Syrie/Irak: Attention, un triomphe peut en cacher un autre ! (Obama legacy: After the nuclear deal and the Islamic state, guess on whose doorstep Iranian troops are now being delivered ?)

3 juillet, 2017
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Les forces irakiennes affirment avoir délogé les combattants de l’Etat islamique de la mosquée Al-Nouri de Mossoul, haut lieu symbolique de la ville mais également du pouvoir des djihadistes en Irak. Les forces irakiennes ont annoncé ce 29 juin avoir pris le contrôle de la mosquée Al-Nouri de Mossoul, où Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, le chef de l’Etat islamique, avait donné en juillet 2014 son premier prêche en tant que chef de l’Etat islamique – sa dernière apparition publique connue à ce jour. (…) Le général-brigadier Yahya Rasool se félicite de son côté d’une victoire qui, selon lui, marque un triomphe sur l’Etat islamique. «Leur Etat illusoire s’est effondré», s’est-il réjoui. «Nous assistons à la fin du faux Etat de Daesh», a déclaré le Premier ministre irakien Haider al-Abadi en anglais sur son compte Twitter. RT
Je n’ai pas énoncé que la destitution de Bachar al-Assad était un préalable à tout. Car personne ne m’a présenté son successeur légitime ! Mes lignes sont claires. Un : la lutte absolue contre tous les groupes terroristes. Ce sont eux, nos ennemis. […] Nous avons besoin de la coopération de tous pour les éradiquer, en particulier de la Russie. Deux : la stabilité de la Syrie, car je ne veux pas d’un État failli. L’utilisation d’armes chimiques donnera lieu à des répliques, y compris de la France seule. Emmanuel Macron
La mairie de Londres a autorisé la tenue dimanche d’un rassemblement anti-israélien organisé par des sympathisants du groupe terroriste chiite libanais Hezbollah. Selon les organisateurs de la Journée d’Al-Quds, les participants ont été autorisés par la mairie à manifester avec le drapeau du groupe terroriste car l’aile politique du Hezbollah n’est pas une organisation proscrite par les autorités britanniques. Les États-Unis, le Canada, l’Australie et la Ligue arabe ont placé le Hezbollah sur leur liste officielle des organisations terroristes. L’Union européenne ne considère pas l’ensemble du groupe comme terroriste mais a inscrit la branche militaire de l’organisation chiite sur sa liste noire, car « liée à des actes terroristes perpétrés sur le territoire européen ». Instaurée en 1979 par l’Ayatollah Khomeini, fondateur de la République Islamique d’Iran, la Journée mondiale d’Al-Quds est un événement anti-israélien annuel destiné à protester contre le contrôle israélien sur Jérusalem (Al-Quds en arabe) et à exprimer la solidarité avec le peuple palestinien. Au cours de cet événement, célébré dans le monde entier dans les communautés chiites, les manifestants scandent des slogans appelant à la destruction d’Israël et brûlent des drapeaux israéliens. Le Monde juif info
Un adage largement admis par la sagesse populaire est malmené depuis près de soixante dix ans au Moyen Orient. «On ne peut faire la paix qu’avec ses ennemis». Car, encore faut-il être capable de définir l’ennemi. La nébuleuse terroriste étant multicéphale, le monde musulman ayant, dans son ensemble, rejeté Israël depuis sa fondation et l’Autorité Palestinienne ne symbolisant qu’un point d’achoppement d’un conflit bien plus large, le simple fait d’avoir rebaptisé le conflit israélo-arabe (qui s’étend à l’Iran depuis la révolution de 1979 ) en conflit israélo-palestinien, cache une réalité bien plus vaste à laquelle Israël ne cesse d’être confronté. S’il est tout à fait légitime de critiquer le gouvernement israélien, comme celui de n’importe quel pays, et même de s’insurger contre nombre de ses politiques, il serait dommageable de passer à coté de certaines vérités, qui font que les Israéliens s’inquiètent de la crédibilité du partenaire pour la paix que l’on tente de leur imposer. (…) la situation au Proche Orient s’affirmant de plus en plus volatile, un nouveau projet de processus plus global, impliquant les pays limitrophes semble se profiler à l’horizon. Trump et ses conseillers, sans se ranger complètement du coté de la position israélienne, ont fini par comprendre qu’Israël n’a aucun intérêt à accepter une paix telle que définie par l’Autorité Palestinienne, et qui n’impliquerait pas la participation intégrale du monde arabe. La confrontation décadaire pourrait bien de la sorte reprendre son identité de conflit israélo-arabe, duquel il ressortirait enfin un authentique projet de paix. Car on ne peut faire la paix qu’avec ses ennemis… dans leur ensemble et pas seulement avec la partie immergée de l’Iceberg. Pierre Rehov
En sus de la chute imminente de ces deux places fortes, l’EI a perdu la plus grande partie de son territoire et de ses revenus, selon une évaluation divulguée jeudi par le cabinet de référence des questions militaires et de conflits, IHS Markit. A son apogée à l’été 2014, il assurait une souveraineté quasi étatique (armée, taxes, justice expéditive, versement d’allocations, administration) sur environ 8 millions de personnes et un territoire grand comme 4 régions françaises, quoique largement désertique. Depuis lors, il a perdu 60 % de ce territoire, estime IHS Markit (ex-Jane’s), dont 40 % depuis janvier. Son effondrement financier est encore plus spectaculaire. Les revenus de l’EI sont tombés à 16 millions au deuxième trimestre 2017, exactement 5 fois moins qu’il y a deux ans. Les salaires des combattants avaient été divisés par 2, à 400 dollars par mois pour les djihadistes étrangers, début 2016 et auraient encore été baissés cette année. IHS ne donne pas d’indication sur les réserves de l’EI, censées avoir atteint 1 milliard de dollars en 2014 à la suite du pillage (non confirmé) de la succursale de la Banque centrale d’Irak à Mossoul. Les revenus pétroliers de l’EI ont été divisés par 10 à cause de la chute mondiale des cours, de la destruction de ses puits par l’aviation russe et occidentale et des pertes de territoires. Les autres revenus de l’EI, trafic d’antiquités, racket et rançons, ont, pour leur part, été divisés par 5 en raison, là aussi, de la perte de territoires, souligne Ludovico Carlino, analyste à IHS Markit. « Le projet de gouvernance du califat a échoué », conclut Columb Strack, spécialiste du Moyen-Orient à IHS. Mais IHS estime que l’EI va tenter d’intensifier sa campagne terroriste en Occident pour compenser ses pertes territoriales. Les pressions des gouvernements égyptien et saoudien sur les religieux pour qu’ils interprètent le Coran dans un sens « plus moderne » risquent de pousser certains conservateurs à basculer dans la violence, avertit IHS, qui affirme que le « risque terroriste va augmenter ». Paris estime que 700 Français ont rejoint l’EI. Quelque 200 d’entre eux sont revenus et un nombre équivalent a été abattu. C’est de loin le plus fort contingent parmi les 3.000 djihadistes européens. Les Echos
Les principales puissances impliquées dans la guerre en Syrie sont engagés dans une course visant à engranger le maximum de bénéfices tirés de l’effondrement de l’Etat Islamique, dans l’Est et le Sud de la Syrie. Les avancées continues des forces du régime syrien et de milices appuyées par l’Iran vers la base d’Al-Tanf tenue par les forces spéciales américaines et occidentales – ainsi que les avancées potentielles des deux côtés de la frontière irakienne – élève le risque d’affrontements supplémentaires susceptibles d’entraîner lers Etats-Unis et la Russie, bien que cette dernière n’aient pas voulu défier les Etats-Unis, après leurs frappes délibérées contre un convoi et des avions de chasse syriens. Jforum
La bataille de Raqqa, du point de vue stratégique, est une affaire classée. L’unique inconnue consiste à savoir combien de temps les 3 000 miliciens islamistes de DAESH acculés et encerclés dans la ville résisteront aux 20 000 combattants kurdes, à leurs 4 000 alliés tribaux arabes dans les FDS, et à l’extraordinaire puissance de feu des avions, des canons et des commandos américains. On ne voit pas les Alaouites, les Syriens, les chiites libanais ou les Russes se risquer à déranger la ripaille ; pour Raqqa, ils arrivent trop tard. Le véritable enjeu des incidents de dimanche se nomme Deïr ez-Zor, la ville située à 125km en aval de Raqqa sur l’Euphrate. Pour l’Armée d’Assad, appuyée par ses acolytes perses et libanais, qui, depuis l’offensive victorieuse des FDS face à l’Etat Islamique – mais uniquement à partir de ce moment – progresse sur trois fronts, nord, centre et sud, l’objectif est d’arriver à Deïr ez-Zor avant les Américains et leurs alliés kurdes. D’abord pour libérer les soldats gouvernementaux encerclés, mais c’est secondaire, car la finalité stratégique de cette course poursuite, c’est l’occupation de la frontière avec l’Irak afin de permettre la consolidation du corridor terrestre chiite : Téhéran-Bagdad-Damas-Beyrouth. Pour l’Amérique, ses alliés européens, arabes et israéliens, le but stratégique est bien sûr inverse. Nombre d’analystes se demandent cette semaine si les menaces russes et les tirs de missiles iraniens, n’avait pas pour but de tester les Américains et Donald Trump. Pour savoir jusqu’où le nouveau président U.S est prêt à impliquer son armée pour empêcher les Iraniens de parvenir à leur fin. (…) L’enjeu du questionnement est considérable. De l’ « autoroute chiite » dépend par exemple l’avenir du Liban, déjà sous le joug impitoyable de Téhéran mais que les ayatollahs doivent entretenir. Et aussi la confiance que Riyad, Le Caire, les Etats du Golfe et toute l’arabité sunnite ont placée en Donald Trump qui est venu la leur demander. Simplement dit : si Trump laisse les Iraniens et le régime prendre Deïr ez-Zor, la brève lune de miel entre le monde arabe et Trump sera déjà terminée. On comprend soudain le rôle de contrepoids que jouait l’Etat Islamique (sunnite) dans l’est syrien pour contrecarrer l’expansion iranienne (chiite), bien plus menaçante pour les Occidentaux au niveau stratégique que la présence des djihadistes salafistes dans la région. Pendant que la coalition leur assène les derniers coups de boutoir à Raqqa, on réalise à Washington qu’il va falloir remplir le vide que va laisser DAESH le long de la frontière irakienne si l’on ne veut pas perdre la Guerre de Syrie et d’Irak et participer à la création d’un empire persan au Proche et au Moyen-Orient. La neutralisation de l’Etat Islamique, qu’on accusait à tort de tirer les ficelles des attentats terroristes en Europe à partir de Raqqa et Mossoul, a été une erreur. Il suffisait de le circonscrire à l’Est et de couper son cordon ombilical avec Recep Erdogan pour que DAESH continue à servir nos intérêts sans avoir à risquer une confrontation avec les Russes et la régionalisation du conflit. Mais Obama, Catherine Ashton, Federica Mogherini, et les pleutres dirigeants de l’Europe avaient peur de froisser le dictateur constitutionnel turc et l’ont laissé agir. Or les arrangements diplomatiques ne justifient jamais de ne pas prendre les décisions qui s’imposent du point de vue stratégique. L’Occident, qui est en train de s’empêtrer en Syrie, en fait une nouvelle fois l’expérience. Comme s’il était incapable de retenir les leçons de l’histoire.   « L’autoroute chiite » permettrait, premièrement, pour Téhéran, de maintenir le contrôle des territoires conquis. Ensuite de fournir des armes lourdes et encombrantes, dans ces pays, à ses supplétifs. Et pour finir, de dépêcher des conseillers et des soldats dans tout le Moyen-Orient, y compris à la frontière d’Israël, afin d’y instiller l’instabilité et d’y combattre les alliés sunnites de Jérusalem. Mena press
Les forces régulières iraniennes ont profité du vide créé par le retrait de l’Etat islamique et ont conquis les étendues désertiques de la Syrie centrale et orientale. J’estime que l’Iran contrôle maintenant plus de 60% de la Syrie, à la fois directement par les forces régulières des Gardiens de la révolution et indirectement par le Hezbollah et d’autres milices chiites, il s’agit de terrains désertiques à faible densité de population. Les forces militaires iraniennes en Syrie ont des bases importantes qui leur donnent toute liberté d’action. D’abord et avant tout parmi ces bases se trouve l’aéroport de Palmyre qui permet à l’Iran de transférer vers la Syrie par voie aérienne, par des vols directs en provenance d’Iran n’importe quel équipement militaire en particulier des missiles, des obus et d’autres types de munitions. (…) Cela met en évidence un changement fondamental dans le comportement iranien: jusqu’à récemment, l’Iran utilisait des vols commerciaux déguisés pour transférer des armes et des missiles à l’aéroport international de Damas (…) Mais (…)  (…) L’Iran est en train de devenir dans les faits une puissance régionale qui contrôle militairement un immense territoire, de l’Asie centrale à la Méditerranée. Le détail important dans ce contexte est que tout cela se déroule sous l’œil vigilant des deux puissances mondiales, la Russie et les États-Unis, chacune selon son intérêt. Pour les Russes, il s’agit de renforcer le régime d’Assad et d’éliminer toutes les organisations sunnites financées et conseillées par l’Arabie saoudite et les autres Etats arabes sunnites y compris la Turquie. Poutine a réussi à apprivoiser Erdogan qui désormais craint davantage les Kurdes de Syrie qu’il ne déteste Assad et ses alliés iraniens et il est ainsi devenu un maillon important dans la coalition russo-iranienne qui soutient Assad. Les Etats-Unis ont observé le renforcement militaire de l’Iran en Syrie, qui a commencé il y a quatre ans sans s’y être opposés sérieusement, sauf récemment en abattant des drones, un petit coup pour l’Iran. Jusqu’en janvier 2017, les États-Unis ont laissé faire parce qu’Obama a voulu favorisé l’hégémonie des Chiites arabes et iraniens sur le Mashreq, monde arabe situé à l’Est d’Israël, alors que le Maghreb resterait une zone sunnite. Depuis que Trump est entré dans la Maison Blanche, l’objectif principal de l’action américaine en Syrie est la destruction de l’Etat islamique. Les Forces américaines sont engagées principalement dans la formation de forces rebelles modérées et dans l’alliance avec les Kurdes qui avec l’aide des forces aériennes américaines vont éliminer Abou Bakar Al Bagdadi et son Etat. La raison a été la crainte des Américains et des Européens que le modèle politique terroriste de l’Etat islamique devienne un modèle de réussite dans la conscience des musulmans ce qui pourrait conduire à la multiplication de colonies d’Etats islamiques à travers le monde, y compris en Europe, sur la base des communautés musulmanes locales. Il est également possible qu’il y ait une entente entre le gouvernement Trump et les Russes permettant à l’Iran de contrôler les parties centrale et orientale de la Syrie  qui n’intéressent pas les Russes afin que ces zones ne deviennent pas un asile pour l’Etat islamique suivant l’amère expérience des Américains en Afghanistan où les Talibans ont repris le contrôle de vastes territoires alors qu’ils avaient été vaincus. Les forces de la coalition chiite qui ont envahi la Syrie (Iraniens, Libanais, Irakiens, Afghans) sont en train d’effectuer un nettoyage ethnique visant les citoyens syriens sunnites dans différentes régions du pays en les expulsant pour installer dans leurs maisons et dans leurs communautés des immigrants chiites de Syrie, d’Irak et d’Afghanistan. Ainsi, suite aux mauvaises intentions de l’administration Obama et aux choix prioritaires de l’administration Trump, l’Iran est devenu le vainqueur manifeste de la guerre en Syrie. Personne dans le monde ne réussira à chasser l’armée iranienne de Syrie et nous devons – en Israël, en Europe et aux Etats-Unis – s’habituer au fait que l’Iran s’étend désormais sur une grande partie de l’Irak, de la Syrie et du Liban. (…) L’Iran est le vainqueur éclatant, ultime de la guerre civile en Syrie, et le plus tôt, nous en Israël et dans le monde, nous le reconnaitrons, le mieux sera pour nous et pour le monde entier. Mordechai Kedar

Attention: un triomphe peut en cacher un autre !

A l’heure où nos médias nous abreuvent quotidiennement d’images et de communiqués chaque fois plus triomphants de la chute programmée et en cours de l’Etat islamique …

Et où commence le retour lui aussi programmé en Europe des djihadistes aguerris s’apprêtant notamment à rejoindre les quelque 15 000 fichés S et leurs amis prieurs de rue répartis sur le territoire français …

Pendant que comme aux plus beaux jours du Londonistan et entre deux attentats islamistes, Londres laisse appeler dans ses rues drapeau du Hezbollah en tête à la destruction d’Israël …

Et que dans la bouche du néo-filloniste président Macron, Paris appelle en Syrie à la coopération avec Poutine …

Qui prend la peine de rappeler (merci Danilette) …

Derrière la course de vitesse qui est en train de se jouer entre les différentes forces sur le terrain, y compris russes et américaines …

Une autre conséquence jusqu’ici oubliée du funeste retrait des troupes américaines décidées par Obama à la veille de sa réélection de 2012 …

A savoir après celle du feu vert accordé à l’Iran pour l’arme nucléaire

Et le basculement – la nature ayant horreur du vide – de toute la partie sunnite de l’Irak et de la Syrie dans les bras des djihadistes de Rakka …

L’ultime triomphe iranien de la création d’une véritable autoroute Téhéran-Bagdad-Damas-Beyrouth

Permettant au régime terroriste de Téhéran d’acheminer dorénavant en toute tranquillité par la route …

Non seulement les armes et missiles qu’il transférait jusque là par vols commerciaux déguisés à ses supplétifs libanais …

Mais toutes espèces d’armes lourdes, conseillers et soldats à la porte même d’Israël ?

L’Iran a conquis la Syrie
Mordechai Kedar
Adapté par Danilette
2 juillet 2017

Depuis les deux dernières années, nous nous sommes habitués au fait que la Russie a transporté des forces armées en Syrie et contrôle la bande côtière, ses ports et deux bases aériennes. Nous nous sommes également habitués à voir le Hezbollah et les milices libanaises chiites impliqués dans le conflit syrien apportant un renfort important à l’armée d’Assad. Nous avons entendu que d’autres milices chiites supplémentaires sont arrivées d’Irak, Afghanistan sous le commandement des Gardiens de la révolution et que de temps en temps ces forces chiites enregistrent des pertes sur le sol syrien. L’impression qui en résulte est que l’Iran a envoyé plusieurs gangs chiites combattre des gangs sunnites sur le sol syrien.

Mais la situation sur le terrain est totalement différente, car les forces iraniennes qui se trouvent en Syrie ne sont plus depuis longtemps des  gangs ou des milices mais une véritable armée à tout point de vue, dirigée par les Gardiens de la révolution, avec des unités d’infanterie, des commandos, des chars, de l’artillerie, une force aérienne, des unités de renseignements et de logistique et cela s’est construit peu à peu au cours des quatre années écoulées, pratiquement sans couverture médiatique.

L’opération militaire la plus importante effectuée par l’armée iranienne en Syrie a été la libération de la ville d’Alep dans le nord de la Syrie qui s’est terminé en décembre 2016. Cette opération a été une coopération entre la Russie et l’Iran, les forces aériennes russes bombardant alors que les forces iraniennes et le Hezbollah et les autres milices chiites d’infanterie avançaient sur le terrain pour transférer les zones libérées à l’armée d’Assad.

Depuis le début de 2017, l’Iran étend son contrôle sur les déserts central et méridional de la Syrie dont certaines parties étaient contrôlées par l’Etat islamique sunnite jusqu’à il y a quelques mois. Aujourd’hui, cette organisation se bat pour sa survie à trois endroits : dans la ville irakienne de Mossoul, dans sa « capitale », la ville de Raqqa en Syrie et à Deir ez-Zor en Syrie orientale. Quand Mossoul tombera aux mains de l’armée irakienne alors très probablement, Raqqa et Deir al-Zour tomberont à leur tour.

Les forces régulières iraniennes ont profité du vide créé par le retrait de l’Etat islamique et ont conquis les étendues désertiques de la Syrie centrale et orientale. J’estime que l’Iran contrôle maintenant plus de 60% de la Syrie, à la fois directement par les forces régulières des Gardiens de la révolution et indirectement par le Hezbollah et d’autres milices chiites, il s’agit de terrains désertiques à faible densité de population.

Les forces militaires iraniennes en Syrie ont des bases importantes qui leur donnent toute liberté d’action. D’abord et avant tout parmi ces bases se trouve l’aéroport de Palmyre qui permet à l’Iran de transférer vers la Syrie par voie aérienne, par des vols directs en provenance d’Iran n’importe quel équipement militaire en particulier des missiles, des obus et d’autres types de munitions.

Israël était très préoccupé et cette année des cibles ont été attaquées dans la région de Palmyre. Selon des sources étrangères, les cibles visées étaient des dépôts de missiles importés d’Iran.

Cela met en évidence un changement fondamental dans le comportement iranien: jusqu’à récemment, l’Iran utilisait des vols commerciaux déguisées pour transférer des armes et des missiles à l’aéroport international de Damas, et selon des sources étrangères, Israël a attaqué à plusieurs reprises ces entrepôts dans l’aéroport et aux alentours. Les Iraniens en ont conclu que le renseignement israélien a recruté des citoyens syriens travaillant dans l’aéroport ou vivant à proximité qui lui servent de sources d’information. La proximité géographique de Damas permet à l’armée israélienne d’agir efficacement contre des cibles près de la capitale syrienne.

Cependant, l’aéroport de Palmyre se trouvent à des centaines de kilomètres d’Israël, la région est peu peuplée et il est plus difficile d’y trouver des sources d’information sur les transferts d’armes iraniennes. Mais Israël a quand même réussi à lancer une attaque sur Palmyre à partir d’autres sources d’information. Cette question montre comment la guerre des renseignements continue même si le public n’en a pas connaissance, ce qui est mieux.

Récemment des informations ont fait état du fait que l’Iran a mis en service un autre aéroport, Alsin qui se trouve dans le sud de la Syrie dans la région d’Al Tanaf proche de la frontière triangulaire entre la Syrie, l’Irak et la Jordanie, dans cet endroit il y a un poste-frontière entre l’Irak et la Syrie et son contrôle permet aux Iraniens de déplacer des forces sans entrave jusqu’au Liban  qui est déjà depuis longtemps sous le contrôle effectif du Hezbollah, la branche libanaise de la pieuvre iranienne.

L’Iran est en train de devenir dans les faits une puissance régionale qui contrôle militairement un immense territoire, de l’Asie centrale à la Méditerranée.

Le détail important dans ce contexte est que tout cela se déroule sous l’œil vigilant des deux puissances mondiales, la Russie et les États-Unis, chacune selon son intérêt. Pour les Russes, il s’agit de renforcer le régime d’Assad et d’éliminer toutes les organisations sunnites financées et conseillées par l’Arabie saoudite et les autres Etats arabes sunnites y compris la Turquie. Poutine a réussi à apprivoiser Erdogan qui désormais craint davantage les Kurdes de Syrie qu’il ne déteste Assad et ses alliés iraniens et il est ainsi devenu un maillon important dans la coalition russo-iranienne qui soutient Assad.

Les Etats-Unis ont observé le renforcement militaire de l’Iran en Syrie, qui a commencé il y a quatre ans sans s’y être opposés sérieusement, sauf récemment en abattant des drones, un petit coup pour l’Iran. Jusqu’en janvier 2017, les États-Unis ont laissé faire parce qu’Obama a voulu favorisé l’hégémonie des Chiites arabes et iraniens sur le Mashreq, monde arabe situé à l’Est d’Israël, alors que le Maghreb resterait une zone sunnite.
Depuis que Trump est entré dans la Maison Blanche, l’objectif principal de l’action américaine en Syrie est la destruction de l’Etat islamique. Les Forces américaines sont engagées principalement dans la formation de forces rebelles modérées et dans l’alliance avec les Kurdes qui avec l’aide des forces aériennes américaines vont éliminer Abou Bakar Al Bagdadi et son Etat. La raison a été la crainte des Américains et des Européens que le modèle politique terroriste de l’Etat islamique devienne un modèle de réussite dans la conscience des musulmans ce qui pourrait conduire à la multiplication de colonies d’Etats islamiques à travers le monde, y compris en Europe, sur la base des communautés musulmanes locales.

Il est également possible qu’il y ait une entente entre le gouvernement Trump et les Russes permettant à l’Iran de contrôler les parties centrale et orientale de la Syrie  qui n’intéressent pas les Russes afin que ces zones ne deviennent pas un asile pour l’Etat islamique suivant l’amère expérience des Américains en Afghanistan où les Talibans ont repris le contrôle de vastes territoires alors qu’ils avaient été vaincus.

Les forces de la coalition chiite qui ont envahi la Syrie (Iraniens, Libanais, Irakiens, Afghans) sont en train d’effectuer un nettoyage ethnique visant les citoyens syriens sunnites dans différentes régions du pays en les expulsant pour installer dans leurs maisons et dans leurs communautés des immigrants chiites de Syrie, d’Irak et d’Afghanistan.

Ainsi, suite aux mauvaises intentions de l’administration Obama et aux choix prioritaires de l’administration Trump, l’Iran est devenu le vainqueur manifeste de la guerre en Syrie. Personne dans le monde ne réussira à chasser l’armée iranienne de Syrie et nous devons – en Israël, en Europe et aux Etats-Unis – s’habituer au fait que l’Iran s’étend désormais sur une grande partie de l’Irak, de la Syrie et du Liban. Le Hezbollah libanais est désormais relié avec l’Iran et c’est la raison pour laquelle Hassan Nasrallah se sent tellement sûr face à Israël qui hésite même à établir un mur de béton sur son territoire pour protéger ses citoyens contre les snipers du Hezbollah.

Il y a deux ans, alors que la Syrie était pleine désintégration, il y avait des Israéliens pour prétendre que la situation sécuritaire d’Israël s’était améliorée, qu’il n’y avait plus de menaces de la part de la Syrie et que le Hezbollah s’était profondément englué dans la boue syrienne !

Aujourd’hui l’évaluation est complètement différente : à la place de la Syrie, nous avons l’Iran comme voisin immédiat et le Hezbollah n’est plus une organisation isolée au Liban mais un bras important des forces iraniennes vraiment dures et menaçantes, stationnées à une courte distance de la frontière iranienne.

Le pire, c’est le fait que les média israéliens, même s’ils rapportent de temps en temps des nouvelles des forces iraniennes en Syrie, ne montrent pas une image de la situation menaçante résultant de la présence iranienne reliant les points sur la carte du pays qui était autrefois la Syrie.

L’Iran est le vainqueur éclatant, ultime de la guerre civile en Syrie, et le plus tôt, nous en Israël et dans le monde, nous le reconnaitrons, le mieux sera pour nous et pour le monde entier.

Voir aussi:

Syrie : le risque d’affrontement direct USA-Russie a soudainement augmenté
Stéphane Juffa
avec Jean Tsadik et Perwer Emmal
Mena press
21 juin 2017

L’US Air Force abat un Soukhoï syrien. Premiers combats entre les Kurdes et l’Armée gouvernementale.

Pendant que les Forces Démocratiques Syriennes, à forte prééminence kurde, combattent désormais à l’intérieur de Raqqa, où elles ont entamé une manœuvre en tenaille pour couper les quartiers nord de la capitale de l’Etat Islamique (DAESH) du reste de la cité de 200 000 habitants, nous avons assisté, ces trois derniers jours, à une extension majeure du conflit en Syrie.

D’abord, profitant de l’affaiblissement notoire de DAESH, qui se trouve acculé par les FDS et leurs alliés américains sur l’ensemble du front, l’Armée gouvernementale d’al Assad, soutenue par la milice chiite libanaise du Hezbollah, et de plus en plus massivement par des soldats réguliers iraniens, a, pour la première fois, attaqué les FDS.

Les combats se sont déroulés dimanche dans la localité de Ja’din (carte), à 40km au sud-ouest de Raqqa. A 17h43 GMT, ce jour-là, un Soukhoï-22 gouvernemental a largué des bombes sur les positions des FDS dans ce secteur, blessant plusieurs combattants.

L’appareil a immédiatement été abattu par un F/A-18 de l’U.S Air Force, en vertu des règles d’engagement au sein de la coalition et du principe de légitime défense, d’après un communiqué du commandement de la coalition.

« Les projets et les actes hostiles des forces pro-régime à l’encontre de la coalition et de ses partenaires en Syrie qui mènent des opérations anti-EI légitimes, ne seront pas tolérés », a précisé le communiqué.

On y lit encore que la coalition internationale « ne cherche pas à attaquer le régime syrien, les forces russes ou les forces pro-régime qui collaborent avec eux, mais elle n’hésitera pas à défendre la coalition ou ses partenaires face à toute menace éventuelle ».

L’incident a été suivi par des combats au sol opposant l’axe Assad-Iran-Hezbollah aux FDS. Ces dernières ont menacé explicitement le régime de Damas, au cas où les affrontements s’amplifieraient dans la périphérie de Raqqa, de s’emparer des quartiers et de l’aéroport de Qamishli, à 370km au nord-est, où des forces gouvernementales, complètement encerclées par les Peshmerga kurdes, sont encore tolérées. Le même sort serait réservé au minuscule détachement gouvernemental à Assaké.

Ja’din se trouve à proximité immédiate du carrefour stratégique de Resafa, pour l’instant toujours partiellement aux mains de DAESH, qui conduit à Raqqa au Nord, et à Deïr ez Zor au sud-est. Deïr ez-Zor, où la 104ème brigade d’élite aéroportée de la garde Républicaine gouvernementale, commandée par le Brigadier-Général Issam Zahreddine, se trouve complètement encerclée par DAESH depuis deux ans.

Depuis, selon nos informations, les affrontements entre les Forces Démocratiques Syriennes et l’alliance pro-Assad ont cessé, mais les deux armées se regardent en chiens de faïence à quelques kilomètres l’une de l’autre.

Les Russes menacent directement les Américains

En revanche, suite à l’interception du Soukhoï syrien, les relations entre les Russes et les Américains se sont dégradées, au point de courir le risque d’une confrontation armée entre eux. Tout d’abord, avant-hier, lundi, Moscou a déclaré la suspension du canal de communication militaire avec Washington. Car, pour les Russes, les Américains auraient dû l’utiliser afin de prévenir qu’ils s’apprêtaient à abattre le bombardier de leur allié.

Bien plus inquiétant encore, le ministère russe de la Guerre a annoncé que « ses moyens de défense antiaérienne et ses avions suivraient et prendraient pour cibles les appareils et les drones de la coalition évoluant à l’ouest [au sud, dans la région de Raqqa] de l’Euphrate ». Presqu’au même moment, le gouvernement de Vladimir Poutine avait annoncé, plus globalement encore, qu’ « il pointerait ses missiles vers tout avion de la coalition internationale survolant la Syrie ».

Rien ne dit que le Tzarévitch mettra sa menace à exécution, mais il y a lieu de la prendre au sérieux. C’est par exemple ce qu’ont déjà fait les Australiens, qui ont décidé, par mesure de précaution, d’interrompre leurs missions d’attaque en Syrie, après que le Kremlin a déclaré considérer à partir de maintenant les appareils de la coalition comme des « cibles ».

Le contingent australien compte trois cents hommes, six chasseurs-bombardiers F/A-18, un appareil de surveillance et d’alerte avancée E-7A, et un avion de transport et de ravitaillement aérien KC-30A.

Quant aux Américains, dans un souci d’apaisement, ils ont annoncé vouloir rétablir le canal de communication, mais ils ont également déclaré qu’ils réagiraient sans état d’âme à toute attaque visant leurs avions.

En sus de plusieurs douzaines de chasseurs et de bombardiers dont disposent les Russes en Syrie, et qui ont déjà tué des dizaines de milliers de personnes, ils ont également déployé des systèmes de défense antiaériens S-300 et S-400, qui passent pour très performants. Reste que notre analyse est sans appel : les Russes, malgré leur équipement, ne sont pas de taille à se mesurer aux Américains en Syrie ; ce, même si une confrontation armée ne serait assurément pas une partie de plaisir pour les fils de l’Oncle Sam et qu’ils y perdraient des plumes.

La vraie préoccupation est celle d’éviter un affrontement militaire ente les deux plus grandes puissances militaires du globe. Ce, alors que Vladimir Poutine bluffe manifestement, dans le plus pur style de ses prédécesseurs soviétiques, voulant donner l’impression qu’il n’hésiterait pas un instant avant d’actionner la détente de son pistolet. A Métula, nous pensons au contraire qu’il y réfléchira à plusieurs fois avant de se lancer dans une telle aventure dans laquelle il n’a rien à gagner.

L’Iran tire sept de ses missiles les plus précis sur Deïr ez-Zor, seulement deux y parviennent

L’autre nouvelle, c’est le lancement par l’Iran de sept missiles balistiques sol-sol de portée intermédiaire Zulfiqar [le nom du sabre recourbé d’Ali, qu’il aurait reçu des mains du Prophète Mahomet. Ali fut le 4ème calife de l’islam et le 1er imam du chiisme] sur les positions de l’Etat Islamique dans la ville de Deïr ez-Zor.

Ces fusées étaient considérées jusqu’à dimanche comme les plus précises de l’arsenal des ayatollahs, et capables de parcourir entre 7 et 800km. Dimanche, à partir de la ville perse de Kermanshah, ils n’avaient à survoler que 450km, pourtant rien ne s’est passé comme prévu par la dictature chiite. Seuls deux missiles ont atteint leur but, n’infligeant que des dommages mineurs aux islamistes, tandis que trois autres explosaient sur le territoire irakien, et que les deux restants manquaient leur cible de plusieurs kilomètres, explosant dans des zones non habitées de Syrie.

Ce qui devait constituer un message d’intimidation destiné aux USA, aux sunnites et à Israël, de l’aveu même de la presse téhéranaise, a tourné en eau de boudin. Il en faudra beaucoup plus pour impressionner Jérusalem, dont les missiles frappent leurs cibles au mètre près en Syrie. Les Hébreux sont parés pour administrer une correction aux apprentis sorciers iraniens, s’il leur prenait la très mauvaise idée de se frotter à Israël ; à Téhéran, les décideurs ont probablement tiré les leçons de ce fiasco. Tandis qu’à Jérusalem, on se contente, comme l’a répété Binyamin Netanyahu, « de surveiller l’activité de l’Iran en Syrie ».

Deux incidents graves pour un même enjeu

La bataille de Raqqa, du point de vue stratégique, est une affaire classée. L’unique inconnue consiste à savoir combien de temps les 3 000 miliciens islamistes de DAESH acculés et encerclés dans la ville résisteront aux 20 000 combattants kurdes, à leurs 4 000 alliés tribaux arabes dans les FDS, et à l’extraordinaire puissance de feu des avions, des canons et des commandos américains.

On ne voit pas les Alaouites, les Syriens, les chiites libanais ou les Russes se risquer à déranger la ripaille ; pour Raqqa, ils arrivent trop tard.

Le véritable enjeu des incidents de dimanche se nomme Deïr ez-Zor, la ville située à 125km en aval de Raqqa sur l’Euphrate. Pour l’Armée d’Assad, appuyée par ses acolytes perses et libanais, qui, depuis l’offensive victorieuse des FDS face à l’Etat Islamique – mais uniquement à partir de ce moment – progresse sur trois fronts, nord, centre et sud, l’objectif est d’arriver à Deïr ez-Zor avant les Américains et leurs alliés kurdes.

D’abord pour libérer les soldats gouvernementaux encerclés, mais c’est secondaire, car la finalité stratégique de cette course poursuite, c’est l’occupation de la frontière avec l’Irak afin de permettre la consolidation du corridor terrestre chiite : Téhéran-Bagdad-Damas-Beyrouth.

Pour l’Amérique, ses alliés européens, arabes et israéliens, le but stratégique est bien sûr inverse. Nombre d’analystes se demandent cette semaine si les menaces russes et les tirs de missiles iraniens, n’avait pas pour but de tester les Américains et Donald Trump. Pour savoir jusqu’où le nouveau président U.S est prêt à impliquer son armée pour empêcher les Iraniens de parvenir à leur fin.

Nous l’ignorons pour le moment, et ne sommes pas absolument certains que M. Trump ait déjà décidé. Nous sentons les conciliabules se multiplier à Washington et sommes fort intéressés à connaître la position finale qu’adopteront les Etats-Unis.

L’enjeu du questionnement est considérable. De l’ « autoroute chiite » dépend par exemple l’avenir du Liban, déjà sous le joug impitoyable de Téhéran mais que les ayatollahs doivent entretenir. Et aussi la confiance que Riyad, Le Caire, les Etats du Golfe et toute l’arabité sunnite ont placée en Donald Trump qui est venu la leur demander. Simplement dit : si Trump laisse les Iraniens et le régime prendre Deïr ez-Zor, la brève lune de miel entre le monde arabe et Trump sera déjà terminée.

On comprend soudain le rôle de contrepoids que jouait l’Etat Islamique (sunnite) dans l’est syrien pour contrecarrer l’expansion iranienne (chiite), bien plus menaçante pour les Occidentaux au niveau stratégique que la présence des djihadistes salafistes dans la région. Pendant que la coalition leur assène les derniers coups de boutoir à Raqqa, on réalise à Washington qu’il va falloir remplir le vide que va laisser DAESH le long de la frontière irakienne si l’on ne veut pas perdre la Guerre de Syrie et d’Irak et participer à la création d’un empire persan au Proche et au Moyen-Orient. La neutralisation de l’Etat Islamique, qu’on accusait à tort de tirer les ficèles des attentats terroristes en Europe à partir de Raqqa et Mossoul, a été une erreur. Il suffisait de le circonscrire à l’Est et de couper son cordon ombilical avec Recep Erdogan pour que DAESH continue à servir nos intérêts sans avoir à risquer une confrontation avec les Russes et la régionalisation du conflit. Mais Obama, Catherine Ashton, Federica Mogherini, et les pleutres dirigeants de l’Europe avaient peur de froisser le dictateur constitutionnel turc et l’ont laissé agir. Or les arrangements diplomatiques ne justifient jamais de ne pas prendre les décisions qui s’imposent du point de vue stratégique. L’Occident, qui est en train de s’empêtrer en Syrie, en fait une nouvelle fois l’expérience. Comme s’il était incapable de retenir les leçons de l’histoire.

« L’autoroute chiite » permettrait, premièrement, pour Téhéran, de maintenir le contrôle des territoires conquis. Ensuite de fournir des armes lourdes et encombrantes, dans ces pays, à ses supplétifs. Et pour finir, de dépêcher des conseillers et des soldats dans tout le Moyen-Orient, y compris à la frontière d’Israël, afin d’y instiller l’instabilité et d’y combattre les alliés sunnites de Jérusalem.

Parmi les unités entretenues par Téhéran, la plus menaçante pour l’Etat hébreu est probablement celle du « Régiment du Golan ». Une petite organisation pestilentielle, initialement organisée par l’archi-terroriste assassin d’enfants Samir Kuntar, neutralisé par les Israéliens en plein cœur de Damas en décembre 2015, qui regroupe des commandos des Gardiens de la Révolution khomeyniste, des chefs du Hezbollah libanais et des Druzes égarés, qui ont déjà changé plusieurs fois de camp.

Eh bien la Ména livre en exclusivité à ses lecteurs l’information qu’elle a reçue de ses amis du côté syrien du Golan : Majid Hammoud, le chef du « Régiment du Golan » et successeur de Kuntar, aurait été liquidé samedi dernier dans la ville de Khan Arnabeh, à 6km d’Israël, qui abrite le quartier général de cette organisation. La neutralisation de Hammoud succède à celle, le 19 mars dernier, de Yasser Hussein al-Sayyed, qui avait précédé Majid Hammoud à son poste, où on ne vit ostensiblement pas jusqu’à l’âge de la retraite. Il avait été stoppé net dans son automobile par un drone alors qu’il se rendait à Damas. Deux ans plus tôt, le 18 janvier 2015, le jeune chef militaire du Hezbollah, Jihad Morgnieh, cinq autres membres de son organisation criminelle, de même qu’un général iranien de la Force al Quds [Jérusalem], Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, avaient également été éliminés alors qu’ils participaient à des activités du « Régiment du Golan », non loin de la frontière israélienne.

A noter que le weekend dernier, le Wall Street Journal a donné des indications concernant la coopération entre Tsahal et certaines unités de la rébellion, côté syrien du Golan, afin de contrer l’expansion iranienne et de préserver notre frontière. Des informations que les lecteurs de la Ména connaissent de manière bien plus détaillée que ce qu’a publié le WSJ depuis plusieurs années.

Voir également:

L’Iran teste les USA dans le Sud-Syrien
Jforum
Juin 7, 2017

Les principales puissances impliquées dans la guerre en Syrie sont éngagés dans une course visant à engranger le maximum de bénéfices tirés de l’effondrement de l’Etat Islamique, dans l’Est et le Sud de la Syrie. Les avancées continues des forces du régime syrien et demilices appuyées par l’Iran vers la base d’Al-Tanf tenue par les forces spéciales américaines et occidentales – ainsi que les avancées potentielles des deux côtés de la frontière irakienne – élève le risque d’affrontements supplémentaires susceptibles d’entraîner lers Etats-Unis et la Russie, bien que cette dernière n’aient pas voulu défier les Etats-Unis, après leurs frappes délibérée contre un convoi et des avions de chasse syriens.

Les brigades Sayyid al Shuhada contrôlées par Téhéran ont reconnu un mort et six blessés à la suite de cette frappe et ont posté une vidéo en ligne, faisant de cette frappe la première de la part des Etats-Unis contre de telles ms irakiennes pro-iraniennes au cours de cette guerre qui dure depuis 6 ans. 

La milice classe son appartenance aux Forces de Mobilisation Populaire (FMP) comme représentant sa 14ème Brigade.

Des forces spéciales américaines, britanniques et norvégiennes opèrent dans cette zone, aux côtés de groupes appartenant à l’Armée Libre Syrienne, depuis des mois.

Les forces soutenues, d’une part, par l’Iran, de l’autre par les Etats-Unis se sont confrontées du côté du carrefour de Zaza, près d’Al-Tanf, selon la  Brigade de l’Imam Ali et des groupes paramilitaires soutenus par les USA. Le mois dernier, des forces du régime avaient arraché le contrôle du carrefour aux forces appuyées par l’Amérique, plusieurs jours avant la frappe américaine.

Les groupes portant le label de l’Armée Libre Syrienne accusent la Russie d’avoir frappé leurs forces au cours d’une offensive sur Zaza. L’un d’eux prétend auprès de Reuters que des avions russes les auraient touchés alors qu’ils déferlaient sur les défenses des milices appuyées par l’Iran. Les responsables américains doivent encore se prononcer publiquement sur cette assertion. Si elle s’avérait vraie, cette frappe indiquerait que la Russie est décidée à passer à l’action contre les forces soutenues par les Etats-Unis, mais jusqu’à quelle point Moscou souhaite aller reste difficile à déterminer.

Voir encore:

Londres : le maire musulman Sadiq Khan autorise le drapeau du groupe terroriste Hezbollah à une marche anti-israélienne
La mairie de Londres a autorisé la tenue dimanche d’un rassemblement anti-israélien organisé par des sympathisants du groupe terroriste chiite libanais Hezbollah.
Monde juif info
18 Juin 2017

Selon les organisateurs de la Journée d’Al-Quds, les participants ont été autorisés par la mairie à manifester avec le drapeau du groupe terroriste car l’aile politique du Hezbollah n’est pas une organisation proscrite par les autorités britanniques.

Les États-Unis, le Canada, l’Australie et la Ligue arabe ont placé le Hezbollah sur leur liste officielle des organisations terroristes. L’Union européenne ne considère pas l’ensemble du groupe comme terroriste mais a inscrit la branche militaire de l’organisation chiite sur sa liste noire, car « liée à des actes terroristes perpétrés sur le territoire européen ».

Instaurée en 1979 par l’Ayatollah Khomeini, fondateur de la République Islamique d’Iran, la Journée mondiale d’Al-Quds est un événement anti-israélien annuel destiné à protester contre le contrôle israélien sur Jérusalem (Al-Quds en arabe) et à exprimer la solidarité avec le peuple palestinien.

Au cours de cet événement, célébré dans le monde entier dans les communautés chiites, les manifestants scandent des slogans appelant à la destruction d’Israël et brûlent des drapeaux israéliens.

Voir encore:

Pourquoi la paix continue d’être impossible entre Israël et Palestine
Pierre Rehov
Le Figaro
30/06/2017

FIGAROVOX/ANALYSE – Après dix ans de présence du Hamas dans la bande de Gaza, le reporter Pierre Rehov fait le point sur le conflit Israélo-Palestinien. Il rappelle quelles sont les raisons principales qui rendent la paix toujours aussi improbable.


Pierre Rehov est reporter, écrivain et réalisateur de documentaires, dont le dernier, «Unveiling Jérusalem», retrace l’histoire de la ville trois fois sainte.


Un adage largement admis par la sagesse populaire est malmené depuis près de soixante dix ans au Moyen Orient. «On ne peut faire la paix qu’avec ses ennemis». Car, encore faut-il être capable de définir l’ennemi.

La nébuleuse terroriste étant multicéphale, le monde musulman ayant, dans son ensemble, rejeté Israël depuis sa fondation et l’Autorité Palestinienne ne symbolisant qu’un point d’achoppement d’un conflit bien plus large, le simple fait d’avoir rebaptisé le conflit Israélo-Arabe (qui s’étend à l’Iran depuis la révolution de 1979 ) en conflit Israélo-Palestinien, cache une réalité bien plus vaste à laquelle Israël ne cesse d’être confronté.

S’il est tout à fait légitime de critiquer le gouvernement Israélien, comme celui de n’importe quel pays, et même de s’insurger contre nombre de ses politiques, il serait dommageable de passer à coté de certaines vérités, qui font que les israéliens s’inquiètent de la crédibilité du partenaire pour la paix que l’on tente de leur imposer.

1- L’Autorité Palestinienne verse des pensions aux responsables d’attentats terroristes et à leurs familles.

Tout en affirmant avoir une main tendue vers la réconciliation, Mahmud Abbas continue de consacrer une partie du budget de l’autorité palestinienne à la rémunération des terroristes enfermés dans les prisons israéliennes, de leurs familles et de celles dont les membres ont été éliminés au cours d’un attentat. La loi palestinienne est claire dans ce sens. Le montant des allocations et des pensions versées est proportionnel à la lourdeur de la peine, autrement dit au nombre des victimes, juives ou non juives, entrainé par le terroriste bénéficiaire.

Il s’agit d’une pratique décriée depuis longtemps par les gouvernements israéliens successifs et, depuis peu, par la Maison Blanche et certains gouvernements européens.

Pour l’Autorité Palestinienne, s’infiltrer dans une maison et assassiner une jeune fille endormie dans son sommeil, tirer à vue sur des consommateurs attablés à la terrasse d’un restaurant, ou se faire exploser au milieu d’adolescents devant une boite de nuit, est un acte de résistance contre l’occupation israélienne. Soit dit en passant, ces «actes contre l’occupation» étaient monnaie courante avant 1967 et la conquête par Israël des territoires préalablement occupés par l’Egypte et la Jordanie.

Selon le code civil palestinien, ces terroristes bénéficient du titre de mujahid (combattants) lorsqu’ils sont vivants, ou de shahid (martyrs) lorsqu’ils ont perdu la vie au cours de leur «mission».

Très récemment, Mahmud Abbas a été jusqu’à traiter le premier ministre israélien de «raciste» pour avoir osé affirmer que ces sommes monstrueuses, (7% du budget de l’AP) finançaient et incitaient au terrorisme. Interrogé sur la nécessité et la raison de cette pratique, il a répondu que c’était son «obligation sociale inscrite dans la loi».

Imaginons un instant la France voulant faire la paix avec Daesh, tandis que Daesh continue à promettre des retraites à vie et autres récompenses, à quiconque renouvellerait le massacre du Bataclan ou de la promenade des Anglais à Nice.

Impensable.

C’est pourtant la situation à laquelle est confrontée Israël, tant que son seul interlocuteur reste l’Autorité Palestinienne.

2 – Mahmud Abbas, élu pour 4 ans en 2005, est toujours au pouvoir

Ce simple fait affaiblit la position du Président de l’Autorité Palestinienne qui n’a donc aucune légitimité démocratique. Un moindre mal dans une région accoutumée aux dictatures. Mais si les dirigeants occidentaux continuent de lui accorder leur soutien total, c’est qu’il est talonné dans les sondages par l’organisation terroriste Hamas. En acceptant la moindre concession en faveur d’Israël, qui lui permettrait de retourner à la table de négociations, Abbas risque de perdre le peu de légitimité dont il bénéficie encore et peut-être même de se faire assassiner. Il ne souhaite pas, non plus, entrer dans l’histoire comme le premier dirigeant palestinien ayant normalisé ses relations avec l’ennemi sioniste.

3 – Les Arabes de Palestine ne sont pas prêts à renoncer au «droit au retour»

Si nombre d’exigences arabes sont négociables, il va sans dire que le droit au retour des descendants de descendants des «réfugiés» de 48, maintenus dans des camps par les pays arabes avoisinant, et privés de la quasi totalité de leurs droits, notamment au Liban et en Syrie, est une impossibilité majeure, qui entrainerait la disparition d’Israël sous un flot incontrôlable d’individus sans qualification et nourris dans la haine d’Israël.

Interrogé sur ce point, Abbas répond systématiquement que c’est leur droit inaliénable.

Sa vision de la paix, issue du concept «deux pays pour deux peuples» se résume à une Palestine judenrein ( dans laquelle aucun Juif ne serait toléré) d’un coté, et une nation multiculturelle de l’autre, que la démographie musulmane rendrait rapidement majoritaire.

Autrement dit, deux pays pour un peuple. Un concept inscrit dans la Charte du Fatah et de l’OLP, déclaré caduque par Yasser Arafat, mais qui n’en a jamais été retiré.

Incidemment, aucune mention n’est jamais faite du million de Juifs spoliés et chassés des pays arabes après 1948.

4 – Les manuels scolaires palestiniens ne reconnaissent pas l’existence de l’état d’Israël

Un rapport publié par l’Institut de Suivi de la Paix et de la Tolérance Culturelle, établit que «le programme pour les écoles élémentaires de l’AP, apprend aux élèves à être des martyrs, diabolise et nie l’existence d’Israël, et se concentre sur un retour à un pays exclusivement palestinien». Parmi les documents cités dans le rapport, il y a notamment des cartes dans lesquelles Israël ne figure pas et des passages qui semblent glorifier les attaquants. Récemment, l’UNRWA, organisation créée par l’ONU en 1948 pour venir au secours des réfugiés palestiniens, que l’on ne peut soupçonner de sympathie à l’égard d’Israël, s’est même insurgé contre le contenu des nouveaux manuels scolaires, provoquant l’ire de l’Autorité Palestinienne qui refuse d’en changer le contenu.

5 – L’Autorité Palestinienne voudrait faire annuler la declaration Balfour de 1917

En demandant à l’Angleterre de s’excuser un siècle plus tard pour la déclaration Balfour, qui promettait aux Juifs d’établir un foyer national sur leur terre ancestrale, et en manipulant l’UNESCO et autres organisations dépendant de l’ONU pour systématiquement diaboliser Israël, grâce à la majorité arabe automatique dont elle dispose et aux abstentions européennes, l’AP se met en porte à faux vis à vis des Accords d’Oslo, qui lui interdisent de tenter de résoudre le conflit en dehors de négociations directes.

6 – Yasser Arafat et Mahmud Abbas n’ont jamais accepté les propositions de paix faites par Israël

Arafat l’avait indiqué le 10 mai 1994, à la grande mosquée de Johannesburg, juste après avoir signé les accords d’Oslo. «Ce compromis n’a d’autre valeur que l’agrément accordé à la tribu Koraichi par le prophète Mahomet.» Autrement dit, tout accord avec Israël ne peut être que provisoire et avoir pour but sa disparition.

En août et septembre 2000, en réponse à la proposition de Ehud Barak de reconnaître un état Palestinien démilitarisé, sur 94% des territoires, avec Jérusalem Est pour capitale, et le partage des lieux saints, Yasser Arafat s’est enfui de Camp David, pour annoncer avec fierté à son peuple qu’il avait rejeté les pressions israéliennes et américaines. Résultat: la seconde indifada, avec son concert d’attentats terroristes et de représailles, faisant des milliers de victimes des deux cotés, et laissant à tout jamais deux peuples meurtris et méfiants.

Le successeur d’Arafat, considéré comme modéré comparativement à l’ancien chef terroriste, a également rejeté la proposition encore plus généreuse d’Ehud Olmert en 2006, qui lui aurait accordé le contrôle absolu de 98% des territoires, un droit au retour limité et le contrôle total du Mont du Temple, rebaptisé «Esplanade des mosquées». De fait, Mahmud Abbas n’a même jamais daigné répondre à Olmert, et s’en vante sous divers prétextes chaque fois qu’il en a l’occasion.

7 – Le retrait de Gaza a entrainé la prise de pouvoir du Hamas, et trois guerres meurtrières

La restitution du Sinaï à l’Egypte ayant abouti à un fragile accord de paix entre les deux pays, scrupuleusement respecté depuis, le Premier Ministre Ariel Sharon a voulu retenté l’expérience, en offrant l’intégralité de Gaza à l’Autorité Palestinienne en 2005, déracinant par la même occasion plus de 10,000 habitants juifs de la bande. L’idée était de faire de cette ancienne enclave égyptienne un nouveau Singapour, avec l’aide de la communauté internationale. Un coup d’état suivi d’une purge sanguinaire ont malheureusement conduit l’organisation terroriste Hamas au pouvoir. Les roquettes ont commencé de pleuvoir sur Israël, provoquant trois confrontations, en 2009, 2012 et 2014.

8 – L’Autorité Palestinienne voudrait obtenir en préalable à toute négociation l’intégralité de ce qui pourrait lui accordé en cas d’accord final

Mahmud Abbas le répète à l’envie. Toute négociation avec Israël doit être basée sur la création d’un Etat Palestinien dans les frontières de 67, avec Jérusalem pour capitale et une juste résolution du problème des réfugiés.

Autrement dit, en préalable à tout nouveau processus de paix, l’AP doit être garantie d’obtenir ce qu’elle souhaite, sans faire de son coté aucune concession.

Chaque fois qu’Israël s’insurge contre son intransigeance, l’AP l’accuse de détruire le processus de paix, ce qui la justifie d’avoir recour au terrorisme.

Ces huit points étant des faits incontestables, ont conduit l’actuelle administration américaine à reconsidérer son implication au Moyen Orient, après la visite expresse de Jason Greenblatt et Jared Kushner auprès des deux parties.

Mais la situation au Proche Orient s’affirmant de plus en plus volatile, un nouveau projet de processus plus global, impliquant les pays limitrophes semble se profiler à l’horizon.

Trump et ses conseillers, sans se ranger complètement du coté de la position israélienne, ont fini par comprendre qu’Israël n’a aucun intérêt à accepter une paix telle que définie par l’Autorité Palestinienne, et qui n’impliquerait pas la participation intégrale du monde arabe.

La confrontation décadaire pourrait bien de la sorte reprendre son identité de conflit Israelo-Arabe, duquel il ressortirait enfin un authentique projet de paix. Car on ne peut faire la paix qu’avec ses ennemis… dans leur ensemble et pas seulement avec la partie immergée de l’Iceberg.

Voir de plus:

L’Irak annonce la fin de «l’Etat illusoire» de Daesh après la prise de la mosquée Al-Nouri à Mossoul
Russia Today
29 juin 2017

Les forces irakiennes affirment avoir délogé les combattants de l’Etat islamique de la mosquée Al-Nouri de Mossoul, haut lieu symbolique de la ville mais également du pouvoir des djihadistes en Irak.

Les forces irakiennes ont annoncé ce 29 juin avoir pris le contrôle de la mosquée Al-Nouri de Mossoul, où Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, le chef de l’Etat islamique, avait donné en juillet 2014 son premier prêche en tant que chef de l’Etat islamique – sa dernière apparition publique connue à ce jour.

L’annonce a été faite par l’armée irakienne selon qui les Forces spéciales avaient pris la mosquée aux djihadistes. Un commandant des Forces spéciales a cependant précisé à l’AFP que le site n’avait pas encore été repris mais que ses forces étaient sur le point de le faire. «Le Service du contre-terrorisme (CTS) contrôle la mosquée Al-Nouri et (le minaret) Al-Hadba», a déclaré le Commandement des opérations conjointes dans un communiqué.

Mais le général Abdelwahab al-Saadi a, lui, affirmé que les forces irakiennes étaient près de s’emparer de la mosquée, et qu’elles se trouvaient à une vingtaine de mètres des lieux. Le général-brigadier Yahya Rasool se félicite de son côté d’une victoire qui, selon lui, marque un triomphe sur l’Etat islamique. «Leur Etat illusoire s’est effondré», s’est-il réjoui.

«Nous assistons à la fin du faux Etat de Daesh», a déclaré le Premier ministre irakien Haider al-Abadi en anglais sur son compte Twitter.

Ce bâtiment construit au XIIe siècle, ainsi que le minaret penché, connu sous le nom de «Hadba» (la bossue), détruits la semaine dernière par les djihadistes, étaient des monuments emblématiques de Mossoul, mais aussi symboliques du règne des terroristes dans la ville. C’est dans cette mosquée qu’Al-Baghdadi était apparu peu après que les djihadistes se furent emparés de la deuxième ville d’Irak, appelant dans un prêche les musulmans à lui obéir.

Le 22 juin dernier, la Russie annonçait la mort «très probable» d’Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi. «Il est hautement probable que le chef de l’Etat islamique [Abou Bakr] al-Baghdadi ait été éliminé par une frappe de l’aviation russe sur un centre de commandement situé dans la banlieue sud de la ville de Raqqa, à la fin du mois de mai», avait déclaré le vice-ministre des Affaires étrangères Oleg Syromolotov, citant des données collectées par le ministère de la Défense.

Voir enfin:

L’Etat islamique au bord de l’effondrement militaire et financier
L’EI a vu ses revenus divisés par 5 en quelques mois et est en passe de perdre ses capitales syrienne et irakienne
Yves Bourdillon
Les Echos
02/07/2017

Daech est aux abois. L’armée irakienne a repris jeudi, symbole fort, le site quasi détruit de la mosquée Al Nouri, où le chef de l’Etat islamique en Syrie et Irak (EI, Daech) avait proclamé le « califat » islamiste il y a exactement trois ans dans la ville irakienne de Mossoul. Vendredi, l’armée irakienne a annoncé que la victoire sur l’EI serait proclamée dans les prochains jours. Il ne resterait plus que 200-300 djihadistes dans un carré de quelques centaines de mètres de côté dans la vieille ville. Un général américain a confirmé le même jour que la reprise totale de Mossoul était « une question de jours ».

Parallèlement, les djihadistes sont désormais encerclés à Raqqa, la capitale syrienne de leur califat. Les forces kurdo-arabes soutenues par des commandos et l’aviation des Occidentaux ont coupé jeudi leur dernière voie de sortie. Londres estime que l’EI dispose encore de 2.500 combattants dans Raqqa.

60 % de territoire perdu

En sus de la chute imminente de ces deux places fortes, l’EI a perdu la plus grande partie de son territoire et de ses revenus, selon une évaluation divulguée jeudi par le cabinet de référence des questions militaires et de conflits, IHS Markit. A son apogée à l’été 2014, il assurait une souveraineté quasi étatique (armée, taxes, justice expéditive, versement d’allocations, administration) sur environ 8 millions de personnes et un territoire grand comme 4 régions françaises, quoique largement désertique. Depuis lors, il a perdu 60 % de ce territoire, estime IHS Markit (ex-Jane’s), dont 40 % depuis janvier.

Son effondrement financier est encore plus spectaculaire. Les revenus de l’EI sont tombés à 16 millions au deuxième trimestre 2017, exactement 5 fois moins qu’il y a deux ans. Les salaires des combattants avaient été divisés par 2, à 400 dollars par mois pour les djihadistes étrangers, début 2016 et auraient encore été baissés cette année. IHS ne donne pas d’indication sur les réserves de l’EI, censées avoir atteint 1 milliard de dollars en 2014 à la suite du pillage (non confirmé) de la succursale de la Banque centrale d’Irak à Mossoul.

Les revenus pétroliers de l’EI ont été divisés par 10 à cause de la chute mondiale des cours, de la destruction de ses puits par l’aviation russe et occidentale et des pertes de territoires. Les autres revenus de l’EI, trafic d’antiquités, racket et rançons, ont, pour leur part, été divisés par 5 en raison, là aussi, de la perte de territoires, souligne Ludovico Carlino, analyste à IHS Markit.

700 Français dans ses rangs

« Le projet de gouvernance du califat a échoué », conclut Columb Strack, spécialiste du Moyen-Orient à IHS. Mais IHS estime que l’EI va tenter d’intensifier sa campagne terroriste en Occident pour compenser ses pertes territoriales. Les pressions des gouvernements égyptien et saoudien sur les religieux pour qu’ils interprètent le Coran dans un sens « plus moderne » risquent de pousser certains conservateurs à basculer dans la violence, avertit IHS, qui affirme que le « risque terroriste va augmenter ». Paris estime que 700 Français ont rejoint l’EI. Quelque 200 d’entre eux sont revenus et un nombre équivalent a été abattu. C’est de loin le plus fort contingent parmi les 3.000 djihadistes européens.


Syrie: Obama a menti, des milliers ont péri (With Syria and Iran, we’re coming to grips with the human and strategic price of the Obama administration’s mendacity)

13 avril, 2017

Bush a menti, des milliers ont péri. Slogan bien connu (2003)
Il est 3 heures du matin, le téléphone sonne à la Maison Blanche. Qui voulez-vous voir au bout du fil ? Hillary Clinton
Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria. Ariel Sharon (Israel’s Channel 2, Dec. 23, 2002)
Dans l’immédiat, notre attention doit se porter en priorité sur les domaines biologique et chimique. C’est là que nos présomptions vis-à-vis de l’Iraq sont les plus significatives : sur le chimique, nous avons des indices d’une capacité de production de VX et d’ypérite ; sur le biologique, nos indices portent sur la détention possible de stocks significatifs de bacille du charbon et de toxine botulique, et une éventuelle capacité de production.  Dominique De Villepin (05.02.2003)
Damascus has an active CW development and testing program that relies on foreign suppliers for key controlled chemicals suitable for producing CW. George Tenet (CIA, March 2004)
Saddam transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria. No one went to Syria to find it. Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon
There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands. I am confident they were taken over. (…) Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming. They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians. General Georges Sada (2006)
Comme l’exemple d’usage chimique contre les populations kurdes de 1987-1988 en avait apporté la preuve, ces armes avaient aussi un usage interne. Thérèse Delpech (mars 2003)
Les inspecteurs n’ont jamais pu vérifier ce qu’il était advenu de 3,9 tonnes de VX (…) dont la production entre 1988 et 1990 a été reconnue par l’Irak. Bagdad a déclaré que les destructions avaient eu lieu en 1990 mais n’en a pas fourni de preuves. En février 2003 (…) un document a été fourni [par Bagdad] à l’Unmovic pour tenter d’expliquer le devenir d’environ 63 % du VX manquant. Auparavant, les Irakiens prétendaient ne pas détenir un tel document. » Idem pour l’anthrax, dont l’Irak affirmait avoir détruit le stock en 1991. Mais, « en mars 2003, l’Unmovic concluait qu’il existait toujours, très probablement, 10 000 litres d’anthrax non détruits par l’Irak... Comme pour le VX, l’Irak a fourni à l’ONU, en février 2003, un document sur ce sujet qui ne pouvait permettre de conclure quelles quantités avaient été détruites … Thérèse Delpech (2004)
While Western governments were able to pressure Moscow to alter its weapons shipments, Bashar al-Assad may not have limited himself to over-the-counter weapons purchases. The Syrian military’s unconventional weapons arsenal already has a significant stockpile of sarin. The Syrian regime has also attempted to produce other toxic agents in order to advance its inventory of biological weapons. Several different intelligence sources raised red flags about suspicious truck convoys from Iraq to Syria in the days, weeks, and months prior to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. These concerns first became public when, on December 23, 2002, Ariel Sharon stated on Israeli television, « Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria. » About three weeks later, Israel’s foreign minister repeated the accusation. The U.S., British, and Australian governments issued similar statements. The Syrian foreign minister dismissed such charges as a U.S. attempt to divert attention from its problems in Iraq. But even if the Syrian regime were sincere, Bashar al-Assad’s previous statement— »I don’t do everything in this country, »—suggested that Iraqi chemical or biological weapons could cross the Syrian frontier without regime consent. Rather than exculpate the Syrian regime, such a scenario makes the presence of Iraqi weapons in Syria more worrisome, for it suggests that Assad might either eschew responsibility for their ultimate custody or may not actually be able to prevent their transfer to terrorist groups that enjoy close relations with officials in his regime. Two former United Nations weapon inspectors in Iraq reinforced concerns about illicit transfer of weapon components into Syria in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s fall. Richard Butler viewed overhead imagery and other intelligence suggesting that Iraqis transported some weapons components into Syria. Butler did not think « the Iraqis wanted to give them to Syria, but … just wanted to get them out of the territory, out of the range of our inspections. Syria was prepared to be the custodian of them. » Former Iraq Survey Group head David Kay obtained corroborating information from the interrogation of former Iraqi officials. He said that the missing components were small in quantity, but he, nevertheless, felt that U.S. intelligence officials needed to determine what reached Syria. Baghdad and Damascus may have long been rivals, but there was precedent for such Iraqi cooperation with regional competitors when faced with an outside threat. In the run-up to the 1991 Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait, the Iraqi regime flew many of its jets to Iran, with which, just three years previous, it had been engaged in bitter trench warfare. Subsequent reports by the Iraq Survey Group at first glance threw cold water on some speculation about the fate of missing Iraqi weapons, but a closer read suggests that questions about a possible transfer to Syria remain open. The September 30, 2004 Duelfer report, while inconclusive, left open such a possibility. While Duelfer dismissed reports of official transfer of weapons material from Iraq into Syria, the Iraq Survey Group was not able to discount the unofficial movement of limited material. Duelfer described weapons smuggling between both countries prior to Saddam’s ouster. In one incident detailed by a leading British newspaper, intelligence sources assigned to monitor Baghdad’s air traffic raised suspicions that Iraqi authorities had smuggled centrifuge components out of Syria in June 2002. The parts were initially stored in the Syrian port of Tartus before being transported to Damascus International Airport. The transfer allegedly occurred when Iraqi authorities sent twenty-four planes with humanitarian assistance into Syria after a dam collapsed in June 2002, killing twenty people and leaving some 30,000 others homeless. Intelligence officials do not believe these planes returned to Iraq empty. Regardless of the merits of this one particular episode, it is well documented that Syria became the main conduit in Saddam Hussein’s attempt to rebuild his military under the 1990-2003 United Nations sanctions, and so the necessary contacts between regimes and along the border would already have been in place. Indeed, according to U.S. Defense Department sources, the weapons smuggling held such importance for the Syrian regime that the trade included Assad’s older sister and his brother-in-law, Assaf Shawqat, deputy chief of Syria’s military intelligence organization. Numerous reports also implicate Shawqat’s two brothers who participated in the Syrian-Iraqi trade during the two years before Saddam’s ouster. While the Duelfer report was inconclusive, part of its failure to tie up all loose ends was due to declining security conditions in Iraq, which forced the Iraq Survey Group to curtail its operations. The cloud of suspicion over the Syrian regime’s role in smuggling Iraq’s weapons—and speculation as to the nature of those weapons—will not dissipate until Damascus reveals the contents of truck convoys spotted entering Syria from Iraq in the run-up to the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. U.S. intelligence officials and policymakers also will not be able to end speculation until Bashar al-Assad completely and unconditionally allows international inspectors to search suspected depots and interview key participants in the Syrian-Iraqi weapons trade. Four repositories in Syria remain under suspicion. Anonymous U.S. sources have suggested that some components may have been kept in an ammunition facility adjacent to a military base close to Khan Abu Shamat, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Damascus. In addition, three sites in the western part of central Syria, an area where support for the Assad regime is strong, are reputed to house suspicious weapons components. These sites include an air force factory in the village of Tall as-Sinan; a mountainous tunnel near Al-Baydah, less than five miles from Al-Masyaf (Masyaf); and another location near Shanshar. While the Western media often focus on the fate of Iraqi weapons components, just as important to Syrian proliferation efforts has been the influx of Iraqi weapons scientists. The Daily Telegraph reported prior to the 2003 Iraq war that Iraq’s former special security organization and Shawqat arranged for the transfer into Syria of twelve mid-level Iraqi weapons specialists, along with their families and compact disks full of research material on their country’s nuclear initiatives. According to unnamed Western intelligence officials cited in the report, Assad turned around and offered to relocate the scientists to Iran, on the condition that Tehran would share the fruits of their research with Damascus. The Middle East Quarterly (Fall 2005)
Syria’s President Bashir al-Asad is in secret negotiations with Iran to secure a safe haven for a group of Iraqi nuclear scientists who were sent to Damascus before last year’s war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Western intelligence officials believe that President Asad is desperate to get the Iraqi scientists out of his country before their presence prompts America to target Syria as part of the war on terrorism.The issue of moving the Iraqi scientists to Iran was raised when President Asad made a visit to Teheran in July. Intelligence officials understand that the Iranians have still to respond to the Syrian leader’s request.  A group of about 12 middle-ranking Iraqi nuclear technicians and their families were transported to Syria before the collapse of Saddam’s regime. The transfer was arranged under a combined operation by Saddam’s now defunct Special Security Organisation and Syrian Military Security, which is headed by Arif Shawqat, the Syrian president’s brother-in-law. The Iraqis, who brought with them CDs crammed with research data on Saddam’s nuclear programme, were given new identities, including Syrian citizenship papers and falsified birth, education and health certificates. Since then they have been hidden away at a secret Syrian military installation where they have been conducting research on behalf of their hosts. Growing political concern in Washington about Syria’s undeclared weapons of mass destruction programmes, however, has prompted President Asad to reconsider harbouring the Iraqis. American intelligence officials are concerned that Syria is secretly working on a number of WMD programmes. They have also uncovered evidence that Damascus has acquired a number of gas centrifuges – probably from North Korea – that can be used to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb. Relations between Washington and Damascus have been strained since last year’s war in Iraq, with American commanders accusing the Syrians of allowing foreign fighters to cross the border into Iraq, where they carry out terrorist attacks against coalition forces. (…) Under the terms of the deal President Asad offered the Iranians, the Iraqi scientists and their families would be transferred to Teheran together with a small amount of essential materials. The Iraqi team would then assist Iranian scientists to develop a nuclear weapon. Apart from paying the relocation expenses, President Asad also wants the Iranians to agree to share the results of their atomic weapons research with Damascus. The Syrian offer comes at a time when Iran is under close scrutiny from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is investigating claims that Iran is maintaining a secret nuclear bomb programme.  The Daily Telegraph
The pilots told Mr. Sada that two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, Mr. Sada said. Then Special Republican Guard brigades loaded materials onto the planes, he said, including « yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel. » The pilots said there was also a ground convoy of trucks. The flights – 56 in total, Mr. Sada said – attracted little notice because they were thought to be civilian flights providing relief from Iraq to Syria, which had suffered a flood after a dam collapse in June of 2002. (…) Mr. Sada said that the Iraqi official responsible for transferring the weapons was a cousin of Saddam Hussein named Ali Hussein al-Majid, known as « Chemical Ali. » The Syrian official responsible for receiving them was a cousin of Bashar Assad who is known variously as General Abu Ali, Abu Himma, or Zulhimawe. (…) Syria is one of only eight countries that has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty that obligates nations not to stockpile or use chemical weapons. Syria’s chemical warfare program, apart from any weapons that may have been received from Iraq, has long been the source of concern to America, Israel, and Lebanon. The NY Sun
Even when viewed through a post-war lens, documentary evidence of messages are consistent with the Iraqi Survey Group’s conclusion that Saddam was at least keeping a WMD program primed for a quick re-start the moment the UN Security Council lifted sanctions. Iraqi Perpectives Project (March 2006)
By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction. Wired magazine (2010)
It’s more than a little ironic that, with its newest document dump from the Iraq campaign, WikiLeaks may have just bolstered one of the Bush administration’s most controversial claims about the Iraq war: that Iran supplied many of the Iraq insurgency’s deadliest weapons and worked hand-in-glove with some of its most lethal militias. The documents indicate that Iran was a major combatant in the Iraq war, as its elite Quds Force trained Iraqi Shiite insurgents and imported deadly weapons like the shape-charged Explosively Formed Projectile bombs into Iraq for use against civilians, Sunni militants and U.S. troops. A report from 2006 claims “neuroparalytic” chemical weapons from Iran were smuggled into Iraq. (It’s one of many, many documents recounting WMD efforts in Iraq.) Others indicate that Iran flooded Iraq with guns and rockets, including the Misagh-1 surface-to-air missile, .50 caliber rifles, rockets and much more. As the New York Times observes, Iranian agents plotted to kidnap U.S. troops from out of their Humvees — something that occurred in Karbala in 2007, leaving five U.S. troops dead. (It’s still not totally clear if the Iranians were responsible.) Wired (2010)
Les lamentations sur ce qui est advenu de la politique étrangère américaine au Moyen-Orient passent à côté de l’essentiel. Le plus remarquable concernant la diplomatie du président Obama dans la région, c’est qu’elle est revenue au point de départ – jusqu’au début de sa présidence. La promesse d’ « ouverture » vers l’Iran, l’indulgence envers la tyrannie de Bashar Assad en Syrie, l’abandon des gains américains en Irak et le malaise systématique à l’égard d’Israël — tels étaient les traits distinctifs de l’approche du nouveau président en politique étrangère. A présent, nous ne faisons qu’assister aux conséquences alarmantes d’une perspective aussi malavisée que naïve. Fouad Ajami (oct. 2013)
The policy of “leading from behind” and the crudity of “We came, we saw, he [Qaddafi] died” have left a human tragedy in Libya. Backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was an inexplicable choice, and it almost ruined the country. The United States did not need to hound and jail an innocent video maker in order to concoct a myth to cover up the culpable lax security in Benghazi. Yemen was strangely declared a model of our anti-terrorism efforts — just weeks before it ignited into another Somalia or Congo. ISIS was airily written off as a jayvee bunch as it spread beyond Syria and Iraq. There is little need to do a detailed comparison of Iraq now and Iraq in February 2009 (when it was soon to be the administration’s “greatest achievement,” a “stable” and “self-reliant” nation); the mess in between is attributable to Obama’s use of the aftermath of the Iraq War for pre-election positioning. Ordering Assad to flee while ignoring the violence in Syria and proclaiming a faux red line has now tragically led to a million refugees in Europe (and another 4 million in the neighborhood) and more than 200,000 dead. Israel is now considered not an ally, not even a neutral, but apparently a hostile state worthy of more presidential invective than is Iran. We have few if any reliable friends any more in the Gulf. Iran will become a nuclear power. The only mystery over how that will happen is whether Obama was inept or whether he deliberately sought to make the theocracy some sort of a strategic power and U.S. ally. The Middle East over the next decade may see three or four additional new nuclear powers. The Russia of kleptocrat Vladimir Putin is seen in the region as a better friend than is the U.S. — and certainly a far more dangerous enemy to provoke. There is no easy cure for all this; it will take years just to sort out the mess. Victor Davis Hanson
Ce que les Rosenberg avaient fait pour Staline, Obama le fait aujourd’hui pour l’ayatollah Khamenei. Le méprisable accord nucléaire d’Obama avec l’Iran a déjà précipité l’agression iranienne dans la région. En réponse aux concessions faites par Obama, Hillary Clinton et John Kerry, l’Iran raidissait son attitude et devenait plus agressif. À l’heure actuelle, l’Iran est impliqué dans des guerres dans la région, entrainant déjà les États-Unis dans leur sillage. Si l’Iran se dote de l’arme nucléaire, ces guerres s’aggraveront et deviendront beaucoup plus dévastatrices. Ce n’est pas seulement Chamberlain. C’est Quisling et Philippe Pétain. Il ne s’agit nullement d’un mauvais jugement. Il s’agit d’une trahison. (…) En ouvrant à l’Iran la voie vers la bombe nucléaire, Obama a transformé les conflits lents du terrorisme classique en crise de civilisations catastrophique. Une bombe nucléaire iranienne ne se faufilera pas discrètement comme le fait la crise démographique de la migration musulmane avec son complément de terrorisme. Ce ne sera pas un problème progressif. Une course aux armes nucléaires entre sunnites et chiites impliquant des terroristes des deux côtés qui emploient des armes nucléaires rendra insoutenable toute la structure de la civilisation occidentale. L’attaque du 11/9 a vu l’usage de quelques jets pour dévaster une ville. La prochaine vague d’armes pourrait tuer des millions, pas des milliers. Les traîtres qui ont fait de l’URSS une puissance capable de détruire le monde étaient motivés par le même agenda caché des partisans à l’accord nucléaire iranien. Ils croyaient que le monopole nucléaire américain conduirait à l’arrogance et au bellicisme. Ils étaient convaincus que la puissance américaine devrait être surveillée en s’assurant que l’union soviétique puisse égaler l’oncle Sam, nucléaire pour nucléaire. Ceux qui ont ouvert les portes du nucléaire à Téhéran aujourd’hui croient qu’un Iran nucléaire aura un effet dissuasif contre l’impérialisme américain dans la région. Leur nombre inclut Barack Obama.(…) Obama a trahi l’Amérique. Il a trahi les victimes américaines du terrorisme iranien. Il a trahi les soldats américains qui ont été assassinés, mutilés et torturés par les armées terroristes iraniennes. Il a trahi des centaines de millions d’Américains dans leur patrie, et qui seront contraints d’élever leurs enfants sous l’égide de la terreur nucléaire iranienne. Sa trahison nucléaire est non seulement une trahison de l’Amérique. Pour la première fois depuis la fin de la guerre froide, elle ouvre les portes de l’assassinat en masse de millions d’américains par un ennemi vicieux. Obama a appauvri des millions d’Américains, il a le sang des soldats et des policiers sur ses mains, mais son héritage final peut être la collaboration dans un acte d’assassinat en masse qui pourrait rivaliser avec Adolf Hitler. Daniel Greenfield
Pour nous, la ligne rouge, c’est l’utilisation d’armes chimiques  ; ça changerait ma vision des choses. Barack Hussein Obama
Je suis convaincu que si cet accord-cadre mène à un accord total et définitif, notre pays, nos alliés et le monde seront plus en sécurité. L’Iran sera « plus inspecté que n’importe quel autre pays dans le monde. Si l’Iran triche, le monde le saura. Si nous voyons quelque chose de louche, nous mènerons des inspections.  Cet accord n’est pas basé sur la confiance, il est basé sur des vérifications sans précédent. Barack Hussein Obama (2015)
Il y a un manuel de stratégie à Washington que les présidents sont censés utiliser. (…) Et le manuel de stratégie prescrit des réponses aux différents événements, et ces réponses ont tendance à être des réponses militarisées. (…) Au milieu d’un défi international comme la Syrie, vous êtes jugé sévèrement si vous ne suivez pas le manuel de stratégie, même s’il y a de bonnes raisons. (…) Je suis très fier de ce moment.  Le poids écrasant de la sagesse conventionnelle et la machinerie de notre appareil de sécurité nationale était allés assez loin. La perception était que ma crédibilité était en jeu, que la crédibilité de l’Amérique était en jeu. Et donc pour moi d’appuyer sur le bouton arrêt à ce moment-là, je le savais, me coûterait cher politiquement. Le fait que je pouvais me débarrasser des pressions immédiates et réfléchir sur ce qui  était dans l’intérêt de l’Amérique, non seulement à l’égard de la Syrie, mais aussi à l’égard de notre démocratie, a été une décision très difficile – et je crois que finalement, ce fut la bonne décision à prendre. (…) Je suppose que vous pourriez me qualifier de réaliste qui croit que nous ne pouvons pas soulager toute la misère du monde. Barack Hussein Obama (2016)
Je ne regrette pas du tout d’avoir dit que si je voyais Bachar al-Assad utiliser des armes chimiques contre son peuple, cela changerait mon évaluation sur ce que nous étions prêts à faire ou pas en Syrie. J’aurais fait une plus grande erreur si j’avais dit ‘Eh, des armes chimiques. Ça ne change pas vraiment mes calculs’. Je pense qu’il était important pour moi en tant que président des États-Unis d’envoyer le message qu’il y a bien quelque chose de différent sur les armes chimiques. Et malgré la façon dont ça s’est fini (…) ce qui est vrai c’est qu’Assad s’est débarrassé de ses armes chimiques. Barack Hussein Obama (15.01.2017)
Nous avons réussi à faire en sorte que le gouvernement syrien abandonne volontairement et de manière évidente son stock d’armes chimiques. Susan Rice (16.01.2017)
Cette interrogation n’en finit pas de tourmenter  Barack Obama. A-t-il pris, ce jour-là, la bonne décision  ? De cette décision il a affirmé être  « fier », mais il a aussi assuré, dans une même interview, que  le dossier syrien est  «  son plus grand regret  ».  Par prudence, mieux vaut dire tout et son contraire, car il  sait ce qu’on en pense  : sa décision a changé la face  du monde. La plus grave attaque chimique depuis  la Seconde Guerre mondiale demeurée impunie  ? La  victoire de Bachar el-Assad  ? L’ascension des djihadistes  ? La montée en puissance des Russes au Moyen- Orient, en Europe et au-delà  ? L’effacement de l’Occident  ? Peut-être même la victoire de Donald Trump  ?  Tout partirait de son choix, de cette journée-là. Le 30 août 2013 (…) Le matin même,  il a annoncé publiquement réfléchir à  «  une action limitée contre Bachar  ».  Ses alliés français, la Ligue arabe,  l’Australie fourbissent leurs armes. Kerry a quasiment  annoncé la réplique américaine  :  « La crédibilité du président comme celle des Etats-Unis sont engagées.  »  Et même  :  « L’Histoire nous jugerait sévèrement si on ne faisait rien » … A  vrai  dire,  il  n’aurait  jamais  pensé  se  retrouver  dans cette situation. Autour de la table, chacun a en  tête  sa  conférence  de  presse  donnée  un  an  auparavant, presque jour pour jour, le 20 août 2012, et une  phrase. Un journaliste lui avait demandé ce qui pourrait infléchir sa position, pour le moins prudente, sur  le conflit syrien, lui qui refuse d’armer les rebelles.  «  Pour nous, la ligne rouge, c’est l’utilisation d’armes chimiques  ; ça changerait ma vision des choses  »,  avait-il  répondu. A question imprévue réponse non préparée. Ses  conseillers avaient été interloqués. Certes, El-Assad  avait été mis en garde par des canaux discrets, mais  rendre  publique  une  ligne  rouge  n’est  jamais  une   bonne chose. On s’était promptement rassuré  ; le régime  syrien  semblait  tellement  affaibli  qu’il  n’oserait pas s’attirer les foudres du président des Etats-Unis. Il a pourtant osé, comme en témoignent les schémas et les photos satellites qu’on diffuse dans la salle  de crise. Il y a eu d’abord de petites attaques chimiques  au printemps. Puis, devant l’absence de réactions, le  21 août 2013, cette attaque d’ampleur dans la banlieue  de Damas, plus tard contestée  (…).  Bachar  a-t-il voulu tester les Etats-Unis  ? Ou, simplement, son  armée n’avait-elle pas d’autres moyens de terrifier sa  population insurgée  ? On ne sait pas. Auprès de Philip Gordon, Obama a insisté  :  «  Il nous faut des preuves.  »  «  Le président était hanté par l’Irak et ne voulait pas entrer  en  guerre  sur  la  base  de  simples  suspicions» ,  témoigne   Gordon. Mais les preuves sont là. Les obus au gaz sarin tirés par le camp loyaliste ont tué environ 1  400  personnes, dont beaucoup d’enfants, selon une note de  la CIA dont chacun, dans la pièce, a reçu une copie.  Plus  contraignantes  que  les  preuves,  les  images.   Atroces, elles ont fait le tour du monde. Ce père qui  tient sa fillette morte dans les bras et qui l’interpelle,  lui, le président des Etats-Unis  :  «  Je vous en prie  ! Ce  ne sont que des enfants  ! Ils n’ont encore rien vu de la vie.  Du chimique ! »  Il est contraint de répondre. Un tabou,  depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale, a été transgressé,  les traités internationaux ont été violés, l’ordre du  monde menacé, l’Amérique défiée. (….) Tout le pousse à intervenir… Mais… Le Parlement  britannique  a  mis  son  veto  la  veille.  C’est  une  première alerte. (…) Il converse  pendant trois quarts d’heure avec son plus proche allié,  le  Français  François  Hollande,  dont  les  Rafale   chargent leurs missiles de croisière Scalp. Il l’assure  que rien n’est changé. L’après-midi s’achève. (…) Il n’aime guère  les  choix  tranchés,  préférant  le  consensus. (…) Il propose à un homme  de confiance d’aller se promener dans le jardin de la  Maison-Blanche. Cet homme, c’est son chef de l’ad ministration, Denis McDonough  : ni un militaire ni  un diplomate, mais son collaborateur le plus loyal.  Pendant une heure, il lui livre ses doutes. Tout cela  est trop incertain. Ne va-t-il pas engager son pays dans  une nouvelle guerre alors qu’il a été élu pour se dé sengager de conflits coûteux  ? Et puis, cela ne risque- t-il pas de mettre en péril son grand œuvre, l’accord  nucléaire avec l’Iran  ? Trop de risques. Il teste une idée  auprès de McDonough  : demander une autorisation  préalable au Congrès. Une manière de reculer, car chacun sait qu’un soutien du Congrès est plus qu’incertain. (…) En  début  de  soirée,  il  convoque  à  nouveau  ses   conseillers dans son bureau. L’ambiance est décontractée. Il leur annonce la nouvelle. Ils n’en reviennent  pas. Ils insistent  :  «  Ce sera dévastateur pour votre autorité politique »,  le préviennent-ils. Il tient bon. Gordon  nous avoue avoir été estomaqué. Devant lui, Obama  raisonne en politique  :  «  Si ça ne dissuade pas Assad de  recommencer, si des inspecteurs de l’Onu sont pris comme  boucliers humains, si on perd un pilote, j’aurai l’opinion,  le Congrès sur le dos. On me reprochera tout et son contraire,  d’être intervenu, de ne pas être intervenu plus fortement,  de ne pas être intervenu plus légèrement.  »  Gordon se souvient  d’un  autre  argument  du  président   :  le  risque   d’engrenage.  Si  Assad  ou  ses  parrains  russes  et  iraniens  décidaient  d’une  nouvelle  attaque  chimique   «  trois semaines plus tard  »,  alors  «  on devrait frapper de nouveau, et plus fort, et ainsi de suite  ».  Il ne serait plus  maître du processus, craint-il, alors qu’Assad le serait.  Cela, cet homme qui veut tout contrôler ne peut l’accepter. Et rien n’est moins contrôlable qu’une guerre. (…) Il prévient Kerry, qui est furieux.  «  L’Histoire nous jugera  avec une sévérité extrême  »,  lâche ce dernier à ses collaborateurs et à certains de ses homologues étrangers.  Le lendemain, à 18 heures, quelques heures avant l’attaque, il contacte aussi Hollande, qui tombe de haut.  (…) Puis (…) sur le perron de la Maison-Blanche, Barack Obama tient une conférence de presse  : « J’ai décidé d’intervenir,  proclame-t-il, avant d’ajouter  :  mais je demanderai que cet usage de la force soit approuvé par le Congrès.  »  Il s’est donné du temps. C’est fini. Il vient de changer l’ordre du monde sans pouvoir, à cet instant, le  deviner.  Certains  comprennent  en  revanche  que  rien ne sera plus comme avant. Sur les hauteurs de Damas, Bachar el-Assad comprend qu’il n’a plus rien à craindre des Occidentaux.  Il se paiera même le luxe d’utiliser de nouveau des  armes  chimiques  deux  ans  plus  tard.  L’opposition   «  modérée  », autour de l’Armée syrienne libre, sent  que l’Occident l’abandonne. Les djihadistes, mieux  armés, recrutent les déçus et montent en puissance,  scellant le piège qui permettra au président syrien de se présenter comme rempart contre le chaos. Au Kremlin, Vladimir Poutine se jette sur l’occasion. Aux Américains il offre de convaincre El-Assad  de  détruire  ses  armes  chimiques  contre  l’abandon  de tout projet d’intervention. Comment refuser, après  avoir reculé le 30 août  ? La Russie prend la main en  Syrie.  Plus  tard,  Poutine  estimera  ne  rien  redouter  du  président  américain  et  envahira  la  Crimée.  Les   Républicains et un certain Donald Trump, admirateur  de  Poutine,  ne  cesseront  de  dénoncer  ce  nouveau  Munich  et  ce  président  qui  a  affaibli  une   Amérique qu’il faudrait rendre  « great  again ». Il ne lui reste que des questions sans réponses. Que  se serait-il passé s’il avait frappé  ? Ce 30 août 2013 est-il  le jour où Obama a mis fin au règne des Etats-Unis  comme seule superpuissance mondiale  ? Le jour où  le  camp  des  démocraties  a  dû  renoncer  à  se  battre  pour ses valeurs  ? Antoine Vatkine
This is the president’s mendacity continuing to a degree that is really quite remarkable. « There are people on both sides and beyond » – so he means Republicans at home and Israelis – « who are against the diplomatic resolution ». That’s a lie. They are against this diplomatic resolution, the deal he’s doing, that any observer will tell you paves the road to an Iranian nuclear weapon that is legitimate and accepted by the international community. It is a disaster. That’s why it is opposed. People are not opposed to diplomacy, they are opposed to a specific deal. And to address this to Iranians as if Iran is a democracy when it’s a dictatorship that put down a democratic revolution in 2009 of which he turned his face and never supported is disgraceful. Charles Krauthammer
The disgusting aspect of the last eight years is that Obama mistook the sidelines for the moral high ground. So he would use all this lofty rhetoric about red lines and he would stand there would be people killing each other, slaughtering each other, dead babies and he’d stand there with his hand on his hip giving a speech. And he stripped words of their meaning. And Trump isn’t as articulate. He isn’t as polished but his words have meaning. And to do that while is he having dinner with the Chinese. You said did he tell him over the salad bowl, as I understand it, he told him over the creme brulee or the tiramisu. How cool is that to actually make the Chinese politburo sit through a night of American targeted bombing? I think he’s accomplished certain things. He sent a message to the Chinese as they are sitting across the dinner table from him. He sent a message to Putin, and, thereby, incidentally also made all these stupid investigations of investigations of investigations that the Senate and the House are chasing their tails and look absolutely ridiculous. You know, he has picked a fight with Putin at a when Congress has spent and Susan Rice has spent a year investigating whether he is Putin stooge. How stupid do they look? I think they understand this is really — last night was inauguration day. That America is back in the world. Mark Steyn
L’actualité de ces dernières semaines a mené certains à douter de la maîtrise de Trump sur son personnel et sur sa politique intérieure, tandis que d’autres le disaient carrément indifférent aux affaires étrangères. D’abord le fiasco Ryancare. Fidèle à ses promesses, Trump a voulu abroger l’Obamacare, mais mal lui en a pris de faire confiance au si peu fiable Speaker de la Chambre, Paul Ryan, et de s’engager à ses côtés, croyant pouvoir ainsi gagner des votes démocrates. Le « plan en 3 phases » du technocrate Ryan, trop compliqué et n’abrogeant pas les pires mesures de la loi d’Obama, ne pouvait que rencontrer l’opposition ferme du Freedom Caucus, la trentaine de représentants les plus conservateurs de la base électorale de Trump. L’échec est pour Ryan. Trump s’en sort plutôt bien, même si le poids fiscal d’Obamacare perdure et va donc le gêner dans sa réforme fiscale d’envergure. Au moins a-t-il appris, sur le tas, qu’il ne servait à rien de courtiser des démocrates obtus et qu’il valait mieux pour lui s’impliquer le moins possible dans les jeux du Congrès. Puis, font désordre les disputes de personnel au sein des divers ministères et le fait que Trump, soi-disant complètement ballotté entre des avis divergents, tarderait à débarrasser son administration « des restes d’Obama », même à des postes élevés, parce que, en gros, il subirait l’influence de Tillerson, Mattis, McMaster et Kushner (le « Premier Gendre »), tous des centristes-interventionnistes, en opposition radicale au nationaliste-isolationniste Bannon… Tout cela sur fond de l’exécrable Russiagate, servi tous les jours par les démocrates dans l’espoir de délégitimer Trump et de l’empêcher de gouverner. Lassant, le feuilleton se retourne contre ses auteurs avec le scandale des écoutes de l’équipe de transition de Trump : ex-ambassadeur à l’ONU et ex-Conseiller à la Sécurité nationale, l’incroyable Susan Rice, après avoir nié (ce n’était jamais que la 4e fois qu’elle mentait pour protéger Obama), reconnaît avoir « dévoilé » l’identité de plusieurs personnes et autorisé des fuites à la presse… Rappelons que les démocrates ne s’émouvaient pas des ingérences russes lorsque celles-ci semblaient favoriser leur candidate et que ce sont eux qui ont un long passé de connivence avec la Russie : de Roosevelt et Staline aux espions à la solde de l’URSS sous Truman, jusqu’à la « flexibilité » promise par Obama en 2012 à Medvedev, concrétisée en 2013 par l’abandon pur et simple de ses responsabilités au Moyen-Orient à Poutine… La réalité est que Trump peuple ses agences de gens d’avis opposés, exprès, afin d’appréhender toutes les possibilités pour trancher par lui-même. Pragmatique, mais n’hésitant pas à prendre des risques, il vient de prouver qu’il était bien maître à bord. Tous les pourparlers à l’amiable ayant échoué, Trump riposte à l’intolérable par les frappes de 59 missiles Tomahawk sur la base syrienne de Shayrat, chargée du largage de gaz sarin. Fait remarquable : sans toucher aux 5 autres bases aériennes de l’armée syrienne et sans causer le moindre dommage aux installations russes. Simple avertissement, parfaitement ciblé et mesuré, destiné à protéger les quelque mille militaires américains présents sur le théâtre d’opérations et à montrer que l’Amérique est de retour et qu’il faut désormais compter avec sa détermination. La Syrie et l’État islamique, mais aussi la Chine, la Russie, l’Iran, la Corée du Nord peuvent en prendre note, tandis que les alliés traditionnels au Moyen-Orient et en Asie se rassurent, comme devraient se rassurer les Européens s’il leur restait quelque bon sens. Et c’est tout ! Il n’y a pas d’escalade, ni d’intention de régler les affaires de la Syrie, ni (hélas !) de reprendre le bâton de policier du monde. Seulement l’intention de ne plus rester passif face aux agressions… Evelyne Joslain
Syria is weird for reasons that transcend even the bizarre situation of bombing an abhorrent Bashar al-Assad who was bombing an abhorrent ISIS — as we de facto ally with Iran, the greater strategic threat, to defeat the more odious, but less long-term strategic threat, ISIS. Trump apparently hit a Syrian airfield to express Western outrage over the likely Syrian use of chemical weapons. Just as likely, he also sought to remind China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea that he is unpredictable and not restrained by self-imposed cultural, political, and ethical bridles that seemed to ensure that Obama would never do much over Chinese and Russian cyber-warfare, or Iranian interception of a U.S. warship or the ISIS terror campaign in the West or North Korea’s increasingly creepy and dangerous behavior. But the strike also raised as many questions as it may have answered. (…) Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Syria, deriding the Iraq War, and questioning the Afghan effort. Does his sudden strike signal a Jacksonian effort to hit back enemies if the mood comes upon us — and therefore acceptable to his base as a sort of one-off, don’t-tread-on-me hiss and rattle? Or does the strike that was so welcomed by the foreign-policy establishment worry his supporters that Trump is now putting his suddenly neocon nose in someone’s else’s business? And doing so without congressional authorizations or much exegesis? Does the Left trash Trump for using force or keep quiet, given the ostensible humanitarian basis for the strike, and the embarrassing contrast with Obama, whose reset with Russia led to inviting Putin into the Middle East to solve the WMD problem that we could not, and which Obama and Susan Rice not long ago assured us was indeed solved by our de facto friend at the time Putin? These dilemmas, apart from Obama’s prior confusion about Syria and Russia, arise in part because Trump never thought it wise or necessary to resolve contradictions in Trumpism — especially at what point the long overdue need to restore U.S. respect and deterrence to end “lead from behind” appeasement becomes overseas entanglements not commensurate with Trump’s “America First” assurances. Victor Davis Hanson
Now we’re coming to grips with the human and strategic price of the Obama administration’s mendacity. The sham agreement gave Assad confidence that he could continue to murder his opponents indefinitely without fear of Western reprisal. It fostered the view that his regime was preferable to its opponents. It showed Tehran that it could drive a hard diplomatic bargain over its nuclear file, given that the administration was so plainly desperate for face-saving excuses for inaction. And it left Mr. Obama’s successor with a lousy set of options. Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley erred badly by announcing, just days before last week’s sarin attack, that the Trump administration had no plans to depose Assad. They gave the dictator reason to believe he had as little to fear from this U.S. president as he did from the last one. But, unlike their predecessors, the secretary of state and U.N. ambassador deserve credit for learning from that mistake—as does the president they serve. The core of the problem in Syria isn’t Islamic State, dreadful as it is. It’s a regime whose appetite for unlimited violence is one of the main reasons ISIS has thrived. To say there is no easy cure for Syria should not obscure the fact that there won’t be any possibility of a cure until Assad falls. Mr. Obama and his advisers will never run out of self-justifications for their policy in Syria. They can’t outrun responsibility for the consequences of their lies. Bret Stephens

Attention: un mensonge peut en cacher un autre !

Au terme d’une semaine à donner le tournis …

Où l’on redécouvre non seulement en Syrie les armes chimiques soi-disant inexistantes de Saddam Hussein

Mais où après avoir tant critiqué les guerres d’Irak – prétendus mensonges sur les ADM compris – et d’Afghanistan ou appelé à la retenue sur la Syrie …

Le champion de l’Amérique d’abord et de la non-ingérence surprend tout son monde …

Avec le bombardement d’une base aérienne syrienne d’où aurait été lancé une attaque chimique de populations civiles …

Comment au-delà des nombreuses questions que soulève le revirement du président Trump …

Ne pas voir l’incroyable propension au mensonge d’une Administration …

Qui sans compter la mise sur écoutes et l’autorisation de fuites à la presse concernant l’équipe de son futur successeur …

Se vantait jusqu’il y a trois mois de son accord d’élimination des ADM syriennes ?

Et surtout ne pas s’inquiéter de l’autre grand motif de fierté de ladite administration Obama …

A savoir l’accord prétendument sans faille sur le nucléaire iranien ?

The Price of Obama’s Mendacity
The consequences of his administration’s lies about Syria are becoming clear
Bret Stephens
The Wall Street Journal
April 10, 2017

Last week’s cruise-missile strike against a Syrian air base in response to Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons has reopened debate about the wisdom of Barack Obama’s decision to forgo a similar strike, under similar circumstances, in 2013.

But the real issue isn’t about wisdom. It’s about honesty.

On Sept. 10, 2013, President Obama delivered a televised address in which he warned of the dangers of not acting against Assad’s use of sarin gas, which had killed some 1,400 civilians in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta the previous month.

“If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons,” Mr. Obama said. “As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas, and using them. Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical weapons on the battlefield. And it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons, and use them to attack civilians.”

It was a high-minded case for action that the president immediately disavowed for the least high-minded reason: It was politically unpopular. The administration punted a vote to an unwilling Congress. It punted a fix to the all-too-willing Russians. And it spent the rest of its time in office crowing about its success.

In July 2014 Secretary of State John Kerry claimed “we got 100% of the chemical weapons out.” In May 2015 Mr. Obama boasted that “Assad gave up his chemical weapons. That’s not speculation on our part. That, in fact, has been confirmed by the organization internationally that is charged with eliminating chemical weapons.” This January, then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice said “we were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.”

Today we know all this was untrue. Or, rather, now all of us know it. Anyone paying even slight attention has known it for years.

In June 2014 U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power noted “discrepancies and omissions related to the Syrian government’s declaration of its chemical weapons program.” But that hint of unease didn’t prevent her from celebrating the removal “of the final 8% of chemical weapons materials in Syria’s declaration” of its overall stockpile.

The following summer, The Wall Street Journal’s Adam Entous and Naftali Bendavid reported “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the [Assad] regime didn’t give up all of the chemical weapons it was supposed to.” In February 2016, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed the Journal’s story, telling Congress “Syria has not declared all the elements of its chemical weapons program.”

Why did Mr. Obama and his senior officials stick to a script that they knew was untethered from the facts? Let’s speculate. They thought the gap between Assad’s “declared” and actual stockpile was close enough for government work. They figured a credulous press wouldn’t work up a sweat pointing out the difference. They didn’t imagine Assad would use what was left of his chemical arsenal for fear of provoking the U.S.

And they didn’t want to disturb the public narrative that multilateral diplomacy was a surer way than military action to disarm rogue Middle Eastern regimes of their illicit weapons. Two months after Mr. Obama’s climb-down with Syria, he signed on to the interim nuclear deal with Iran. The remainder of his term was spent trying not to upset the fragile beauty of his nuclear diplomacy.

Now we’re coming to grips with the human and strategic price of the Obama administration’s mendacity. The sham agreement gave Assad confidence that he could continue to murder his opponents indefinitely without fear of Western reprisal. It fostered the view that his regime was preferable to its opponents. It showed Tehran that it could drive a hard diplomatic bargain over its nuclear file, given that the administration was so plainly desperate for face-saving excuses for inaction.

And it left Mr. Obama’s successor with a lousy set of options.

Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley erred badly by announcing, just days before last week’s sarin attack, that the Trump administration had no plans to depose Assad. They gave the dictator reason to believe he had as little to fear from this U.S. president as he did from the last one.

But, unlike their predecessors, the secretary of state and U.N. ambassador deserve credit for learning from that mistake—as does the president they serve. The core of the problem in Syria isn’t Islamic State, dreadful as it is. It’s a regime whose appetite for unlimited violence is one of the main reasons ISIS has thrived. To say there is no easy cure for Syria should not obscure the fact that there won’t be any possibility of a cure until Assad falls.

Mr. Obama and his advisers will never run out of self-justifications for their policy in Syria. They can’t outrun responsibility for the consequences of their lies.

Voir aussi:

Hall of Mirrors in Syria
Victor Davis Hanson
The National Review Corner
April 10, 2017

Syria is weird for reasons that transcend even the bizarre situation of bombing an abhorrent Bashar al-Assad who was bombing an abhorrent ISIS — as we de facto ally with Iran, the greater strategic threat, to defeat the more odious, but less long-term strategic threat, ISIS.

Trump apparently hit a Syrian airfield to express Western outrage over the likely Syrian use of chemical weapons. Just as likely, he also sought to remind China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea that he is unpredictable and not restrained by self-imposed cultural, political, and ethical bridles that seemed to ensure that Obama would never do much over Chinese and Russian cyber-warfare, or Iranian interception of a U.S. warship or the ISIS terror campaign in the West or North Korea’s increasingly creepy and dangerous behavior.

But the strike also raised as many questions as it may have answered.

Is Trump saying that he can send off a few missiles anywhere and anytime rogues go too far? If so, does that willingness to use force enhance deterrence? (probably); does it also risk further escalation to be effective? (perhaps); and does it solve the problem of an Assad or someone similar committing more atrocities? (no).

Was the reason we hit Assad, then, because he is an especially odious dictator and kills his own, or that the manner in which he did so was cruel and barbaric (after all, ISIS burns, drowns, and cuts apart its victims without much Western reprisals until recently)? Or is the reason instead that he used WMD, and since 1918 with a few exceptions (largely in the Middle East), “poison” gas has been a taboo weapon among the international community? (Had Assad publicly beheaded the same number who were gassed, would we have intervened?)

Do we continue to sort of allow ISIS to fight it out with Syria/Iran/Hezbollah in the manner of our shrug during the Iran-Iraq War and in the fashion until Pearl Harbor that we were okay with the Wehrmacht and the Red Army killing each other en masse for over five months in Russia? Or do we say to do so cynically dooms innocents in a fashion that they are not quite as doomed elsewhere, or at least not doomed without chance of help as is true in North Korea?

Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Syria, deriding the Iraq War, and questioning the Afghan effort. Does his sudden strike signal a Jacksonian effort to hit back enemies if the mood comes upon us — and therefore acceptable to his base as a sort of one-off, don’t-tread-on-me hiss and rattle?

Or does the strike that was so welcomed by the foreign-policy establishment worry his supporters that Trump is now putting his suddenly neocon nose in someone’s else’s business? And doing so without congressional authorizations or much exegesis?

Does the Left trash Trump for using force or keep quiet, given the ostensible humanitarian basis for the strike, and the embarrassing contrast with Obama, whose reset with Russia led to inviting Putin into the Middle East to solve the WMD problem that we could not, and which Obama and Susan Rice not long ago assured us was indeed solved by our de facto friend at the time Putin?

These dilemmas, apart from Obama’s prior confusion about Syria and Russia, arise in part because Trump never thought it wise or necessary to resolve contradictions in Trumpism — especially at what point the long overdue need to restore U.S. respect and deterrence to end “lead from behind” appeasement becomes overseas entanglements not commensurate with Trump’s “America First” assurances. At some point, does talking and tweeting toughly (“bomb the sh** out of ISIS”) require a Tomahawk missile to retain credibility? And does “Jacksonianism” still allow blowing some stuff up, but not doing so at great cost and for the ideals of consensual government rather than immediate U.S. security?

Most likely for now, Trump’s strike resembles Reagan’s 1986 Libyan bombing that expressed U.S. outrage over Libyan support for then recent attacks on Americans in Berlin. But Reagan’s dramatic act (in pursuit of U.S. interests, not international norms) did not really stop Moammar Qaddafi’s support for terrorists (cf. the 1988 likely Libyan-inspired retaliatory Lockerbie bombing) or do much else to muzzle Qaddafi.

About all we can say, then, about Trump’s action was that he felt like it was overdue — or like a high-school friend once put to me after unexpectedly unloading on a school bully who daily picked on weaklings, “It seemed a good idea at the time.”

Voir également:

La semaine de Trump.Virage à 180 degrés sur la Syrie
Gabriel Hassan
Courrier international
07/04/2017

Attaque à l’arme chimique en Syrie, rencontres avec les présidents égyptien et chinois : la semaine de Donald Trump a été très chargée sur le front diplomatique. Avec des déclarations à donner le tournis.

Le départ de Bachar El-Assad de Syrie ne faisait pas partie jusqu’ici des priorités du président Trump. L’attaque chimique qui a eu lieu dans la région d’Idlib pourrait changer les choses.

  • Les États-Unis attaquent Bachar El-Assad

Donald Trump change de cap. Trois jours après l’attaque chimique à Khan Cheikhoun, dans la région d’Idlib (nord-ouest de la Syrie), le président américain a ordonné le bombardement d’une base aérienne syrienne.

Dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi – vers 20 h 40 heure de Washington – 59 missiles Tomahawk ont été tirés par la marine américaine. Il s’agit de “la première attaque américaine contre le régime de Bachar El-Assad depuis le début de la guerre en Syrie”, il y a six ans, souligne The Washington Post. Et de la première intervention militaire de la présidence Trump.

Le président américain a déclaré cette nuit qu’“il [était] dans l’intérêt national et vital des États-Unis de prévenir et de décourager la propagation et le recours aux armes chimiques mortelles”, rapporte The New York Times.

Réuni en urgence à l’Organisation des Nations unies mercredi soir, le Conseil de sécurité avait, à l’exception de la Russie, fermement condamné le régime de Bachar El-Assad. Brandissant des photos de victimes, l’ambassadrice américaine Nikki Haley avait assuré que les États-Unis étaient prêts à agir unilatéralement en cas de mésentente.

L’opération militaire de la nuit dernière constitue un revirement important. Il y a une semaine, Nikki Haley avait laissé entendre que Washington s’accommoderait de Bachar El-Assad, mais l’attaque à l’arme chimique perpétrée près d’Idlib, qui a fait des dizaines de victimes, semble avoir tout remis en question. Le 5 avril, Trump a déclaré que le président syrien avait franchi “beaucoup, beaucoup de lignes”, laissant ainsi entendre qu’il devrait peut-être partir.

  • Deux hommes forts en visite

Le président égyptien Abdelfattah Al-Sissi en début de semaine à la Maison-Blanche, le président chinois Xi Jinping jeudi 6 et vendredi 7 avril à Mar-a-Lago, en Floride : Trump aura reçu en quelques jours deux présidents très autoritaires.

Le dirigeant américain a fait un véritable éloge du leader égyptien, saluant son “boulot fantastique, dans une situation très difficile”. Pour une large partie de la presse américaine, ce soutien affiché à un régime brutal est une erreur, qui ne sert qu’en apparence les intérêts américains.

Les discussions s’annonçaient plus difficiles avec le président chinois, accueilli dans la résidence personnelle de Donald Trump en Floride. Sur Twitter, avant leur rencontre, le locataire de la Maison-Blanche avait mis la pression, car il a besoin de la coopération de Pékin en matière commerciale, et surtout concernant le brûlant dossier nord-coréen. Xi Jinping avait donc beaucoup de cartes en main. Et Trump ne pouvait pas cette fois pratiquer la “diplomatie du golf”, un sport mal vu chez les officiels chinois.

  • Lutte de clans à la Maison-Blanche

L’influence de Steve Bannon, l’éminence grise de Trump, n’est apparemment plus sans limite. Le stratège en chef de Donald Trump a été évincé le 5 avril du Conseil de sécurité nationale, où sa nomination avait fait polémique. Une victoire pour le conseiller de Trump pour la sécurité nationale, le lieutenant général H. R. McMaster.

À travers lui, c’est le clan des “nationalistes économiques”, tenants d’une ligne populiste, qui essuie un revers.

À l’inverse, Jared Kushner, gendre de Trump et membre, selon un chroniqueur du Washington Post, du clan des “New-Yorkais” ou “démocrates”, n’en finit plus d’accumuler les missions. À son programme : réformer l’État fédéral, instaurer la paix au Proche-Orient, servir d’intermédiaire avec la Chine ou le Mexique. Rien que cela… En visite en Irak en début de semaine, l’époux d’Ivanka Trump a même devancé le secrétaire d’État américain sur ce terrain hautement stratégique dans la lutte contre Daech.

  • Encore des accusations

Rares sont les semaines où Trump ne fait pas de déclaration polémique. Le président a encore émis des accusations sans preuve, visant cette fois Susan Rice, conseillère de Barack Obama pour la sécurité nationale. D’après lui, cette dernière pourrait avoir commis un crime en demandant à ce que soient dévoilés les noms de collaborateurs de Trump mentionnés de manière incidente dans des communications interceptées lors de la présidence d’Obama. Reprenant à son compte des accusations lancées par des médias conservateurs, Trump a déclaré au New York Times :

C’est une affaire tellement importante pour notre pays et pour le monde. C’est une des grandes affaires de notre temps.”

Pour ses détracteurs, cette assertion n’est que la dernière tentative en date pour détourner l’attention des questions au sujet des liens de son entourage avec la Russie. En mars, Trump avait accusé Obama de l’avoir “mis sur écoute” à la Trump Tower durant la campagne présidentielle.

  • Neil Gorsuch élu à la Cour suprême

C’était une promesse du candidat républicain Donald Trump : “Neil Gorsuch est devenu, vendredi 7 avril, le neuvième juge de la Cour suprême”, annonce le NewYork Times.

Depuis plus d’un an, démocrates et républicains s’opposaient sur le remplacement du juge Antonin Scalia, décédé soudainement en février 2016. Quelques jours après son investiture, le président américain avait annoncé la nomination de M. Gorsuch à laquelle s’opposaient farouchement les démocrates.

Minoritaires au Sénat – composé de 52 démocrates et 48 républicains – les partisans de Donald Trump avaient prévenu qu’ils passeraient en force. Chose faite ce vendredi : les républicains ont abaissé la majorité requise pour permettre ce scrutin, un changement historique des règles, explique le quotidien américain.

Favorables aux armes à feu et fermement opposé à l’avortement, Neil Gorsuch siégera donc dans la chambre haute du Congrès à partir de la mi-avril. Il a été nommé à vie.

  • Twitter poursuit Washington en justice

Le bras de fer se poursuit entre la Maison-Blanche et Twitter. Il y a quelques semaines, le président américain demandait au réseau social de lui fournir les données et l’identité des personnes qui se cachaient derrière les comptes hostiles à sa politique.

Mais, jeudi 6 avril, Twitter, refusant de fournir une quelconque information, a saisi la justice. La plateforme, citée par The Washington Post, rappelle que “les droits à la liberté d’expression accordés aux utilisateurs de Twitter et à Twitter lui-même en vertu du premier amendement de la Constitution incluent un droit à diffuser des propos politiques anonymes ou sous pseudonyme”. Donald Trump n’a, pour l’heure, pas rétorqué.

 Voir encore:

Trump peut-il gouverner ?
Evelyne Joslain
Les 4 vérités
10 avril, 2017

L’actualité de ces dernières semaines a mené certains à douter de la maîtrise de Trump sur son personnel et sur sa politique intérieure, tandis que d’autres le disaient carrément indifférent aux affaires étrangères.

D’abord le fiasco Ryancare. Fidèle à ses promesses, Trump a voulu abroger l’Obamacare, mais mal lui en a pris de faire confiance au si peu fiable Speaker de la Chambre, Paul Ryan, et de s’engager à ses côtés, croyant pouvoir ainsi gagner des votes démocrates.

Le « plan en 3 phases » du technocrate Ryan, trop compliqué et n’abrogeant pas les pires mesures de la loi d’Obama, ne pouvait que rencontrer l’opposition ferme du Freedom Caucus, la trentaine de représentants les plus conservateurs de la base électorale de Trump.

L’échec est pour Ryan. Trump s’en sort plutôt bien, même si le poids fiscal d’Obamacare perdure et va donc le gêner dans sa réforme fiscale d’envergure.

Au moins a-t-il appris, sur le tas, qu’il ne servait à rien de courtiser des démocrates obtus et qu’il valait mieux pour lui s’impliquer le moins possible dans les jeux du Congrès.

Puis, font désordre les disputes de personnel au sein des divers ministères et le fait que Trump, soi-disant complètement ballotté entre des avis divergents, tarderait à débarrasser son administration « des restes d’Obama », même à des postes élevés, parce que, en gros, il subirait l’influence de Tillerson, Mattis, McMaster et Kushner (le « Premier Gendre »), tous des centristes-interventionnistes, en opposition radicale au nationaliste-isolationniste Bannon…

Tout cela sur fond de l’exécrable Russiagate, servi tous les jours par les démocrates dans l’espoir de délégitimer Trump et de l’empêcher de gouverner. Lassant, le feuilleton se retourne contre ses auteurs avec le scandale des écoutes de l’équipe de transition de Trump : ex-ambassadeur à l’ONU et ex-Conseiller à la Sécurité nationale, l’incroyable Susan Rice, après avoir nié (ce n’était jamais que la 4e fois qu’elle mentait pour protéger Obama), reconnaît avoir « dévoilé » l’identité de plusieurs personnes et autorisé des fuites à la presse… Rappelons que les démocrates ne s’émouvaient pas des ingérences russes lorsque celles-ci semblaient favoriser leur candidate et que ce sont eux qui ont un long passé de connivence avec la Russie : de Roosevelt et Staline aux espions à la solde de l’URSS sous Truman, jusqu’à la « flexibilité » promise par Obama en 2012 à Medvedev, concrétisée en 2013 par l’abandon pur et simple de ses responsabilités au Moyen-Orient à Poutine…

La réalité est que Trump peuple ses agences de gens d’avis opposés, exprès, afin d’appréhender toutes les possibilités pour trancher par lui-même.

Pragmatique, mais n’hésitant pas à prendre des risques, il vient de prouver qu’il était bien maître à bord. Tous les pourparlers à l’amiable ayant échoué, Trump riposte à l’intolérable par les frappes de 59 missiles Tomahawk sur la base syrienne de Shayrat, chargée du largage de gaz sarin. Fait remarquable : sans toucher aux 5 autres bases aériennes de l’armée syrienne et sans causer le moindre dommage aux installations russes.

Simple avertissement, parfaitement ciblé et mesuré, destiné à protéger les quelque mille militaires américains présents sur le théâtre d’opérations et à montrer que l’Amérique est de retour et qu’il faut désormais compter avec sa détermination.

La Syrie et l’État islamique, mais aussi la Chine, la Russie, l’Iran, la Corée du Nord peuvent en prendre note, tandis que les alliés traditionnels au Moyen-Orient et en Asie se rassurent, comme devraient se rassurer les Européens s’il leur restait quelque bon sens.

Et c’est tout ! Il n’y a pas d’escalade, ni d’intention de régler les affaires de la Syrie, ni (hélas !) de reprendre le bâton de policier du monde. Seulement l’intention de ne plus rester passif face aux agressions…

Et Trump gouverne bel et bien, malgré les obstacles et les commentaires malveillants.

La liste de ses accomplissements est déjà longue. Signe de confiance, les indices boursiers sont bons. Les emplois reviennent grâce aux dérégulations signées par décret exécutif. Les syndicats du privé sont apaisés et le climat est redevenu favorable aux petites entreprises, tandis que sont mis en œuvre des moyens nouveaux pour réduire le poids de l’État fédéral. Des milliers de récidivistes illégaux ont été déportés, 1 500 hackers pédophiles arrêtés…

En fait, les bonnes nouvelles n’arrêtent pas !

Voir par ailleurs:

Le jour où Obama a flanché
Exclusif.  En 2013, l’ex-président américain renonçait, au dernier  moment et malgré sa promesse, à frapper El-Assad. Le documentariste  Antoine Vitkine nous révèle les coulisses de cette volte-face
Antoine Vitkine
Le Point
13 avril 2017

Cette interrogation n’en finit pas de tourmenter  Barack Obama. A-t-il pris, ce jour-là, la bonne décision  ? De cette décision il a affirmé être  « fier », mais il a aussi assuré, dans une même interview, que  le dossier syrien est  «  son plus grand regret  ».  Par prudence, mieux vaut dire tout et son contraire, car il  sait ce qu’on en pense  : sa décision a changé la face  du monde. La plus grave attaque chimique depuis  la Seconde Guerre mondiale demeurée impunie  ? La  victoire de Bachar el-Assad  ? L’ascension des djihadistes  ? La montée en puissance des Russes au Moyen- Orient, en Europe et au-delà  ? L’effacement de l’Occident  ? Peut-être même la victoire de Donald Trump  ?  Tout partirait de son choix, de cette journée-là.

Le 30 août 2013, l’été s’achève à Washington dans  une épuisante touffeur. Tout juste rentré de quelques  jours de vacances sur l’île de Martha’s Vineyard, où il  a fait du VTT avec Michelle, il lui faut de nouveau assumer une charge harassante. A quoi bon cette réunion  ? Le sort n’en est-il pas jeté  ? Ce vendredi, en début  d’après-midi, dans la salle de crise de la Maison-Blanche,  il participe à une ultime réunion du Conseil de sécurité consacrée à l’intervention militaire contre le régime syrien. Autour de lui, ses conseillers, dont Philip   Gordon, qui s’occupe du Moyen-Orient,  les dirigeants de l’armée, ses ministres les plus importants, dont John Kerry, son secrétaire d’Etat. Pour tous,  l’intervention ne fait aucun doute. Le matin même,  il a annoncé publiquement réfléchir à  «  une action limitée contre Bachar  ».  Ses alliés français, la Ligue arabe,  l’Australie fourbissent leurs armes. Kerry a quasiment  annoncé la réplique américaine  :  « La crédibilité du président comme celle des Etats-Unis sont engagées.  »  Et même  :  « L’Histoire nous jugerait sévèrement si on ne faisait rien » …

A  vrai  dire,  il  n’aurait  jamais  pensé  se  retrouver   dans cette situation. Autour de la table, chacun a en  tête  sa  conférence  de  presse  donnée  un  an  auparavant, presque jour pour jour, le 20 août 2012, et une  phrase. Un journaliste lui avait demandé ce qui pourrait infléchir sa position, pour le moins prudente, sur  le conflit syrien, lui qui refuse d’armer les rebelles.  «  Pour nous, la ligne rouge, c’est l’utilisation d’armes chimiques  ; ça changerait ma vision des choses  »,  avait-il  répondu. A question imprévue réponse non préparée. Ses  conseillers avaient été interloqués. Certes, El-Assad  avait été mis en garde par des canaux discrets, mais  rendre  publique  une  ligne  rouge  n’est  jamais  une   bonne chose. On s’était promptement rassuré  ; le régime  syrien  semblait  tellement  affaibli  qu’il  n’oserait pas s’attirer les foudres du président des Etats-Unis.

Il a pourtant osé, comme en témoignent les schémas et les photos satellites qu’on diffuse dans la salle  de crise. Il y a eu d’abord de petites attaques chimiques  au printemps. Puis, devant l’absence de réactions, le  21 août 2013, cette attaque d’ampleur dans la banlieue  de Damas, plus tard contestée  (voir ci-contre).  Bachar  a-t-il voulu tester les Etats-Unis  ? Ou, simplement, son  armée n’avait-elle pas d’autres moyens de terrifier sa  population insurgée  ? On ne sait pas. Auprès de Philip Gordon, Obama a insisté  :  «  Il nous faut des preuves.  »  «  Le président était hanté par l’Irak et ne voulait pas entrer  en  guerre  sur  la  base  de  simples  suspicions» ,  témoigne   Gordon. Mais les preuves sont là. Les obus au gaz sarin tirés par le camp loyaliste ont tué environ 1  400  personnes, dont beaucoup d’enfants, selon une note de  la CIA dont chacun, dans la pièce, a reçu une copie.  Plus  contraignantes  que  les  preuves,  les  images.   Atroces, elles ont fait le tour du monde. Ce père qui  tient sa fillette morte dans les bras et qui l’interpelle,  lui, le président des Etats-Unis  :  «  Je vous en prie  ! Ce  ne sont que des enfants  ! Ils n’ont encore rien vu de la vie.  Du chimique ! »  Il est contraint de répondre. Un tabou,  depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale, a été transgressé,  les traités internationaux ont été violés, l’ordre du  monde menacé, l’Amérique défiée.

Devant ses conseillers, il assume sa phrase.  «  Il nous  a dit  : “Quand j’ai parlé d’une ligne rouge, c’est vraiment  ce  que  je  voulais  dire”   »,   se  souvient  Gordon.  Tous  le   poussent à agir, et d’abord les plus proches, les plus réalistes, Gordon, justement, ou l’avisé Antony Blinken, qui lâche  :  «  Une superpuissance ne bluffe pas.  » « La  frappe doit servir d’avertissement à l’Iran, au Hezbollah  ou à la Corée du Nord si un jour ils songeaient à recourir  à des armes de destruction massive  » , déclare pour sa part  Kerry. Ils lui présentent les différentes options. Le général Flynn, alors chef du renseignement militaire, a  participé à la sélection des cibles  : aéroports, centres  de commandement, bases militaires, dépôts d’armes.  «  Cela aurait été dévastateur et aurait considérablement  atténué la capacité du régime à frapper des non-combattants »,   nous  déclare-t-il.  Autour  de  la  table,  Martin   Dempsey, chef d’état-major, fait savoir  :  «  On a le doigt  sur la détente.  »  Faut-il une journée de frappes ou plusieurs  ? Les militaires prônent plusieurs jours d’intervention.  Il  suit  leur  avis.  Des  frappes  aériennes  en   Syrie seront déclenchées le lendemain dans la nuit, à  3  heures GMT. La réunion s’achève : les derniers choix  militaires  sont  arrêtés.  Les  conseillers  quittent  les   lieux. Remarquent-ils qu’il n’a pas donné d’ordre, qu’il  n’a pas dit  « allez-y »  et n’a pas encore signé d’ordre  ? Il  a laissé la décision se prendre toute seule, portée par  sa propre logique, se contentant de suivre l’avis géné ral. Il n’a rien dit des doutes qui l’assaillent.

Tout le pousse à intervenir… Mais… Le Parlement  britannique  a  mis  son  veto  la  veille.  C’est  une  première alerte. Et si le régime s’effondrait à la suite des  frappes  ? L’Amérique deviendrait responsable du chaos  qui pourrait en résulter, après l’Irak, après la Libye. Il  a entre les mains des rapports indiquant que le régime  syrien est plus fébrile que jamais. Des officiers expédient leurs familles hors de Damas. Les opposants se  disent prêts à fondre sur la capitale si le pouvoir, déjà  affaibli, flanchait. Quelle est l’alternative politique au  régime  ? Depuis plusieurs jours, les partisans du soutien à la rébellion ne ménagent pas leurs efforts pour  le rallier à leurs vues, comme Robert Ford, ex-ambassadeur américain à Damas  :  «  Au sein de l’administration,  certains  craignaient  que  les  djihadistes  prennent  le   pouvoir à Damas. Je n’y croyais pas. Les modérés étaient,  à ce moment-là, les plus forts  »,  explique-t-il. Quelques  jours plus tôt, il a rencontré Obama pour le persuader que  «  frapper convaincra le régime de négocier vraiment  à  Genève   ».   Ford  a  l’impression  d’avoir  réussi…   Gordon,  lui  aussi,  s’est  voulu  rassurant   :   « Quelques  jours de frappes ne suffiront pas à décapiter un régime qui  s’accroche au pouvoir.  »  Mais comment en être sûr  ?

L’agenda se rappelle à Barack Obama. Il converse  pendant trois quarts d’heure avec son plus proche allié,  le  Français  François  Hollande,  dont  les  Rafale   chargent leurs missiles de croisière Scalp. Il l’assure  que rien n’est changé. L’après-midi s’achève. Son emploi du temps lui laisse enfin un répit. Il n’aime guère  les  choix  tranchés,  préférant  le  consensus.  Mais  la   machine est lancée. Il est président, il peut encore faire marche arrière, mais il faut aller vite  et, cette fois, se décider.  «  J’ai dit  : “Pause. On réfléchit.  J’ai voulu m’extraire des pressions”  »,  confiera-t-il en 2016  au  journaliste  Jeffrey  Goldberg.  Il  a  besoin  de  marcher pour avoir les idées claires. Il propose à un homme  de confiance d’aller se promener dans le jardin de la  Maison-Blanche. Cet homme, c’est son chef de l’ad ministration, Denis McDonough  : ni un militaire ni  un diplomate, mais son collaborateur le plus loyal.  Pendant une heure, il lui livre ses doutes. Tout cela  est trop incertain. Ne va-t-il pas engager son pays dans  une nouvelle guerre alors qu’il a été élu pour se dé sengager de conflits coûteux  ? Et puis, cela ne risque- t-il pas de mettre en péril son grand œuvre, l’accord  nucléaire avec l’Iran  ? Trop de risques. Il teste une idée  auprès de McDonough  : demander une autorisation  préalable au Congrès. Une manière de reculer, car chacun sait qu’un soutien du Congrès est plus qu’incertain. McDonough approuve la prudence de son boss.

En  début  de  soirée,  il  convoque  à  nouveau  ses   conseillers dans son bureau. L’ambiance est décontractée. Il leur annonce la nouvelle. Ils n’en reviennent  pas. Ils insistent  :  «  Ce sera dévastateur pour votre autorité politique »,  le préviennent-ils. Il tient bon. Gordon  nous avoue avoir été estomaqué. Devant lui, Obama  raisonne en politique  :  «  Si ça ne dissuade pas Assad de  recommencer, si des inspecteurs de l’Onu sont pris comme  boucliers humains, si on perd un pilote, j’aurai l’opinion,  le Congrès sur le dos. On me reprochera tout et son contraire,  d’être intervenu, de ne pas être intervenu plus fortement,  de ne pas être intervenu plus légèrement.  »  Gordon se souvient  d’un  autre  argument  du  président   :  le  risque   d’engrenage.  Si  Assad  ou  ses  parrains  russes  et  iraniens  décidaient  d’une  nouvelle  attaque  chimique   «  trois semaines plus tard  »,  alors  «  on devrait frapper de nouveau, et plus fort, et ainsi de suite  ».  Il ne serait plus  maître du processus, craint-il, alors qu’Assad le serait.  Cela, cet homme qui veut tout contrôler ne peut l’accepter. Et rien n’est moins contrôlable qu’une guerre.

Il a désormais quelques annonces délicates à faire.  Il prévient Kerry, qui est furieux.  «  L’Histoire nous jugera  avec une sévérité extrême  »,  lâche ce dernier à ses collaborateurs et à certains de ses homologues étrangers.  Le lendemain, à 18 heures, quelques heures avant l’attaque, il contacte aussi Hollande, qui tombe de haut.  Présent, Laurent Fabius, ministre des Affaires étrangères, nous résume le contenu de la conversation  :  « Il  nous a dit  : c’est plus difficile que prévu, il faut que je consulte…  Bref, plus de ligne rouge. Il n’était pas question pour la  France d’agir seule. Le château de cartes s’est effondré.  » Puis, dans la fournaise d’une fin de journée d’été,  sur le perron de la Maison-Blanche, Barack Obama  tient une conférence de presse  : « J’ai décidé d’intervenir,  proclame-t-il, avant d’ajouter  :  mais je demanderai que cet usage de la force soit approuvé par le Congrès.  »  Il s’est donné du temps. C’est fini. Il vient de changer l’ordre du monde sans pouvoir, à cet instant, le  deviner.  Certains  comprennent  en  revanche  que  rien ne sera plus comme avant.

Sur les hauteurs de Damas, Bachar el-Assad comprend qu’il n’a plus rien à craindre des Occidentaux.  Il se paiera même le luxe d’utiliser de nouveau des  armes  chimiques  deux  ans  plus  tard.  L’opposition   «  modérée  », autour de l’Armée syrienne libre, sent  que l’Occident l’abandonne. Les djihadistes, mieux  armés, recrutent les déçus et montent en puissance,  scellant le piège qui permettra au président syrien de se présenter comme rempart contre le chaos.

Au Kremlin, Vladimir Poutine se jette sur l’occasion. Aux Américains il offre de convaincre El-Assad  de  détruire  ses  armes  chimiques  contre  l’abandon  de tout projet d’intervention. Comment refuser, après  avoir reculé le 30 août  ? La Russie prend la main en  Syrie.  Plus  tard,  Poutine  estimera  ne  rien  redouter  du  président  américain  et  envahira  la  Crimée.  Les   Républicains et un certain Donald Trump, admirateur  de  Poutine,  ne  cesseront  de  dénoncer  ce  nouveau  Munich  et  ce  président  qui  a  affaibli  une   Amérique qu’il faudrait rendre  « great  again ».

Il ne lui reste que des questions sans réponses. Que  se serait-il passé s’il avait frappé  ? Ce 30 août 2013 est-il  le jour où Obama a mis fin au règne des Etats-Unis  comme seule superpuissance mondiale  ? Le jour où  le  camp  des  démocraties  a  dû  renoncer  à  se  battre  pour ses valeurs  ? A-t-il été trop raisonnable dans une  période troublée où un homme d’Etat ne devrait pas  l’être  ? Ou bien est-ce le jour où lui, un sage président,  a évité au Moyen-Orient de vivre un chaos supplémentaire et à l’Amérique de s’y trouver empêtrée  ?

* Ecrivain, documentariste, a réalisé «  Bachar, moi ou le chaos. »


Héritage Obama: En ouvrant à l’Iran la voie vers l’arme nucléaire, Obama a transformé les conflits lents du terrorisme classique en crise de civilisations catastrophique (Obama’s genocidal treason: What the Rosenbergs did for Stalin, Obama did for the Ayatollah Khamenei)

25 septembre, 2015
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.2171339!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_1200/rosenberg3a-1-web.jpg La nature du terrorisme russe est désormais évidente, il n’y a plus de place pour des revendications qu’aucun mal n’ait été fait. J’estime que votre initiative de placer entre des mains russes des années plus tôt la bombe nucléaire avant que nos meilleurs savants ne prévoient que la Russie la perfectionnerait, a déjà causé, à mon avis, l’agression communiste en Corée, avec les pertes dépassant 50.000 et qui sait, si des millions de personnes innocentes supplémentaires ne paieront pas le prix de votre trahison. En effet, par votre trahison vous avez sans doute modifié le cours de l’histoire au détriment de notre pays. Juge Kaufman
Qui arrêtera cette folie ? La prodigue Union européenne (UE) met le destin des peuples à l’encan en applaudissant, derrière l’Allemagne exaltée, à l’invasion des clandestins qui forcent les portes de Schengen. Des libérateurs ne seraient pas mieux acclamés. Or ils sont des millions, dans les pays arabo-musulmans, à vouloir gagner l’UE enivrée de ses vertus. Cette semaine, la petite île grecque de Lesbos était submergée par 20 000 «  migrants ». Les barrières volent en éclats, depuis qu’Angela Merkel a promis de recevoir 800 000 demandeurs d’asile cette année. François Hollande s’est engagé pour 24 000 personnes en deux ans. Peu importe les chiffres : les feux sont passés au vert, sans discernement ni recul. Les commissaires de Bruxelles, qui ont toujours appelé de leurs vœux une immigratAAæion massive, sans se soucier de son intégration culturelle, sont complices du bouleversement identitaire enclenché. La propagande émotionnelle s’est emballée, après la diffusion de la photo d’un corps d’enfant échoué sur une plage turque. Depuis, les « humanistes » de tréteaux, artistes ou politiques, moralisent sur la « fraternité humaine » en exposant publiquement leur grande bonté. Ils accusent évidemment l’Occident d’être coupable des désastres qui frappent l’Afghanistan, l’Irak, la Syrie, la Libye, etc. Persuadés d’avoir raison, ils exigent des excuses de ceux qui ont soutenu, depuis le 11 septembre 2001, les résistances aux offensives du nazislamisme. Ils crachent par habitude sur les États-Unis et leurs alliés, mais ignorent le totalitarisme coranique, responsable du chaos. Combien de soldats de Daech, infiltrés parmi ces exilés ? L’État islamique avait promis, début 2015, d’utiliser la bombe migratoire pour déstabiliser l’Europe. Mais cela fait longtemps que l’aveuglement narcissique berce les beaux parleurs. Il suffit d’observer la jubilation des idéologues de l’égalitarisme, de l’indifférenciation et de l’homme remplaçable pour les tenir comme inspirateurs de la béatitude des dirigeants et les médias du camp du Bien. Ivan Rioufol
Les « humanistes » sont des dangers publics, quand ils ne voient pas plus loin que leurs psychés. Lorsqu’ils se mêlent de diriger des pays, voire l’Union européenne elle-même, ils montrent leur inconsistance en se révélant incapables de prévoir les conséquences de leurs élans compassionnels. L’ahurissante légèreté Angela Merkel, qui a ouvert ses frontières aux « migrants » sous les hourras des belles âmes, restera probablement comme l’aboutissement de la régression politique réduite aux pulsions émotives. La décision de la chancelière, ce week-end, de rétablir le contrôle aux frontières de son pays soudainement envahi signe sans doute la fin des utopies sur l’accueil pour tous, dont elle était devenue l’étendard. Elle justifie sa volte-face par le fait que Schengen a démontré qu’il ne maîtrisait pas l’immigration et laissait passer, à côté des réfugiés politiques, beaucoup de faussaires. Mais cette situation, décrite ici depuis le début, est connue de tous depuis toujours. Elle  n’est d’ailleurs pas un obstacle pour la France, qui se flatte d’accueillir et de prendre en charge des « réfugiés » dont rien ne dit qu’ils le sont tous.  Il suffit de relire les dithyrambes de la presse française pour se désoler de la capitulation de l’esprit critique dans une large partie de la profession. « L’incroyable madame Merkel », « La dame de cœur », « le futur prix Nobel de la paix », auront été quelques-uns des lauriers tressés par le camp du Bien, dans un manichéisme  réservant aux pays récalcitrants, et singulièrement au premier ministre hongrois Viktor Orban, toutes les réprobations morales. Disons les choses comme elles se présentent : le revirement allemand couvre de ridicule les sermonneurs qui ont semé la tempête migratoire. Le ministre de l’Intérieur français, Bernard Cazeneuve, qui entend faire de la « pédagogie » pour expliquer sa politique d’accueil, ne peut que s’enliser dans une propagande irréfléchie qui n’a évidemment pas le soutien de l’opinion. Incapable idéologiquement de concevoir la moindre vertu aux frontières nationales, il parle d’ouvrir en Grèce, en Italie et en Hongrie des « hot spots », en collaboration avec l’Union européenne. Mais cette dernière se dévoile, avec l’Allemagne immature et la France suiveuse, comme autant de dangers pour l’Europe, fragilisée par quarante ans d’immigration de peuplement et de multiculturalisme imposé. Le cynisme mercantile du président du Medef, Pierre Gattaz, qui salue une « opportunité » dans l’arrivée d’une main d’oeuvre docile, est une autre agression pour les Français soucieux de préserver la cohésion de leur nation ouverte. En réalité, l’effet de cet excès de xénophilie est, dès à présent, de replacer au cœur du débat public des sujets évacués : l’immigration, le retour aux frontières, la préférence nationale, l’expulsion effective des migrants économiques et des clandestins. Sans parler de la faillite des partis politiques et de l’Union européenne elle-même. Dans le fond, merci Angela Merkel pour tant de maladresses ! Ivan Rioufol
We in the axis of resistance are the new sultans of the Mediterranean and the Gulf. We in Tehran, Damascus, [Hizbullah’s] southern suburb of Beirut, Baghdad, and Sanaa will shape the map of the region. We are the new sultans of the Red Sea as well. Mohammad Sadeq al-Hosseini
Since its inception, Iran has [always] had a global [dimension]; it was born an empire. Rouhani Ali Younesi
In an interview with Thomas Friedman of The New York Times (« Obama Makes His Case on Iran Nuclear Deal, » July 14, 2015), President Obama asked that the nuclear deal with Iran be judged only by how successfully it prevents Iran from attaining a nuclear bomb, not on « whether it is changing the regime inside of Iran » or « whether we are solving every problem that can be traced back to Iran. » However, in many interviews he has given over the last few years, he has revealed a strategy and a plan that far exceed the Iran deal: a strategy which aims to create an equilibrium between Sunnis and Shiites in the Muslim world.    President Obama believes that such an equilibrium will result in a more peaceful Middle East in which tensions between regional powers are reduced to mere competition. As he told David Remnick in an interview with The New Yorker, « …if we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion…you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare » (« Going the Distance, » January 27, 2014). In discussing the Iran deal, the President recalled President Nixon negotiating with China and President Reagan negotiating with the Soviet Union in order to explain the scope of his strategy for the Middle East and the Muslim world. President Obama seeks, as did Presidents Reagan and Nixon with China and the Soviet Union, to impact the region as a whole. The Iran deal, even if major, is just one of several vehicles that would help achieve this goal. (…) Within Islam’s approximately 1.6 billion believers, the absolute majority – about 90% – is Sunni, while Shiites constitute only about 10%.  Even in the Middle East, Sunnis are a large majority. (…) Considering the above, the implications of the equilibrium strategy for the region might not be enhancing peace as the President well intends; rather, it might intensify strife and violence in the region. The empowered minority might be persuaded to increase its expansionist activity, as can be already seen: Iran has extended its influence from Lebanon to Yemen. (…) In view of this reality, this strategy might create, against the President’s expectations, more bitterness and willingness on the part of the majority to fight for their status. This has already been realized; for example, when Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen after facing the Houthi/Shiite revolution, which it perceived as a grave danger to its survival, and created a fighting coalition within a month to counter it. Similarly, Saudi Arabia has previously demonstrated that it regards Bahrain as an area where any Iranian attempt to stir up unrest will be answered by Saudi military intervention. According to reports, Saudi Arabia has been supporting the Sunni population in Iraq, and in Lebanon, a standstill has resulted because Saudi Arabia has shown that it will not give up – even in a place where Iranian proxy Hizbollah is the main power. Hence, the strategy of equilibrium has a greater chance of resulting in the eruption of regional war than in promoting regional peace. Moreover, this strategy might have adverse implications for the United States and its interests in the Sunni Muslim world: those countries that feel betrayed by the strategy might, as a result, take action against the United States – hopefully only politically (such as changing international alliances) or economically. These countries might be careful about their public pronouncements and might even voice rhetorical support to U.S. policy, as the GCC states did on August 3, but the resentment is there. The analysis presented here is based on principles of realpolitik: in politics, one does not align with the minority against the majority. However, sometimes other considerations take precedence. Morality is such an example: the Allies could not refrain from fighting Nazi Germany because it was a majority power – ultimately, they recognized the moral obligation to combat the Third Reich. However, with regard to the Middle East, the two adversaries are on equal standing: the Islamic Republic of Iran is no different than the Wahhabi Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. President Obama and Secretary Kerry would be wrong to think that Mohammad Javad Zarif, the sophisticated partygoer in New York City, represents the real Iran. Zarif, his negotiating team, and President Rouhani himself, all live under the shadow and at the mercy of the Supreme Leader, the ayatollahs, and the IRGC. Yigal Carmon and Alberto M. Fernandez
The “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” is a bad deal because it’s the first time the United States has offered extensive concessions to a nation that openly seeks to destabilize our interests. It’s the first time we will be offering an oppressive theocracy (one that still holds American hostages) hundreds of billions of dollars to menace our (former) allies via its proxies throughout the Middle East. For the first time in history a president has legitimatized an openly anti-American state with expansionist aims to help him expand political legacy at home. (…) The real question, as Rouhani understands well, is this one: Is the United States going to stand with the Jewish State or with Iran? We know where Obama stands. Obama is now locked in no matter how poorly implementation goes and no matter how uncooperative Iran will be. Otherwise, it is another political failure. And most Democrats are probably locked in to supporting the deal for a number of partisan and ideological reasons. Signing it, they will argue, proves that diplomacy, not war, can work. Liberals have been offering this false choice for so many years, so it’s doubtful they can back away from it now. Others will claim that conservatives have an ideological predisposition to opposing any foreign-policy agreements (…) Or maybe, it’ll be Netanyahu’s fault for opposing an Iranian deal that pushed the president to allow Iran to become a nuclear power. (…) There’s little doubt Obama desires to see Iran as a counterbalance to Israeli power in the region. There’s little doubt this deal would accomplish that goal. Yes, there is a relationship in place with the Jewish State that can’t be discarded by the administration for legal, practical, and political reasons. But the same administration that has no compunction demanding Israel stop building neighborhoods was unable to extract anything but the most rudimentary concessions from Iran. Not even snap inspections. And though Netanyahu has already claimed that Israel is not bound by this deal, attacking the Iranian program itself becomes far more perilous—if it’s even possible without our help—as Iran is essentially under the protection of the United States and six other nations. (…) Even if you have an unfettered belief in diplomacy, what’s the point of being a superpower if you’re going to negotiate with enervated regimes as if they were equals—or worse? What’s the point of creating leverage through years of sanctions, if we don’t demand Iranians stop, at the very least, using technology that can be quickly re-engineered to enrich uranium? (…) Why? Did you think Iranians were spilling into the streets to celebrate access to a new source of energy? David Harsanyi
The policy of “leading from behind” and the crudity of “We came, we saw, he [Qaddafi] died” have left a human tragedy in Libya. Backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was an inexplicable choice, and it almost ruined the country. The United States did not need to hound and jail an innocent video maker in order to concoct a myth to cover up the culpable lax security in Benghazi. Yemen was strangely declared a model of our anti-terrorism efforts — just weeks before it ignited into another Somalia or Congo. ISIS was airily written off as a jayvee bunch as it spread beyond Syria and Iraq. There is little need to do a detailed comparison of Iraq now and Iraq in February 2009 (when it was soon to be the administration’s “greatest achievement,” a “stable” and “self-reliant” nation); the mess in between is attributable to Obama’s use of the aftermath of the Iraq War for pre-election positioning. Ordering Assad to flee while ignoring the violence in Syria and proclaiming a faux red line has now tragically led to a million refugees in Europe (and another 4 million in the neighborhood) and more than 200,000 dead. Israel is now considered not an ally, not even a neutral, but apparently a hostile state worthy of more presidential invective than is Iran. We have few if any reliable friends any more in the Gulf. Iran will become a nuclear power. The only mystery over how that will happen is whether Obama was inept or whether he deliberately sought to make the theocracy some sort of a strategic power and U.S. ally. The Middle East over the next decade may see three or four additional new nuclear powers. The Russia of kleptocrat Vladimir Putin is seen in the region as a better friend than is the U.S. — and certainly a far more dangerous enemy to provoke. There is no easy cure for all this; it will take years just to sort out the mess. Victor Davis Hanson
Ce que les Rosenberg avaient fait pour Staline, Obama le fait aujourd’hui pour l’ayatollah Khamenei. Le méprisable accord nucléaire d’Obama avec l’Iran a déjà précipité l’agression iranienne dans la région. En réponse aux concessions faites par Obama, Hillary Clinton et John Kerry, l’Iran raidissait son attitude et devenait plus agressif. À l’heure actuelle, l’Iran est impliqué dans des guerres dans la région, entrainant déjà les États-Unis dans leur sillage. Si l’Iran se dote de l’arme nucléaire, ces guerres s’aggraveront et deviendront beaucoup plus dévastatrices. Ce n’est pas seulement Chamberlain. C’est Quisling et Philippe Pétain. Il ne s’agit nullement d’un mauvais jugement. Il s’agit d’une trahison. (…) En ouvrant à l’Iran la voie vers la bombe nucléaire, Obama a transformé les conflits lents du terrorisme classique en crise de civilisations catastrophique. Une bombe nucléaire iranienne ne se faufilera pas discrètement comme le fait la crise démographique de la migration musulmane avec son complément de terrorisme. Ce ne sera pas un problème progressif. Une course aux armes nucléaires entre sunnites et chiites impliquant des terroristes des deux côtés qui emploient des armes nucléaires rendra insoutenable toute la structure de la civilisation occidentale. L’attaque du 11/9 a vu l’usage de quelques jets pour dévaster une ville. La prochaine vague d’armes pourrait tuer des millions, pas des milliers. Les traîtres qui ont fait de l’URSS une puissance capable de détruire le monde étaient motivés par le même agenda caché des partisans à l’accord nucléaire iranien. Ils croyaient que le monopole nucléaire américain conduirait à l’arrogance et au bellicisme. Ils étaient convaincus que la puissance américaine devrait être surveillée en s’assurant que l’union soviétique puisse égaler l’oncle Sam, nucléaire pour nucléaire. Ceux qui ont ouvert les portes du nucléaire à Téhéran aujourd’hui croient qu’un Iran nucléaire aura un effet dissuasif contre l’impérialisme américain dans la région. Leur nombre inclut Barack Obama.(…) Obama a trahi l’Amérique. Il a trahi les victimes américaines du terrorisme iranien. Il a trahi les soldats américains qui ont été assassinés, mutilés et torturés par les armées terroristes iraniennes. Il a trahi des centaines de millions d’Américains dans leur patrie, et qui seront contraints d’élever leurs enfants sous l’égide de la terreur nucléaire iranienne. Sa trahison nucléaire est non seulement une trahison de l’Amérique. Pour la première fois depuis la fin de la guerre froide, elle ouvre les portes de l’assassinat en masse de millions d’américains par un ennemi vicieux. Obama a appauvri des millions d’Américains, il a le sang des soldats et des policiers sur ses mains, mais son héritage final peut être la collaboration dans un acte d’assassinat en masse qui pourrait rivaliser avec Adolf Hitler. Daniel Greenfield

Attention: une trahison peut en cacher une autre !

A l’heure où après le reste de l’Europe et le monde, l’Allemagne de Madame Merkel découvre enfin l’invraisemblable folie de sa décision d’ouvrir ses frontières à de centaines de milliers de prétendus réfugiés musulmans …

Et où après avoir apporté sa bénédiction aux dirigeants de la prison à ciel ouvert de Cuba, le prétendu chef de la chrétienté n’a pas de mots assez durs pour fustiger pour son prétendu égoïsme le seul système capitaliste dont rêvent justement comme l’ensemble des migrants du monde lesdits Cubains …

Comment ne pas voir avec le chercheur américain Daniel Greenfield …

L’incroyable et bien plus grave accélération que vient de faire subir à l’histoire, l’accord nucléaire iranien initié par l’Administration américaine avec le soutien tant des Européens que du Vatican …

Où, à l’instar du réseau Rosenberg qui a fourni à Staline les plans de l’arme atomique au lendemain de la dernière guerre mondiale et, précipitant la Guerre froide, fait passer le monde à plusieurs reprises à deux pas de l’apocalypse nucléaire …

Le pompier-pyromane Obama a non seulement déjà précipité l’actuelle « agression iranienne dans la région » …

Mais « transformé les conflits lents du terrorisme classique en crise de civilisations catastrophique » ?

LA TRAHISON GÉNOCIDAIRE D’OBAMA
L’héritage final d’Obama pourrait se résumer par la mort de millions d’américains.
Daniel Greenfield
Frontpage
Adaptation
Thérèse Zrihen-Dvir

Aucun gouvernement actuel n’a autant de sang de soldats américains sur les mains que le gouvernement iranien. Du Liban à l’Afghanistan, de l’Arabie saoudite à l’Irak, l’Iran a tué des soldats américains des décennies durant : 241 à Beyrouth. 19 dans les tours de Kobhar. Plus de 500 en Irak et en Afghanistan. La dernière fois que les États-Unis avaient officiellement combattu l’Iran c’était sous le président Reagan. Mais l’Iran n’a jamais cessé de tuer des américains. Il n’y a aucune raison de croire qu’il ne le fera pas une fois armé de bombes nucléaires accordées diligemment par Obama et son administration.

La dernière fois que des gauchistes radicaux avaient soutenu un programme nucléaire à un ennemi reconnu des États-Unis, ils avaient été trainés en justice. Le juge qui officiait alors avait déclaré que puisque « la nature du terrorisme russe est désormais évidente, il n’y a plus de place pour des revendications qu’aucun mal n’ait été fait. J’estimes que votre initiative de placer entre des mains russes des années plus tôt la bombe nucléaire avant que nos meilleurs savants ne prévoient que la Russie la perfectionnerait, a déjà causé, à mon avis, l’agression communiste en Corée, avec les pertes dépassant 50.000 et qui sait, si des millions de personnes innocentes supplémentaires ne paieront pas le prix de votre trahison. En effet, par votre trahison vous avez sans doute modifié le cours de l’histoire au détriment de notre pays », avait déclaré le juge Kaufman.

Ces paroles émises lors du verdict Rosenberg s’appliquent aussi bien à la trahison d’Obama en faveur de l’Iran. Ce que les Rosenberg avaient fait pour Staline, Obama le fait aujourd’hui pour l’ayatollah Khamenei.

Le méprisable accord nucléaire d’Obama avec l’Iran a déjà précipité l’agression iranienne dans la région. En réponse aux concessions faites par Obama, Hillary Clinton et John Kerry, l’Iran raidissait son attitude et devenait plus agressif. À l’heure actuelle, l’Iran est impliqué dans des guerres dans la région, entrainant déjà les États-Unis dans leur sillage.

Si l’Iran se dote de l’arme nucléaire, ces guerres s’aggraveront et deviendront beaucoup plus dévastatrices.

Ce n’est pas seulement Chamberlain. C’est Quisling et Philippe Pétain. Il ne s’agit nullement d’un mauvais jugement. Il s’agit d’une trahison. Obama n’a pas par crainte cherché à apaiser l’Iran ; il sympathise avec ses griefs anti-américains. Comme il l’avait avoué aux négociateurs, « les dirigeants iraniens se sentent «vulnérables» en raison de la façon dont l’Amérique a «interféré » dans « leur démocratie » et son anti-américanisme est une réaction «défensive» pour «éviter les répétitions du passé ».

Obama s’identifie avec les ressentiments anti-américains de terroristes musulmans au lieu de compatir à la souffrance de leurs victimes. Sa politique étrangère se base sur la responsabilisation des ennemis des États-Unis pour transformer leurs griefs en «défense» contre l’influence et l’intervention américaine. Il l’a fait à cuba jusqu’à l’Iran, sauvegardant les tyrans communistes et la Confrérie musulmane. Mais son affaire iranienne est son crime le plus sanglant.

Fondé sur ces ressentiments, l’accord nucléaire permettra aux iraniens d’agir en tuant des millions. La bombe nucléaire est non seulement une arme, c’est surtout un instrument génocidaire. C’est une menace existentielle pour notre civilisation et notre mode de vie. Les espions qui avaient aidé l’URSS à obtenir le nucléaire n’avaient pas seulement transmis des informations sur l’arme, ils avaient transformé un conflit militaire en une crise mondiale permanente planant sur le sort de l’humanité entière, guidée par l’avidité et le pouvoir d’idéologues vieillissants et brutaux de Moscou.

En creusant à l’Iran la voie vers la bombe nucléaire, Obama a transformé les conflits lents du terrorisme classique en crise de civilisations catastrophique. Une bombe nucléaire iranienne ne se faufilera pas discrètement comme le fait la crise démographique de la migration musulmane avec son complément de terrorisme. Ce ne sera pas un problème progressif. Une course aux armes nucléaires entre sunnites et chiites impliquant des terroristes des deux côtés qui emploient des armes nucléaires rendra insoutenable toute la structure de la civilisation occidentale.

L’attaque du 11/9 a vu l’usage de quelques jets pour dévaster une ville. La prochaine vague d’armes pourrait tuer des millions, pas des milliers.

Les traîtres qui ont fait de l’URSS une puissance capable de détruire le monde étaient motivés par le même agenda caché des partisans à l’accord nucléaire iranien. Ils croyaient que le monopole nucléaire américain conduirait à l’arrogance et au bellicisme. Ils étaient convaincus que la puissance américaine devrait être surveillée en s’assurant que l’union soviétique puisse égaler l’oncle SAM, nucléaire pour nucléaire.

Ceux qui ont ouvert les portes du nucléaire à Téhéran aujourd’hui croient qu’un Iran nucléaire aura un effet dissuasif contre l’impérialisme américain dans la région. Leur nombre inclut Barack Obama.

Après son échec avec les frères musulmans, Obama prit la décision d’octroyer une puissance de dissuasion à l’Iran contre des interventions militaires futures par un successeur républicain. S’il peut obtenir « Téhéran Joe Biden », sympathisant notoire du lobby iranien, pour monter la garde tandis que l’Iran marche vers le nucléaire, l’Iran dominera la région de la même façon que l’union soviétique dominait l’Europe de l’est.

La trahison terroriste d’Obama joue sur l’alternative d’un Iran qui serait « rationnel », et que ses dirigeants soient des Khrouchtchev prêts à appuyer là où ils sentent une faiblesse, plutôt que des Staline, prêts à tuer des millions pour le pouvoir. Les conciliateurs gauchistes de l’Iran, au sein et en dehors de l’Administration, s’accrochent de manière obsédante, à la foi que le régime islamique iranien est rationnel, puisqu’il leur permet de contourner leur responsabilité au cas où le monde prendrait feu.

Ils rationalisent leur trahison en soutenant que les dirigeants de l’Iran et leurs foules enfiévrées ne pensent vraiment rien quand ils hurlent, « mort à l’Amérique ». Et si les intentions du dirigeant de l’Iran signifient ce qu’il annonce, les démocrates du sénat les affublent différemment, les médias gauchistes caquettent sur les points de discussion de la maison blanche, les intellectuels se souviennent de leurs rencontres avec des diplomates iraniens lors des parties de cocktails, et leur chef, Obama, deviendront éléments du génocide.

À chaque étape du chemin rationalisé de la trahison d’Obama en faveur de l’Iran il y eut des compromis qui semblaient inévitables et raisonnables, minimisant ainsi la trahison catastrophique finale, exposant une version d’un Iran nucléaire comme étant l’unique alternative possible à un Iran nucléaire. Comme Benedict Arnold, il avait grignoté toutes les autres options à l’exception de la défaite ou de la trahison afin d’en faire une option sensible et même patriotique.

Les traîtres nucléaires qui avaient aidé Staline nourrissaient la même logique, négociant chaque trahison comme étant l’unique alternative à la guerre, pour enfin infliger la guerre froide et la menace d’anéantissement par le nucléaire sur des générations entières. Après avoir inlassablement dénoncé la guerre froide qu’ils avaient déclenchée par leur soutien diplomatique, politique et même militaire pour les ambitions de Staline, ils étaient finalement disposés à ramener la guerre froide.

Et si tout va mal, la faute tombera sur les épaules des « fomenteurs de guerre de la droite» qui avaient aliéné l’Iran, tout comme leurs prédécesseurs l’avaient fait à l’URSS, pas sur les sympathisants gauchistes qui avaient offert aux ennemis de la civilisation le pouvoir de la détruire.

Obama a trahi l’Amérique. Il a trahi les victimes américaines du terrorisme iranien. Il a trahi les soldats américains qui ont été assassinés, mutilés et torturés par les armées terroristes iraniennes. Il a trahi des centaines de millions d’américains dans leur patrie, et qui seront contraints d’élever leurs enfants sous l’égide de la terreur nucléaire iranienne.

Sa trahison nucléaire est non seulement une trahison de l’Amérique. Pour la première fois depuis la fin de la guerre froide, elle ouvre les portes de l’assassinat en masse de millions d’américains par un ennemi vicieux.

Obama a appauvri des millions d’américains, il a le sang des soldats et des policiers sur ses mains, mais son héritage final peut être la collaboration dans un acte d’assassinat en masse qui pourrait rivaliser avec Adolf Hitler.

Voir aussi:

Obama’s Nuke Deal Makes Israel The Enemy And Iran Our Ally
You can pick the Islamic Republic or the Jewish State. You can’t pick both.
David Harsanyi
The Federalist
July 14, 2015

Isn’t it odd how every pundit and politician who’s been antagonistic towards Israel is also super excited about an Iranian deal that’s allegedly going to help protect the Jewish State from the threat of nuclear Iran?

All the peacemongers love it.

“We are satisfied that the solution found is based on the principle of phasing and mutuality which our country has been consistently supporting at every stage of these complicated negotiations,” says Vlad Putin, the leader of the country that made Iranian nuclear power a possibility. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he’s confident his ally in Iran will now step up its efforts to back his “just causes” after the nuclear deal is wrapped up. And really, why wouldn’t it?

The backing of a war criminal doesn’t necessarily mean we have a bad deal. The “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” is a bad deal because it’s the first time the United States has offered extensive concessions to a nation that openly seeks to destabilize our interests. It’s the first time we will be offering an oppressive theocracy (one that still holds American hostages) hundreds of billions of dollars to menace our (former) allies via its proxies throughout the Middle East. For the first time in history a president has legitimatized an openly anti-American state with expansionist aims to help him expand political legacy at home.

We just handed Iran everything it wanted in exchange for a promise to keep the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation it already signed back in 1968. Good work.

The above tweet from the Iranian president was sent out after the deal was reached, by the way. Yet, many in the media have already framed Obama’s Iranian deal like so: Are you with the United States or are you with Israel? (When a confused chief foreign correspondent for NBC News asks whether it is even legal for Israel to lobby Congress on the deal, you’re getting a taste of the underlying antagonism the press often has towards Israel.)

The real question, as Rouhani understands well, is this one: Is the United States going to stand with the Jewish State or with Iran? We know where Obama stands.

Obama is now locked in no matter how poorly implementation goes and no matter how uncooperative Iran will be. Otherwise, it is another political failure. And most Democrats are probably locked in to supporting the deal for a number of partisan and ideological reasons. Signing it, they will argue, proves that diplomacy, not war, can work. Liberals have been offering this false choice for so many years, so it’s doubtful they can back away from it now.

Others will claim that conservatives have an ideological predisposition to opposing any foreign-policy agreements, as Jonathan Chait and others have already done, so this hostility can only be vacuous, as well. That sure makes debate easy.

Or maybe, it’ll be Netanyahu’s fault for opposing an Iranian deal that pushed the president to allow Iran to become a nuclear power.

Even if you have an unfettered belief in diplomacy, what’s the point of being a superpower if you’re going to negotiate with enervated regimes as if they were equals—or worse? What’s the point of creating leverage through years of sanctions, if we don’t demand Iranians stop, at the very least, using technology that can be quickly re-engineered to enrich uranium? There are a number of possibilities, among them: 1) The administration doesn’t really care if Iran becomes a nuclear power one day. As long as it’s not today. 2) The administration does care if Iran becomes a regional nuclear power, but it doesn’t really mind at all.

Turns out everything those conspiracy theorists  were claiming about the president’s policy of generating conflict with Israel was probably right. One point of the deal—or, at the very least, the unintended outcome—is to dramatically alter the balance of power in Middle East. Who do you think Obama believes is a bigger threat to peace in the region? Likud or the Supreme Leader? Put it this way. The Obama administration has called Javad Zarif a patriot and Netanyahu a chickenshit.

There’s little doubt Obama desires to see Iran as a counterbalance to Israeli power in the region. There’s little doubt this deal would accomplish that goal. Yes, there is a relationship in place with the Jewish State that can’t be discarded by the administration for legal, practical, and political reasons. But the same administration that has no compunction demanding Israel stop building neighborhoods was unable to extract anything but the most rudimentary concessions from Iran. Not even snap inspections. And though Netanyahu has already claimed that Israel is not bound by this deal, attacking the Iranian program itself becomes far more perilous—if it’s even possible without our help—as Iran is essentially under the protection of the United States and six other nations.

If the new Iranian deal doesn’t significantly change the Jewish vote in the United States, then Israel really isn’t as an important issue as we think. Very soon, it will be entirely partisan.

At least, we have a better idea when the Iranians will possess the nuclear weapons that will allow them to function with impunity in the region: Around ten years from now. By that time, Tehran will be securely situated on the threshold (if they uphold their end of the deal) of spurring a nuclear-arms race in Middle East. Although a ban on trading ballistic missiles will expire after only eight years, unless the IAEA says Iran can have them earlier. “All the sanctions, even arms embargoes and missile-related sanctions… would all be lifted,” President Hassan Rouhani correctly notes.

Why? Did you think Iranians were spilling into the streets to celebrate access to a new source of energy?

David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist
Voir également:

Judge Kaufman’s Statement Upon Sentencing the Rosenbergs

Citizens of this country who betray their fellow-countrymen can be under none of the delusions about the benignity of Soviet power that they might have been prior to World War II. The nature of Russian terrorism is now self-evident. Idealism as a rational dissolves . . .

I consider your crime worse than murder. Plain deliberate contemplated murder is dwarfed in magnitude by comparison with the crime you have committed. In committing the act of murder, the criminal kills only his victim. The immediate family is brought to grief and when justice is meted out the chapter is closed. But in your case, I believe your conduct in putting into the hands of the Russians the A-bomb years before our best scientists predicted Russia would perfect the bomb has already caused, in my opinion, the Communist aggression in Korea, with the resultant casualties exceeding 50,000 and who knows but that millions more of innocent people may pay the price of your treason. Indeed, by your betrayal you undoubtedly have altered the course of history to the disadvantage of our country.

No one can say that we do not live in a constant state of tension. We have evidence of your treachery all around us every day–for the civilian defense activities throughout the nation are aimed at preparing us for an atom bomb attack. Nor can it be said in mitigation of the offense that the power which set the conspiracy in motion and profited from it was not openly hostile to the United States at the time of the conspiracy. If this was your excuse the error of your ways in setting yourselves above our properly constituted authorities and the decision of those authorities not to share the information with Russia must now be obvious . . .

In the light of this, I can only conclude that the defendants entered into this most serious conspiracy against their country with full realization of its implications . . .

The statute of which the defendants at the bar stand convicted is clear. I have previously stated my view that the verdict of guilty was amply justified by the evidence. In the light of the circumstances, I feel that I must pass such sentence upon the principals in this diabolical conspiracy to destroy a God-fearing nation, which will demonstrate with finality that this nation’s security must remain inviolate; that traffic in military secrets, whether promoted by slavish devotion to a foreign ideology or by a desire for monetary gains must cease.

The evidence indicated quite clearly that Julius Rosenberg was the prime mover in this conspiracy. However, let no mistake be made about the role which his wife, Ethel Rosenberg, played in this conspiracy. Instead of deterring him from pursuing his ignoble cause, she encouraged and assisted the cause. She was a mature woman–almost three years older than her husband and almost seven years older than her younger brother. She was a full-fledged partner in this crime.
Indeed the defendants Julius and Ethel Rosenberg placed their devotion to their cause above their own personal safety and were conscious that they were sacrificing their own children, should their misdeeds be detected–all of which did not deter them from pursuing their course. Love for their cause dominated their lives–it was even greater than their love for their children. »

Voir également:

Is Obamism Correctable?
Here and abroad, the Obama administration damages whatever it touches.
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online
September 15, 2015

The next president and Congress will inherit what President Obama left behind. Whether Democrat or Republican, the president will have no choice other than to try to undo much of what Obama has wrought. But can he or she?

THE MIDDLE EAST
The policy of “leading from behind” and the crudity of “We came, we saw, he [Qaddafi] died” have left a human tragedy in Libya. Backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was an inexplicable choice, and it almost ruined the country. The United States did not need to hound and jail an innocent video maker in order to concoct a myth to cover up the culpable lax security in Benghazi. Yemen was strangely declared a model of our anti-terrorism efforts — just weeks before it ignited into another Somalia or Congo. ISIS was airily written off as a jayvee bunch as it spread beyond Syria and Iraq. There is little need to do a detailed comparison of Iraq now and Iraq in February 2009 (when it was soon to be the administration’s “greatest achievement,” a “stable” and “self-reliant” nation); the mess in between is attributable to Obama’s use of the aftermath of the Iraq War for pre-election positioning. Ordering Assad to flee while ignoring the violence in Syria and proclaiming a faux red line has now tragically led to a million refugees in Europe (and another 4 million in the neighborhood) and more than 200,000 dead. Israel is now considered not an ally, not even a neutral, but apparently a hostile state worthy of more presidential invective than is Iran. We have few if any reliable friends any more in the Gulf. Iran will become a nuclear power. The only mystery over how that will happen is whether Obama was inept or whether he deliberately sought to make the theocracy some sort of a strategic power and U.S. ally. The Middle East over the next decade may see three or four additional new nuclear powers. The Russia of kleptocrat Vladimir Putin is seen in the region as a better friend than is the U.S. — and certainly a far more dangerous enemy to provoke.

There is no easy cure for all this; it will take years just to sort out the mess.

THE LAW
There will be a temptation for a reform president to use the lawless means that Obama has bequeathed — executive orders to unconstitutionally bypass Congress; arbitrary suspension or simple non-enforcement of laws, depending on where we are in the national election cycle; exemption of party loyalists from legal accountability — to achieve the noble aim of restoring legality. But such short-cuts to reform would be a terrible mistake.

It would be quite illegal to ignore emissions standards the way Obama has ignored the Defense of Marriage Act; or to reduce, by fiat, the EPA to the present toothless status of ICE; or to allow a new sort of “sanctuary city” to refuse to marry gays, in the manner of San Francisco’s refusing to hand over illegal immigrants; or to arbitrarily remove particular owls and newts from the protection of the Endangered Species Act as Obama has picked and chosen which elements of the Affordable Care Act at any particular time he considered legally non-binding. Payback is very tempting, but eight more years of it would ensure that we would become another Zimbabwe or Venezuela. Instead, the next president must, as never before, obey both the spirit and the very letter of the law to restore to us what Obama has almost destroyed.

RACE
Polls and pundits agree that racial relations are now at their worst since the riots of the 1970s. Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign blew long and hard the dog whistle of racial polarization: clingers, the not-to-be-disowned Rev. Jeremiah Wright, typical white person, bring a gun to a knife fight, get in their faces. He has never stopped since. The president kept at it when he intervened in the Skip Gates farce, or editorialized about skin color in the ongoing and volatile Trayvon Martin case, or institutionalized the lies of Ferguson that begat the “Hands up; don’t shoot” mythology — and the tragedies that followed. The message was always that race is still a barrier to success in America and that, logically, only fealty to the Obama administration could improve things for people of color.

Obama did not phone the family of Kate Steinle — murdered as a direct result of sanctuary-city practices approved by his administration — or the families of police officers slain as a result of the hate speech generated by the Black Lives Matter movement. But he has also largely ignored nearly 7,000 blacks whose lives have been taken by other blacks. In some sense, Obama proved a captive of his own political matrix. The Obama election strategy — successful in 2008 and 2012, a failure in 2010 and 2014 — was predicated on upping the polarizing rhetoric, extending social services, and embracing hip popular culture to achieve historic minority voter turnout and unprecedented block-voting patterns.

But in the blowback, the liberal Congress and many of the Democratic state legislatures were wiped out, and the country has been split apart. Obama’s legacy to the Democratic party is the loss of the white working classes, and the permanent need to achieve massive minority turnout and absolute liberal fealty at the polls. To do that will probably require institutionalized open borders, habitual racial haranguing, and the courting of the Al Sharptons of the race industry. Whether Obama knew that such racial voting would not be completely transferrable to his Democratic successors, while the hostility it engendered most certainly would be, remains a mystery. But that paradox raises what is perhaps the central issue of his presidency: whether he was a short-sighted incompetent naïf or a mean-spirited and narcissistic nihilist. Or both?

The next president should take a hiatus from our racial obsessions, and simply try treating Americans as if their race or ethnic background were irrelevant.

DEBT
We will reach $20 trillion in debt on Obama’s watch. He ran on the issue of national debt, blasting George W. Bush for using a “Bank of China” credit card “by his lonesome” to bankrupt the country. Indeed, a penny-pinching Senator Obama had voted to shut down the government rather than raise the debt ceiling. But as president, Obama may well accrue more debt than all previous presidents combined. His legacy will be that he made George W. Bush’s budgetary indulgence look sober and judicious compared with his own. Only the Federal Reserve’s near-zero interest rates for seven years — along with the low energy prices that came despite, not because of, his efforts — have saved Obama, and staved off the stagnation of having well over 90 million able-bodied Americans permanently out of the work force. When interest rates climb to 4 or 5 percent, the next president will face a budgetary crisis, augmented by Obama’s failure to address entitlement spending. We are in for rough times; whether Obama will get out ahead of the reckoning is unknown.

In other areas, the Obama agenda is falling of its own weight. Obamacare is becoming irrelevant, because of both noncompliance and soaring costs. As the poor discover that even with subsidies they have to pony up considerable deductibles and copays, and must actually pay some premiums, they increasingly head for the free clinics or back to the emergency rooms. Even Democrats will not rue too much the spontaneous unwinding of Obamacare, given that much of the public is doing its best to ignore it.

The restoration of defense spending will follow the Carter-to-Reagan pattern, albeit more slowly given the specter of unsustainable national debt. The next president will address the tax code, and the solution won’t be Bernie Sanders’s dream of a 90 percent income-tax rate. Even Joe Biden cannot run on Obama’s stellar economic record — pretending that the middle class has been in ascendance since 2009, extolling the advantages of more debt, or proclaiming the necessity of even stricter environmental regulations or more subsidies to Solyndra-like green companies.

There is not much of an idea any longer of investigative journalism. The press for the last seven years has largely chosen to become a Ministry of Truth. One reason why Donald Trump soars is that, after the press’s canonization of Obama, the public relishes Trump’s contempt for the media — and the latter have now lost the moral credibility to critique any candidate on the grounds of dishonesty, hypocrisy, narcissism, mendacity, or polarization of the electorate.

The tragic mess of 2009–2016 is ending, and soon the cleanup will begin — accompanied by stupefaction as to just how much will have to be thrown away.

Voir encore:

Obama’s Strategy Of Equilibrium
Yigal Carmon and Alberto M. Fernandez*

MEMRI

August 5, 2015
Introduction

In an interview with Thomas Friedman of The New York Times (« Obama Makes His Case on Iran Nuclear Deal, » July 14, 2015), President Obama asked that the nuclear deal with Iran be judged only by how successfully it prevents Iran from attaining a nuclear bomb, not on « whether it is changing the regime inside of Iran » or « whether we are solving every problem that can be traced back to Iran. » However, in many interviews he has given over the last few years, he has revealed a strategy and a plan that far exceed the Iran deal: a strategy which aims to create an equilibrium between Sunnis and Shiites in the Muslim world.

President Obama believes that such an equilibrium will result in a more peaceful Middle East in which tensions between regional powers are reduced to mere competition. As he told David Remnick in an interview with The New Yorker, « …if we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion…you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare » (« Going the Distance, » January 27, 2014).

In discussing the Iran deal, the President recalled President Nixon negotiating with China and President Reagan negotiating with the Soviet Union in order to explain the scope of his strategy for the Middle East and the Muslim world. President Obama seeks, as did Presidents Reagan and Nixon with China and the Soviet Union, to impact the region as a whole. The Iran deal, even if major, is just one of several vehicles that would help achieve this goal.

This article will analyze the strategy of creating an equilibrium between Sunnis and Shiites as a means to promote peace in the Middle East. It will examine the meaning of the strategy in political terms, how realistic it is, and what its future implications might be on the region and on the United States.

The Meaning Of The Equilibrium Strategy In Political Terms

Examining the strategy of equilibrium requires the recollection of some basic information. Within Islam’s approximately 1.6 billion believers, the absolute majority – about 90% – is Sunni, while Shiites constitute only about 10%.  Even in the Middle East, Sunnis are a large majority.

What does the word « equilibrium » mean in political terms? In view of the above stated data, the word « equilibrium » in actual political terms means empowering the minority and thereby weakening the majority in order to progress toward the stated goal. However, the overwhelming discrepancy in numbers makes it impossible to reach an equilibrium between the two camps. Therefore, it would be unrealistic to believe that the majority would accept a policy that empowers its adversary and weakens its own historically superior status.

Implications For The Region

Considering the above, the implications of the equilibrium strategy for the region might not be enhancing peace as the President well intends; rather, it might intensify strife and violence in the region. The empowered minority might be persuaded to increase its expansionist activity, as can be already seen: Iran has extended its influence from Lebanon to Yemen. Iranian analyst Mohammad Sadeq al-Hosseini stated in an interview on September 24, 2014, « We in the axis of resistance are the new sultans of the Mediterranean and the Gulf. We in Tehran, Damascus, [Hizbullah’s] southern suburb of Beirut, Baghdad, and Sanaa will shape the map of the region. We are the new sultans of the Red Sea as well » (MEMRITV Clip No. 4530). Similarly, in a statement dedicated to the historically indivisible connection between Iraq and Iran, advisor to President Rouhani Ali Younesi stressed that, « Since its inception, Iran has [always] had a global [dimension]; it was born an empire » (MEMRI Report No. 5991).

In view of this reality, this strategy might create, against the President’s expectations, more bitterness and willingness on the part of the majority to fight for their status. This has already been realized; for example, when Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen after facing the Houthi/Shiite revolution, which it perceived as a grave danger to its survival, and created a fighting coalition within a month to counter it. Similarly, Saudi Arabia has previously demonstrated that it regards Bahrain as an area where any Iranian attempt to stir up unrest will be answered by Saudi military intervention. According to reports, Saudi Arabia has been supporting the Sunni population in Iraq, and in Lebanon, a standstill has resulted because Saudi Arabia has shown that it will not give up – even in a place where Iranian proxy Hizbollah is the main power. Hence, the strategy of equilibrium has a greater chance of resulting in the eruption of regional war than in promoting regional peace.

Implications For The United States

Moreover, this strategy might have adverse implications for the United States and its interests in the Sunni Muslim world: those countries that feel betrayed by the strategy might, as a result, take action against the United States – hopefully only politically (such as changing international alliances) or economically. These countries might be careful about their public pronouncements and might even voice rhetorical support to U.S. policy, as the GCC states did on August 3, but the resentment is there.

Realpolitik Versus Moral Considerations

The analysis presented here is based on principles of realpolitik: in politics, one does not align with the minority against the majority. However, sometimes other considerations take precedence. Morality is such an example: the Allies could not refrain from fighting Nazi Germany because it was a majority power – ultimately, they recognized the moral obligation to combat the Third Reich. However, with regard to the Middle East, the two adversaries are on equal standing: the Islamic Republic of Iran is no different than the Wahhabi Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. President Obama and Secretary Kerry would be wrong to think that Mohammad Javad Zarif, the sophisticated partygoer in New York City, represents the real Iran. Zarif, his negotiating team, and President Rouhani himself, all live under the shadow and at the mercy of the Supreme Leader, the ayatollahs, and the IRGC.

« It is worth noting that the first Islamic State created in the Middle East in the last 50 years was not the one created in the Sunni world in 2014 and headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. » Rather, it was the Islamic Republic of Iran created in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and currently ruled by his successor, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who maintains – even following the Iran deal – the mantra « Death to America, » continues to sponsor terrorism worldwide, and commits horrific human rights violations.

*Yigal Carmon is President and Founder of MEMRI; Alberto M. Fernandez is Vice President of MEMRI.

Voir par ailleurs:

L’Allemagne repentie menace l’Europe
Ivan Rioufol

11 septembre 2015

Qui arrêtera cette folie ? La prodigue Union européenne (UE) met le destin des peuples à l’encan en applaudissant, derrière l’Allemagne exaltée, à l’invasion des clandestins qui forcent les portes de Schengen. Des libérateurs ne seraient pas mieux acclamés. Or ils sont des millions, dans les pays arabo-musulmans, à vouloir gagner l’UE enivrée de ses vertus. Cette semaine, la petite île grecque de Lesbos était submergée par 20 000 «  migrants ». Les barrières volent en éclats, depuis qu’Angela Merkel a promis de recevoir 800 000 demandeurs d’asile cette année. François Hollande s’est engagé pour 24 000 personnes en deux ans. Peu importe les chiffres : les feux sont passés au vert, sans discernement ni recul. Les commissaires de Bruxelles, qui ont toujours appelé de leurs vœux une immigration massive, sans se soucier de son intégration culturelle, sont complices du bouleversement identitaire enclenché.

La propagande émotionnelle s’est emballée, après la diffusion de la photo d’un corps d’enfant échoué sur une plage turque. Depuis, les « humanistes » de tréteaux, artistes ou politiques, moralisent sur la « fraternité humaine » en exposant publiquement leur grande bonté. Ils accusent évidemment l’Occident d’être coupable des désastres qui frappent l’Afghanistan, l’Irak, la Syrie, la Libye, etc. Persuadés d’avoir raison, ils exigent des excuses de ceux qui ont soutenu, depuis le 11 septembre 2001, les résistances aux offensives du nazislamisme. Ils crachent par habitude sur les États-Unis et leurs alliés, mais ignorent le totalitarisme coranique, responsable du chaos. Combien de soldats de Daech, infiltrés parmi ces exilés ? L’État islamique avait promis, début 2015, d’utiliser la bombe migratoire pour déstabiliser l’Europe. Mais cela fait longtemps que l’aveuglement narcissique berce les beaux parleurs.

Il suffit d’observer la jubilation des idéologues de l’égalitarisme, de l’indifférenciation et de l’homme remplaçable pour les tenir comme inspirateurs de la béatitude des dirigeants et les médias du camp du Bien.

Voir de même:

Angela Merkel, merci pour vos maladresses !
Ivan Rioufol

14 septembre 2015
Les « humanistes » sont des dangers publics, quand ils ne voient pas plus loin que leurs psychés. Lorsqu’ils se mêlent de diriger des pays, voire l’Union européenne elle-même, ils montrent leur inconsistance en se révélant incapables de prévoir les conséquences de leurs élans compassionnels. L’ahurissante légèreté Angela Merkel, qui a ouvert ses frontières aux « migrants » sous les hourras des belles âmes, restera probablement comme l’aboutissement de la régression politique réduite aux pulsions émotives. La décision de la chancelière, ce week-end, de rétablir le contrôle aux frontières de son pays soudainement envahi signe sans doute la fin des utopies sur l’accueil pour tous, dont elle était devenue l’étendard. Elle justifie sa volte-face par le fait que Schengen a démontré qu’il ne maîtrisait pas l’immigration et laissait passer, à côté des réfugiés politiques, beaucoup de faussaires. Mais cette situation, décrite ici depuis le début, est connue de tous depuis toujours. Elle  n’est d’ailleurs pas un obstacle pour la France, qui se flatte d’accueillir et de prendre en charge des « réfugiés » dont rien ne dit qu’ils le sont tous.  Il suffit de relire les dithyrambes de la presse française pour se désoler de la capitulation de l’esprit critique dans une large partie de la profession. « L’incroyable madame Merkel », « La dame de cœur », « le futur prix Nobel de la paix », auront été quelques-uns des lauriers tressés par le camp du Bien, dans un manichéisme  réservant aux pays récalcitrants, et singulièrement au premier ministre hongrois Viktor Orban, toutes les réprobations morales.

Disons les choses comme elles se présentent : le revirement allemand couvre de ridicule les sermonneurs qui ont semé la tempête migratoire. Le ministre de l’Intérieur français, Bernard Cazeneuve, qui entend faire de la « pédagogie » pour expliquer sa politique d’accueil, ne peut que s’enliser dans une propagande irréfléchie qui n’a évidemment pas le soutien de l’opinion. Incapable idéologiquement de concevoir la moindre vertu aux frontières nationales, il parle d’ouvrir en Grèce, en Italie et en Hongrie des « hot spots », en collaboration avec l’Union européenne. Mais cette dernière se dévoile, avec l’Allemagne immature et la France suiveuse, comme autant de dangers pour l’Europe, fragilisée par quarante ans d’immigration de peuplement et de multiculturalisme imposé. Le cynisme mercantile du président du Medef, Pierre Gattaz, qui salue une « opportunité » dans l’arrivée d’une main d’oeuvre docile, est une autre agression pour les Français soucieux de préserver la cohésion de leur nation ouverte. En réalité, l’effet de cet excès de xénophilie est, dès à présent, de replacer au cœur du débat public des sujets évacués : l’immigration, le retour aux frontières, la préférence nationale, l’expulsion effective des migrants économiques et des clandestins. Sans parler de la faillite des partis politiques et de l’Union européenne elle-même. Dans le fond, merci Angela Merkel pour tant de maladresses !

Voir de plus:

Exclusif. Deux terroristes présumés arrêtés à la frontière hongroise
Pierre-Alexandre Bouclay
Valeurs actuelles
23 Septembre 2015

Terrorisme. Deux meneurs des affrontements ayant eu lieu à la frontière serbo-hongroise (à Horgos et à Röszke) viennent d’être identifiés par la police hongroise, comme des terroristes qui s’apprêtaient à commettre des actions sur le sol européen.
Le 16 septembre, Yacir et Ahmed H. ont été interpellés alors que, munis de mégaphones donnant des ordres en arabe et en anglais, ils encadraient les émeutiers qui tentaient d’entrer en Hongrie par la force.

D’après le portail d’information Alfahir.hu, c’est un immigré illégal, manifestement chrétien, qui a reconnu Ahmed H. et envoyé des photos accablantes à la police. On y voit Ahmed H en Syrie brandissant une kalachnikov ou partageant un moment de repos au milieu d’un groupe de djihadistes.

D’après la police hongroise, Ahmed H aurait participé au meurtre de plus de cinquante personnes. Le témoin a révélé que celui-ci avait la réputation d’un « boucher sanguinaire, assassin notoire, tortionnaire ». Après enquête, selon la police, le terroriste présumé, loin d’être un malheureux réfugié, possède une maison à Chypre, un bateau, cinq voitures et venait d’investir 90 000 euros dans la construction d’une nouvelle demeure.

Plus grave, il était lié au Tabligh Jamaat, un groupe fondamentaliste islamiste. Il aurait combattu au sein de l’armée syrienne libre, puis dans les rangs du front al-Nosra (branche syrienne d’Al-Qaeda). Une information annoncée par la police hongroise.

Il a été arrêté en possession de sept passeports, tous munis de visas Schengen. Il préparait, d’après la police hongroise, des actions terroristes sur le sol européen.

Viktor Orban, le premier ministre hongrois, vient de confirmer ce mercredi, que les services spéciaux avaient déjà arrêté plusieurs terroristes.

De notre envoyé spécial en Hongrie, Pierre-Alexandre Bouclay

‘We’re going to be the majority soon!’ Furious Muslim parents taunt New Jersey school board over religious holiday closure
Muslim families had wanted Jersey City schools to shut on September 24 in observance of Eid al-Adha holiday
After initially approving the move, the state’s school board voted to keep the schools open so as not to disrupt the lives of non-Muslim families
Several Muslim parents who attended the meeting screamed in rage
One woman in a purple head scarf told the board: ‘We’re no longer the minority, that’s clear from tonight. We’re going to be the majority soon’
Muslim students who choose to stay home on Thursday will not be penalized, the board said
Snejana Farberov

Dailymail.com

23 September 2015

Tempers flared at a school board meeting in New Jersey when a room crowded with Muslim parents learned that schools will remain open during Thursday’s religious holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Several of the Muslim parents and children screamed in rage and openly wept when the board announced its decision.

At one point, a young woman in a purple head scarf took the microphone and told them: ‘We’re no longer the minority, that’s clear from tonight. We’re going to be the majority soon.’
Enraged: Muslim parents in Jersey City were furious to learn during a school board meeting September 17 that local schools will remain open during the holiday of Eid al-Adha

RELIGIOUS POPULATIONS IN JERSEY CITY BY NUMBERS
New Jersey as a whole boasts the second largest Muslim population in the US after Michigan.

In New Jersey, 4.2 per cent of residents who say they are religious are Muslim Americans, according to the latest U.S. Religions Census.

The city, which has 257,000 residents, is considered one of the most ethnically diverse in the Nation.

Of those who say they are religious, 3.3 per cent are Jewish American. There are also established Evangelical Protestant and Orthodox communities.

Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Arab Americans compose a significant proportion of Jersey City’s Muslim population.

A Jewish parent who attended the meeting said some people in his community felt they were being discriminated against because the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were not on Jersey City’s official school closure list.

Meanwhile just across the Hudson River in New York City, schools will be closed for Eid Al-Adha for the first time as a result of a change put in place by Mayor Bill de Blasio in March.

The Jersey City Board of Education had originally proposed to close local schools on September 24 to allow Muslim children to observe the holiday.

The City Council unanimously voted in favor of the closure two weeks ago.

However, during the contentious four-hour meeting held last Thursday, the board voted to keep Jersey City schools open so as not to cause disruptions for non-Muslim families, reported NBC New York.

Silver lining: The board noted that Muslim students who choose to take Thursday off to observe the holiday will not be penalized

Practical concerns: Board member Gerald Lyons told the crowd closing Jersey City schools on such a short notice would cause hardship for non-Muslim families
‘Doing this at this point on six days’ notice for this upcoming holiday is going to cause undue hardship on 5,000 to 10,000 people, who are going to have to scramble to get coverage for their children,’ board member Gerald Lyons told the meeting.

Board members said that Muslim students who choose to take Thursday off to observe Eid al-Adha will not be penalized.

The school board is expected to review its religious holiday policy later this year.

Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, is the second of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Voir enfin:

Our Far-Flung Correspondents August 31, 2015 Issue
The Other France
Are the suburbs of Paris incubators of terrorism?
George Packer

The New Yorker

August 31, 2015

Although the alienated, impoverished immigrant communities outside Paris are increasingly prone to anti-Semitism, the profiles of French jihadists don’t track closely with class. Many of them have come from bourgeois families. Credit Photograph by Arnau Bach For The New Yorker
Fouad Ben Ahmed never paid much attention to Charlie Hebdo. He found the satirical magazine to be vulgar and not funny, and to him it seemed fixated on Islam, but he didn’t think that its contributors did real harm. One of its cartoonists, Stéphane Charbonnier, also drew for Le Petit Quotidien, a children’s paper to which Ben Ahmed subscribed for his two kids. On January 7th, upon hearing that two French brothers with Algerian names, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, had executed twelve people at the Charlie Hebdo offices—including Charbonnier—in revenge for covers caricaturing Muhammad, Ben Ahmed wrote on Facebook, “My French heart bleeds, my Muslim soul weeps. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify these barbaric acts. Don’t talk to me about media or politicians who would play such-and-such a game, because there’s no excuse for barbarism. #JeSuisCharlie.”

That night, Ben Ahmed left his house, in the suburbs outside Paris, and went into the city to join tens of thousands of people at a vigil. He is of Algerian and Tunisian descent, with dark skin, and a few white extremists spat threats at him, but Ben Ahmed ignored them—France was his country, too. On January 11th, he joined the one and a half million citizens who marched in unity from the Place de la République.

Ben Ahmed’s Facebook page became a forum for others, mostly French Muslims, to discuss the attacks. Many expressed simple grief and outrage; a few aired conspiracy theories, suggesting a plot to stigmatize Muslims. “Let the investigators shed light on this massacre,” Ben Ahmed advised. One woman wrote, “I fear for the Muslims of France. The narrow-minded or frightened are going to dig in their heels and make an amalgame”—conflate terrorists with all Muslims. Ben Ahmed agreed: “Our country is going to be more divided.” He defended his use of #JeSuisCharlie, arguing that critiques of Charlie’s content, however legitimate before the attack, had no place afterward. “If we have a debate on the editorial line, it’s like saying, ‘Yes—but,’ ” he later told me. “In these conditions, that is unthinkable.”

Ben Ahmed, who is thirty-nine, works as a liaison between residents and the local government in Bondy—a suburb, northeast of Paris, in an area called Department 93. For decades a bastion of the old working class and the Communist Party, the 93 is now known for its residents of Arab and African origin. To many Parisians, the 93 signifies decayed housing projects, crime, unemployment, and Muslims. France has all kinds of suburbs, but the word for them, banlieues, has become pejorative, meaning slums dominated by immigrants. Inside the banlieues are the cités: colossal concrete housing projects built during the postwar decades, in the Brutalist style of Le Corbusier. Conceived as utopias for workers, they have become concentrations of poverty and social isolation. The cités and their occupants are the subject of anxious and angry discussion in France. Two recent books by the eminent political scientist Gilles Kepel, “Banlieue de la République” and “Quatre-vingt-treize” (“Ninety-three”), are studies in industrial decline and growing segregation by group identity. There’s a French pejorative for that, too: communautarisme.

After the Charlie massacre—and after a third terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly, gunned down a black policewoman outside a Jewish school and four Jews at a kosher supermarket—there was a widespread feeling, in France and elsewhere, that the killings were somehow related to the banlieues. But an exact connection is not easy to establish. Although these alienated communities are increasingly prone to anti-Semitism, the profiles of French jihadists don’t track closely with class; many have come from bourgeois families. The sense of exclusion in the banlieues is an acute problem that the republic has neglected for decades, but more jobs and better housing won’t put an end to French jihadism.

Ben Ahmed has lived in the 93 his entire life. A few years ago, he and his wife, Carolina, and their two children moved into a small house near Charles de Gaulle Airport. They wanted to be near a private school that the children attend, because most public schools in the 93 are overcrowded and chaotic, and staffed by younger, less qualified teachers. Ben Ahmed spent his teens in one of the toughest suburbs, Bobigny, in a notorious cité called l’Abreuvoir. During his twenties and early thirties, Ben Ahmed was employed by the Bobigny government as a community organizer, working with troubled youth—some of them his friends and neighbors, many just out of prison or headed there. His authority on life in the cités exceeds that of any scholar.

“First, I’ll read the minutes from your last weddings.”Buy the print »
After the attacks, Ben Ahmed wrote an open letter to President François Hollande titled “All Partly Responsible, but Not Guilty.” He identified himself as a banlieue resident who had often “seen death a few metres from me.” He wrote about the problems of joblessness, discrimination, and collective withdrawal from society. He recalled that, in October, 2001, a soccer game in Paris between France and Algeria—the first such match since Algerian independence, in 1962—had to be called off when thousands of French youths of North African origin booed the “Marseillaise” and invaded the field, some chanting, “Bin Laden, bin Laden!” The French public responded with righteous revulsion. “The problem was before our eyes,” Ben Ahmed wrote. “But instead of asking good questions, we chose stigmatization, refusal of the other.” He went on, “The split was born on that day, the feeling of rejection expressed by the political class, when we could have asked other questions: What’s wrong? What’s the problem?”

Ben Ahmed wears sharp dark suits, even on weekends, as if such formality were the only way for an Arab from the 93 to be taken seriously. When I met him, soon after the attacks, he told me, “In French, we say, ‘Clothes don’t make the monk’—but they do, unfortunately.” For the same reason, he always speaks proper French, not the accented slang of the banlieues. He shaves his head close, the black stubble of his hairline descending to a widow’s peak. He has a broad, boyish face and a disarming smile; as he shuttles around the 93, with quick, lock-kneed strides, he seems to know everyone by name. But as a youth in l’Abreuvoir he had to learn to fight—he trained at boxe française, a form of kickboxing—and his eyes can turn hooded and flat under stress. Two years ago, upon entering a cinema with his children, Ben Ahmed noticed that a patron was carrying a shotgun. (The man was out to settle scores with his wife and her lover.) Ben Ahmed told his children to lie down, stalked the gunman for thirty feet, then grabbed him from behind and took him to the floor in a Brazilian-jujitsu chokehold. After security guards arrived, Ben Ahmed escorted his children into a screening of “Man of Steel.”

Ben Ahmed had been nurturing political ambitions, and the incident made him a neighborhood hero. He decided to run for local office. “I have an ability to talk with everyone, because I respect the other,” he told me. “I think there’s always some good at the bottom of everyone.” Ben Ahmed’s wife and friends consider him a little naïve, but naïveté is almost a requirement for a banlieue Muslim entering French politics during a national-identity crisis.

The highway that encircles Paris is known as the Périphérique. Entering or leaving the suburbs is often called “crossing the Périphérique,” as if it were a frontier. Banlieue residents joke that going into Paris requires a visa and a vaccination card. Mehdi Meklat, a young writer at Bondy Blog, which reports on the banlieues, told me, “There are two parallel worlds.” He called the dynamic between Paris and the suburbs “schizophrenic.”

The R.E.R., the rail network linking Paris to its suburbs, takes you from the Gare du Nord to Ben Ahmed’s station in just nineteen minutes. The trip begins in a tunnel, and when the train emerges the boulevards lined with bistro awnings are gone. Even the weather seems different—damp and murky, with a wind blowing from the southwest. (The suburbs of the 93 grew around factories that had been situated northeast of Paris in order to allow industrial smells to drift away from the City of Light.) The rail tracks cut through a disordered landscape of graffiti-covered walls, glass office buildings, soccer fields, trash fires, abandoned industrial lots, modest houses with red tile roofs, and clusters of twenty-story monoliths—the cités.

The banlieues are far more diverse than the ghettos of American cities. On the R.E.R., I saw a man speaking Tamil on his cell phone; an Asian woman watching her two boys; North African women in every variety of hijab, or in none; an elderly white man; a black man in a blazer reading the sports section; an Arab begging in the aisle with a child in his arms. Wealthy neighborhoods stand next door to poor ones, privately owned houses are interspersed with housing projects, and people of every color and religion shop in the commercial centers. In a dingy little restaurant in Montreuil, on an empty street near a cité, Arab men were served by a white waitress. The banlieues have housed generations of immigrants, and the older tide of Portuguese, Italians, and Poles hasn’t completely gone out with the more recent waves of Arabs, Africans, and Chinese. The suburbs are thought to remain majority white, though no one knows for sure because, in France, collecting statistics by ethnicity or religion is illegal. (A precise count isn’t necessary for the cités: they are overwhelmingly Arab and black.)

Fouad Ben Ahmed, a lifelong banlieue resident, wrote of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, “My French heart bleeds, my Muslim soul weeps.” Photograph by William Daniels / Panos for The New Yorker
For all their vitality, the banlieues feel isolated from the city, and from France itself. Parisians and tourists rarely visit them, and residents complain that journalists drop in only to report on car burnings and drug shootings. The suburb Clichy-sous-Bois—the scene, in 2005, of youth riots that spread across the country—has tried to raise revenue by offering a tour de banlieue for curious outsiders. Many suburban residents, meanwhile, never even think of going to Paris. Compared with American slums, the banlieues have relatively decent standards of housing and safety, but the psychological distance between the 93 and the Champs-Elysées can feel insuperable—much greater than that between the Bronx and Times Square. The apartment blocks in the cités, often arranged around a pharmacy, a convenience store, and a fast-food joint, look inward. Many have no street addresses, obvious points of entry, or places to park. The sense of separation is heightened by the names of the surrounding streets and schools, preserved from a historical France that has little connection to residents’ lives. The roads around Gros Saule—a drug-ridden cité where the police dare not enter—include Rue Henri Matisse and Rue Claude Debussy.

“It’s a social frontier,” Badroudine Abdallah, Mehdi Meklat’s colleague at Bondy Blog, said. “It’s not just about being black or Arab. It’s also about having relationships at your disposal, a network.” Meklat and Abdallah, who are in their twenties, told me about weeklong internships required of French ninth graders. Most of their classmates ended up in lousy little bakeries or pharmacies, or with nothing, because corporations wouldn’t answer queries from the children of immigrants in the 93.

Being from the banlieues is a serious impediment to employability, and nearly every resident I met had a story about discrimination. Fanta Ba, the daughter of Senegalese immigrants, has taken to sending out job applications using her middle name, France, and Frenchifying her last name to Bas, but she remains out of work. Whenever she hears of a terrorist attack in France, she prays, “Don’t let it be an Arab, a black, a Muslim.” On January 7th, she turned off the TV and avoided Facebook for two days. She couldn’t bear to rewatch the violent images or hear that all Muslims bore some responsibility. “To have to say, ‘I am Charlie’ or ‘I am a Muslim and I condemn this’—it’s too much,” she said. “It wasn’t me. I asked myself, ‘How will this end? Are they going to put crosses on the apartment doors of Muslims or Arabs?’ ”

Ben Ahmed has a friend from Bobigny named Brahim Aniba, an accountant who, like many banlieue residents, once endured a period of unemployment. To receive state benefits, he had to meet with a job counsellor. Aniba told me that the counsellor, wanting to help, said, “You don’t have an aunt who lives in Paris or somewhere else? Because Bobigny—really? Cité Grémillon?” This was the French equivalent of Shitsville. The counsellor advised, “If you have an address in Paris, a post-office box, just to receive mail, it’s better. And then the family name, Aniba—it’s O.K., but the first name, Brahim, use ‘B.’ ”

“Madame, why don’t I just drop my pants instead?” Aniba said.

Simply defining who is French can make small talk tricky. When people ask Widad Ketfi, a thirty-year-old journalist, where she’s from, she replies, “Bondy,” but that never ends the conversation. “Of what origin?” “French.” “Where are your parents from?” “France!” Even citizens of immigrant descent often identify whites with the term Français de souche—“French from the roots.” The implication is that people with darker skin are not fully French.

Fanta Ba said, “You do everything for France, to be accepted, but you feel you’re not welcome.” This is especially true for Muslims. In a poll taken by Le Monde after the attacks, a majority of respondents agreed that Islam is incompatible with French values. In a cité like Trappes, where Ba grew up, some Muslims have separated from French society: women are disappearing under the black abaya; men are dropping out of school to sell Islamic clothing online. Ba doesn’t cover her hair, but she has become more observant as she struggles with being jobless and alone. Withdrawal, she said, was often a reaction to exclusion.

In the 2012 elections, nine of the five hundred and seventy-seven seats in France’s National Assembly were won by nonwhite candidates—an increase of eight seats. France remains a caste society where social capital is king. It’s ruled by les énarques—graduates of the prestigious École Nationale d’Administration, in Strasbourg. According to Laurent Bouvet, a political scientist, an élite degree is the only guarantee of finding a good job in a country that’s mired in economic torpor. This is increasingly true in America, too, but the U.S. absorbs immigrants far more easily than France. What the two countries have in common—and what makes them unique—is a national identity based not just on history, blood, soil, and culture but on the idea of popular sovereignty. In France, this is called republicanism, and in theory the idea is universal. In practice, being part of the French republic has to do not just with democracy and secularism but also with what you wear, what you eat, and what you name your children.

In 2007, a national immigration museum opened in the Porte Dorée, an Art Deco palace in eastern Paris which was built for a colonial exposition in 1931. Tradition requires French Presidents to inaugurate national museums, but Nicolas Sarkozy, who had used immigration as a wedge issue in his election campaign, refused to attend. The Musée de l’Histoire de l’Immigration opened without official ceremony. (Last December, after seven years, Hollande, a Socialist, finally inaugurated it.) When I went to the museum, in February, there were few visitors, and many Parisians remain unaware of its existence.

That struck me as a missed opportunity, for the exhibitions tell a rich story, going back to the mid-nineteenth century, when France was receiving new immigrants while the rest of Europe was creating them. As recently as the nineteen-thirties, France had the world’s highest number of immigrants per capita. The museum’s placards offer historical reassurance: “The figure of the unassimilable foreigner accompanies every wave of immigrants. From the Italians at the end of the nineteenth century to the Africans of today, the stereotypes hardly change: immigrants are too numerous, carriers of disease, potential criminals, aliens in the body of the nation. This xenophobia, recurring in times of crisis, is often paired with anti-Semitism and fed by racism.”

The least digestible aspect of France’s colonial past is Algeria. When Algeria was settled by Europeans, in the early nineteenth century, it became part of greater France, and remained so until 1962, when independence was achieved, after an eight-year war in which seven hundred thousand people died. It’s hard to overstate how heavily this intimate, sad history has been repressed. “The Battle of Algiers,” the filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo’s neo-realist masterpiece about insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorism, and torture in Algiers, was banned in France for five years after its release, in 1966, and it remains taboo there. On October 17, 1961, during demonstrations by pro-independence Algerians in Paris and its suburbs, the French police killed some two hundred people, throwing many bodies off bridges into the Seine. It took forty years for France to acknowledge that this massacre had occurred, and the incident remains barely mentioned in schools. Young people in the banlieues told me that colonial history is cursorily taught, and literature from former colonies hardly read.

Andrew Hussey, a British scholar at the University of London School of Advanced Study in Paris, believes that the turmoil in the banlieues—periodic riots, car burnings, brawls with cops—is one more front in the long war between France and its Arabs, especially Algerians. The aim of the violence isn’t reform or revolution but revenge. “The kids in the banlieues live in this perpetual present of weed, girls, gangsters, Islam,” he said. “They have no sense of history, no sense of where they come from in North Africa, other than localized bits of Arabic that they don’t understand, bits of Islam that don’t really make sense.”

Hussey’s recent book, “The French Intifada,” describes the conflict in such dire terms that his French publisher refused to release a translation. His banlieue research is less nuanced than that of Kepel (the phrase “French intifada” drew laughs of disbelief when I mentioned it to some banlieue residents), but it’s vivid and firsthand. The book opens with an eyewitness account of an eight-hour battle, in the Gare du Nord in 2007, between cops and banlieue kids who shout, in Arabic, “Fuck France!” Hussey writes, “This slogan—it is in fact more of a curse—has nothing to do with any French tradition of revolt.” But his portrait leaves out all the banlieue residents who are trying to be both Muslim and French—people like Fouad Ben Ahmed.

One night, at a Thai restaurant in the suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois, Ben Ahmed said, “I barely know my history. It’s not taught, and because it’s painful my mother and my grandfather never told me.” Still, he knew the basics of the French-Algerian War, and he spoke about the pieds-noirs—French settlers in Algeria who, after independence, fled what they considered their homeland—and the Harkis, Algerian Muslims who supported French rule and were demonized by other Algerians. At the end of the war, neither country made a place for citizens with conflicting allegiances and identities: Algeria became an Arab state, and France cauterized its wounds by pretending that the conflict hadn’t happened. Among the pieds-noirs, Harkis, and Algerians who immigrated to France for economic reasons, guilt and recrimination have impeded a candid reckoning with their shared pasts. Ben Ahmed said, “And since neither our parents nor the state tells us this history, other people come along to tell us lies in order to justify things that are unjustifiable.” He meant jihadists.

Ben Ahmed’s grandfather was an Algerian who enlisted in the French Army and immigrated to the Paris banlieues in 1958. Most immigrants of that period entered France as laborers—factory hands, street-cleaners—and lived in shantytowns. Their presence was expected to be temporary. When it became clear that most of the immigrants weren’t returning home, the shantytowns were cleared and the workers were moved into the cités. Ben Ahmed’s grandfather, with his military pay, was able to afford a small house in the 93. Ben Ahmed’s mother was a secretary in a metallurgical factory; his father disappeared when Fouad was two. He grew up in relative ease in his grandparents’ house until 1989, when they sold it. Ben Ahmed was thirteen.

At the time, his mother was unemployed, and she and Fouad had to move to l’Abreuvoir, the cité in Bobigny. L’Abreuvoir had been considered innovative when it was built, in the sixties, with undulating rows of four-story low-rises and green circular towers. But by the nineties it had become a center of heroin trafficking. Once, Ben Ahmed walked into the lobby of his building and saw a man holding a bag of drugs and a wad of cash. “Get out of here, or I’ll take care of you,” the man said. Ben Ahmed fled.

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He was an indifferent student, forced to repeat several grades, but his mother made him stick with it, because her welfare benefits would drop if he quit school. He helped support her and his little brother by delivering washing machines to Paris apartments. Some of his friends were drug dealers, and Ben Ahmed might have become a criminal, too, had he not met Carolina, the daughter of political refugees from Chile. When they were eighteen, she told Ben Ahmed to choose between his crowd and her. With Carolina’s help, he finished high school, got a college degree in social management, and became a youth organizer.

One youth Ben Ahmed tried to help was J.-P., a wild kid from Salvador Allende, another cité in Bobigny. Ben Ahmed, twelve years older, had known J.-P. almost since birth. (“Bobigny is like a village,” J.-P. said.) J.-P. was a métis: Arab father, white mother. His grandfather had emigrated from Algeria in 1954, and became a street-cleaner. His father belonged to what J.-P. called “an uprooted generation, with their ass on two chairs”—unwanted by both the old country and the new. J.-P.’s father is still alive, but most of his father’s friends died young, from violence, drugs, or AIDS. J.-P. grew up a tattooed devotee of “Scarface” and Tupac Shakur. At fourteen, he was expelled from school and began selling drugs and stealing. “When people lay down the law with violence, to get the last word you have to be the most violent,” J.-P. said. He didn’t see himself as a victim. “I was a little asshole. I chose to get into it. I should’ve tried not to go down that path. The problem is why the path’s there at all.”

We drove around the 93 in Ben Ahmed’s Citroën. J.-P.—light-skinned, ripped jeans, bad teeth—sat in back. He never took out his earphones, and he often withdrew into a haze, only to emerge with full powers of focus and articulation. He had been imprisoned three times since 2010. His first conviction, he said, had involved “a little of everything—weapons possession, violence, buying drugs.”

Ben Ahmed recalled that he and J.-P. knew a teen-age girl whose boyfriend was a thug. Ben Ahmed advised the girl to be careful, and, when word got back to the boyfriend, he confronted Ben Ahmed: “What the fuck do you want?” The next night, Ben Ahmed asked a friend in the boyfriend’s cité to go with a few others to calm the guy down. When the boyfriend saw the group approaching, he pulled out a pistol and fired warning shots.

“Sometimes it’s hard—wanting to try to help certain people and finding yourself in a situation that’s difficult,” Ben Ahmed told me.

“Two years later, I slept with the girl,” J.-P. said, laughing. “The same guy shot me in the leg.”

“What’s also hard is for someone like me who wants to help J.-P.,” Ben Ahmed said. “Sometimes you feel people aren’t ready to be helped.”

“Hey, you’re starting to annoy me,” J.-P. said. “Give me a hundred thousand euros. That would help!” He complained that his stomach was growling. We dropped him off at a Senegalese cafeteria.

“You’re very intelligent but wrong in the head,” Ben Ahmed said to him.

“I like my life,” J.-P. said. “It’s never too late to change.” He walked away, with a slight limp.

“I’m afraid he’ll end badly,” Ben Ahmed said.

In 2004, the French parliament passed a law forbidding religious symbols in public schools. The law emerged in response to Muslim girls coming to class with their hair covered. The legislation affirmed the century-old French concept of laïcité, or secularism, which enshrines state neutrality toward religion and prevents religion from intruding into the civic space. (In America, the intent of secularism was nearly the reverse, prohibiting state interference in religion.) But many French Muslims interpreted the ban as an act of gratuitous hostility. Some of them told me, inaccurately, that the law had made an exception for the Jewish kippah.

“School is a sacred space in republican theory—it’s the church of the republic,” Vincent Martigny, a political scientist at the École Polytechnique, outside Paris, said. “School is the place where an individual, especially a child, becomes a citizen, which is a superior form of the individual.” Martigny noted that rigid republicanism coexists in France with public support for cultural diversity—in cinema, in local festivals. But in an era of insecurity France is undergoing what he called “moral panic attacks.” In a recent poll in Le Monde, forty-two per cent of respondents said that they no longer felt at home in France.

After the Charlie killings, dozens of mosques around France were defaced, and in a few cases fired upon. Veiled girls and women were harassed. Some French Muslims complained that, while the government sent armed soldiers to guard Jewish sites, Muslim sites were initially left unprotected. The complaint, though accurate, obscured key differences of degree and kind: Jews, who represent less than one per cent of the French population, are the victims of half the country’s hate crimes, and in recent years they’ve been the repeated targets of murderous violence.

On January 8th, there was a nationwide minute of silence for the Charlie victims. At least a hundred incidents were reported of students in banlieue schools refusing to observe it. People in the 93 explained that some rebellious kids were just acting out. But the public was outraged. Sarkozy, eying another shot at the Presidency in 2017, demanded that schools stop serving halal food—if Muslim kids didn’t want to eat pork, they could forgo eating.

Hélène Kuhnmunch teaches history in a vocational high school in Colombes, a banlieue northwest of Paris. The vocational schools are despised, she said, as tools of “exclusion from the system,” and they have few resources. Kuhnmunch is a fifteen-year veteran who teaches banlieue youths because she loves their humor and energy. In 2008, she and a group of immigrant kids made a documentary film about the Franco-Algerian history that lay buried in the children’s families. One boy discovered that his father had been among the Algerians thrown by police into the Seine. (He survived.)

Kuhnmunch said that her students responded to the Charlie attacks with defensiveness, adding, “This wasn’t new, this feeling of always being pushed back on their origins, their religion, of being insulted.” Kuhnmunch, who lives in Paris, did not attend the unity march at the Place de la République, because she knew “that the banlieues would not be there.” She spent that day gathering material for a class on the attacks.

In school on Monday, a Muslim student raised his hand. “Madame, the cartoons—I was against them,” he said. “But you don’t kill for that.” It saddened Kuhnmunch that he felt compelled to reassure her. Others echoed the conspiracy theories on social media, including one dreamy, funny boy who was among her favorites, but who had closed up in anger. Kuhnmunch turned the discussion to the history of secularism. In the banlieues, laïcité has become synonymous with atheism and Islamophobia. Kuhnmunch told her students about the Edict of Nantes, in 1598, when King Henry IV granted rights to French Protestants for the first time. The class discussed laws, passed in the eighteen-eighties, which eliminated religious education in public schools. She showed her students anti-clerical cartoons from that time, and they analyzed Charlie’s drawings (though not ones of Muhammad) in their political context.

“They realized that the same arguments were made then on the subject of the Catholic religion and in 2004 on this story of the veil,” she said. “And that moved them—that this wasn’t just something against Islam, that it comes out of a tradition.”

J.-P. offered to take me to a mosque in Bobigny. He rarely went there himself; his attachment to Islam had less to do with faith than with cultural identity. One Friday afternoon, he showed up at the concrete shopping mall in the town center wearing a glossy black hooded coat, a long black skirt over gray sweatpants, green-and-yellow sneakers, and earphones—religious gangster attire. We followed a footpath away from the projects, under railroad tracks, up to a scrubby clearing beside a junk yard of decaying freight containers. A double trailer stood next to a white tent. This was the central mosque of Bobigny, a town of fifty thousand people. (A new mosque, planned for years, remained unbuilt.) There was a bottleneck where men streamed through the door of one of the trailers. Women, out of view, were presumably in the other trailer. In the entryway, shoes were piled waist high. We squeezed inside the sanctuary, which had barely eight feet of headroom, and found places at the back.

At least two hundred men were kneeling, heads bowed to the carpet. On the coming Sunday, a few miles away, the magnificent, cavernous churches of Paris would be nearly empty. The imam, an elderly Tunisian who spoke little French, gave the closing prayer. J.-P. kept his earphones in.

Afterward, in the crush at the exit—old North African men, young blacks in street clothes, fundamentalists with long beards in ankle-length skirts—J.-P. introduced me to some of his friends. “Allahu akbar! ” they exclaimed in surprised welcome, but they seemed even more surprised to see J.-P. He said to me, “Not everyone has to be a Muslim in the same way. There are sixty-two approaches to Islam.”

I mentioned a few I knew about, including Sufism and Salafism.

“We’re all Salafists,” J.-P. said. “We all want to live like the companions of the Prophet in the seventh century.”

The Salafists I knew were extreme ascetics—they didn’t drink, smoke, or sleep around. J.-P. enjoyed his “glass of wine,” and had plans to get wasted that very night. His idea of Salafism seemed little more than an aspiration to be a more observant Muslim.

He had hesitated to take me inside a cité—he had too many enemies. Instead of showing me around his own housing project, he led me across the street to a larger block of towers called Chemin Vert. J.-P. knew everyone there, too. “This guy is a big rapper,” he said of a loiterer, who nodded warily. Two young Arabs were hanging out in front of a tower, and J.-P. identified one as a dealer. The other, learning that I had come from America, cried, “Is it true that Tupac is dead?” A group of bearded men from the mosque greeted us. J.-P. introduced me to one of them, joking that the man might be heading off to Syria. The man smiled uneasily.

In the deserted center of Chemin Vert, on a plaza surrounded by eight twenty-story towers, J.-P. stopped walking. “See?” he said. “It closes you off.” The cité felt like the perimeter walls of a prison. Even Brutalist Bobigny had disappeared. J.-P. was gazing at nothing I could discern. The air was dense with rain that wouldn’t fall. “There’s nothing at all for kids,” he said. “I’ve never seen the ‘Mona Lisa.’ I want to see it before I die.”

In the middle of the cité, at a fast-food counter, we ordered lunch: a pile of fried meat covered in processed cheese. J.-P., still wearing earphones, asked the cook what he thought of the Islamic State. The cook said that it was bad. J.-P. agreed, but his politics were heavily inflected with a sense of Muslim oppression. If Muslims wanted to go fight in Syria or Iraq, that was their business. France was different. If someone hurt France, he hurt J.-P., too.

“France is our mother,” J.-P. said as he ate. His own mother was a white Frenchwoman. “Your father, he gives you more—Islam. But your mother is still your mother. And, whatever happens, you’ll love her your whole life. Even if she didn’t cherish you.”

Other Muslims had described themselves as unloved children of the republic. Widad Ketfi, the journalist, said, “If you have children you don’t take care of, a day will come when you tell them, ‘Do this,’ and they’ll say, ‘I don’t give a damn. You’re not my father.’ ” Sometimes French Muslims compete for their father’s love with his other, more favored children—the Jews. Or else they search for another father.

“Islam sometimes brings the radiance and love and affection that the republic doesn’t give,” J.-P. said. He laughed at his own words. “Because me—I’m rotten.”

When I met J.-P., he was looking for work. Eventually, Ben Ahmed helped him find a job as a housepainter, with the city of Bondy. But J.-P.’s life was hardly stable. He had a court date pending—he had been charged with armed assault. He told me that he wasn’t too worried about returning to jail, because he was “four hundred per cent innocent.” The first of his prison terms, he told me, had been in Villepinte, near the airport. Among the inmates was Amedy Coulibaly.

Coulibaly, the French son of Malian parents, grew up in a cité south of Paris. At fifteen, he began a career in armed robbery, and during one of his imprisonments, in 2006, he met a newly converted Islamist named Chérif Kouachi. Both twenty-three, they found a mentor in a veteran jihadist named Djamel Beghal, who had been born in Algeria and had brought radical Islamist views with him when he moved to France, in 1987. Beghal visited Afghanistan and became an Al Qaeda operative in 2000; the following year, he was charged in France with plotting to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Paris. From an isolation cell in prison, he managed to communicate with Coulibaly and Kouachi. At one point, Coulibaly used a smuggled camera to shoot video of the prison’s dismal conditions. The footage aired on French TV.

The leading authority on jihadism in French prisons is an Iranian sociologist in Paris named Farhad Khosrokhavar. For his book “Radicalisation,” published just before the January attacks, he spent three days a week in French prisons for three years, developing a theory of inmate conversion. It happens in stages. Most of the recruits grow up without fathers and without any religious knowledge—only anger and alienation in the banlieues. They fall into crime and end up in prison. J.-P. described the mind-set of some of his fellow-inmates: “I’m in prison, the state is to blame—it pushed me to live this life.” Prisoners watch a lot of TV news, and see war and death in Muslim countries. Someone like Coulibaly, J.-P. said, starts to “mix all this together” and create his own ideology, then “runs across a bad person who influences him.” One former prisoner I met in the 93 explained that Islamists target the fragiles, psychologically weak inmates who never receive visits. They are offered solace, a new identity, and a political vision inverting the social order that places them at the bottom.

As Khosrokhavar analyzes it, prisoners are “born again”: “Through jihadism, they transform the contempt of the others. . . . Once they become jihadists, people fear them. One of them told me, ‘Once they fear you, they cannot be contemptuous toward you anymore.’ ” After converts are released, they go on an “initiation journey” to the Middle East or North Africa, where they become capable of extreme violence. They come to think “that they belong elsewhere, to the Islamic community, and not to the French society.”

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Khosrokhavar estimates that, of France’s sixty-four thousand prisoners, up to sixty per cent are Muslim. (Muslims are thought to compose only eight per cent of the population.) These inmates are served by fewer than two hundred prison imams, many of whom are older immigrants and unable to understand life in the banlieues. France once had many Islamist mosques, but its internal intelligence service rooted out radical imams, and the country’s mosques are now pointedly apolitical. Recruitment, therefore, happens outside the mosque, in prisons or on the Internet. The conversion process rarely involves more than three people, to thwart infiltration. French intelligence estimates the number of suspected jihadists to be three thousand, in a country of sixty-five million people.

Radicalization, then, is not a mass phenomenon in the banlieues. “There are no jihadi pools,” Jean-Pierre Filiu, an Arabist at the élite Paris Institute of Political Studies, said. Becoming a jihadist is a quantum leap requiring self-isolation, a break with one’s upbringing, and dehumanization of non-Muslims.

In 2007, after Coulibaly was released, he appeared to go straight. He got a short-term job at a Coca-Cola bottling plant, married his girlfriend, Hayat Boumeddiene, in an Islamic ceremony, and met President Sarkozy, at a 2009 event promoting youth employment. But Coulibaly led a double life. He cut himself off from his parents, whom he considered infidels. He stayed in touch with Beghal and Kouachi after their release, meeting in the South of France and supplying them with weapons and money. “When jihadis go on the run, they don’t go to the banlieues,” Filiu said. “They go to the countryside, to a place where you don’t have a Muslim for ten kilometres.”

In 2010, French police arrested Coulibaly again, finding a stash of ammunition in his apartment. He was convicted of plotting to spring from prison an Islamist who had organized bombings around France in 1995, killing eight people. Coulibaly was sent to Villepinte prison, where J.-P. was serving time. They watched TV and competed on a PlayStation. “He was nice, smiling, pleasant,” J.-P. recalled. “I never saw him bother anyone. He never preached. If someone told me this person was capable of doing what happened, I wouldn’t have bet on that horse.” Coulibaly was released early, in March, 2014. He slipped off the police radar, before surfacing just after the Charlie massacre as the Kouachis’ accomplice and a self-proclaimed soldier of the Islamic State.

More than the Kouachi brothers, Coulibaly, who was killed by French police during the standoff at the kosher market, became a subject of fascination in the banlieues. The Kouachis were raised as orphans in a provincial institution, and were radicalized in their early twenties, after the invasion of Iraq, by recruiters in the northeast corner of Paris. For the Kouachis, a jihadist destiny seemed overdetermined. Coulibaly was the son of a factory worker, and was raised by both parents in a cité south of Paris. And he was black. France’s high-profile jihadists had been Arabs, from Zacarias Moussaoui, the thwarted “twentieth hijacker” of September 11th, to Mohammed Merah, who murdered three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi, and three paratroopers in the Toulouse area, in 2012. A young man of Malian origin told me that, when Coulibaly’s face appeared on French TV, in front of a homemade Islamic State banner, a friend of his mother’s cried out, “Oh, no—now they’ll accuse us. That’s why I tell you not to hang out with Arabs!”

Mehdi Meklat and Badroudine Abdallah, of Bondy Blog, found Coulibaly such an enigma that they considered writing a novel about him. “He could be someone we know,” Meklat said. And yet Coulibaly had cast himself in the role of a great man. At the kosher supermarket, after killing three customers and an employee, he calmly introduced himself to his fifteen hostages, saying, “Je suis Amedy Coulibaly. I am Malian and Muslim. I belong to the Islamic State.” (Abdallah noted the eerie echo of “Je suis Charlie.”)

In videos made just before the attack and posted after his death, Coulibaly keeps changing costume, as if to emphasize his transformation. He wears a gangbanger’s leather jacket in one, a military flak vest in another, a turban and the white robe of a martyr in a third. Always, an automatic is at his side. “It was as if, for him, he didn’t exist enough,” Abdallah said. “It wasn’t enough to be a normal guy.”

From the supermarket, Coulibaly contacted the media, asking to speak with the police and pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. During the siege, he angrily justified his actions to his hostages, citing the incarceration of Muslims, hostility toward women wearing the hijab, Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and French military action in Mali and Syria. He demanded to know why, if French citizens could rally together after the Charlie massacre, they had never demonstrated on behalf of persecuted Muslims. “I was born in France,” he declared.

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Abdallah and Meklat noted that, in 2000, during an armed robbery, the police had shot and killed a close friend of Coulibaly’s right in front of him. Coulibaly, in other words, was a fragile. It wasn’t hard to get him to “go against French society,” Abdallah said, because France had already rejected him. In this explanation, a fairly direct line could be drawn between Coulibaly’s life in the Paris suburbs and terrorism. But this didn’t account for why almost no other banlieusards—including criminals who had been subject to worse indignities—had committed mass murder against schoolchildren, Jews, and cartoonists. The social explanation, used commonly on the left in France and the U.S., oddly mirrors the right’s tendency to make an amalgame—to mix up terrorists with all Muslims. Both views suggest that an evil deed can be attributed largely to a perpetrator’s social or religious identity. In addition to insulting the vast majority of French Muslims, this analysis fails to treat Coulibaly as an individual. And it ignores the fact that he had adopted a set of beliefs. In one of Coulibaly’s videos, he describes his motives in the stark terms of ideology: “What we’re doing is totally legitimate given what you’re doing. It’s vengeance. You attack the caliphate, you attack the Islamic State? We attack you. You’re the ones killing. Why—because we uphold Sharia? Even in our own land we can’t uphold Sharia. You get to decide what happens on earth?”

Another youth whom Ben Ahmed tried to help was named Stéphane. He came from a Catholic Haitian family and grew up near his friend J.-P., in a cité in Bobigny. When Stéphane was thirteen, his father died and he became so disruptive at school that he was expelled. He turned to petty crime, and he and his friends regularly drank themselves into a stupor.

At sixteen, Stéphane heard someone reciting a verse of the Koran and felt tears come to his eyes. He didn’t understand the words, but the sounds moved him. Most of his friends were Muslims, and he decided to convert. He stopped drinking, and quit a restaurant training program that required him to prepare pork. But he wasn’t ready to go completely straight, and at nineteen he was arrested and sentenced to eighteen months in prison. Inside, he began praying five times a day, and when he got out he vowed to reform his life. He started a business that rented inflatable castles and other equipment for children’s parties, and made a point of hiring unemployed locals. He formed a group that organized excursions for youths in the cités. He married J.-P.’s cousin, and with his earnings he moved to a small house not far from Ben Ahmed’s.

I met Stéphane there one day in February. We sat at the kitchen table while his wife, who was pregnant, watched TV. Stéphane was lightly bearded and wore pajama bottoms and a T-shirt that clung to his muscular torso. His answers were terse until I asked him what role life in the banlieues had played in the January attacks.

“The neighborhoods and the environment don’t create it—it’s the people themselves,” he said. Men like Coulibaly “think everything here in this lower world is useless, it’s just a passage. And this ideology that they have—it’s not the fact that you live in a banlieue that gives it to you. It’s your faith.” Stéphane could see that Coulibaly was “fed up” with “the injustice we have here in France.” But even if Coulibaly’s milieu was the context for his actions, it wasn’t the cause. “He reacted—and a lot of people react, you know. But most don’t have such a strong faith to do those acts that he did.”

What stops them? I asked.

“Fear.”

Stéphane leaned forward, his eyes fixed on mine. He hadn’t said that he admired Coulibaly’s actions, but he hadn’t issued the immediate condemnation made by nearly everyone else I’d met in the 93. Stéphane seemed to be saying that what separated Coulibaly from all the other pissed-off Muslims in the banlieues was the intensity of his convictions.

Andrew Hussey, the British scholar in Paris, described the intoxicating, mystical quality of jihadism. “It’s not an ideology of social conditions,” he said. “This is not about poverty, this is not about improving people’s conditions. It’s about hatred, to some extent. Purification.” He likened it to the Fascism of the nineteen-thirties. Jihadism doesn’t have the contours of ordinary politics. “This will turn you from ‘I am nothing’ to ‘I should be everything,’ ” Hussey said. Jihadism attracted both wealthy insiders like bin Laden and poor outsiders like Coulibaly. It was “a floating ideology, like the cloud—you’ve just got to lock onto it.”

I asked Stéphane to describe the injustice that Coulibaly was reacting to.

“Injustice toward Muslims.”

Injustice toward Muslims led Stéphane straight to the Jews. They were, he believed, a privileged community in France. They exploited their historical tragedy and French guilt to acquire power. He pointed out that in Drancy, another banlieue in the 93, a memorial museum stands across from the cité that had been France’s main transit center for Jews destined for concentration camps. “But they don’t recognize the slavery that there was in Haiti, in Africa, everywhere,” he said. The Shoah was a crime. “But why recognize one and not another? You have to be equal. We say ‘égalité, fraternité.’ ”

The crime of slavery couldn’t be acknowledged, because of the vast fortunes made from it. France had given money to Israel as compensation for the French role in the Holocaust—imagine what it would cost to make reparations for slavery! Coulibaly had chosen his target carefully, Stéphane said: “It’s a symbol, to say that, with all the injustice here, stop focussing on the threats to one religion.”

I asked why Coulibaly hadn’t directed his anger at a church, given that most of France’s citizens are Catholic. “Because France isn’t controlled by the Christians,” Stéphane said. He claimed that France’s tiny population of Jews controls the National Assembly, the media, and the banks. The Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, is married to a Jew, and, according to Stéphane, that was why he went on TV after the attacks and said, “France without Jews is not France.” Valls didn’t say, “France isn’t France without Muslims.”

Stéphane had only praise for Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front. “The real French, Français de souche, they see that France is now controlled by the Jews,” he said. I asked if Le Pen, who is known for having anti-immigrant views, posed a threat to French Muslims. “When I see Valls, I think Islamophobe,” Stéphane said. “Marine Le Pen, I think pure French who wants to give everything to the French. Understand?”

“Does that include you?”

“Me? I’m French.” Stéphane showed me his identity card. “Lots of Muslims are going to vote for Marine Le Pen.” I had heard this from others, and some political data bore it out. “You know what they say—the enemies of my enemies are my friends.”

Ben Ahmed had known Stéphane for years, and had admired that he cared enough about kids in the cités to volunteer his time and help. His successful business also offered inspiration to banlieue residents. But after the January attacks they argued. Stéphane insisted that Charlie Hebdo was Islamophobic, and Ben Ahmed thought that he was implying that the staffers might have deserved their fate. The argument upset Ben Ahmed deeply.

Last summer’s war in Gaza provoked widespread demonstrations in France, and some turned violent and explicitly anti-Semitic, with attacks on synagogues and kosher shops. One day in August, Ben Ahmed was driving home from Bondy’s city hall when he heard someone shout, “Dirty Jew!” He stopped. A man in a kippah was walking away from another man.

“Dirty asshole!” Ben Ahmed yelled at the man who had hurled the insult. It was someone he knew, and the man, seeing him, looked surprised, saying, “Hey, why are you talking like that?”

“When you respect him, I’ll respect you,” Ben Ahmed said.

The anti-Semite walked away. The Jew thanked Ben Ahmed. “People are making an amalgame,” he said. In the banlieues, French Jews were commonly conflated with Israelis.

“Do you often get insulted?” Ben Ahmed asked.

“No, it’s the first time. It’s the war.”

“No, it’s just an asshole,” Ben Ahmed said. “A visible minority, that’s all.”

Ben Ahmed was being too sanguine. If there were only around three thousand potential jihadists in France, there were far more anti-Semites—many of them Français de souche. A generation ago, Muslims and Jews lived together in the banlieues with the sociability of immigrant neighbors. Today, few Jews remain in the banlieues, and those who do downplay their identity. A friend of Ben Ahmed’s said that her Jewish friends tell their children not to wear the kippah outside.

The old anti-Semitism of the French right and the newer immigrant strain were united in 2008, when Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the National Front, became godfather to the third child of Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, the French-Cameroonian comedian, who turns Jew-baiting into lucrative entertainment. Dieudonné has an avid following in the banlieues—Stéphane’s views about Jews could have been lifted from a Dieudonné monologue. Unless you’re already on his team, Dieudonné is distinctly unfunny. His 2012 film, “The Anti-Semite,” begins with a mock silent movie, with jaunty piano accompaniment, in which Dieudonné plays an American soldier who’s just liberated Auschwitz. (If only historical ignorance were the movie’s main failing.) A grovelling prisoner shows him around the camp. Inside a gas chamber, Dieudonné dabs his neck with Zyklon B, as if it were cologne; in the crematorium, he mistakes children’s remains for chicken bones. When he sits in a leather armchair, the prisoner tells him, “Careful, you’re sitting on my grandma!”

Dieudonné has spread anti-Semitism beyond extremist circles into popular culture. In Montreuil, I met a restaurant health inspector, Saïd Allam, who is a fan. “Dieudonné is the same as Charlie Hebdo—it’s satire,” Allam said. “He does sketches to make people laugh at Jews, Charlie Hebdo does cartoons of the Prophet to make people laugh—it’s the same thing.” After the massacres, Dieudonné wrote on his Facebook page, with typical slyness, “I feel I’m Charlie Coulibaly.” In response, the authorities prosecuted him for supporting terrorism, and he’s been convicted several times for inciting racial hatred; this has led his admirers to accuse the government of a double standard. “People say, ‘In killing Charlie Hebdo you killed freedom of expression,’ ” Allam said. “But you already killed freedom of expression in sending Dieudonné to court.” Complaints about double standards displaced the horror of the killings with a more comfortable sense of victimization. The argument that Charlie attacks religious politics, whereas Dieudonné goes after Jews, was far too subtle for the fraught atmosphere that prevailed after January 7th. So was the notion that hate-speech laws are inherently problematic, not least because they’re bound to inspire charges of selective application.

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Ben Ahmed detested Dieudonné. “He’s the only comedian who could gather in one room Islamophobes, anti-Semites, and anti-élites, and make them all laugh,” he said. “Not because it’s funny, but out of hatred.”

In 2006, a multiracial gang led by Youssouf Fofana, a criminal of Ivorian descent, kidnapped a Jewish cell-phone salesman named Ilan Halimi and took him to a cité south of Paris. The gang wanted ransom money. According to an associate of the gang, Fofana believed that the state considered him a slave, and that “Jews were kings, because they ate the state’s money.” Fofana, assuming that all Jews were rich, demanded four hundred and fifty thousand euros. But Halimi’s family couldn’t afford this, and the kidnappers tortured Halimi—with punches, lit cigarettes, acid, and, finally, knives.

After twenty-four days, Halimi was found, naked and mutilated, tied to a tree in a park south of Paris. He died en route to the hospital. During his long agony, at least fifty people in the cité—from gang members to neighbors—knew that something was going on, but no one called the police.

In a sense, the Halimi case was even more troubling than the January attacks. Because so many residents had sanctioned the violence, it suggested that lawlessness and hate had become endemic in the banlieues. Marc Weitzmann, a novelist who is writing a book about French anti-Semitism, said that, in the banlieues, a hatred of Jews “is in the background of the values they grow up with—it’s ready to be activated as soon as they move from nihilistic delinquency to the search for meaning.” For some residents, anti-Semitism can be the path toward radicalism.

Ben Ahmed said that he had two jobs in the 93: “to correct bad ideas in religion, and to end the stigmatization of that religion.” It was a difficult balancing act. What if correcting bad ideas led to more stigmatization of Islam? For example, what should one call the religious ideas that, according to Stéphane, had given Amedy Coulibaly the courage to act?

Allam, the restaurant health inspector from Montreuil, lamented the fact that the killings were labelled “an Islamist act.” He added, “It’s very, very serious to say that, because it implicates a religion in murderous acts.” If a blond man killed cartoonists for caricaturing blonds, he argued, people would call him crazy. “And a guy who kills people in the name of religion is a crazy man.”

But the words “Islamic” and “Islamist” are not the same, and allow a crucial political distinction to be made between ordinary believers and ideologues—a distinction that protects Muslims from being equated with jihadists. Nevertheless, the wound of exclusion has festered in French Muslims for so long that the subject of Islamist terrorism is almost too sensitive to touch. An honest conversation about it would require a degree of trust that hardly exists.

One evening, Ben Ahmed prepared dinner at the house of his next-door neighbor, Valérie Tabet, a widowed piano teacher whose daughter attends the same school as Ben Ahmed’s kids. The two families are close. Tabet, who has pale skin and short, dark-blond hair, told me that it’s no longer safe for young children to be out alone on the streets of the 93, and Ben Ahmed has become a kind of father figure to her daughter. While Ben Ahmed poured crêpe batter onto a griddle in the Tabets’ dining room, he and Valérie discussed how someone becomes a terrorist.

Ben Ahmed said, “I have the impression in fact that it’s rather simple, how these people can flip from one day to the next.”

“It isn’t from one day to the next,” Tabet said.

“For me, it’s a question of people who either are psychologically ill, maybe a little crazy,” Ben Ahmed said. “These people are very fragile, and at a given moment they’re recruited by people—”

“There’s too many jihadis for me to agree with you,” Tabet interrupted. “The Kouachi brothers were fragile in their makeup—a lack of bearings, a lack of education, a lack of a vision of life, and later that leads to violence—but I don’t agree that they were nuts.”

Ben Ahmed said that this wasn’t what he meant. In addition to the psychiatric cases, there were the psychologically weak, like the Kouachis: “These people would have got in a fight on the street for nothing, for a parking place.” He added, “Coulibaly, he scares me a bit, because his family life was more normal.” Somehow, Coulibaly was indoctrinated, and then he found it all too easy to find weapons.

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“It’s very easy to get them,” Tabet agreed. “But there’s a lot of people who are made fragile by society, because there’s not enough work for everyone, because of social problems and all that. But what I see is that there’s a point in common among those people—they’re Muslims.” She added quickly, “And it’s not to point a finger, because I mean the potential terrorists. But the problem for me is what they hear in the mosques, in small groups.” She spoke of radical imams preaching hate.

Ben Ahmed said that Tabet was simply repeating what she’d heard in the media.

“But someone indoctrinates them.”

“The people who do that are in a network, but not in a network you would call Muslim,” Ben Ahmed said. “Not in the mosque.” He searched for the name of Coulibaly’s recruiter in jail. “Djamel Beghal. He isn’t an imam.”

“You can’t say that there aren’t people who use religion to attract these youths.”

“You say ‘people,’ sure, but you also said ‘imams.’ I’m not saying they don’t exist, but you’re generalizing from the exception.”

“I’m saying there are many reasons, and the point in common is these are young Muslims. And that means something—it means that they’re using religion.”

Ben Ahmed seemed to be afraid that if he accepted Tabet’s view he would end up vindicating the Islamophobes. He couldn’t cross that line. The two friends were on the verge of an argument that might inflict lasting hurts.

“Your opinion is interesting,” Ben Ahmed said. “The thing is, I’m convinced that this doesn’t really happen in the mosques. It’s in prison.”

“Yes, that’s certain,” Tabet said.

“And there are people who come to the mosques to talk with some of them and succeed in capturing them, on the side.”

“Voilà.”

They had found just enough common ground to move on.

More than fifteen hundred French citizens have left to join the Islamic State—a quarter of the European total. Around two hundred of them have returned to France. A growing number of these new recruits have no connection to the banlieues. According to Farhad Khosrokhavar, the majority of French Muslims going to Syria are now middle-class youths, some of them white converts to Islam, and an increasing percentage of them female. They come from big cities and small towns. “They do not belong to broken families,” Khosrokhavar said. Their radicalization can happen in a very short time, a matter of weeks, usually through social media. They go to the Middle East because they’re moved by the plight of fellow-Muslims. Once there, some are shocked by the Islamic State’s violence and try to return home; others are seduced by it.

A few days before the January attacks, Hayat Boumeddiene, Coulibaly’s wife, flew from Madrid to Turkey, then crossed into Syria. A security camera at the Istanbul airport captured her entry into Turkey, alongside a young man with a thin beard, his long black hair tied back in a bun. He was a twenty-three-year-old from the 93 named Mehdi Belhoucine. His older brother, Mohamed, had become radicalized through the Internet around 2009, and afterward relayed messages for a network of French jihadists headed for central Asia. Mohamed and Mehdi were now believed to be in Syria. The brothers had been excellent students—Mohamed had done advanced studies in mine engineering, Mehdi in electronic mechanics—and were from a middle-class family who lived in a private house. Ben Ahmed knew their mother, who worked with him at Bondy’s city hall. “Very nice lady,” he said. “It’s too, too sad.”

Sylvine Thomassin, the mayor of Bondy, told me, “I had a clear view of jihadism before January—families with educational deficiencies, parents who hadn’t done well, kids failing at school.” It was, she said, a weirdly “reassuring diagram,” because it made the pathway of radicalism seem predictable. Then came the stunning news of the Belhoucine brothers’ connection to the authors of the Paris attacks. The mayor, who knew the Belhoucines well, now found it impossible to come up with a profile. “Our Muslim fellow-citizens live overwhelmingly in public housing, and the majority are confronted with the same problems as those who are radicalized, and yet they aren’t radicalized,” she said. “So the problem definitely isn’t the banlieues. Perhaps it’s the hypersensitivity of a very small number to this discourse around them.”

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Xavier Nogueras, a defense lawyer in Paris, represents twenty French citizens accused of jihadism. A few of his clients are violent and dangerous, he said, but many went to Syria out of idealism, wanting to defend other Muslims against the Assad regime and build an Islamic state. He argued that such people pose no threat to France and that the state shouldn’t permanently embitter them with years of detention. Nogueras resisted tracing his clients’ motives to social conditions in the banlieues. Few have criminal backgrounds; some had well-paid jobs in large French companies. “The most surprising thing to me is their immense humanity,” Nogueras said. He finds jihadists more interesting than the drug dealers and robbers he’s represented. “They have more to say—many more ideas. Their sacred book demands the application of Sharia, which tells them to cover their wives, not to live in secularism. And we are in a country that inevitably stigmatizes them, because it’s secular. They don’t feel at home here.”

I found the lawyer’s distinction between jihadism at home and abroad less than reassuring. Coulibaly’s faith could have led him to kill people in Paris or in Syria; violence driven by ideology could happen anywhere. The “idealism” of clients motivated to make Sharia universal law is, in some ways, more worrying than simple thuggery: even if France dedicates itself urgently to making its Muslims full-fledged children of the republic, a small minority of them will remain, on principle, irreconcilable.

On a commercial street in the 93, in a sparsely furnished apartment with no name on the buzzer, Sonia Imloul, a social worker of Algerian origin, meets with families of radicalized young people. Cases come to her through police departments or through government agencies that have been contacted by the families, on a hot line. Sitting down at the kitchen table, Imloul lit a cigarette and said, “I’ve had children of doctors, journalists, generals. I’d say it’s almost a national epidemic.” She remains “super-vigilant” about her fourteen-year-old son.

Imloul’s method is to maintain a young person’s ties to his or her family before an “initiation journey” occurs. “The family often has the answer, without knowing it,” she said. Radicalization has been a phenomenon in France for thirty years; devising a proper solution may take another thirty. The problem is acute in France, Imloul said, partly because the republic’s rigid secularism leaves no room for serious discussions of religious identity. “With a radical, if you don’t talk to him about religion, you can’t talk about anything,” she said. France has taken an entirely punitive approach to the problem. Imloul’s “prevention cell” is the only such program in the country.

The January attacks created a genuine sense of crisis, and Prime Minister Valls made passionate speeches condemning the “geographic, social, ethnic apartheid” that denies French citizens in places like the 93 full entry into the republic. Thomassin, the mayor of Bondy (and Ben Ahmed’s boss), showed me a map to pinpoint where high-rise cités are being torn down and replaced by smaller buildings surrounded by green space. The goal was to encourage a new spirit of neighborliness. The mayor of Le Blanc-Mesnil, another banlieue in the 93, described a similar plan, along New Urbanist lines, that allowed public-housing renters to become homeowners. I got the feeling that, after decades of denial, France was now playing catch-up.

“We’re at war, but not against a religion,” Valls said. France was “at war to defend our values, which are universal.” He urged French Muslims to see it as their struggle, too. “It is a war against terrorism and radical Islamism, against everything that aims to break our solidarity, liberty, fraternity.”

For two or three decades, a soft multiculturalism has been the default politics of the governing left, while France’s silent majority, more and more culturally insecure, has moved rightward, and the banlieues have been allowed to rot. The National Front voter and the radicalized Muslim feel equally abandoned. According to the political scientist Laurent Bouvet, the January attacks, like an underwater bomb, brought all these trends to the surface. “Secularism is our common good,” Bouvet said. “If there is a common French identity, it’s not an identity of roots, it’s not a Christian identity, it’s not cathedrals, it’s not the white race. It’s a political project.” He went on, “If we let the National Front define French identity, it’s going to be by race, by blood, by religion.”

France has an official “rapporteur général” for secularism, and currently it is an earnest young Socialist politician named Nicolas Cadène. He told me that France had failed to create a national story that included all its citizens. The shock of the attacks and the divisive fallout made a new approach imperative, and he sketched a program of reform starting with the schools: explain the meaning of secularism while teaching “impartial, neutral” facts about different religions as a way to make students more tolerant and critical-minded; integrate more colonial history into the curriculum; encourage the teaching of Arabic in public schools, so that this wasn’t left to madrassas. Some of these changes will be instituted this fall.

Jean-Pierre Filiu, the Arabist, told me that, for more than a decade, Sciences Po—the social-science institution where he teaches—has been admitting a portion of each new class on the basis of slightly different entrance criteria. French law forbids discrimination by ethnicity or religion, so Sciences Po uses geography instead. “We want to bring in students from the 93,” Filiu said. “I’ve been sitting on those juries, and the banlieues are among the best, because you have la niaque”—heart, a fighting instinct. I thought of what such a chance would have meant to Ben Ahmed.

Elections in France’s hundred departments were scheduled for late March. Ben Ahmed decided to run as a Socialist to represent Bobigny. When his campaign posters were defaced with swastikas and racist graffiti—“Dirty Arab”—he ignored it. He spent nights and weekends leafletting and shaking hands in his old hangouts. The residents greeted him as one of them, but many thought that voting was pointless. He told his most resistant neighbors—the old women in full hijab, the jobless men at the corner bar, J.-P. and his gang—that they couldn’t abstain if they wanted to be equal citizens.

Ben Ahmed came in fourth. Even the candidate from the National Front beat him. The Socialists, being the party in power, did badly almost everywhere. The extreme right continued to rise. But Ben Ahmed wasn’t discouraged. He believed in politics, and he believed in France. He would try again. ♦


Héritage Obama: Avez-vous embrassé votre dictateur aujourd’hui ? (Pope Francis in Obama’s footsteps: Have you hugged your dictator today ?)

21 septembre, 2015
https://i0.wp.com/images.csmonitor.com/csm/2015/04/0412-Obama-Castro-handshake.jpghttp://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/images/z/za%20ze/zarif_kerry_jan15_b/zarif_kerry_jan15_b_16x9.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/www.lesechos.fr/medias/2015/08/13/1144213_john-kerry-a-cuba-avec-la-levee-de-lembargo-en-tete-web-tete-021260107201.jpg
https://fbcdn-photos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xtp1/v/t1.0-0/p235x350/12004721_10201026895271618_476033953174637732_n.jpg?oh=0effb65b1c36d5d5955951f290381b95&oe=569EA415&__gda__=1449189168_029975beb1bdaae681f5528f3849dd3c
https://scontent-ams3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-0/p280x280/12049605_10201026896271643_2494792534801621179_n.jpg?oh=0d6d6a9588758b16335e6a270a7b8ed6&oe=56668AB6
PopeFidelCastrohttps://external-ams3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?d=AQDxKAhckyj36Aqu&w=487&h=365&url=https%3A%2F%2Fpbs.twimg.com%2Fmedia%2FCPIeVC4UwAA4P5r.jpgIl 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
L’organisateur doit se faire schizophrène, politiquement parlant, afin de ne pas se laisser prendre totalement au jeu. (…) Seule une personne organisée peut à la fois se diviser et rester unifiée. (…) La trame de toutes ces qualités souhaitées chez un organisateur est un ego très fort, très solide. L’ego est la certitude absolue qu’a l’organisateur de pouvoir faire ce qu’il pense devoir faire et de réussir dans la tâche qu’il a entreprise. Un organisateur doit accepter sans crainte, ni anxiété, que les chances ne soient jamais de son bord. Le moi de l’organizer est plus fort et plus monumental que le moi du leader. Le leader est poussé par un désir pour le pouvoir, tandis que l’organizer est poussé par un désir de créer. L’organizer essaie dans un sens profond d’atteindre le plus haut niveau qu’un homme puisse atteindre—créer, être ‘grand créateur,’ jouer à être Dieu. Saul Alinsky
L’Amérique est toujours le tueur numéro 1 dans le monde. . . Nous sommes profondément impliqués dans l’importation de la drogue, l’exportation d’armes et la formation de tueurs professionnels. . . Nous avons bombardé le Cambodge, l’Irak et le Nicaragua, tuant les femmes et les enfants tout en essayant de monter l’opinion publique contre Castro et Khaddafi. . . Nous avons mis Mandela en prison et soutenu la ségrégation pendant 27 ans. Nous croyons en la suprématie blanche et l’infériorité noire et y croyons davantage qu’en Dieu. … Nous avons soutenu le sionisme sans scrupule tout en ignorant les Palestiniens et stigmatisé quiconque le dénonçait comme anti-sémite. . . Nous ne nous inquiétons en rien de la vie humaine si la fin justifie les moyens. . . Nous avons lancé le virus du SIDA. . . Nous ne pouvons maintenir notre niveau de vie qu’en nous assurant que les personnes du tiers monde vivent dans la pauvreté la plus abjecte. Rev. Jeremiah Wright ( janvier 2006)
The U.N.—General Assembly or Security Council—has no power to create states or to grant all-important formal « recognition » to state aspirants. The right to recognize statehood is a fundamental attribute of sovereignty and the United Nations is not a sovereign. Those who cite as precedent the General Assembly’s 1947 resolution providing for the partition of Palestine misread that instrument and its legal significance. Resolution 181 outlined a detailed (and rigorous) process whereby the British Mandate in Palestine was to end and two new states, one Jewish and one Arab, were to be established. It recommended that process to Great Britain (as the mandate-holder) and to other U.N. members. It did not create or recognize these states, nor were the proposed states granted automatic admission to the United Nations. Rather, once the two states were established as states, the resolution provided that « sympathetic consideration » should be given to their membership applications. In the event, the Arab countries rejected partition and Israel declared (and successfully defended) its independence. Israel’s statehood was recognized, in accordance with international law, by other states—including the United States and the Soviet Union. The Palestinian Authority, by contrast, does not meet the basic characteristics of a state necessary for such recognition. These requirements have been refined through centuries of custom and practice, and were authoritatively articulated in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States. As that treaty provides, to be a state an entity must have (1) a permanent population, (2) a defined territory, (3) a government, and (4) the capacity to enter into relations with other states. As of today, the PA has neither a permanent population nor defined territory (both being the subject of ongoing if currently desultory negotiations), nor does it have a government with the capacity to enter into relations with other states. This pivotal requirement involves the ability to enter and keep international accords, which in turn posits that the « government » actually controls—exclusive of other sovereigns—at least some part of its population and territory. The PA does not control any part of the West Bank to the exclusion of Israeli authority, and it exercises no control at all in the Gaza Strip. The PA does not, therefore, qualify for recognition as a state and, concomitantly, it does not qualify for U.N. membership, which is open only to states. All of this is surely understood by the PA and its backers, and is also why the administration has correctly labeled this effort as a distraction— »stunt » being a less diplomatic but even more accurate term in these circumstances. What is unfortunate is that the Obama administration has failed to present the case against a Palestinian statehood resolution in legal rather than tactical terms, even though these arguments are obvious and would greatly reinforce the U.S. position, also providing a thoroughly neutral basis for many of our allies, particularly in Europe, to oppose Mr. Abbas’s statehood bid. The stakes in this battle are high. The PA’s effort to achieve recognition by the U.N., even if legally meaningless, is not without serious consequences. To the extent that state supporters of that measure may themselves have irredentist populations or active border disputes with their neighbors—as do Russia, China, Britain and Turkey—they will certainly store up future trouble for themselves. David B. Rivkin Jr. And Lee A. Casey
Comme le notent Evelyn Gordon commentatrice, et Eugene Kontorovich spécialiste du droit constitutionnel et international, chercheur – les mêmes fonctionnaires de l’UE qui traitent de l’occupation israélienne comme criminelle  » facilitent favorablement l’activité turque dans la partie occupée de Chypre du Nord, l’activité marocaine au Sahara occidental, l’activité chinoise au Tibet occupé , et bien plus ». P. David Hornik
D’autant qu’on n’a jamais coupé les ponts avec l’Iran. La fidélité paie dans une industrie à cycle très long. Source haut placée chez Total
Le président de l’autorité Palestinienne est arrivé dimanche à Paris pour une visite de trois jours au cours de laquelle il doit rencontrer le président François Hollande, le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Laurent Fabius et Anne Hidalgo, la maire de Paris. Anne Hidalgo, accueillera à l’hôtel de ville, « Son Excellence Monsieur Mahmoud Président de la Palestine » en visite officielle en France. À cette occasion, la maire de Paris lui remettra la médaille Grand Vermeil, la plus haute distinction de la ville. Apres avoir été l’ange de la Paix du Pape François, Abbas devient une icone de la paix pour la mairie de Paris, le monde marche vraiment sur la tête…qu’a fait Abbas pour la paix ? Telavivre
I would like Pope Francis’ agenda to include a meeting with people who were persecuted for their beliefs, imprisoned, beaten and tortured for their thinking. I wish Pope Francis would embrace women who are beaten every Sunday leaving the church [the so-called « Ladies in White », mothers, sisters, wives who protest every Sunday for the release of their husbands or relatives]. I would love to see the Pope embraces the victims, even before going to greet their torturer. Cuban exile
Nothing says « mercy » and « joy » like a seven-story high neon picture of a communist mass-murderer. Yes folks, it’s the Pope Francis in Cuba show! Brought to you by the Obama administration and Pope no-one-was-ever-merciful-in-the-Catholic-Church-until-I-came-along Francis.
In reality one can say that the young Syrian men are lured to Sweden by the oldest trick in the book – money and girls. Pictures of blonde beauties are published, and that Swedish women require real men … Dala-Demokraten
The Syrian citizens are mainly Muslim and speak Arabic. The refugees have their own culture. Because our school is directly next to where they are staying, modest clothing should be worn in order to avoid disagreements. Revealing tops or blouses, short shorts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings. Lettre au parents du lycée allemand Wilhelm-Diess-Gymnasium
When Muslim teenage boys go to open air swimming pools, they are overwhelmed when they see girls in bikinis. These boys, who come from a culture where for women it is frowned upon to show naked skin, will follow girls and bother them without their realizing it. Naturally, this generates fear. German local politician
According to an editorial comment in the newspaper Westfalen-Blatt, police are refusing to go public about crimes involving refugees and migrants because they do not want to give legitimacy to critics of mass migration … Soeren Kern

Avez-vous embrassé votre dictateur aujourd’hui ?

Après la poignée de mains historique du président et du secrétaire d’Etat américains …

Et au lendemain d’une autre visite historique d’un autre des plus notoires dictateurs de la planète …

Par un pape qui n’avait tout récemment pas de mots assez doux pour se féliciter, avec nos hommes d’affaires qui voient leur fidélité enfin récompensée et sur fond de boycott de la seule vraie démocratie du Moyen-Orient, d’un autre accord historique du Monde dit libre …

Légitimant le retour de centaines de milliards d’avoirs gelés et l’accès au nucléaire d’un régime qui non content de semer le fer et le sang sur l’ensemble du Moyen-Orient appelle depuis des décennies à l’annihilation d’un de ses voisins …

Et à la veille d’une autre visite, à Paris cette fois-ci, du dirigeant, élu pour quatre ans en 2005, d’un état-fantôme et d’un mouvement qui lui aussi appelle à l’annihilation d’un de ses voisins …

Alors que, suite à l’abandon de l’Irak puis de la Syrie et de la Libye par le prétendu chef du Monde libre et au coup de folie d’une chancelière allemande jusqu’ici exemplaire,  l’Europe entière est à présent balayée, aux cris d’Allah Akbar et à coups de pierres, par une véritable horde de centaines de milliers de migrants illégaux …

Pendant qu’en Amérique même et  sous prétexte que sa religion appelle ouvertement au massacre des mécréants comme on l’a vu un certain 11 septembre et quasi-quotidiennement au Moyen-orient ou ailleurs, un petit Ahmed est à son tour victime d’autorités scolaires et d’une police sur-protectrices pour avoir pporté en classe un engin qui faisait tic t,ac comme une bombe …

Comment ne pas voir avec ce rapport de l’Institut Galestone …

Sur le silence-radio, pour ne pas légitimer les critiques des migrations de masse, de la police et des autorités allemandes …

A propos de la véritable épidémie de violence et notamment de viols qui sévit actuellement dans le pays non seulement das les camps de réfugiés mais à leurs abords …

Une énième illustration de ces « idées chrétiennes devenues folles » dont le monde moderne est désormais rempli …

Prophétisées il y a un siècle par l’auteur britannique G.K. Chesterton ?


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 !
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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 …
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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 ?
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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
https://scontent-ams3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/t31.0-8/11062705_10200988763718353_1517784865883534733_o.jpgCe 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

August 3, 2015

Héritage Obama: A quand le retrait des troupes américaines de Corée ? (Dennis Rodman of politics: Is there anything Obama will not do to burnish his precious legacy ?)

18 août, 2015
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After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb. Barack Hussein Obama

More than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade Iraq . . . Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al-Qaeda in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. Barack Hussein Obama
« The president said many times he’s willing to step out of the rut of history.” (…) Once again Rhodes has, perhaps inadvertently, exposed the president’s premises more clearly than the president likes to do. The rut of history: It is a phrase worth pondering. It expresses a deep scorn for the past, a zeal for newness and rupture, an arrogance about old struggles and old accomplishments, a hastiness with inherited precedents and circumstances, a superstition about the magical powers of the present. It expresses also a generational view of history, which, like the view of history in terms of decades and centuries, is one of the shallowest views of all.expresses also a generational view of history, which, like the view of history in terms of decades and centuries, is one of the shallowest views of all. This is nothing other than the mentality of disruption applied to foreign policy. In the realm of technology, innovation justifies itself; but in the realm of diplomacy and security, innovation must be justified, and it cannot be justified merely by an appetite for change. Tedium does not count against a principled alliance or a grand strategy. Indeed, a continuity of policy may in some cases—the Korean peninsula, for example: a rut if ever there was one—represent a significant achievement. (…) Obama seems to believe that the United States owes Iran some sort of expiation. As he explained to Thomas Friedman the day after the nuclear agreement was reached, “we had some involvement with overthrowing a democratically elected regime in Iran” in 1953. Six years ago, when the streets of Iran exploded in a democratic rebellion and the White House stood by as it was put down by the government with savage force against ordinary citizens, memories of Mohammad Mosaddegh were in the air around the administration, as if to explain that the United States was morally disqualified by a prior sin of intervention from intervening in any way in support of the dissidents. The guilt of 1953 trumped the duty of 2009. But what is the alternative? This is the question that is supposed to silence all objections. It is, for a start, a demagogic question. This agreement was designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. If it does not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and it seems uncontroversial to suggest that it does not guarantee such an outcome—then it does not solve the problem that it was designed to solve. And if it does not solve the problem that it was designed to solve, then it is itself not an alternative, is it? The status is still quo. Or should we prefer the sweetness of illusion to the nastiness of reality? For as long as Iran does not agree to retire its infrastructure so that the manufacture of a nuclear weapon becomes not improbable but impossible, the United States will not have transformed the reality that worries it. We will only have mitigated it and prettified it. We will have found relief from the crisis, but not a resolution of it. The administration’s apocalyptic rhetoric about the deal is absurd: The temporary diminishments of Iran’s enrichment activities are not what stand between the Islamic Republic and a bomb. The same people who assure us that Iran has admirably renounced its aspiration to a nuclear arsenal now warn direly that a failure to ratify the accord will send Iranian centrifuges spinning madly again. They ridicule the call for more stringent sanctions against Iran because the sanctions already in place are “leaky” and crumbling, and then they promise us that these same failing measures can be speedily and reliably reconstituted in a nifty mechanism called “snapback.” Leon Wieseltier
La Corée du Nord a appris au monde qu’au poker nucléaire la folie feinte vous vaut de l’aide étrangère ou l’attention planétaire — du fait que même la certitude qu’on a affaire à un bluff à 99% reste suffisante pour effrayer les opinions publiques occidentales. La Corée du nord est le proverbial envieux psychopathe du quartier qui agresse constamment ses voisins prospères d’à côté, en partant du principe que les voisins ne pourront manquer de prendre en compte ses menaces aussi sauvages qu’absurdes parce qu’il n’a rien et qu’ils ont tout à perdre. (…) L’Iran pourrait reprendre à l’infini le modèle de Kim — menaçant une semaine de rayer Israël de la carte, faisant machine arrière la semaine d’après sous prétexte de problèmes de traduction. L’objectif ne serait pas nécessairement de détruire Israël (ce qui vaudrait à l’Iran la destruction de la culture persane pour un siècle), mais d’imposer une telle atmosphère d’inquiétude et de pessimisme à l’Etat juif que son économie en serait affaiblie, son émigration en serait encouragée et sa réputation géostratégique en serait érodée. La Corée du nord est passée maître dans de telles tactiques de chantage nucléaire. A certains moments, Pyongyang a même réussi à réduire les deux géants asiatiques – Japon et Corée du Sud – à la quasi-paralysie. (…) Un Iran nucléaire n’aurait à s’inquiéter ni d’un ennemi existentiel avec une population d’un milliard d’habitants à côté tel que l’Inde ni d’un mécène tout aussi peuplé comme la Chine susceptible d’imposer des lignes rouges à ses crises de folie périodiques. Téhéran serait libre au contraire de faire et de dire ce qu’il veut. Et son statut de puissance nucléaire deviendrait un multiplicateur de force pour son énorme richesse pétrolière et son statut auto-proclamé de leader mondial des musulmans chiites. Si la Corée du Nord est un danger, alors un Iran nucléaire plus gros, plus riche et sans dissuasion serait un cauchemar. Victor Davis Hanson
The definition of appeasement is to accept demands from an aggressor and then declare that the resulting concessions were of no real importance in the first place. Victor Davis Hanson
When Obama entered office in January 2009, post-surge Iraq was quiet. By the end of his first year in office, three Americans had been killed. In 2010, fewer Americans were lost in Iraq each month than in accidents involving the U.S. military. That is why Joe Biden thought Iraq would be the administration’s “greatest achievement,” and Obama himself declared the country “stable and self-reliant.” Pulling all U.S. troops out at the end of 2011, against the advice of almost all sober military and diplomatic experts, achieved the desired talking point for the 2012 reelection campaign, but collapsed the country and birthed ISIL. Obama’s demagoguery is as if President Dwight Eisenhower had pulled all U.S. troops out of South Korea in 1955 to prep for his 1956 reelection campaign — and then blamed the ensuing North Korean victory and devastation of South Korea on Harry Truman for entering the Korean War in the first place in 1950. (…) All the contortions that Barack Obama has offered about Iraq — damning the invasion in 2003; claiming in 2004 that he had no policy differences on Iraq with the Bush administration; declaring in 2007 that the surge would fail; demanding in 2008 as a presidential candidate that all U.S. troops be brought home; assuring the world in 2011 that Iraq was “stable” and “self-reliant” as he pulled out all American peacekeepers; reassuring the world in 2014 that Iraq’s ISIS was not a real threat; and then deciding in 2015 that it was, as he ordered forces back in — have been predicated on perceived political advantage. That also explains why the deal was not presented as a treaty requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate, as the Constitution outlines. Victor Davis Hanson

Après l’Iran et Cuba, la Corée du nord ?

A l’heure ou emporté par son obsession du changement pour le changement et sa place dans l’histoire …

Le maître-démagogue et pire président américain depuis Carter …

Confirme qu’il est bel et bien prêt de l’Irak à l’Afghanistan où à Cuba et sans oublier ses alliés les plus fidèles comme Israël …

A passer aux pertes et profits, littéralement les yeux fermés, les gains chèrement acquis et héritages combinés de l’ensemble de ses prédécesseurs depuis la Guerre froide …

Comment ne pas se poser la question suggérée en creux par la dernière tribune de l’historien américain Victor Davis Hanson …

De la Corée du nord ?

Ou, pour l’ineffable bonheur d’être le premier à le faire, notre Dennis Rodman de la politique pourrait bien retirer les troupes américaines de Corée du sud …

Et enfin serrer la paluche du dernier dictateur stalinien de la planète ?

Obama: Tougher on Congress than on Khamenei

Obama’s Unpresidential Iran Speech: The speech was mean-spirited and dishonest ─ and may have been counterproductive.

Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

August 11, 2015
President Obama’s speech last week advocating congressional approval of the Iran deal was mostly made-up history mixed with invective. Indeed, he talked far more roughly about his congressional partners than he did about our Iranian enemies, who have worked so hard to kill Americans over the last 35 years.
Obama assured us that in the past a “nonproliferation treaty . . . prohibited nations from acquiring nuclear weapons.” One wonders, then, how India, China, North Korea, and Pakistan ever obtained them, given they were all forbidden to do so under “new agreements” forged by Democratic and Republican presidents. Is there much logic in the assertion that the intelligence was flawed when we went to war with what proved to be a non-nuclear Iraq, but that we can trust the same intelligence agencies to apprise us precisely of the nuclear status of Iran?

“After two years of negotiations,” Obama went on, “we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb.”

The deal does no such thing. Iran can still possess some enriched uranium. It can still operate centrifuges. It is not subject to anytime, anywhere inspections. And it will be almost impossible to restore international sanctions should Iran be caught cheating. As in the case of Obamacare, most of Obama’s pre-negotiation assurances are now either forgotten or ignored.

Obama, as is his wont, derides any who disagree with him: “Between now and the congressional vote in September, you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising. And if the rhetoric in these ads and the accompanying commentary sounds familiar, it should, for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.”

Yet even as Obama spoke those words, an array of Hollywood liberals was appearing in commercials drumming up support for the treaty. China and Russia are said to be lobbying senators to vote for it. When the president drones on ad nauseam about those “same people” who “argued for the war,” whom exactly does he include in the stable of Iraq War supporters — neocons like Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Fareed Zakaria, and Thomas Friedman? When Obama blasts the “tens of millions of dollars in advertising,” with suggestions of the nefarious role of the “same people” who wanted the Iraq War, I think we are meant to understand the old wink-and-nod dual-loyalty trope about American supporters of Israel.

Obama claimed that the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq was “a preference for military action over diplomacy.” Yet the Iraq War was authorized by both houses of Congress, with a majority of Democratic senators voting in favor, and the resolution contained 23 writs of action — all following up, in the post-9/11 climate, on the regime-change and liberation acts signed into law by former president Bill Clinton. The Bush administration spent months at the United Nations seeking to persuade Security Council members France and Russia (each enjoying valuable oil concessions from Saddam Hussein) to authorize military action in order to enforce U.N. sanctions. In contrast, Obama went to war in Libya without congressional approval. By bombing Moammar Qaddafi into extinction (as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it, “We came, we saw, he died”), Obama exceeded the U.N. authorization, which limited U.S. action to humanitarian support and no-fly zones. If Hillary wanted to quote classical Latin concerning the Libyan aftermath, she would have done better to invoke Tacitus: “Where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

The most disingenuous element of Obama’s entire speech was his assertion that “More than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade Iraq . . . Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al-Qaeda in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL.”

When Obama entered office in January 2009, post-surge Iraq was quiet. By the end of his first year in office, three Americans had been killed. In 2010, fewer Americans were lost in Iraq each month than in accidents involving the U.S. military. That is why Joe Biden thought Iraq would be the administration’s “greatest achievement,” and Obama himself declared the country “stable and self-reliant.”

Pulling all U.S. troops out at the end of 2011, against the advice of almost all sober military and diplomatic experts, achieved the desired talking point for the 2012 reelection campaign, but collapsed the country and birthed ISIL. Obama’s demagoguery is as if President Dwight Eisenhower had pulled all U.S. troops out of South Korea in 1955 to prep for his 1956 reelection campaign — and then blamed the ensuing North Korean victory and devastation of South Korea on Harry Truman for entering the Korean War in the first place in 1950.

Obama, again, blames George W. Bush for most of the problems he himself has caused. For instance, he claims that the Iranians started spinning centrifuges while Bush was in office, conveniently forgetting two key points. First, as a senator, Obama voted to deny the Bush administration the ability to use military force to deter Iran, and he voted against the designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, despite its then-recent efforts to kill Americans in Iraq. Second, far more centrifuges have come on line during the Obama administration than did during the Bush administration.

What mostly brought Iran to the negotiating table was not skillful Obama diplomacy, but the ongoing increases in global gas and oil supplies, and the resulting collapse of oil prices, which assuaged our Asian and European allies’ worries about skyrocketing oil prices should Iranian oil go off the market. The prospect of a glut persuaded them to join in sanctioning Iran. The plunge in oil prices that strengthened the Obama administration’s hand came about as a result of private exploration in the U.S. that occurred despite rather than because of Obama’s efforts.

When Obama claims that so far his diplomacy has curtailed Iranian enrichment, he has no idea whether that will prove to be an accurate assessment, given the secrecy of the Iranian project and the Iranians’ refusal to allow inspectors full and open access to their facilities. But if Obama is correct that the interim deal worked so well, and if sanctions brought Iran to the table, why in the world would he discard the status quo?

When he details all the things Iran must and will certainly do, why would he think it is any more likely that Iran will follow the letter of the treaty than that Qassem Suleimani — a high-ranking Iranian general and commander of the Quds Force, which carries out terrorist operations — would obey international travel bans? In fact, shortly after listening to Obama’s speech, Suleimani brazenly broke the ban and traveled to see Putin, apparently to negotiate Russian arms sales with his newly released $150 billion in formerly embargoed funds.

Obama says there is “daily access” to Iran’s “key” nuclear sites. But what if Iran declares a site not “key” and therefore off limits? Obama likewise assures us, “This access can be with as little as 24 hours’ notice.” Does anyone really believe that? Not Obama himself, for he immediately qualified that with, “And while the process for resolving a dispute about access can take up to 24 days, once we’ve identified a site that raises suspicion, we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in.” If a 24-day wait is no hindrance to inspection, why then have it at all? The definition of appeasement is to accept demands from an aggressor and then declare that the resulting concessions were of no real importance in the first place.

Obama insists: “Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option, another war in the Middle East. I say this not to be provocative, I am stating a fact.”

That is not a fact. And it is shameful to suggest that it is. Again, the alternative to the deal is not war now, but rather continued sanctions, and a continuation of the increased oil production by the U.S. and the Gulf monarchies that brought a cash-strapped Iran to the table. Both measures could be ratcheted up even further. Obama talks of a “game changer” — another regrettable selection of words when we remember the history of that phrase in the context of the Syrian pink line. Iran was getting weaker by the day even as Obama’s tenure was running out. The urgency came from both Iran and Obama. The former was fearful that it would be both poorer and weaker when a possibly very different president takes office in 2017; the latter in desperation was looking for a legacy after the detritus of reset, Libya, ISIS, Syria, and the growing estrangement from long-term allies such as Egypt and Israel.

Obama assumes Tehran will spend its impending windfall on domestic projects, and told us that such investment “improves the economy and benefits the lives of the Iranian people” — as if theocratic authoritarians are sober and judicious officials who feel that improving health care or building freeways would best serve their interests, rather than bullying neighbors and thus raising their own military and political statures. From Hitler to Saddam, there is little evidence that dictators think like the technocrats of social democracies.

Obama reassures us that Iran’s “conventional capabilities will never compare to Israel’s.” Israel is a country of 8 million people, Iran one of nearly 78 million — with appendages in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, the West Bank, and Lebanon that together perhaps already have more conventional missiles pointed at Israel than Israel has bombers that can reach them.

Obama downplays Iran’s Hitlerian rhetoric: “Just because Iranian hardliners chant ‘Death to America’ does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe.” That is an adolescent remark — analogous to saying that just because Hitler promised a “final solution of the Jewish question” did not mean that all Germans shared his anti-Semitism. What would it matter even if such an assertion were true?

Even if a million Iranians once again hit the streets to protest the theocracy — a movement shunned in 2009 by Obama himself — they would probably not be able to sway the policies of their fascist government. Whether most Germans disagreed with the Nazis’ anti-Semitic policy in 1939 was about as relevant as whether Iranians today privately object to the theocrats’ rhetoric.

President Obama should know better. The problem is not that Iranian “hardliners” are chanting “Death to America.” Rather, to take one example, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in good Mein Kampf fashion, has just published a book of 400-plus pages outlining the de facto end of Israel.

It is beneath a president of the United States to equate U.S. congressional representatives with theocratic fascists. But that comparison is about what Obama offered when he declared, “It’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.”

One wonders whether Obama includes in his weird Iran/U.S. Congress “common cause” the man designated to succeed Harry Reid as the Democrats’ leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, who, after listening to Obama’s speech, promptly came out against the pact — to the rejoicing, no doubt, of Iranian “hardliners.” Or are the allies of the hardliners the majority of the American people, who also oppose the Obama deal? And what about the Chinese and Russian leaders who wholeheartedly support Obama’s deal, whether out of the desire for lucre, or for humiliation of the U.S. in the present and in the future — or both? Does Obama envision himself and the Iranian theocracy allied against American and Iranian “hardliners” — as if his affinities to the Khamenei clique trump those to, say, Senator Marco Rubio or Senator John McCain?

It is rich from Obama to declare that critics of the deal are playing politics and endangering U.S. credibility: this, from a man who, as senator, in the middle of the critical surge in Iraq in 2007 declared it a failure and advocated pulling out all U.S. troops in the spring of 2008. It was Obama who destroyed U.S. credibility by setting empty deadlines with Iran, empty step-over lines with Russia, and an empty red line with Syria, while promising to shepherd Libya to a stable postwar government, a policy whose natural trajectory ended in Benghazi.

All the contortions that Barack Obama has offered about Iraq — damning the invasion in 2003; claiming in 2004 that he had no policy differences on Iraq with the Bush administration; declaring in 2007 that the surge would fail; demanding in 2008 as a presidential candidate that all U.S. troops be brought home; assuring the world in 2011 that Iraq was “stable” and “self-reliant” as he pulled out all American peacekeepers; reassuring the world in 2014 that Iraq’s ISIS was not a real threat; and then deciding in 2015 that it was, as he ordered forces back in — have been predicated on perceived political advantage. That also explains why the deal was not presented as a treaty requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate, as the Constitution outlines.

The final irony? President Obama’s rambling and mean-spirited speech may well achieve the opposite effect of its apparent intention. It may persuade some members of his own party that they could do a lot better than joining a dishonest deal and a disingenuous deal-maker.

Voir aussi:

Iran’s North Korean Future

Victor Davis Hanson

National review

April 11, 2013

The idea of a nuclear Iran — and of preventing a nuclear Iran — terrifies security analysts.

Those who argue for a preemptive strike against Iran cannot explain exactly how American planes and missiles would take out all the subterranean nuclear facilities without missing a stashed nuke or two — or whether they might as well expand their target lists to Iranian military assets in general. None can predict the fallout on world oil prices, global terrorism, and the politically fragile Persian Gulf, other than that it would be uniformly bad.

In contrast, those who favor containment of a nuclear Iran do not quite know how the theocracy could be deterred — or how either Israel or the regional Sunni Arab regimes will react to such a powerful and unpredictable neighbor.

The present crisis with North Korea offers us a glimpse of what, and what not, to expect should Iran get the bomb. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would gain the attention currently being paid to Kim Jong Un — attention not otherwise earned by his nation’s economy or cultural influence.

We should assume that the Iranian theocracy, like the seven-decade-long Kim dynasty in North Korea, would periodically sound lunatic: threatening its neighbors and promising a firestorm in the region — if not eventually in the United States and Europe as well.

An oil-rich, conventionally armed Iran has already used that playbook. When it becomes nuclear, those previously stale warnings of ending Israel or attacking U.S. facilities in the Persian Gulf will not be entirely laughed off, just as Kim Jong Un’s insane diatribes are now not so easily dismissed.

North Korea has taught the world that feigned madness in nuclear poker earns either foreign aid or worldwide attention — given that even a 99 percent surety of a bluff can still scare Western publics. North Korea is the proverbial nutty failed neighbor who constantly picks on the successful suburbanites next door, on the premise that the neighbors will heed his wild, nonsensical threats because he has nothing and they have everything to lose.

Iran could copy Kim’s model endlessly — one week threatening to wipe Israel off the map, the next backing down and complaining that problems in translation distorted the actual, less bellicose communiqué. The point would not necessarily be to actually nuke Israel (which would translate into the end of Persian culture for a century), but to create such an atmosphere of worry and gloom over the Jewish state as to weaken its economy, encourage emigration, and erode its geostrategic reputation.

North Korea is a past master of such nuclear-shakedown tactics. At times Pyongyang has reduced two Asian powerhouses — Japan and South Korea — to near paralysis. Can the nations that gave the world Toyota and Samsung really count on the American defense umbrella? Should they go nuclear themselves? Can North Korean leadership be continually bought off with foreign aid, or is it really as crazy serious as it sounds?

Iran would also be different from other nuclear rogue states. The West often fears a nuclear Pakistan, given that a large part of its tribal lands is ungovernable and overrun with Islamic radicals. Its government is friendly to the West only to the degree that American aid continues.

Yet far larger and more powerful India deters nuclear Pakistan. For all the wild talk from both the Pakistani government and tribal terrorists, there is general fear in Pakistan that India has superior conventional and nuclear forces. India is also unpredictable and not the sort of nation that can be periodically threatened and shaken down for concessions.

Iran has no comparable existential enemy of a billion people — only a tiny Israel of some seven million. The result is that there is no commensurate regional deterrent.

Nor does Iran have a tough master like nuclear China. Even Beijing finally pulls on the leash when its unpredictable North Korean client has threatened to bully neighbors and create too unprofitable a fuss.

Of course, China enjoys the angst that its subordinate causes its rivals. It also sees North Korea as a valuable impediment to a huge, unified, and Westernized Korea on its borders. But that said, China does not want a nuclear war in its backyard. That fact ultimately means North Korea is muzzled once its barking becomes too obnoxious.

A nuclear Iran would worry about neither a billion-person nuclear existential enemy nearby such as India, nor a billion-person patron such as China that would establish redlines to its periodic madness. Instead, Tehran would be free to do and say what it pleased. And its nuclear status would become a force multiplier to its enormous oil wealth and self-acclaimed world leadership of Shiite Muslims.

If North Korea has been a danger, then a bigger, richer, and undeterred nuclear Iran would be a nightmare.

Voir encore:

Obama’s Legacy and the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Gary C. Gambill
The National Post
August 18, 2015

Originally published under the title, « Obama’s Legacy-Making Agreement »

U.S. President Barack Obama’s choice of American University, where John F. Kennedy gave a famous 1963 speech calling for peace and nuclear disarmament, to deliver his most impassioned defence of the recently signed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) earlier this month was no accident. In seeking to convince Congress and the American people that the JCPOA adequately defuses the Iranian nuclear threat, the White House and its supporters have been routinely referring to the agreement as the cornerstone of his foreign policy legacy.

This messaging is partly intended as a signal of resolve to fence-sitting Democrats, who might think twice about opposing the signature foreign policy initiative of a president from their own party. But there is a deeper message implicit in the endless repetition of this talking point — that Obama wouldn’t be foolish enough to double down on the JCPOA if what the critics are saying about it is true. « Look, 20 years from now, I’m still going to be around, God willing, » the president told The Atlantic in May. « If Iran has a nuclear weapon, it’s my name on this. »

This argument, which National Review opinion editor Patrick Brennan paraphrases as, « Settle on a deal that would ruin my foreign policy legacy? But I want to have a good legacy! » is not without logic. Obama’s a smart guy, with the entire U.S. intelligence apparatus at his disposal. If he’s willing to bet his own farm on the JCPOA, it can’t be that bad, can it?

Legacy-making and the defence of U.S. national interests are two different things.

Unfortunately, yes. If smarts, knowledge and the desire to be judged favourably by history guaranteed foreign policy success, presidents would seldom make mistakes. Obama says he has « never been more certain about a policy decision than this one, » but he also thought overthrowing Qaddafi would be a hoot and look how that turned out. Clearly he’s not omniscient.

But the larger problem with the my-name-on-it argument is that legacy-making and the defence of U.S. national interests are two different things. Good policy decisions don’t always highlight White House leadership in ways that can fill a wing of a presidential library. Whatever the merits of Obama’s handling of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, presidential historians don’t rave about preventing a bad situation from getting worse.

Moreover, a favourable legacy doesn’t always require the clear-cut advancement of U.S. national interests in the here and now. Legacy-making concerns how one’s actions will be perceived by future generations who have little sense of the context and details. Whereas elected officials ordinarily strive to be responsive to the interests and preferences of constituents, a legacy-seeking president seeks vindication in the political hereafter.

Good policy doesn’t always highlight White House leadership in ways that can fill a wing of a presidential library.

This is a slippery slope for a progressive like Obama, who surely assumes that future generations will be more sympathetic to his worldview than his contemporaries. He may therefore reason that a charitable judgment can best be ensured by staying true to himself, as it were, even if it entails serious security risks, all the more so because his administration has deviated from these presumed future norms in other areas (e.g., drone strikes).

This may have given Obama reason to prefer a deeply flawed agreement that embodies his worldview over walking away from the table with nothing at all. Failed negotiations — or a continued succession of interim agreements that hands the ball to his successor — don’t interest Steven Spielberg. At a time when prospects of an unvarnished domestic policy triumph have dimmed, and after his ambitious effort to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian talks went nowhere, the Iran negotiations were his last chance to do something big.

Whatever his reasons, Obama’s approach has been to extract as many concessions from Iran as possible before he leaves office, but not leave the table without an agreement. Unfortunately, the Iranians correctly ascertained that he could not afford to take no for an answer, and that standing firm on unreasonable demands would bring American flexibility. The end result is that an « international effort, buttressed by six UN resolutions, to deny Iran the capability to develop a military nuclear option, » former secretary of state Henry Kissinger explained in congressional testimony early this year, soon became « an essentially bilateral negotiation over the scope of that capability, » with the scope of capability acceptable to the administration widening dramatically as the negotiations wore on.

Congress and the American people should give the Obama administration a fair hearing and evaluate the JCPOA on its merits, but pay no attention to the president’s expressions of boundless confidence in the agreement. It’s a good bet even he never imagined he’d have to settle for such a crappy deal.

Gary C. Gambill is a research fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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