in freedom, but it denied that freedom from want and freedom from fear (along with freedom of speech and worship) were any longer sufficient for all-around human liberation. Freedom required not merely living comfortably but also creatively, a demand that the New Left took several steps further than poor Lyndon Johnson was willing or able to go.

In the Sixties, the “peculiar” character of the radicalism bound up with contemporary liberalism began to tear it apart as its constituent elements began to clash. When social morality collided with personal liberation, and the State’s authority clashed with the people’s rights, and the assumptions of rational progress were denied by protestors who preferred to make history by following their authentic selves rather than admire history as it came to an end—then liberalism began to unravel. For conflicting reasons, liberals lost faith that they were on the right side of history and that the State could ever provide the conditions for complete self-development or spiritual fulfillment.

Obama inherited that frayed liberalism. Against long odds, he’s tried to reunite its dissonant parts and restore its political élan. He brought America to the verge of a fourth wave of political and social transformation, something that neither Democrats nor Republicans thought possible. But as the latest embodiment of the visionary prophet-statesmen he hasn’t been able to sustain the deep connection to the American people that his election in 2008 seemed to promise and that his desire to restore liberalism as the country’s dominant public philosophy required. Perhaps after the debacle of the Great Society, three decades in the political shadow of Ronald Reagan, and the current protracted economic doldrums, Americans have grown suspicious of the liberal vision of the future as a kind of Brigadoon—a land of wonders that voters glimpse every four years but that quickly fades into the mists, and from which no one has ever returned.

Unlike any of his liberal predecessors, Obama’s tortuous doubts about American exceptionalism lead to a sense of his estrangement from his own country, a disability not relieved by his profession, in Berlin, that he is a citizen of the world as well. He seems to lack both the citizen’s pride and the immigrant’s gratitude.

Tempting as it might be to write off the President, it would be a big mistake. Whatever else he may accomplish, his staggering victory on health care reform has earned him a future place on the Mount Rushmore of liberalism, alongside those other supreme hero-statesmen of the creed, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Assuming that his signature achievement is not unceremoniously repealed and replaced, Obama will almost certainly become one of the Democratic immortals, the giants who built and expanded the modern liberal state.

The New Progressivism of Barack Obama
Obama is neither an old-fashioned Progressive nor a radical postmodernist. Part of what makes him interesting is how he handles the conflicting strains of his own thought. As a decent man, he believes in justice and identifies with the civil rights movement’s insistence that Jim Crow was manifestly wrong and the cause of black equality manifestly right. As a self-described progressive, he believes in change; that is, he believes that change is almost always synonymous with improvement, that history has a direction and destination, that it’s crucial to be on the right side of history, not the wrong, and that it’s the leader’s job to discern which is the right side and to lead his people to that promised land of social equality and social justice.

Yet he’s skeptical of the simple-minded progressive equation of history with the inevitable triumph of justice; he fears that the foreknowledge of success or the optimistic certitude of victory would detract from the honor of standing up against Jim Crow, for example. It would also create a free-rider problem: Why risk opposing segregation if its fall is inevitable? He shares the civil rights movement’s sense that you have to make history, not just wait for it to make you. Yet if men can make history and history makes morality, then don’t human beings create their own morality?

As the product of a very liberal education, alas, Obama never discovered that this quandary could be resolved by returning from history to nature as the unchanging ground of our changing experience, as the foundation of morality and politics. Returning, say, to Lincoln’s and the Founders’ own understanding of themselves, reconsidering their argument for the Declaration’s principles, never occurred to him as a serious possibility. The progressivist assumptions, though decadent, were still too strong. He thought the only way was forward.

In his capacity as a political leader, Obama’s favorite formulation is that he seeks to “shape” history. But shaping history leaves ambiguous just how much freedom or influence human beings actually have—whether we shape history decisively or only marginally. As he declared in Iowa in 2010 after his health care victory: “Our future is what we make it. Our future is what we make it.”

That’s the deeper meaning of his slogan, “Yes, we can,” which he elsewhere called “a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.” In itself, the phrase sounds like a reply to “No, you can’t.” But was the nay-sayer denying us permission to do something or doubting our ability to do it? If the former, “Yes, we can” is an assertion of moral right or autonomy; if the latter, it’s an assertion of power or competence. For Obama, in Progressive fashion, the two appear to go together. Obama says, “Yes, we can” to slaves, abolitionists, immigrants, western pioneers, suffragettes, the space program, healing this nation, and repairing the world—and that’s in one speech.[2]

In a strange way, “Yes, we can” takes the place in his thought that “all men are created equal” held in Lincoln’s thought. Insofar as it is America’s national creed, it affirms that America is what we make it at any given time: America stands for the ability to change, openness to change, the willingness to constantly remake ourselves—but apparently for no particular purpose. Jon Stewart, the comedian, caught the dilemma perfectly when, joshing the President over his equivocations on the Ground Zero mosque, he said Obama’s slogan, as amended, now read: “Yes, we can…. But…should we?”

The country’s saving principle, then, is openness to change. “The genius of our founders is that they designed a system of government that can be changed,” Obama said in 2007 when announcing his presidential candidacy. In short, ours is the kind of country that always says, “Yes, we can” to the principle of “Yes, we can.” We affirm our right to change by always changing; we shape history by reshaping ourselves.

For all his openness to change, there is one to which Obama consistently answers, “No, we can’t.” Any change that would move the country backward, in his view, is anathema. “What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when…” is a phrase that begins many a sentence in his repertory. When dealing with conservatives, his confidence in history’s purpose and beneficence is miraculously raised to almost Wilsonian levels. He may not be exactly sure where history is going, but somehow he knows it’s not going there. A certain impatience and irritability creep into his voice. If people reject his vision, he can’t be a leader—and that makes it personal. His tone turns petulant, and he begins to issue orders to follow him.

The main target of his scoldings is, of course, the House Republicans, who tend to obstruct his measures. But in a larger sense, Obama displays the Progressive impatience with politics itself. It’s not merely the separation of powers, checks and balances, and other constitutional devices that often stalemate change to which liberals object. It’s human nature in its present state, still so inclined to praise God rather than man, to venerate the past, and to be guided by a healthy self-love.

Eventually, man will be worthy of liberalism, assuming it has its way with him and conditions him to love the State as the bee loves the hive. In the meantime, it’s a constant struggle to bear with this unreconstructed individualist who would rather govern his potty little self (in Chesterton’s great phrase) according to his own lights than be well governed by experts for his own (purported) good.

Obama, like most liberal thinkers, dreams of overcoming man’s stubbornly political nature in two ways, by assimilating politics either to the family or to the military. He began his 2011 State of the Union address by invoking the first theme: “We are part of the American family,” and together as one we’re going to “win the future”—a slogan with deeply Social Darwinist roots, by the way.

After the future business didn’t pan out so well in numerous scrapes with the House GOP, his frustration took a different direction a year later. In his 2012 State of the Union, after celebrating Osama bin Laden’s killing and the withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq, the President focused on the “courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America’s armed forces”:

At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together…. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example.
Yes, if politics were rigidly hierarchical, if we had to follow orders from above without question, and if living together as a free people were as unequivocal and straightforward an affair as pumping bullets into bin Laden, then we could accomplish a lot more—or a lot less, depending on how highly you value democratic self-government as an accomplishment. And the truth is that the leadership paradigm values freedom and self-rule much less than it does getting things done, attacking social problems, and making sure that liberal programs survive the struggle for existence on Capitol Hill.

Leadership is a term from the military side of politics, and one of the reasons the Founders resisted it was their determination to preserve republican politics as a civilian forum, as the activity of a free people ruling itself. A standing army might be necessary for that people’s defense, but citizens had no business longing to exchange political debate and deliberation for military solidarity and discipline.

On his better days, President Obama knows that, but this wasn’t one of them. He went on: “When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight.” Nor does it matter, by the way, whether you think the war is just or unjust, prudent or imprudent.

It might seem that liberals have come a long way from the protest days of the 1960s when many of them lustily denounced the American war machine; but in fact, they’re still compensating or overcompensating for their contempt of the U.S. military back then. At the same time, they are returning to an older Progressive tradition, highly visible in the New Deal, of trying vainly to make politics the moral equivalent of war. In any event, no one has to put on a uniform to be an equal citizen with equal rights under our Constitution.

Progressivism Without Progress?
To make possible a governing liberal majority, Obama has to rehabilitate liberalism’s reputation, to separate it as much as possible from the radical politics of the Sixties and the burden of defending big government.

President Clinton began this renewal in the 1990s. In some ways, Obama continues and sharpens Clinton’s efforts, wringing all the benefits he can out of the appearance of post-partisanship while making few sacrifices of substance. He far outshines Clinton, however, in telling the story of America in a way that reinforces a resurgent liberalism. More than any other Democratic President since FDR, Obama has an impressive interpretation of American history that culminates in him and that reworks and counters Reagan’s view of our history as the working out of American exceptionalism (including divine favor), individualism, limited government, free-market economics, and time-tested morals.

As a writer, Obama’s strength is telling stories, and his account of America is a kind of story, mixing social, intellectual, and political history. It begins with the Founding—with the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. He tries to construct a new consensus view of the country that acknowledges and then contextualizes traditional views in a way meant to be reassuring but that points to very untraditional conclusions. For instance, in The Audacity of Hope, in a chapter titled “Values,” he quotes the Declaration’s famous sentence on self-evident truths and then comments:

Those simple words are our starting point as Americans; they describe not only the foundations of our government but the substance of our common creed. Not every American may be able to recite them; few, if asked, could trace the genesis of the Declaration of Independence to its roots in eighteenth-century liberal and republican thought. But the essential idea behind the Declaration—that we are born into this world free, all of us; that each of us arrives with a bundle of rights that can’t be taken away by any person or any state without just cause; that through our own agency we can, and must, make of our lives what we will—is one that every American understands.[3]
It sounds almost Lincolnian until one notices that the rights in this bundle are not said to be natural, exactly, nor true and certainly not self-evident; they are an outgrowth of 18th century political thought, too recondite for most Americans to know or remember. Abraham Lincoln, when explaining the Declaration, traced its central idea to God and nature, not to 18th century ideologies. He called for “all honor to Jefferson” for introducing “into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times.” When Jefferson was asked about the document’s source and purpose, he looked to common sense as well as to a much older and richer philosophical tradition.[4]

A commonsense argument harmonious with the political principles of Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, and Sidney and proceeding from an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, could hardly be a simple distillation of 18th century ideologies—unless, of course, Jefferson and Lincoln didn’t know what they were talking about. If they spoke for their age without knowing so, if they were men of their times but didn’t realize it, then like their 21st century countrymen, they too would have been ignorant of their 18th century wellsprings, but precisely because they were living in or at least not long after the 18th century!

Returning to Obama’s American story, we see that it blends two themes: individualism (symbolized in the Declaration) and “unity” (symbolized in the Constitution’s commitment to “a more perfect Union”). The latter phrase, plucked from the Preamble, has long been a favorite of liberals from Wilson to Bill Clinton. For Obama, unity means being your brother’s and sister’s keeper; it means coming together “as one American family.” “If fate causes us to stumble or fall, our larger American family will be there to lift us up,” he explains.

In real life, he hasn’t exactly been there to lift up his aunt in Boston or his hut-dwelling half brother in Kenya, but then families in real life often disappoint. Even so, the family’s failings only leave more work for the State. Membership in it confers or protects our “dignity,” Obama argues, in the sense of guaranteeing “a basic standard of living” and effectively sharing “life’s risks and rewards for the benefit of each and the good of all.” And no one can enjoy “dignity and respect” without a society that guarantees both “social justice” and “economic justice.”

These ramify widely, demanding, in Obama’s words, that “if you work in America you should not be poor”; that a college education should be every child’s “birthright”; and that every American should have broadband access. Lately, he’s feeling even more generous. The “basic American promise,” he said in his 2012 State of the Union address, was and should be again that “if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.”[5]

That sounds more like winning life’s lottery than a promise that anyone could justly demand be fulfilled. Notice how craftily, however, Obama shifts his examples of social duty from picking up the fallen to sending someone else’s kids to college. How easily liberal magicians transform needs into desires and desires into rights. They do it right before our eyes and never explain the secret of the trick. Still, it’s revealing that he doesn’t go whole hog, turning such socioeconomic goods explicitly into rights and cataloging them for our wonderment. Chastened by the right-wing and middle-class backlash against welfare rights, he follows Bill Clinton in silently recasting, say, the right to go to college on someone else’s money as an “investment” in “opportunity.” As Obama presents it:

…opportunity is yours if you’re willing to reach for it and work for it. It’s the idea that while there are few guarantees in life, you should be able to count on a job that pays the bills; health care for when you need it; a pension for when you retire; an education for your children that will allow them to fulfill their God-given potential.
Actually, there are quite a few “guarantees” in a life lived in Obama’s America. Even as he’s wary of rights talk after the Sixties’ implosion, he also denies any fondness for “big government.” Newfangled rights would imply a big government to provide them. He’s not in favor of that; he supports “active government.” These aren’t blank-check rights because the recipient has some reciprocal responsibilities—filling out the enrollment forms, showing up at class, making passing grades, and the like. But the obligations are usually minimal, and besides, don’t responsibilities and rights usually keep a house together? So these are rights of a sort, and Obama said so explicitly a month before the 2008 election in a CNN debate with John McCain. Asked whether health care was a privilege, a responsibility, or a right, he replied, “Well, I think it should be a right for every American.”[6] But he had avoided saying so up to that point.

Obama leaves the relationship between individualism and “a more perfect union” up in the air, to be settled pragmatically. Every society has a similar tension between “autonomy and solidarity,” he writes, and “it has been one of the blessings of America that the circumstances of our nation’s birth allowed us to negotiate these tensions better than most.” The circumstances, not the principles, of our nation were key, because the wide-open continent allowed individuals to head west and form new communities to their liking whenever they wanted to.

But the continent filled up; big corporations gradually took over from the family farm, just as Wilson and FDR had explained generations before; and soon our “values” were in a more serious conflict that required a bigger government to help reconcile. Unfortunately, that government proved enduringly unpopular with conservatives, who refused to adjust to the new times; and so finding the proper balance between the individual and the community continues to stoke our increasingly polarized and polarizing political debates.

Though he hails the Constitution as a mechanism of “deliberative democracy,” Obama doesn’t mean by that a back-and-forth on public policy conducted by the executive and legislative branches with input from the people. Deliberation of that kind, endorsed by The Federalist and consistent with natural rights, would seek means to the ends of constitutional government. That’s too narrow for Obama, who seeks deliberation about the ends, or at least about what our rights will be and what the Constitution should mean in the age that is dawning. He wants to turn all of the Constitution’s mechanisms—separation of powers, federalism, checks and balances—into ways of forcing a “conversation” about our identity. In such a conversation, “all citizens are required to engage in a process of testing their ideas against an external reality, persuading others of their point of view, and building shifting alliances of consent.”[7]

Required? An external reality? And who judges whether the resulting conversation meets the requirements of democracy or not? Obama deplores the bile in our contemporary politics, and it must puzzle him that he causes so much of it. But he’s asking for it. As Bill Buckley used to say, liberals always talk about their tolerance and eagerness to engage with other views, but they’re always surprised to find that there are other views.

Obama expects 21st century people to have, roughly speaking, 21st century views, as he does. What then of Jefferson and his 18th century compeers? Obama soon makes clear that despite their fine words, Jefferson and the other Founders were less than faithful to the liberal and republican inferences of the principles they proclaimed. Like a good law school professor, in The Audacity of Hope, Obama lines up evidence and argument on both sides before concluding that, in fact, the Founders probably did not understand their principles as natural and universal, despite their language, but rather as confined to the white race. The Declaration of Independence “may have been,” he says, a transformative moment in world history, a great breakthrough for freedom, but “that spirit of liberty didn’t extend, in the minds of the Founders, to the slaves who worked their fields, made their beds, and nursed their children.” As a result, the Constitution “provided no protection to those outside the constitutional circle,” to those who were not “deemed members of America’s political community”: “the Native American whose treaties proved worthless before the court of the conqueror, or the black man Dred Scott, who would walk into the Supreme Court a free man and leave a slave.”

Obama doesn’t argue, as Lincoln did, that the Supreme Court majority was in error, that Dred Scott was wrongly and unjustly returned to slavery, and that Chief Justice Roger Taney’s dictum—that, in the Founders’ view, the black man had no rights that the white man was bound to respect—was a profound solecism. On the contrary, Obama accepts Dred Scott as rightly decided according to the standards of the time. He agrees, in effect, with Taney’s reading of the Declaration and the Constitution, and with Stephen Douglas’s as well. Despite his admiration for Lincoln, Obama sides with Lincoln’s opponents in their interpretation of Jefferson and the Declaration as pro-slavery.[8] Obama regards the original intention of both the Declaration and the Constitution to be racist and even pro-slavery, but he refrains from making the point explicit.

His understanding of the past thus pays lip service to such things as self-evident truths, original intent, and first principles but quickly changes the subject to values, visions, dreams, ideals, myths, and narratives. This is a postmodern “move.” We can’t know or share truth, postmodernists assert, because there is no truth “out there,” but we can share stories and thus construct a community of shared meaning. It’s these ideas that mark his furthest departure from old-fashioned liberalism.

More and less radical, more and less nihilist—Obama comes in on the “less” side, but then a little bit of nihilism goes a long way. “Implicit…in the very idea of ordered liberty,” he writes in The Audacity of Hope, is “a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or ‘ism,’ any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single, unalterable course, or drive both majorities and minorities into the cruelties of the Inquisition, the pogrom, the gulag, or the jihad.” There is no absolute truth—and that’s the absolute truth, he argues. Such feeble, self-contradictory reasoning is at the heart of Obama’s very private and yet very public struggle with himself to determine whether there is anything anywhere that can truly be known, or even that is rational to have faith in. Anyone who believes, really believes, in absolute truth, he asserts, is a fanatic or in imminent danger of becoming a fanatic; absolute truth is the mother of extremism everywhere.

Although it’s certainly a good thing that America avoided religious and political tyranny, no previous President has ever credited this achievement to the Founders’ rejection of absolute truth, previously known as “truth.” Is the idea that human freedom is right, slavery wrong, thus to be rejected lest we embrace an “absolute truth”? What becomes of the “universal truths” Obama himself celebrates on occasion? Surely the problem is not with the degree of belief, but with the falseness of the causes for which the Inquisition, the pogrom, the gulag, and the jihad stood. A fervent belief in religious liberty is not equivalent to a fervent belief in religious tyranny any more than a passionate belief in democracy is equivalent to a passionate longing for dictatorship.

In The Audacity of Hope, within two pages of his criticism of the Founders for allegedly excluding black Americans from constitutional protection as equal human beings and citizens, he warns against all such sweeping truth claims and indeed praises the Founders for being “suspicious of abstraction.” On every major question in America’s early history, he writes, “theory yielded to fact and necessity…. It may be the vision of the Founders that inspires us, but it was their realism, their practicality and flexibility and curiosity, that ensured the Union’s survival.”[9] Obama cannot decide whether to blame the Founders as racists or to celebrate them as relativists; to assail them for not applying their truths absolutely to blacks and Indians along with whites or to praise them for compromising their too absolute principles for the sake of something concrete.

His attempt to resolve this contradiction carries him into still deeper and murkier waters. Obama turns for inspiration to the abolitionists, drawing no distinction between a superb publicist and reasoner like Frederick Douglass and a butcher like John Brown, who was happy “to spill blood and not just words on behalf of his visions.” Both were “absolutists,” which, by Obama’s definition, means they were “unreasonable” but willing to fight for “a new order.” He goes on to confess he has a soft spot for “those possessed of similar certainty today”—for example, the “antiabortion activist” or the “animal rights activist” who’s willing to break the law. He seems to suffer from certainty envy. He respects passionate, even fanatic commitment as such. Though he may “disagree with their views,” he admits that “I am robbed even of the certainty of uncertainty—for sometimes absolute truths may well be absolute.” Not true, necessarily, but absolute. It’s hard to know what he means exactly. That the “truths” are fit for the times, are destined to win out and forge a “new order”? That they are willed absolutely, not pragmatically or contingently? Even his rejection of absolute truth is now uncertain.

So, finally, in his perplexity, he turns again to Lincoln. Like “no man before or since,” Lincoln “understood both the deliberative function of our democracy and the limits of such deliberation.” His presidency combined firm convictions with practicality or expediency. Obama seems never to have heard of prudence, the way a statesman (and a reasonable and decent person) moves from universal principles to particular conclusions in particular circumstances. The 16th President, he ventures, was humble and self-aware, “maintaining within himself the balance between two contradictory ideas,” that we are all imperfect and thus must reach for “common understandings” and that at times “we must act nonetheless, as if we are certain, protected from error only by providence.”

For a man like Lincoln, there is no such thing, he says in effect, as acting with moral certainty, only acting “as if we are certain,” God help us. Unlike John Brown, Lincoln was an absolutist who realized the limitations of absolutism yet still brought forth a new order. “Lincoln, and those buried at Gettysburg,” Obama concludes, “remind us that we should pursue our own absolute truths only if we acknowledge that there may be a terrible price to pay.”[10] Our own absolute truths? Those words ought to send a shudder down Americans’ constitutional spine, assuming we still have one.

The Liberal Crisis
Liberals like crises, and one shouldn’t spoil them by handing them another on a silver salver. The kind of crisis that is approaching, however, is probably not their favorite kind—an emergency that presents an opportunity to enlarge government—but one that will find liberalism at a crossroads, a turning point. Liberalism can’t go on as it is, not for very long. It faces difficulties both philosophical and fiscal that will compel it either to go out of business or to become something quite different from what it has been.

For most of the past century, liberalism was happy to use relativism as an argument against conservatism. Those self-evident truths that the old American constitutional order rested on were neither logically self-evident nor true, Woodrow Wilson and his followers argued, but merely rationalizations for an immature, subjective form of right that enshrined selfishness as national morality. What was truly evident was the relativity of all past views of morality, each a reflection of its society’s stage of development. But there was a final stage of development when true morality would be actualized and its inevitability made abundantly clear—that is, self-evident.

Disillusionment came when the purported end or near end of history coincided not with idealism justified and realized, but with what many liberals in the 1960s, especially the young, despaired of as the infinite immorality of poverty, racial injustice, Vietnam, the System, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. Relativism rounded on liberalism. Having promised so much, liberalism was peculiarly vulnerable to the charge that the complete spiritual fulfillment it once promised was neither complete nor fulfilling.

As Obama’s grappling shows, intelligent and morally sensitive liberals may try to suppress or internalize the problem of relativism, but it cannot be forgotten or ignored. Despite his investment in deliberative democracy, communitarianism, and pragmatic decision making, he’s willing to throw it all aside at the moment of decision because it doesn’t satisfy his love of justice, or rather his love of a certain kind of courage or resolute action. “The blood of slaves reminds us that our pragmatism can sometimes be moral cowardice,” he writes.[11] In a moment like that, a great man must follow his own absolute truth, and the rest of us are left hoping it is Lincoln and not John Brown, much less Jefferson Davis, whose will is triumphant. The great man doesn’t anticipate or follow or approximate history’s course; he creates it, wills it according to his own absolute will, not absolute knowledge.

When combined with liberalism’s lust for strong leaders, this openness to Nietzschean creativity looms dangerously over the liberal future. If we are lucky, if liberalism is lucky, no one will ever apply for the position of liberal “superhero,” in Michael Tomasky’s term, and the role will remain vacant. But as Lincoln asked in the Lyceum speech, “Is it unreasonable then to expect, that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time, spring up among us?”

And when such a one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs. Distinction will be his paramount object; and although he would as willingly, perhaps more so, acquire it by doing good as harm; yet, that opportunity being past, and nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling down.
More worrisome even than the danger of a superman able to promise that everything desirable will soon be possible is a people unattached to its constitution and laws; and for that, liberalism has much to answer.

In one crucial respect, our situation would seem more perilous than the future danger Lincoln sketched insofar as the very definitions of political “good” and “harm” are now uncertain. Avant-garde liberalism used to be about progress; now it’s about nothingness. You call that progress? Perhaps, paradoxically, that’s why Obama prefers to be called a progressive rather than a liberal. It’s better to believe in something than in nothing, even if the something, Progress, is not as believable as it used to be. His residual progressivism helps insure him against his instinctual postmodernism. Still, liberalism is in a bad way when it has lost confidence in its own truth, and it’s an odd sort of “progress” to go back to a name it surrendered 80 years ago.

Adding to liberal self-doubt is that liberalism’s monopoly on the social sciences, long since broken, has been supplanted by a multiple-front argument with conservative scholars in economics, political science, and other fields. In the beginning, Progressivism commanded all the social sciences because it had invented or imported them all. Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson could be confident in the inevitability of progress, despite temporary setbacks, because the social sciences backed them up. An expertise in administering progress existed, and experts in public administration, Keynesian economics, national planning, urban affairs, modernization theory, development studies, and a half-dozen other specialties beavered away at bringing the future to life.

What a difference a half-century makes. The vogue for national planning disappeared under the pressure of ideas and events. Friedrich Hayek demonstrated why socialist economic planning, lacking free-market pricing information, could not succeed. In a side-by-side experiment, West Germany far outpaced East Germany in economic development, and all the people escaping across the Wall traveled from east to west, leaving their workers’ paradise behind. Keynesianism flunked the test of the 1970s stagflation. The Reagan boom, with its repeated tax cuts, flew in the face of the orthodoxy at the Harvard Department of Economics but was cheered by the Chicago School. Milton Friedman’s advice to Chile proved far sounder than Jeffrey Sachs’s to Russia. Monetarism, rational choice economics, supply-side, “government failure,” “regulatory capture,” “incentive effects”—the intellectual discoveries were predominantly on the Right. Conservative and libertarian think tanks multiplied, carrying the new insights directly into the fray.

The scholarly counterattack proceeded in political science and the law, too. Rational choice and “law and economics” changed the agenda to some degree. Both politics and the law became increasingly “originalist” in bearing, enriched by a new appreciation for 18th century sources and the original intent of the Founders and the Framers of the Constitution. Above all, the Progressives’ attempt to replace political philosophy with social science foundered.

After World War II, an unanticipated and at first unheralded revival of political philosophy began, associated above all with Leo Strauss, questioning historicism and nihilism in the name of a broadly Socratic understanding of nature and natural right. New studies of the tradition yielded some very untraditional results. Though there were left-wing as well as right-wing aspects to this revival, the latter proved more influential and liberating. The unquestionability of both progress and relativism died quietly in classrooms around the country. Economics is an instrumental science, studying means not ends, and so much of the successes of free-market economics could be swallowed pragmatically by liberalism’s maw. The developments in political philosophy challenged the ends of Progressivism, proving far more damaging to it.

In sheer numbers, the academy remained safely, overwhelmingly in the hands of the Left, whose members in fact grew more radical, with some notable exceptions, in these years. But they gradually lost the unchallenged intellectual ascendancy, though not the prestige, they once had enjoyed.

Thanks to this intellectual rebirth, the case against Progressivism and in favor of the Constitution is stronger and deeper than it has ever been. Progressivism has never been in a fair fight, an equal fight, until now, because its political opponents had largely been educated in the same ideas, had lost touch, like Antaeus, with the ground of the Constitution in natural right, and so tended to offer only Progressivism Lite as an alternative.

The sheer superficiality of Progressive scholarship is now evident. Progressives could never take the ideas of the Declaration and Constitution seriously for many of the same reasons that Obama cannot ultimately take them seriously. Wilson never demonstrated that the Constitution was inadequate to the problems of his age—he asserted it, or rather assumed it. His references to The Federalist are shallow and general, never betraying a close familiarity with any paper or papers, and willfully ignorant of the separation of powers as an instrument to energize and hone, not merely limit, the national government. Though he thought of himself as picking up where Hamilton, Webster, and Lincoln had left off, Wilson never investigated where they left off and why. Neither he nor his main contemporaries asked how far The Federalist’s or Lincoln’s reading of national powers and duties might take them, because they assumed it would not take them very far, that it reflected the political forces of its age and had to be superseded by new doctrines for a new age. They weren’t interested in Lincoln’s reasons, only in his results. Not right but historical might was the Progressives’ true focus.

Today liberalism looks increasingly, well, elderly. Hard of hearing, irascible, enamored of past glories, forgetful of mistakes and promises, prone to repeat the same stories over and over—it isn’t the youthful voice of tomorrow it once imagined itself to be. Only a rhetorician of Obama’s youth and artfulness could breathe life into the old tropes again.

Even he can’t repeat the performance in 2012. With a track record to defend, he will have to speak more prose and less poetry. With a century-old track record, liberalism will find it harder than ever to paint itself as the disinterested champion of the public good. Long ago, it became an Establishment, one of the estates of the realm, with its court-party of notoriously self-interested constituencies: the public employee unions, the trial lawyers, the feminists, the environmentalists, and the corporations aching to be public utilities paying private-sector salaries. Not visions of the future, but visions of plunder come to mind. This is one side of what Walter Russell Mead means when he criticizes the “blue state social model” as outmoded and heavy-handed.[12]

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is about as sleek and innovative as the several phone books’ worth of paper it takes up in printed form. Can one imagine Steve Jobs’s reaction if he had been tasked with reading, much less implementing, the PPACA? It is exhibit A in the case for the intellectual obsolescence of liberalism.

Finally, we come to the fiscal embarrassments confronting contemporary liberals. Again, Obamacare is wonderfully emblematic. President Obama’s solution to the problem of two health care entitlement programs quickly going bankrupt—Medicare and Medicaid—is to add a third? Perhaps it is a stratagem. More likely it is simply the reflexive liberal solution to any social problem: Spend more.

From Karl Marx to John Rawls, if you’ll excuse the juxtaposition, left-wing critics of capitalism have often paid it the supreme compliment of presuming it so productive an economic system that it has overcome permanently the problem of scarcity in human life. Capitalism has generated a “plenty.” It has distributional problems, which produce intolerable social and economic instability; but eliminate or control those inconveniences and it could produce wealth enough not only to provide for every man’s necessities, but also to lift him into the realm of freedom. To some liberals, that premise implied that socioeconomic rights could be paid for without severe damage to the economy and without oppressive taxation, at least of the majority.

Obama is the first liberal to suggest that even capitalism cannot pay for all the benefits promised by the American welfare state, particularly regarding health care. Granted, his solution is counterintuitive in the extreme, which makes one wonder if he is sincere. To the extent that liberalism is the welfare state, and the welfare state is entitlement spending, and entitlements are mostly spent effecting the right to health care, the insolvency of the health care entitlement programs is rightly regarded as a major part of the economic and moral crisis of liberalism. “Simply put,” Yuval Levin writes, “we cannot afford to preserve our welfare state in anything like its present form.” According to the Congressional Budget Office, by 2025, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the interest on the federal debt will consume all—all—federal revenues, leaving defense and all other expenditures to be paid for by borrowing; and the debt will be approaching twice the country’s annual GDP.[13]

Conclusion
If something can’t go on forever, Herbert Stein noted sagely, it won’t. It would be possible to increase federal revenues by raising taxes, but the kind of money that’s needed could only be raised by taxing the middle class (defined, let us say, as all those families making less than $250,000 a year) very heavily. Like every other Democratic candidate since Walter Mondale, who made the mistake of confessing to the American people that he was going to raise their taxes, Obama swore not to do that.

If the bankruptcy of the entitlement programs were handled just the right way, with world-class cynicism and opportunism, in an emergency demanding quick, painful action lest Grandma descend into an irreversible diabetic coma, then liberalism might succeed in maneuvering America into a Scandinavia-style überwelfare state, fueled by massive and regressive taxes cheerfully accepted by the citizenry. But odds are we stand instead at the twilight of the liberal welfare state. As it sinks, a new, more conservative system will likely rise that will feature some combination of more means-testing of benefits, a switch from defined-benefit to defined-contribution programs, greater devolution of authority to the states and localities, a new budget process that will force welfare expenditures to compete with other national priorities, and the redefinition of the welfare function away from fulfilling socioeconomic “rights” and toward charitably taking care of the truly needy as best the community can afford when private efforts have failed or proved inadequate.

Currently, the welfare state operates almost independently alongside the general government. Taken together, these reforms will work to reintegrate the welfare state into the government, curtailing its state-within-a-state status and, even more important, integrating it back into the constitutional system that stands on natural rights and consent.

Is it just wishful thinking to imagine the end of liberalism? Few things in politics are permanent. Conservatism and liberalism didn’t become the central division in our politics until the middle of the 20th century. Before that, American politics revolved around such issues as states’ rights, the wars, slavery, the tariff, and suffrage. Parties have come and gone in our history. You won’t find many Federalists, Whigs, or Populists lining up at the polls these days. Britain’s Liberal Party faded from power in the 1920s. The Canadian Liberal Party collapsed in 2011.

Recently, within a decade of its maximum empire at home and abroad, a combined intellectual movement, political party, and form of government crumbled away, to be swept up and consigned to the dustbin of history. Communism, which in a very different way from American liberalism traced its roots to Hegel, Social Darwinism, and leadership by a vanguard group of intellectuals, vanished before our eyes, though not without an abortive coup or two. If Communism, armed with millions of troops and thousands of megatons of nuclear weapons, could collapse of its own dead weight and implausibility, why not American liberalism?

The parallel is imperfect, of course, because liberalism and its vehicle, the Democratic Party, remain profoundly popular, resilient, and changeable. Elections matter to them. What’s more, the egalitarian impulse, centralized government (though not centralized administration), and the Democratic Party have deep roots in the American political tradition—and reflect permanent aspects of modern democracy itself, as Tocqueville testifies.

Some elements of liberalism are inherent in American democracy, then, but the compound, the peculiar combination that is contemporary liberalism, is not. Compounded of the Hegelian philosophy of history, Social Darwinism, the living constitution, leadership, the cult of the State, the rule of administrative experts, entitlements and group rights, and moral creativity, modern liberalism is something new and distinctive, despite the presence in it, too, of certain American constants like the love of equality and democratic individualism.

Under the pressure of ideas and events, that compound could come apart. Liberals’ confidence in being on the right, the winning side of history could crumble, perhaps has already begun to crumble. Trust in government, which really means in the State, is at all-time lows. A majority of Americans oppose a new entitlement program—in part because they want to keep the old programs unimpaired, but also because the economic and moral sustainability of the whole welfare state grows more and more doubtful. The goodwill and even the presumptive expertise of many government experts command less and less respect. Obama’s speeches no longer send the old thrill up the leg, and his leadership, whether for one or two terms, may yet help to discredit the respectability of following the Leader.

The Democratic Party is unlikely to go poof, but it’s possible that modern liberalism will. A series of nasty political defeats and painful repudiations of its impossible dreams might do the trick. At the least, it will have to downsize its ambitions and get back in touch with political, moral, and fiscal reality. It will have to—all together now—turn back the clock. Much will depend, too, on what conservatives say and do in the coming years. Will they have the prudence and guile to elevate the fight to the level of constitutional principle, to expose the Tory credentials of their opponents?

President Obama’s decision to double down aggressively on the reach and cost of big government just as the European model of social democracy is hitting the skids provides the perfect opportunity for conservatives to exploit. His course makes the problems of liberalism worse and more urgent, as though he is eager for a crisis. Sooner or later, the crisis will come. If the people remain attached to their government and laws and American statesmen do their part, the country may yet take the path leading up from liberalism.

—Charles R. Kesler, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism (Broadside Books, 2012), from which this essay was adapted.
Hide References

[1]Stanley Kurtz, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010), pp. 1–11, 21–60, 71–77, 86.
[2]See Barack Obama, Remarks Following the Iowa Caucuses, January 3, 2008, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=76232&st=&st1=#axzz1lvulJr36.
[3]Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (New York: Crown Publishers, 2006), p. 53.
[4]Abraham Lincoln, Letter to H. L. Pierce and Others, April 6, 1859, in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953), vol. 3, p. 376; Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Henry Lee, May 8, 1825, and Letter to Roger Weightman, June 24, 1826, in Thomas Jefferson: Writings, ed. Merrill D. Peterson (New York: Library of America, 1984), pp. 1501, 1517. For a commentary, see Harry V. Jaffa, A New Birth of Freedom (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), ch. 2.
[5]Barack Obama, “A Hope to Fulfill,” Remarks of Senator Barack Obama at the National Press Club, April 26, 2005, http://obamaspeeches.com/014-National-Press-Club-Speech.htm; Remarks Following the Wisconsin Primary, February 19, 2008, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=76558&st=&st1=#axzz1lvulJr36; Remarks in St. Paul, Minnesota, Claiming the Democratic Presidential Nomination Following the Montana and South Dakota Primaries, June 3, 2008, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=77409&st=&st1=#axzz1lvulJr36; Address Before a Joint Session of Congress on the State of the Union, January 24, 2012, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index/index.php?pid=99000#axzz1lvulJr36; and James T. Kloppenberg, Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition (Princeton, N.J.; Princeton University Press, 2011), pp. 89–110, 139–40.
[6]Barack Obama, Comments at Presidential Debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, October 7, 2008, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=84482&st=&st1=#axzz1lvulJr36.
[7]Obama, The Audacity of Hope, pp. 55, 92.
[8]Ibid., p. 95.
[9]Ibid., pp. 93–96. Obama echoes, and radicalizes, Woodrow Wilson’s distinction between the Founders as time-bound theorists and as competent statesmen.
[10]Ibid., pp. 97–98.
[11]Ibid., p. 98.
[12]See, for example, Walter Russell Mead, “Beyond the Blue Part One: The Crisis of the American Dream,” American Interest, January 29, 2012, http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/01/29/beyond-blue-part-one-the-crisis-of-the-american-dream/.
[13]Yuval Levin, “Beyond the Welfare State,” National Affairs, Spring 2011, pp. 21–38, 30, 32.

Voir également:

He was the change

James Piereson

The Criterion

A review of I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism by Charles R. Kesler

Four years ago, in the excited aftermath of the 2008 election, Barack Obama was widely viewed as a liberal messiah who would engineer a new era of liberal reform and cement a Democratic majority for decades to come. He would prove to be, as many pundits predicted, a Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or perhaps even an Abraham Lincoln, for our time. They were not alone in saying this: Obama himself said much the same thing.

These forecasts seemed grandiose at the time; today, after four years of an Obama presidency, they look positively silly. In contrast to 2008, 2012 Obama looks less like a transformational president and more like a typically embattled politician trying to survive a tight contest for reelection. Even some of his strongest supporters are now “defining Obama down” as just another Democratic “pol” making compromises and paying off constituencies in order to keep his coalition together. Extravagant hopes have given way to a scramble for survival. Few continue to believe that Obama will establish the foundations for a new era of liberal governance. Some are beginning to point toward a more surprising turn of events: Far from bringing about a renewal of liberalism, Obama is actually presiding over its disintegration and collapse.

This is the thesis of Charles R. Kesler’s fascinating and insightful new book, I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism.1 Mr. Kesler, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and editor of The Claremont Review, is a well-known conservative scholar and authority on the history of liberal thought. Professor Kesler presents a critical yet nuanced portrayal of Obama and his rise to power. From his perspective as scholar and theorist, Kesler sees Obama as a conventional liberal or, better yet, as a progressive, and not as a socialist or anti-American subversive (as some of the President’s critics would have it). Viewed through a wide historical lens, Obama appears as the most recent—and perhaps the last—of a line of liberal presidents beginning with Woodrow Wilson a century ago and running through FDR to Lyndon Johnson and beyond to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. A signal virtue of this book is that it shows how the Obama presidency fits into the evolution of modern liberalism from its origins in the Progressive movement more than a century ago.1

The great political battles in the United States during the nineteenth century were never ideological contests in the modern sense but rather controversies fought over the meaning of the Constitution and the intentions of the founding fathers. Political contests over expansion, the Bank of the United States, slavery, secession, and the regulation of commerce were fought out along constitutional lines. The politicians and statesmen of that era were not divided into liberal and conservative camps; those terms had little meaning in nineteenth-century America. Abraham Lincoln was not thought of as a “liberal,” nor were slave owners derided as “conservatives.” Both sides of that controversy appealed to the Constitution or to the Declaration of Independence to defend their positions.

The Progressives introduced an ideological element into American politics by detaching their arguments from the Constitution and grounding them instead in claims about progress and historical development. Progressives (they were not yet called “liberals”) asserted that the Constitution, with its complex framework designed to limit government, was out of date in the modern age of science, industrialism, and large trusts and corporations. Constitutionalists looked backwards to the founding fathers; Progressives looked forward to a vast future of never-ending progress and change. The founding fathers and their nineteenth-century successors anchored popular government in a philosophy of natural rights; Progressives looked to different foundations in history and development. Progressives could not get rid of the Constitution, but they could reinterpret it to allow for more federal action to regulate the trusts, resolve industrial disputes, and engineer progress. Thus was born the idea of a “living Constitution,” an open-ended and flexible document readily adapted to changing conditions.

The Progressives were proponents of scientific government, not necessarily of popular or representative government. They disdained legislative bodies with their vote-trading and petty disputes over constituent interests; thus, they looked to the presidency rather than to the Congress for national leadership in the direction of reform and progress. The president spoke for the people or the nation, Congress spoke for special interests. Progressives wanted to delegate power to administrative bodies, commissions, and bureaus staffed by disinterested experts who could apply up-to-date knowledge to solve new problems. The Interstate Commerce Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Reserve Board were Progressive initiatives. The Progressives dreamed of a time when political contests among rival interests would give way to impartial administration by experts and judges trained by and recruited from the best colleges and universities in the land. Academic institutions, as Mr. Kesler points out, would go on to play a major role in the evolution of liberalism.

Professor Kesler identifies Woodrow Wilson as the chief architect of this vision in American politics, helping to lay the intellectual foundations for progressivism and then beginning to put them in place during his term as president. As a research scholar and university president, Wilson brought some of the abstract qualities of a college professor to the study of politics. He wrote an influential study of the US Congress without visiting the US Capitol. While he admired the founding fathers, he criticized them for leaving behind a constitutional structure that was disorderly and inefficient, and encouraged conflict rather than cooperation. Thus he claimed that the separation of powers in the Constitution was a mischievous invention designed to limit the powers of government and to prevent cooperation among the branches (which was partly true). Wilson wanted to bring the branches closer together through presidential leadership and responsible party government. He favored a parliamentary system like that in place in Great Britain in which the executive and legislative branches are unified under the control of a single party and led by the Prime Minister.

Most fundamentally of all, Wilson claimed that the vision of the founding fathers did not lead to progress but to endless division and factional infighting. The Constitution was a Newtonian machine designed to balance conflicting forces when what was now required was a Darwinian instrument flexible enough to evolve in response to changes in its environment. It was not necessary to change the Constitution itself in order to bring about such a fundamental change; it was only necessary for Americans to think about it in a new way. After all, Washington, Jefferson, and Madison led a revolution and wrote the Constitution in response to the challenges of their time: Why should not Americans in the twentieth century do the same? Thus Wilson and his associates in the Progressive movement looked to an intellectual revolution as the means by which Americans would liberate themselves from the constricted and obsolete doctrines of the founding fathers, and in the process free themselves from the limits the founders placed upon government.

Given his vast ambitions, Wilson could not hope to implement much of this agenda in eight short years in office. Yet he established the foundations for an influential and long-running movement based upon progress and change as a way of life, presidential leadership and executive power, trust in experts, and disdain for traditional constitutional forms. Mr. Kesler does not spend much time on Wilson’s path-breaking approach to international diplomacy, his role in the Paris Peace Conference, and his aborted personal campaign “to make the world safe for democracy.” Yet these may be understood as logical extensions from his broader philosophy that traditional forms of governance had reached a dead end and that new ones had to be built through inspired leadership.

It was FDR who began to use the term “liberalism” in place of “progressivism” in order to distinguish the New Deal from the Progressive Party that flamed out in the 1920s and, in contrast to the progressives, to associate his program with the founding ideals of the nation. It was also Roosevelt who hijacked the term from the classical liberals in order to associate it with reform and the welfare state in opposition to free markets and limited government. FDR, as Professor Kesler suggests in an illuminating chapter in the book, kept the language and rhetoric of the founders while not so subtly changing their meaning and purposes. This has also been true of the liberal presidents who have succeeded him.

The Republican victories during the 1920s demonstrated to Roosevelt just how fleeting and transient Wilson’s victories turned out to be. “Think of the great liberal achievements of Woodrow Wilson’s New Freedom,” he said in one of his radio addresses during the 1930s, “and how quickly they were liquidated under President Harding.” Roosevelt formulated programs (like Social Security and the Wagner Act) that had popular followings but were also grounded in the language of rights and liberty such that no one could claim that they were “un-American.” FDR paid homage to Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, but also said that the basic rights outlined in that document were subject to redefinition in light of changes in the social order. Jefferson wrote about natural rights and liberty while FDR spoke of positive rights as a foundation for security. In his Second Bill of Rights, FDR outlined a vast agenda of such positive rights, including a right to adequate medical care, to a good education, to a decent home, to a “remunerative” job, and to adequate protection from “the fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.” The pursuit and perfection of these rights provided modern liberalism—and the Democratic Party—with an almost unlimited agenda of reform.

Among FDR’s successors, no one tried harder to emulate him and more miserably failed to do so than Lyndon Baines Johnson. Johnson began his political career in the 1930s as a New Deal functionary and then as a young member of the House of Representatives. “FDR was my hero; he was like a father to me,” Johnson told a reporter during his White House years. Johnson mastered the art of using public patronage to build political support. “He wanted to out-Roosevelt Roosevelt,” according to one of his aides. “We’re in favor of a lot of things and against mighty few,” he said during his 1964 campaign, thereby giving voters a taste of things to come.

Johnson, as Professor Kesler explains, sought to complete the agenda of quantitative liberalism by passing federal health insurance programs for the aged (Medicare) and the poor (Medicaid), and expanded welfare and food stamp programs to assist the underprivileged. Yet, given the insatiable spirit of modern liberalism, Johnson was not content to rest there. In his Great Society speech, he proclaimed a new agenda of qualitative liberalism through which government would elevate the spirit and quality of life of the American people. The Great Society, he said, “is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for humanity.” Johnson launched a “war on poverty” and a campaign to end urban decay, passed civil rights bills, funded the arts and education, and gave the federal government license to enter into every area of American life.

Yet, by a cruel irony, Johnson’s high hopes and grand expectations soon turned into disappointment and tragedy as the country was torn apart by crime, riots in nearly every major urban center, and violent protests against the war in Vietnam. His vast expansion of domestic expenditures turned loose an ugly stampede for federal dollars that only incited demands for more. Far from being an era of spiritual fulfillment, the 1960s was one of anger, alienation, and escape through drugs and violence. Mr. Kesler writes that the enduring legacy of the 1960s is “the strange combination, still very much with us, of a more ambitious state and a less trusted government than ever before.” The more patronage the government handed out, the less satisfied its beneficiaries became.

If the New Deal stands out as the great triumph of modern liberalism, then the Great Society represents its signal tragedy and failure. This was the period, as Mr. Kesler writes, when “the radicalism that was latent all along in liberalism broke free of its faith in progress, science, and the democratic process itself.” Johnson’s failures arose from overreaching ambitions and the delusion that all human problems, even those of the spirit, must find solutions in politics and government programs. Yet, as the author argues, this kind of over-reaching is endemic to modern liberalism. It was already present, for example, in Wilson’s claims about progress and change and also in FDR’s unlimited agenda of positive rights. Liberalism both lives and dies off promises it cannot fulfill.

Barack Obama is the latest liberal president to attempt to harmonize grand hopes with the messy realities of programmatic reform. In this sense, he is a worthy heir to the legacy of Wilson, FDR, and LBJ, all of whom addressed the same challenge. Yet of the three, only one of them may be said to have ended his presidency on a positive note. Obama hopes to join FDR/span> as one of the successful presidents of the liberal era, but Mr. Kesler doubts his prospects for success.

Like FDR, who distinguished the New Deal from the New Freedom, Obama tried to make his break from the rancorous politics of the 1960s. He celebrates the flag, observes patriotic holidays, and praises the military. He is a solid family man. He even extolls the founding fathers, up to a point. In his view, the founders made a good start in laying down some noble principles, even if they did not live up to them and perhaps did not really believe them.

Obama was also aware that many of the bold initiatives of the 1960s were eventually discredited and, for the most part, rejected by the American people. No liberal today could possibly run for office citing the model of the Great Society. Without an ambitious programmatic agenda on which to run, Obama had little choice but to organize his campaign around “hope and change.” Few asked what exactly that might mean. One answer was that Obama himself, as a biracial and multicultural candidate, son of a Kenyan father and middle-class American mother, personified the change he and others were seeking. It was proof that America could overcome its racially scarred past. “I am the change,” as he has suggested on more than one occasion.

Here, then, according to Mr. Kesler, is one terminus of the liberal project. Where can it go beyond Barack Obama and the personal politics of hope and change? Another end point is fiscal and budgetary. With Obama’s signature health care legislation, an ambitious stimulus package, a series of trillion dollar plus deficits, and the impending retirement of the baby boomers, there is no more money left to fund further liberal projects. There is not even enough money left to fund those already in place. Will Obama’s presidency mark the end of the politics of public spending and thus the end of a movement that came into its own a full century ago with the election of Woodrow Wilson? That is a distinct possibility, and one brought into clear focus in this most illuminating and gracefully argued book.

1 I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism by Charles R. Kesler; Broadside Books, 276 pages. $25.00.

Voir encore:

« Les attentats sont la macabre célébration du premier anniversaire de l’Etat islamique »
Mathieu Guidère, spécialiste du terrorisme islamiste, craint que les attaques perpétrées vendredi en Isère, à Sousse (Tunisie) et à Koweït City ne soient le début d’une vague d’attentats lancée par l’organisation jihadiste.
Propos recueillis par Hervé Brusin
Francetvinfo
27/06/2015

Un homme a tiré à la kalachnikov sur une plage de Sousse, tuant 38 personnes, vendredi 26 juin. Trois mois après le massacre du musée du Bardo, la Tunisie plonge à nouveau dans le cauchemar terroriste. Mathieu Guidère, spécialiste de géopolitique et du terrorisme islamiste, est justement originaire de ce pays. Pour francetv info, il analyse l’attentat commis à Sousse et le rapproche des autres attaques perpétrées en France et au Koweït le même jour.

Francetv info : Que vous inspire cette série d’attaques en France, en Tunisie et au Koweït ?

Mathieu Guidère : Cela fait un an maintenant qu’est apparu au grand jour l’Etat islamique (EI). Et l’on ne peut que constater qu’il a lancé les « festivités » de cet anniversaire, malgré les bombardements qu’il subit. Tout cela accompagne le début du ramadan la semaine dernière. L’EI a appelé la quasi-totalité de ses sympathisants à fêter cette première année par tous les moyens et partout dans le monde. Selon moi, les attentats perpétrés à Saint-Quentin-Fallavier (Isère), à Sousse et à Koweït City s’inscrivent dans cette macabre célébration. C’est un terrible pied de nez adressé à la communauté internationale. Et ce n’est que le début.

Pourquoi cela ?

Souvenons-nous : l’EI a commencé son offensive au début du ramadan 2014. Il a déclaré le califat le 30 juin 2014. Je pense donc que cela risque de culminer dans les semaines à venir. En outre, le mois de ramadan est considéré comme propice au jihad. Je crains donc que nous soyons face au lancement d’une campagne d’attentats.

En Tunisie spécifiquement, y a-t-il une continuité entre l’attentat du musée du Bardo en mars et la tuerie de Sousse ?

Absolument. A Sousse, l’action a été conduite par un groupe qui a fait allégeance à l’EI. Et il a clairement décidé de détruire le tourisme tunisien. Il l’a lui-même affirmé en déclarant : vous accueillez trop d’étrangers, la Tunisie n’est pas une terre pour héberger des étrangers, qui de surcroît bombardent nos frères en Syrie et en Irak. D’où la décision qui a été prise de s’attaquer systématiquement aux infrastructures du tourisme tunisien et donc, dans un premier temps, au musée du Bardo. Ce groupe s’intitule « les soldats du califat en Tunisie ».

Comment prévenir la vague d’attentats dont vous parlez ?

Par une prévention active, concrète. En Tunisie, par exemple, il faut installer des caméras de vidéosurveillance, pratiquer des contrôles d’accès aux lieux publics. En France, il faut sécuriser les lieux par ce même genre de dispositifs. En revanche, je suis très réticent sur la présence de soldats en faction devant les lieux sensibles. Ils peuvent à leur tour devenir des cibles.

Les pouvoirs publics sont-ils conscients des risques qui, selon vous, nous guettent ?

Je ne le crois pas. Le fait de bombarder l’EI et de le dire publiquement peut pousser des individus à commettre des attentats en France. Mais surtout, on n’est pas assez conscients de la portée symbolique des dates et des lieux. Désormais, l’EI se considère comme un Etat, gère les territoires comme tel, avec un gouvernement, une administration et un agenda. Nous sommes bel et bien face à un Etat terroriste.

Voir enfin:

La Chine construit des îles artificielles pour revendiquer des zones maritimes
Julien Licourt
Le Figaro
10/02/2015

La République populaire entend asseoir son influence sur des ilôts inhabités mais stratégiques de la mer de Chine.
Une île artificielle en forme de porte-avion. La Chine est en train d’agglomérer des milliers de tonnes de terre sur un récif corallien afin de le transformer en piste d’atterrissage. L’objectif: asseoir sa domination sur une zone stratégique très disputée, la mer de Chine.

Jusqu’à présent, la majeure partie de l’île de Fiery Cross, ou Yongshu, en Chinois, se trouvait sous l’eau, à l’exception de quelques rochers et d’une surface de béton artificielle, servant à héberger une petite garnison de soldats. Des images satellites, analysées par des experts anglo-saxons de l’IHS, ont montré que depuis quelques mois, des navires chinois draguaient les fonds environnants. Les images ont également montré que ces derniers rassemblent les sédiments sur la barrière de corail, afin de faire émerger des eaux une piste de 3000 mètres de long sur 300 mètres, au plus, de large. Un port, à l’est de l’île, serait également en train d’être créé par les dragues chinoises. Il serait suffisamment grand pour «accueillir des pétroliers ou de grands navires de guerre», selon les experts de l’IHS.

Yongshu est située dans l’archipel des Spratleys, un territoire en plein milieu de la mer de Chine dont les récifs confettis, d’une superficie totale de 5 km2, sont répartis sur une zone de 410.000 km2. Quelques bouts de terre disputés entre le Brunei, la Malaisie, les Philippines, Taïwan et la Chine, dernière puissance à ne pas disposer de piste d’atterrissage dans les environs.

Une zone très stratégique
Dans un rapport, le ministère de la Défense français rappelle que les prétentions de Pékin sont fondées sur des arguments historiques: «La Chine prétend que des pêcheurs chinois fréquentent la mer de Chine du Sud depuis des époques aussi reculées que la période des Trois Royaumes (220-265).» Selon le rapport, il faut en réalité attendre les années 1980 pour qu’elle s’intéresse réellement à ces îles perdues. En 1987, la Chine en occupe 7. Cinq ans plus tard, elle revendique la totalité de l’archipel.

Si la Chine s’y intéresse autant, ce n’est pas en souvenir de quelques pêcheurs ancestraux. Cette zone, inconnue du grand public, est d’un intérêt géostratégique majeur. Elle est le point de passage entre l’Océan indien et l’Océan pacifique et permet la communication de l’Europe et de l’Asie orientale. Près d’un tiers du trafic maritime commercial du monde y passe, 90% de celui de la Chine. La Corée du Sud, le Japon et Taïwan y font transiter plus de la moitié de leurs ressources énergétiques. Si les éventuelles réserves de pétrole semblent pour le moment limitées, celles de gaz semblent au contraire très importantes: la zone pourrait comporter 13% des réserves mondiales, selon le rapport du ministère de la Défense.

Le précédent des Paracels
Outre l’évidente menace que représente la militarisation chinoise, la création de cette nouvelle terre vient asseoir la revendication de souveraineté chinoise: au regard du droit international, l’attribution d’une zone économique exclusive est déterminée par la possession d’un territoire côtier.

La Chine reproduit ici une tactique déjà éprouvée un peu plus au nord, dans l’archipel inhabité des Paracels, situé en face du Vietnam, qui revendique également ces territoires. Pékin y a créé une piste et un port. Dans les années 1970, un bref engagement entre la Chine et le Sud-Vietnam avait coûté la vie à 70 marins et envoyé par le fond trois navires vietnamiens. Seulement, après cet épisode, la présence chinoise avait été confortée dans l’archipel. En mai 2014, la Chine se servait de cette base territoriale pour justifier l’installation d’une plate-forme pétrolière dans les eaux des Paracels, entraînant une importante crise diplomatique avec le Vietnam.

Voir par ailleurs:

Memo to Supreme Court: State Marriage Laws Are Constitutional
Gene Schaerr and Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D.
The Heritage Foundation
March 10, 2015

Abstract
There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage. The only way one can establish the unconstitutionality of man–woman marriage laws is to adopt a view of marriage that sees it as an essentially genderless, adult-centric institution and then declare that the Constitution requires that the states (re)define marriage in such a way. In other words, one needs to establish that the vision of marriage our law has long applied is wrong and that the Constitution requires a different vision. There is, however, no basis in the Constitution for reaching that conclusion. Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father, and states have constitutional authority to make marriage policy based on these truths.
Over the past year, four federal circuit courts—the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits—have ruled that the states and their people lack the ability under the federal Constitution to define marriage as it has always been defined: as the legal union of a man and a woman.[1] In their breathtaking sweep, those four rulings are reminiscent of the U.S. Supreme Court’s now-discredited decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford,[2] which likewise limited the people’s right to decide an issue of fundamental importance: whether their representatives in Congress had the constitutional authority to abolish slavery in the federal territories.[3]

Last fall, the Supreme Court allowed those four circuit decisions to go into effect, thereby overriding the votes of tens of millions of citizens in many parts of the nation. Fortunately, however, the Court has now agreed to revisit the issue in the context of a decision issued by the Sixth Circuit, which reaffirmed the right of a state’s people to choose the traditional man–woman definition of marriage.

The overarching question before the Supreme Court in the four cases that were consolidated before the Sixth Circuit and for purposes of review by the Supreme Court—Obergefell v. Hodges, Tanco v. Haslam, DeBoer v. Snyder, and Bourke v. Beshear—is not whether an exclusively male–female marriage policy is the best, but only whether it is allowed by the U.S. Constitution.[4] In other words, the question is not whether government-recognized same-sex marriage is good or bad policy, but only whether it is required by the U.S. Constitution.

To resolve that overarching question, the Supreme Court has directed the parties in those cases to address two precise questions:

Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state?
Those suing to overturn the marriage laws in the four states covered by the Sixth Circuit (Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee) thus have to prove that the man–woman marriage policy that has existed in the United States throughout our entire history is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.

The only way someone could succeed in such an argument is to adopt a view of marriage that sees it as an essentially genderless institution based only on the emotional needs of adults and then declare that the U.S. Constitution requires that the states (re)define marriage in such a way. Equal protection alone is not enough. To strike down marriage laws, the Court would need to say that the vision of marriage that our law has long applied equally is just wrong: that the Constitution requires a different vision entirely.

The U.S. Constitution, however, is silent on what marriage is and what policy goals the states should design it to serve, and there are good policy arguments on both sides. Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the U.S. Constitution any more than the Justices in Dred Scott should have written into the Constitution their own policy preferences in support of slavery.

That, of course, is not to suggest that same-sex marriage is itself comparable to slavery. The point is simply that, as in Dred Scott, this is a debate about whether citizens or judges will decide an important and sensitive policy issue—in this case, the very nature of civil marriage.

The Fourteenth Amendment’s Original Meaning
A legal challenge to these state marriage laws cannot appeal successfully to the text or original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. The text, invoking American citizens’ “privileges or immunities,” the “equal protection of the laws,” and the “due process of law,” nowhere mentions marriage. Back in the 1860s, could anyone who drafted that amendment or any of the citizens who voted to ratify it have reasonably thought that it could be used to invalidate state marriage laws defining marriage as a man–woman union?

Imagine, for example, how President Lincoln—an accomplished lawyer and an ardent opponent of Dred Scott—would have reacted if the amendment had been introduced before his death and someone had suggested that it might one day be interpreted to require states to recognize same-sex marriages. He would have viewed that suggestion as preposterous. There has never been any general right, he would have said, to marry anyone you claim to love, so a state’s rejection of that claimed “right” could not possibly be a denial of due process.

Lincoln would also have noted the similarities between Dred Scott and a decision imposing same-sex marriage. As distinguished law professor Michael Stokes Paulsen has elegantly argued, “in the structure and logic of the legal arguments made for judicial imposition of an across-the-board national rule requiring every state to accept the institutions [of slavery and the redefinition of marriage], the two situations appear remarkably similar.”[5]

Moreover, unlike miscegenation laws, the man–woman definition of marriage does not offend the Amendment’s equal-protection guarantee because it allows any otherwise qualified man and woman to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation or other circumstances. The fact that the institution of marriage, rightly understood, may be more attractive to some of a state’s citizens than others does not mean that a state violates the Fourteenth Amendment simply by refusing to redefine the institution to make it more attractive to more romantic partnerships.

Indeed, as the Sixth Circuit pointed out, all sides agree that the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment does not require the redefinition of marriage: “Nobody…argues that the people who adopted the 14th Amendment understood it to require the States to change the definition of marriage.”[6] The Sixth Circuit continued: “From the founding of the republic to 2003, every state defined marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, meaning that the 14th Amendment permits, though it does not require, states to define marriage in that way.”[7]

The opinion closes by noting that “not a single U.S. Supreme Court Justice in American history has written an opinion maintaining that the traditional definition of marriage violates the 14th Amendment.”[8]

United States v. Windsor
Nor can a challenge reasonably appeal to the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision, which was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and applied the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections in striking down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Whether it was right or wrong as to DOMA, Windsor strongly supports the authority of states to define marriage: Every single time that Windsor talks about the harm of DOMA, it mentions that the state had chosen to recognize the bond that the federal government was excluding. Every single time, Justice Kennedy expressly said it was Congress’s deviation from the default of deference to state definitions that drove his opinion.

Kennedy’s opinion for the Court hinged on the reality that “[t]he significance of state responsibilities for the definition and regulation of marriage dates to the Nation’s beginning.”[9] “The definition of marriage,” Windsor explained, is “the foundation of the State’s broader authority to regulate the subject of domestic relations with respect to the ‘[p]rotection of offspring, property interests, and the enforcement of marital responsibilities.’”[10]

United States District Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez recently highlighted this feature of Windsor:

The Windsor opinion did not create a fundamental right to same gender marriage nor did it establish that state opposite-gender marriage regulations are amenable to federal constitutional challenges. If anything, Windsor stands for the opposite proposition: it reaffirms the States’ authority over marriage, buttressing Baker’s conclusion that marriage is simply not a federal question.[11]
Windsor also taught that federal power may not “put a thumb on the scales and influence a state’s decision as to how to shape its own marriage laws.”[12] Yet since that time, the federal government—through federal judges—has repeatedly put its thumb on the scales to influence a state’s decision about its own marriage laws—all the while claiming that Windsor required them to do so.

Judge Pérez-Giménez bemoaned this reality, noting that “[i]t takes inexplicable contortions of the mind or perhaps even willful ignorance—this Court does not venture an answer here—to interpret Windsor’s endorsement of the state control of marriage as eliminating the state control of marriage.”[13]

Fundamental Right Under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause
Just as neither the actual text nor the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, nor the Windsor decision, requires the redefinition of state marriage laws, nothing in the Supreme Court’s Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence requires states to abandon the male–female definition of marriage. Consider first the Court’s “fundamental rights” doctrine under the Due Process Clause, where, if the Court finds a law infringing upon a fundamental right, the law is subject to “strict scrutiny,” meaning that the government must provide a compelling interest in having the law and the law must be narrowly designed to promote that interest. Not surprisingly, laws almost always fail strict scrutiny.

Glucksberg. As the Supreme Court held in Glucksberg in rejecting a fundamental right to assisted suicide, fundamental rights must be “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” such that “neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed.”[14]

Clearly, a right to marry someone of the same sex does not fit this description. As the Supreme Court explained in Windsor, including same-sex couples in marriage is “a new perspective, a new insight.”[15] Same-sex marriage is not deeply rooted in the nation’s history and tradition; thus—whatever its policy merits—it cannot be a fundamental right under the Due Process Clause. Windsor correctly observed that “until recent years…marriage between a man and a woman no doubt had been thought of by most people as essential to the very definition of that term and to its role and function throughout the history of civilization.”[16]

Whenever the Supreme Court has recognized marriage as a fundamental right, it has always been marriage understood as the union of a man and woman, and the rationale for the fundamental right has emphasized the procreative and social ordering aspects of male–female marriage. None of the cases that mention a fundamental right to marry deviate from this understanding, including decisions that struck down laws limiting marriage based on failure to pay child support,[17] incarceration,[18] and race.[19] Those decisions took for granted the historic, common law, and statutory understanding of marriage as a male–female union having something to do with family life. Thus, a challenge to state male–female marriage laws cannot appeal successfully to the fundamental-rights doctrine under Glucksberg.

Loving. Comparisons to interracial marriage fare no better.[20] As Fourth Circuit Judge Paul Niemeyer explained in his dissent in Bostic v. Schaefer, in Loving v. Virginia, where the Supreme Court found laws that prohibit interracial marriage to be unconstitutional, the couple was “asserting a right to enter into a traditional marriage of the type that has always been recognized since the beginning of the Nation—a union between one man and one woman.”[21] He concluded:

Loving simply held that race, which is completely unrelated to the institution of marriage, could not be the basis of marital restrictions. To stretch Loving’s holding to say that the right to marry is not limited by gender…is to ignore the inextricable, biological link between marriage and procreation that the Supreme Court has always recognized.[22]
In Loving, the Supreme Court defined marriage as one of the “‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.”[23] Professor John Eastman of Chapman Law School has helpfully explained why the Supreme Court did so:

Marriage is “fundamental to our very existence” only because it is rooted in the biological complementarity of the sexes, the formal recognition of the unique union through which children are produced—a point emphasized by the fact that the Supreme Court cited a case dealing with the right to procreate for its holding that marriage was a fundamental right.[24]
Thus, a challenge to state male–female marriage laws cannot properly rely upon Loving.

Limiting Principle? To be sure, the Supreme Court has ruled that entering into and having the government recognize a marriage—understood as a union of husband and wife—is a fundamental right, but if this right is redefined to be understood simply as the committed, care-giving relationship of one’s choice, where does the logic lead? Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked this of Ted Olson, the lawyer for the same-sex couples, during oral argument in California’s Proposition 8 case, and he had no answer. If marriage is a fundamental right understood as consenting adult love, Justice Sotomayor asked, “what State restrictions could ever exist,” for example, “with respect to the number of people…that could get married?”[25]

The Sixth Circuit saw Justice Sotomayor’s logic. With respect to those who would redefine marriage, the court observed that:

Their definition does too little because it fails to account for plural marriages, where there is no reason to think that three or four adults, whether gay, bisexual, or straight, lack the capacity to share love, affection, and commitment, or for that matter lack the capacity to be capable (and more plentiful) parents to boot.[26]
The Sixth Circuit concluded that “if it is constitutionally irrational to stand by the man–woman definition of marriage, it must be constitutionally irrational to stand by the monogamous definition of marriage. Plaintiffs have no answer to the point.”[27] Just so. And for that reason too, a challenge to state male–female marriage laws cannot properly invoke the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause
Equal protection jurisprudence likewise does not require the redefinition of marriage.

Animus. Although a couple of Supreme Court decisions have relied upon the concept of “animus” in invalidating on equal-protection grounds state laws that impinged upon the interests of gays and lesbians,[28] anyone with passing familiarity with the history of marriage knows that the institution did not arise because of animus toward gays and lesbians. Ancient thinkers as well as the political society in Greece and Rome, without being influenced by Judeo–Christian teaching, affirmed that marriage is a male–female union even as they embraced same-sex sexual relations.[29]

Even in Windsor, Justice Kennedy did not claim that the man–woman definition of marriage was fueled by animus. Rather, as noted, he held that the federal government’s refusal to recognize state-sanctioned same-sex marriages was based on animus. One need not agree with Justice Kennedy on DOMA to see that the holding in Windsor does not undermine state marriage laws.

The Sixth Circuit acknowledged that same-sex couples have experienced unjust discrimination but noted that marriage laws are not part of that phenomenon:

But we also cannot deny that the institution of marriage arose independently of this record of discrimination. The traditional definition of marriage goes back thousands of years and spans almost every society in history. By contrast, “American laws targeting same-sex couples did not develop until the last third of the 20th century.” (citing Lawrence).[30]
While Lawrence struck down laws that prohibited sex between persons of the same gender, it did not—and does not—require the redefinition of marriage. Laws that banned homosexual sodomy are radically different from laws that define marriage as the union of husband and wife. The Supreme Court found that the former infringed a privacy and liberty right, while the latter specify which unions will be eligible for public recognition and benefits. A right to liberty or privacy is a right to be left alone by the government, not a right to have the government recognize or subsidize the relationship of one’s choice.

Protected Class. Other advocates of same-sex marriage, including the Ninth Circuit,[31] have argued that the denial of marriage to same-sex couples infringes the rights of a protected class: namely, gays and lesbians. But the Supreme Court, including in Windsor, has never held sexual orientation to be a suspect class and thus has not applied “heightened scrutiny” to laws implicating their interests.[32] In contrast, the Court has held that race is a suspect class and gender a quasi-suspect class (which invokes heightened scrutiny but not quite strict scrutiny).[33]

Even if the Supreme Court did find sexual orientation to be a suspect class, as liberal scholars like Andrew Koppelman have recognized, marriage laws do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation anyway. They have a disparate impact on gays, but that is not the Court’s test. The reason Koppelman believes—correctly—that they do not discriminate based on orientation is that they simply do not require checking someone’s orientation at all in determining whether that person will receive the benefits of civil marriage.[34] Thus, under man–woman marriage laws, a gay man may marry a lesbian woman, while two heterosexual men cannot receive a marriage certificate from the state.

Nevertheless, if one were to argue that sexual orientation should be a protected class under equal protection jurisprudence, one would have to establish that sexual orientation creates a “class…[which] exhibit[s] obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group.”[35] Gays and lesbians do not satisfy that requirement.

The American Psychological Association (APA) describes sexual orientation as a “range of behaviors and attractions” and reports that “[r]esearch over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex.”[36] The APA also reports that “there is no consensus among scientists” on why particular orientations develop and that, despite extensive research, scientists cannot conclude whether sexual orientation is determined by “genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, [or] cultural influences.”[37]

The APA, in short, says that no one can agree on the causes or even the definition of homosexuality, so it is not a readily identifiable group. These APA findings fatally undermine the idea that sexual orientation describes a “discrete group” for suspect-class purposes.

This point is confirmed by Dr. Paul McHugh, former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital and former chairman of the psychiatry department at Hopkins medical school, and legal scholar Gerard Bradley:

“Sexual orientation” should not be recognized as a newly protected characteristic of individuals under federal law.… In contrast with other characteristics, it is neither discrete nor immutable. There is no scientific consensus on how to define sexual orientation, and the various definitions proposed by experts produce substantially different groups of people.
Nor is there any convincing evidence that sexual orientation is biologically determined; rather, research tends to show that for some persons and perhaps for a great many, “sexual orientation” is plastic and fluid; that is, it changes over time. What we do know with certainty about sexual orientation is that it is affective and behavioral—a matter of desire and/or behavior.[38]
In a February 2015 interview, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg admitted as much. While asserting incorrectly that it would not be a major adjustment for the American public to accept same-sex marriage, she correctly observed that:

[Americans have] looked around, and we discovered it’s our next door neighbor, we’re very fond of them. Or it’s our child’s best friend. Or even our child. I think that as more and more people came out and said, “This is who I am,” and the rest of us recognized that they are one of us, that there—there was a familiarity with people that didn’t exist in the beginning when the race problem was on the burner, because we lived in segregated communities and it was truly a we/they kind of thing. But not so, I think, of the gay-rights movement.[39]
A better argument why gays and lesbians are not discrete and insular minorities—not easily identifiable or clustered together apart from the rest of society—could not be offered.

Furthermore, to be a protected class under equal protection jurisprudence, a group must be “politically powerless in the sense that they have no ability to attract the attention of the lawmakers.”[40] Yet, as Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out during oral arguments in Windsor, “political figures are falling over themselves” to support gay marriage.[41] Indeed, support for same-sex marriage and for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) non-discrimination laws has been embraced by the President of the United States and the Democratic Party—the largest political party in the nation.[42]

In short, it is hard to say that gays and lesbians are politically powerless. It is therefore impossible for the Court to find that they are a suspect class.

Rational Basis: Social Function. One could also argue, as the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits have held, that there is simply no rational basis for man–woman marriage laws, meaning either that there is no legitimate purpose in such laws or that the laws are not rationally related to a legitimate purpose.[43] This argument fails completely as it ignores the universal historical record witnessing to the rational basis of man–woman marriage laws based on the social function that marriage plays.

From a policy perspective, marriage is about attaching a man and a woman to each other as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their sexual union may produce. When a baby is born, there is always a mother nearby: That is a fact of biology. The policy question is whether a father will be close by and, if so, for how long. Marriage, rightly understood, increases the odds that a man will be committed to both the children that he helps to create and to the woman with whom he does so.[44] The man–woman definition of marriage reinforces the idea—the social norm—that a man should be so committed.

The man–woman definition, moreover, is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father. Even President Barack Obama admits that children deserve a mother and a father:

We know the statistics—that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.[45]
In short, fathers matter, and marriage helps to connect fathers to mothers and children. But you do not have to think this marriage policy is ideal to think it constitutionally permissible. Unless gays and lesbians are a suspect class, for an equal protection challenge to succeed, this simple analysis of the social function of marriage would have to be proved not just misguided, but positively irrational. Universal human experience, however, confirms the rationality of that policy.

Compelling Interest and Narrowly Tailored: Constitutional at Any Level of Scrutiny. Even if one (implausibly) granted that sexual orientation was a suspect class and that marriage laws thus had to be held to heightened scrutiny, man–woman marriage would still be constitutional. A strong marriage culture is a compelling interest because it affects virtually every other state interest, and defining marriage as the permanent and exclusive union of a husband and wife is a narrowly tailored means of allowing it to fulfill its social function.

As noted, there is no dispute that marriage plays a fundamental role in society by encouraging men and women to commit permanently and exclusively to each other and to take responsibility for their children. As the Sixth Circuit concluded, “[b]y creating a status (marriage) and by subsidizing it (e.g., with tax-filing privileges and deductions), the States create[] an incentive for two people who procreate together to stay together for purposes of rearing offspring.”[46]

In addition to financial incentives, as ample social science confirms, this combination of state-sanctioned status and benefits also reinforces certain child-centered norms or expectations that form part of the social institution of marriage. Those norms—such as the value of gender-diverse parenting and of biological connections between children and the adults who raise them—independently encourage man–woman couples “to stay together for purposes of rearing offspring.” Given the importance of those norms to the welfare of the children of such couples, the state has a compelling interest in reinforcing and maintaining them.

Most of those norms, moreover, arise from and/or depend upon the man–woman understanding that has long been viewed as central to the social institution of marriage.[47] For example, because only man–woman couples (as a class) have the ability to provide dual biological connections to the children they raise together, the state’s decision—implemented by the man–woman definition—to limit marital status and benefits to such couples reminds society of the value of those biological connections. It thereby gently encourages man–woman couples to rear their biological children together, and it does so without denigrating other arrangements—such as adoption or assisted reproductive technologies—that such couples might choose when, for whatever reason, they are unable to have biological children of their own.

Like other social norms traditionally associated with the man–woman definition of marriage, the biological connection norm will be diluted or destroyed if the man–woman definition (and associated social understanding) is abandoned in favor of a definition that allows marriage between “any two otherwise qualified persons”—which is what same-sex marriage requires. And just as those norms benefit the state and society, their dilution or destruction can be expected to harm the interests of the state and its citizens.

For example, over time, as fewer heterosexual parents embrace the biological connection norm, more of their children will be raised without a mother or a father. After all, it will be very difficult for the law to send a message that fathers and mothers are essential if it has redefined marriage to make fathers or mothers optional, and that in turn will mean more children of heterosexuals raised in poverty, doing poorly in school, experiencing psychological or emotional problems, having abortions, and committing crimes—all at significant cost to the state.

In short, law affects culture. Culture affects beliefs. Beliefs affect actions. The law teaches, and it will shape not just a handful of marriages, but the public understanding of what marriage is. Consider the impact of no-fault divorce laws, which are widely acknowledged to have disserved, on balance, the interests of the very children they were supposedly designed to help. By providing easy exits from marriage and its responsibilities, no-fault divorce helped to change the perception of marriage from a permanent institution designed for the needs of children to a temporary one designed for the desires of adults. Thus, not only was it technically much easier to leave one’s spouse, but it was psychologically much easier as well, and the percentage of children growing up with just one parent in the home skyrocketed, with all of the attendant negative consequences.

This analysis also explains why a state’s decision to retain the man–woman definition of marriage should not be seen as demeaning to gay and lesbian citizens or their children and why it satisfies any form of heightened scrutiny. In the early 2000s, in the face of state judicial decisions seeking to impose same-sex marriage under state law, the definitional choice a state faced was a binary one: Either preserve the man–woman definition and the benefits it provides to the children (and the state) or replace it with an “any two qualified persons” definition and risk losing those benefits.

There is no middle ground. A state’s choice to preserve the man–woman definition is thus narrowly tailored—indeed, it is perfectly tailored—to the state’s interests in preserving those benefits and in avoiding the enormous societal risks that accompany a genderless-marriage regime. Under a proper means–ends analysis, therefore, a state’s choice to preserve the man–woman definition passes muster under any constitutional standard.[48]

Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages from Out of State
If the points made above succeed—on the rational basis of state marriage laws defining marriage as the union of husband and wife and the reasonableness of thinking that redefining marriage will undermine the public policy purpose of such marriage laws—then a state should not be required to recognize other state marriage laws that would undermine its own public policy.

This conclusion follows from Article IV of the Constitution, which requires that “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.”[49] This clause enabled the sovereign states to come together to form one union without everything having to be relitigated when parties moved to a new state,[50] but the Full Faith and Credit Clause does not require a state to recognize the policies of another state when doing so would undermine that state’s own public policy. Full Faith and Credit “does not compel a state to substitute the statutes of other states for its own statutes dealing with a subject matter concerning which it is competent to legislate.”[51]

Windsor points out that “[m]arriage laws vary in some respects from State to State,” such as “the required minimum age” and “the permissible degree of consanguinity.”[52] If a state has good policy reasons for promoting marriage as the union of a man and a woman, then it does not have to accept out-of-state marriages that undermine its own policy preferences.[53] A state may apply its own marriage laws in preference to an out-of-state policy that it judges would undermine its own policy, because “as a sovereign [it] has a rightful and legitimate concern in the marital status of persons domiciled within its borders.”[54]

Moreover, given that the Full Faith and Credit Clause deals specifically with the recognition of official acts in other states, there is no sound basis for invoking the Fourteenth Amendment as a stand-alone basis for requiring a state to recognize a marriage performed in another state.

Conclusion
At the end of the day, there simply is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage. Part of the design of federalism is that experimentation can take place in the states: As the Sixth Circuit noted, “federalism…permits laboratories of experimentation—accent on the plural—allowing one State to innovate one way, another State another, and a third State to assess the trial and error over time.”[55]

To a make a plausible case to the contrary, as we have seen, one cannot reasonably appeal to the authority of Windsor, to the text or original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, to the fundamental rights protected by the Due Process Clause, or to Loving v. Virginia. So, too, one cannot properly appeal to the Equal Protection Clause or to animus or Lawrence. Nor can one say that gays and lesbians are politically powerless, so one cannot claim they are a suspect class. Nor can one say that male–female marriage laws lack a rational basis or that they do not serve a compelling state interest in a narrowly tailored way.

The only way one can establish the unconstitutionality of man–woman marriage laws is to adopt a view of marriage that sees it as an essentially genderless, adult-centric institution and then declare that the Constitution requires that the states (re)define marriage in that way. In other words, one needs to establish that the vision of marriage our law has long applied is just wrong and that the Constitution requires a different vision entirely.

There is, however, no basis in the Constitution for reaching that conclusion any more than there was a basis in the Constitution for concluding—as Dred Scott did—that the people of the United States lacked the power to abolish slavery in their territories. Accordingly, any decision requiring states to redefine marriage is as much a usurpation of the people’s authority as Dred Scott was.

—Gene Schaerr is a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who specializes in constitutional and appellate litigation. He has previously served as Associate Counsel to the President and as law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and has handled dozens of cases (including six he personally argued) before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ryan T. Anderson, PhD, co-author of the book What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, is William E. Simon Fellow in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center, of the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, at The Heritage Foundation.
Hide References

[1] Bostic v. Schaefer, 760 F.3d 352 (4th Cir. 2014); Baskin v. Bogan, 766 F.3d 648 (7th Cir. 2014); Latta v. Otter, 771 F.3d 456 (9th Cir. 2014); Kitchen v. Herbert, 755 F.3d 1193 (10th Cir. 2014); Bishop v. Smith, 760 F.3d 1070 (10th Cir. 2014).

[2] 60 U.S. 393 (1857).

[3] For more on the legal parallel, see Michael Stokes Paulsen, Abraham Lincoln and Same-Sex Marriage, Public Discourse (Feb. 20, 2015), http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/02/14443/.

[4] DeBoer v. Snyder, 772 F.3d 388 (6th Cir. 2014), cert. granted, 83 U.S.L.W. 3315 (U.S. Jan. 16, 2015) (No. 14-571); see also Obergefell v. Hodges (No. 14-556); Tanco v. Haslam (No. 14-562); Bourke v. Beshear (No. 14-574).

[5] Paulsen, supra note 3.

[6] DeBoer, 772 F.3d at 403.

[7] Id. at 404.

[8] Id. at 416.

[9] United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 2675, 2692 (2013).

[10] Id. at 2691 (quoting Williams v. North Carolina, 317 U.S. 287, 298 (1942)).

[11] Conde-Vidal v. Garcia-Padilla (D.P.R.) (D.P.R. Oct. 21, 2014) (No. 14-1253), 2014 WL 5361987. See also Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972) (summarily dismissing “for want of a substantial federal question” an appeal that argued that Minnesota’s man–woman only marriage laws violated the Fourteenth Amendment).

[12] Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2693 (citations omitted).

[13] Conde-Vidal, 2014 WL 5361987 at 8*.

[14] Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721 (1997). Besides the right to marry (with marriage always understood as a union of husband and wife), examples of fundamental rights the Court has found are the right to procreate, the right to have sexual autonomy, the right to buy and use birth control and abortion, the right to travel freely among the states, the right to raise one’s children as one sees fit, the right to vote, and the right to the freedoms protected by the First Amendment (speech, religion, and association).

[15] Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2689.

[16] Id.

[17] Zablocki v. Redhall, 434 U.S. 374, 385–87 (1987).

[18] Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 95–98 (1987).

[19] Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 11 (1967).

[20] For an extended analysis, see Ryan T. Anderson, Marriage, Reason, and Religious Liberty: Much Ado About Sex, Nothing to Do with Race, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2894 (Apr. 4, 2014), available at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/04/marriage-reason-and-religious-liberty-much-ado-about-sex-nothing-to-do-with-race.

[21] Bostic, 760 F.3d at 390 (Niemeyer, J., dissenting).

[22] Id. at 392.

[23] Loving, 388 U.S. at 18.

[24] John Eastman, The Constitutionality of Traditional Marriage, Heritage Foundation Legal Memorandum No. 90 (Jan. 25, 2013), available at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/01/the-constitutionality-of-traditional-marriage.

[25] Transcript of Oral Argument at 46:25, 47:1–3, Hollingsworth v. Perry, 133 S.Ct. 2652 (2013) (No. 12-144) (2010).

[26] DeBoer, 772 F.3d at 407.

[27] Id.

[28] See, e.g., Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003); Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996).

[29] John Finnis, The Collected Essays of John Finnis: Volume III: Human Rights and Common Good 340 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2011).

[30] DeBoer, 772 F.3d at 413.

[31] Latta, 771 F.3d at 468.

[32] But see SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Abbott Laboratories, 740 F.3d 471 (9th Cir. 2014) (holding that sexual orientation was a suspect class triggering heightened scrutiny).

[33] The heightened scrutiny of gender classifications is often called “intermediate scrutiny” because it falls between the lower rational basis review and the higher strict scrutiny review.

[34] Andrew Koppelman, Response: Sexual Disorientation, 100 Geo. L.J. 1083, 1087 (2012).

[35] Bowen v. Gilliard, 483 U.S. 587, 603 (1987) (quoting Massachusetts B. of Retirement v. Murgia, 427 U.S. 307, 313–14 (1976)) (emphasis added).

[36] Answers to Your Questions: For a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality American Psychological Association (2008), http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.aspx?item=4.

[37] Id.

[38] Paul McHugh & Gerard Bradley, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Employment Law, Public Discourse (July 25, 2013), http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/07/10636/.

[39] Interview by Greg Stohr and Matthew Winkler, Ginsburg: Doubt Gay Marriage Won’t Be Widely Accepted, Bloomberg (Feb. 12, 2015), http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2015-02-12/ginsburg-doubt-gay-marriage-won-t-be-widely-accepted.

[40] City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, 473 U.S. 432, 445 (1985).

[41] Transcript of Oral Argument at 108:13–14, Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013) (No. 12-307).

[42] Election Trends by Group: Party Affiliation, Gallup, available at http://www.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx.

[43] When courts find animus against a group, then laws fail rational basis review, though it is a more searching standard of review and so is often referred to as “rational basis with bite.”

[44] Ryan T. Anderson, “Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2775 (Mar. 11, 2013), available at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/03/marriage-what-it-is-why-it-matters-and-the-consequences-of-redefining-it.

[45] President Barack Obama, Father’s Day Remarks, N.Y. Times, July 15, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/us/politics/15text-obama.html?pagewanted=print.

[46] DeBoer, 772 F.3d at 405.

[47] See Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2718.

[48] See Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 982 (2003) (holding that affirmative action programs satisfied strict scrutiny and that the courts were required to defer to legislative facts found by decision-makers).

[49] U.S. Const. art. IV, § 1.

[50] See Erin O’Hara O’Connor, Full Faith and Credit Clause, in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (2d ed.), available at http://www.heritage.org/constitution#!/articles/4/essays/121/full-faith-and-credit-clause.

[51] Baker v. Gen. Motors Corp., 522 U.S. 222, 232–33 (1998) (quotes omitted).

[52] Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2691–92.

[53] The Supreme Court has required “a significant contact or significant aggregation of contacts, creating state interests, such that choice of its law is neither arbitrary nor fundamentally unfair.” Franchise Tax Bd. of Cal. v. Hyatt, 538 U.S. 488, 494–95 (2003) (quotes omitted).

[54] Williams, 317 U.S. at 298.

[55] DeBoer, 772 F.3d at 406.

Voir de plus:

Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It
Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D.
The Heritage Foundation
March 11, 2013

Abstract
Marriage is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father. Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage; it rejects these truths. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. By encouraging the norms of marriage—monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence—the state strengthens civil society and reduces its own role. The future of this country depends on the future of marriage. The future of marriage depends on citizens understanding what it is and why it matters and demanding that government policies support, not undermine, true marriage.
At the heart of the current debates about same-sex marriage are three crucial questions: What is marriage, why does marriage matter for public policy, and what would be the consequences of redefining marriage to exclude sexual complementarity?

Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children need both a mother and a father. Marriage predates government. It is the fundamental building block of all human civilization. Marriage has public purposes that transcend its private purposes. This is why 41 states, with good reason, affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children. While respecting everyone’s liberty, government rightly recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for childbearing and childrearing.

Promoting marriage does not ban any type of relationship: Adults are free to make choices about their relationships, and they do not need government sanction or license to do so. All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose, but no one has a right to redefine marriage for everyone else.

In recent decades, marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs. This reduces marriage to a system to approve emotional bonds or distribute legal privileges.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is the culmination of this revisionism, and it would leave emotional intensity as the only thing that sets marriage apart from other bonds. Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children and would deny, as a matter of policy, the ideal that a child needs both a mom and a dad. Decades of social science, including the latest studies using large samples and robust research methods, show that children tend to do best when raised by a mother and a father. The confusion resulting from further delinking childbearing from marriage would force the state to intervene more often in family life and expand welfare programs. Redefining marriage would legislate a new principle that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is.

Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage. It rejects the anthropological truth that marriage is based on the complementarity of man and woman, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children need a mother and a father. Redefining marriage to abandon the norm of male–female sexual complementarity would also make other essential characteristics—such as monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency—optional. Marriage cannot do the work that society needs it to do if these norms are further weakened.

Redefining marriage is also a direct and demonstrable threat to religious freedom because it marginalizes those who affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman. This is already evident in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., among other locations.

Concern for the common good requires protecting and strengthening the marriage culture by promoting the truth about marriage.

What Is Marriage?
Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces.

At its most basic level, marriage is about attaching a man and a woman to each other as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their sexual union produces. When a baby is born, there is always a mother nearby: That is a fact of reproductive biology. The question is whether a father will be involved in the life of that child and, if so, for how long. Marriage increases the odds that a man will be committed to both the children that he helps create and to the woman with whom he does so.

Marriage connects people and goods that otherwise tend to fragment. It helps to connect sex with love, men with women, sex with babies, and babies with moms and dads.[1] Social, cultural, and legal signals and pressures can support or detract from the role of marriage in this regard.

Maggie Gallagher captures this insight with a pithy phrase: “[S]ex makes babies, society needs babies, and children need mothers and fathers.”[2] Connecting sex, babies, and moms and dads is the social function of marriage and helps explain why the government rightly recognizes and addresses this aspect of our social lives. Gallagher develops this idea:

The critical public or “civil” task of marriage is to regulate sexual relationships between men and women in order to reduce the likelihood that children (and their mothers, and society) will face the burdens of fatherlessness, and increase the likelihood that there will be a next generation that will be raised by their mothers and fathers in one family, where both parents are committed to each other and to their children.[3]
Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children need a mother and a father.

Marriage is a uniquely comprehensive union. It involves a union of hearts and minds, but also—and distinctively—a bodily union made possible by sexual complementarity. As the act by which a husband and wife make marital love also makes new life, so marriage itself is inherently extended and enriched by family life and calls for all-encompassing commitment that is permanent and exclusive. In short, marriage unites a man and a woman holistically—emotionally and bodily, in acts of conjugal love and in the children such love brings forth—for the whole of life.[4]

Just as the complementarity of a man and a woman is important for the type of union they can form, so too is it important for how they raise children. There is no such thing as “parenting.” There is mothering, and there is fathering, and children do best with both. While men and women are each capable of providing their children with a good upbringing, there are, on average, differences in the ways that mothers and fathers interact with their children and the functional roles that they play.

Dads play particularly important roles in the formation of both their sons and their daughters. As Rutgers University sociologist David Popenoe explains, “The burden of social science evidence supports the idea that gender-differentiated parenting is important for human development and that the contribution of fathers to childrearing is unique and irreplaceable.”[5] Popenoe concludes:

We should disavow the notion that “mommies can make good daddies,” just as we should disavow the popular notion…that “daddies can make good mommies.”… The two sexes are different to the core, and each is necessary—culturally and biologically—for the optimal development of a human being.[6]
Marriage as the union of man and woman is true across cultures, religions, and time. The government recognizes but does not create marriage.

Marriage is the fundamental building block of all human civilization. The government does not create marriage. Marriage is a natural institution that predates government. Society as a whole, not merely any given set of spouses, benefits from marriage. This is because marriage helps to channel procreative love into a stable institution that provides for the orderly bearing and rearing of the next generation.

This understanding of marriage as the union of man and woman is shared by the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions; by ancient Greek and Roman thinkers untouched by these religions; and by various Enlightenment philosophers. It is affirmed by both common and civil law and by ancient Greek and Roman law. Far from having been intended to exclude same-sex relationships, marriage as the union of husband and wife arose in many places, over several centuries, in which same-sex marriage was nowhere on the radar. Indeed, it arose in cultures that had no concept of sexual orientation and in some that fully accepted homoeroticism and even took it for granted.[7]

As with other public policy issues, religious voices on marriage should be welcomed in the public square. Yet one need not appeal to distinctively religious arguments to understand why marriage—as a natural institution—is the union of man and woman.

Marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view of marriage that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs.

In recent decades, marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view of marriage that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs. This view reduces marriage primarily to emotional bonds or legal privileges. Redefining marriage represents the culmination of this revisionism and would leave emotional intensity as the only thing that sets marriage apart from other bonds.

However, if marriage were just intense emotional regard, marital norms would make no sense as a principled matter. There is no reason of principle that requires an emotional union to be permanent. Or limited to two persons. Or sexual, much less sexually exclusive (as opposed to “open”). Or inherently oriented to family life and shaped by its demands. Couples might live out these norms where temperament or taste motivated them, but there would be no reason of principle for them to do so and no basis for the law to encourage them to do so.

In other words, if sexual complementarity is optional for marriage, present only where preferred, then almost every other norm that sets marriage apart is optional. Although some supporters of same-sex marriage would disagree, this point can be established by reason and, as documented below, is increasingly confirmed by the rhetoric and arguments used in the campaign to redefine marriage and by the policies that many of its leaders increasingly embrace.

Why Marriage Matters for Policy
Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does.

Virtually every political community has regulated male–female sexual relationships. This is not because government cares about romance as such. Government recognizes male–female sexual relationships because these alone produce new human beings. For highly dependent infants, there is no path to physical, moral, and cultural maturity—no path to personal responsibility—without a long and delicate process of ongoing care and supervision to which mothers and fathers bring unique gifts. Unless children mature, they never will become healthy, upright, productive members of society. Marriage exists to make men and women responsible to each other and to any children that they might have.

Marriage is thus a personal relationship that serves a public purpose in a political community. As the late sociologist James Q. Wilson wrote, “Marriage is a socially arranged solution for the problem of getting people to stay together and care for children that the mere desire for children, and the sex that makes children possible, does not solve.”[8]

Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. Marital breakdown weakens civil society and limited government.

Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. Government recognition of marriage protects children by incentivizing men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children.

Social science confirms the importance of marriage for children. According to the best available sociological evidence, children fare best on virtually every examined indicator when reared by their wedded biological parents. Studies that control for other factors, including poverty and even genetics, suggest that children reared in intact homes do best on educational achievement, emotional health, familial and sexual development, and delinquency and incarceration.[9]

A study published by the left-leaning research institution Child Trends concluded:

[I]t is not simply the presence of two parents…but the presence of two biological parents that seems to support children’s development.[10]
[R]esearch clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes.… There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.[11]
According to another study, “[t]he advantage of marriage appears to exist primarily when the child is the biological offspring of both parents.”[12] Recent literature reviews conducted by the Brookings Institution, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the Institute for American Values corroborate the importance of intact households for children.[13]

These statistics have penetrated American life to such a great extent that even President Barack Obama refers to them as well known:

We know the statistics—that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.[14]
Fathers matter, and marriage helps to connect fathers to mothers and children.

Social science claiming to show that there are “no differences” in outcomes for children raised in same-sex households does not change this reality. In fact, the most recent, sophisticated studies suggest that prior research is inadequate to support the assertion that it makes “no difference” whether a child was raised by same-sex parents.[15] A survey of 59 of the most prominent studies often cited for this claim shows that they drew primarily from small convenience samples that are not appropriate for generalizations to the whole population.[16]

Meanwhile, recent studies using rigorous methods and robust samples confirm that children do better when raised by a married mother and father. These include the New Family Structures Study by Professor Mark Regnerus at the University of Texas–Austin [17] and a report based on Census data recently released in the highly respected journal Demography.[18]

Still, the social science on same-sex parenting is a matter of significant ongoing debate, and it should not dictate choices about marriage. Recent studies using robust methods suggest that there is a lot more to learn about how changing family forms affects children and that social science evidence offers an insufficient basis for redefining marriage.

Marital breakdown costs taxpayers.

Marriage benefits everyone because separating childbearing and childrearing from marriage burdens innocent bystanders: not just children, but the whole community. Often, the community must step in to provide (more or less directly) for their well-being and upbringing. Thus, by encouraging the marriage norms of monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence, the state is strengthening civil society and reducing its own role.

By recognizing marriage, the government supports economic well-being. The benefits of marriage led Professor W. Bradford Wilcox to summarize a study he led as part of the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project in this way: “The core message…is that the wealth of nations depends in no small part on the health of the family.”[19] The same study suggests that marriage and fertility trends “play an underappreciated and important role in fostering long-term economic growth, the viability of the welfare state, the size and quality of the workforce, and the health of large sectors of the modern economy.”[20]

Given its economic benefits, it is no surprise that the decline of marriage most hurts the least well-off. A leading indicator of whether someone will know poverty or prosperity is whether, growing up, he or she knew the love and security of having a married mother and father. For example, a recent Heritage Foundation report by Robert Rector points out: “Being raised in a married family reduced a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 82 percent.”[21]

The erosion of marriage harms not only the immediate victims, but also society as a whole. A Brookings Institution study found that $229 billion in welfare expenditures between 1970 and 1996 can be attributed to the breakdown of the marriage culture and the resulting exacerbation of social ills: teen pregnancy, poverty, crime, drug abuse, and health problems.[1] A 2008 study found that divorce and unwed childbearing cost taxpayers $112 billion each year,[23] and Utah State University scholar David Schramm has estimated that divorce alone costs local, state, and federal-level government $33 billion each year.[24]

Civil recognition of the marriage union of a man and a woman serves the ends of limited government more effectively, less intrusively, and at less cost than does picking up the pieces from a shattered marriage culture.

Government can treat people equally—and leave them free to live and love as they choose—without redefining marriage.

While respecting everyone’s liberty, government rightly recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for childbearing and childrearing. Adults are free to make choices about their relationships without redefining marriage and do not need government sanction or license to do so.

Government is not in the business of affirming our love. Rather, it leaves consenting adults free to live and love as they choose. Contrary to what some say, there is no ban on same-sex marriage. Nothing about it is illegal. In all 50 states, two people of the same sex may choose to live together, choose to join a religious community that blesses their relationship, and choose a workplace offering joint benefits. There is nothing illegal about this.

What is at issue is whether the government will recognize such relationships as marriages—and then force every citizen, house of worship, and business to do so as well. At issue is whether policy will coerce and compel others to recognize and affirm same-sex relationships as marriages. All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose, but they do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else.

Appeals to “marriage equality” are good sloganeering, but they exhibit sloppy reasoning. Every law makes distinctions. Equality before the law protects citizens from arbitrary distinctions, from laws that treat them differently for no good reason. To know whether a law makes the right distinctions—whether the lines it draws are justified—one has to know the public purpose of the law and the nature of the good being advanced or protected.

If the law recognized same-sex couples as spouses, would some argue that it fails to respect the equality of citizens in multiple-partner relationships? Are those inclined to such relationships being treated unjustly when their consensual romantic bonds go unrecognized, their children thereby “stigmatized” and their tax filings unprivileged?

This is not hypothetical. In 2009, Newsweek reported that there were over 500,000 polyamorous households in America.[25] Prominent scholars and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) activists have called for “marriage equality” for multipartner relationships since at least 2006.[26]

If sexual complementarity is eliminated as an essential characteristic of marriage, then no principle limits civil marriage to monogamous couples.

Supporters of redefinition use the following analogy: Laws defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman are unjust—fail to treat people equally—exactly like laws that prevented interracial marriage. Yet such appeals beg the question of what is essential to marriage. They assume exactly what is in dispute: that gender is as irrelevant as race in state recognition of marriage. However, race has nothing to with marriage, and racist laws kept the races apart. Marriage has everything to do with men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers and children, and that is why principle-based policy has defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Marriage must be color-blind, but it cannot be gender-blind. The color of two people’s skin has nothing to do with what kind of marital bond they have. However, the sexual difference between a man and a woman is central to what marriage is. Men and women regardless of their race can unite in marriage, and children regardless of their race need moms and dads. To acknowledge such facts requires an understanding of what, at an essential level, makes a marriage.

We reap the civil society benefits of marriage only if policy gets marriage right.

The state has an interest in marriage and marital norms because they serve the public good by protecting child well-being, civil society, and limited government. Marriage laws work by embodying and promoting a true vision of marriage, which makes sense of those norms as a coherent whole. There is nothing magical about the word “marriage.” It is not just the legal title of marriage that encourages adherence to marital norms.

What does the work are the social reality of marriage and the intelligibility of its norms. These help to channel behavior. Law affects culture. Culture affects beliefs. Beliefs affect actions. The law teaches, and it will shape not just a handful of marriages, but the public understanding of what marriage is.

Government promotes marriage to make men and women responsible to each other and to any children they might have. Promoting marital norms serves these same ends. The norms of monogamy and sexual exclusivity encourage childbearing within a context that makes it most likely that children will be raised by their mother and father. These norms also help to ensure shared responsibility and commitment between spouses, provide sufficient attention from both a mother and a father to their children, and avoid the sexual and kinship jealousy that might otherwise be present.

The norm of permanency ensures that children will at least be cared for by their mother and father until they reach maturity. It also provides kinship structure for interaction across generations as elderly parents are cared for by their adult children and as grandparents help to care for their grandchildren without the complications of fragmented stepfamilies.

If the law taught a falsehood about marriage, it would make it harder for people to live out the norms of marriage because marital norms make no sense, as matters of principle, if marriage is just intense emotional feeling. No reason of principle requires an emotional union to be permanent or limited to two persons, much less sexually exclusive. Nor should it be inherently oriented to family life and shaped by its demands. This does not mean that a couple could not decide to live out these norms where temperament or taste so motivated them, just that there is no reason of principle to demand that they do so. Legally enshrining this alternate view of marriage would undermine the norms whose link to the common good is the basis for state recognition of marriage in the first place.

Insofar as society weakens the rational foundation for marriage norms, fewer people would live them out, and fewer people would reap the benefits of the marriage institution. This would affect not only spouses, but also the well-being of their children. The concern is not so much that a handful of gay or lesbian couples would be raising children, but that it would be very difficult for the law to send a message that fathers matter when it has redefined marriage to make fathers optional.

This highlights the link between the central questions in this debate: What is marriage, and why does the state promote it? It is not that the state should not achieve its basic purpose while obscuring what marriage is. Rather, it cannot. Only when policy gets the nature of marriage right can a political community reap the civil society benefits of recognizing it.

Finally, support for marriage between a man and a woman is no excuse for animus against those with same-sex attractions or for ignoring the needs of individuals who, for whatever reason, may never marry. They are no less worthy than others of concern and respect. Yet this same diligent concern for the common good requires protecting and strengthening the marriage culture by promoting the truth about marriage.

The Consequences of Redefining Marriage
Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children and deny the importance of mothers and fathers.

Redefining marriage would further disconnect childbearing from marriage. That would hurt children, especially the most vulnerable. It would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that children need a mother and a father. Traditional marriage laws reinforce the idea that a married mother and father is the most appropriate environment for rearing children, as the best available social science suggests.

Recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages would legally abolish that ideal. It would deny the significance of both mothering and fathering to children: that boys and girls tend to benefit from fathers and mothers in different ways. Indeed, the law, public schools, and media would teach that mothers and fathers are fully interchangeable and that thinking otherwise is bigoted.

Redefining marriage would diminish the social pressures and incentives for husbands to remain with their wives and biological children and for men and women to marry before having children. Yet the resulting arrangements—parenting by single parents, divorced parents, remarried parents, cohabiting couples, and fragmented families of any kind—are demonstrably worse for children.[27] Redefining marriage would destabilize marriage in ways that are known to hurt children.

Leading LGBT advocates admit that redefining marriage changes its meaning. E. J. Graff celebrates the fact that redefining marriage would change the “institution’s message” so that it would “ever after stand for sexual choice, for cutting the link between sex and diapers.” Enacting same-sex marriage, she argues, “does more than just fit; it announces that marriage has changed shape.”[28] Andrew Sullivan says that marriage has become “primarily a way in which two adults affirm their emotional commitment to one another.”[29]

Government exists to create the conditions under which individuals and freely formed communities can thrive. The most important free community—the one on which all others depend—is the marriage-based family. The conditions for its thriving include the accommodations and pressures that marriage law provides for couples to stay together. Redefining marriage would further erode marital norms, thrusting government further into leading roles for which it is poorly suited: parent and discipliner to the orphaned; provider to the neglected; and arbiter of disputes over custody, paternity, and visitation. As the family weakened, welfare programs and correctional bureaucracies would grow.

Redefining marriage would put into the law the new principle that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is.

Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage. It rejects the truth that marriage is based on the complementarity of man and woman, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children need a mother and a father.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is not ultimately about expanding the pool of people who are eligible to marry. Redefining marriage is about cementing a new idea of marriage in the law—an idea whose baleful effects conservatives have fought for years. The idea that romantic-emotional union is all that makes a marriage cannot explain or support the stabilizing norms that make marriage fitting for family life. It can only undermine those norms.

Indeed, that undermining already has begun. Disastrous policies such as “no-fault” divorce were also motivated by the idea that a marriage is made by romantic attachment and satisfaction—and comes undone when these fade. Same-sex marriage would require a more formal and final redefinition of marriage as simple romantic companionship, obliterating the meaning that the marriage movement had sought to restore to the institution.

Redefining marriage would weaken monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency—the norms through which marriage benefits society.

Government needs to get marriage policy right because it shapes the norms associated with this most fundamental relationship. Redefining marriage would abandon the norm of male–female sexual complementarity as an essential characteristic of marriage. Making that optional would also make other essential characteristics of marriage—such as monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency—optional.[30] Weakening marital norms and severing the connection of marriage with responsible procreation are the admitted goals of many prominent advocates of redefining marriage.

The Norm of Monogamy. New York University Professor Judith Stacey has expressed hope that redefining marriage would give marriage “varied, creative, and adaptive contours,” leading some to “question the dyadic limitations of Western marriage and seek…small group marriages.”[31] In their statement “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage,” more than 300 “LGBT and allied” scholars and advocates call for legally recognizing sexual relationships involving more than two partners.[32]University of Calgary Professor Elizabeth Brake thinks that justice requires using legal recognition to “denormalize[] heterosexual monogamy as a way of life” and “rectif[y] past discrimination against homosexuals, bisexuals, polygamists, and care networks.” She supports “minimal marriage,” in which “individuals can have legal marital relationships with more than one person, reciprocally or asymmetrically, themselves determining the sex and number of parties, the type of relationship involved, and which rights and responsibilities to exchange with each.”[33]

In 2009, Newsweek reported that the United States already had over 500,000 polyamorous households.[34] The author concluded:

[P]erhaps the practice is more natural than we think: a response to the challenges of monogamous relationships, whose shortcomings…are clear. Everyone in a relationship wrestles at some point with an eternal question: can one person really satisfy every need? Polyamorists think the answer is obvious—and that it’s only a matter of time before the monogamous world sees there’s more than one way to live and love.[35]
A 2012 article in New York Magazine introduced Americans to “throuple,” a new term akin to a “couple,” but with three people whose “throuplehood is more or less a permanent domestic arrangement. The three men work together, raise dogs together, sleep together, miss one another, collect art together, travel together, bring each other glasses of water, and, in general, exemplify a modern, adult relationship. Except that there are three of them.”[36]

The Norm of Exclusivity. Andrew Sullivan, who has extolled the “spirituality” of “anonymous sex,” also thinks that the “openness” of same-sex unions could enhance the bonds of husbands and wives:Same-sex unions often incorporate the virtues of friendship more effectively than traditional marriages; and at times, among gay male relationships, the openness of the contract makes it more likely to survive than many heterosexual bonds.… [T]here is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman.… [S]omething of the gay relationship’s necessary honesty, its flexibility, and its equality could undoubtedly help strengthen and inform many heterosexual bonds.[37]
“Openness” and “flexibility” are Sullivan’s euphemisms for sexual infidelity. Similarly, in a New York Times Magazine profile, gay activist Dan Savage encourages spouses to adopt “a more flexible attitude” about allowing each other to seek sex outside their marriage. The New York Times recently reported on a study finding that exclusivity was not the norm among gay partners: “‘With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,’ said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, ‘but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.’”[38]

A piece in The Advocate candidly admits where the logic of redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships leads:

Anti-equality right-wingers have long insisted that allowing gays to marry will destroy the sanctity of “traditional marriage,” and, of course, the logical, liberal party-line response has long been “No, it won’t.” But what if—for once—the sanctimonious crazies are right? Could the gay male tradition of open relationships actually alter marriage as we know it? And would that be such a bad thing?[39]
We often protest when homophobes insist that same sex marriage will change marriage for straight people too. But in some ways, they’re right.[40]
Some advocates of redefining marriage embrace the goal of weakening the institution of marriage in these very terms. “[Former President George W.] Bush is correct,” says Victoria Brownworth, “when he states that allowing same-sex couples to marry will weaken the institution of marriage…. It most certainly will do so, and that will make marriage a far better concept than it previously has been.”[41] Professor Ellen Willis celebrates the fact that “conferring the legitimacy of marriage on homosexual relations will introduce an implicit revolt against the institution into its very heart.”[42]

Michelangelo Signorile urges same-sex couples to “demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution.”[43] Same-sex couples should “fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, because the most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake…is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.”[44]

It is no surprise that there is already evidence of this occurring. A federal judge in Utah allowed a legal challenge to anti-bigamy laws.[45] A bill that would allow a child to have three legal parents passed both houses of the California state legislature in 2012 before it was vetoed by the governor, who claimed he wanted “to take more time to consider all of the implications of this change.”[46] The impetus for the bill was a lesbian same-sex relationship in which one partner was impregnated by a man. The child possessed a biological mother and father, but the law recognized the biological mother and her same-sex spouse, a “presumed mother,” as the child’s parents.[47]

Those who believe in monogamy and exclusivity—and the benefits that these bring to orderly procreation and child well-being—should take note.

Redefining marriage threatens religious liberty.

Redefining marriage marginalizes those with traditional views and leads to the erosion of religious liberty. The law and culture will seek to eradicate such views through economic, social, and legal pressure. If marriage is redefined, believing what virtually every human society once believed about marriage—a union of a man and woman ordered to procreation and family life—would be seen increasingly as a malicious prejudice to be driven to the margins of culture. The consequences for religious believers are becoming apparent.

The administrative state may require those who contract with the government, receive governmental monies, or work directly for the state to embrace and promote same-sex marriage even if it violates their religious beliefs. Nondiscrimination law may make even private actors with no legal or financial ties to the government—including businesses and religious organizations—liable to civil suits for refusing to treat same-sex relationships as marriages. Finally, private actors in a culture that is now hostile to traditional views of marriage may discipline, fire, or deny professional certification to those who express support for traditional marriage.

In fact, much of this is already occurring. Heritage Foundation Visiting Fellow Thomas Messner has documented multiple instances in which redefining marriage has already become a nightmare for religious liberty.[48] If marriage is redefined to include same-sex relationships, then those who continue to believe the truth about marriage—that it is by nature a union of a man and a woman—would face three different types of threats to their liberty: the administrative state, nondiscrimination law, and private actors in a culture that is now hostile to traditional views.[49]

After Massachusetts redefined marriage to include same-sex relationships, Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to discontinue its adoption services rather than place children with same-sex couples against its principles.[50] Massachusetts public schools began teaching grade-school students about same-sex marriage, defending their decision because they are “committed to teaching about the world they live in, and in Massachusetts same-sex marriage is legal.” A Massachusetts appellate court ruled that parents have no right to exempt their children from these classes.[51]

The New Mexico Human Rights Commission prosecuted a photographer for declining to photograph a same-sex “commitment ceremony.” Doctors in California were successfully sued for declining to perform an artificial insemination on a woman in a same-sex relationship. Owners of a bed and breakfast in Illinois who declined to rent their facility for a same-sex civil union ceremony and reception were sued for violating the state nondiscrimination law. A Georgia counselor was fired after she referred someone in a same-sex relationship to another counselor.[52] In fact, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty reports that “over 350 separate state anti-discrimination provisions would likely be triggered by recognition of same-sex marriage.”[53]

The Catholic bishop of Springfield, Illinois, explains how a bill, which was offered in that state’s 2013 legislative session, to redefine marriage while claiming to protect religious liberty was unable to offer meaningful protections:

[It] would not stop the state from obligating the Knights of Columbus to make their halls available for same-sex “weddings.” It would not stop the state from requiring Catholic grade schools to hire teachers who are legally “married” to someone of the same sex. This bill would not protect Catholic hospitals, charities, or colleges, which exclude those so “married” from senior leadership positions…. This “religious freedom” law does nothing at all to protect the consciences of people in business, or who work for the government. We saw the harmful consequences of deceptive titles all too painfully last year when the so-called “Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act” forced Catholic Charities out of foster care and adoption services in Illinois.[54]
In fact, the lack of religious liberty protection seems to be a feature of such bills:

There is no possible way—none whatsoever—for those who believe that marriage is exclusively the union of husband and wife to avoid legal penalties and harsh discriminatory treatment if the bill becomes law. Why should we expect it be otherwise? After all, we would be people who, according to the thinking behind the bill, hold onto an “unfair” view of marriage. The state would have equated our view with bigotry—which it uses the law to marginalize in every way short of criminal punishment.[55]
Georgetown University law professor Chai Feldblum, an appointee to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, argues that the push to redefine marriage trumps religious liberty concerns:

[F]or all my sympathy for the evangelical Christian couple who may wish to run a bed and breakfast from which they can exclude unmarried, straight couples and all gay couples, this is a point where I believe the “zero-sum” nature of the game inevitably comes into play. And, in making that decision in this zero-sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the liberty of LGBT people.[56]
Indeed, for many supporters of redefining marriage, such infringements on religious liberty are not flaws but virtues of the movement.

The Future of Marriage
Long before the debate about same-sex marriage, there was a debate about marriage. It launched a “marriage movement” to explain why marriage was good both for the men and women who were faithful to its responsibilities and for the children they reared. Over the past decade, a new question emerged: What does society have to lose by redefining marriage to exclude sexual complementarity?

Many citizens are increasingly tempted to think that marriage is simply an intense emotional union, whatever sort of interpersonal relationship consenting adults, whether two or 10 in number, want it to be—sexual or platonic, sexually exclusive or open, temporary or permanent. This leaves marriage with no essential features, no fixed core as a social reality. It is simply whatever consenting adults want it to be.

Yet if marriage has no form and serves no social purpose, how will society protect the needs of children—the prime victim of our non-marital sexual culture—without government growing more intrusive and more expensive?

Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. Marriage benefits everyone because separating the bearing and rearing of children from marriage burdens innocent bystanders: not just children, but the whole community. Without healthy marriages, the community often must step in to provide (more or less directly) for their well-being and upbringing. Thus, by encouraging the norms of marriage—monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence—the state strengthens civil society and reduces its own role.

Government recognizes traditional marriage because it benefits society in a way that no other relationship or institution does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children.

Promoting marriage does not ban any type of relationship: Adults are free to make choices about their relationships, and they do not need government sanction or license to do so. All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose, but no one has a right to redefine marriage for everyone else.

The future of this country depends on the future of marriage, and the future of marriage depends on citizens understanding what it is and why it matters and demanding that government policies support, not undermine, true marriage.

Some might appeal to historical inevitability as a reason to avoid answering the question of what marriage is—as if it were an already moot question. However, changes in public opinion are driven by human choice, not by blind historical forces. The question is not what will happen, but what we should do.

—Ryan T. Anderson is William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
Hide References

[1] John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher, Debating Same-Sex Marriage (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 94.

[2] Ibid., p. 116.

[3] Ibid., p. 96.

[4] Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense (New York: Encounter Books, 2012).

[5] David Popenoe, Life Without Father: Compelling New Evidence That Fatherhood and Marriage Are Indispensable for the Good of Children and Society (New York: The Free Press, 1996), p. 146.

[6] Ibid., p. 197. See also W. Bradford Wilcox, “Reconcilable Differences: What Social Sciences Show About the Complementarity of the Sexes & Parenting,” Touchstone, November 2005, p. 36.

[7] Girgis et al., What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.

[8] James Q. Wilson, The Marriage Problem (New York: HapperCollins Publishers, 2002), p. 41.

[9] For the relevant studies, see Witherspoon Institute, “Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles,” August 2008, pp. 9–19, http://www.winst.org/family_marriage_and_democracy/WI_Marriage.pdf (accessed March 4, 2013). “Marriage and the Public Good,” signed by some 70 scholars, corroborates the philosophical case for marriage with extensive evidence from the social sciences about the welfare of children and adults.

[10] Kristin Anderson Moore, Susan M. Jekielek, and Carol Emig, “Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children, and What Can We Do About It?” Child Trends Research Brief, June 2002, p. 1, http://www.childtrends.org/files/MarriageRB602.pdf (accessed March 4, 2013) (original emphasis).

[11] Ibid., p. 6.

[12] Wendy D. Manning and Kathleen A. Lamb, “Adolescent Well-Being in Cohabiting, Married, and Single-Parent Families,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 65, No. 4 (November 2003), pp. 876 and 890.

[13] See Sara McLanahan, Elisabeth Donahue, and Ron Haskins, “Introducing the Issue,” Marriage and Child Wellbeing, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Fall 2005), http://futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=37&articleid=103 (accessed March 4, 2013); Mary Parke, “Are Married Parents Really Better for Children?” Center for Law and Social Policy Policy Brief, May 2003, http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications_states/files/0086.pdf (accessed March 4, 2013); and W. Bradford Wilcox et al., Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences, 2nd ed. (New York: Institute for American Values, 2005), p. 6, http://americanvalues.org/pdfs/why_marriage_matters2.pdf (accessed March 4, 2013).

[14] Barack Obama, “Obama’s Speech on Fatherhood,” Apostolic Church of God, Chicago, June 15, 2008, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/obamas_speech_on_fatherhood.html (accessed March 4, 2013).

[15] See Jason Richwine and Jennifer A. Marshall, “The Regnerus Study: Social Science and New Family Structures Met with Intolerance,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2726, October 2, 2012, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/10/the-regnerus-study-social-science-on-new-family-structures-met-with-intolerance.

[16] Loren Marks, “Same-Sex Parenting and Children’s Outcomes: A Closer Examination of the American Psychological Association’s Brief on Lesbian and Gay Parenting,” Social Science Research, Vol. 41, No. 4 (July 2012), http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000580 (accessed March 4, 2013).

[17] See Children from Different Families, http://www.familystructurestudies.com/ (accessed March 4, 2013).

[18] Douglas W. Allen, Catherine Pakaluk, and Joseph Price, “Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School: A Comment on Rosenfeld,” Demography, November 2012.

[19] Social Trends Institute, “The Sustainable Demographic Dividend: What Do Marriage and Fertility Have to Do with the Economy?” 2011, http://sustaindemographicdividend.org/articles/the-sustainable-demographic (accessed March 4, 2013).

[20] H. Brevy Cannon, “New Report: Falling Birth, Marriage Rates Linked to Global Economic Slowdown,” UVA Today, October 3, 2011, http://www.virginia.edu/uvatoday/newsRelease.php?id=16244 (accessed March 4, 2013).

[21] Robert Rector, “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty,” Heritage Foundation Special Report No. 117, September 5, 2012, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/marriage-americas-greatest-weapon-against-child-poverty.

[22] Isabel V. Sawhill, “Families at Risk,” in Henry J. Aaron and Robert D. Reischauer, eds., Setting National Priorities: The 2000 Election and Beyond (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 1999), pp. 97 and 108. See also Witherspoon Institute, “Marriage and the Public Good,” p. 15.

[23] Institute for American Values et al., “The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: First-Ever Estimates for the Nation and for All Fifty States,” 2008, http://www.americanvalues.org/pdfs/COFF.pdf (accessed March 6, 2013).

[24] David G. Schramm, “Preliminary Estimates of the Economic Consequences of Divorce,” Utah State University, 2003.

[25] Jessica Bennett, “Only You. And You. And You,” Newsweek, July 28, 2009, http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/07/28/only-you-and-you-and-you.html (accessed March 6, 2013).

[26] Ryan T. Anderson, “Beyond Gay Marriage,” The Weekly Standard, August 17, 2008, http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/591cxhia.asp (accessed March 6, 2013).

[27] For the relevant studies, see Witherspoon Institute, “Marriage and the Public Good.” See also Moore et al., “Marriage from a Child’s Perspective,” p. 1; Manning and Lamb, “Adolescent Well-Being in Cohabiting, Married, and Single-Parent Families”; McLanahan et al., “Introducing the Issue”; Parke, “Are Married Parents Really Better for Children?”; and Wilcox et al., Why Marriage Matters, p. 6.

[28] E. J. Graff, “Retying the Knot,” in Andrew Sullivan, ed., Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con: A Reader (New York: Vintage Books, 1997), pp. 134, 136, and 137.

[29] Andrew Sullivan, “Introduction,” in Sullivan, ed., Same-Sex Marriage, pp. xvii and xix.

[30] See Girgis et al., What Is Marriage?

[31] See Maggie Gallagher, “(How) Will Gay Marriage Weaken Marriage as a Social Institution: A Reply to Andrew Koppelman,” University of St. Thomas Law Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2004), p. 62, http://ir.stthomas.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1047&context=ustlj (accessed March 6, 2013).

[32] BeyondMarriage.org, “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families and Relationships,” July 26, 2006, http://beyondmarriage.org/full_statement.html (accessed March 6, 2013).

[33] Elizabeth Brake, “Minimal Marriage: What Political Liberalism Implies for Marriage Law,” Ethics, Vol. 120, No. 2 (January 2010), pp. 302, 303, 323, and 336.

[34] Bennett, “Only You.”

[35] Ibid.

[36] Molly Young, “He & He & He,” New York Magazine, July 29, 2012, http://nymag.com/news/features/sex/2012/benny-morecock-throuple/ (accessed March 6, 2013).

[37] Andrew Sullivan, Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality (New York: Vintage Books, 1996), pp. 202–203.

[38] Scott James, “Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret,” The New York Times, January 28, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/us/29sfmetro.html (accessed March 6, 2013).

[39] Ari Karpel, “Monogamish,” The Advocate, July 7, 2011, http://www.advocate.com/Print_Issue/Features/Monogamish/ (accessed March 6, 2013).

[40] Ari Karpel, “Features: Monogamish,” The Advocate, July 7, 2011, http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/features?page=7 (accessed March 7, 2013).

[41] Victoria A. Brownworth, “Something Borrowed, Something Blue: Is Marriage Right for Queers?” in Greg Wharton and Ian Philips, eds., I Do/I Don’t: Queers on Marriage (San Francisco: Suspect Thoughts Press, 2004), pp. 53 and 58–59.

[42] Ellen Willis, “Can Marriage Be Saved? A Forum,” The Nation, July 5, 2004, p. 16, http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-118670288.html (accessed March 6, 2013).

[43] Michelangelo Signorile, “Bridal Wave,” Out, December 1993/January 1994, pp. 68 and 161.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Julia Zebley, “Utah Polygamy Law Challenged in Federal Lawsuit,” Jurist, July 13, 2011, http://jurist.org/paperchase/2011/07/utah-polygamy-law-challenged-in-federal-lawsuit.php (accessed March 6, 2013).

[46] Jim Sanders, “Jerry Brown Vetoes Bill Allowing More Than Two Parents,” The Sacramento Bee, September 30, 2012, http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/09/jerry-brown-vetoes-bill-allowing-more-than-two-parents.html (accessed March 6, 2013).

[47] For more on this, see Jennifer Roback Morse, “Why California’s Three-Parent Law Was Inevitable,” Witherspoon Institute Public Discourse, September 10, 2012, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/09/6197 (accessed March 6, 2013).

[48] Thomas M. Messner, “Same-Sex Marriage and the Threat to Religious Liberty,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2201, October 30, 2008, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/10/same-sex-marriage-and-the-threat-to-religious-liberty; “Same-Sex Marriage and Threats to Religious Freedom: How Nondiscrimination Laws Factor In,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2589, July 29, 2011, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/same-sex-marriage-and-threats-to-religious-freedom-how-nondiscrimination-laws-factor-in; and “From Culture Wars to Conscience Wars: Emerging Threats to Conscience,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2532, April 13, 2011, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/04/from-culture-wars-to-conscience-wars-emerging-threats-to-conscience.

[49] For more on this, see Messner, “Same-Sex Marriage and the Threat to Religious Liberty.”

[50] Maggie Gallagher, “Banned in Boston,” The Weekly Standard, May 5, 2006, p. 20, http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/191kgwgh.asp (accessed March 6, 2013).

[51] For example, see Parker v. Hurley, 514 F.3d 87 (1st Cir. 2008).

[52] Walden v. Centers for Disease Control, Case No. 1:08-cv-02278-JEC, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, March 18, 2010, http://www.telladf.org/UserDocs/WaldenSJorder.pdf (accessed March 6, 2013).

[53] Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, “Same-Sex Marriage and State Anti-Discrimination Laws,” Issue Brief, January 2009, p. 2, http://www.becketfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Same-Sex-Marriage-and-State-Anti-Discrimination-Laws-with-Appendices.pdf (accessed March 7, 2013). See also Messner, “Same-Sex Marriage and Threats to Religious Freedom,” p. 4.

[54] Thomas John Paprocki, letter to priests, deacons, and pastoral facilitators in the Diocese of Springfield, January 3, 2013, http://www.dio.org/blog/item/326-bishop-paprockis-letter-on-same-sex-marriage.html#sthash.CPXLw6Gt.dpbs (accessed March 6, 2013).

[55] Ibid.

[56] Chai R. Feldblum, “Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion,” Brooklyn Law Review, Vol. 72, No. 1 (Fall 2006), p. 119, http://www.brooklaw.edu/~/media/PDF/LawJournals/BLR_PDF/blr_v72i.ashx (accessed March 6, 2013).


Gaza: Ne jamais rappeler son imbécilité à un imbécile (Lesson in cartooning: Israeli Foreign Ministry pulls cartoon that angered foreign press)

24 juin, 2015
La guerre des drones, privilégiée par le président des Etats-Unis, Barack Obama, pour éviter le déploiement au sol de troupes américaines dans la lutte contre des organisations terroristes, a-t-elle atteint ses limites ? Paradoxale en apparence au lendemain de l’élimination d’un haut responsable yéménite d’Al-Qaida pour la péninsule Arabique, Nasser Al-Wahishi, cette interrogation est étayée par la publication d’un article du New York Times, mercredi 17 juin, confirmant une information du site Defense One, le 18 mai, selon laquelle l’armée de l’air américaine aurait commencé à réduire le nombre quotidien de sorties de ces aéronefs sans personne à bord. Ce nombre serait passé progressivement de 65 à 60 en raison d’un « burn-out » des pilotes de drones, sous l’effet de l’augmentation constante des demandes et de la baisse continue des effectifs.(…) Une nouvelle enquête interne non publiée ferait apparaître l’importance du stress lié à la crainte des dommages collatéraux des frappes alors que, selon le responsable de la base, la juxtaposition des tâches de la vie quotidienne et des missions de combat produit déjà de nouvelles formes de tensions psychologiques. L’épuisement des équipes chargées de ces missions s’ajoute aux interrogations sur leur portée. S’exprimant, début juin, au cours d’une conférence à Washington, un ancien responsable de la CIA estimait que le recours massif aux drones permettait « au mieux de tondre la pelouse », c’est-à-dire décapiter régulièrement les organisations visées sans les désorganiser durablement. Si la légalité de ces assassinats extrajudiciaires ne fait plus l’objet de véritables débats depuis longtemps, c’est donc bien leur efficacité qui pose question même si la Maison Blanche met régulièrement en avant la menace permanente que constituent les drones pour les responsables de groupes terroristes, notamment au Yémen. Le Monde
What had seemed to be a benefit of the job, the novel way that the crews could fly Predator and Reaper drones via satellite links while living safely in the United States with their families, has created new types of stresses as they constantly shift back and forth between war and family activities and become, in effect, perpetually deployed. “Having our folks make that mental shift every day, driving into the gate and thinking, ‘All right, I’ve got my war face on, and I’m going to the fight,’ and then driving out of the gate and stopping at Walmart to pick up a carton of milk or going to the soccer game on the way home — and the fact that you can’t talk about most of what you do at home — all those stressors together are what is putting pressure on the family, putting pressure on the airman,” Colonel Cluff said. While most of the pilots and camera operators feel comfortable killing insurgents who are threatening American troops, interviews with about 100 pilots and sensor operators for an internal study that has not yet been released, he added, found that the fear of occasionally causing civilian casualties was another major cause of stress, even more than seeing the gory aftermath of the missile strikes in general. A Defense Department study in 2013, the first of its kind, found that drone pilots had experienced mental health problems like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder at the same rate as pilots of manned aircraft who were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Trevor Tasin, a pilot who retired as a major in 2014 after flying Predator drones and training new pilots, called the work “brutal, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” The exodus from the drone program might be caused in part by the lure of the private sector, Mr. Tasin said, noting that military drone operators can earn four times their salary working for private defense contractors. In January, in an attempt to retain drone operators, the Air Force doubled incentive pay to $18,000 per year. (…) The colonel said the stress on the operators belied a complaint by some critics that flying drones was like playing a video game or that pressing the missile fire button 7,000 miles from the battlefield made it psychologically easier for them to kill. He also said that the retention difficulties underscore that while the planes themselves are unmanned, they need hundreds of pilots, sensor operators, intelligence analysts and launch and recovery specialists in foreign countries to operate. Some of the crews still fly their missions in air-conditioned trailers here, while other cockpit setups have been created in new mission center buildings. The NYT
Les groupes armés palestiniens doivent mettre fin à l’ensemble des attaques directes visant les civils et des attaques menées sans discrimination. Ils doivent aussi prendre toutes les précautions possibles afin de protéger les civils de la bande de Gaza des conséquences de ces attaques. Cela suppose d’adopter toutes les mesures qui s’imposent pour éviter de placer combattants et armes dans des zones densément peuplées ou à proximité. (…) Les éléments selon lesquels il est possible qu’une roquette tirée par un groupe armé palestinien ait causé 13 morts civiles dans la bande de Gaza soulignent à quel point ces armes sont non discriminantes et les terribles conséquences de leur utilisation. (…) L’impact dévastateur des attaques israéliennes sur les civils palestiniens durant ce conflit est indéniable, mais les violations commises par un camp dans un conflit ne peuvent jamais justifier les violations perpétrées par leurs adversaires. (…) La communauté internationale doit aider à prévenir de nouvelles violations en luttant contre la banalisation de l’impunité, et en cessant de livrer aux groupes armés palestiniens et à Israël les armes et équipements militaires susceptibles d’être utilisés pour commettre de graves violations du droit international humanitaire. Philip Luther
Amnesty International demande à tous les États de soutenir la Commission d’enquête des Nations unies et la compétence de la Cour pénale internationale concernant les crimes commis par toutes les parties au conflit. Amnesty international
Des groupes armés palestiniens ont fait preuve d’un mépris flagrant pour la vie de civils, en lançant de nombreuses attaques aveugles à l’aide de roquettes et de mortiers en direction de zones civiles en Israël durant le conflit de juillet-août 2014, écrit Amnesty International dans un nouveau rapport rendu public jeudi 26 mars. Ce document, intitulé Unlawful and deadly: Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict (…), fournit des éléments tendant à prouver que plusieurs attaques lancées depuis la bande de Gaza constituaient des crimes de guerre. Six civils, dont un petit garçon de quatre ans, ont été tués en Israël dans le cadre d’attaques de ce type, au cours de ce conflit ayant duré 50 jours. Lors de l’attaque la plus mortelle attribuée à un groupe armé palestinien, 13 civils palestiniens, dont 11 mineurs, ont été tués lorsqu’un projectile tiré depuis la bande de Gaza s’est écrasé dans le camp de réfugiés d’al Shati. (…) Toutes les roquettes utilisées par les groupes armés palestiniens sont des projectiles non guidés, avec lesquels on ne peut pas viser avec précision de cible spécifique et qui sont non discriminantes par nature ; recourir à ces armes est interdit par le droit international et leur utilisation constitue un crime de guerre. Les mortiers sont eux aussi des munitions imprécises et ne doivent jamais être utilisés pour attaquer des cibles militaires situées dans des zones civiles ou à proximité. (…) Selon les données des Nations unies, plus de 4 800 roquettes et 1 700 mortiers ont été tirés depuis Gaza vers Israël au cours de ce conflit. Sur ces milliers de roquettes et mortiers, environ 224 auraient atteint des zones résidentielles israéliennes, tandis que le Dôme de fer, le système de défense anti-missile israélien, en a intercepté de nombreux autres. (…) Lors de l’attaque la plus mortelle attribuée à un groupe armé palestinien durant ce conflit, 13 civils palestiniens, dont 11 mineurs, ont été tués lorsqu’un projectile a explosé à côté d’un supermarché, dans le camp – surpeuplé – de réfugiés d’al Shati (bande de Gaza) le 28 juillet 2014, premier jour de l’Aïd al Fitr. Les enfants jouaient dans la rue et achetaient des chips et des boissons sucrées au supermarché au moment de l’attaque. Si les Palestiniens ont affirmé que l’armée israélienne était responsable de cette attaque, un expert indépendant, spécialiste des munitions, ayant examiné les éléments de preuve disponibles pour le compte d’Amnesty International, a conclu que le projectile utilisé dans le cadre de cette attaque était une roquette palestinienne. (…) Mahmoud Abu Shaqfa et son fils Khaled, âgé de cinq ans, ont été gravement blessés lors de cette attaque. Muhammad, son fils de huit ans, a été tué. (…) Il n’y pas d’abri contre les bombes ni de système d’alerte en place pour protéger les civils dans la bande de Gaza. Le rapport décrit en détail d’autres atteintes au droit international humanitaire commises par des groupes armés palestiniens durant le conflit, comme le fait de stocker des roquettes et d’autres munitions dans des immeubles civils, y compris des écoles administrées par les Nations unies, ainsi que des cas dans lesquels des groupes armés palestiniens ont lancé des attaques ou stocké des munitions très près de zones où se réfugiaient des centaines de civils déplacés. Amnesty international
Il est déconcertant de voir que le ministère passe son temps à produire une vidéo de 50 secondes dont le but est de ridiculiser des journalistes couvrant un conflit dans lequel 2.100 Palestiniens et 72 Israéliens ont été tués. (…) Et 17 journalistes sont morts en couvrant le conflit, dont un photographe italien travaillant pour Associated Press. (…) Le corps diplomatique israélien veut qu’on le prenne au sérieux dans le monde. Mettre en ligne des vidéos trompeuses et mal conçues sur YouTube est inapproprié, vain et fragilise le ministère, qui dit respecter la presse étrangère et sa liberté de travailler à Gaza. Association de la presse étrangère en Israël et dans les territoires palestiniens
Le porte-parole des Affaires étrangères, Emmanuel Nahshon, a défendu le film en expliquant qu’il tournait en dérision le fait que la presse étrangère n’avait selon lui rapporté que plusieurs semaines après la fin de la guerre les méfaits du Hamas, comme les tirs de roquettes depuis des zones résidentielles et l’utilisation, « de façon criante et répétée », de civils comme boucliers humains. Le Point

Attention: une bêtise peut en cacher une autre !

Au lendemain de la publication d’un énième rapport de l’ONU dénonçant comme d’habitude les prétendus crimes de guerre de l’Armée israélienne lors de la guerre de Gaza de l’été dernier …

Et le retrait, suite aux moqueries et protestations de la presse étrangère, d’un petit film d’animation du ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères moquant un peu trop gentiment l’incroyable myopie et partialité de leur couverture de ladite guerre …

Pendant qu’à la tête du Monde libre et jusqu’à épuiser ses pilotes, le plus rapide prix Nobel de l’histoire mutliplie tranquillement, entre deux parties de golf et deux bavures, les éliminations ciblées

Petite leçon avec le caricaturiste israélo-américain Yaakov Kirschen …

Montrant que bien choisir sa cible et son objectif ne suffit pas toujours …

Et surtout, comme le rappellent tant la Bible que le Talmoud, qu’il ne faut jamais rappeler à un imbécile sa propre imbécilité !

A Lesson in Cartooning

Basic principles of successful activist cartooning
1. Target: Pick your « Target » audience.
2. Goal: Your goal should be a way to change, if only for a moment, the beliefs of your « Target » by cleverly slipping under their « defensive radar »
3. The Secret Sentence: The sentence that your cartoon will cause your « Target » to involuntarily say in his/her head (thus reaching your goal).

How the Foreign Ministry Cartoon Fails
1. Target: The « Target » is the foreign press (as revealed by the punchline « open your eyes »)
2. Goal: To change the beliefs of foreign reporters by cleverly slipping under their « defensive radar »???
3. The Secret Sentence: The sentence created in the mind of the foreign journalist is « the Israeli Foreign Ministry says I’m Stupid and Blind! »

* * *
I assume that readers would want to see an example of how the topic is taught in the Academy:

The analysis:
1. Target: The foreign press
2. Goal: Use humor to change reporters’ beliefs that their reports are believed
3. The Secret Sentence: The sentence created in the mind of the foreign journalist is « The public doesn’t believe us anymore »

Voir aussi:

PROCHE-ORIENT Le dessin animé indigne l’association représentant la presse étrangère en Israël 

VIDEO. Gaza: Les journalistes étrangers cibles d’un film de la diplomatie israélienne

20 Minutes avec AFP

16.06.2015

L’association représentant la presse étrangère en Israël et dans les Territoires palestiniens occupés s’est alarmée d’une animation produite par les Affaires étrangères israéliennes et ridiculisant la couverture par les journalistes internationaux de la bande de Gaza et de la guerre de l’été 2014.

Le dessin animé, en anglais, de 50 secondes présenté sur la page d’accueil du site du ministère des Affaires étrangères met en scène un journaliste en direct, que ses commentaires naïfs tournent en ridicule. Il explique comment les Gazaouis «tentent de vivre des vies tranquilles» alors qu’un homme armé lance une roquette derrière lui.

Retrouvez la vidéo intégrale en cliquant ici.«Un conflit dans lequel 2.100 Palestiniens et 72 Israéliens ont été tués»

Il rapporte que Gaza est en train de mettre au point le premier métro palestinien pendant que des hommes armés entrent dans le réseau de tunnels construits par le Hamas et les groupes armés palestiniens pour s’infiltrer en territoire israélien. Il affirme qu’il n’y a «pas de doute que la société palestinienne ici est libérale et pluraliste», alors qu’en arrière-plan un homme armé et encagoulé kidnappe un vendeur de rue dont le stand est décoré du drapeau homosexuel.

Le film se conclut sur une jeune femme remettant une paire de lunettes au journaliste, avant que les mots «Ouvrez les yeux, le terrorisme est au pouvoir à Gaza», s’inscrivent à l’écran. L’animation coïncide avec la campagne engagée par le gouvernement pour défendre les agissements de l’armée israélienne lors de la guerre de l’été 2014, en prévision de la prochaine publication d’un rapport onusien dont Israël s’attend à ce qu’il lui soit très défavorable.

L’Association de la presse étrangère (FPA), qui compte environ 360 adhérents, s’est dite «surprise» et «alarmée». «Il est déconcertant de voir que le ministère passe son temps à produire une vidéo de 50 secondes dont le but est de ridiculiser des journalistes couvrant un conflit dans lequel 2.100 Palestiniens et 72 Israéliens ont été tués», dit la FPA dans un communiqué.

17 journalistes sont morts en couvrant le conflit

Et 17 journalistes sont morts en couvrant le conflit, dont un photographe italien travaillant pour Associated Press. «Le corps diplomatique israélien veut qu’on le prenne au sérieux dans le monde. Mettre en ligne des vidéos trompeuses et mal conçues sur YouTube est inapproprié, vain et fragilise le ministère, qui dit respecter la presse étrangère et sa liberté de travailler à Gaza», dit-elle.

Le porte-parole des Affaires étrangères, Emmanuel Nahshon, a défendu le film en expliquant qu’il tournait en dérision le fait que la presse étrangère n’avait selon lui rapporté que plusieurs semaines après la fin de la guerre les méfaits du Hamas, comme les tirs de roquettes depuis des zones résidentielles et l’utilisation, «de façon criante et répétée», de civils comme boucliers humains.

Israël présente sa version de la guerre à Gaza
Cyrille Louis
Le Figaro

17/06/2015

VIDÉO – L’État hébreu vient de publier un rapport qui rejette sur le Hamas la responsabilité des immenses destructions perpétrées l’été dernier lors de l’Opération bordure protectrice.
Correspondant à Jérusalem

Un rapport et un dessin animé. En l’espace de quarante-huit heures, les autorités israéliennes ont dévoilé leurs moyens de défense face aux accusations qui s’accumulent à l’horizon. La commission des droits de l’homme de l’ONU, chargée d’enquêter sur le déroulement de l’Opération bordure protectrice, en juillet-août 2014 dans la bande de Gaza, doit publier sous peu ses conclusions. Le gouvernement de Benyamin Nétanyahou, qui prête à cette instance un fort biais anti-israélien, a préféré tirer le premier. Sans surprise, il rejette sur le Hamas la responsabilité du déclenchement de la guerre ainsi que de son lourd bilan matériel et humain, non sans accuser au passage la presse internationale d’avoir dissimulé les exactions perpétrées par les factions palestiniennes.

Pièce maîtresse de ce système de défense, le rapport de 277 pages publié par le ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères revient tout d’abord sur le contexte dans lequel a éclaté ce nouvel épisode de violence. Un conflit armé, rappellent les auteurs, oppose depuis plus d’une décennie l’État hébreu aux groupes armés implantés dans la bande de Gaza. Plus de 1265 Israéliens ont été tués par des attaques du Hamas depuis l’an 2000 tandis que 15.200 roquettes ont été tirées depuis le territoire palestinien, y compris après le désengagement décidé en 2005 par Ariel Sharon.

« Je salue la publication de ce rapport, qui présente le vrai visage de l’opération Bordure protectrice »

Benyamin Nétanyahou, premier ministre israélien
Le 7 juillet 2014, l’armée israélienne a décidé de lancer une opération aérienne afin de faire cesser les tirs de projectiles qui, depuis l’arrestation récente de dizaines de cadres du Hamas en Cisjordanie, étaient en nette recrudescence. Plus de 4500 projectiles ont été tirés durant le conflit, rappellent les auteurs du rapport, si bien que 10.000 Israéliens ont été contraints de fuir la zone frontalière. Dix jours après le début des hostilités, Tsahal décidait de conduire une opération terrestre «limitée» dans l’enclave, afin de détruire les 32 tunnels offensifs percés par le mouvement islamiste pour conduire des infiltrations en territoire israélien. Cette confrontation, qui a duré 51 jours au total, s’est soldée par la mort d’environ 2200 palestiniens, ainsi que de 67 soldats israéliens et de six civils résidant près de la frontière.

Fidèles à l’argumentaire employé par Tsahal durant le conflit, les auteurs du rapport accusent le Hamas non seulement d’avoir visé de manière indiscriminée des civils israéliens, mais aussi d’avoir délibérément mis en danger la population palestinienne en dissimulant ses lance-roquettes et ses combattants au cœur de zones densément peuplées. 18.000 habitations ont été détruites par les bombardements israéliens, selon le décompte de l’ONU. «L’armée israélienne, plaident les rapporteurs, a été confrontée à des combattants déguisés en civils ou en soldats israéliens, à des habitations converties en postes de commandement militaire, à des immeubles de plusieurs étages employés comme points de surveillance, à des minarets utilisés par des snipers, à des écoles transformées en entrepôts d’armes, à des structures civiles piégées au moyen d’explosifs et à des ouvertures de tunnels situés au beau milieu de quartiers d’habitations.»

Les auteurs, qui accusent les factions palestiniennes d’avoir exploité avec cynisme l’émotion suscitée par les nombreuses victimes, citent des manuels du Hamas découverts par l’armée israélienne. Ces documents «démontrent que la stratégie était d’importer les hostilités en milieu urbain, et d’utiliser les zones bâties et la présence de population civile pour en tirer un avantage tactique et politique», précisent-ils, avant d’affirmer: «C’est dans ce contexte que les dommages infligés à la population et aux infrastructures civiles doivent être évalués».

S’appuyant sur les analyses conduites par l’armée israélienne, le rapport affirme que 44 % des tués palestiniens étaient des combattants affiliés au Hamas, au djihad islamique ou à d’autres factions. Cette estimation contredit de façon spectaculaire celle avancée par l’ONU, selon laquelle plus de 75 % des victimes étaient des civils non engagés dans les combats. «Je salue la publication de ce rapport, qui présente le vrai visage de l’opération Bordure protectrice, a déclaré Benyamin Nétanyahou, le premier ministre israélien. Ce document prouve de manière incontestable que les opérations conduites par l’armée israélienne étaient conformes au droit international.»

Les autorités israéliennes, qui attendent avec une certaine inquiétude le rapport de la commission des droits de l’homme de l’ONU, estiment avoir allumé un efficace contre-feu. Elles espèrent par ailleurs couper l’herbe sous le pied de la Cour pénale internationale, qui s’interroge sur l’opportunité d’ouvrir une enquête sur d’éventuels crimes de guerre commis l’été dernier à Gaza.

« Il est déconcertant de constater que le ministère des Affaires étrangères perd son temps à produire une vidéo qui vise à ridiculiser le travail des journalistes en temps de guerre »

L’Association de la presse étrangère à Jérusalem
Pour faire bonne mesure, le ministère des Affaires étrangères a mis en ligne un dessin animé qui vise manifestement à discréditer la couverture du conflit par la presse internationale. Ce document d’une quarantaine de secondes met en scène un reporter de télévision présenté comme un doux imbécile, qui refuse de voir les exactions perpétrées par le Hamas. En l’absence de journalistes israéliens, qui ont interdiction d’entrer dans la bande de Gaza, le travail des journalistes étrangers durant le conflit a été régulièrement critiqué par les autorités israéliennes.

Ceux-ci se sont notamment vus reprocher de ne pas avoir diffusé d’images montrant les sites de lancements de roquettes ou les combattants du Hamas en milieu urbain. Mais des témoignages de militaires israéliens publiés par l’ONG Breaking the silence ont depuis lors confirmé que ceux-ci opéraient très largement à l’abri des regards. «Il est déconcertant de constater que le ministère des Affaires étrangères perd son temps à produire une vidéo qui vise à ridiculiser le travail des journalistes en temps de guerre», a regretté l’Association de la presse étrangère à Jérusalem.

Voir aussi:

Gaza : Israël retire un dessin animé qui ridiculisait la presse étrangère
la Presse

21/06/2015

Le ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères a retiré de son site internet une animation qui avait ému la presse étrangère, tournée en dérision dans la vidéo, a-t-il indiqué dimanche. « L’objet de cette vidéo était d’illustrer les crimes du Hamas » au pouvoir dans la bande de Gaza, a dit le porte-parole des Affaires étrangères, « nous l’avons retirée quand cela a prêté à malentendus ». Le dessin animé en anglais de 50 secondes présenté sur la page d’accueil du site du ministère ridiculisait la couverture de la bande de Gaza et de la guerre de l’été 2014 par les journalistes étrangers. Un journaliste en direct expliquait comment les Gazaouis « tentent de vivre des vies tranquilles » alors qu’un homme lance une roquette derrière lui. Il rapportait que Gaza était en train de mettre au point le premier métro palestinien pendant que des hommes armés entraient dans le réseau de tunnels construits par le Hamas et les groupes armés palestiniens pour s’infiltrer en territoire israélien. Le film se concluait sur une jeune femme remettant une paire de lunettes au journaliste, avant que les mots « Ouvrez les yeux, le terrorisme est au pouvoir à Gaza » ne s’inscrivent à l’écran. L’Association de la presse étrangère (FPA), qui compte environ 360 adhérents en Israël et dans les Territoires palestiniens, avait exprimé son émotion devant cette vidéo.
Par : AFP

Voir également:

Israël retire une vidéo qui ridiculisait la presse étrangère
Le dessin animé tournait en dérision la couverture dans la bande de Gaza de l’opération Bordure protectrice

i24news avec AFP

Le ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères a retiré de son site internet une animation qui avait ému la presse étrangère, tournée en dérision dans la vidéo, a-t-il indiqué dimanche.

« L’objet de cette vidéo était d’illustrer les crimes du Hamas » au pouvoir dans la bande de Gaza, a dit le porte-parole des Affaires étrangères, « nous l’avons retirée quand cela a prêté à malentendus ».

Le dessin animé en anglais de 50 secondes présenté sur la page d’accueil du site du ministère ridiculisait la couverture de la bande de Gaza et de la guerre de l’été 2014 par les journalistes étrangers.

Un journaliste en direct expliquait comment les Gazaouis « tentent de vivre des vies tranquilles » alors qu’un homme lance une roquette derrière lui. Il rapportait que Gaza était en train de mettre au point le premier métro palestinien pendant que des hommes armés entraient dans le réseau de tunnels construits par le Hamas et les groupes armés palestiniens pour s’infiltrer en territoire israélien.

Le film se concluait sur une jeune femme remettant une paire de lunettes au journaliste, avant que les mots « Ouvrez les yeux, le terrorisme est au pouvoir à Gaza » ne s’inscrivent à l’écran.

L’Association de la presse étrangère (FPA), qui compte environ 360 adhérents en Israël et dans les Territoires palestiniens, avait exprimé son émotion devant cette vidéo.

« Il est déconcertant de voir que le ministère passe son temps à produire une vidéo de 50 secondes dont le but est de ridiculiser des journalistes couvrant un conflit dans lequel 2.100 Palestiniens et 72 Israéliens ont été tués », a annoncé la FPA dans un communiqué.

« Et 17 journalistes sont morts en couvrant le conflit, dont un photographe italien travaillant pour Associated Press ». a-t-elle souligné.

« Le corps diplomatique israélien veut qu’on le prenne au sérieux dans le monde. Mettre en ligne des vidéos trompeuses et mal conçues sur YouTube est inapproprié, vain et fragilise le ministère, qui dit respecter la presse étrangère et sa liberté de travailler à Gaza », pouvait-on encore lire dans le communiqué.

 Voir encore:

Gaza : les journalistes étrangers cibles d’un film de la diplomatie israélienne

Le Point

17/06/2015

VIDÉO. Un dessin animé dénonce l’extrême naïveté supposée de la couverture médiatique de la guerre, à l’été 2014, par les journalistes étrangers.

La diffusion du film intervient peu avant la publication d’un rapport de l’Onu attendu comme très défavorable à Israël.

L’association représentant la presse étrangère en Israël et dans les Territoires palestiniens occupés s’est alarmée d’une animation produite par les Affaires étrangères israéliennes et ridiculisant la couverture par les journalistes internationaux de la bande de Gaza et de la guerre de l’été 2014. Le dessin animé, en anglais, de 50 secondes présenté sur la page d’accueil du site du ministère des Affaires étrangères, met en scène un journaliste en direct, que ses commentaires naïfs tournent en ridicule.

Il explique comment les Gazaouis « tentent de vivre des vies tranquilles » alors qu’un homme armé lance une roquette derrière lui. Il rapporte que Gaza est en train de mettre au point le premier métro palestinien pendant que des hommes armés entrent dans le réseau de tunnels construits par le Hamas et les groupes armés palestiniens pour s’infiltrer en territoire israélien. Il affirme qu’il n’y a « pas de doute que la société palestinienne ici est libérale et pluraliste », alors qu’en arrière-plan un homme armé et encagoulé kidnappe un vendeur de rues dont le stand est décoré du drapeau homosexuel. Le film se conclut sur une jeune femme remettant une paire de lunettes au journaliste, avant que les mots « Ouvrez les yeux, le terrorisme est au pouvoir à Gaza », s’inscrivent à l’écran.

17 journalistes morts

L’animation coïncide avec la campagne engagée par le gouvernement pour défendre les agissements de l’armée israélienne lors de la guerre de l’été 2014, en prévision de la prochaine publication d’un rapport onusien dont Israël s’attend à ce qu’il lui soit très défavorable.

L’Association de la presse étrangère (FPA), qui compte environ 360 adhérents, s’est dite « surprise » et « alarmée ». « Il est déconcertant de voir que le ministère passe son temps à produire une vidéo de 50 secondes dont le but est de ridiculiser des journalistes couvrant un conflit dans lequel 2 100 Palestiniens et 72 Israéliens ont été tués », dit la FPA dans un communiqué. Et 17 journalistes sont morts en couvrant le conflit, dont un photographe italien travaillant pour Associated Press. « Le corps diplomatique israélien veut qu’on le prenne au sérieux dans le monde. Mettre en ligne des vidéos trompeuses et mal conçues sur YouTube est inapproprié, vain et fragilise le ministère, qui dit respecter la presse étrangère et sa liberté de travailler à Gaza », dit-elle. Le porte-parole des Affaires étrangères, Emmanuel Nahshon, a défendu le film en expliquant qu’il tournait en dérision le fait que la presse étrangère n’avait selon lui rapporté que plusieurs semaines après la fin de la guerre les méfaits du Hamas, comme les tirs de roquettes depuis des zones résidentielles et l’utilisation, « de façon criante et répétée », de civils comme boucliers humains.

Voir encore:

Guerre à Gaza : la commission d’enquête de l’ONU accuse Israël et le Hamas
Cyrille Louis
Le Figaro

22/06/2015

Un rapport dénonce les exactions commises par l’armée israélienne et l’organisation palestinienne lors de l’Operation bordure protectrice à Gaza en 2014.
Correspondant à Jérusalem

La commission indépendante chargée par l’ONU d’enquêter sur le déroulement de l’Opération bordure protectrice, du 7 juillet au 26 août 2014 dans la bande de Gaza, indique avoir recueilli «des informations substantielles mettant en évidence de possibles crimes de guerre commis à la fois par Israël et par les groupes armés palestiniens». «L’étendue des dévastations et de la souffrance humaine provoquées à Gaza est sans précédent», a dénoncé lundi Mary McGowan Davis, la présidente de cette commission, au moment de publier son rapport. Ce document de 183 pages sera débattu le 29 juin devant le Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU.

«L’étendue de dévastations et de la souffrance humaine provoquées à Gaza est sans précédent»

Les auteurs de l’enquête, qui n’ont été autorisés à se rendre ni à Gaza, ni en Israël, ni dans les territoires palestiniens occupés, ont néanmoins pu interroger plus de 280 victimes et témoins de cette guerre. Ils ont également exploité quelque 500 dépositions livrées par écrit. Le ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères a d’emblée rejeté leur rapport, jugeant qu’«il a été commandé par une institution notoirement partiale». «Il est regrettable que ce document ne tienne pas compte de la différence profonde entre le comportement moral d’Israël durant l’opération Bordure protectrice, et celui des organisations terroristes auquel nous avons été confrontées», dénonce un communiqué officiel du gouvernement.

Les auteurs du rapport d’enquête rappellent que les factions armées palestiniennes ont tiré de manière indiscriminée 4881 roquettes et 1753 obus de mortier en direction d’Israël durant les 51 jours de guerre, terrorisant la population, tuant six civils et en blessant plus de 1600. Ils dénoncent aussi l’utilisation de 14 tunnels offensifs creusés pour permettre des incursions militaires sur le sol israélien. «La présence de ces infrastructures a traumatisé les civils israéliens, qui ont eu peur de pouvoir être attaqués à tout moment par des hommes armés venus du sous-sol», précisent-ils.

Mais c’est incontestablement à l’armée et aux dirigeants israéliens que la commission d’enquête réserve ses flèches les plus acérées. Elle condamne notamment l’«usage intensif d’armes conçues pour tuer et blesser sur un large périmètre». «Bien qu’elles ne soient pas illégales, leur utilisation dans des zones densément peuplées a rendu hautement probable la mort indiscriminée de civils et de combattants», écrivent les auteurs. Ils soulignent que 142 familles ont perdu au moins trois de leurs membres dans ce type de frappes. Au total, la commission affirme que 1462 civils Palestiniens, dont 551 enfants, ont trouvé la mort durant ce conflit.

«Israël ne commet pas de crimes de guerre»

S’il ne lui appartient pas de caractériser d’éventuelles infractions au droit international, la commission d’enquête dénonce le manque d’empressement de l’Etat hébreu à sanctionner ces «violations». «Israël doit rompre avec son incapacité lamentable à poursuivre les auteurs d’infractions», insiste Mary McGowan Davis, qui dénonce un climat d’«impunité». «Nous avons été très déçus d’apprendre que l’enquête criminelle ouverte après la mort de quatre enfants sur la plage de Gaza, le 16 juillet 2014, avait été classée sans suite», a-t-elle notamment dénoncé, regrettant que les nombreux journalistes présents ce jour-là n’aient pas été interrogés par l’armée israélienne.

Sans surprise, les dirigeants israéliens ont repoussé ces accusations. «Israël ne commet pas de crimes de guerre», a déclaré lundi Benyamin Nétanyahou, qui a récemment invité les Israéliens à ne pas «perdre de temps» à lire ce rapport de l’ONU. Le premier ministre a mis en doute l’honnêteté de la commission d’enquête dès sa constitution, en septembre 2014. Son gouvernement a notamment pris pour cible et obtenu la démission de son président. William Schabas, un professeur de droit canadien, a été vilipendé pour d’anciennes prises de position anti-israéliennes. Les diplomates israéliens ont depuis lors continué de faire référence à la «commission Schabas», espérant ainsi discréditer un rapport dont ils redoutaient depuis plusieurs mois les conclusions.

Voir de plus:

Washington demande à l’ONU d’ignorer le rapport « partial » de la guerre de Gaza
Le porte-parole du Département d’Etat affirme qu’il n’est pas nécessaire que le Conseil de Sécurité débatte de ce rapport
Times of Israel Staff

24 juin 2015

Le rapport de l’ONU émis à propos des possibles crimes de guerre pendant le conflit de Gaza l’été dernier ne doit pas être présenté au Conseil de sécurité ou utilisé dans d’autres travaux des Nations unies, ont exhorté les Etats-Unis mardi contestant l’équité du Conseil des droits de l’Homme (CDH) à l’origine de l’enquête.

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Le porte-parole du département d’Etat, John Kirby, a déclaré que Washington considérait le CDH comme ayant un « parti pris évident » contre Israël, ce qui ternis le rapport publié lundi, qui a accusé Israël et les membres des groupes armés palestiniens de possibles crimes de guerre lors du conflit de 50 jours l’été dernier.

« [N] ous contestons le fondement même sur lequel ce rapport a été rédigé, et nous ne croyons pas qu’il y ait un appel ou une nécessité pour tout autre travail du Conseil de sécurité sur cette

», a déclaré Kirby lors d’une conférence de presse.

« [N] ous rejetons le fondement en vertu duquel cette commission particulière d’enquête a été établie en raison de sa partialité très nette contre Israël ».

Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (UNHCR) devrait discuter du rapport le 29 juin et pourrait voter de l’envoyer au Conseil de sécurité qu’il poursuive l’action. Lundi, Kirby a déclaré que les Etats-Unis ne feraient pas partie de ce processus.

Lorsqu’on lui a demandé si le rapport devait être déférée à la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) à La Haye pour qu’elle d’enquête sur les deux parties pour crimes de guerre, Kirby a simplement répondu que les Etats-Unis ne « souten[aient] aucun autre travail de l’ONU sur ce rapport ».

La CPI a été créée par les Nations unies, mais pas directement sous son égide.

Kirby a également précisé que les États-Unis continuaient à évoquer avec Israël ses préoccupations sur la conduite de l’armée pendant la guerre de l’été dernier.

« Nous nous sommes montrés très clairs sur les problèmes que nous avions à l’époque avec l’usage de la force et nous nous sommes montrés très clairs auprès du gouvernement israélien sur nos préoccupations au sujet de ce qui se passait pendant ce conflit », a-t-il souligné.

« Nous avons un dialogue permanent avec le gouvernement d’Israël sur toutes ces sortes de choses ; le dialogue a continué et continue ».

Lundi, le porte-parole de la Maison Blanche Josh Earnest a déclaré que l’administration étudiait le rapport.

Même si Israël a un « droit à l’auto-défense », les Etats-Unis « ont exprimé sa profonde préoccupation au sujet des civils dans la bande de Gaza qui étaient en danger [pendant la guerre].

« Et nous avons exhorté toutes les parties à faire tout leur possible pour protéger les civils innocents qui ont été essentiellement pris dans les échanges de tirs de ce conflit », a déclaré Earnest. « Nous attendons d’autres conclusions du gouvernement israélien sur cette question en particulier ».

Le rapport de l’ONU, qui a constaté que les frappes aériennes israéliennes sur les bâtiments résidentiels ont causé de nombreux morts parmi les civils et les a suggéré que les dirigeants israéliens les ont sciemment mis en danger, a été fermement rejeté par les responsables israéliens.

L’une des premières réponses au rapport étaient celle du ministère des Affaires étrangères qui a déclaré que le gouvernement israélien était en train d’examiner les conclusions, mais a rejeté le mandat « moralement vicié » donné à l’UNHRC pour enquêter sur la guerre.

« Il est regrettable que le rapport ne parvienne pas à reconnaître la profonde différence entre le comportement moral d’Israël lors de l’opération Bordure protectrice et les organisations terroristes auxquelles il s’est confronté », a déclaré le ministère des Affaires étrangères dans un communiqué.

« Ce rapport a été commandé par une institution notoirement partiale, qui a donné un mandat évidemment partial, et a initialement été dirigé par un président grossièrement biaisé, William Schabas », a indiqué le communiqué, notant le traitement démesuré du CDH – par rapport aux principaux pays violant les droits de l’Homme comme l’Iran, la Corée du Nord et d’autres – des infractions alléguées d’Israël.

« Israël est une démocratie attachée à la primauté du droit, forcé de se défendre contre les terroristes palestiniens qui commettent un double crime de guerre : ils ciblent aveuglément des civils israéliens tout en mettant en danger de manière délibérée des civils palestiniens, dont des enfants, en les utilisant comme des boucliers humains », a conclu le communiqué israélien.

Le rapport a également constaté que des roquettes des « groupes armés palestiniens » avaient tiré aveuglément sur des civils israéliens, une constatation qui a été rejetée par le groupe terroriste du Hamas qui est de facto au pouvoir à Gaza.

Les responsables israéliens ont refusé de coopérer avec la commission d’enquête et l’ont rejetée depuis la formation du panel car ils l’ont considérée comme étant partiale et écrite à l’avance.

Schabas, le professeur juif canadien qui a d’abord dirigé la commission d’enquête du HRC, a démissionné en février en raison des accusations de partialité de la part d’Israël qui pesaient contre lui et a été remplacé par l’ancienne juge de New York Mary McGowan Davis.

AFP et Mitch Ginsburg ont contribué à cet article.

Voir par ailleurs:

Le « burn-out » des pilotes de drone de l’armée américaine
Gilles Paris (Washington, correspondant)

Le Monde

17.06.2015

La guerre des drones, privilégiée par le président des Etats-Unis, Barack Obama, pour éviter le déploiement au sol de troupes américaines dans la lutte contre des organisations terroristes, a-t-elle atteint ses limites ? Paradoxale en apparence au lendemain de l’élimination d’un haut responsable yéménite d’Al-Qaida pour la péninsule Arabique, Nasser Al-Wahishi, cette interrogation est étayée par la publication d’un article du New York Times, mercredi 17 juin, confirmant une information du site Defense One, le 18 mai, selon laquelle l’armée de l’air américaine aurait commencé à réduire le nombre quotidien de sorties de ces aéronefs sans personne à bord.

Ce nombre serait passé progressivement de 65 à 60 en raison d’un « burn-out » des pilotes de drones, sous l’effet de l’augmentation constante des demandes et de la baisse continue des effectifs. Le responsable de la base de Creech, dans le Nevada, où sont conduites les missions à distance, le colonel James Cluff, avait expliqué en mai que cette réduction visait à maintenir le groupe constitué par ces pilotes « en bon état ». Le nombre de missions (« Combat Air Patrol ») a quasiment doublé entre 2008 et 2014. Selon les chiffres donnés par le quotidien new-yorkais, les Predator et Reaper ont effectué 3 300 sorties et tiré 875 missiles depuis le mois d’août.

Alors que la base de Creech est visée régulièrement par des manifestations pacifistes, le New York Times rappelle qu’un rapport du Pentagone, en 2013, avait montré que les pilotes de drones subissaient les mêmes pressions psychologiques que les pilotes d’avions de guerre.

Stress lié à la crainte des dommages collatéraux

Une nouvelle enquête interne non publiée ferait apparaître l’importance du stress lié à la crainte des dommages collatéraux des frappes alors que, selon le responsable de la base, la juxtaposition des tâches de la vie quotidienne et des missions de combat produit déjà de nouvelles formes de tensions psychologiques.

L’épuisement des équipes chargées de ces missions s’ajoute aux interrogations sur leur portée. S’exprimant, début juin, au cours d’une conférence à Washington, un ancien responsable de la CIA estimait que le recours massif aux drones permettait « au mieux de tondre la pelouse », c’est-à-dire décapiter régulièrement les organisations visées sans les désorganiser durablement. Si la légalité de ces assassinats extrajudiciaires ne fait plus l’objet de véritables débats depuis longtemps, c’est donc bien leur efficacité qui pose question même si la Maison Blanche met régulièrement en avant la menace permanente que constituent les drones pour les responsables de groupes terroristes, notamment au Yémen.

Le recours massif aux frappes de drones avait été développé initialement par l’armée israélienne au cours de la seconde intifada. Il avait permis la mise hors combat de dizaines de miliciens et de responsables politiques, notamment à Gaza, sans pour autant parvenir à affaiblir durablement leurs organisations. La première frappe de drone répertoriée au Yémen avait été conduite le 3 novembre 2002. Elles se sont multipliées depuis sans contrecarrer l’implantation des djihadistes.

 Voir enfin:

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — After a decade of waging long-distance war through their video screens, America’s drone operators are burning out, and the Air Force is being forced to cut back on the flights even as military and intelligence officials are demanding more of them over intensifying combat zones in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

The Air Force plans to trim the flights by the armed surveillance drones to 60 a day by October from a recent peak of 65 as it deals with the first serious exodus of the crew members who helped usher in the era of war by remote control.

Air Force officials said that this year they would lose more drone pilots, who are worn down by the unique stresses of their work, than they can train.

“We’re at an inflection point right now,” said Col. James Cluff, the commander of the Air Force’s 432nd Wing, which runs the drone operations from this desert outpost about 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The reduction could also create problems for the C.I.A., which has used Air Force pilots to conduct drone missile attacks on terrorism suspects in Pakistan and Yemen, government officials said. And the slowdown comes just as military advances by the Islamic State have placed a new premium on aerial surveillance and counterattacks.

Some top Pentagon officials had hoped to continue increasing the number of daily drone flights to more than 70. But Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter recently signed off on the cuts after it became apparent that the system was at the breaking point, Air Force officials said.

The biggest problem is that a significant number of the 1,200 pilots are completing their obligation to the Air Force and are opting to leave. In a recent interview, Colonel Cluff said that many feel “undermanned and overworked,” sapped by alternating day and night shifts with little chance for academic breaks or promotion.

At the same time, a training program is producing only about half of the new pilots that the service needs because the Air Force had to reassign instructors to the flight line to expand the number of flights over the past few years.

Colonel Cluff said top Pentagon officials thought last year that the Air Force could safely reduce the number of daily flights as military operations in Afghanistan wound down. But, he said, “the world situation changed,” with the rapid emergence of the Islamic State, and the demand for the drones shot up again.

Officials say that since August, Predator and Reaper drones have conducted 3,300 sorties and 875 missile and bomb strikes in Iraq against the Islamic State.

What had seemed to be a benefit of the job, the novel way that the crews could fly Predator and Reaper drones via satellite links while living safely in the United States with their families, has created new types of stresses as they constantly shift back and forth between war and family activities and become, in effect, perpetually deployed.

“Having our folks make that mental shift every day, driving into the gate and thinking, ‘All right, I’ve got my war face on, and I’m going to the fight,’ and then driving out of the gate and stopping at Walmart to pick up a carton of milk or going to the soccer game on the way home — and the fact that you can’t talk about most of what you do at home — all those stressors together are what is putting pressure on the family, putting pressure on the airman,” Colonel Cluff said.

While most of the pilots and camera operators feel comfortable killing insurgents who are threatening American troops, interviews with about 100 pilots and sensor operators for an internal study that has not yet been released, he added, found that the fear of occasionally causing civilian casualties was another major cause of stress, even more than seeing the gory aftermath of the missile strikes in general.

A Defense Department study in 2013, the first of its kind, found that drone pilots had experienced mental health problems like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder at the same rate as pilots of manned aircraft who were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Trevor Tasin, a pilot who retired as a major in 2014 after flying Predator drones and training new pilots, called the work “brutal, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

The exodus from the drone program might be caused in part by the lure of the private sector, Mr. Tasin said, noting that military drone operators can earn four times their salary working for private defense contractors. In January, in an attempt to retain drone operators, the Air Force doubled incentive pay to $18,000 per year.

Another former pilot, Bruce Black, was part of a team that watched Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of Al Qaeda in Iraq, for 600 hours before he was killed by a bomb from a manned aircraft.

“After something like that, you come home and have to make all the little choices about the kids’ clothes or if I parked in the right place,” said Mr. Black, who retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2013. “And after making life and death decisions all day, it doesn’t matter. It’s hard to care.”

Colonel Cluff said the idea behind the reduction in flights was “to come back a little bit off of 65 to allow some breathing room” to replenish the pool of instructors and recruits.

The Air Force also has tried to ease the stress by creating a human performance team, led by a psychologist and including doctors and chaplains who have been granted top-secret clearances so they can meet with pilots and camera operators anywhere in the facility if they are troubled.

Colonel Cluff invited a number of reporters to the Creech base on Tuesday to discuss some of these issues. It was the first time in several years that the Air Force had allowed reporters onto the base, which has been considered the heart of the drone operations since 2005.

The colonel said the stress on the operators belied a complaint by some critics that flying drones was like playing a video game or that pressing the missile fire button 7,000 miles from the battlefield made it psychologically easier for them to kill. He also said that the retention difficulties underscore that while the planes themselves are unmanned, they need hundreds of pilots, sensor operators, intelligence analysts and launch and recovery specialists in foreign countries to operate.

Some of the crews still fly their missions in air-conditioned trailers here, while other cockpit setups have been created in new mission center buildings. Anti-drone protesters are periodically arrested as they try to block pilots from entering the base, where signs using the drone wing’s nickname say, “Home of the Hunters.”


Shabouot/Pentecôte: A quand un référendum sur les dix commandements ? (Robespierre’s one-day religion: Looking back at the ceremony that was to abolish 2, 000 years of “perverted” christianism)

24 mai, 2015
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https://i1.wp.com/www.je-suis-stupide-j-ai-vote-hollande.fr/blog/wp-content/uploads/gpa.pngHomme et femme, il les créa. Genèse 1: 27
Je suis le chemin, la vérité, et la vie. Nul ne vient au Père que par moi. Jésus (Jean 14: 6)
Dans le calendrier juif, Chavouot se déroule « sept semaines entières » ou cinquante jours jusqu’au lendemain du septième sabbat » après la fête de Pessa’h. De là son nom de Fête des Semaines (Chavouot, en hébreu) et celui de Pentecôte (cinquantième [jour], en grec ancien) dans le judaïsme hellénistique. (…) Ce n’est qu’à partir du IIe siècle que le pharisianisme liera la fête de la moisson à la commémoration du don de la Loi au Sinaï. Les Actes des Apôtres situent explicitement lors de cette fête juive le récit où les premiers disciples de Jésus de Nazareth reçoivent l’Esprit Saint et une inspiration divine dans le Cénacle de Jérusalem : des langues de feu se posent sur chacun d’eux, formalisant la venue de l’Esprit (…) L’image du feu — conforme à la tradition juive de l’époque sur l’épisode de la révélation sinaïtique que l’épisode entend renouveler — matérialise la Voix divine. La tradition chrétienne perçoit et présente la Pentecôte comme la réception du don des langues qui permet de porter la promesse du salut universel aux confins de la terre ainsi que semble en attester l’origine des témoins de l’évènement, issus de toute la Diaspora juive. Wikipedia
Dans l’ancien Orient, lors d’une alliance entre deux puissances, on disposait, dans le temple des partenaires, un document écrit devant être lu périodiquement12, il n’est donc pas surprenant que les Tables de la Loi soit le témoignage concret de l’Alliance entre Dieu et son peuple. C’est la raison pour laquelle, les images des tables sont souvent présentes sur le fronton des synagogues. (…) Dans les temples protestants, une représentation des Tables de la Loi remplaçait, jusqu’au XVIIe siècle, la croix des églises catholiques. Wikipedia
Tous les préceptes du Décalogue se peuvent déduire de la justice et de la bienveillance universelle que la loi naturelle ordonne. (…) Le Décalogue ne contient donc que les principaux chefs ou les fondements politiques des Juifs ; mais néanmoins ces fondements (mettant à part ce qui regardait en particulier la nation judaïque) renferment des lois qui sont naturellement imposées à tous les hommes et à l’observance desquelles ils sont tenus dans l’indépendance de l’état de la nature comme dans toute société civile. Louis  de Jancourt (article Décalogue, Encyclopédie dirigée par D’Alembert et Diderot, 1 octobre 1754)
L’Assemblée Nationale reconnaît et déclare, en présence et sous les auspices de l’Être suprême, les droits suivants de l’Homme et du Citoyen… Préambule de la Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen
Le texte s’inscrit sur deux registres, dont la forme évoque celles des Tables de la Loi rapportées par Moïse du mont Sinaï. Il est accompagné de figures allégoriques personnifiant la France et la Renommée, et de symboles comme le faisceau (unité), le bonnet « phrygien » (liberté), le serpent se mordant la queue (éternité), la guirlande de laurier (gloire), les chaînes brisées (victoire sur le despotisme) ; l’ensemble étant placé sous l’œil du Dieu créateur, rayonnant d’un triangle à la fois biblique et maçonnique. Philippe de Carbonnières
Le Judaïsme a abandonné la lecture quotidienne des proclamations des ‘sectaires’ (Chrétiens) (Berachot 12a). Les partisans de Paul croyaient que seuls les Dix Commandements et non le reste de la loi mosaïque étaient divins, éternels et obligatoires. Dans ce contexte, pour les Juifs, donner la priorité au Décalogue aurait pu signifier un accord avec les sectaires, aussi la lecture quotidienne a été abandonnée de façon à montrer que toutes les autres 613 mitzvot étaient des commandements divins. Raymond Apple
Les Tables ne sont pas un symbole laïc ou païen. A la différence du bonnet phrygien, du serpent qui se mord la queue, des faisceaux de licteurs, etc., leur référent n’est pas l’antiquité païenne, mais la Bible, au message religieux évident. Pourtant, dans la France chrétienne du 18e siècle, le message religieux normalement reçu est lié à une symbolique chrétienne, que justement la Révolution repousse. La mentalité révolutionnaire est donc à la recherche d’une symbolique qui ne soit pas chrétienne (puisque l’Eglise est désormais perçue comme synonyme de fanatisme et d’absolutisme despotique), mais qui soit cependant suffisamment religieuse pour satisfaire le sentiment religieux profond qui réside au coeur de chaque révolutionnaire (…) Mais par-delà la croyance sentimentale difficilement déracinable existe aussi un pragmatisme politique. Il peut être dangereux de déraciner tout symbole religieux dans l’imagerie populaire et donc dans les mentalités qu’on veut forger. Représenter des symboles chrétiens est exclu, puisque contraire aux principes jacobins. Les Tables de la Loi s’offrent donc d’une manière idéale pour répondre à un certain besoin religieux sans pour autant laisser croire à une affiliation cléricale. Les Tables de la Loi fournissent ainsi « les vêtements du sacré » à la religion de la Patrie. Nous les voyons figurer sur des allégories patriotiques, sur le soleil qui doit faire sortir le monde vers l’âge des lumières, sur des médailles en fer de grande diffusion, représentant l’Egalité et la Justice, sur des gravures évoquant des fêtes populaires, et jusque sur les uniformes militaires, au milieu des canons. On les trouve sur les médailles d’identification des membres des diverses assemblées révolutionnaires comme celle du Conseil des Cinq-Cents. (…) La laïcisation des Tables de la Loi peut aller jusqu’au cas limite où un contenu nouveau est donné au Décalogue. C’est ainsi qu’une gravure populaire présente « les Dix Commandements républicains » dans le cadre graphique des Tables de la Loi. Les Tables de la Loi remplissent donc un rôle important dans l’iconographie de la Révolution. Elles permettent à la Révolution de déconnecter ses emblèmes de tout ce qui est chrétien sans se prévaloir uniquement de symboles d’origine antique et païenne. Elles permettent de donner une coloration religieuse mais dans un ton pour ainsi dire « neutre » aux idéaux de justice, d’égalité, de soumission à une loi égale pour tous, que prône la Révolution. La défaite de l’arbitraire royal et l’apparition d’une Constitution garantissant les Droits de l’homme sont très clairement symbolisés par les Tables de la Loi, ce qui explique leur place récurrente dans l’iconographie de la Révolution. Renée Neher-Bernheim
On a supposé qu’en accueillant des offrandes civiques, la Convention avait proscrit le culte catholique. Non, la Convention n’a point fait cette démarche téméraire: la Convention ne la fera jamais. Son intention est de maintenir la liberté des cultes, qu’elle a proclamée, et de réprimer en même temps tous ceux qui en abuseraient pour troubler l’ordre public; elle ne permettra pas qu’on persécute les ministres paisibles du culte, et elle les punira avec sévérité toutes les fois qu’ils oseront se prévaloir de leurs fonctions pour tromper les citoyens et pour armer les préjugés ou le royalisme contre la république. (…) Il est des hommes qui veulent aller plus loin; qui, sous le prétexte de détruire la superstition, veulent faire une sorte de religion de l’athéisme lui-même. (…) La Convention n’est point un faiseur de livres, un auteur de systèmes métaphysiques, c’est un corps politique et populaire, chargé de faire respecter, non seulement les droits, mais le caractère du peuple français. Ce n’est point en vain qu’elle a proclamé la déclaration des droits de l’homme en présence de l’Etre suprême!” (…) L’athéisme est aristocratique; l’idée d’un grand être, qui veille sur l’innocence opprimée, et qui punit le crime triomphant, est toute populaire. Le peuple, les malheureux m’applaudissent; si je trouvais des censeurs, ce serait parmi les riches et parmi les coupables. J’ai été, dès le collège, un assez mauvais catholique; je n’ai jamais été ni un ami froid, ni un défenseur infidèle de l’humanité. Je n’en suis que plus attaché aux idées morales et politiques que je viens de vous exposer: “Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait |’inventer.” (…) Ce sentiment est celui de l’Europe et de l’univers, c’est celui du peuple français. Ce peuple n’est attaché ni aux prêtres, ni à la superstition, ni aux cérémonies religieuses; il ne l’est qu’au culte en lui-même, c’est-à-dire à l’idée d’une puissance incompréhensible, l’effroi du crime et le soutien de la vertu, à qui il se plaît à rendre des hommages qui sont autant d’anathèmes contre l’injustice et contre le crime triomphant. Si le philosophe peut attacher sa moralité à d’autres bases, gardons-nous néanmoins de blesser cet instinct sacré et ce sentiment universel des peuples. Quel est le génie qui puisse en un instant remplacer, par ses inventions, cette grande idée protectrice de l’ordre social et de toutes les vertus privées? Maximilien Robespierre (club des Jacobins, 21 novembre 1793)
Si quelqu’un me prouvait que le Christ est en dehors de la vérité, et qu’il serait réel que la vérité fût en dehors du Christ, j’aimerais mieux alors rester avec le Christ qu’avec la vérité. Dostoeivski
Si vous admettez qu’un homme revêtu de la toute-puissance peut en abuser contre ses adversaires, pourquoi n’admettez-vous pas la même chose pour une majorité?  (…) Le pouvoir de tout faire, que je refuse à un seul de mes semblables, je ne l’accorderai jamais à plusieurs. Tocqueville
Toute idée fausse finit dans le sang, mais il s’agit toujours du sang des autres. C’est ce qui explique que certains de nos philosophes se sentent à l’aise pour dire n’importe quoi. Camus
Dans ces temps de tromperie universelle, dire la vérité devient un acte révolutionnaire.  George Orwell (?)
Si les faits ne coïncident pas avec la théorie, il faut changer les faits ! Albert Einstein (?)
La vérité ne se décide pas au vote majoritaire. Doug Gwyn
Dans l’histoire de l’Europe moderne, c’est la Révolution française qui la première fit passer dans la réalité l’idée d’exterminer une classe ou un groupe. Ernst Nolte
Si j’étais législateur, je proposerais tout simplement la disparition du mot et du concept de “mariage” dans un code civil et laïque. Le “mariage”, valeur religieuse, sacrale, hétérosexuelle – avec voeu de procréation, de fidélité éternelle, etc. -, c’est une concession de l’Etat laïque à l’Eglise chrétienne – en particulier dans son monogamisme qui n’est ni juif (il ne fut imposé aux juifs par les Européens qu’au siècle dernier et ne constituait pas une obligation il y a quelques générations au Maghreb juif) ni, cela on le sait bien, musulman. En supprimant le mot et le concept de “mariage”, cette équivoque ou cette hypocrisie religieuse et sacrale, qui n’a aucune place dans une constitution laïque, on les remplacerait par une “union civile” contractuelle, une sorte de pacs généralisé, amélioré, raffiné, souple et ajusté entre des partenaires de sexe ou de nombre non imposé.(…) C’est une utopie mais je prends date. Jacques Derrida
C’est le sens de l’histoire (…) Pour la première fois en Occident, des hommes et des femmes homosexuels prétendent se passer de l’acte sexuel pour fonder une famille. Ils transgressent un ordre procréatif qui a reposé, depuis 2000 ans, sur le principe de la différence sexuelle. Evelyne Roudinesco
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
On a commencé avec la déconstruction du langage et on finit avec la déconstruction de l’être humain dans le laboratoire. (…) Elle est proposée par les mêmes qui d’un côté veulent prolonger la vie indéfiniment et nous disent de l’autre que le monde est surpeuplé. René Girard
Si les forêts tropicales méritent notre protection, l’homme (…) ne la mérite pas moins (…) Parler de la nature de l’être humain comme homme et femme et demander que cet ordre de la création soit respecté ne relève pas d’une métaphysique dépassée. Benoit XVI
La lisibilité de la filiation, qui est dans l’intérêt de l’enfant, est sacrifiée au profit du bon vouloir des adultes et la loi finit par mentir sur l’origine de la vieConférence des évêques
Israël existe et continuera à exister jusqu’à ce que l’islam l’abroge comme il a abrogé ce qui l’a précédé. Hasan al-Bannâ (préambule de la charte du Hamas, 1988)
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique est un mouvement palestinien spécifique qui fait allégeance à Allah et à sa voie, l’islam. Il lutte pour hisser la bannière de l’islam sur chaque pouce de la Palestine. Charte du Hamas (Article six)
Les enfants de la nation du Hezbollah au Liban sont en confrontation avec [leurs ennemis] afin d’atteindre les objectifs suivants : un retrait israélien définitif du Liban comme premier pas vers la destruction totale d’Israël et la libération de la Sainte Jérusalem de la souillure de l’occupation … Charte du Hezbollah (1985)
La libération de la Palestine a pour but de “purifier” le pays de toute présence sioniste. (…) Le partage de la Palestine en 1947 et la création de l’État d’Israël sont des événements nuls et non avenus. (…) La Charte ne peut être amendée que par une majorité des deux tiers de tous les membres du Conseil national de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine réunis en session extraordinaire convoquée à cet effet. Charte de l’OLP (articles 15, 19 et 33)
Je mentirais si je vous disais que je vais l’abroger. Personne ne peut le faire. Yasser Arafat (Harvard, octobre 1995)
Abraham n’était pas juif, pas plus que c’était un Hébreu, mais il était tout simplement irakien. Les Juifs n’ont aucun droit de prétendre disposer d’une synagogue dans la tombe des patriarches à Hébron, lieu où est inhumé Abraham. Le bâtiment tout entier devrait être une mosquée. Yasser Arafat, cité dans le Jerusalem Report, 26 décembre 1996)
Mariage homosexuel : l’Irlande plus démocratique que les socialistes français, fait un référendum. Les votes sont clos, en République d’Irlande, où plus de 3.2 millions d’habitants étaient appelés à prendre part à un référendum sur la légalisation du mariage homosexuel. 3,2 millions d’Irlandais chanceux qu’on leur demande s’il veulent que la constitution du pays soit modifiée pour autorisé le mariage des couples de gays et lesbiennes. 3,2 millions d’Irlandais plus chanceux que les Français, méprisé par les élites et les dirigeants politiques socialistes, qui ont fait passer leur réforme malgré l’hostilité de millions de Français dans les rues. 3,2 millions d’Irlandais respectés par leur gouvernement, qui, pour un sujet de société aussi important, les a consultés. Jean-Patrick Grumberg
Le Luxembourg donne l’image d’un pays en avance sur les questions de société. C’est un message envoyé à un moment où l’homophobie est en train de monter en Europe. (…) J’aurais pu le cacher, ou le refouler et être malheureux toute ma vie. J’aurais pu avoir une relation avec quelqu’un de l’autre sexe et avoir des relations homosexuelles en cachette. Mais je me suis dit : si tu veux faire de la politique et être honnête en politique, tu dois être honnête avec toi-même et donc t’accepter toi-même. Charles Michel (Premier ministre belge)
Le Luxembourg a célébré une grande première. Le Premier ministre libéral du Luxembourg Xavier Bettel a épousé vendredi son compagnon belge Gauthier Destenay. Il est ainsi devenu le premier dirigeant uni par les liens d’un mariage homosexuel dans l’Union européenne. Europe 1
Pour fêter les deux ans du mariage homo­sexuel léga­lisé en avril 2013. Et puis, je suis très heureux, alors ça donne envie de faire bouger les menta­li­tés. Mon mari et moi sommes venus vivre à Las Vegas pour être libres d’avoir l’en­fant que nous n’au­rions pas pu avoir en France. À Paris, on a parfois l’im­pres­sion qu’il ne faut être ni juif ni noir, ni arabe ni homo­sexuel. Je ne supporte plus le refus de l’autre. J’en ai assez qu’on dise à Romain de féli­ci­ter sa femme pour la nais­sance. Moi-même je devrais me taire. Eh bien non. Je le reven­dique : nous sommes deux hommes, nous avons fait un enfant et ça se passe bien. Alex Goude (animateur M6)
L’Irlande devient ainsi le premier pays au monde à autoriser le mariage gay par voie référendaire. (…) Plus de 3,2 millions d’Irlandais ont été appelés à se prononcer sur une modification de la Constitution proposant d’autoriser « le mariage entre deux personnes, sans distinction de sexe ». L’Irlande devient ainsi le 19e pays, le 14e en Europe, à légaliser le mariage gay. Il est par contre le seul pays à l’avoir fait par référendum, les autres ayant opté pour la voie parlementaire. « C’est historique », a souligné le ministre de la Santé, Leo Varadkar. Ce référendum, a-t-il estimé, constitue « une révolution culturelle » dans un pays longtemps conservateur et où l’homosexualité n’a été dépénalisée qu’en 1993. « Je suis tellement fier d’être Irlandais aujourd’hui », avait tweeté en début de journée, Aodhan O Riordain, secrétaire d’Etat pour l’Egalité, tandis que, dans les rues de Dublin, des Irlandais, hommes et femmes de tous âges, exultaient et se prenaient dans les bras. Avant même la publication des résultats, un des principaux responsables de la campagne du non, David Quinn, avait concédé la défaite de son camp. « C’est une claire victoire pour le camp du oui », a-t-il déclaré, adressant ses « félicitations » aux partisans du mariage homosexuel. Francetvinfo
Une Allemande de 65 ans, mère de 13 enfants et grand-mère de 7 petits-enfants, a accouché de quadruplés « pas complètement développés » à Berlin, un cas controversé mêlant médecine et téléréalité qui relance le débat sur les grossesses tardives. Annegret Raunigk, qui a procédé à des fécondations in vitro en Ukraine, est désormais la mère de quadruplés la plus âgée au monde, selon la chaîne de télévision RTL, détentrice des droits exclusifs sur cette grossesse hors normes. Les bébés prématurés, trois garçons et une fille, sont nés mardi par césarienne, après seulement 26 semaines de grossesse. Ils ont été placés en couveuse mais ont « de bonnes chances de survivre », selon un communiqué de RTL. « Toutefois, les bébés, par comparaison avec une naissance normale dans la 40e semaine de grossesse, ne sont pas encore développés complètement. D’éventuelles complications ne peuvent donc pas être complètement exclues », poursuit la chaîne. (…) Cette femme élégante, les cheveux roux et une fine paire de lunettes sur les yeux, n’en est pas à sa première grossesse tardive. En 2005, alors âgée de « seulement » 55 ans, elle avait mis au monde une petite fille. C’est d’ailleurs pour répondre au souhait de sa dernière fille d’avoir un petit frère ou une petite sœur qu’elle a décidé de retenter une insémination artificielle, a-t-elle expliqué. Nés de 5 pères différents, les autres enfants d’Annegret Raunigk ont déjà tous quitté le domicile maternel. RTL
L’homme et la femme utilisent tous les deux ces poupées pour remplacer un compagnon humain, que ce soit par choix ou par nécessité. Je pense qu’il n’y a aucun inconvénient à cela, surtout si les journées en deviennent plus supportables » (…) Mes photos concernent la vie, les relations amoureuses et la sexualité. Les poupées repoussent certaines personnes, tandis que d’autres sont empathiques envers elle. Au fur et à mesure que le monde devient plus numérique et moins personnel, il sera de plus en plus banal que des poupées et des robots soient utilisés en tant que substituts pour les relations amoureuses. Je peux uniquement espérer que mes photos déclenchent une émotion ou une connexion chez le spectateur. Stacy Leigh
Une reconnaissance de l’Etat de Palestine par le Saint-Siège est un signe fort envoyé aux pays musulmans. C’est un appel à l’apaisement. (…) En règle générale, le Saint-Siège reconnaît des pays qui l’ont déjà été par la communauté internationale et les grandes puissances. C’est bien le style du pape François de bousculer ainsi les habitudes. François Mabille
Israël-Palestine : la France veut renverser la table Paris propose un projet de résolution poussant les deux parties à s’entendre en 18 mois. Sous peine de reconnaître l’État palestinien. Le Point
Banking on Netanyahu’s assertion while campaigning for re-election that there would be no Palestinian state during his term in office, Obama is reported exclusively by our sources to have given the hitherto withheld green light to European governments to file a UN Security Council motion proclaiming an independent Palestinian state. Although Netanyahu left the foreign affairs portfolio in his charge and available to be filled by a suitably moderate figure as per the White House’s expectations did not satisfy the US President. The White House is confident that, with the US voting in favor, the motion will be passed by an overwhelming majority and therefore be binding on the Israeli government. To show the administration was in earnest, senior US officials sat down with their French counterparts in Paris last week to sketch out the general outline of this motion. According to our sources, they began addressing such questions as the area of the Palestinian state, its borders, security arrangements between Israel and the Palestinians and whether or not to set a hard-and-fast timeline for implementation, or phrase the resolution as  a general declaration of intent. Incorporating a target date in the language would expose Israel to Security Council sanctions for non-compliance. (…) At the same time, both American and French diplomats are already using the club they propose to hang over the Netanyahu government’s head for gains in other spheres. French President Francois Hollande, for instance, the first foreign leader ever to attend a Gulf Council of Cooperation summit, which opened in Riyadh Tuesday to discuss Iran and the Yemen war, used the opportunity to brief Gulf Arab rulers on Washington’s turnaround on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. And US Secretary of State John Kerry plans to present the Obama administration’s new plans for Palestinian statehood to Saudi leaders during his visit to Riyadh Wednesday and Thursday, May 6-7. Kerry will use Washington’s willingness to meet Palestinian aspirations as currency for procuring Saudi and Gulf support for a Yemen ceasefire and their acceptance of the nuclear deal shaping up with Iran. Debka file
Once again, Barack Obama was riffing off the cosmic joke that he is somehow anti-Semitic, when in fact, as many people understand, he is the most Jewish president we’ve ever had (except for Rutherford B. Hayes). No president, not even Bill Clinton, has traveled so widely in Jewish circles, been taught by so many Jewish law professors, and had so many Jewish mentors, colleagues, and friends, and advisers as Barack Obama (though it is true that every so often he appoints a gentile to serve as White House chief of staff). (…) I’ll grapple with the meaning of Obama’s Jewishness later, but the dispute between the Jewish right and the Jewish left over Obama is actually not about whether he is anti-Jewish or pro-Jewish, but over what sort of Jew he actually is. Jeffrey Goldberg
I’ve been called the first Jewish president, you know. Barack Hussein Obama
Maximilien Robespierre, known as l’Incorruptible, is at the summit of his glory.  Rivers of blood, flowing from the guillotines of France, have washed away the Girondins and anyone who had pactised with them; the Jacobins, even though they were close to him;  certain Montagnards and, curiously, some of his friends who had too openly supported the theses of the atheists… (…) So great is his power now, that to have any opinion at all is a crime of lese-Revolution.  Since obtaining the head of Louis XVI, he seems to be invested with a sort of absolute power, a divine right. (…) When, after having voted for death, the Convention came to its senses, terrified at what it had just decided, he demanded an immediate execution.  (…)  Everyone is waiting to see how the High Priest is going to organize the next part of the sacrifice.  For a whole month, a great silence settles on Paris, troubled only by the cries of the executed.  The Convention, the clubs, the army, the Commune and even the revolutionary tribunal, remain quiet… At last, on 6 May, l’Incorruptible climbs up to the tribunal.  He is wearing his sacerdotal clothes, a sky blue riding-coat and white stockings.  (…)  By degrees, he asks the Deputies to recognize the existence of a “Supreme Being and immortality as the directing power of the Universe”. Then to the stupefaction of some, and the enthusiasm of others, he wants to give his vibrant profession of faith the form of a decree, with immediate effect. His speech, which at the end rises in a passionate plea for a regenerated Humanity, is welcomed by unending applause. Couthon spurs his gendarme mount and proclaims that this great piece of literature must be displayed throughout the whole country.  That it should be translated into all languages, too, and diffused throughout the whole universe. The fabulous decree which institutes in France a new religion and proposes a festival in the style of the celebrations of Antiquity, is voted with enthusiasm and without any discussion.  In the corridors, when the euphoria has died down, the least terrorised start to murmur that, when they had voted the King’s death, they thought that they had also voted that of God. The French people welcome back a divinity.  For months, the churches had been profaned.  Mountain decors peopled with mythological characters symbolising Reason had been built in them.  In a lot of places, prostitutes, “living marbles of public flesh” had draped themselves, completely naked, on the altars. God was now being re-installed under the name of Supreme Being. In Paris, it is not yet known that this Being will soon take on the profile of l’Incorruptible.  But perhaps this will eclipse in a brilliant manner the red reflects of the guillotine, of which everybody is secretly very tired. (…) To bring God back to Earth, Robespierre engages the most gifted director, the painter David, who will soon plant the scene of other festivities, this time imperial… (…) On the terrace of the Tuileries Palace, a colossal amphitheatre, whose floor completely covers the ornamental lake, begins to grow.  Cyclopean statues rise above the formal French gardens, which have become the Jardin national.  They symbolise Atheism, Ambition, Discord, Egoism, and will explode on the day of the ceremony…  It is on 20 prairial, year II (8 June, 1794) that it will take place.  Robespierre has chosen the Sunday which, according to the former Roman Catholic rites, was Pentecost. On the Champs-de-Mars, the Holy Mountain is nearly finished.  The People’s representatives will take place on it, along with the choirs, the orchestras and the banner-bearers.  On its summit, a column fifty feet high overlooks the entrance to a deep cave, lit by giant candelabra.  A river seeps from it, snaking between Etruscan tombs in the shade of an oak tree, and an antique altar, a pyramid, a sarcophage and a temple with twenty columns, complete this mythology.  It takes only a month for a swarm of ditch-diggers, masons, carpenters and artists of all kinds, to finish this unusual church. And here, at last, is the astonishing day of 8 June 1794.  Starting at five o’clock in the morning, the sound of pikes striking the pavement, the rattling of sabres, and the noise of a great troop marching, out-of-step and almost in silence, for a lot of these men do not have shoes, is to be heard.  Robespierre sees, parading under his windows, in columns of twelve, some of the forty-eight Sections of the People who are hurrying towards the meeting places, followed by the Parisians who, already the day before, had discovered the altars of the Supreme Being. (…) Occupied by the armies of Europe outside, chopped down by the butchers of the revolutionary tribunal on the inside, the capital escapes for the first time in months from the baseness of this time of proscriptions…  A lot of people cry and embrace each other in the fading light. (…) From 8 June, the day of the Festival of the Supreme Being, Robespierre will have fifty more days to live.  (…) For Robespierre, the sense and the aim of this festival were to replace the pagan, dry and materialistic cult of Reason by a religion which restored transcendance, a God, without Whom, no man worthy of the name, could live… Right from the beginning of the Revolution, Robespierre had tried to stop the dechristianisation of France.  As a faithful disciple of Rousseau, whom he qualified as a “divine man”, he was sure that Man is a “religious animal”, incapable of durably banishing his spiritual needs.  He shared the feeling of the curate of Boissis-la-Bertrand who was willing to renounce his “mummeries”, that is to say, all formal aspects of the cult, but not his religion. (…) The 8 June festival gives a fairly precise idea of the religion that Robespierre wanted, but did not have the time to develop. (…) What originally caused Robespierre’s downfall was the Deputies’ certainty that he wanted to install a new religion of which he would be the High Priest, and this enormous misunderstanding would be fatal to him.  It was not the god of the christian religion that he wanted to install, of course.  He most certainly wanted to radically end the christian institutions and abolish two thousand years of “perverted” christianism, to return to the spirit and the liturgy of the Roman Republic, the religion of Antiquity.  His ideal not only had the sense of political revolution, but also that of a fundamental cultural revolution. This was his great dream.  He succeeded in giving it body for a few hours by getting five hundred thousand French people to live a day in the fashion of Antiquity. Louis Pauwels

Attention: une solution finale peut en cacher une autre !

En ce jour où avec le don du Décalogue et de l’Esprit Saint pour l’universaliser, la Synagogue et l’Eglise ne fêtent rien de moins que leur fondation et acte de naissance

Et où après l’église protestante des Européens les plus mécréants et avant la Cour suprême du peuple jusqu’ici le plus croyant du monde, c’est à présent aux Européens les plus christianisés mais aussi à l’église la plus décrébilisée par les scandales de pédophilie …

Que se décide au vote majoritaire (A quand un référendum sur la pédophilie ?) la vérité sur l’origine de la vie elle-même …

Alors qu’avec une science désormais capable de s’affranchir du temps, on peut à présent  changer  les faits qui ne coïncident plus avec la théorie …

Pendant qu’après l’Amérique d’Obama et la France de Hollande, c’est au tour du Vatican du petit père des peuples François d’imposer au seul Israël …

La prétendue nouvelle vérité d’un Etat qui n’existe même pas sur le papier

Mais qui à l’instar de la purification de toute trace du judéo-christianisme qui se poursuit dans le berceau de celui-ci et pendant que les mollahs eux préparent tranquillement leur Arme fatale, prétend à rien de moins que l’annihilation de son voisin …

Comment ne pas repenser …

A cette même journée de Pentecôte-Shabouot de 1794

Où redescendant de son Horeb en papier-maché du champ de Mars …

Après le sacrifice par régions et tombereaux entiers des réfractaires comme du roi et de son grand rival Danton …

Et avec son nouveau culte de la Raison et ses autels couverts de marbres vivants de chair publique …

L’Incorruptible et nouveau Moïse entendait apporter sous les vivats de la foule …

L’ultime solution finale à la question chrétienne en France  ?

8 juin 1794
La fête de l’Être suprême
À Paris, le 8 juin 1794 (20 prairial An II), le tout-puissant Maximilien de Robespierre conduit la première fête en l’honneur de l’Être suprême. Par cette cérémonie qui se veut grandiose, civique et religieuse à la fois, l’« Incorruptible » tente de concilier la déchristianisation menée par le Comité de Salut public avec les aspirations religieuses de la grande masse des Français.

Fabienne Manière

Hérodote

L’Être suprême plutôt que Dieu
Depuis l’exécution de son principal rival, Danton, le 5 avril 1794, Robespierre écrase de son autorité le Comité de Salut public (le gouvernement révolutionnaire) ainsi que l’assemblée de la Convention. Celle-ci est dominée par les députés de la Montagne (ainsi nommés parce qu’ils siègent sur les bancs les plus élevés). Alliés aux sans-culottes des sections et des clubs parisiens, ils sont disposés à suivre Robespierre sur le chemin sans fin de la Révolution.

Robespierre a recours à la Terreur contre les citoyens suspects de tiédeur révolutionnaire. Il est décidé d’autre part à mener la déchristianisation de la France à son terme.

Mais l’« Incorruptible » ne veut pas priver le peuple de références religieuses et morales car il caresse l’idéal rousseauiste d’une société vertueuse, démocratique et égalitaire. Lui-même se veut déiste, à l’encontre de nombre de ses anciens adversaires, athées déclarés tels Anacharsis Cloots, « pape des athées » ou encore Danton et Desmoulins. Au Club des Jacobins, il lance : « Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer ! »

À son instigation, la Convention décrète le 18 floréal An II (7 mai 1794) : « le peuple français reconnaît l’existence de l’Être suprême et de l’Immortalité de l’âme ». Par la même occasion, elle annonce une grande fête destinée à inaugurer ce nouveau culte fondé sur la raison.

Vive la fête
Arrive le jour fixé pour la fête de la nouvelle divinité sans nom et sans visage. Il coïncide avec le dimanche de la Pentecôte (commémoration par les chrétiens de la révélation de l’Esprit-Saint aux apôtres du Christ). À l’initiative du peintre et conventionnel Louis David, grand ordonnateur des festivités, les maisons de Paris ont été fleuries et enguirlandées pour l’occasion.

Robespierre, en habit bleu à revers rouge, met d’abord le feu à une effigie de l’Athéisme, installée au milieu du bassin des Tuileries. En s’effondrant, elle révèle la statue de la Sagesse !

Puis le dictateur prend la tête d’un cortège magnifique, un bouquet de fleurs et d’épis à la main. Il se rend au Champ-de-Mars où a été dressée une montagne surmontée d’un obélisque et de la statue du Peuple français.

La foule des sans-culottes semble apprécier les effets de scène mais le ridicule de la cérémonie suscite des ricanements dans l’entourage de l’« Incorruptible ». Celui-ci, qui s’en aperçoit, dissimule mal son ressentiment.

Retour à la tradition

Quelques semaines plus tard, la victoire de Fleurus rassure les conventionnels sur le sort du pays. Elle les convainc de se défaire d’un chef devenu encombrant et décidément imprévisible. La chute de Robespierre, le 27 juillet 1794 (9 thermidor An II), entraîne la disparition de l’Être suprême.

Les conventionnels n’en ont pas fini pour autant avec les fêtes civiques. Le 11 octobre 1794, ils organisent l’entrée solennelle au Panthéon de la dépouille de leur maître à penser Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Ils créent aussi sept fêtes nationales : fête de la République (1er vendémiaire), fête de la Jeunesse (10 germinal), fête des Époux (10 floréal), fête de la Reconnaissance (10 prairial), fête de l’Agriculture (10 messidor), fête de la Liberté (9 et 10 thermidor – chute de Robespierre ! -), fête de la Vieillesse (10 fructidor).

Dans un ultime effort pour déchristianiser la société, la loi du 9 septembre 1798 instaure la fête du décadi en remplacement du dimanche ; ce jour-là, le président de chaque municipalité, en uniforme d’apparat, doit rassembler les habitants sur la place du village, les informer des lois et des nouvelles, prononcer un sermon civique et célébrer les mariages civils !

Avec le Concordat de 1802, enfin, la religion catholique va retrouver les faveurs des autorités publiques.

Voir aussi:

Mariage homosexuel : l’Irlande plus démocratique que les socialistes français, fait un référendum

Les votes sont clos, en République d’Irlande, où plus de 3.2 millions d’habitants étaient appelés à prendre part à un référendum sur la légalisation du mariage homosexuel.

3,2 millions d’Irlandais chanceux qu’on leur demande s’il veulent que la constitution du pays soit modifiée pour autorisé le mariage des couples de gays et lesbiennes.

3,2 millions d’Irlandais plus chanceux que les Français, méprisé par les élites et les dirigeants politiques socialistes, qui ont fait passer leur réforme malgré l’hostilité de millions de Français dans les rues.

3,2 millions d’Irlandais respectés par leur gouvernement, qui, pour un sujet de société aussi important, les a consultés.

Le résultat du référendum irlandais sur le mariage homosexuel semble se diriger vers deux fois plus de oui que de non.

Il semble même que dans les régions rurales les plus conservatives, le vote se situe aux alentours de 50/50.

A Dublin, le vote est massivement pour le Oui.

Voir également:

L’Irlande a voté en faveur du mariage homosexuel à 62,1% selon les résultats définitifs
L’Irlande devient ainsi le premier pays au monde à autoriser le mariage gay par voie référendaire.

Francetvinfo avec AFP et Reuters

23/05/2015

Les Irlandais se sont prononcés massivement en faveur de la légalisation du mariage homosexuel, selon des résultats définitifs de ce référendum historique, organisé vendredi, et publiés samedi 23 mai. Le oui l’emporte largement avec 62,1% des voix, selon des résultats publiés par la chaîne nationale RTE.

Plus de 3,2 millions d’Irlandais ont été appelés à se prononcer sur une modification de la Constitution proposant d’autoriser « le mariage entre deux personnes, sans distinction de sexe ».

Le 19e pays dans le monde à légaliser le mariage gay
L’Irlande devient ainsi le 19e pays, le 14e en Europe, à légaliser le mariage gay. Il est par contre le seul pays à l’avoir fait par référendum, les autres ayant opté pour la voie parlementaire.

« C’est historique », a souligné le ministre de la Santé, Leo Varadkar. Ce référendum, a-t-il estimé, constitue « une révolution culturelle » dans un pays longtemps conservateur et où l’homosexualité n’a été dépénalisée qu’en 1993. « Je suis tellement fier d’être Irlandais aujourd’hui », avait tweeté en début de journée, Aodhan O Riordain, secrétaire d’Etat pour l’Egalité, tandis que, dans les rues de Dublin, des Irlandais, hommes et femmes de tous âges, exultaient et se prenaient dans les bras.

Avant même la publication des résultats, un des principaux responsables de la campagne du non, David Quinn, avait concédé la défaite de son camp. « C’est une claire victoire pour le camp du oui », a-t-il déclaré, adressant ses « félicitations » aux partisans du mariage homosexuel.

Voir également:

Pédophilie: excuses du primat d’Irlande
Le Figaro/AFP
17/03/2010

Le primat d’Irlande, au coeur d’une polémique pour n’avoir pas dénoncé des abus sexuels dont il avait eu connaissance, a présenté aujourd’hui ses excuses et exprimé sa « honte » de n’avoir pas défendu les valeurs qu’il professe.

Des familles de victimes ont réclamé la démission du cardinal Sean Brady depuis que l’église catholique d’Irlande a reconnu qu’il avait participé à deux réunions en 1975 au cours desquelles deux victimes présumées d’abus sexuels avaient signé des promesses de silence.

« Je voudrais dire à tous ceux qui ont été blessés par des manquements de ma part, que je leur présente des excuses du fond du coeur », a déclaré le cardinal Brady dans son homélie en la cathédrale d’Armagh (Irlande du nord), selon un communiqué de l’église publié à Dublin. « Je voudrais également présenter mes excuses à tous ceux qui ont l’impression que je les ai laissés tomber », a-t-il ajouté. « Avec le recul, j’ai honte de n’avoir pas toujours soutenu les valeurs que je défendais et en lesquelles je crois ».

Une culture de « silence » et de « secret

Le primat d’Irlande avait affirmé lundi qu’il ne présenterait sa démission qu’à la demande du pape Benoît XVI. Selon l’Eglise catholique, le cardinal Sean Brady a participé à deux réunions en 1975, alors qu’il était prêtre. Au cours de ces réunions, deux victimes présumées « ont signé des engagements promettant de respecter la confidentialité de la récolte d’informations », a confirmé l’Eglise.

Les autorités ecclésiastiques enquêtaient alors sur le père Brendan Smyth, considéré comme responsable d’abus sexuels sur des centaines d’enfants sur une période de 40 ans et mort en prison après son arrestation dans les années 1990.
Sur la radio BBC Ulster, le cardinal Brady avait expliqué lundi qu’il régnait il y a 35 ans une culture de « silence » et de « secret » concernant les abus sexuels à la fois dans le clergé et dans la société civile, et qu’il n’avait pas jugé de sa responsabilité de dénoncer le pédophile.

Mariage gay : L’Eglise protestante unie de France autorise la bénédiction des couples de même sexe
Rédaction du HuffPost avec AFP
17/05/2015

MARIAGE POUR TOUS – L’Eglise protestante unie de France (EPUdF) a adopté dimanche la possibilité de bénir les couples homosexuels à l’issue d’un vote très largement positif, une quasi-première en France, a indiqué le porte-parole de la principale Église protestante du pays.

Sur la centaine de délégués de l’EPUdF réunis à Sète (Hérault) et ayant pris part au vote, 94 ont voté pour la possibilité d’offrir une bénédiction religieuse aux couples homosexuels, et trois contre, a-t-il précisé.

Ce vote donne la possibilité aux 500 pasteurs de l’EPUdF de bénir des couples homosexuels, sans pour autant y obliger ceux des pasteurs qui sont opposés à un tel geste.

Le protestantisme est actuellement la 3e religion en France. Selon des données de l’INED de 2008, 45% des Français se déclarent sans religion, 43% se disent catholiques, 8% musulmans, 2% protestants et 0,5% juifs. En 2012, le CSA estimait de son coté que les catholiques représentaient 56% de la population adulte, les musulmans 6%, les protestants 2% et les juifs 1%.

Même bénédiction que celle accordée aux couples hétérosexuels

Le mariage n’est pas un sacrement pour les protestants, mais les couples hétérosexuels unis en mairie peuvent être bénis au temple. En France, seule la Mission populaire évangélique (MPEF), une Eglise beaucoup plus petite que l’EPUdF, autorise un « geste liturgique d’accueil et de prière » pour les homosexuels.

Cette décision intervient deux ans après l’adoption de la loi Taubira sur le mariage gay. Les délégués de la principale Eglise protestante française sont réunis depuis jeudi autour du thème « Bénir, témoins de l’Evangile dans l’accompagnement des personnes et des couples ».

L’EPUdF, qui incarne le courant historique du protestantisme français, revendique 110.000 membres actifs parmi 400.000 personnes faisant appel à ses services.

Tout en se défendant d’être en concurrence avec une mouvance évangélique en forte croissance, elle parie désormais sur une démarche missionnaire pour « passer d’une Eglise de membres à une Eglise de témoins ».

Voir encore:

Etats-Unis : la Cour suprême s’apprête à légaliser le mariage gay
La Cour suprême des Etats-Unis examine mardi la constitutionnalité du mariage homosexuel pour dire si les couples de même sexe peuvent se marier partout dans le pays. Deux ans après le premier round, la plus haute juridiction des Etats-Unis arbitre le second lors d’une audience exceptionnelle de deux heures et demie.
Le Parisien

28 Avril 2015

La Cour suprême des Etats-Unis examine ce mardi, lors d’une audience exceptionnelle de deux heures et demie, la constitutionnalité du mariage homosexuel. Il s’agit de dire si les couples de même sexe peuvent se marier partout dans le pays. Des centaines de militants des deux camps étaient attendus dans la journée devant le temple de la justice.

Une première dans l’UE : le Premier ministre du Luxembourg épouse son compagnon
Plusieurs milliers d’Américains ont déjà manifesté ce week-end à Washington, dont certains ont campé au pied des marches de la haute Cour pour s’assurer une place dans la salle d’audience.

Quatre Etats réfractaires

Légal dans 37 Etats sur 50 (dont certains en appel) ainsi que dans la capitale fédérale Washington, le mariage homosexuel doit encore être reconnu dans tout le pays. C’est ce que réclament des gays et lesbiennes de quatre Etats interdisant le mariage homosexuel, le Tennessee, le Kentucky, le Michigan et l’Ohio. Soutenus par l’administration Obama, les 16 plaignants veulent pouvoir se marier légalement ou voir leur mariage reconnu dans l’Etat où ils vivent. Les quatre Etats incriminés, soutenus par nombre d’organisations religieuses et conservatrices, définissent le mariage comme l’union entre un homme et une femme, refusent de marier des hommes entre eux ou des femmes entre elles, et ne reconnaissent pas le mariage homosexuel lorsqu’il a été légalement célébré ailleurs.

Les quatre Etats visés arguent de leur droit à protéger la définition traditionnelle du mariage, pour «respecter la complémentarité biologique des deux sexes» dans l’éducation des enfants et dans la société. De leur côté, les plaignants ne voient rien d’autre qu’une discrimination fondée sur l’orientation sexuelle. «Quelles que soient les limites imposées au droit à se marier, le genre des conjoints ne peut pas être l’une d’elles», arguent les couples du Michigan. Ils jugent aussi que les quatre Etats violent leur liberté de voyager en refusant de reconnaître leur mariage lorsqu’il a été légalement célébré.

Trois questions pour les neuf Sages

Pour savoir si elle légalise le mariage gay sur tout le territoire américain, la haute Cour se demandera d’abord si le 14e Amendement de la Constitution exige d’un Etat qu’il unisse par les liens du mariage les couples de même sexe. Dans un deuxième temps, elle déterminera si le même Amendement requiert qu’un Etat reconnaisse un mariage homosexuel légalement célébré dans un autre Etat. Dans les deux cas, elle s’appuiera sur le principe d’égalité de tous devant la loi et sur le droit fondamental au mariage. Sur la base du principe de «rationnalité», les neuf sages se demanderont également si un Etat a un intérêt légitime à interdire le mariage des couples de même sexe ou si c’est purement arbitraire.

Fin juin 2013, la Cour suprême a abrogé une partie d’une loi fédérale qui définissait le mariage comme l’union entre un homme et une femme, ouvrant de facto les droits fédéraux à la retraite, à la succession ou aux abattements fiscaux à tous les couples légalement mariés, qu’ils soient hétérosexuels ou homosexuels. Mais le mariage restait du ressort des Etats. Or la haute Cour protège traditionnellement les principes de fédéralisme.

Une marche arrière difficile

D’avis d’experts, la reconnaissance du mariage pour tous à l’échelle du pays semble désormais «inévitable». Traditionnel défenseur des droits homosexuels, le juge conservateur Anthony Kennedy devrait rejoindre les quatre juges progressistes de la haute Cour pour valider le mariage homosexuel au niveau national.

Ces dernières années, la haute Cour américaine, pourtant à majorité conservatrice, a confirmé toutes les décisions judiciaires en faveur des unions des couples de même sexe, «ce qui rend une marche arrière vraiment difficile», estime Steven Schwinn, professeur de la John Marshall Law School.

Cette controverse sur la mariage gay présente un caractère historique. Plus de 150 argumentaires ont été déposés – un record – dont une vingtaine par les deux parties. Sur ces argumentaires, 78 soutiennent les plaignants homosexuels, dont l’administration Obama ; 67 prennent position pour les Etats, dont la Conférence des évêques des Etats-Unis.

Voir de même:

Luxembourg : le Premier ministre épouse son compagnon
B.W avec AFP

Europe 1

15 mai 2015

INÉDIT – Le Premier ministre luxembourgeois s’est marié avec son compagnon, une première pour un chef de gouvernement de l’Union européenne.
Le Luxembourg a célébré une grande première. Le Premier ministre libéral du Luxembourg Xavier Bettel a épousé vendredi son compagnon belge Gauthier Destenay. Il est ainsi devenu le premier dirigeant uni par les liens d’un mariage homosexuel dans l’Union européenne. « Le Luxembourg donne l’image d’un pays en avance sur les questions de société. C’est un message envoyé à un moment où l’homophobie est en train de monter en Europe » », a insisté Charles Michel, le Premier ministre belge.

Le mariage homosexuel légalisé en 2014. Xavier Bettel et Gauthier Destenay, tous deux en costumes sombres, sont arrivés en marchant, la main dans la main. Deux cent personnes étaient présentes devant l’hôtel de ville de Luxembourg et ont applaudi le couple à son arrivée. Les mariés sont revenus sur le perron pour les saluer après la cérémonie et ont eu droit à un lancer de riz. Le jeune Premier ministre, 42 ans, avait fait savoir en août 2014 son intention de se marier avec Gauthier Destenay, un architecte belge. L’annonce était intervenue deux mois après l’adoption à une très large majorité de la législation autorisant le mariage et l’adoption pour les couples du même sexe au Luxembourg.

« Tu dois être honnête avec toi-même ». Xavier Bettel a été nommé chef du gouvernement fin 2013. Il n’a jamais caché son homosexualité à ses compatriotes. « J’aurais pu le cacher, ou le refouler et être malheureux toute ma vie. J’aurais pu avoir une relation avec quelqu’un de l’autre sexe et avoir des relations homosexuelles en cachette. Mais je me suis dit : si tu veux faire de la politique et être honnête en politique, tu dois être honnête avec toi-même et donc t’accepter toi-même », a-t-il expliqué sur la chaîne de télévision belge RTBF. Le Luxembourgeois n’est cependant pas le Premier chef de gouvernement homosexuel à se marier en Europe. La Première ministre islandaise Johanna Sigurdardottir, au pouvoir depuis 2009, a épousé sa compagne en 2010, mais l’Islande n’est pas membre de l’UE.

Voir de plus:

Exclu Gala – Alex Goude: « Avec Romain, on aime­rait un second enfant »
L’anima­teur raconte son homo­pa­ren­ta­lité
Séverine Servat

Gala

22 mai 2015

Alex Goude, anima­teur de La France a un incroyable talent, dévoile sa vie privée. Comme un acte mili­tant. Avec Romain, son mari et amou­reux depuis cinq ans, ils ont eu un fils, Elliot, né par mère porteuse aux États-unis. Rencontre dans leur home sweet home, à Las Vegas.

Du centre-ville truffé de casi­nos, il faut quinze minutes pour arri­ver devant la maison du trublion de M6 située dans un coquet lotis­se­ment de Las Vegas. Deux voitures, dont une imma­tri­cu­lée au nom de son chien, une piscine entou­rée de palmiers fichés sous le soleil de plomb de la ville, deux chambres d’amis et un écran de télé­vi­sion géant exté­rieur signent l’abou­tis­se­ment du rêve améri­cain d’Alex Goude. Voici deux ans qu’il s’est installé à Las Vegas et prend l’avion pour tour­ner ses émis­sions en France. Dans un tran­sat, son fils Elliot, trois mois. Un tableau ordi­naire, sauf qu’El­liot a la parti­cu­la­rité d’avoir deux papas. Alex est marié à Romain, trente ans, et l’en­fant du couple est né par gesta­tion pour autrui. Cette démarche, inter­dite en France, pousse plus loin le débat autour des droits des homo­sexuels. Que penser de ce tableau de famille 2.0, homo­pa­ren­tal, qui oscille entre conte de fées contem­po­rain et étran­geté assu­mée ? Lorsque la nais­sance s’af­fran­chit des lois de la nature, que reste-t-il de nos repères ? L’ani­ma­teur livre ses convic­tions.

Gala : Pourquoi choi­sir, aujourd’­hui, de parler de votre vie privée ?

Alex Goude : Pour fêter les deux ans du mariage homo­sexuel léga­lisé en avril 2013. Et puis, je suis très heureux, alors ça donne envie de faire bouger les menta­li­tés. Mon mari et moi sommes venus vivre à Las Vegas pour être libres d’avoir l’en­fant que nous n’au­rions pas pu avoir en France. À Paris, on a parfois l’im­pres­sion qu’il ne faut être ni juif ni noir, ni arabe ni homo­sexuel. Je ne supporte plus le refus de l’autre. J’en ai assez qu’on dise à Romain de féli­ci­ter sa femme pour la nais­sance. Moi-même je devrais me taire. Eh bien non. Je le reven­dique : nous sommes deux hommes, nous avons fait un enfant et ça se passe bien.

Gala : S’as­su­mer et s’y tenir, c’est un long chemi­ne­ment ?

A. G. : On n’ima­gine pas à quel point. Jusqu’à vingt-cinq ans, je pensais que j’étais hété­ro­sexuel,  j’avais du succès avec les filles, je devais me fian­cer, avoir des enfants comme tout le monde. Puis tout a basculé.

Gala : Vous avez réalisé que ce ne serait pas votre destin ?

A. G. : Oui, j’ai pris des cours de théâtre et à force d’en­dos­ser des person­na­li­tés diffé­rentes, je me suis libéré. Un jour, j’ai embrassé un homme. Le lende­main, j’ai pleuré toute la jour­née, sous le choc. L’his­toire d’amour a duré six mois. J’ai à nouveau aimé des femmes et puis fina­le­ment mon choix s’est à nouveau porté sur un homme.

Gala : Vous l’avez annoncé à vos parents ?

A. G. : Mon père était tombé dans l’al­cool. On ne se parlait plus (le père d’Alex est décédé des suites de son alcoo­lisme). Pour ma mère, qui m’avait connu hétéro, c’était dur à imagi­ner. J’étais son fils unique, elle a pensé qu’elle ne serait jamais grand-mère. Aujourd’­hui elle est heureuse, la vraie ‘Lady Gaga’, c’est elle.

Gala : Le grand public, lui, n’en a jamais rien su…

A. G. : Ma chaine, M6, en tout cas, est au courant et assume. Je n’au­rais jamais parlé de ma vie privée si je ne rece­vais pas sans arrêt, via les réseaux sociaux, des témoi­gnages de jeunes gays déses­pé­rés.

Gala : Vous les écou­tez?

A. G. : Mieux: je leur réponds. L’ho­mo­sexua­lité est encore lour­de­ment stig­ma­ti­sée. En Espagne en 2005 ou au Portu­gal en 2010, la léga­li­sa­tion du mariage est passée en douceur. En France, le débat a été instru­men­ta­lisé. Les gens sont sortis défi­ler en assu­mant leur homo­pho­bie. A ce moment, des adoles­cents me disaient « mes parents me forcent à mili­ter avec eux, ils ne savent pas que je suis homo ». C’était choquant. Qu’est-ce que les parents d’un enfant de six ans qu’on emmène défi­ler savent de la voie qu’il emprun­tera plus tard? Si je peux montrer qu’on réus­sit à fonder une famille malgré tout, alors je le fais.

Gala : Votre enfant est né d’une mère porteuse. Vous auriez pour­tant pu recou­rir à l’adop­tion…

A.G. : En tant que céli­ba­taire oui, mais pas en tant que couple. Pour être en mesure d’adop­ter, en France, aujourd’­hui, on doit taire son homo­sexua­lité. Je n’avais pas envie de mentir. Et puis c’est vrai que Romain et moi, rêvions d’un lien du sang.

Gala : Vous aviez des exemples autour de vous ?

A.G. : Bien sûr. Au sein du show­biz français, nous ne sommes pas les seuls à avoir eu recours à la gesta­tion pour autrui, mais le sujet est tabou. D’au­tant qu’on doit partir à l’étran­ger pour le faire. Aux États-Unis, où la gesta­tion pour autrui (GPA) est légale, les profes­sion­nels ont plus de vingt-cinq ans de recul sur le sujet. Et les enfants, une fois adultes, vont bien. Nous avons fait appel à une agence sérieuse.

Gala : Pour bien comprendre, quel est le proto­cole à suivre ?

A.G. : On l’a débuté avant même de se marier, en mars 2013. D’abord, il faut répondre à des ques­tions sur son couple avec un psy, une démarche que jamais aucun parent biolo­gique n’a évidem­ment à subir pour mettre au monde un enfant. Puis s’in­for­mer des impli­ca­tions psycho­lo­giques qui sont assez complexes, c’est vrai. Il faut être très clair : deux hommes ne peuvent pas faire un enfant. Le tiers, c’est la mère, et on doit respec­ter son rôle. On choi­sit alors une donneuse d’ovule, et une mère porteuse, qui est une personne diffé­rente de la donneuse d’ovule.

Gala : A ce moment, quels ont été vos critères de choix?

A. G. : Romain et moi avons choisi la donneuse qui parais­sait le mieux dans sa peau. Ensuite, nous avons aussi choisi, par goût, une personne aux yeux bleus (ndlr : Elliot a les yeux clairs) comme plusieurs personnes de nos familles respec­tives. C’est une jeune femme qui travaille dans la mode, une yuppie, qui a déjà donné ses ovules à deux autres couples. Elle est dans une démarche altruiste.

Gala : Mais la mère porteuse, elle fait ça pour l’argent, non?

A. G. : Le recours à la GPA pour un couple coûte très cher, mais dans tout le proces­sus, celle qui touche le moins d’argent, c’est la mère porteuse. Elle gagne moins que l’avo­cat, le méde­cin ou l’agence. La nôtre est noire – déjà maman parce que c’est la condi­tion pour porter le bébé d’un autre – et suit des études de psy. Elle avait déjà porté un enfant pour un autre couple. Nous sommes deve­nus amis après avoir commu­niqué avec elle par Skype tout le temps de la gros­sesse. D’après les psys, l’enfant, plus tard, est moins atta­ché à la donneuse d’ovule qu’à la mère porteuse. Cette dernière nous a déjà dit qu’elle voudrait porter notre deuxième enfant. Je comprends le débat autour de la marchan­di­sa­tion des corps, mais dans les faits, ça ne se passe pas comme ça.

Gala : Comment vos voisins prennent-ils votre famille atypique?

A. G. : Sans préju­gés. On se reçoit les uns les autres pour des barbe­cues. Et nous veillons à garder des réfé­rents fémi­nins avec ma mère, celle de Romain, ma tante et sa fille, qui habitent près de chez nous à Las Vegas.

Gala : Comment envi­sa­gez-vous la suite ?

A.G. : On n’a pas voulu savoir si Elliot est mon fils ou celui de Romain. Mais on aime­rait avoir un second enfant et qu’il soit de l’autre papa, c’est ce qu’on a demandé au méde­cin.

Gala : Vous n’avez pas l’im­pres­sion de propo­ser une sorte de monde virtuel, de labo­ra­toire expé­ri­men­tal ?

A.G. : Ecou­tez, pour être clair, quand on est là en train de se tripo­ter devant une éprou­vette pour avoir un bébé alors que c’est tout simple pour les hété­ros, bien sûr, on voit bien que ce n’est pas natu­rel. Mais dans 99% des cas, les psys disent que ce que l’en­fant retient, in fine, c’est la volonté farouche qu’ont eue ses parents de l’avoir.

Voir aussi:

En Allemagne, une femme de 65 ans, mère de 13 enfants, donne naissance à des quadruplés
AFP/ RTL

23 mai 2015

Une Allemande de 65 ans, mère de 13 enfants et grand-mère de 7 petits-enfants, a accouché de quadruplés « pas complètement développés » à Berlin, un cas controversé mêlant médecine et téléréalité qui relance le débat sur les grossesses tardives.

Annegret Raunigk, qui a procédé à des fécondations in vitro en Ukraine, est désormais la mère de quadruplés la plus âgée au monde, selon la chaîne de télévision RTL, détentrice des droits exclusifs sur cette grossesse hors normes.

Les bébés prématurés, trois garçons et une fille, sont nés mardi par césarienne, après seulement 26 semaines de grossesse. Ils ont été placés en couveuse mais ont « de bonnes chances de survivre », selon un communiqué de RTL.

« Toutefois, les bébés, par comparaison avec une naissance normale dans la 40e semaine de grossesse, ne sont pas encore développés complètement. D’éventuelles complications ne peuvent donc pas être complètement exclues », poursuit la chaîne.

Annegret Raunigk, enseignante d’anglais et de russe qui doit prendre sa retraite à l’automne, avait effectué de multiples tentatives en Ukraine avec un donneur et une donneuse anonymes. La dernière tentative s’est avéré un succès puisque les quatre ovules implantés avaient été fécondés.

Malgré des conditions exceptionnelles, « la grossesse s’est déroulée étonnement sans problèmes », assure RTL, sur la foi des témoignages de médecins qui l’ont prise en charge.

Cette femme élégante, les cheveux roux et une fine paire de lunettes sur les yeux, n’en est pas à sa première grossesse tardive. En 2005, alors âgée de « seulement » 55 ans, elle avait mis au monde une petite fille.

C’est d’ailleurs pour répondre au souhait de sa dernière fille d’avoir un petit frère ou une petite sœur qu’elle a décidé de retenter une insémination artificielle, a-t-elle expliqué. Nés de 5 pères différents, les autres enfants d’Annegret Raunigk ont déjà tous quitté le domicile maternel.

Avant même de naître, Neeta (655 g, 30 cm), Dries (960 g, 35 cm), Bence (680 g, 32 cm) et Fjonn (745 g, 32,5 cm) ont suscité un vif intérêt médiatique en Allemagne. Il faut dire que la chaîne de télévision privée, qui diffuse nombre d’émissions de téléréalité et de télécrochet, s’est assuré les droits exclusifs sur cette histoire rocambolesque.

C’est la chaîne qui avait d’ailleurs révélé cette grossesse en avril.

Après avoir suivi Annegret Raunigk ces derniers mois sous la forme d’un « journal de grossesse », RTL a promis de poursuivre l’histoire, même si elle assure qu’aucun tournage n’a eu lieu dans l’hôpital où sont nés les bébés.

La chaîne a également précisé que la mère ne répondrait à aucune demande d’interview d’autres médias.

Lors de la révélation de cette grossesse extraordinaire, la Berlinoise n’avait accordé d’entretien qu’à la chaîne RTL et au quotidien à grand tirage Bild qui l’avait fait poser en Une sous le titre: « J’ai 65 ans et j’attends des quadruplés ».

Annegret Raunigk n’en est pas à sa première coopération avec le groupe RTL. Il y a dix ans, elle avait déjà négocié un contrat d’exclusivité avec la chaîne et le journal Bild pour la naissance de sa fille.

Interviewée en avril, la Berlinoise avait balayé les critiques sur son manque de responsabilité, notamment sur le fait qu’elle aura plus de 70 ans quand les enfants entreront à l’école. « On ne peut jamais savoir ce qui va se passer. Il peut aussi se passer des choses à 20 ans », avait-elle argumenté, affirmant que c’était à chacun de décider pour soi-même de devenir parent.

« Les enfants me permettent de rester jeune », avait-elle lancé.

Ces dernières années, plusieurs cas de grossesse tardive ont attiré l’attention, notamment en Italie. En Allemagne, la chanteuse italienne très populaire Gianna Nannini avait aussi retenu l’attention en 2010 en mettant au monde une petite fille à l’âge de 56 ans.

Voir également:

Mère de quadruplés à 65 ans  : l’indignation du professeur Nisand
Une femme de 65 ans, ayant recours à une fécondation in-vitro en Ukraine, a donné naissance à quatre enfants prématurés en Allemagne. «  Il ne faut surtout pas y voir un exploit. On est juste dans la médecine du fric et de l’irresponsabilité » , dénonce  le professeur Israël Nisand , chef du pôle de gynécologie-obstétrique du CHRU de Strasbourg,

La Croix

23/5/15

Le professeur Israël Nisand dénonce avec force le recours à une fécondation in vitro chez cette femme de 65 ans, mère de quadruplés.

« Science sans conscience n’est que ruine de l’âme ». Chef du pôle de gynécologie-obstétrique du CHRU de Strasbourg, le professeur Israël Nisand cite spontanément Rabelais pour exprimer sa consternation après l’annonce, samedi 23 mai, de l’accouchement d’une Allemande de 65 ans, qui a mis au monde quatre enfants très prématurés. Le cas de cette sexagénaire, Annegret Raunigk, déjà mère de 13 enfants et grand-mère de 7 petits-enfants, avait défrayé la chronique en avril lors de l’annonce de sa grossesse. Après cet accouchement, elle est désormais la mère de quadruplés la plus âgée au monde. «  Il ne faut surtout pas y voir un exploit, ni un record à célébrer. Et les médecins, qui l’ont aidé dans cette démarche, n’ont pas de quoi être fiers. On est juste dans le champ de la médecine du fric et de l’irresponsabilité  », s’agace le professeur Nisand.

«  Ils iront à l’école avec une mère qui aura plus de 70 ans »
Les bébés prématurés, trois garçons et une fille, sont nés mardi par césarienne, après seulement 26 semaines de grossesse. Ils sont dans en situation de grande prématurité et ont été placés en couveuse. « Une naissance à 26 semaines de grossesse expose les enfants à des handicaps qui peuvent être lourds. Et même si tout se passe bien pour eux, il faut songer à leur vie plus tard », explique le professeur Nisand. «  Ils iront à l’école avec une mère qui aura plus de 70 ans », ajoute-il. Interviewée en avril sur ce thème, Annegret Raunigk, avait rejeté les critiques sur son manque de responsabilité « On ne peut jamais savoir ce qui va se passer. Il peut aussi se passer des choses à 20 ans », avait-elle estimé affirmant que c’était à chacun de décider pour soi-même de devenir parent. « Les enfants me permettent de rester jeune », avait-elle ajouté.

Un enfant après 40 ans
Une fécondation in-vitro en Ukraine
Cette enseignante d’anglais et de russe, qui doit prendre sa retraite à l’automne, s’est rendue en Ukraine pour de multiples tentatives de fécondation in-vitro avec un donneur et une donneuse anonymes. La dernière tentative s’est avérée être un succès puisque les quatre ovules implantés ont été fécondés. « Il n’existe malheureusement aucune réglementation internationale permettant d’éviter ce type de bavures médicales, indique le professeur Nisand. On arrive forcément à des dérives quand la médecine emprunte des chemins dévoyés et que des praticiens se comportent comme des prestataires de service avec pour seul principe que celui ou celle qui paie peut tout avoir  ».

Des pays connus pour accepter ces pratiques
Selon le professeur Nisand, plusieurs pays sont connus pour abriter certains médecins qui acceptent de favoriser ces grossesses tardives via les techniques d’assistance médicale à la procréation. «  C’est le cas de l’Ukraine, de la Grèce et surtout de la Turquie. Sinon, il y a aussi l’Inde où quelques médecins peuvent accepter de faire des choses très déraisonnables », indique le médecin, en se félicitant de l’existence en France des lois de bioéthiques qui s’opposent à ces pratiques.

En France, des techniques réservées aux couples « en âge de procréer »
En France, les techniques d’assistances médicales à la procréation (AMP) sont réservées aux couples confrontées à une infertilité médicalement constatée ou pour éviter la transmission d’une maladie grave. La loi ne fixe pas un âge limite précis au delà duquel il n’est plus possible de bénéficier de ces techniques. Elle stipule simplement que le couple (un homme et une femme) doit être en « âge de procréer ». Ce sont donc les médecins qui décident à partir de ce critère. Une autre limite est le fait que l’assurance-maladie ne prend pas en charge une fécondation in-vitro pour une femme au delà de l’âge de 43 ans. Les médecins, en pratique, ne prennent pas non plus en charge les couples dans lesquels l’homme à dépassé 60 ans.

En 2009, une mère de triplés à 59 ans à Paris
En France, ce débat sur les grossesses tardives, favorisées par la médecine, s’était posé en septembre 2008. Une femme de 59 ans avait alors donné naissance à Paris à trois enfants, conçus via une FIV au Vietnam. L’implantation de ces trois embryons avait été, à l’époque, qualifiée de « faute médicale », par le professeur René Frydman, interrogé par la Croix, « Néanmoins, nos services accueillent de plus en plus souvent des femmes enceintes de 45 ans ou plus Elles se rendent principalement en Espagne ou en Belgique, là où le don d’ovocyte est plus répandu puisqu’il est rémunéré 900 €, ou encore en Grèce, à Chypre ou en Ukraine », expliquait alors le célèbre gynécologue-obstétricien, alors chef de service à la maternité de l’hôpital Antoine-Béclère à Clamart.

Voir encore:

L’autoconservation des ovocytes ou la tentation de s’affranchir du temps
Aux États-Unis, les entreprises Apple et Facebook ont annoncé qu’elles couvriraient les frais engagés par leurs salariées qui souhaitent reporter leur projet de grossesse au-delà de 40 ans en ayant recours à la congélation de leurs ovocytes. Une possibilité interdite en France, mais réclamée par certains.

Flore Thomasset

La Croix

27/10/14

Aux États-Unis, certains n’hésitent pas à parler d’une «révolution» comparable à celle que fut, dans les années 1970, l’arrivée de la pilule. L’autoconservation des ovocytes permet à une jeune femme de faire prélever ses ovocytes, notamment quand sa fertilité est maximum, vers 20 ou 30ans, puis de les congeler. Plus tard, vers 40 ou 50ans, elle pourra les faire décongeler, féconder in vitro puis se les voir réimplanter pour commencer sa grossesse.

La technique est pratiquée depuis plusieurs années outre-Atlantique, où elle est en vogue. Mais deux grandes entreprises, Facebook et Apple, viennent d’y apporter un nouvel élan, en annonçant, comme d’autres avant elles, qu’elles prendraient en charge à hauteur de 20000 dollars (16 000€) les traitements contre l’infertilité de leurs salarié(e)s, y compris l’autoconservation des ovocytes  (lire La Croix du 20 octobre)  .

À l’heure où l’âge du premier enfant ne cesse de reculer, où les relations amoureuses sont de plus en plus chaotiques et les ruptures tardives, les femmes y ayant recours se disent libérées de la pression de «l’horloge biologique» et de l’obligation, à 30 ou 35ans, de trouver «absolument» un père pour leur enfant. Surtout, les trentenaires entendent ainsi s’investir pleinement dans leur vie professionnelle, sans être freinées dans leur ascension par la maternité : plutôt que de choisir entre l’une et l’autre, elle diffère la seconde. Les entreprises, évidemment, y trouvent aussi leur compte.

Combien de femmes ont déjà eu recours à cette technique, autorisée aux États-Unis, mais aussi en Espagne, en Belgique, en Italie ? Dans la presse américaine, médecins et laboratoires parlent de 2 000 à 5 000 bébés nés. Dans un article publié dans BusinessWeek en avril, le New York University Fertility Center assurait procéder à 5 à 10ponctions par semaine.

En 2013, l’autoconservation représentait le tiers de leur «business». Car c’est bien de cela qu’il s’agit : aux États-Unis, l’ensemble de la procédure (stimulation hormonale, suivi médical, ponction des ovocytes, vitrification) coûte entre 10 000 et 15 000 dollars (entre 7 900 € et 11 800€), auxquels il faut ajouter 500 à 1000 dollars (393€ à 786€) par an pour la conservation. Sur une dizaine d’années (prélèvement avant 35ans, grossesse avant 45ans), le procédé revient donc très cher.

Et en France, qu’en est-il ? L’autoconservation «sociétale» ou «pour convenance» est interdite. En revanche, elle est autorisée pour raisons médicales, depuis la loi de bioéthique de 2011. Ainsi, elle est régulièrement pratiquée quand une femme est soumise à des traitements qui peuvent rendre infertiles, comme une chimiothérapie. La loi autorise aussi l’autoconservation pour les femmes donnant leurs ovocytes : une partie du prélèvement est donnée, l’autre est conservée pour son propre et éventuel futur usage. Cette mesure, qui n’est cependant pas appliquée faute de décret, a été décidée pour favoriser le don d’ovocytes, qui connaît une pénurie en France.

Pour le Collège national des gynécologues et obstétriciens français (CNGOF), l’autoconservation ne peut être un élément de marchandage en échange du don, elle doit être ouverte à toutes les femmes.

En décembre 2012, le CNGOF a officiellement pris position en ce sens, estimant que cette technique est, «avec le don d’ovocytes, la seule méthode de traitement de l’infertilité réellement efficace à 40 ans et plus». «Il y a un fait de société majeur et largement sous-estimé qui est le retard de la procréation, explique son président, Bernard Hédon. Nous ne cessons de recevoir dans nos cabinets des femmes de 40 ans passés qui, bien qu’elles aient su qu’il ne fallait pas trop attendre pour concevoir, n’ont pas pu le faire avant. On les engage alors dans des processus de FIV (fécondation in vitro) complexes, coûteux et qui sont loin de donner toujours des résultats.»

Plus qu’une affaire de relations ou de carrière, c’est selon lui, plus globalement, une question de mentalité : «Aujourd’hui, quand une femme de 25 ans devient enceinte, on lui dit qu’elle est bien jeune pour cela, remarque-t-il. Or, c’est pourtant le bon âge, d’un point de vue biologique. Le message essentiel doit d’ailleurs rester : “Faites des enfants jeunes.” Car la congélation n’offre aucune garantie de grossesse : ce n’est qu’une aide, limitée, quand on n’a pas pu faire autrement.»

Sauf que pour beaucoup de médecins, l’ouverture de cette technique pour convenance envoie justement un message contradictoire. Elle risque de favoriser les grossesses tardives, au-delà de 43ans, à haut risque pour la mère et l’enfant : fausse couche, diabète gestationnel, hypertension… Une des questions posées par cette technique est d’ailleurs : jusqu’à quel âge réimplanterait-on l’ovocyte fécondé ? Des exemples extrêmes de mères accouchant à 60 ans font régulièrement la une des journaux. Le CNGOF, lui, fixe une limite à 45ans, voire 50ans pour une femme qui ne cumule aucun autre facteur de risque.

«On crée l’illusion que la science peut tout, que l’on peut avoir un enfant à n’importe quel âge, alors que la procréation est quand même un processus naturel, déplore Louis Bujan, président de la fédération des Centres d’études et de conservation des œufs et du sperme (Cecos). On crée des besoins qui n’existent pas : certes, l’âge de la maternité recule, mais il y a encore de la marge avant d’en arriver à ces âges-là. Plutôt que d’abonder dans ce sens, il faudrait se poser la question de savoir pourquoi les femmes reculent leurs projets de maternité.»

En janvier 2013, la fédération a pris position contre l’autoconservation pour convenance, insistant notamment sur la question du coût et de la prise en charge : «Cela pose un vrai problème éthique, poursuit Louis Bujan. Étant donné le coût, que l’on pourrait estimer à 3000€ en France, hors fécondation in vitro et réimplantation, toutes les femmes n’y auront pas accès. Faut-il que la Sécurité sociale le prenne en charge ? Et si oui, au détriment de quel autre remboursement ?»

C’est ainsi un véritable choix de société qui est en jeu. L’Observatoire de la parentalité en entreprise ne s’y est pas trompé, son président, Jérôme Ballarin, se disant «choqué» par l’annonce de Facebook et Apple : «C’est en réorganisant la vie professionnelle autour de la vie privée et non en faisant l’inverse que nous construirons une société équitable et épanouie», a-t-il jugé dans un communiqué. Quant à la ministre de la santé, Marisol Touraine, elle a estimé que «le débat est un débat médical, éthique, ça n’est certainement pas un débat pour directeurs de ressources humaines».

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CE QUE DIT LA LOI BIOÉTHIQUE
En juillet 2011, la révision de loi de bioéthique autorise, en France, «la technique de congélation ultra-rapide des ovocytes». En France, le premier bébé conçu après cette technique naît le 4 mars 2012.
Quand une femme donne ses ovocytes, une partie de la ponction peut être conservée pour usage propre : «Lorsqu’il est majeur, le donneur peut ne pas avoir procréé. Il se voit alors proposer le recueil et la conservation d’une partie de ses gamètes (…) en vue d’une éventuelle réalisation ultérieure, à son bénéfice, d’une assistance médicale à la procréation».
En France, le don d’ovocytes souffre d’une pénurie: en 2012, 422 femmes ont fait un don pour près de 800 fécondations in vitro réalisées ; 2 110 couples étaient en attente d’un don d’ovocytes; 164 enfants sont nés suite à une PMA avec un don.

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Sci/Tech/Health Journalism Ethics News :
Daily Media Pick
Same Sex Marriage Study: At least 12 News Outlets retract or add Editor’s Note
Sydney Smith
iMediaethics

May 20, 2015

Since the news broke that a study on same-sex marriage published last year in Science may be based on fabricated information, most of the news outlets that reported on the study have warned readers about the problems with the study they covered.

As iMediaEthics previously reported, one of the study’s co-authors Donald Green issued a retraction request after saying he learned there were problems with his co-author Michael LaCour’s work. While LaCour hasn’t spoken out yet and said he is still working on a response, Green said at first LaCour « confessed to falsely describing at least some of the details of data collection, » Retraction Watch reported. LaCour later said he didn’t fabricate and that instead he can’t find research evidence to support his study.

The discovery was made when two graduate students tried to further the research and encountered problems. For example, when they went to Qualtrics, the company who LaCour said he got the survey data from, Qualtrics said it couldn’t find that data.

A spokesperson for UCLA, where LaCour is a Ph.D. candidate, told iMediaEthics: « UCLA expects its students to demonstrate integrity in all academic endeavors.  UCLA is reviewing allegations regarding data published by UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour.  UCLA will assess these allegations pursuant to UCLA policy and in a manner that provides due process to Mr. LaCour. »

Below, see a collection of editor’s notes added to news reports because of the questions raised by the study.

1. The Washington Post has added an editor’s note to its story: « Editor’s Note: Since the publication of this post on a study examining how easily people’s minds can be changed concerning same-sex marriage, a co-author has disavowed its findings. Donald P. Green is seeking a retraction of the study from the journal Science, which originally published the research. » Science told iMediaEthics it is reviewing the case.

2. US News added this editor’s note to its Dec. 22, 2014 story that reads: « Editor’s Note: The data used in the study recently were found to have been falsified, » linking to its report on the debunking

3. This American Life retracted its report on the Science study. « Our original story was based on what was known at the time, » This American Life‘s Ira Glass wrote in part. « Obviously the facts have changed. We’ll update today as we learn more. The apparent fakery was discovered by researchers at UC Berkeley and Stanford who tried to replicate the findings in the original study. How they figured it out is a great story in itself. »

4. New York Magazine‘s Dec. 11, 2014 story, « A 20-Minute Chat with a Gay Person Made People Much More Supportive of Gay Marriage » now has this note: « (UPDATE: This study has been retracted by Science. Science of Us has posted an explanation here.) »

5. Bloomberg tacked on an editor’s note to its Oct. 6 story, « How do you Change Someone’s Mind About Abortion? Tell Them You Had One. » That reads:

« EDITOR’S NOTE, May 20, 2015: The findings from the field experiment on attitudes toward gay marriage conducted by UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour described below—which were published in the journal Science two months after Bloomberg Politics reported on the research—have been called into question by co-author Don Green, who yesterday requested that the journal retract the article. ‘Michael LaCour’s failure to produce the raw data,’ Green wrote to the journal’s editors, ‘undermines the credibility of the findings.' »

6. BuzzFeed added an editor’s note to its Dec. 11, 2014 story, « Scientists Report Gay People are the Best at Changing Minds on Marriage Equality. » It states: [Update: The study described in the article below was retracted in May 2015 after the lead author said his co-author faked data. BuzzFeed News reports here.]

7. Business Insider‘s May 12, 2015 story, « How to convince anyone to change their mind on a divisive issue in just 22 minutes — with science, » has this update.  « *Update 5/20: While trying to follow up on the study cited in the story below, researchers have found that some of the data in the original study was falsified. The authors say they’ve requested that the paper be retracted from the journal Science. »

8. Vox retracted its story on the study earlier today, warning readers « don’t believe » it.

9. The New York Times added an editor’s note to its two stories on the study, a spokesperson for the newspaper told iMediaEthics. The editor’s note on The New York Times‘ Dec. 12, 2014 story, « Gay Advocates Can Shift Same-Sex Marriage Views, »  and the New York Times’ Dec. 18 story, « How Same Sex Marriage Effort Found a Way Around Polarization » reads:

« An article on Dec. 12, 2014, reported on a study published by the journal Science that said gay political canvassers could change conservative voters’ views on gay marriage by having a brief face-to-face discussion about the issue. The editor in chief of the journal said on Wednesday that the senior author of the study had now asked that the report be retracted because of the failure of his fellow author to produce data supporting the findings. »

New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan told iMediaEthics she doesn’t plan to address this issue in her blogs or columns and pointed us to the Times‘ PR.

10. The Los Angeles Times added a note to its Dec. 12, 2014 article « Doorstep visits change attitudes on gay marriage. » That update, at the bottom of the article, states: « May 20, 2015: Science published an ‘Expression of Concern’ about the study reported on here. ‘Serious questions have been raised about the validity’ of the report, which claimed that skeptics of same-sex marriage could be persuaded to accept it after talking with a gay lobbyist for 20 minutes. One of the study’s co-authors, Donald Green, said he no longer has confidence in the data and has requested that the study be retracted. Read our full story here. »

The Los Angeles Times also posted a follow-up story on the news, a spokesperson for the newspaper told iMediaEthics.

11. Mother Jones added an update to its Dec. 18, 2014 story, « How a 20-Minute Conversation Can Convince People with Anti-Gay Views to Change Their Mind, a spokesperson for the magazine told iMediaEthics. The update reads: « The following study was retracted following allegations the data had been faked by a co-author. « I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science, » author Columbia University political science professor Donald Green said. The original article follows but be forewarned that its contents are no longer credible given this revelation. »

12. The Wall Street Journal posted this « note to readers » on its Feb. 25, 2015 story, « Gay Marriage: How to Change Minds. »

« NOTE TO READERS: According to an Associated Press report, data in the Science magazine study to which the article below alludes have come under question, as one of the authors of the study has asked the magazine to retract it. Read the article. »

UCLA and Columbia issued a press release last year touting the study.  iMediaEthics has written to Columbia for comment.

Other outlets that reported on the study without adding a flag to readers about the study’s retraction request as of 3 PM EST are:

UPDATED: 5/20/2015 5:57 PM EST Added responses from UCLA, additional info from the New York Times

UPDATED: 5/20/2015 8:32 PM EST Added response from the Los Angeles Times

UPDATED: 5/21/2015 12:42 PM EST Updated with notes from Mother Jones and Wall Street Journal

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Des poupées sexuelles touchantes

  21/05/2015

ART – Voilà une artiste dont les muses sont assez surprenantes. À travers une série de clichés, la photographe new-yorkaise Stacy Leigh a souhaité montrer que des poupées sexuelles en caoutchouc pouvaient être touchantes.

Si à première vue, les images peuvent paraître glamour et sexy, il suffit de les observer de plus près pour que cette dimension charmante s’amenuise. Le maquillage, les vêtements et la position des poupées… Tout est mis en scène pour qu’elles ressemblent le plus possible à de véritables femmes.

À l’origine, ces poupées pour adulte grandeur nature sont conçues pour donner du plaisir, mais elles servent aussi à apporter de la compagnie. Stacy Leigh l’explique elle-même au site du Mirror: « L’homme et la femme utilisent tous les deux ces poupées pour remplacer un compagnon humain, que ce soit par choix ou par nécessité. Je pense qu’il n’y a aucun inconvénient à cela, surtout si les journées en deviennent plus supportables ». Au total, Stacy Leigh en possède 12, qui valent chacune 4000 livres sterling (5630.80 euros).

Si la série de photos s’intitule « Américains moyens« , c’est parce que l’artiste de 43 ans tient à interpréter une certaine réalité selon laquelle les humains artificiels finiront par faire partie de notre quotidien.

« Mes photos concernent la vie, les relations amoureuses et la sexualité. Les poupées repoussent certaines personnes, tandis que d’autres sont empathiques envers elle. Au fur et à mesure que le monde devient plus numérique et moins personnel, il sera de plus en plus banal que des poupées et des robots soient utilisés en tant que substituts pour les relations amoureuses. Je peux uniquement espérer que mes photos déclenchent une émotion ou une connexion chez le spectateur« .

Celle qui s’auto-décrit comme une « peintre frustrée » raconte comment elle en est arrivée à utiliser des poupées gonflables comme modèles il y a 10 ans, après avoir regardé une série documentaire télévisée sur HBO, « Real Sex« . Au départ, elle reconnaît que c’était plutôt effrayant.

« Elles avaient un effet étrange sur moi. J’étais empathique à leur égard parce qu’elles avaient l’air si réelles, mais je me suis aussi sentie très mal à l’aide, je sentais qu’elles étaient en train de m’observer », confie-t-elle à nos confrères du Huffington Post américain. Avant d’ajouter: « J’ai ressenti le besoin de montrer à quoi elles ressembleraient si elles étaient intégrées dans notre société ».

Jusqu’ici, les poupées gonflables sexuelles n’avaient rien d’humain. Mais plus elles deviennent réalistes, plus leur popularité augmente. « Les clients peuvent choisir de personnaliser absolument tout, qu’il s’agisse de la couleur des cheveux, des yeux et de la peau, de la taille des seins, et même de la forme et du style du vagin », peut-on ainsi lire sur le DailyMail. Inquiétant, vous avez dit?

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Dans un accord bilatéral, le Saint-Siège reconnaît « l’Etat de Palestine »
Sixtine Dechancé
La Vie

13/05/2015

Dans un accord bilatéral conclu ce 13 mai avec la Palestine, le Saint-Siège reconnaît clairement « l’État de Palestine ». La signature définitive du texte, qui établit une reconnaissance juridique de l’Eglise catholique dans les territoires palestiniens, devrait avoir lieu dans les jours à venir.

Le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas sera en effet présent au Vatican les 16 et 17 mai, où il assistera à la canonisation de deux palestiniennes, la carmélite Mariam Bawardi et Soeur Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas, co-fondatrice de la congrégation des Soeurs du Rosaire. Toutes deux nées au XIXe siècle, elles deviendront les premières saintes palestiniennes de l’époque contemporaine. Le patriarche latin de Jérusalem, Mgr Fouad Twal, a souligné l’importance de cet événement, « signe d’espoir » pour la Terre Sainte et le Moyen-Orient « déchirés par la guerre ».

Le texte, qui attend encore d’être signé, est le fruit d’un long travail entre le Saint-Siège et l’autorité palestinienne, depuis l’accord initial qui les a liés en février 2000. Il s’agissait alors de garantir sur le territoire palestinien la liberté de religion et l’égalité devant la loi des institutions et des fidèles de toutes confessions, ainsi que le libre accès aux lieux saints. Ces dispositions sont renforcées dans le nouvel accord, qui permettra à l’Église, selon Mgr Antoine Camilleri, sous-secrétaire pour les relations avec les États, « d’assurer un service plus efficace à la société ».

La référence explicite à « l’État de Palestine » n’est pas une nouveauté pour le Saint-Siège, qui employait déjà cette expression dans ses communiqués diplomatiques depuis 2012 et plaide depuis longtemps pour la « solution des deux Etats ». Néanmoins, le texte de cet accord bilatéral est appelé à faire jurisprudence.

« Il peut être suivi par d’autres pays, même ceux à majorité musulmane, et il montre qu’une telle reconnaissance [de l’Église] n’est pas incompatible avec le fait que la majorité de la population du pays appartient à une autre religion », a assuré Mgr Camilleri dans une interview à L’Osservatore Romano, le quotidien du Vatican.

Pour François Mabille, spécialiste de la géopolitique vaticane, l’accord est à replacer dans le contexte de crise que subissent les chrétiens au Moyen-Orient : « Une reconnaissance de l’Etat de Palestine par le Saint-Siège est un signe fort envoyé aux pays musulmans. C’est un appel à l’apaisement », interprète-t-il. Bien que la démarche s’inscrive dans la continuité de la politique internationale vaticane, le chercheur y voit une nouveauté : « En règle générale, le Saint-Siège reconnaît des pays qui l’ont déjà été par la communauté internationale et les grandes puissances. C’est bien le style du pape François de bousculer ainsi les habitudes. »

Soulignant dans L’Osservatore Romano « le souhait d’une résolution de la question palestinienne et du conflit israélo-palestinien dans le cadre de la solution des deux Etats », Mgr Antoine Camilleri rappelle également qu’un seul de ces deux Etats existe pour le moment  (Israël). Il réaffirme le souhait du Saint-Siège de voir « l’établissement et la reconnaissance d’un Etat palestinien indépendant, souverain et démocratique ».

Dans le quotidien israélien Haaretz, un membre du ministère des Affaires étrangères critique ce geste du Vatican : « Israël est déçu d’apprendre la décision du Saint-Siège de valider un texte d’accord qui mentionne le terme d' »Etat de Palestine » ». « Ce geste ne fait pas avancer le processus de paix, et éloigne même les autorités palestiniennes d’un retour à des négociations directes et bilatérales. Israël va examiner cet accord et étudier une réaction proportionnée », ajoute-t-il.

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Exclusive: Obama to back Palestinian state at Security Council – payback for Israel’s right-wing cabinet
DEBKA file

May 6, 2015

US President Barack Obama did not wait for Binyamin Netanyahu to finish building his new government coalition by its deadline at midnight Wednesday, May 6, before going into action to pay him back for forming a right-wing cabinet minus any moderate figure for resuming negotiations with the Palestinians.

Banking on Netanyahu’s assertion while campaigning for re-election that there would be no Palestinian state during his term in office, Obama is reported exclusively by our sources to have given the hitherto withheld green light to European governments to file a UN Security Council motion proclaiming an independent Palestinian state. Although Netanyahu left the foreign affairs portfolio in his charge and available to be filled by a suitably moderate figure as per the White House’s expectations did not satisfy the US President.

The White House is confident that, with the US voting in favor, the motion will be passed by an overwhelming majority and therefore be binding on the Israeli government.

To show the administration was in earnest, senior US officials sat down with their French counterparts in Paris last week to sketch out the general outline of this motion. According to our sources, they began addressing such questions as the area of the Palestinian state, its borders, security arrangements between Israel and the Palestinians and whether or not to set a hard-and-fast timeline for implementation, or phrase the resolution as  a general declaration of intent.

Incorporating a target date in the language would expose Israel to Security Council sanctions for non-compliance.
It was indicated by the American side in Paris that the Obama administration would prefer to give Netanyahu a lengthy though predetermined time scale to reconsider his Palestinian policy or even possibly to broaden and diversify his coalition by introducing non-aligned factions or figures into such key posts as foreign affairs.
At the same time, both American and French diplomats are already using the club they propose to hang over the Netanyahu government’s head for gains in other spheres.

French President Francois Hollande, for instance, the first foreign leader ever to attend a Gulf Council of Cooperation summit, which opened in Riyadh Tuesday to discuss Iran and the Yemen war, used the opportunity to brief Gulf Arab rulers on Washington’s turnaround on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

And US Secretary of State John Kerry plans to present the Obama administration’s new plans for Palestinian statehood to Saudi leaders during his visit to Riyadh Wednesday and Thursday, May 6-7. Kerry will use Washington’s willingness to meet Palestinian aspirations as currency for procuring Saudi and Gulf support for a Yemen ceasefire and their acceptance of the nuclear deal shaping up with Iran.

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Le règne de la vertu – La dictature de Robespierre
Louis Madelin
Revue des Deux Mondes tome 1, 1911

Le 16 germinal an II, Jacques Danton montait à l’échafaud avec ses « complices ; » le 4 du même mois, Jacques Hébert et sa « bande » avaient péri. Seuls, depuis le lamentable effondrement des Girondins, Hébert et Danton gênaient, à des degrés divers, l’omnipotence de Robespierre. Leur sang semblait donc pour longtemps cimenter le pouvoir de Maximilien et je peux dire son sacerdoce ; ce sang impur n’était-il pas offert en holocauste à l’Etre Suprême, trop longtemps offensé par l’athéisme et l’immoralité de ces scélérats ? Les « victoires » du 4 au 16 germinal, ne nous y trompons point, ne sont pas seulement celles d’un homme, ni même d’une politique : voyons-y le passager triomphe d’une secte religieuse. Désormais la « Vertu » l’emporte et, avec elle, Dieu ressuscita. Jusqu’au 9 thermidor, quatre mois durant, la France va connaître le gouvernement le plus singulier et d’ailleurs le plus effroyable, celui qui fera rouler des têtes au nom d’une mission divine.

I
Certes, depuis plus de huit mois, Robespierre semblait l’homme le plus puissant du pays. Après avoir, avec l’appui de Danton, précipité les Girondins du pouvoir, il avait, le 10 juillet 1793, fait éliminer Danton du Comité de Salut public où un instant celui-ci avait paru régner ; Maximilien y avait prudemment, — c’était sa façon, — fait entrer ses amis, puis le 27 juillet, la majorité lui étant assurée, s’y était fait élire. Et depuis lors, il semblait, de cette célèbre salle verte du Pavillon de Flore, où besognait le terrible Comité, dominer la Convention et le pays.

Il s’en fallait cependant qu’avant le printemps de 1794, il pût tout diriger. Il avait dû assister presque impuissant aux « intrigues des factions » et presque à leur triomphe. Plusieurs fois, la Convention avait failli faire rentrer Danton au Comité et sa faction d’indulgens ; par ailleurs, Maximilien avait dû, la rage au cœur, accepter cet opprobre : le triomphe momentané de la faction des exagérés, ces Hébertistes transgressant les dogmes qui lui étaient chers et froissant ses sentimens les plus intimes. Enfin, des provinces où ils desservaient sa politique, les proconsuls l’avaient presque bravé, des « pourris » par surcroît, que son incorruptibilité vomissait et que soutenaient les « factions » de Paris.

Le « règne de la Vertu » ne s’établit donc pas en un jour et il importe de voir de quelle réaction la redoutable dictature parut le fruit : l’Eglise robespierriste avait été militante et même souffrante, avant d’être, pour une heure, triomphante.

Eglise ! Le mot s’impose à nous, mais il avait déjà cours. Son chef et ses apôtres suffisent à marquer d’un caractère vraiment sacerdotal cette singulière confrérie.

Interrogeait-on sur Robespierre un des séides qui l’entouraient, il répondait : Maximilien est l’homme de la vertu.

Il était l’homme de la vertu : probe, chaste, moral, il avait, de l’aveu de Danton, étonné, « peur de l’argent ; » il avait plus peur encore de la femme, et, en ayant la peur, il en avait la haine. Cette phobie était avérée : si, en décembre 1793, une « patriote » pourtant pure, Emilie Laroche, plaide près de lui la cause de Hérault de Séchelles, on écrit : « Il n’y fera pas attention : c’est d’une femme. » Bien au contraire, telle intervention suffirait à perdre le bel Hérault, spécialement haï parce que lui, au contraire, pratique la femme. On dira de Maximilien qu’il est « un prêtre : » par certains côtés il semble plus : quelque moine fanatique persuadé que la femme est « la bête de perdition » destinée à dégrader l’homme et à le faire tomber : il n’a ni épouse ni maîtresse ; il méprise qui se laisse conduire par la maîtresse ou l’épouse : Danton, Hébert, Desmoulins, Tallien, Barras, Fréron encourent à bien des titres sa rancune, mais il déteste spécialement en eux des hommes « avilis » que conduisent des femmes. Mme Roland l’a littéralement exaspéré : nul n’a plus contribué que lui à mener à l’échafaud l’héroïque Manon. C’est lui qui, d’ailleurs, y jettera Lucile Desmoulins qui l’a longtemps cru son ami, et la « veuve Hébert, » après la « veuve Capet. » Et c’est lui encore qui, à la veille de Thermidor, y acheminera, avec une sorte de joie cruelle, cette belle fille de Thérézia Cabarrus, la maîtresse de Tallien. Si, de sa prison, elle réclame moins de gêne : « Qu’on lui donne un miroir, » ricanera-t-il. Et on sent passer, dans cette raillerie, la haine de cette beauté féminine qui a stupidement ensorcelé Tallien, hier « pur. » Il n’est pas jusqu’à sa sœur Charlotte qu’il n’ait, d’une main froide, écartée de sa vie. Pour la première fois, ce pays de France, sentimental et rieur, est gouverné par un ennemi de la femme et du rire.

Il n’est pas laid cependant, ce Maximilien : les demoiselles Duplay, dont il est l’hôte, le trouvent charmant et le lui font bien voir ; la citoyenne Jullien dont, à la vérité, les lettres sont celles d’une fanatique du prophète, lui trouve « les traits doux ; » et, de fait, aucun portrait ne révèle « la figure de chat » dont parle aigrement Buzot. Son portrait par Danloux nous présente un jouvenceau élégant, à la taille mince, aux traits à la vérité un peu forts, le nez et les lèvres trop larges, mais, en dernière analyse, de physionomie fort peu antipathique. Les yeux, sans doute, clignotaient derrière des besicles bleues ; c’était, disait-on, pour ne se point laisser pénétrer : au demeurant, d’une correction parfaite, les cheveux frisés, poudrés, les joues toujours soigneusement rasées, le petit corps maigre bien pris dans une redingote bleue ou marron qu’il porte sur la veste de casimir, chemise brodée à jabots, manchettes toujours blanches, ce sans-culotte se culotte de soie, trop fier pour sacrifier au débraillement républicain. Jusqu’au bout, les effets resteront sans taches, jusqu’au bout, c’est-à-dire jusqu’à cette horrible matinée du 10 thermidor où il viendra s’échouer, éclaboussé de sang et d’ordure, en lambeaux, sur la table du Comité de Salut public, en attendant l’échafaud : « habit de drap de Silésie taché de sang, » lit-on dans l’inventaire du greffe. Sa chambre aux rideaux bleus, son cabinet, où il peine cependant (car sa littérature sent l’huile), sont toujours bien rangés, — remplis d’ailleurs (plusieurs témoins signalent ce trait) de ses portraits et de ses bustes : on y voit Maximilien « sous toutes les formes. »

Le trait est à retenir. Maximilien est avant tout personnel. Nul n’a porté plus haut l’orgueil d’être soi. « Vertueux, » il a reçu du Très-Haut mission de faire régner la vertu. Infortune affreuse, voici la France aux mains d’un de ces terribles missionnaires qui sévissent de temps à autre pour écraser « les impies » et les « corrompus, » les « Amalécites, » disait Cromwell, bref les « non-conformistes. » Ce sont les pires tyrans. A une mission surnaturelle la nature même doit être sacrifiée : Robespierre lui sacrifiera tout, et d’abord l’amitié, la reconnaissance, la tendresse. De Camille Desmoulins, son vieux camarade de Louis-le-Grand, à la petite Lucile au mariage de laquelle il a servi de témoin ; de Brissot, avec lequel il a probablement grossoyé chez le procureur, à Danton dont il sait fort bien qu’il fut un loyal compagnon de luttes, il n’hésitera jamais à jeter un ami sous le couperet. Sa sœur put penser qu’il l’y voulait envoyer. Au fond, il n’aimait personne, parce qu’il se vénérait.

« Etre atroce qui ment à sa conscience, » a écrit de lui la vindicative Manon Roland. Non ! Il obéit, au contraire, à sa conscience ; pénétrée de sa mission, cette conscience lui commandera la calomnie (contre les Girondins notamment) et jusqu’au faux (s’il s’agit de perdre un Hérault de Séchelles contre lequel il forge une pièce) : c’est qu’il ne s’agit point aux yeux de Maximilien de frapper un ennemi personnel : son ennemi est « l’ennemi de la vertu. »

D’ailleurs, aucun doute : s’il incarne la vertu, il tient la vérité. D’où une sorte de sérénité : celle d’un prêtre infaillible : le caractère frappe, dès 1792, qui l’approche. « Robespierre est un prêtre, » a-t-on écrit alors (probablement le mot est-il de Condorcet) : un prêtre et presque un prophète du nouveau Millénaire. « Il y avait en cet homme-là du Mahomet et du Cromwell, » dit un conventionnel. Du pontife il a l’impassibilité. Certes, il n’est pas immuable, étant, ainsi que l’écrivait récemment un excellent historien, M. Sagnac, « grand opportuniste ; » il n’est pas immuable dans ses attitudes, mais il l’est, au fond, dans l’idée maîtresse de sa vie. Il y croit sincèrement, et sa force est dans sa sincérité. Il n’est pas l’ « hypocrite raffiné » que Bossuet a flétri en Olivier Cromwell. Se tenant pour l’homme de la Liberté, de la République, de la Révolution, il estime en toute candeur que quiconque lui fait obstacle est l’ennemi de la Révolution, de la République et de la Liberté. Or lui fait obstacle quiconque excite sa « bilieuse jalousie : » qui a plus de talent et de succès, plus d’audace et plus d’entregent, lui porte nécessairement ombrage. Sa jalousie inquiète multiplie ses ennemis : ce sont ceux de la Patrie. Celui qui n’est pas avec lui est contre elle.

Le prophète proclame des dogmes. Tout d’abord, la Terreur soutenant la Vertu et la Vertu justifiant la Terreur. Le 25 décembre, le dogme fondamental a été proclamé par le pontife infaillible. « Le ressort du gouvernement populaire dans la paix est la Vertu ; en révolution, il est à la fois la Vertu et la Terreur. » Certes, il n’a inventé ni le système ni le mot. Dès le 5 septembre, « les sections de Paris » sont venues demander qu’on « plaçât la Terreur à l’ordre du jour » et, depuis l’été de 1793, Fouquier-Tinville expédie à Sanson « gros et petit gibier. » Ce n’est cependant que du jour où la doctrine a été proclamée par l’Incorruptible sainte, pure et indiscutable, que « l’activité du tribunal » a redoublé. Alors commencent les belles fournées de l’hiver de l’an II qui deviendront « magnifiques » une fois les Indulgens supprimés en germinal (155 victimes en germinal, 354 en floréal), et formidables, quand la loi de Prairial, qu’on peut appeler la loi Couthon-Robespierre, permettra à l’accusateur public d’envoyer, en quarante-sept jours, 1 366 « cliens » au « rasoir national. »

Il serait injuste de faire de cet homme le bouc émissaire de la Terreur. Des proconsuls qu’il n’aimait pas, Carrier, Lequinio, Tallien, Barras, Fréron, Fouché, Collot d’Herbois, Javogue, Le Bon, Schneider, faisaient à Nantes, Lorient, Bordeaux, Toulon, Marseille, Lyon, Amis, Strasbourg, tomber des têtes avant que Paris connût « les belles fournées d’aristocrates. » Mais s’il parut un jour les blâmer, c’est moins d’avoir terrorisé, que d’avoir terrorisé « sans vertu. » De toutes parts, le monde infâme que la Terreur exaltait jusqu’à la démence avait les yeux fixés sur lui avec une sorte de gratitude. Tyranneaux subalternes et délateurs immondes l’adoraient parce qu’il leur avait appris que, forgeant des fers et répandant le sang, ils servaient « la Loi, » « la Patrie, » la Vertu » surtout. « Quelles délices tu aurais goûtées, a écrit un de ces misérables, Achard (de Lyon où l’on mitraille) : quelles délices tu aurais goûtées, si tu eusses vu, avant-hier, cette justice nationale de 209 scélérats ! » et la lettre adressée à un ami du « grand patriote » se termine par : « Le bonjour à Robespierre. » Ils l’adorent tous.

C’est que Robespierre a proclamé ces mouchards, ces geôliers et ces bourreaux, les « hommes de la Vertu. »

Deux autres dogmes cependant seront proclamés ex cathedra : la croyance à l’Etre Suprême, sanction de la vertu, satisfaction donnée aux « âmes pures » et aux élans vers le ciel du Vicaire savoyard, et, par ailleurs, le respect de la propriété sacro-sainte, fondement de l’Etat et de la République ; car, s’il a pu, à certaines heures, paraître mériter, par des concessions purement verbales, les félicitations de la Société des indigens, Maximilien restera, de 1789 à 1794, socialement parlant, un conservateur.

Déiste et conservateur, il l’est avec le même dogmatisme que moraliste et terroriste, c’est-à-dire qu’il se sent une sorte de haine contre les non-conformistes en matière sociale et religieuse comme en matière politique. « Mauvais citoyen, » certes, celui qui prêche « l’indulgence » ou qui, sans vertu, pratique la terreur, mais « mauvais citoyen » aussi qui nie l’existence de l’Etre Suprême et « mauvais citoyen » qui ose prêcher le partage des terres. Telles dispositions lui font apercevoir un monde de « scélérats. » Dans ce pays où, s’est-il écrié en janvier 1793, « la vertu est en minorité ; » mais plus précisément dans cette Convention où Danton et Hébert ont tant d’amis, que peu d’élus au regard de tant de réprouvés ! Sa sombreur s’en augmente. Son maître Rousseau dont il commente le soir, aux enfans du menuisier Duplay, l’œuvre immortelle, « comme un curé de village, dit Barras, explique l’Evangile à ses paroissiens, » entend que les non-conformistes soient chassés de la Cité. Le prophète appliquera la doctrine du Dieu, mais de terrible manière ; ce n’est point seulement hors de la Cité que seront jetés ces scélérats, mais sous le couteau. Au fond ces « scélérats ». soiit des hérétiques, car Robespierre, comme Torquemada, est, suivant le mot ironique de M. Aulard, « le maître de la vérité. »

« La vertu a toujours été en minorité ! » Robespierre ne compte que sur quelques amis, surtout à la Convention : Couthon, Saint-Just, Le Bas. Ce sont les séides de ce Mahomet, les émirs du Prophète.

Couthon plaît à Maximilien par son spiritualisme : lui a non seulement lu le Vicaire savoyard, mais il l’a paraphrasé. Ce n’est pas sans quelque regret que le représentant du Puy-de-Dôme a vu disparaître « messieurs les curés » dont, à la fin de 1791, il louait encore « le zèle et la délicatesse ; » il a toujours protesté que, loin de travailler contre « la religion de nos pères, » les députés travaillaient pour elle « par le rétablissement des mœurs. » Car s’il est religieux, il l’est avec ce puritanisme qui est vraiment la marque du groupe : ce malheureux Couthon, à dire vrai, a peut-être moins de mérite qu’un autre à être de mœurs pures, infortuné qui s’avoue cousu de maux, geint en toutes ses lettres sur son sang avarié et ses jambes recroquevillées, et ne quitte sa voiturette de cul-de-jatte que pour se faire porter à la tribune. A la veille de Thermidor, c’est lui qui, fort de ses bonnes mœurs, dénoncera avec âpreté « les hommes impurs qui cherchent à corrompre la morale publique sur le tombeau des mœurs et de la vertu. » Mais dès 1793, il a admis que « la religion était l’appui des bonnes mœurs, » et si, à l’automne de cette année-là, il a supprimé le culte catholique, c’est avec les considérans d’un puritain d’Ecosse abolissant le presbytérianisme après le papisme : car louant « l’architecte » qui « maintient l’harmonie dans la nature » et dont nous sommes « les enfans, » il affirme n’avoir « détruit la religion des prêtres » que pour instaurer « la religion de Dieu. » Ce « Dieu de vérité » qu’il salue du haut de la tribune, il trouve sa main partout. Nul orateur « clérical » n’a aussi souvent fait appel au Très-Haut et discerné sa dextre : c’est le Très-Haut qui « servant mieux la Révolution que les hommes » a « rappelé » Léopold d’Autriche, ennemi de la France ; et c’est Lui qui, inondant de soleil la fête de la Victoire en 1794, a marqué sa prédilection aux républicains, en « ouvrant pour la première fois depuis longtemps son œil bienfaisant. »

Personne n’a, plus que ce singulier Jacobin, entretenu Robespierre dans cette sorte de mysticisme déiste que le groupe imposera, nous le verrons, aux agens subalternes à l’heure des passagers triomphes. Personne aussi ne contribue plus à donner à cette religion un caractère sombre et terrifiant. L’infirme qu’aigrit son malheur et auquel ses maux font pousser parfois en pleine assemblée des cris de douleur, ne saurait être un souriant apôtre. Dans ses lettres nous le trouvons hanté jusqu’au délire par la crainte des éternels conspirateurs : « Le nombre des complices est immense… Patience, ajoute-t-il, nous saurons délivrer la République de tous ses ennemis. »

Le vrai séide n’est cependant point Couthon, c’est Saint-Just, qu’on appellerait l’enfant de chœur de cette église (il a vingt-cinq ans en 1794), s’il n’était fort supérieur à Robespierre en intelligence et en talent. « Esprit de feu, cœur de glace, » le mot est de Barère et paraît exact. Ce joli garçon, dont Greuze a laissé un charmant portrait, est « un terrible adolescent. » Les Robespierristes eux-mêmes en gardaient un souvenir terrifiant. « Son enthousiasme résultait d’une certitude mathématique, écrit l’un d’eux, Levasseur de la Sarthe… Pour fonder la République qu’il avait rêvée, il aurait donné sa tête, mais aussi cent mille têtes d’hommes avec la sienne. » L’ex-conventionnel Baudot nous le peint, vibrant et coupant, « ne parlant que par sentences. » Orgueilleux jusqu’au miracle, il « portait sa tête comme un Saint-Sacrement : » ne riant qu’ironiquement, il rebutait et alarmait. Audacieux et inflexible, il dépassait Robespierre, — s’il était possible, — en dogmatisme. Nouveau venu à la « vertu » (il avait, dans sa prime jeunesse, composé un poème érotique et commis plus d’une peccadille), il savait parler de la morale mieux qu’homme du monde. « Voyant des criminels dans tous les dissidens, » dit un conventionnel, il flattait l’idée favorite de Robespierre. Il avait épaulé celui-ci, mais le poussait : moins « légaliste » que Maximilien, il était l’agent des exécutions, « le chevalier porte-glaive, » dit M. Claretie. Il eût renié le Maître, si celui-ci avait faibli.

Quant à Le Bas, son fanatisme a quelque chose d’émouvant. Aveugle lorsqu’il s’agissait de Robespierre, ce jeune Le Bas livre, dans ses lettres à Elisabeth Duplay, sa fiancée, puis sa femme, une âme ingénue : pour servir le Maître, il sacrifie tout, s’arrache en soupirant de son idylle, mais sans hésiter, et, après lui avoir voué sa vie, se vouera pour lui à la mort, sachant que tous, là-bas chez les Duplay, l’approuveront, la jeune femme, la belle-sœur, le papa et la maman Duplay. Vraiment les seuls prophètes trouvent de tels serviteurs et les grands égoïstes de tels amis.

II
Le reste du monde politique, Robespierre l’avait en méfiance, surtout en cet hiver de 1793-1794 où la Convention semblait encore subir l’influence de Danton tantôt, et tantôt de l’Hôtel de Ville hébertiste. En somme, tout ce monde lui paraissait tenir en échec la Vertu.

Grand réaliste en face de cet idéaliste presque mystique, brutal, violent, mais parfois généreux, impulsif, autant que l’autre était calculateur, Danton est l’antithèse de Robespierre. Capable de folles colères suivies de prompts retours, d’actes de prodigieuse énergie et d’inexplicables nonchalances, c’était pour Maximilien un adversaire redoutable, mais dont la cuirasse de bronze présentait vingt défauts. Robespierre le tenait pour improbe. Avait-il tort ou raison ? Danton peut-être ne tripota pas, mais couvrit plus d’un tripotage. En cette âme tumultueuse et trouble on découvre, pêle-mêle, dans une lave incandescente des métaux précieux et d’horribles scories. Assurément, on volait autour de lui et l’on jouissait. Lui, truculent, ardent, aimant la femme, — plus particulièrement la sienne, les siennes, car il en eut deux qu’il adora follement, — se plaisant à la ripaille, vrai personnage de Shakspeare, fanfaron de vices et parfois de crimes, paraissait assurément s’éloigner fort de « l’homme de la Vertu. » Il plaisantait d’ailleurs ceux que son ami Chabot (celui-là un vrai voleur) appelait « les catonistes, » et toute cette famille Duplay où prêchait Robespierre, un sot qui fanatisait ces belles filles au lieu de les aimer et transformait en Spartiates et en Romaines ces petites Parisiennes : « Cornélie Copeau, » disait-il en riant de la fille du menuisier, platonique et grave amoureuse.

Au fond, c’étaient ces railleries que Robespierre ne pardonnait pas, et moins encore le génie de ce Danton qui vraiment, à nos yeux, domine de cent coudées l’étroit politicien. Mais il affectait d’être avant tout scandalisé des « mœurs » de son adversaire : un « scélérat, » dira Couthon, qui pratiquait un « système d’immoralité, d’athéisme et de corruption, » et particulièrement avait affirmé — abominable chose, — qu’après la mort, l’homme rentrait dans « le néant. »

En fait Danton paraît bien avoir été athée, sans d’ailleurs avoir jamais voulu ériger en doctrine un sentiment tout personnel. Libre penseur, il n’était pas fanatique. Les prêtres ne l’occupaient pas : il en avait laissé massacrer une centaine aux Carmes sans remords, mais quand, en pleine Terreur, sa fiancée (bonne catholique), avait entendu faire bénir leur union par un « réfractaire, » il y avait consenti. Il n’était point pour une Eglise d’Etat, pas plus la constitutionnelle que la catholique, et pas plus le culte de la Raison que celui de l’Être Suprême. Il pensait que chacun devait vivre à sa guise et, Robespierre étant partisan de l’école obligatoire (pour ne citer qu’un trait), Danton la voulait libre. Mais cette facilité de doctrine même, Robespierre la tenait pour immorale. En toute sincérité, il tenait pour un médiocre républicain ce Danton, dix fois plus « libre penseur » que lui.

D’autre part, depuis quelques mois, en cet hiver de l’an II, — ce terrible Danton encourait à d’autres titres l’excommunication majeure. Ne voulait-il point qu’on mît fin à la Terreur, lui l’homme qui avait presque assumé la responsabilité des massacres de Septembre ? Ce dessein était connu. Au scandale des purs, Danton prônait « l’indulgence. » Lorsque, après la condamnation des Girondins, Camille Desmoulins était venu, en pleurs, se jeter dans ses bras, criant : « C’est moi qui les tue ! » Danton avait pleuré avec lui, et, un soir, passant sur le Pont-Neuf, il avait, dans une sorte d’hallucination, montré à Camille la Seine qu’éclairait le soleil couchant : « Regarde : la Seine coule du sang. Ah ! c’est trop de sang versé. Allons, reprends ta plume et demande qu’on soit clément. » Desmoulins l’avait entendu. Lui aussi avait autrefois allumé les incendies ; mais, depuis des mois, il restait consterné du désastre : « Ce pauvre Camille, » avait écrit de lui le puissant Mirabeau. Il restait « ce pauvre Camille, » enfant terrible, journaliste d’élan, ne calculant rien, âpre folliculaire en 1789, dont un charmant mariage avait adouci l’âme ulcérée, en le dotant d’ailleurs de quelques rentes. Danton ayant parlé, Camille avait lancé son terrible Vieux Cordelier qui prenait à la gorge le Père Duchesne, organe ignoble de l’Extrême Terreur, en attendant qu’il flétrît, avec la basse délation et la terreur sanglante, toute la clientèle de Robespierre.

Robespierre avait cependant, lors de l’apparition du Vieux Cordelier, détourné pour un instant de la tête de Desmoulins les foudres des Jacobins. C’est qu’il lui plaisait que les amis de Danton éventrassent ceux d’Hébert. Il les voulait tous détruire : le Père Duchesne jeté par terre, on tordrait le cou au Vieux Cordelier. Le Père Duchesne, en effet, c’était Hébert, c’était Chaumette, c’était leur Commune « exagérée, » c’était le communisme et l’athéisme affichés et un instant triomphans.

La Commune de Paris, sous l’inspiration d’Hébert et de Chaumette, semblait en effet, — sur le terrain social et religieux, — résolue à consommer ce que leur ami, le citoyen Fouché de Nantes appelait dans ses proclamations de proconsul, à Moulins et Nevers, puis à Lyon, « la Révolution intégrale. »

C’est en effet Fouché, futur millionnaire, qui, en Nivernais et en Bourbonnais, avait, dès l’été de 1793, pris une attitude si démagogique qu’elle avait déconcerté l’Eglise orthodoxe que présidait Maximilien, mais fort exalté l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris. Le futur duc d’Otrante avait, en ces riches provinces du Centre, prêché « la révision des fortunes, » « la guerre au négotiantisme, » « le partage des fruits de la terre, » « l’obligation pour la République d’occuper le travailleur, » tout cela pour faire triompher la formule maratiste : « La richesse et la pauvreté doivent également disparaître du régime de l’égalité. »

Chaumette, fort lié avec Fouché, l’avait poussé, puis suivi. La Commune avait félicité le proconsul et était entrée dans- ses voies : il fallait « inviter la nation à s’emparer de tout le commerce, de toutes les manufactures et à l’aire travailler pour son compte. » Hébert soutenait fort cette doctrine : si Chaumette était le théoricien de l’Hôtel de Ville, lui était le maître, puissant surtout par son terrible Père Duchesne, la feuille la plus répandue de Paris. On entendait convertir Robespierre à l’idée de « faire disparaître, lui écrivait-on, l’aristocratie mercantile. » Mais derrière le mot de révolution intégrale, Maximilien lisait le mot de révolution sociale. Rien ne pouvait plus froisser ses persistans principes de bourgeois conservateur que ces théories extrêmes : elles ne venaient pas de lui et cela eût suffi à les lui faire détester. Il regardait avec une irritation croissante les Hébert, les Chaumette, les Fouché favoriser la révolution communiste et y conquérir, chose grave, une partie de sa clientèle à lui.

Par surcroît, un autre mouvement, parti des mêmes milieux, l’offusquait jusqu’au scandale. On entreprenait la déchristianisation par le triomphe de la Raison. Et tel fait doit nous retenir un instant, car ce mouvement suivi d’une réaction violente permet de saisir le caractère exact de la lutte qui va s’engager, presque exclusivement religieuse.

Dès l’abord, — et c’est ce qui explique ces essais de culte, — la Révolution avait été marquée d’une indéniable tendance à s’ériger en religion ; 1789 est, somme toute, le point de départ d’une crise de mysticisme civique. MM. Tiersot et Mathiez, l’un étudiant plus spécialement les rites et l’autre la doctrine, ont parfaitement démontré à quel point, dès les premières heures, le Verbe s’était fait religieux, et rien ne serait plus intéressant que de résumer ici leurs édifiantes études : évolution des cultes et des dogmes, extension et transformation des fêtes où les Mehul et les Gossec mêlent une sorte de musique sacrée au son du canon et aux hymnes patriotiques.

L’organisation de l’Église constitutionnelle, « l’Eglise tricolore, » avait été un autre essai pour créer un culte révolutionnaire sans se détacher de ce que Couthon appelait encore en 1791 « la religion de nos pères. » Cet essai, on le sait, échouait lamentablement en 1791. L’Eglise artificielle, imposée par la Constitution civile, se dissolvait ; des prêtres jureurs avaient rallié le « papisme, » et d’autres avaient achevé leur évolution en se défroquant ; Grégoire soutenait avec peine les ruines branlantes du sanctuaire « tricolore. »

L’entreprenante Commune de Paris hâtait cette dissolution. De l’Hôtel de Ville, on méditait d’organiser, sur les débris de toutes les religions déistes, le culte païen de la Raison ou de la Liberté.

A cette entreprise Hébert prêtait son nom : le vrai instigateur fut pourtant bien Chaumette. C’était un aventurier que ses mœurs, — si j’en crois les gens bien informés, — eussent de nos jours conduit en cour d’assises (à huis clos). Lui aussi parlait de « la vertu, » mais il pratiquait le vice rare. Anaxagoras Chaumette se fût ici sans doute recommandé des philosophes grecs : comme eux, par ailleurs, il entendait déloger les dieux. Il fallait entre autres évincer le Christ. On commença à Paris par décrocher des clochers « les breloques du Père Éternel » dont on entendit faire des canons et des sous ; puis on parla d’abattre les clochers eux-mêmes, qui, « par leur domination sur les autres édifices, semblaient, écrivait-on à l’Hôtel de Ville, contrarier les principes de l’Egalité. » Le théâtre se mit à ridiculiser l’ancienne religion dans le Tombeau des Imposteurs et l’Inauguration du temple de la Vérité où une grand’messe était, sur la scène, chantée en parodie.

La Convention ne sembla pas tout d’abord portée à favoriser cette campagne. C’étaient cependant certains de ses membres qui avaient, les premiers, en province, tenté de substituer, dès l’automne de 1793, au culte chrétien le culte civique : Dumont à Abbeville, Fouché à Nevers, Laignelot à Rochefort, et bien d’autres. Sous l’inspiration de Chaumette, venu à Nevers, Fouché avait, par un célèbre arrêté, aboli le ciel, le purgatoire et l’enfer, en proclamant la mort « sommeil éternel. »

Le mouvement se généralisa : on se mit à brûler un peu partout « les vierges à miracles » et à rafler « l’argenterie des églises. » Entre les mains de Fouché l’évêque de l’Allier abjura- ; Gobel, évêque de Paris, allait l’imiter. Il y eut des détails grotesques : tel converti se lava la tête en plein club pour « se débaptiser » et, solennellement, Bechonnet, ci-devant prêtre, divorça publiquement d’avec son bréviaire.

Encouragée, la Commune pesait sur la Convention où, appuyé par Robespierre et même par Danton, l’évêque Grégoire résistait très courageusement à la poussée. Mais les « héberistes » de l’Assemblée faisait rage, gens dont Grégoire affirme qu’ils lui amenaient leurs femmes à confesse et leurs enfans à baptiser, mais publiquement « blasphémaient contre la révélation. »

Fouché envoyait des caisses de calices et de crucifix qu’on déballait devant la tribune. Cette opération grisait d’iconoclastie l’Assemblée. Lorsque, après un de ces « inventaires, » Gobel, traîné par Chaumette à la barre de l’Assemblée, s’y fût venu défroquer, la Convention, un instant conquise, céda. Le président, félicitant l’ex-évêque de Paris, déclara que l’Être suprême « né voulait pas de culte que celui de la Raison… et que ce serait désormais la religion nationale. »

Chaumette incontinent fit décider par la Commune que, « pour célébrer le triomphe que la Raison avait, dans cette séance, remporté sur les préjugés de dix-huit siècles, » on célébrerait, le 20 brumaire, une cérémonie civique « devant l’image de cette divinité, dans l’édifice ci-devant église métropolitaine. »

On a maintes fois décrit cette célèbre fête et comment une Liberté, empruntée à l’Opéra, siégea sur l’autel de la Raison. La Convention s’étant, sous prétexte de travail, refusée à assister à la fête, un cortège (extrêmement mêlé) amena la déesse aux Tuileries, et, en sa gracieuse présence, força l’Assemblée à décréter que Notre-Dame deviendrait à jamais Temple de la Raison. Bientôt Libertés et Raisons pullulèrent à Paris et dans les départemens, vierges folles trop souvent (à côté de quelques « déesses » dont le nom étonne) : si l’une de ces Libertés portait sur son front une banderole ornée de ces mots : « Ne me tournez pas en licence, » le conseil n’eût été presque nulle part superflu, car partout s’organisaient de répugnantes saturnales.

Tout cela froissait Robespierre. Lorsque, dès frimaire an II, un de ses hommes, Payan, dénonçait « ces déesses plus avilies que celles de la Fable, » il applaudissait au propos. Collot d’Herbois lui-même, sermonné au Comité, flétrissait « cette Raison postiche qui courait les rues avec les conspirateurs (les Hébertistes déjà menacés) et terminait avec eux leurs prétendues fêtes dans de licencieuses orgies. » Couthon, à la fête de la Victoire, tint des propos fort déistes. Enfin Maximilien lui-même prononçait le 1er frimaire au club ce discours célèbre où il proclamait « toute populaire… l’idée d’un grand Être qui veille sur l’innocence opprimée et qui punit le crime triomphant ; » le 16, il faisait condamner par la Convention « les extravagances du philosophisme. » « Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer, » avait-il, entre autres propos, affirmé péremptoirement.

Brusquement, le culte de la Raison oscilla sur ses autels. A Paris, Chaumette et Hébert étaient menacés et dans les départemens où quelques Raisons, fort prudemment, regagnaient, qui les coulisses du théâtre, qui te foyer familial, les proconsuls « athéistes » se sentirent en détresse. Robespierre avait résolu de les faire rappeler, ces misérables et indignes satrapes qui, non contens de pratiquer des « mœurs » contraires à la vertu, expulsaient de son presbytère jusqu’au vicaire savoyard.

Pour les abattre plus sûrement, il fallait abattre leurs protecteurs de Paris, ces « conspirateurs, » ces « scélérats » qui, écrira Couthon, « adoptaient le système absurde et désespérant du néant : » Danton et ses hommes, Hébert et ses complices.

Comment Robespierre les abattit dans les journées de Germinal, nous n’avons pas à le raconter ici. Remarquons seulement que le double procès eut un caractère nettement « moral. » Contre les Hébertistes, il fut vraiment impossible d’articuler un grief sérieux, sauf celui d’avoir eu de mauvaises mœurs ou d’avoir ébranlé celles d’autrui « par la religion de l’athéisme ; » Gobel, qui les suivra à l’échafaud, n’y sera conduit, somme toute, que pour avoir foulé aux pieds sa crosse ; et quant à Chaumette, il est assez caractéristique qu’il se vit reprocher en plein tribunal par le président, Robespierriste fervent, d’avoir démoralisé l’esprit public en supprimant les messes de minuit, le 25 décembre 1793.

Contre les Dantonistes, tels reproches n’étaient pas de mise : Danton lui-même avait, à la Convention, montré quelque dégoût pour « les mascarades » de la Raison. Contre eux, on ne vengea pas l’Être Suprême, mais « la Vertu. » N’ayant à formuler aucun reproche précis contre Danton, on l’accusa de conspiration réactrice, ce qui lui arracha ces magnifiques réponses où l’ironie se mêlait à l’indignation et qui font de son procès une des scènes les plus prodigieusement intéressantes de ce drame révolutionnaire ; mais on avait eu soin de l’entourer d’amis compromettans : Fabre, Chabot, Hérault et autres, dont « l’improbité » ou « l’immoralité » paraissaient établies. Ces « scélérats » salissaient le puissant tribun de leurs « vols » et de leurs « débauches. »

Et c’est pourquoi, lorsque, le 16 germinal, la tête de Danton roulait, douze jours après celle d’Hébert, dans le panier de Sanson, la Vertu était tenue pour triomphante et le Vice pour terrassé.

La veille de cette bataille décisive, Couthon avait écrit (il était certainement l’écho de son milieu) : « Si l’Enfer est contre nous, le Ciel est pour nous et le Ciel est maître de l’Enfer. » La maison des Duplay devenait un Vatican contre lequel les portes de l’enfer ne pouvaient prévaloir.

III
« Le ciel » étant resté « maître, » Robespierre paraissait désormais le chef incontesté. Les dogmes triomphaient avec le pontife. L’Europe (Sorel l’a admirablement montré), l’Europe, mal instruite de sa personnalité, crut qu’un Cromwell était né : de Vienne à Londres, de Pétersbourg à Naples, on affirmait qu’il allait mettre fin à la Révolution.

Il n’y songeait point. De cerveau médiocre et d’âme rétrécie, il n’était pas fait pour concevoir une grande tâche. Il ne pensait toujours qu’à s’assurer contre « ses ennemis, » — ceux de la République s’entend. Qui étaient-ils ? Son vicaire l’a proclamé à la Convention. Il faudrait reproduire ici le discours de Saint-Just où tient tout un programme, non de restauration, mais d’extermination : « Ce qui constitue la République, c’est la destruction de tout ce qui lui est opposé. On est coupable contre la République parce qu’on s’apitoie sur les détenus ; on est coupable parce qu’on ne veut pas de la vertu ; on est coupable parce qu’on ne veut pas de la terreur… » Chaque phrase livrait des centaines de têtes à Fouquier-Tinville. Ce jeune sectaire semblait, devant l’Assemblée terrifiée, faire manœuvrer le déclic d’une gigantesque guillotine.

La Terreur allait donc continuer, frappant pêle-mêle royalistes et républicains, anciens amis de la Reine et d’Hébert, de Mme Roland et de Danton. C’est que Robespierre entendait étouffer dans le sang toute opposition.

Tout — une heure — lui sembla soumis. La Convention, en livrant Danton, s’était faite esclave. On y votait sans discussion et « avec un air de contentement, » sinon, dit Baudot, on était « l’objet de l’attention de Saint-Just comme du temps de Néron. » Il ne fallait point paraître triste ; on devait même se garder de sembler songeur. Barras cite ce député qui, s’étant vu regardé par Robespierre au moment où il paraissait rêver, s’écriait, terrifié : « Il va supposer que je pense quelque chose ! » Billaud qui, au printemps de 1794, ne s’est pas encore séparé de Robespierre au Comité, participe à sa mentalité absolutiste ; prononçant un discours à la Convention, il s’interrompt brusquement et, impérieusement : « Je crois, s’écrie-t-il, qu’on murmure ; » un grand silence plana. Ce Comité, c’est un César à dix têtes qui, pour trois mois, est soumis à Maximilien.

Celui-ci en profitait pour faire rappeler les proconsuls détestés. Déjà Robespierre leur a substitué en province des missi dominici à lui, des agens nationaux qui, partout, entravent, puis démolissent l’œuvre des représentans en mission, envoient à Robespierre des rapports sur les « crimes » commis par ces « despotes » et grossissent les dossiers sous lesquels, avant peu, le maître compte bien écraser cette queue d’Hébert et de Danton. Le type de ces envoyés spéciaux est le petit Jullien ; cet adolescent fait, de Nantes à Toulouse par Bordeaux, une tournée qui pourrait bien coûter cher à ceux qui ont terrorisé « sans vertu. » A Lyon, à Marseille, à Toulon, Robespierre ne se fiera qu’à son frère Augustin, qui, déjà, dénonce l’improbité de Fouché, de Barras et de Fréron. Quand ceux-ci ont regagné Paris, fort inquiets, ils tentent de désarmer le César. Ils courent tous chez Duplay, prêts à toutes les soumissions, à toutes les capitulations : ils trouvent figure de marbre, suivant l’expression de l’un d’eux. Fixés sur leur sort, ils vont saper l’idole et feront Thermidor, mais pas un n’osera, avant le 8 thermidor, élever la voix à la Convention contre ce « tyran » qu’ils démolissent dans l’ombre.

La force du « tyran » est que, maintenant, il tient l’Hôtel de Ville : au « papa Pache, » maire de Paris, suspect d’Hébertisme, on a substitué une des créatures de Robespierre, Fleuriot-Lescot, et, à Chaumette, un homme de la maison Duplay, Payan ; la nouvelle Commune est toute « robespierriste. »

Tenant l’Hôtel de Ville, il tient également le tribunal révolutionnaire ; le président Dumas est à lui, à lui l’accusateur public Fouquier-Tinville. Et le jury ne paraissant pas assez pur, on l’épure : le menuisier Duplay y va exercer une grande influence ; les jurés sont la garde prétorienne du maître et le vont chercher chez Duplay pour l’escorter à la Convention. Il croit tenir l’armée, faisant trembler les généraux : tout à l’heure Hoche et Kellermann seront jetés en prison ; on ne choisit les commissaires aux armées que parmi les amis de Robespierre (mauvaise manœuvre au surplus qui laissera dégarnie, en Thermidor, la gauche robespierriste). Maximilien, par ailleurs, a sous la main la pépinière du futur état-major, cette École de Mars, fondée depuis peu et où vingt-cinq jeunes gens, vêtus à la romaine, reçoivent la visite du Maître avec un enthousiasme que nous a dit l’un d’eux : Le Bas dirige de haut ces jeunes prétoriens. Au surplus, le « général » Henriot livre l’armée de Paris, ce misérable Henriot qu’on appelle couramment dans le peuple « la bourrique à Robespierre. » La propriété rassurée et la religion vengée ont foi en celui-ci : les députés de la Plaine, un Boissy d’Anglas, un Durand de Maillane ont peine à ne lui être pas reconnaissans d’avoir abattu les énergumènes de la Révolution intégrale, et l’évêque Grégoire d’avoir ressuscité Dieu.

Et puis, — et cela maintenant se dit et se redit, — il est « l’homme de la vertu. »

Jamais la vertu ne fut plus magnifiée. Certes, Robespierre n’a fait qu’emprunter le vocable à la phraséologie sentimentale de Rousseau et de vingt autres ; tous les tribuns des assemblées, tous les orateurs des clubs, tous les commissaires dans les départemens l’ont employé à satiété ; Mirabeau, l’homme le plus immoral de son époque, a tonné au nom de la vertu, et c’est pour « le triomphe de la vertu » que Carrier a noyé, Barras et Fréron fusillé, Fouché et Collot mitraillé, Le Bon guillotiné. Tallien, oui Tallien, a parlé au nom de la vertu, et n’est-ce point la citoyenne Therezia Cabarrus, future citoyenne Tallien (on ne s’attendait guère à la trouver en cette affaire), qui, dans une adresse à la Convention du 5 floréal, dit par quels exercices « on exercera les jeunes filles à la vertu ? »

Mais voici l’apothéose de la vraie vertu après l’écrasement du vice hypocrite. Et soudain le pays devenu « Spartiate » est tenu à la vertu. Dès le 16 germinal, la Convention vote un décret exigeant que chacun de ses membres rende un compte moral de sa conduite pour s’assurer « qu’il n’est devenu plus riche qu’en vertus. » Grand exemple. Cou thon a écrit : « Qui dit démocratie dit gouvernement vertueux par essence. » L’heure est venue, dira-t-il encore (cette fois à la tribune), de vouer « au mépris public… tous les êtres improbes et immoraux ; » et voici des précisions : il va falloir particulièrement proscrire « le concubinage honteux qui relâche les liens sacrés du mariage. » Qu’on ne croie pas à de simples formules. Voici telle Société populaire, celle de Provins, qui entend être chaudement félicitée, ayant fait conduire en prison « l’instituteur coupable d’avoir trop tardivement régularisé sa liaison. » Rien ne vaut un petit fait de cette espèce.

Maximilien qui nettoie le Palais-Royal, faisant rentrer les filles et sortir les joueurs, Maximilien lui-même continue à pratiquer la vertu au sein d’une vertueuse famille. Sa chambre bleue — vraie Mecque de la nouvelle religion, — est l’asile des vertus austères. Un jour, il dit à Robert Lindet : « Nous voulons fonder Salente. »

Salente sanglante ! Depuis que Robespierre a écrasé les indulgens, Fouquier-Tinville ne se possède plus : il crie, peste, plaisante, s’affaire, presse tout son monde. Il a exhorté le prudent Dumas « à serrer la botte aux bavards, » grâce à quoi les audiences vont vite. On condamne, tel jour, vingt-trois prévenus sur l’audition d’un seul témoin. » L’accusateur qui a toujours barboté dans le sang avec agrément, s’exalte, tout joyeux : « Les têtes tombent comme des ardoises. » Mais il espère mieux : « La semaine prochaine, j’en déculotterai trois ou quatre cents. » « Il faut, a déclaré Robespierre, que le tribunal soit actif comme le crime et finisse tout procès en vingt-quatre heures. » On les finit en vingt-quatre minutes.

Contre les prévenus les plus disparates, ci-devant grands seigneurs et domestiques, petits boutiquiers et religieuses, anciens membres de la Commune et marquises de Versailles, prêtres et magistrats, artisans et courtisanes et dans ce pêle-mêle Gobel, Chaumette, Lucile Desmoulins, Malesherbes, Lavoisier, le général Dillon, la duchesse du Châtelet, la veuve Hébert, Madame Elisabeth, griefs sommaires : complot liberticide, mais plus souvent l’accusation vague et commode : « a dépravé les mœurs, » — ce qui cadre bien avec le règne de la vertu ; et l’on voit bien, comment la Sainte-Amaranthe, raflée, dit Beugnot, avec tout son cercle, a dépravé les mœurs, mais Madame Elisabeth et Malesherbes ?

En tout cas, des « scélérats, » « déprava leurs des mœurs » emplissent sans cesse les prisons, que sans cesse on vide. A la veille de Thermidor, André Chénier et Antoine Roucher, Garat et Beauharnais, Hoche et Kellermann, les peintres Suvée et Robert, les comédiens du Théâtre-Français sont en prison pêle-mêle avec Therezia Cabarrus, Aimée de Coigny, Joséphine de Beauharnais, des représentans des trois Assemblées révolutionnaires et tout le d’Hozier français. Et tout ce monde a plus ou moins contribué à « dépraver les mœurs, » tout en menaçant la liberté.

En province, sous les commissaires robespierristes comme naguère sous les représentans hébertistes, les massacres continuent et les arrestations. Au 9 thermidor, il y aura 1 000 personnes dans les prisons d’Arras, 3 000 dans celles de Strasbourg, 1 500 dans celles de Toulouse, — à Paris environ 7 000, — victimes vouées à la mort pour que triomphe la vertu.

Il faut cependant « une sanction » à cette vertu, — c’est la théorie de Couthon. Il faut un ciel : il faut un Dieu. Tallien ricanera, le 11 thermidor, que « ce petit Robespierre » eût « déplacé l’Eternel pour se mettre à sa place. » En attendant, il achève de le restaurer.

Le 17 germinal, Couthon vient annoncer à la Convention que le Comité prépare une fête de l’Être Suprême. Commentant son propre discours, il écrit, le 21 : « C’est un besoin pour les âmes pures de reconnaître et d’adorer une intelligence supérieure. » Evidemment, qui n’éprouve pas ce besoin est « impur. » Du reste, on doit à Dieu ces hommages : n’est-ce pas « grâce à la Providence qui veille sans cesse sur nos destinées » que « ces monstres, » Hébert, Danton, ont été abattus ? Oui, le Très-Haut veille sur Robespierre : Dieu est robespierriste, — tout comme Fleuriot-Lescot, Fouquier-Tinville et le général Henriot. « Dieu nous bénit, » écrit Couthon le 12 floréal.

Le 18 floréal, le grand prêtre lui-même lance une encyclique : il vient lire son fameux discours sur les rapports des idées religieuses et morales avec les principes républicains où tient toute la pensée du règne : il faut replonger « le vice dans le néant » et comme il est impossible à Maximilien d’oublier ses ennemis, même lorsqu’il les a fait guillotiner, il entend vouer à l’exécration ces athées : Vergniaud, Hébert, Danton, étrange triumvirat auquel il oppose (facilement, puisqu’ils ne sont plus là pour répondre) ce déisme qui fut la religion de Socrate et celle de Léonidas, — imprévu rapprochement. Quoi qu’il en soit, Robespierre obtint sans peine le vote du décret qui, sanction de son discours, établissait en France comme culte officiel celui de l’Être Suprême et de toutes tes vertus.

Discours et décret mirent le comble à l’exaltation mystique du monde robespierriste. De sa voix « cristalline » qui toujours semblait mouillée de larmes, Couthon en fit, aux Jacobins, telle apologie que le club acclama « avec transports » Dieu et son prophète : la société avait compris que l’athéisme « desséchant le cœur » eût fait de la France « un peuple d’esclaves. » Il est vrai que l’adresse de félicitations adressée par la Société à la Convention parut évidemment d’un style trop religieux au président, Lazare Carnot, l’homme le moins mystique du monde, qui l’accueillit assez sèchement le 27 floréal, — ce qui le rendit incontinent suspect de libertinage.

Mais les subalternes, au contraire, exagéraient les formules. A lire les proclamations et lettres des amis de Robespierre, on reste stupéfait. Vit-on sous une théocratie mystique où sous une république philosophique ? Les soldats qui sont en train de défendre la République et se font tuer pour elle n’ont été, — qui le croirait ? — inspirés que par le désir de « s’élancer dans le sein de la divinité : » C’est le jeune Jullien qui vient l’affirmer au club. Le Dieu des armées ressuscite donc, et voici que le Dieu de la Nature à son tour vient à la rescousse : le maire robespierriste prévoit de riches moissons. Fleuriot-Lescot n’a consulté ni les savans, ni les agronomes ; mais « l’Être Suprême, assure-t-il aux Parisiens… a commandé à la nature de vous préparer d’abondantes récoltes. Il vous observe, crie-t-il encore à ses administrés, soyez dignes de lui ! »

Les Parisiens se rendaient dignes de lui en préparant la Fête de l’Être Suprême.

Elle devait être l’apothéose du nouveau vicaire des Croyans.

Il ne lui manquait qu’un attentat pour corser l’apothéose : l’attentat vint à point. Une enfant fut saisie dans la cour des Duplay, porteuse de deux petits couteaux. On voulut que ce fût une Charlotte Corday : l’Incorruptible allait être égorgé. La petite Cécile Renault fut conduite à l’échafaud avec 53 « complices » qui jamais ne l’avaient vue, revêtus du voile noir du parricide. Maximilien n’était-il pas le père de la Patrie ?

Le 16 prairial, pour qu’il pût présider officiellement la fête du 20, il fut porté à la présidence de la Convention. Quelques ennemis, perfidement, l’y poussèrent, espérant rendre tangible cette dictature pour l’en mieux incriminer le lendemain. Car, cauteleux à son ordinaire, il régnait jusque-là sans se mettre tout à fait en avant, lançant Couthon, Saint-Just et les autres, faisant agir ses ressorts à l’Etat-major, à l’Hôtel de Ville, à la Convention, au Comité, sans prendre visiblement la tête. On voulait le faire monter au Capitole une bonne fois, pour qu’il y trouvât la Roche Tarpéienne.

David préparait la fête : il était le décorateur officiel, le ministre des Beaux-Arts de Maximilien. Marie-Joseph Chénier avait reçu commande de l’hymne que Gossec devait orchestrer. Mais Marie-Joseph avait blessé le maître en fournissant des hymnes à Chaumette. Il fut jugé indigne : le Pontife en était déjà aux excommunications majeures. Méhul et Gossec, pourvus d’une cantate orthodoxe, s’en allèrent, chaque soir, faire exécuter dans les sections le chant sacré, si bien que Paris, — le Paris sceptique et narquois que nous savons, — fut, une semaine durant, occupé à répéter, sur un mandement suivi d’un dispositif, un cantique au bon Dieu. On croit rêver.

M. Tiersot, après M. Aulard, a tracé un tableau fort pittoresque et des plus détaillés de la fête. Je n’en retiendrai que quelques traits.

Sous le ciel de juin, éclatant et propice (toujours « l’œil bienfaisant » que Couthon voit fixé sur lui et ses amis), le sol jonché de roses et les maisons tapissées de feuillage, les cloches échappées aux exécutions de Chaumette sonnent l’Alléluia, tandis que, les tambours battant, le canon tonne ; le peuple « enrégimenté » en un chœur gigantesque s’achemine vers les Tuileries, parterre immense et fleuri, car les hommes portant des branches vertes, les femmes élèvent des corbeilles aux mille nuances, « coup d’œil ravissant, de femmes en blanc couronnées de roses, » dit une spectatrice, Mlle Fusil. (Notons qu’à deux pas de là, place de la Révolution, de l’autre côté de la grille, le pavé restait rouge du sang de la veille et prêt à recevoir celui du lendemain.)

Devant le Château, la Convention est massée, elle aussi fleurie, car chaque représentant porte à la main un bouquet d’épis, de fleurs et de fruits. Au centre du bassin des Tuileries, le monument allégorique, la Sagesse terrassant l’Athéisme.

Chacun prenant place, Robespierre déjeunait au Château où, deux ans après l’éviction des Bourbons et cinq ans avant l’installation de Bonaparte, il représente seul, pour une heure, une manière de souverain. Il en avait conscience. Etait-ce joie ou inquiétude, sa voix tremblait, ses propos étaient entrecoupés. Vêtu de son habit bleu barbeau, — déjà célèbre, — la culotte de nankin bien tirée sur le bas de soie blanc, il portait avec une sorte de solennité l’écharpe et le panache aux trois couleurs. L’orgueil, vraiment, pour la première fois, lui fit perdre la tête et s’évanouir un instant son heureuse cautèle. Lorsqu’il saisit l’énorme bouquet qu’Eléonore Duplay lui avait préparé, il ressentit évidemment l’exaltation d’un pontife, maître des âmes.

Il était midi. Il parut au balcon, gagna l’estrade, se mit à la tête de la Convention qui, elle, avait attendu (c’était cependant le Souverain). De cette estrade, chaire ou trône, il prononça un long discours, rapsodie dont, pour être tout à fait dans la note (le fait a été récemment révélé), il avait prié un brave prêtre, vieux courtisan au demeurant, l’abbé Porquet, de lui composer le texte. Le sermon fini, cent mille voix entonnèrent l’Hymne au Très-Haut, « Père de l’Univers. »

Une heure après, l’énorme procession s’épanchait au Champ-de-Mars, au son des fanfares. Là encore, au milieu de groupes sentimentaux, mères tendres, pures jeunes filles, vieillards vénérables, soldats héroïques, tous pourvus d’attributs et décorés de fleurs, Maximilien pontifia. A la tête de l’Assemblée, il escalada la Montagne artificielle où, grottes, arbres, galeries, temple s’étageaient. L’immense chœur, derechef, s’était reformé que dirigeait le vieux Gossec. Maximilien était maintenant au sommet comme Moïse au Sinaï : l’Hymne montait vers lui et des nuages d’encens l’entouraient. Alors lui qui, à travers les déceptions, les querelles, les injures, les tendresses, les émeutes, les succès, les révolutions, était toujours resté impassible où sombre, lui qui ne semblait pas savoir sourire, s’épanouit à cette heure brève. Un rêve se réalisait : le pontife, — une minute, — dut se croire Dieu. IV
Une minute, il avait perdu de vue son plan de conquête sans tapage ; il était perdu. Il n’entendit pas que, derrière lui, des imprécations grondaient, partant des rangs de la Convention oubliée. Les ennemis soulignaient de murmures l’imprudence de l’homme.

Le soir même, la Décade osa plaisanter en termes acerbes la nouvelle religion d’Etat, et lorsque Maximilien, encore grisé, se rendit aux Jacobins pour y triompher, il s’y heurta à la morne figure de Joseph Fouché.

Par un hasard, ce « déchristianisateur » était président du club, où, déjà avisé, il avait cru trouver une place de sûreté. Il affecta, à la vérité, de s’associer à la joie générale, mais, après quelques phrases banales, il ajouta : « Brutus rendit un hommage digne de l’Etre Suprême en enfonçant un poignard dans le cœur d’un tyran. Sachez l’imiter. » Robespierre comprit : il le montrera bien lorsque, quelques jours après, il désignera Fouché comme le chef d’une conspiration tramée contre lui. Mais on avait applaudi la phrase audacieuse du président. Robespierre avait commis sa première faute.

Il ne lui en fallait plus commettre. On le guettait. Tout un groupe se tenait pour condamné par le règne de la vertu C’étaient ceux qu’autour de Robespierre, on appelait « les pourris, » proconsuls qui avaient fait de l’or dans le sang. C’étaient aussi les athées, la queue d’Hébert, particulièrement ce « misérable Fouché. » Il en fallait (le mot revient dans les discours di groupe) « purger » la Convention.

C’est le surlendemain de l’algarade de Fouché, le 22 prairial que surgit inopinément la proposition Couthon, destinée à livre : à Robespierre ses derniers ennemis. « Toute lenteur est un crime toute formalité un danger public ; le délai pour punir les ennemis de la patrie ne doit être que le temps de les reconnaître. » Le prévenus n’auront plus d’avocats et le jury par ailleurs juger en masse les accusés. Plus d’ « espèces ; » une seule inculpation seront déclarés ennemis du peuple « tous ceux qui cherchent anéantir la liberté soit par la force, soit par la ruse. »

C’est la dictature de l’accusateur public et du juge ; mais on sait bien qui tient juge et accusateur. Ce n’est pas tout, et voici où se trahit le vrai dessein : jusqu’à cette heure, les représentans, — de Vergniaud à Danton, — n’ont pu être traduits devant le tribunal que sur l’autorisation de l’Assemblée ; désormais ils le pourront être sur l’ordre seul des comités. L’article est pour Legendre, Fréron, Tallien, Barras, Fouché et cinquante autres. Les « ennemis » comprirent. « Si cette loi passe, s’écrie Ruamps, il ne me reste plus qu’à me brûler la cervelle. Je demande l’ajournement. » Des voix nombreuses le soutinrent.

Alors Robespierre, blême de colère, se leva. Il voulait sa loi, ses têtes : « Depuis longtemps, la Convention discute et décrète, parce que, depuis longtemps, elle n’est plus asservie qu’à l’empire des factions. » Il demande que, sans s’arrêter à la proposition d’ajournement, la Convention discute jusqu’à huit heures du soir, s’il le faut, le projet de loi qui lui est soumis.

Quel pouvoir d’hypnose exerçait cet homme ? Les opposans tremblans se turent. Une demi-heure après, la loi de mort était votée.

Maximilien partit, croyant tenir ses vengeances. Mais, dès le lendemain, l’Assemblée, soulevée, derechef s’insurgeait. Bourdon de l’Oise et Merlin obtenaient que, d’un trait de plume, on rayât l’article relatif aux représentans. Ces malheureux voulaient bien livrer la France, mais ils ne voulaient pas se livrer.

Robespierre tenait à l’article plus qu’à toute la loi. Il osa venir réclamer ces têtes qui se disputaient à lui. « Des intrigans, dit-il, s’efforçaient d’entraîner la Montagne, de s’y faire les chefs d’un parti. » — « Nommez-les ! » criaient les malheureux au comble de l’angoisse.

Il eût dû les nommer : dans l’état de terreur folle où se débattait la Convention, elle eût encore livré les têtes nommément désignées. Maximilien commit la faute de laisser planer les craintes sans rassurer la masse. « Je les nommerai quand il le faudra. » Mais il avait parlé, son œil vert fixé sur la Montagne. On s’inclina : l’article mortel fut rétabli.

Le soir même, Robespierre, qui tenait sa loi, entrait en campagne. La présence de Fouché au fauteuil des Jacobins était un scandale qui avait trop duré. Robespierre l’en fit chasser, ce soir du 23 prairial. L’autre s’éclipsa, restant désormais dans l’ombre où il tendit ses rets. Ces six semaines, — du 23 prairial au 8 thermidor, — sont affreuses. Le pays connut l’extrême Terreur : à Paris 40, 50, 60 têtes parfois par jour. « Boucherie, » dit M. Aulard. Le mot est juste.

Paris, rempli des « officieux » de Robespierre, était sous la surveillance d’une effroyable police. On craignait tout, le bruit d’une porte qui s’ouvrait, un cri, un souffle. Les salons étaient déserts, les cabarets vides : les filles ne descendaient plus au Palais-Royal où, — chose inouïe, — la vertu régna. Sous le soleil de Messidor, la ville morne attendait : Quoi ? Tous redoutaient tout, des sacristies aux lupanars.

Les députés ne venaient plus aux Tuileries, craignant d’y trouver une souricière : Prieur fut élu président par 94 voix. Les députés ne couchaient plus chez eux. Parmi ceux qui venaient, dit Thibaudeau, « des timides erraient déplace en place, d’autres n’osaient en occuper aucune, s’esquivant au moment du vote. » C’était la Convention-géante, l’Assemblée qui avait vaincu l’Europe, la Représentation nationale. Déjà Cromwell pouvait, du pavillon de Flore, apercevoir son Parlement croupion.

Il semblait vraiment régner sur un monde aplati : Barras, lors d’une suprême démarche, avait trouvé chez Duplay le général Brune, — le futur maréchal, — épluchant les légumes avec la femme du menuisier. On voit aussi chez le menuisier favori le conventionnel Curée, le futur tribun sur la proposition duquel l’Empire sera un jour proclamé et qui, à plat chez Robespierre, s’exerce à la servitude.

Mais, dans l’ombre, les « pourris » agissaient. Puisqu’ils ne pouvaient entraîner la Convention contre les comités, ils avaient entrepris de disloquer les comités. Au Comité de Salut public, Collot d’Herbois, Barère, Billaud-Varenne, Carnot, Prieur, Lindet, — à des titres divers, — se croyaient menacés, à voir l’exclusive faveur de Couthon et Saint-Just ; et le Comité de Sûreté générale presque tout entier se laissait entraîner contre Robespierre. Beaucoup, après tout, parmi les membres des comités n’avaient serré les coudes que devant l’absolue nécessité de préparer d’accord la résistance aux ennemis de la Patrie. A certains d’entre eux le salut public avait paru justifier leur dicta ture collective et leur imposer l’union. Mais les frontières étaient définitivement reconquises : la victoire de Fleurus, dont la nouvelle éclate à Paris en messidor, est le couronnement d’éclatans succès, et chaque succès, en diminuant le péril extérieur, dispose à trouver plus abusive la dictature intérieure et moins nécessaire l’union du comité. Ce « salut public » n’apparaît plus que comme un audacieux prétexte à la dictature, non plus d’un comité, mais d’une coterie et bientôt d’un homme. « Les victoires s’acharnaient contre Robespierre, » écrira Barère. Aussi Saint-Just recommandait-il à celui-ci de « les faire moins mousser à la tribune. »

Parmi les membres des comités d’autre part, certains se sentaient froissés ou menacés, les uns par l’éclatante réaction spiritualiste, les autres par l’insupportable puritanisme de la vertu. Si Carnot et Lindet goûtaient peu la nouvelle religion d’Etat, un Collot d’Herbois n’était point une rosière, et le vieux Vadier, qui parlait de ses « soixante ans de vertu, » les couronnait par d’étranges débauches. Si on faisait décidément passer la vertu des phrases de tribune aux réquisitoires de l’accusateur, la vie devenait instable.

La morgue pédante de tout l’état-major robespierriste exaspérait : le larmoyant Couthon était insupportable, moins cependant que l’arrogant Saint-Just. Le caractère pontifical de Robespierre faisait sourire ce vieux pitre de Vadier : à la Sûreté générale, il avait saisi les fils d’une affaire dont il entendait faire une machine de guerre. Une folle, Catherine Théot, se disait mère de Dieu : elle prédisait la venue d’un nouveau messie ; ce nouveau messie, ne serait-ce pas Robespierre ? Vadier croyait le démêler dans les propos extravagans de la prophétesse. Il compromit Robespierre en en faisant partout des gorges chaudes. On ricana. La force de Robespierre était d’avoir imposé à tous la gravité tragique. Mais, vraiment, on en avait assez en France. Du jour où le ridicule retrouvait ses droits, Robespierre était perdu.

Les ennemis à l’affût, Tallien, Fouché, comprirent qu’ils n’avaient qu’un parti à prendre pour se sauver : agrandir les fissures qui couraient le long du bloc jusque-là si ferme des comités. Ils s’y appliquèrent. Ils y devaient réussir. Les 8 et 9 thermidor, le bloc tombera en pièces et écrasera sous ses morceaux les missionnaires de la Vertu, les apôtres de l’Être Suprême, Maximilien en tête. En réalité, la dictature de la Vertu avait lassé. Notre joyeux pays se laisse impressionner, une beure, par les professeurs de moralité. Encore faut-il que ces professeurs ne coiffent point trop ostensiblement la tiare et ne transforment pas la tribune en chaire pontificale.

La chute de Robespierre sera très nettement marquée par une réaction de débauches. Lui le prévit et le prédit. « Les brigands triomphent ! » s’écriera-t-il le 9 thermidor. Quelques momens après, hagard, accablé, près d’être arrêté, il essaiera de faire front, il se tournera vers le Centre et tendant les bras aux gens du Marais, il criera : « Hommes purs ! hommes vertueux ! c’est à vous que j’ai recours ! » L’un de ces hommes, Durand de Maillane, lui répondra : « Scélérat, la vertu dont tu profanes le nom doit te traîner à l’échafaud. »

Que la réponse ait été le lendemain imaginée par le bon Durand ou qu’il l’ait prononcée, elle s’imposait. L’avant-veille même, 36 personnes avaient péri, dont André Chénier, le pur poète et, la veille, 55, parmi lesquelles 19 femmes ; et demain Hoche allait périr à son tour, — toujours au nom de « la vertu. » Vraiment cette « vertu » coûtait trop cher.

N’importe : soyons persuadés que Robespierre se croira sincèrement, le 9, victime de « brigands, » ainsi qu’il le dit. Jusqu’au bout, l’homme gardera une sincérité qui fait frémir. Au service d’un cœur de marbre et d’un esprit étroit, telle sincérité équivaut à la pire férocité. En tous cas, elle avait abouti au plus effroyable des régimes. Au plus étonnant aussi : des mois durant, la France aura connu et subi le système qu’elle détestera toujours comme le pire des despotismes : une théocratie fondée sur la morale. Le verbe de Rousseau aura donné naissance à la dictature de Calvin doublée de celle de Torquemada. « C’est ainsi, écrivait Saint-Just à Robespierre, que se gouverne un État libre. »

Voir de plus:

Fête de l’Être suprême au Champ de Mars le 20 prairial an II (8 juin 1794)
Thomas Charles Naudet
(1778 – 1810)
Musée Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris
1793
Aquarelle, gouache et pastel sur traits de plume et mine de plomb
Hauteur: 46,8 cm Longueur: 73 cm

En avril 1794, après l’élimination des Hébertistes, après les mesures prises à l’encontre des sans-culottes (épuration de la Commune de Paris, démantèlement des sections, etc.), le comité de Salut Public se trouvait privé d’un soutien populaire dont il avait craint les excès. La Révolution était « glacée », selon l’expression de Saint-Just. Quelques gages donnés à la bourgeoisie dans le domaine économique ne pouvaient suffire à élargir les bases sociales du régime. C’est pour dépasser les divergences idéologiques et les oppositions de classes par le recours à un consensus d’ordre moral et même métaphysique, que, dans le discours du 18 floréal an II, au cours d’une véritable profession de foi déiste, très imprégnée des idées de Rousseau, Robespierre réclama l’instauration d’une religion de l’Être Suprême. La célébration du nouveau culte fut admise par la Convention au nombre des fêtes nationales et décadaires. Cette religion de substitution devait théoriquement pallier les effets de la déchristianisation croissante, ceux qu’entraînait la disparition du principe d’ordre sous-tendu par le catholicisme. Fondée en nouvelle théologie, la Vertu devient alors garante de la pratique politique puisque, selon Robespierre, « le fondement unique de la société civile, c’est la morale » et que « l’idée de l’Être suprême et de l’immortalité de l’âme est un rappel continu à la justice : elle est donc sociale et républicaine » (Rapport du 18 floréal).

C’est David, grand ordonnateur des fêtes révolutionnaires depuis 1791, qui fut chargé de l’organisation de la cérémonie. Commencée aux Tuileries, où Robespierre mit le feu à un groupe de l’Athéisme, père de tous les vices, pour mettre au jour l’effigie de la Sagesse, la fête atteignit son terme au Champ de la Réunion (Champ de Mars). Elle devait sanctionner la fin de la Révolution dans l’espace même où avaient eu lieu les fêtes de la Fédération (14 juillet 1790) et de l’Unité (10 août 1793) ainsi que la destruction solennelle des emblèmes féodaux, le 14 juillet 1792.

Le but de la procession était un rocher artificiel au sommet duquel était planté un arbre de la Liberté. Cette montagne, métaphore politique, était amplement symbolique puisqu’elle relevait d’une conception moralisée de la nature, connotant l’idée de puissance et celle d’une religion naturelle fondée sur la théologie « panthéiste » de l’Émile. Le thème de la montagne avait déjà été exploité au cours des fêtes révolutionnaires : au camp fédératif de Lyon (30 mai 1790), aux Invalides, lors de la fête de l’Unité (10 août 1793) et durant les cérémonies accompagnant la fête de la Liberté et de la Raison à Notre-Dame de Paris (20 brumaire an II) et à Saint-André de Bordeaux (20 frimaire an II). Au Champ de Mars, la montagne était accompagnée d’une colonne dont seul le sommet apparaît dans l’aquarelle de Naudet ; elle supportait une statue du peuple français sous les traits d’Hercule. La montagne était suffisamment élevée pour accueillir les membres de la Convention, les musiciens et une foule de participants qui interprétèrent un hymne à l’Etre suprême sur une musique de Gossec et des paroles de Marie-Joseph Chénier, et jurèrent de ne déposer les armes qu’après avoir triomphé des ennemis de la République. À droite, le char de Cérès, tiré par des bœufs, est, avec l’Hercule et le trépied fumant, la référence obligée à une Antiquité mythique dont les vertus supposées étaient érigées en modèles. À la fin de la cérémonie, cependant, apparurent les premières marques déclarées d’hostilité envers Robespierre, dont le 9 thermidor allait voir la chute, moins de deux mois plus tard.

Sous un ciel dont le bleu est nuancé de nuages légers, dans un registre réduit de couleurs pâles, Naudet a rendu, plus que la gravité d’une liturgie solennelle, l’enthousiasme d’une foule, rivalisant de verve avec Swebach (vr no 147). Il a isolé le motif de la montagne, en l’utilisant comme une sorte de dispositif scénographique et en a fait le centre de sa composition, à l’encontre, par exemple, d’un De Machy qui, dans son tableau du musée Carnavalet, déploie une vision panoramique du Champ de Mars, avec la colonnade circulaire du temple de l’Immortalité (vestige, il est vrai, d’une fête antérieure, celle de l’Unité).

La Fête de l’Etre suprême, 20 prairial an II (8 juin 1794)
Mémoire de l’artificier Ruggieri relatif à la Fête de l’Etre suprême, 20 prairial an II.

Voir encore:

Vue du jardin national et des décorations, le jour de la fête célébrée en l’honneur de l’être suprême
Fête de l’Etre suprême au Champ de Mars (20 prairial an II – 8 juin 1794)

Auteur : Pierre-Antoine DEMACHY (1723-1807)
Date de création : 1794
Date représentée : 8 juin 1794
Dimensions : Hauteur 53.5 cm – Largeur 88.5 cm
Technique et autres indications : Huile sur toile
Lieu de Conservation : Musée Carnavalet (Paris) ; site web

Contexte historique
L’alliance de la Vertu et de la Terreur

A l’été 1793, la Révolution française traverse une période sombre : le pays est durement touché par une crise économique et des troubles sociaux auxquels s’ajoutent une guerre civile (insurrection vendéenne et révolte fédéraliste) et une série de défaites militaires aux frontières. Or l’entrée de Robespierre, fervent jacobin, au Comité de salut public le 27 juillet 1793 marque un tournant : elle permet au gouvernement révolutionnaire d’opérer un redressement de la situation sur tous les fronts, tandis qu’elle entraîne simultanément une radicalisation de la Révolution. Robespierre, qui aspire à l’unité et à la régénération du peuple, s’efforce d’éliminer physiquement tous les ennemis de la Révolution. A ce renforcement de la Terreur, il ajoute l’instauration d’une religion d’Etat en mai 1794 : le culte de l’Etre suprême, en l’honneur duquel il organise des cérémonies fastueuses le 8 juin suivant.

Analyse de l’image
La fête de l’Etre suprême

Cette huile sur toile de Pierre-Antoine Demachy (1723-1807), peintre d’histoire et excellent dessinateur, livre un témoignage particulièrement intéressant sur le déroulement de la fête de l’Etre suprême au Champ-de-Mars, à Paris. Une vue panoramique du Champ-de-Mars lui a permis de restituer l’ampleur et la somptuosité de la célébration : au premier plan figure le peuple, dont les gestes, minutieusement dépeints, laissent transparaître l’allégresse que suscite la vue, au deuxième plan, d’une gigantesque procession formée par les représentants du peuple suivis des soldats révolutionnaires et de la garde républicaine. Au centre, sur un char que tirent quatre taureaux, trône l’allégorie des instruments des arts et des métiers et des productions du territoire français. Ce cortège s’achemine vers une sorte de rocher artificiel – la « montagne sacrée » par excellence – au sommet duquel s’élèvent l’arbre de la Liberté, symbole de l’unité et de l’adhésion collective à la Révolution, et une colonne antique surmontée d’une statue qui brandit un flambeau. En arrière-plan, à gauche, l’architecture massive de l’Ecole militaire évoque le cadre urbain dans lequel s’insère cette fête aux allures champêtres et mythologiques. Ainsi, de cette composition minutieuse et savamment élaborée se dégage une impression de grandeur, mais aussi de froideur qui correspond bien à l’esprit de la cérémonie, dont le faste hautain et le rituel à l’antique, strictement pensé dans ses moindres détails, étaient surtout destinés à inspirer la stupeur et à frapper l’imagination du peuple, plus spectateur qu’acteur.
Interprétation
Les cultes révolutionnaires de l’an II

Fervent catholique, Robespierre s’opposait fermement à l’accélération du processus de déchristianisation entamé en septembre 1792. Pour lui, le vide laissé par la disparition du catholicisme risquait de plus de désorienter le peuple, accoutumé à ses dogmes et à ses rites. C’est pourquoi il s’efforça de créer une religion officielle, conforme aux idéaux des Lumières et, en particulier, aux théories rousseauistes, qui postulaient l’existence d’une morale naturelle et universelle et d’une divinité impersonnelle, l’Etre suprême, créateur de l’Univers. Dépourvue de prêtres et de sanctuaires, cette nouvelle religion déiste et patriotique n’en revêtait pas moins toutes les apparences d’un culte. La fête du 8 juin 1794 rencontra ainsi un certain succès en France. Elle ne fut que le couronnement d’une série de tentatives menées par les dirigeants de l’an II pour instaurer un culte révolutionnaire. Pour la plupart avortées, ces tentatives témoignent de la complexité des liens qui unissaient la sphère politique et la sphère religieuse, ainsi que de l’impossibilité d’éradiquer tout sentiment religieux. Elles constituèrent également le point de départ d’une religion civique dont les développements ont marqué l’histoire de la République.
Auteur : Charlotte DENOËL
– See more at: http://www.histoire-image.org/site/oeuvre/analyse.php?i=379#sthash.oDNzVfcC.dpuf
Titre : Mémoire de l’artificier Ruggieri relatif à la Fête de l’Etre suprême, 20 prairial an II.

Date de création : 1794
Date représentée : 8 juin 1794
Dimensions : Hauteur 32.5 cm – Largeur 21.5 cm
Technique et autres indications : manuscrit ; encre brune ; encre de couleur
Lieu de Conservation : Centre historique des Archives nationales (Paris) ; site web
Contact copyright : CARAN – service de reprographie, 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75141 Paris cedex 03 ; site web
Référence de l’image : F/4/2090

Contexte historique
Pourfendre l’athéisme à l’aide d’un simulacre pyrotechnique

La fête de l’Etre suprême du 20 prairial an II (8 juin 1794), voulue par Robespierre et orchestrée par J.-L. David, est composée de deux parties. Aux Tuileries, le peuple doit d’abord rejeter l’athéisme puis, au Champ-de-Mars, reconnaître l’Etre suprême et célébrer son adhésion à la Révolution (Voir « La Fête de l’Etre suprême au Champ-de-Mars » de P. A. Demachy ).

Dans l’esprit de Robespierre, la « déchristianisation » entreprise à partir de brumaire an II (novembre 1793) ne doit conduire ni à l’athéisme ni à la laïcité. La reconnaissance du « Grand Etre », auteur de l’Univers, est commune à Voltaire et à Rousseau, elle cimentera la société nouvelle. Le 18 floréal (7 mai), Robespierre fait prendre par la Convention le décret par lequel « le peuple français reconnaît l’Etre suprême et l’immortalité de l’âme » et lui fait approuver le projet de déroulement de la fête de l’Etre suprême mis au point par David pour le 20 prairial. Aux Tuileries, l’Incorruptible prononce deux discours pour stigmatiser l’athéisme, rendre grâce à l’Etre suprême et élever la conscience publique.

On fait appel à l’artificier Ruggieri[1], dont l’activité s’est prolongée jusqu’à notre époque, pour mettre en scène la défaite de l’athéisme. Lorsque débute la Révolution, Petrone Ruggieri exploite un Jardin Ruggieri au faubourg Montmartre, où sont mises en scène des pantomimes pyrotechniques, tous les dimanches et jours de fête à partir du mois de mai. La République, pauvre et guerrière, n’est guère portée sur cet art de substitution dont la monarchie a usé de façon dispendieuse. Elle compose de façon exceptionnelle avec les goûts du temps pour dénoncer le risque de l’athéisme, et non pour organiser un spectacle d’art pyrotechnique.

Analyse des images
Frapper les esprits

David a prévu un effet bref mais spectaculaire : « Le président s’approche tenant entre ses mains un flambeau, le groupe s’embrase, il rentre dans le néant avec la même rapidité que les conspirateurs qu’a frappés le glaive de la loi. »

Daté du 20 fructidor an II (6 septembre 1794), le mémoire de l’artificier Ruggieri, qui s’intitule, à cette occasion, « artificier de la République française une et indivisible », révèle que la statue de l’Athéisme à laquelle Robespierre, habillé en bleu céleste, met le feu a reçu un traitement spécial afin de brûler de façon fulgurante. Il détaille la composition de la pâte inflammable et mentionne aussi la main-d’œuvre « pour avoi