Présidence Trump: Ils déversent leurs problèmes sur les États-Unis (As with many of his crusades, guess who basic numbers always seem to support in the end ?)

15 juillet, 2018
At that point, you’ve got Europe and a number of Gulf countries who despise Qaddafi, or are concerned on a humanitarian basis, who are calling for action. But what has been a habit over the last several decades in these circumstances is people pushing us to act but then showing an unwillingness to put any skin in the game. (…) Free riders (…) So what I said at that point was, we should act as part of an international coalition. But because this is not at the core of our interests, we need to get a UN mandate; we need Europeans and Gulf countries to be actively involved in the coalition; we will apply the military capabilities that are unique to us, but we expect others to carry their weight. Obama (2016)
Trump’s approval rating trajectory has diverged from past presidents. Trump’s approval rating has actually ticked up as the 2018 midterm elections approach. The Hill
Nous protégeons l’Allemagne, la France et tout le monde et nous payons beaucoup d’argent pour ça… Ça dure depuis des décennies mais je dois m’en occuper parce que c’est très injuste pour notre pays et pour nos contribuables. Nous sommes censés vous défendre contre la Russie alors pourquoi payez-vous des milliards de dollars à la Russie pour l’énergie ! En fait l’Allemagne est captive de la Russie. Donald Trump
Quand le Mexique nous envoie ces gens, ils n’envoient pas les meilleurs d’entre eux. Ils apportent des drogues. Ils apportent le crime. Ce sont des violeurs. Donald Trump
Ce que je dis – et j’ai beaucoup de respect pour les Mexicains. J’aime les Mexicains. J’ai beaucoup de Mexicains qui travaillent pour moi et ils sont géniaux. Mais nous parlons ici d’un gouvernement beaucoup plus intelligent que notre gouvernement. Beaucoup plus malin, plus rusé que notre gouvernement, et ils envoient des gens. Et ils envoient – si vous vous souvenez, il y a des années, quand Castro a ouvert ses prisons et il les a envoyés partout aux États-Unis (…) Et vous savez, ce sont les nombreux repris de justice endurcis qu’il a envoyés. Et, vous savez, c’était il y a longtemps, mais (…)  à titre d’exemple, cet horrible gars qui a tué une belle femme à San Francisco. Le Mexique ne le veut pas. Alors ils l’envoient. Comment pensez-vous qu’il est arrivé ici cinq fois? Ils le chassent. Ils déversent leurs problèmes sur États-Unis et nous n’en parlons pas parce que nos politiciens sont stupides. (…) Et je vais vous dire quelque chose: la jeune femme qui a été tuée – c’était une statistique. Ce n’était même pas une histoire. Ma femme me l’a rapporté. Elle a dit, vous savez, elle a vu ce petit article sur la jeune femme de San Francisco qui a été tuée, et j’ai fait des recherches et j’ai découvert qu’elle a été tuée par cet animal … qui est venu illégalement dans le pays plusieurs fois et qui d’ailleurs a une longue liste de condamnations. Et je l’ai rendu public et maintenant c’est la plus grande histoire du monde en ce moment. … Sa vie sera très importante pour de nombreuses raisons, mais l’une d’entre elles sera de jeter de la lumière et de faire la lumière sur ce qui se passe dans ce pays. Donald Trump
Ou vous avez des frontières ou vous n’avez pas de frontières. Maintenant, cela ne signifie pas que vous ne pouvez pas permettre à quelqu’un de vraiment bien devenir citoyen. Mais je pense qu’une partie du problème de ce pays est que nous accueillons des gens qui, dans certains cas, sont bons et, dans certains cas, ne sont pas bons et, dans certains cas, sont des criminels. Je me souviens, il y a des années, que Castro envoyait le pire qu’il avait dans ce pays. Il envoyait des criminels dans ce pays, et nous l’avons fait avec d’autres pays où ils nous utilisent comme dépotoir. Et franchement, le fait que nous permettons que cela se produise est ce qui fait vraiment du mal à notre pays. Donald Trump
I was in primary school in my native Colombia when my father was murdered. I was six – just one year older than my daughter is now. My father was an officer in the Colombian army at a time when wearing a uniform made you a target for narcoterrorists, Farc fighters and guerrilla groups. What I remember clearly from those early years is the bombing and the terror. I was so afraid, especially after my dad died. At night, I would curl up in my mother’s bed while she held me close. She could not promise me that everything was going to be all right, because it wasn’t true. I don’t want my daughter to grow up like that. But when I turn on my TV, I see terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and in Orlando. There are dangerous people coming across our borders. Trump was right. Some are rapists and criminals, but some are good people, too. But how do we know who is who, when you come here illegally? I moved to the US in 2006 on a work permit. It took nearly five years and thousands of dollars to become a US citizen. I know the process is not perfect, but it’s the law. Why would I want illegals coming in when I had to go through this? It’s not fair that they’re allowed to jump the line and take advantage of so many benefits, ones that I pay for with my tax dollars. People assume that because I’m a woman, I should vote for the woman; or that because I’m Latina, I should vote for the Democrat. The Democrats have been pandering to minorities and women for the last 50 years. They treat Latinos as if we’re all one big group. I’m Colombian – I don’t like Mariachi music. Donald Trump is not just saying what he thinks people want to hear, he’s saying what they’re afraid to say. I believe that he’s the only candidate who can make America strong and safe again. Ximena Barreto (31, San Diego, California)
This week, as President Trump comes out in support of a bill that seeks to halve legal immigration to the United States, his administration is emphasizing the idea that Americans and their jobs need to be protected from all newcomers—undocumented and documented. To support that idea, his senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has turned to a moment in American history that is often referenced by those who support curbing immigration: the Mariel boatlift of 1980. But, in fact, much of the conventional wisdom about that episode is based on falsehoods rooted in Cold War rhetoric. During a press briefing on Wednesday, journalist Glenn Thrush asked Miller to provide statistics showing the correlation between the presence of low-skill immigrants and decreased wages for U.S.-born and naturalized workers. In response, Miller noted the findings of a recent study by Harvard economist George Borjas on the Mariel boatlift, which contentiously argued that the influx of over 125,000 Cubans who entered the United States from April to October of 1980 decreased wages for southern Florida’s less educated workers. Borjas’ study, which challenged an earlier influential study by Berkeley economist David Card, has received major criticisms. A lively debate persists among economists about the study’s methods, limited sample size and interpretation of the region’s racial categories—but Miller’s conjuring of Mariel is contentious on its own merits. The Mariel boatlift is an outlier in the pages of U.S. immigration history because it was, at its core, a result of Cold War posturing between the United States and Cuba. Fidel Castro found himself in a precarious situation in April 1980 when thousands of Cubans stormed the Peruvian embassy seeking asylum. Castro opened up the port of Mariel and claimed he would let anyone who wanted to leave Cuba to do so. Across the Florida Straits, the United States especially prioritized receiving people who fled communist regimes as a Cold War imperative. Because the newly minted Refugee Act had just been enacted—largely to address the longstanding bias that favored people fleeing communism—the Marielitos were admitted under an ambiguous, emergency-based designation: “Cuban-Haitian entrant (status pending).” (…) In order to save face, Castro put forward the narrative that the Cubans who sought to leave the island were the dregs of society and counter-revolutionaries who needed to be purged because they could never prove productive to the nation. This sentiment, along with reports that he had opened his jails and mental institutes as part of this boatlift, fueled a mythology that the Marielitos were a criminal, violent, sexually deviant and altogether “undesirable” demographic. In reality, more than 80% of the Marielitos had no criminal past, even in a nation where “criminality” could include acts antithetical to the revolutionary government’s ideals. In addition to roughly 1,500 mentally and physically disabled people, this wave of Cubans included a significant number of sex workers and queer and transgender people—some of whom were part of the minority who had criminal-justice involvement, having been formerly incarcerated because of their gender and sexual transgression. Part of what made Castro’s propaganda scheme so successful was that his regime’s repudiation of Marielitos found an eager audience in the United States among those who found it useful to fuel the nativist furnace. U.S. legislators, policymakers and many in the general public accepted Castro’s negative depiction of the Marielitos as truth. By 1983, the film Scarface had even fictionalized a Marielito as a druglord and violent criminal. Then and now, the boatlift proved incredibly unpopular among those living in the United States and is often cited as one of the most vivid examples of the dangers of lax immigration enforcement. In fact, many of President Jimmy Carter’s opponents listed Mariel as one of his and the Democratic Party’s greatest failures, even as his Republican successor, President Ronald Reagan, also embraced the Marielitos as part of an ideological campaign against Cuba. Julio Capó, Jr.
For an economist, there’s a straightforward way to study how low-skill immigration affects native workers: Find a large, sudden wave of low-skill immigrants arriving in one city only. Watch what happens to wages and employment for native workers in that city, and compare that to other cities where the immigrants didn’t go. An ideal “natural experiment” like this actually happened in Miami in 1980. Over just a few months, 125,000 mostly low-skill immigrants arrived from Mariel Bay, Cuba. This vast seaborne exodus — Fidel Castro briefly lifted Cuba’s ban on emigration -— is known as the Mariel boatlift. Over the next few months, the workforce of Miami rose by 8 percent. By comparison, normal immigration to the US increases the nationwide workforce by about 0.3 percent per year. So if immigrants compete with native workers, Miami in the 1980s is exactly where you should see natives’ wages drop. Berkeley’s Card examined the effects of the Cuban immigrants on the labor market in a massively influential study in 1990. In fact, that paper became one of the most cited in immigration economics. The design of the study was elegant and transparent. But even more than that, what made the study memorable was what Card found. In a word: nothing. The Card study found no difference in wage or employment trends between Miami — which had just been flooded with new low-skill workers — and other cities. This was true for workers even at the bottom of the skills ladder. Card concluded that “the Mariel immigration had essentially no effect on the wages or employment outcomes of non-Cuban workers in the Miami labor market. » (…) Economists ever since have tried to explain this remarkable result. Was it that the US workers who might have suffered a wage drop had simply moved away? Had low-skill Cubans made native Miamians more productive by specializing in different tasks, thus stimulating the local economy? Was it that the Cubans’ own demand for goods and services had generated as many jobs in Miami as they filled? Or perhaps was it that Miami employers shifted to production technologies that used more low-skill labor, absorbing the new labor supply? Regardless, there was no dip in wages to explain. The real-life economy was evidently more complex than an “Econ 101” model would predict. Such a model would require wages to fall when the supply of labor, through immigration, goes up. This is where two new studies came in, decades after Card’s — in 2015. One, by Borjas, claims that Card’s analysis had obscured a large fall in the wages of native workers by using too broad a definition of “low-skill worker.” Card’s study had looked at the wages of US workers whose education extended only to high school or less. That was a natural choice, since about half of the newly-arrived Cubans had a high school degree, and half didn’t. Borjas, instead, focuses on workers who did not finish high school — and claimed that the Boatlift caused the wages of those workers, those truly at the bottom of the ladder, to collapse. The other new study (ungated here), by economists Giovanni Peri and Vasil Yasenov, of the UC Davis and UC Berkeley, reconfirms Card’s original result: It cannot detect an effect of the boatlift on Miami wages, even among workers who did not finish high school. (The wages of Miami workers with high school degrees (and no more than that) jump up right after the Mariel boatlift, relative to prior trends. The wages of those with less than a high school education appear to dip slightly, for a couple of years, although this is barely distinguishable amid the statistical noise. And these same inflation-adjusted wages were also falling in many other cities that didn’t receive a wave of immigrants, so it’s not possible to say with statistical confidence whether that brief dip on the right is real. It might have been — but economists can’t be sure. The rise on the left, in contrast, is certainly statistically significant, even relative to corresponding wage trends in other cities. Here is how the Borjas study reaches exactly the opposite conclusion. The Borjas study slices up the data much more finely than even Peri and Yasenov do. It’s not every worker with less than high school that he looks at. Borjas starts with the full sample of workers of high school or less — then removes women, and Hispanics, and workers who aren’t prime age (that is, he tosses out those who are 19 to 24, and 60 to 65). And then he removes workers who have a high school degree. In all, that means throwing out the data for 91 percent of low-skill workers in Miami in the years where Borjas finds the largest wage effect. It leaves a tiny sample, just 17 workers per year. When you do that, the average wages for the remaining workers look like this: (…) For these observations picked out of the broader dataset, average wages collapse by at least 40 percent after the boatlift. Wages fall way below their previous trend, as well as way below similar trends in other cities, and the fall is highly statistically significant. There are two ways to interpret these findings. The first way would be to conclude that the wage trend seen in the subgroup that Borjas focuses on — non-Hispanic prime-age men with less than a high school degree — is the “real” effect of the boatlift. The second way would be to conclude, as Peri and Yasenov do, that slicing up small data samples like this generates a great deal of statistical noise. If you do enough slicing along those lines, you can find groups for which wages rose after the Boatlift, and others for which it fell. In any dataset with a lot of noise, the results for very small groups will vary widely. Researchers can and do disagree about which conclusion to draw. But there are many reasons to favor the view that there is no compelling basis to revise Card’s original finding. There is not sufficient evidence to show that Cuban immigrants reduced any low-skill workers’ wages in Miami, even small minorities of them, and there isn’t much more that can be learned about the Mariel boatlift with the data we have. (…) Around 1980, the same time as the Boatlift, two things happened that would bring a lot more low-wage black men into the survey samples. First, there was a simultaneous arrival of large numbers of very low-income immigrants from Haiti without high school degrees: that is, non-Hispanic black men who earn much less than US black workers but cannot be distinguished from US black workers in the survey data. Nearly all hadn’t finished high school. That meant not just that Miami suddenly had far more black men with less than high school after 1980, but also that those black men had much lower earnings. Second, the Census Bureau, which ran the CPS surveys, improved its survey methods around 1980 to cover more low-skill black men due to political pressure after research revealed that many low-income black men simply weren’t being counted. (…) In sum, the evidence from the Mariel boatlift continues to support the conclusion of David Card’s seminal research: There is no clear evidence that wages fell (or that unemployment rose) among the least-skilled workers in Miami, even after a sudden refugee wave sharply raised the size of that workforce. This does not by any means imply that large waves of low-skill immigration could not displace any native workers, especially in the short term, in other times and places. But politicians’ pronouncements that immigrants necessarily do harm native workers must grapple with the evidence from real-world experiences to the contrary. Michael Clemens (Center for Global Development, Washington, DC)
His name was Luis Felipe. Born in Cuba in 1962, he came to the United States on a fishing boat and ended up in prison for shooting his girlfriend. He founded the New York chapter of the Latin Kings in 1986. Soon he was ordering murders from his prison cell. Esquire
Judge Martin says the extreme conditions are necessary to protect society.  »I do not do it out of my sense of cruelty, » the judge said at the sentencing, after Mr. Felipe had expressed remorse for the killings. But noting that the defendant had been convicted for ordering the murder of three Latin Kings and the attempted murder of four others, the judge said that without such restrictions,  »some of the young men sitting in this court today who are supporters of Mr. Felipe might well be murdered in the future. » (…) That Mr. Felipe, a man of charisma and intelligence, is nonetheless a ruthless criminal is not in dispute. His accounts of his background vary. He has said that his mother was a prostitute and that both parents are now dead. At the age of 9, he was sent to prison for robbery. On his 19th birthday in 1980, he arrived in the United States during the Mariel boatlift. In short order, Mr. Felipe became a street thug, settling in Chicago. There he joined the Latin Kings, a Hispanic organization established in the 1940’s. He moved to the Bronx. One night in 1981, in what has been described as a drunken accident, he shot and killed his girlfriend. He fled to Chicago and was not apprehended until 1984. Sentenced to nine years for second-degree manslaughter, he ended up at Collins Correctional Facility in Helmuth, N.Y. At Collins, he found an inmate system lorded over by black gangs and white guards. In 1986, he started a fledgling New York prison chapter of the Latin Kings. In a manifesto that followers circulated, he laid out elaborate laws and rituals, emphasizing Latin pride, family values, rigorous discipline and swift punishment. He was paroled in 1989 but by 1991 had returned to prison. He was eventually sent to Attica for a three-year sentence for possession of stolen property. His word spread, not least because he wrote thousands of letters, his prose a mix of flamboyant grandiosity and street bluntness. As King Blood, Inka, First Supreme Crown, Mr. Felipe corresponded with Latin Kings in and out of prison. (At its peak, the gang was estimated to have about 2,000 members.) He soared with self-aggrandizement, styling himself as both autocratic patriarch and jailhouse Ann Landers, dispensing advice about romance, family squabbles, schoolyard disputes. But in 1993 and 1994, disciplinary troubles erupted throughout the Latin Kings, with members vying for power, filching gang money, looking sideways at the wrong women. Infuriated, King Blood wrote to his street lieutenants: B.O.S. (beat on sight) and T.O.S. (terminate on sight).  »Even while he was in Attica in segregation, he was able to order the leader of the Latin Kings on Rikers Island to murder someone who ended up being badly slashed in the face, » said Alexandra A. E. Shapiro, a Federal prosecutor. One victim was choked and beheaded. A second was killed accidentally during an attempt on another man. A third was gunned down. Federal authorities, who had been monitoring Mr. Felipe’s mail, arrested 35 Latin Kings. Thirty-four pleaded guilty. Only Mr. Felipe insisted on a trial. The Latin Kings still revere him, said Antonio Fernandez, King Tone, the gang’s new leader, who is trying to reposition it as a mainstream organization.  »He brought a message of hope, » he said. NYT
Luis « King Blood » Felipe, who founded the New York chapter in 1986 (…) ran the gang from prison like a demented puppet-master. He ordered the murders of three Kings and plotted to murder three others. He routinely dispatched « T.O.S. » orders–shorthand for « Terminate on Sight. » In one particularly gory execution, a rival was strangled, decapitated and set afire in a bathtub. His Kings tattoo was peeled off his arm with a knife. Convicted of racketeering in 1996, Felipe was sentenced to life imprisonment in solitary confinement to cut him off from the Kings. LA Times
Julio Gonzalez, a jilted lover whose arson revenge at the unlicensed Happy Land nightclub in the Bronx in 1990 claimed 87 lives, making him the nation’s worst single mass murderer at the time, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Plattsburgh, N.Y., where he had been taken from prison. He was 61 (…) Mr. Gonzalez was born in Holguín, a city in Oriente Province in Cuba, on Oct. 10, 1954. He served three years in prison in the 1970s for deserting the Cuban Army. In 1980, when he was 25, he joined what became known as the Mariel boatlift, an effort organized by Cuban-Americans and agreed to by the Cuban government that brought thousands of Cuban asylum-seekers to the United States. It was later learned that many of the refugees had been released from jails and mental hospitals. Mr. Gonzalez was said to have faked a criminal record as a drug dealer to help him gain passage. (…) Mr. Gonzalez had just lost his job at a Queens lamp warehouse when he showed up at Happy Land. There he argued heatedly with his girlfriend, Lydia Feliciano, about their six-year on-again, off-again relationship and about her quitting as a coat checker at the club. Around 3 a.m., a bouncer ejected him. According to testimony, Mr. Gonzalez walked three blocks to an Amoco service station, where he found an empty one-gallon container and bought $1 worth of gasoline from an attendant he knew there. He returned to the club. (…) Mr. Gonzalez splashed the gasoline at the bottom of a rickety staircase, the club’s only means of exit, and ignited it. Then he went home and fell asleep. (…) Ms. Feliciano was among the six survivors. She recounted her argument with Mr. Gonzalez to the police, who went to his apartment, where he confessed. “I got angry, the devil got to me, and I set the fire,” he told detectives. (…) During a video conference-call interview at the time, he said he had not realized how many people were inside Happy Land that night, that he had nothing against them and that his anger had been directed at the bouncer. NYT
Cet exode des Marielitos a commencé par un coup de force. Le 5 avril 1980, 10 000 Cubains entrent dans l’ambassade du Pérou à La Havane et demandent à ce pays de leur accorder asile. Dix jours plus tard, Castro déclare que ceux qui veulent quitter Cuba peuvent le faire à condition d’abandonner leurs biens et que les Cubains de Floride viennent les chercher au port de Mariel. L’hypothèse est que Castro voit dans cette affaire une double opportunité : Il se débarrasse d’opposants -il en profite également pour vider ses prisons et ses asiles mentaux et sans doute infiltrer, parmi les réfugiés, quelques agents castristes ; Il espère que cet afflux soudain d’exilés va profondément déstabiliser le sud de la Floride et affaiblir plus encore le brave Président Jimmy Carter, préchi-prêcheur démocrate des droits de l’homme, un peu trop à gauche pour endosser l’habit de grand Satan impérialiste que taille à tous les élus de la Maison Blanche le leader cubain. De fait, du 15 avril au 31 octobre 1980, quelque 125 000 Cubains quitteront l’île. 2 746 d’entre eux ont été considérés comme des criminels selon les lois des Etats-Unis et incarcérés. Le Nouvel Obs
Avec l’autorisation du président Fidel Castro, 125 000 Cubains quittent leur île par le port de Mariel pour trouver refuge aux États-Unis. Cet exode massif posera plusieurs problèmes aux Américains qui y mettront un terme après deux mois. Le 3 avril 1980, six Cubains entrent de force à l’ambassade du Pérou à La Havane pour s’y réfugier. Les autorités cubaines demandent leur retour sans succès. Voulant donner une leçon au Pérou, le président Castro fait retirer les gardes protégeant l’ambassade. Celle-ci est submergée par plus de 10 000 personnes qui sont vite aux prises avec des problèmes de salubrité et le manque de nourriture. Pendant que d’autres ambassades sont envahies (Costa Rica, Espagne), la communauté cubano-américaine entreprend une campagne de support. Voulant récupérer le mouvement, Castro annonce le 23 avril une politique de porte ouverte pour ceux qui veulent quitter Cuba. Il invite les Cubains habitant aux États-Unis à venir chercher leurs proches au port de Mariel. Cet exode, qui se fait avec 17 000 navires de toutes sortes, implique environ 125 000 personnes, en grande partie des gens de la classe ouvrière, des Noirs et des jeunes. Son envergure reflète un profond mécontentement face à l’économie cubaine et la baisse de la ferveur révolutionnaire. D’abord favorables à cet exode, les États-Unis sont vite débordés. Le 14 mai, le président Jimmy Carter fait établir un cordon de sécurité pour arrêter les navires. Placés dans des camps militaires et des prisons fédérales, les réfugiés sont interrogés à leur arrivée. Parmi eux, on retrouve des criminels et des malades mentaux qui ont quitté avec le soutien des autorités cubaines, ce qui a un effet négatif sur la population. Carter cherche à remplacer l’exode maritime par un pont aérien avec un quota de 3000 personnes par année. Mais aucun accord n’est conclu avec Cuba. Submergées par un exode en provenance de Haïti, les autorités américaines mettront fin à l’exode cubain le 20 juin 1980. Perspective monde
As BuzzFeed investigative reporter Ken Bensinger chronicles in his new book, Red Card: How the U.S. Blew the Whistle on the World’s Biggest Sports Scandal, the investigation’s origins began before FIFA handed the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar. The case had actually begun as an FBI probe into an illegal gambling ring the bureau believed was run by people with ties to Russian organized crime outfits. The ring operated out of Trump Tower in New York City. Eventually, the investigation spread to soccer, thanks in part to an Internal Revenue Service agent named Steve Berryman, a central figure in Bensinger’s book who pieced together the financial transactions that formed the backbone of the corruption allegations. But first, it was tips from British journalist Andrew Jennings and Christopher Steele ― the former British spy who is now known to American political observers as the man behind the infamous so-called “pee tape” dossier chronicling now-President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia ― that pointed the Americans’ attention toward the Russian World Cup, and the decades of bribery and corruption that had transformed FIFA from a modest organization with a shoestring budget into a multibillion-dollar enterprise in charge of the world’s most popular sport. Later, the feds arrested and flipped Chuck Blazer, a corrupt American soccer official and member of FIFA’s vaunted Executive Committee. It was Blazer who helped them crack the case wide open, as HuffPost’s Mary Papenfuss and co-author Teri Thompson chronicled in their book American Huckster, based on the 2014 story they broke of Blazer’s role in the scandal. Russia’s efforts to secure hosting rights to the 2018 World Cup never became a central part of the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice’s case. Thanks to Blazer, it instead focused primarily on CONCACAF, which governs soccer in the Caribbean and North and Central America, and other officials from South America. But as Bensinger explained in an interview with HuffPost this week, the FIFA case gave American law enforcement officials an early glimpse into the “Machiavellian Russia” of Vladimir Putin “that will do anything to get what it wants and doesn’t care how it does it.” And it was Steele’s role in the earliest aspects of the FIFA case, coincidentally, that fostered the relationship that led him to hand his Trump dossier to the FBI ― the dossier that has now helped form “a big piece of the investigative blueprint,” as Bensinger said, that former FBI director Robert Mueller is using in his probe of Russian meddling in the election that made Trump president. HuffPost
There are sort of these weird connections to everything going on in the political sphere in our country, which I think is interesting because when I was reporting the book out, it was mostly before the election. It was a time when Christopher Steele’s name didn’t mean anything. But what I figured out over time is that this had nothing to do with sour grapes, and the FBI agents who opened the case didn’t really care about losing the World Cup. The theory was that the U.S. investigation was started because the U.S. lost to Qatar, and Bill Clinton or Eric Holder or Barack Obama or somebody ordered up an investigation. What happened was that the investigation began in July or August 2010, four or five months before the vote happened. It starts because this FBI agent, who’s a long-term Genovese crime squad guy, gets a new squad ― the Eurasian Organized Crime Squad ― which is primarily focused on Russian stuff. It’s a squad that’s squeezed of resources and not doing much because under Robert Mueller, who was the FBI director at the time, the FBI was not interested in traditional crime-fighting. They were interested in what Mueller called transnational crime. So this agent looked for cases that he thought would score points with Mueller. And one of the cases they’re doing involves the Trump Tower. It’s this illegal poker game and sports book that’s partially run out of the Trump Tower. The main guy was a Russian mobster, and the FBI agent had gone to London ― that’s how he met Steele ― to learn about this guy. Steele told him what he knew, and they parted amicably, and the parting shot was, “Listen, if you have any other interesting leads in the future, let me know.” Steele had already been hired by the English bid for the 2018 World Cup at that point. What Chris Steele starts seeing on behalf of the English bid is the Russians doing, as it’s described in the book, sort of strange and questionable stuff. It looks funny, and it’s setting off alarm bells for Steele. So he calls the FBI agent back, and says, “You should look into what’s happening with the World Cup bid. » (…) It’s tempting to look at this as a reflection of the general U.S. writ large obsession with Russia, which certainly exists, but it’s also a different era. This was 2009, 2010. This was during the Russian reset. It was Obama’s first two years in office. He’s hugging Putin and talking about how they’re going to make things work. Russia is playing nice-nice. (…)That’s what I find interesting about this case is that, what we see in Russia’s attempt to win the World Cup by any means is the first sort of sign of the Russia we now understand exists, which is kind of a Machiavellian Russia that will do anything to get what it wants and doesn’t care how it does it. It was like a dress rehearsal for that. (…) It’s one of these things that looks like an accident, but so much of world history depends on these accidents. Chris Steele, when he was still at MI-6, investigated the death of Alexander Litvinenko, who was the Russian spy poisoned with polonium. It was Steele who ran that investigation and determined that Putin probably ordered it. And then Steele gets hired because of his expertise in Russia by the English bid, and he becomes the canary in the coal mine saying, “Uh oh, guys, it’s not going to be that easy, and things are looking pretty grim for you.” (…) I don’t know if that would have affected whether or not Chris Steele later gets hired by Fusion GPS to put together the Trump dossier. But it’s certain that the relationship he built because of the FIFA case meant that the FBI took it more seriously.   (…) I think [FIFA vice president Jérôme Valcke] and others were recognizing this increasingly brazen attitude of the criminality within FIFA. They had gone from an organization where people were getting bribes and doing dirty stuff, but doing it very carefully behind closed doors. And it was transitioning to one where the impunity was so rampant that people thought they could do anything. And I think in his mind, awarding the World Cup to Russia under very suspicious circumstances and also awarding it to Qatar, which by any definition has no right to host this tournament, it felt to him and others like a step too far. I don’t think he had any advance knowledge that the U.S. was poking around on it, but he recognized that it was getting out of hand. People were handing out cash bribes in practically broad daylight, and as corrupt as these people were, they didn’t tend to do that. (…) The FIFA culture we know today didn’t start yesterday. It started in 1974 when this guy gets elected, and within a couple years, the corruption starts. And it starts with one bribe to Havelange, or one idea that he should be bribed. And it starts a whole culture, and the people all sort of learn from that same model. The dominoes fell over time. It’s not a new model, and things were getting more and more out of hand over time. FIFA had been able to successfully bat these challenges down over the years. There’s an attempted revolt in FIFA in 2001 or 2002 that Blatter completely shut down. The general secretary of FIFA was accusing Blatter and other people of either being involved in corruption or permitting corruption, and there’s a moment where it seems like the Executive Committee was going to turn against Blatter and vote him out and change everything. But they all blinked, and Blatter dispensed his own justice by getting rid of his No. 2 and putting in people who were going to be loyal to him. The effect of those things was more brazen behavior. (…) It was an open secret. I think it’s because soccer’s just too big and important in all these other countries. I think other countries have just never been able to figure out how to deal with it. The best you’d get was a few members of Parliament in England holding outraged press conferences or a few hearings, but nothing ever came of it. It’s just too much of a political hot potato because soccer elsewhere is so much more important than it is the U.S. People are terrified of offending the FIFA gods There’s a story about how Andrew Jennings, this British journalist, wanted to broadcast a documentary detailing FIFA corruption just a week or so before the 2010 vote, and when the British bid and the British government got a hold of it, they tried really hard to stifle the press. They begged the BBC not to air the documentary until after the vote, because they were terrified of FIFA. That’s reflective of the kind of attitudes that all these countries have. (…) it reminds me of questions about Chuck Blazer. Is he all bad, or all good? He’s a little bit of both. The U.S. women’s national team probably wouldn’t exist without him. The Women’s World Cup probably wouldn’t either. Major League Soccer got its first revenue-positive TV deal because of Chuck Blazer. (…) At the same time, he was a corrupt crook that stole a lot of money that could’ve gone to the game. And so, is he good or bad? Probably more bad than good, but he’s not all bad. That applies to the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is a totally artificial thing that was made up ultimately as a money-making scheme for Blazer, but in the end, it’s probably benefited soccer in this country. So it’s clearly not all bad. (…) The money stolen from the sport isn’t just the bribes. Let’s say I’m a sports marketing firm, and I bribe you a million dollars to sign over a rights contract to me. The first piece of it is that million dollars that could have gone to the sport. But it’s also the opportunity cost: What would the value of those rights have been if it was taken to the free market instead of a bribe? All that money is taken away from the sport. And the second thing was traveling to South America and seeing the conditions of soccer for fans, for kids and for women. That was really eye-opening. There are stadiums in Argentina and Brazil that are absolutely decrepit. And people would explain, the money that was supposed to come to these clubs never comes. You have kids still playing with the proverbial ball made of rags and duct tape, and little girls who can’t play because there are no facilities or leagues for women at all. When you see that, and then you see dudes making millions in bribes and also marketing guys making far more from paying the bribes, I started to get indignant about it. FIFA always ties itself to children and the good of the game. But it’s absurd when you see how they operate. The money doesn’t go to kids. It goes to making soccer officials rich. (…) When massive amounts of money mixes with a massively popular cultural phenomenon, is it ever going to be clean? I wish it would be different, but it seems kind of hopeless. How do you regulate soccer, and who can oversee this to make sure that people behave in an ethical, clean and fair way that benefits everyone else? It’s not an accident that every single international sports organization is based in Switzerland. The answer is because the Swiss, not only do they offer them a huge tax break, they also basically say, “You can do whatever you want and we’re not going to bother you.” That’s exactly what these groups want. Well, how do you regulate that? I don’t think the U.S. went in saying, “We’re going to regulate soccer.” I think they thought if we can give soccer a huge kick in the ass, if we can create so much public and political pressure on them that sponsors will run away, they’ll feel they have no option but to react and clean up their act. It’s sort of, kick ’em where it hurts. (…) But also, the annoying but true reality of FIFA is that when the World Cup is happening, all the soccer fans around the world forget all their anger and just want to watch the tournament. For three and a half years, everyone bitches about what a mess FIFA is, and then during the World Cup everyone just wants to watch soccer. There could be some reinvigoration in the next few months when the next stupid scandal appears. And I do think Qatar could reinvigorate more of that. There’s a tiny piece of me that thinks we could still see Qatar stripped of the World Cup. That would certainly spur a lot of conversation about this. Ken Bensinger
The United States has the world’s largest trade deficit. It’s been that way since 1975. The deficit in goods and services was $566 billion in 2017. Imports were $2.895 trillion and exports were only $2.329 trillion. The U.S. trade deficit in goods, without services, was $810 billion. The United States exported $1.551 trillion in goods. The biggest categories were commercial aircraft, automobiles, and food. It imported $2.361 trillion. The largest categories were automobiles, petroleum, and cell phones. (…) The Largest U.S. Deficit Is With China More than 65 percent of the U.S. trade deficit in goods was with China. The $375 billion deficit with China was created by $506 billion in imports. The main U.S. imports from China are consumer electronics, clothing, and machinery. Many of these imports are actually made by American companies. They ship raw materials to be assembled in China for a lower cost. They are counted as imports even though they create income and profit for these U.S. companies. Nevertheless, this practice does outsource manufacturing jobs. America only exported $130 billion in goods to China. The top three exports were agricultural products, aircraft, and electrical machinery. The second largest trade deficit is $69 billion with Japan. The world’s fifth largest economy needs the agricultural products, industrial supplies, aircraft, and pharmaceutical products that the United States makes. Exports totaled $68 billion in 2017.Imports were higher, at $137 billion. Much of this was automobiles, with industrial supplies and equipment making up another large portion. Trade has improved since the 2011 earthquake, which slowed the economy and made auto parts difficult to manufacture for several months. The U.S. trade deficit with Germany is $65 billion. The United States exports $53 billion, a large portion of which is automobiles, aircraft, and pharmaceuticals. It imports $118 billion in similar goods: automotive vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, and medicine. (…) The trade deficit with Canada is $18 billion. That’s only 3 percent of the total Canadian trade of $582 billion. The United States exports $282 billion to Canada, more than it does to any other country. It imports $300 billion. The largest export by far is automobiles and parts. Other large categories include petroleum products and industrial machinery and equipment. The largest import is crude oil and gas from Canada’s abundant shale oil fields. The trade deficit with Mexico is $71 billion. Exports are $243 billion, mostly auto parts and petroleum products. Imports are $314 billion, with cars, trucks, and auto parts being the largest components. The Balance
On connaît les photos de ces hommes et de ces femmes débarquant sur des plages européennes, engoncés dans leurs gilets de sauvetage orange, tentant à tout prix de maintenir la tête de leur enfant hors de l’eau. Impossible également d’oublier l’image du corps du petit Aylan Kurdi, devenu en 2016 le symbole planétaire du drame des migrants. Ce que l’on sait moins c’est que le « business » des passeurs rapporte beaucoup d’argent. Selon la première étude du genre de l’Office des Nations unies contre la drogue et le crime (l’UNODC), le trafic de migrants a rapporté entre 5,5 et 7 milliards de dollars (entre 4,7 et 6 milliards d’euros) en 2016. C’est l’équivalent de ce que l’Union européenne a dépensé la même année dans l’aide humanitaire, selon le rapport. (…) En 2016, au moins 2,5 millions de migrants sont passés entre les mains de passeurs, estime l’UNODC qui rappelle la difficulté d’évaluer une activité criminelle. De quoi faire fructifier les affaires de ces contrebandiers. Cette somme vient directement des poches des migrants qui paient des criminels pour voyager illégalement. Le tarif varie en fonction de la distance à parcourir, du nombre de frontières, les moyens de transport utilisés, la production de faux papiers… La richesse supposée du client est un facteur qui fait varier les prix. Evidemment, payer plus cher ne rend pas le voyage plus sûr ou plus confortable, souligne l’UNODC. Selon les estimations de cette agence des Nations unies, ce sont les passages vers l’Amérique du Nord qui rapportent le plus. En 2016, jusqu’à 820 000 personnes ont traversé la frontière illégalement, versant entre 3,1 et 3,6 milliards d’euros aux trafiquants. Suivent les trois routes de la Méditerranée vers l’Union européenne. Environ 375 000 personnes ont ainsi entrepris ce voyage en 2016, rapportant entre 274 et 300 millions d’euros aux passeurs. Pour atteindre l’Europe de l’Ouest, un Afghan peut ainsi dépenser entre 8000 € et 12 000 €. Sans surprise, les rédacteurs du rapport repèrent que l’Europe est une des destinations principales des migrants. (…) Les migrants qui arrivent en Italie sont originaires à 89 % d’Afrique, de l’Ouest principalement. 94 % de ceux qui atteignent l’Espagne sont également originaires d’Afrique, de l’Ouest et du Nord. En revanche, la Grèce accueille à 85 % des Afghans, Syriens et des personnes originaires des pays du Moyen-Orient. (…) des milliers de citoyens de pays d’Amérique centrale et de Mexicains traversent chaque année la frontière qui sépare les Etats-Unis du Mexique. Les autorités peinent cependant à quantifier les flux. Ce que l’on sait c’est qu’en 2016, 2 404 personnes ont été condamnées pour avoir fait passer des migrants aux Etats-Unis. 65 d’entre eux ont été condamnés pour avoir fait passer au moins 100 personnes.Toujours en 2016, le Mexique, qui fait office de « pays-étape » pour les voyageurs, a noté que les Guatémaltèques, les Honduriens et les Salvadoriens formaient les plus grosses communautés sur son territoire. En 2016, les migrants caribéens arrivaient principalement d’Haïti, note encore l’UNODC. (…) Sur les 8189 décès de migrants recensés par l’OIM en 2016, 3832 sont morts noyés (46 %) en traversant la Méditerranée. Les passages méditerranéens sont les plus mortels. L’un d’entre eux force notamment les migrants à parcourir 300 kilomètres en haute mer sur des embarcations précaires. C’est aussi la cruauté des passeurs qui est en cause. L’UNODC décrit le sort de certaines personnes poussées à l’eau par les trafiquants qui espèrent ainsi échapper aux gardes-côtes. Le cas de centaines de personnes enfermées dans des remorques sans ventilation, ni eau ou nourriture pendant des jours est également relevé. Meurtre, extorsion, torture, demande de rançon, traite d’être humain, violences sexuelles sont également le lot des migrants, d’où qu’ils viennent. En 2017, 382 migrants sont décédés de la main des hommes, soit 6 % des décès. (…) Le passeur est le plus souvent un homme mais des femmes (des compagnes, des sœurs, des filles ou des mères) sont parfois impliquées dans le trafic, définissent les rédacteurs de l’étude. Certains parviennent à gagner modestement leur vie, d’autres, membres d’organisations et de mafias font d’importants profits. Tous n’exercent pas cette activité criminelle à plein temps. Souvent le passeur est de la même origine que ses victimes. Il parle la même langue et partage avec elles les mêmes repères culturels, ce qui lui permet de gagner leur confiance. Le recrutement des futurs « clients » s’opère souvent dans les camps de réfugiés ou dans les quartiers pauvres. Facebook, Viber, Skype ou WhatsApp sont devenus des indispensables du contrebandier qui veut faire passer des migrants. Arrivé à destination, le voyageur publie un compte rendu sur son passeur. Il décrit s’il a triché, échoué ou s’il traitait mal les migrants. Un peu comme une note de consommateur, rapporte l’UNODC. Mieux encore, les réseaux sociaux sont utilisés par les passeurs pour leur publicité. Sur Facebook, les trafiquants présentent leurs offres, agrémentent leur publication d’une photo, détaillent les prix et les modalités de paiement. L’agence note que, sur Facebook, des passeurs se font passer pour des ONG ou des agences de voyages européennes qui organisent des passages en toute sécurité. D’autres, qui visent particulièrement les Afghans, se posent en juristes spécialistes des demandes d’asile… Le Parisien
Mr. Trump’s anger at America’s allies embodies, however unpleasantly, a not unreasonable point of view, and one that the rest of the world ignores at its peril: The global world order is unbalanced and inequitable. And unless something is done to correct it soon, it will collapse, with or without the president’s tweets. While the West happily built the liberal order over the past 70 years, with Europe at its center, the Americans had the continent’s back. In turn, as it unravels, America feels this loss of balance the hardest — it has always spent the most money and manpower to keep the system working. The Europeans have basically been free riders on the voyage, spending almost nothing on defense, and instead building vast social welfare systems at home and robust, well-protected export industries abroad. Rather than lash back at Mr. Trump, they would do better to ask how we got to this place, and how to get out. The European Union, as an institution, is one of the prime drivers of this inequity. At the Group of 7, for example, the constituent countries are described as all equals. But in reality, the union puts a thumb on the scales in its members’ favor: It is a highly integrated, well-protected free-trade area that gives a huge leg up to, say, German car manufacturers while essentially punishing American companies who want to trade in the region. The eurozone offers a similar unfair advantage. If it were not for the euro, Germany would long ago have had to appreciate its currency in line with its enormous export surplus. (…) how can the very same politicians and journalists who defended the euro bailout payments during the financial crisis, arguing that Germany profited disproportionately from the common currency, now go berserk when Mr. Trump makes exactly this point? German manufacturers also have the advantage of operating in a common market with huge wage gaps. Bulgaria, one of the poorest member states, has a per capita gross domestic product roughly equal to that of Gabon, while even in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary — three relative success stories among the recent entrants to the union — that same measure is still roughly a third of what it is in Germany. Under the European Union, German manufacturers can assemble their cars in low-wage countries and export them without worrying about tariffs or other trade barriers. If your plant sits in Detroit, you might find the president’s anger over this fact persuasive. Mr. Trump is not the first president to complain about the unfair burden sharing within NATO. He’s merely the first president not just to talk tough, but to get tough. (…) All those German politicians who oppose raising military spending from a meager 1.3 percent of gross domestic product should try to explain to American students why their European peers enjoy free universities and health care, while they leave it up to others to cover for the West’s military infrastructure (…) When the door was opened, in 2001, many in the West believed that a growing Chinese middle class, enriched by and engaged with the world economy, would eventually claim voice and suffrage, thereby democratizing China. The opposite has happened. China, which has grown wealthy in part by stealing intellectual property from the West, is turning into an online-era dictatorship, while still denying reciprocity in investment and trade relations. (…) China’s unchecked abuse of the global free-trade regime makes a mockery of the very idea that the world can operate according to a rules-based order. Again, while many in the West have talked the talk about taking on China, only Mr. Trump has actually done something about it. Jochen Bittner (Die Zeit)
Is the Trump administration out to wreck the liberal world order? No, insisted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in an interview at his office in Foggy Bottom last week: The administration’s aim is to align that world order with 21st-century realities. Many of the economic and diplomatic structures Mr. Trump stands accused of undermining, Mr. Pompeo argues, were developed in the aftermath of World War II. Back then, he tells me, they “made sense for America.” But in the post-Cold War era, amid a resurgence of geopolitical competition, “I think President Trump has properly identified a need for a reset.” Mr. Trump is suspicious of global institutions and alliances, many of which he believes are no longer paying dividends for the U.S. “When I watch President Trump give guidance to our team,” Mr. Pompeo says, “his question is always, ‘How does that structure impact America?’ ” The president isn’t interested in how a given rule “may have impacted America in the ’60s or the ’80s, or even the early 2000s,” but rather how it will enhance American power “in 2018 and beyond.” Mr. Trump’s critics have charged that his “America First” strategy reflects a retreat from global leadership. “I see it fundamentally differently,” Mr. Pompeo says. He believes Mr. Trump “recognizes the importance of American leadership” but also of “American sovereignty.” That means Mr. Trump is “prepared to be disruptive” when the U.S. finds itself constrained by “arrangements that put America, and American workers, at a disadvantage.” Mr. Pompeo sees his task as trying to reform rules “that no longer are fair and equitable” while maintaining “the important historical relationships with Europe and the countries in Asia that are truly our partners.” The U.S. relationship with Germany has come under particular strain. Mr. Pompeo cites two reasons. “It is important that they demonstrate a commitment to securing their own people,” he says, in reference to Germany’s low defense spending. “When they do so, we’re prepared to do the right thing and support them.” And then there’s trade. The Germans, he says, need to “create tariff systems and nontariff-barrier systems that are equitable, reciprocal.” But Mr. Pompeo does not see the U.S.-German rift as a permanent reorientation of U.S. foreign policy. Once the defense and trade issues are addressed, “I’m very confident that the relationship will go from these irritants we see today to being as strong as it ever was.”  (…) In addition to renegotiating relationships with existing allies, the Trump administration is facing newly assertive great-power adversaries. “For a decade plus,” Mr. Pompeo says, U.S. foreign policy was “very focused on counterrorism and much less on big power struggles.” Today, while counterterrorism remains a priority, geopolitics is increasingly defined by conflicts with powerful states like China and Russia. Mr. Pompeo says the U.S. must be assertive but flexible in dealing with both Beijing and Moscow. He wants the U.S. relationship with China to be defined by rule-writing and rule-enforcing, not anarchic struggle. China, he says, hasn’t honored “the normal set of trade understandings . . . where these nation states would trade with each other on fair and reciprocal terms; they just simply haven’t done it. They’ve engaged in intellectual property theft, predatory economic practices.” Avoiding a more serious confrontation with China down the line will require both countries to appreciate one another’s long-term interests. The U.S. can’t simply focus on “a tariff issue today, or a particular island China has decided to militarize” tomorrow. Rather, the objective must be to create a rules-based structure to avoid a situation in which “zero-sum is the endgame for the two countries.” Mr. Pompeo also sees room for limited cooperation with Russia even as the U.S. confronts its revisionism. “There are many things about which we disagree. Our value sets are incredibly different, but there are also pockets where we find overlap,” he says. “That’s the challenge for a secretary of state—to identify those places where you can work together, while protecting America against the worst pieces of those governments’ activities.” (…) And the president’s agenda, as Mr. Pompeo communicates it, is one of extraordinary ambition: to rewrite the rules of world order in America’s favor while working out stable relationships with geopolitical rivals. Those goals may prove elusive. Inertia is a powerful force in international relations, and institutions and pre-existing agreements are often hard to reform. Among other obstacles, the Trump agenda creates the risk of a global coalition forming against American demands. American efforts to negotiate more favorable trading arrangements could lead China, Europe and Japan to work jointly against the U.S. That danger is exacerbated by Mr. Trump’s penchant for dramatic gestures and his volatile personal style. Yet the U.S. remains, by far, the world’s most powerful nation, and many countries will be looking for ways to accommodate the administration at least partially. Mr. Trump is right that the international rules and institutions developed during the Cold War era must be retooled to withstand new political, economic and military pressures. Mr. Pompeo believes that Mr. Trump’s instincts, preferences, and beliefs constitute a coherent worldview. (…) The world will soon see whether the president’s tweets of iron can be smoothly sheathed in a diplomatic glove. Walter Russell Mead
Illegal and illiberal immigration exists and will continue to expand because too many special interests are invested in it. It is one of those rare anomalies — the farm bill is another — that crosses political party lines and instead unites disparate elites through their diverse but shared self-interests: live-and-let-live profits for some and raw political power for others. For corporate employers, millions of poor foreign nationals ensure cheap labor, with the state picking up the eventual social costs. For Democratic politicos, illegal immigration translates into continued expansion of favorable political demography in the American Southwest. For ethnic activists, huge annual influxes of unassimilated minorities subvert the odious melting pot and mean continuance of their own self-appointed guardianship of salad-bowl multiculturalism. Meanwhile, the upper middle classes in coastal cocoons enjoy the aristocratic privileges of having plenty of cheap household help, while having enough wealth not to worry about the social costs of illegal immigration in terms of higher taxes or the problems in public education, law enforcement, and entitlements. No wonder our elites wink and nod at the supposed realities in the current immigration bill, while selling fantasies to the majority of skeptical Americans. Victor Davis Hanson
Much has been written — some of it either inaccurate or designed to obfuscate the issue ahead of the midterms for political purposes — about the border fiasco and the unfortunate separation of children from parents. (…) The media outrage usually does not include examination of why the Trump administration is enforcing existing laws that it inherited from the Bush and Obama administrations that at any time could have been changed by both Democratic and Republican majorities in Congress; of the use of often dubious asylum claims as a way of obtaining entry otherwise denied to those without legal authorization — a gambit that injures or at least hampers thousands with legitimate claims of political persecution; of the seeming unconcern for the safety of children by some would-be asylum seekers who illegally cross the border, rather than first applying legally at a U.S. consulate abroad; of the fact that many children are deliberately sent ahead, unescorted on such dangerous treks to help facilitate their own parents’ later entrance; of the cynicism of the cartels that urge and facilitate such mass rushes to the border to overwhelm general enforcement; and of the selective outrage of the media in 2018 in a fashion not known under similar policies and detentions of the past. In 2014, during a similar rush, both Barack Obama (“Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back.”) and Hillary Clinton (“We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”) warned — again to current media silence — would-be asylum seekers not to use children as levers to enter the U.S. (…) Mexico is the recipient of about $30 billion in annual remittances (aside from perhaps more than $20 billion annually sent to Central America) from mostly illegal aliens within the U.S. It is the beneficiary of an annual $71 billion trade surplus with the U.S. And it is mostly culpable for once again using illegal immigration and the lives of its own citizens — and allowing Central Americans unfettered transit through its country — as cynical tools of domestic and foreign policy. Illegal immigration, increasingly of mostly indigenous peoples, ensures an often racist Mexico City a steady stream of remittances (now its greatest source of foreign exchange), without much worry about how its indigent abroad can scrimp to send such massive sums back to Mexico. Facilitating illegal immigration also establishes and fosters a favorable expatriate demographic inside the U.S. that helps to recalibrate U.S. policy favorably toward Mexico. And Mexico City also uses immigration as a policy irritant to the U.S. that can be magnified or lessened, depending on Mexico’s own particular foreign-policy goals and moods at any given time.
All of the above call into question whether Mexico is a NAFTA ally, a neutral, or a belligerent, a status that may become perhaps clearer during its upcoming presidential elections. So far, it assumes that the optics of this human tragedy facilitate its own political agendas, but it may be just as likely that its cynicism could fuel renewed calls for a wall and reexamination of the entire Mexican–U.S. relationship and, indeed, NAFTA.
Victor Davis Hanson
This year there have been none of the usual Iranian provocations — frequent during the Obama administration — of harassing American ships in the Persian Gulf. Apparently, the Iranians now realize that anything they do to an American ship will be replied to with overwhelming force. Ditto North Korea. After lots of threats from Kim Jong-un about using his new ballistic missiles against the United States, Trump warned that he would use America’s far greater arsenal to eliminate North Korea’s arsenal for good. Trump is said to be undermining NATO by questioning its usefulness some 69 years after its founding. Yet this is not 1948, and Germany is no longer down. The United States is always in. And Russia is hardly out but is instead cutting energy deals with the Europeans. More significantly, most NATO countries have failed to keep their promises to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Yet the vast majority of the 29 alliance members are far closer than the U.S. to the dangers of Middle East terrorism and supposed Russian bullying. Why does Germany by design run up a $65 billion annual trade surplus with the United States? Why does such a wealthy country spend only 1.2 percent of its GDP on defense? And if Germany has entered into energy agreements with a supposedly dangerous Vladimir Putin, why does it still need to have its security subsidized by the American military? Trump approaches NAFTA in the same reductionist way. The 24-year-old treaty was supposed to stabilize, if not equalize, all trade, immigration, and commerce between the three supposed North American allies. It never quite happened that way. Unequal tariffs remained. Both Canada and Mexico have substantial trade surpluses with the U.S. In Mexico’s case, it enjoys a $71 billion surplus, the largest of U.S. trading partners with the exception of China. Canada never honored its NATO security commitment. It spends only 1 percent of its GDP on defense, rightly assuming that the U.S. will continue to underwrite its security. During the lifetime of NAFTA, Mexico has encouraged millions of its citizens to enter the U.S. illegally. Mexico’s selfish immigration policy is designed to avoid internal reform, to earn some $30 billion in annual expatriate remittances, and to influence U.S. politics. Yet after more than two decades of NAFTA, Mexico is more unstable than ever. Cartels run entire states. Murders are at a record high. Entire towns in southern Mexico have been denuded of their young males, who crossed the U.S. border illegally. The U.S. runs a huge trade deficit with China. The red ink is predicated on Chinese dumping, patent and copyright infringement, and outright cheating. Beijing illegally occupies neutral islands in the South China Sea, militarizes them, and bullies its neighbors. All of the above has become the “normal” globalized world. But in 2016, red-state America rebelled at the asymmetry. The other half of the country demonized the red-staters as protectionists, nativists, isolationists, populists, and nationalists. However, if China, Europe, and other U.S. trading partners had simply followed global trading rules, there would have been no Trump pushback — and probably no Trump presidency at all. Had NATO members and NAFTA partners just kept their commitments, and had Mexico not encouraged millions of its citizens to crash the U.S. border, there would now be little tension between allies. Instead, what had become abnormal was branded the new normal of the post-war world. Again, a rich and powerful U.S. was supposed to subsidize world trade, take in more immigrants than all the nations of the world combined, protect the West, and ensure safe global communications, travel, and commerce. After 70 years, the effort had hollowed out the interior of America, creating two separate nations of coastal winners and heartland losers. Trump’s entire foreign policy can be summed up as a demand for symmetry from all partners and allies, and tit-for-tat replies to would-be enemies. Did Trump have to be so loud and often crude in his effort to bully America back to reciprocity? Who knows? But it seems impossible to imagine that globalist John McCain, internationalist Barack Obama, or gentlemanly Mitt Romney would ever have called Europe, NATO, Mexico, and Canada to account, or warned Iran or North Korea that tit would be met by tat. Victor Davis Hanson

Attention: un dépotoir peut en cacher un autre !

Au lendemain du Sommet de l’Otan et de la visite au Royaume-Uni

D’un président américain contre lequel se sont à nouveau déchainés nos médias et nos belles âmes …

Et en cette finale de la Coupe du monde en un pays qui, entre dopage et corruption, empoisonne les citoyens de ses partenaires …

A l’heure où des mensonges nucléaires et de l’aventurisme militaire des Iraniens

Aux méga-excédents commerciaux et filouteries sur la propriété intellectuelle des Chinois …

Comme aux super surplus du commerce extérieur, la radinerie défensive et la mise sous tutelle énergétique russe des Allemands

Et sans parler, entre deux attentats terroristes ou émeutes urbaines, du « business » juteux (quelque 7 milliards annuels quand même !) des passeurs de prétendus « réfugiés » …

L’actualité comme les sondages confirment désormais presque quotidiennement les fortes intuitions de l’éléphant dans le magasin de porcelaine …

Comment qualifier un pays qui …

Derrière les « fake news » et images victimaires dont nous bassinent jour après jour nos médias …

Et entre le contrôle d’états entiers par les cartels de la drogue, les taux d’homicides records et les villes entières vidées de leurs forces vives par l’émigration sauvage …

Se permet non seulement, comme le rappelle l’historien militaire américain Victor Davis Hanson, d’intervenir dans la politique américaine …

Mais encourage, à la Castro et repris de justice compris, ses citoyens par millions à pénétrer illégalement aux États-Unis …

Alors qu’il bénéficie par ailleurs, avec plus de 70 milliards de dollars et sans compter les quelque 30 milliards de ses expatriés, du plus important excédent commercial avec les Etats-Unis après la Chine ?

Reciprocity Is the Method to Trump’s Madness
Victor Davis Hanson

National Review

July 12, 2018

The president sends a signal: Treat us the way we treat you, and keep your commitments.Critics of Donald Trump claim that there’s no rhyme or reason to his foreign policy. But if there is a consistency, it might be called reciprocity.

Trump tries to force other countries to treat the U.S. as the U.S. treats them. In “don’t tread on me” style, he also warns enemies that any aggressive act will be replied to in kind.

The underlying principle of Trump commercial reciprocity is that the United States is no longer powerful or wealthy enough to alone underwrite the security of the West. It can no longer assume sole enforcement of the rules and protocols of the post-war global order.

This year there have been none of the usual Iranian provocations — frequent during the Obama administration — of harassing American ships in the Persian Gulf. Apparently, the Iranians now realize that anything they do to an American ship will be replied to with overwhelming force.

Ditto North Korea. After lots of threats from Kim Jong-un about using his new ballistic missiles against the United States, Trump warned that he would use America’s far greater arsenal to eliminate North Korea’s arsenal for good.

Trump is said to be undermining NATO by questioning its usefulness some 69 years after its founding. Yet this is not 1948, and Germany is no longer down. The United States is always in. And Russia is hardly out but is instead cutting energy deals with the Europeans.

More significantly, most NATO countries have failed to keep their promises to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense.

Yet the vast majority of the 29 alliance members are far closer than the U.S. to the dangers of Middle East terrorism and supposed Russian bullying.

Why does Germany by design run up a $65 billion annual trade surplus with the United States? Why does such a wealthy country spend only 1.2 percent of its GDP on defense? And if Germany has entered into energy agreements with a supposedly dangerous Vladimir Putin, why does it still need to have its security subsidized by the American military?

Canada never honored its NATO security commitment. It spends only 1 percent of its GDP on defense, rightly assuming that the U.S. will continue to underwrite its security.

Trump approaches NAFTA in the same reductionist way. The 24-year-old treaty was supposed to stabilize, if not equalize, all trade, immigration, and commerce between the three supposed North American allies.

It never quite happened that way. Unequal tariffs remained. Both Canada and Mexico have substantial trade surpluses with the U.S. In Mexico’s case, it enjoys a $71 billion surplus, the largest of U.S. trading partners with the exception of China.

Canada never honored its NATO security commitment. It spends only 1 percent of its GDP on defense, rightly assuming that the U.S. will continue to underwrite its security.

During the lifetime of NAFTA, Mexico has encouraged millions of its citizens to enter the U.S. illegally. Mexico’s selfish immigration policy is designed to avoid internal reform, to earn some $30 billion in annual expatriate remittances, and to influence U.S. politics.

Yet after more than two decades of NAFTA, Mexico is more unstable than ever. Cartels run entire states. Murders are at a record high. Entire towns in southern Mexico have been denuded of their young males, who crossed the U.S. border illegally.

The U.S. runs a huge trade deficit with China. The red ink is predicated on Chinese dumping, patent and copyright infringement, and outright cheating. Beijing illegally occupies neutral islands in the South China Sea, militarizes them, and bullies its neighbors.

All of the above has become the “normal” globalized world.

If China, Europe, and other U.S. trading partners had simply followed global trading rules, there would have been no Trump pushback — and probably no Trump presidency at all.
But in 2016, red-state America rebelled at the asymmetry. The other half of the country demonized the red-staters as protectionists, nativists, isolationists, populists, and nationalists.

However, if China, Europe, and other U.S. trading partners had simply followed global trading rules, there would have been no Trump pushback — and probably no Trump presidency at all.

Had NATO members and NAFTA partners just kept their commitments, and had Mexico not encouraged millions of its citizens to crash the U.S. border, there would now be little tension between allies.

Instead, what had become abnormal was branded the new normal of the post-war world.

Again, a rich and powerful U.S. was supposed to subsidize world trade, take in more immigrants than all the nations of the world combined, protect the West, and ensure safe global communications, travel, and commerce.

After 70 years, the effort had hollowed out the interior of America, creating two separate nations of coastal winners and heartland losers.

Trump’s entire foreign policy can be summed up as a demand for symmetry from all partners and allies, and tit-for-tat replies to would-be enemies.

Did Trump have to be so loud and often crude in his effort to bully America back to reciprocity?

Who knows?

But it seems impossible to imagine that globalist John McCain, internationalist Barack Obama, or gentlemanly Mitt Romney would ever have called Europe, NATO, Mexico, and Canada to account, or warned Iran or North Korea that tit would be met by tat.

Voir aussi:

Pompeo on What Trump Wants
An interview with Trump’s top diplomat on America First and ‘the need for a reset.’
Walter Russell Mead
The Wall Street Journal
June 25, 2018

Is the Trump administration out to wreck the liberal world order? No, insisted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in an interview at his office in Foggy Bottom last week: The administration’s aim is to align that world order with 21st-century realities.
Many of the economic and diplomatic structures Mr. Trump stands accused of undermining, Mr. Pompeo argues, were developed in the aftermath of World War II. Back then, he tells me, they “made sense for America.” But in the post-Cold War era, amid a resurgence of geopolitical competition, “I think President Trump has properly identified a need for a reset.”
Mr. Trump is suspicious of global institutions and alliances, many of which he believes are no longer paying dividends for the U.S. “When I watch President Trump give guidance to our team,” Mr. Pompeo says, “his question is always, ‘How does that structure impact America?’ ” The president isn’t interested in how a given rule “may have impacted America in the ’60s or the ’80s, or even the early 2000s,” but rather how it will enhance American power “in 2018 and beyond.”
Mr. Trump’s critics have charged that his “America First” strategy reflects a retreat from global leadership. “I see it fundamentally differently,” Mr. Pompeo says. He believes Mr. Trump “recognizes the importance of American leadership” but also of “American sovereignty.” That means Mr. Trump is “prepared to be disruptive” when the U.S. finds itself constrained by “arrangements that put America, and American workers, at a disadvantage.” Mr. Pompeo sees his task as trying to reform rules “that no longer are fair and equitable” while maintaining “the important historical relationships with Europe and the countries in Asia that are truly our partners.”
The U.S. relationship with Germany has come under particular strain. Mr. Pompeo cites two reasons. “It is important that they demonstrate a commitment to securing their own people,” he says, in reference to Germany’s low defense spending. “When they do so, we’re prepared to do the right thing and support them.” And then there’s trade. The Germans, he says, need to “create tariff systems and nontariff-barrier systems that are equitable, reciprocal.”
But Mr. Pompeo does not see the U.S.-German rift as a permanent reorientation of U.S. foreign policy. Once the defense and trade issues are addressed, “I’m very confident that the relationship will go from these irritants we see today to being as strong as it ever was.” He adds that he has a “special place in my heart” for Germany, having spent his “first three years as a soldier patrolling . . . the West and East German border.”
In addition to renegotiating relationships with existing allies, the Trump administration is facing newly assertive great-power adversaries. “For a decade plus,” Mr. Pompeo says, U.S. foreign policy was “very focused on counterrorism and much less on big power struggles.” Today, while counterterrorism remains a priority, geopolitics is increasingly defined by conflicts with powerful states like China and Russia.
Mr. Pompeo says the U.S. must be assertive but flexible in dealing with both Beijing and Moscow. He wants the U.S. relationship with China to be defined by rule-writing and rule-enforcing, not anarchic struggle. China, he says, hasn’t honored “the normal set of trade understandings . . . where these nation states would trade with each other on fair and reciprocal terms; they just simply haven’t done it. They’ve engaged in intellectual property theft, predatory economic practices.”
Avoiding a more serious confrontation with China down the line will require both countries to appreciate one another’s long-term interests. The U.S. can’t simply focus on “a tariff issue today, or a particular island China has decided to militarize” tomorrow. Rather, the objective must be to create a rules-based structure to avoid a situation in which “zero-sum is the endgame for the two countries.”
Mr. Pompeo also sees room for limited cooperation with Russia even as the U.S. confronts its revisionism. “There are many things about which we disagree. Our value sets are incredibly different, but there are also pockets where we find overlap,” he says. “That’s the challenge for a secretary of state—to identify those places where you can work together, while protecting America against the worst pieces of those governments’ activities.”
Mr. Pompeo says his most important daily task is to understand what the president is thinking. As he prepared for the job, “I spoke to every living former secretary of state,” Mr. Pompeo says. “They gave me two or three big ideas about things you needed to do to successfully deliver on American foreign policy. Not one of them got out of their top two without saying that a deep understanding and good relationship with the commander in chief—with the person whose foreign policy you’re implementing—is absolutely central.”
He continues: “It needs to be known around the world that when you speak, you’re doing so with a clear understanding of what the president is trying to achieve. So I spend a lot of time thinking about that—trying to make sure that I have my whole workforce, my whole team, understanding the commander’s intent in a deep way.”
And the president’s agenda, as Mr. Pompeo communicates it, is one of extraordinary ambition: to rewrite the rules of world order in America’s favor while working out stable relationships with geopolitical rivals. Those goals may prove elusive. Inertia is a powerful force in international relations, and institutions and pre-existing agreements are often hard to reform.
Among other obstacles, the Trump agenda creates the risk of a global coalition forming against American demands. American efforts to negotiate more favorable trading arrangements could lead China, Europe and Japan to work jointly against the U.S. That danger is exacerbated by Mr. Trump’s penchant for dramatic gestures and his volatile personal style.
Yet the U.S. remains, by far, the world’s most powerful nation, and many countries will be looking for ways to accommodate the administration at least partially. Mr. Trump is right that the international rules and institutions developed during the Cold War era must be retooled to withstand new political, economic and military pressures.
Mr. Pompeo believes that Mr. Trump’s instincts, preferences, and beliefs constitute a coherent worldview. The secretary’s aim is to undertake consistent policy initiatives based on that worldview. This endeavor will strike many of the administration’s critics as quixotic. But Mr. Pompeo is unquestionably right that no secretary of state can succeed without the support of the president, and he is in a better position than most to understand Mr. Trump’s mind.
The world will soon see whether the president’s tweets of iron can be smoothly sheathed in a diplomatic glove.
Voir également:

De Cuba aux Etats-Unis : il y a trente ans, les Marielitos

Michel Faure

C’était il y a trente ans très exactement. Mai 1980. J’étais jeune journaliste, envoyé spécial de Libération à Key West, en Floride. Je restais des heures, fasciné, sur le quai du port où arrivaient, les unes après les autres en un flot continu extraordinaire, des embarcations diverses -bateaux de pêche, petits et gros, vedettes de promenade, yachts chics– chargées de réfugiés cubains.

C’était une noria incessante, menée avec beaucoup d’enthousiasme. Ces bateaux battaient tous pavillon des Etats-Unis et, pour la plupart, étaient la propriété d’exilés cubains vivant en Floride. Ils débarquaient leurs passagers sous les vives lumières des télévisions et les applaudissements d’une foule de badauds émus aux larmes et scrutant chaque visage avec intensité, dans l’espoir d’y retrouver les traits d’un parent, d’un ami ou d’un amour perdu de vue depuis plus de vingt ans.

Puis les bateaux repartaient pour un nouveau voyage à Mariel, le port cubain d’où partaient les exilés et qui leur donnera un surnom, « los Marielitos ».

La Croix Rouge et la logistique gouvernementale américaine ont fait du bon travail. Les arrivants, épuisés, l’air perdu, souvent inquiets, étaient accueillis avec égards, hydratés, nourris et enveloppés de couvertures.

Ils passaient à travers un double contrôle, médical et personnel, avant d’être rassemblés sous un immense hangar, libres de répondre, s’ils le souhaitaient, aux questions des journalistes, avant d’être transportés par avion à Miami.

Quand les Cubains étaient accueillis sous les bravos

Ceux que j’ai rencontrés, dans ces instants encore très incertains pour eux, racontaient plus ou moins la même histoire : la misère de tous les jours sous la surveillance constante des CDR, les Comités de la révolution, les commissaires politiques du quartier qui avaient (et ont toujours) le pouvoir de vous rendre la vie à peu près tolérable ou de vous la pourrir à jamais.

Oser dire qu’on aurait aimé vivre ailleurs n’arrangeait pas votre cas. Un mot du CDR et vous perdiez votre boulot. Le travail privé n’existant pas, le seul fait de survivre était l’indice d’un délit, genre travail au noir. Pour des raisons éminemment politiques, vous vous retrouviez donc en prison, délinquant de droit commun.

Bref, la routine infernale, les engrenages implacables et cruels de la criminalisation de la vie quotidienne pour quiconque ne courbait pas l’échine.

A Miami, dans un stade gigantesque, j’ai assisté quelques jours plus tard à des scènes de tragédies antiques, émouvantes à en pleurer. Les milliers de sièges du stade étaient occupés par des familles cubaines vivant aux Etats-Unis et, de jour comme de nuit, arrivaient de l’aéroport des autobus qui déposaient leurs occupants débarqués de Mariel (en ce seul mois de mai 1980, ils furent 86 000).

Ils étaient accueillis dans le stade sous les bravos. Puis, dans le silence revenu, un speaker énonçait ces noms interminables dont le castillan a le secret, ces Maria de la Luz Martinez de Sanchez, ou ces José-Maria Antonio Perez Rodriguez.

Et soudain, un cri dans un coin du stade, le faisceau lumineux des télés pointé vers un groupe de gens sautant en l’air de joie puis dévalant les escaliers du stade pour tomber dans les bras des cousins ou frères et sœurs retrouvés.

La stratégie de Fidel Castro

Cet exode des Marielitos a commencé par un coup de force. Le 5 avril 1980, 10 000 Cubains entrent dans l’ambassade du Pérou à La Havane et demandent à ce pays de leur accorder asile.

Dix jours plus tard, Castro déclare que ceux qui veulent quitter Cuba peuvent le faire à condition d’abandonner leurs biens et que les Cubains de Floride viennent les chercher au port de Mariel.

L’hypothèse est que Castro voit dans cette affaire une double opportunité :

  • Il se débarrasse d’opposants -il en profite également pour vider ses prisons et ses asiles mentaux et sans doute infiltrer, parmi les réfugiés, quelques agents castristes ;
  • Il espère que cet afflux soudain d’exilés va profondément déstabiliser le sud de la Floride et affaiblir plus encore le brave Président Jimmy Carter, préchi-prêcheur démocrate des droits de l’homme, un peu trop à gauche pour endosser l’habit de grand Satan impérialiste que taille à tous les élus de la Maison Blanche le leader cubain.

De fait, du 15 avril au 31 octobre 1980, quelque 125 000 Cubains quitteront l’île. 2 746 d’entre eux ont été considérés comme des criminels selon les lois des Etats-Unis et incarcérés.

L’économie de la région de Miami a absorbé en deux ou trois ans le choc de cet exode et, depuis, se porte très bien, notamment parce que de nombreux exilés étaient des professionnels diplômés (médecins, professeurs…) qui non seulement se sont facilement intégrés au sein de la société de Miami, mais l’ont aussi dynamisée.

Parmi les Marielitos, un poète : Reinaldo Arenas

En août 1994, 30 000 autres Cubains, « los Balseros » -ainsi nommés parce qu’ils s’enfuyaient par la mer sur des embarcations aussi précaires que des « balsas », des chambres à air de camion- ont rejoint à leur tour les côtes de Floride.

Puis la politique a repris la main. Castro a compris que le spectacle de ces exodes à répétition et le nombre et la qualité des exilés fragilisaient l’image du régime et son avenir. Les Etats-Unis, quant à eux, ont entendu les voix des conservateurs défenseurs des frontières.

Tout cela a abouti à un accord migratoire qui traduit une politique américaine absurde et déshonorante consistant à n’admettre sur le territoire des Etats-Unis que ceux qui l’auront touché du pied, et renvoyer tous les autres en direction de Cuba qu’ils fuyaient.

L’accommodement avec une dictature l’a emporté sur la générosité à l’endroit de ses réfugiés.

Parmi les Marielitos, il faut noter la présence de l’écrivain et poète Reinaldo Arenas, qui mourra quelques années plus tard du sida, à New York. Son véritable crime fut d’être homosexuel et son livre, « Avant la Nuit », a été remarquablement adapté en 2000 par Julian Schnabel avec le film « Before the Night Falls ». Il montre la terrible épreuve que fut pour tous les exilés le passage des contrôles du port de Mariel.

Voir de même:

Trump Was Right: Castro Did Send Criminals to U.S.

The Weekly Standard

If you ever worry about the quality of news on the Internet, consider a recent story at BuzzFeed from reporter Adrian Carrasquillo. The writer notes indignantly that Donald Trump’s infamous campaign comments about Mexican immigrants were not unprecedented: Speaking on a radio talk show, in 2011, Trump had anticipated his claim that « Mexico was sending criminals and rapists » to the United States (in Carrasquillo’s words) by « appear[ing] to suggest Fidel Castro had hatched a similar gambit. »

Here is what Trump said in 2011:

I remember, years ago, where Castro was sending his worst over to this country. He was sending criminals over to this country, and we’ve had that with other countries where they use us as a dumping ground.

Carrasquillo acknowledged that Trump’s facts are not imaginary— »Trump was speaking about the Mariel boatlift in 1980, when more than 125,000 Cubans came to the U.S. because of the island’s floundering economy »—but he seems to have gleaned what knowledge he has about the Mariel boatlift from the Internet, or perhaps a friend or neighbor: « Castro did send prisoners and mentally ill people to the U.S. mixed in with other refugees, » Carrasquillo wrote.

In fact, of course, it was not Cuba’s « floundering economy »—Cuba’s economy, it could reasonably be argued, has always been floundering—that prompted the exodus; it was Fidel Castro’s malice. The Jimmy Carter administration, as Democratic administrations tend to do, had been seeking a rapprochement with the Cuban regime, and in early 1980, Castro—habitually angered by the official American welcome to Cuban refugees—rewarded Carter’s credulity by emptying his nation’s jails, prisons, and mental institutions and sending their occupants, in overcrowded vessels, across the Straits of Florida to Miami.

It was an extraordinarily cruel, and cynical, gesture on Castro’s part; but of course, hardly surprising. And in any case, it swiftly halted Carter’s flirtation with Cuba.

What Adrian Carrasquillo doesn’t appear to know, however, and what gives this episode contemporary resonance, is that the Mariel boatlift, and its attendant migrant crisis, had political repercussions that extend to the present day. One of the repositories for Cuban criminals chosen by the Carter White House was Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, where there were subsequent riots and mass escapes. The governor of Arkansas, one Bill Clinton, was furious that his state had been chosen to pay the price for Carter’s misjudgment—and he complained loudly and publicly about it. So loudly, in fact, that it made Carter’s efforts to settle refugees elsewhere politically toxic.

Jimmy Carter never forgave Bill Clinton for the Mariel/Fort Chaffee debacle. And vice versa, since it was one of the main reasons which led to Clinton’s defeat for re-election in November 1980. It also explains the continued enmity between the senior living Democratic ex-president, Carter, and Clinton—whose wife Hillary is currently running for president.

A handful of lessons may be drawn from all this: The roots of political issues are deep and complicated; the settlement of refugees is a sensitive matter; and it seldom pays presidents to trust the Castro regime. From a journalistic standpoint, however, it raises an urgent question: Does BuzzFeed employ editors with knowledge of events before, say, 2011?

Voir de plus:

Years Before Mexican Comments, Trump Said Castro Was Sending Criminals To U.S.
« I remember, years ago, where Castro was sending his worst over to this country. He was sending criminals over to this country, and we’ve had that with other countries where they use us as a dumping ground. »
Adrian Carrasquillo
BuzzFeed News
October 6, 2016

Four years before Donald Trump roiled the presidential race by announcing that Mexico was sending criminals and rapists — their worst — to the U.S., he appeared to suggest Fidel Castro had hatched a similar gambit.

Speaking on Laura Ingraham’s radio show in 2011, Trump took a rhetorical tact that will be familiar to anyone paying even a passing interest to the 2016 presidential election.

« You either have borders or you don’t have borders. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it possible for somebody that’s really good to become a citizen. But I think part of the problem that this country has is we’re taking in people that are, in some cases, good, and in some cases, are not good and in some cases are criminals, » Trump said.

« I remember, years ago, where Castro was sending his worst over to this country. He was sending criminals over to this country, and we’ve had that with other countries where they use us as a dumping ground, » he continued. « And frankly, the fact that we allow that to happen is what’s really hurting this country very badly. »

Liberal media watchdog Media Matters provided the audio from their archives, after a request by BuzzFeed News.

While Trump does not mention Fidel Castro’s full name, he made similar comments about Cubans on conservative radio last summer, just weeks after his initial remarks about Mexicans during his June announcement.

“And they’re sending — if you remember, years ago, when Castro opened up his jails, his prisons, and he sent them all over to the United States because let the United States have them,” Trump said. “And you know, these were the many hardcore criminals that he sent over. »

Trump was speaking about the Mariel boatlift in 1980, when more than 125,000 Cubans came to the U.S. because of the island’s floundering economy. Castro did send prisoners and mentally ill people to the U.S. mixed in with other refugees.

In a statement, Trump campaign senior advisor and Hispanic outreach director, AJ Delgado, said his remarks in 2011 were absolutely correct and only underscore his « keen awareness » of historical facts.

« The 1980 Mariel boatlift out of Cuba certainly did contain thousands of criminals, including violent criminals, the Castro regime having taken it as an opportunity to empty many of its prisons and send those individuals to the U.S, » she said, stressing that the matter is not in dispute.

« Worth noting, this 2011 audio also proves Mr. Trump’s years-long consistency: even five years ago, he was advocating for the same sound immigration policies he advocates today — one that places Americans’ safety and security first, » she added.

Trump’s relationship with Cuban-American voters is somewhat unusual for a Republican nominee. For years, support for the embargo on Cuba has been a major Republican plank; a recent Newsweek report also alleged that Trump violated the Cuban embargo when he disguised payments from his companies in Cuba in an attempt to make money on the island.

The Republican nominee changed his opinion on immigration multiple times in the past few years, including during the campaign. But he has also struck a nativist and restrictionist tone on the dangers and nefarious intentions of foreigners coming to the country for years. Though Barack Obama’s two campaigns showed the traditionally Republican voting bloc beginning to fray somewhat, that’s put more pressure on those voters, particularly younger ones.

« We know how Donald Trump feels about the Hispanic community, and this is just more of the same, » said Joe Garcia, a Cuban-American Democrat running for congress in Florida where Trump has become a flashpoint in his race against Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who has also denounced Trump. « Whether he makes hateful statements today or five years ago, Trump’s sentiments toward minority groups have been very clear. »

Ana Navarro, a CNN commentator and Republican strategist who has staunchly opposed Trump, noted that being a « marielito » was somewhat taboo for a while, « but it’s important not to forget all the good people who came. Many have gone on to make great contributions to the U.S. »

Jose Parra, a Democratic strategist from Florida who served as a senior adviser to Sen. Harry Reid, argued the comments leave no doubt that Trump doesn’t just have it out for Mexicans.

« Now we know that when he says Mexicans, he means all Hispanics, » Parra said. « He was talking about Cubans in this case… the issue is Hispanics not Mexicans. It’s immigrants period. »

Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed reporting.

Voir encore:

Trump Says Mexican Immigrants Are Just Like « Hardcore Criminals » Castro Sent To U.S.
Trump also took credit for bringing to the public’s attention the death of a San Francisco woman killed by an undocumented immigrant.
Andrew Kaczynski
BuzzFeed News
July 10, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday compared undocumented Mexican immigrants to the « hardcore criminals » Fidel Castro sent to the United States in the early 1980s.

Speaking on conservative radio, the real estate mogul addressed the controversy surrounding his characterization of Mexican immigrants as « rapists » in his presidential announcement speech.

« A lot of people said, ‘Would you apologize?’ I said, ‘Absolutely, I’d apologize, if there was something to apologize for, » Trump told radio host Wayne Dupree on Wednesday.

« But what I said is exactly true. You understand that, Wayne. And what I’m saying — and I have great respect for the Mexican people. I love the Mexican people. I have many Mexicans working for me and they’re great. »

« But that’s — we’re not talking about — we’re talking about a government that’s much smarter than our government, » Trump continued. « Much sharper, more cunning than our government, and they’re sending people. »

Trump then went on to compare the immigrants coming into the country from Mexico to Cuban exiles who came to the U.S. as a part of the Mariel boatlift in 1980. Many of those exiles were later found to be inmates released from Cuban prisons and mental health facilities.

« And they’re sending — if you remember, years ago, when Castro opened up his jails, his prisons, and he sent them all over to the United States because let the United States have them, » Trump stated. « And you know, these were the many hardcore criminals that he sent over. And, you know, that was a long time ago but essentially Mexico is sending over — as an example, this horrible guy that killed a beautiful woman in San Francisco. Mexico doesn’t want him. So they send him over. How do you think he got over here five times? They push him out. They’re pushing their problems onto the United States, and we don’t talk about it because our politicians are stupid. »

Trump then took credit for bringing to the public’s attention the death of the San Francisco woman killed by an undocumented immigrant.

« I don’t even think it’s a question of, uh, good politics. I think they’re just stupid. I don’t think they know what they’re doing. So I bring it up and, you’re right, it became a big story, » said Trump.

« And I’ll tell you something: the young woman that was killed — that was a statistic. That wasn’t even a story. My wife brought it up to me. She said, you know, she saw this little article about the young woman in San Francisco that was killed, and I did some research and I found out that she was killed by this animal … who illegally came into the country many times, by the way, and who has a long record of convictions. And I went public with it and now it’s the biggest story in the world right now. … Her life will be very important for a lot of reasons, but one of them would be that she’s throwing light and showing light on what’s happening in this country. »

Voir par ailleurs:

The White House Used This Moment as Proof the U.S. Should Cut Immigration. Its Real History Is More Complicated

Julio Capó, Jr.

Time
August 4, 2017

This week, as President Trump comes out in support of a bill that seeks to halve legal immigration to the United States, his administration is emphasizing the idea that Americans and their jobs need to be protected from all newcomers—undocumented and documented. To support that idea, his senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has turned to a moment in American history that is often referenced by those who support curbing immigration: the Mariel boatlift of 1980. But, in fact, much of the conventional wisdom about that episode is based on falsehoods rooted in Cold War rhetoric.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, journalist Glenn Thrush asked Miller to provide statistics showing the correlation between the presence of low-skill immigrants and decreased wages for U.S.-born and naturalized workers. In response, Miller noted the findings of a recent study by Harvard economist George Borjas on the Mariel boatlift, which contentiously argued that the influx of over 125,000 Cubans who entered the United States from April to October of 1980 decreased wages for southern Florida’s less educated workers. Borjas’ study, which challenged an earlier influential study by Berkeley economist David Card, has received major criticisms. A lively debate persists among economists about the study’s methods, limited sample size and interpretation of the region’s racial categories—but Miller’s conjuring of Mariel is contentious on its own merits.

The Mariel boatlift is an outlier in the pages of U.S. immigration history because it was, at its core, a result of Cold War posturing between the United States and Cuba.

Fidel Castro found himself in a precarious situation in April 1980 when thousands of Cubans stormed the Peruvian embassy seeking asylum. Castro opened up the port of Mariel and claimed he would let anyone who wanted to leave Cuba to do so. Across the Florida Straits, the United States especially prioritized receiving people who fled communist regimes as a Cold War imperative. Because the newly minted Refugee Act had just been enacted—largely to address the longstanding bias that favored people fleeing communism—the Marielitos were admitted under an ambiguous, emergency-based designation: “Cuban-Haitian entrant (status pending).” At this week’s press conference, Miller avoided discussions of guest workers because they enter under separate procedures. It’s important to note, however, that the Marielitos also entered under a separate category.

In order to save face, Castro put forward the narrative that the Cubans who sought to leave the island were the dregs of society and counter-revolutionaries who needed to be purged because they could never prove productive to the nation. This sentiment, along with reports that he had opened his jails and mental institutes as part of this boatlift, fueled a mythology that the Marielitos were a criminal, violent, sexually deviant and altogether “undesirable” demographic.

In reality, more than 80% of the Marielitos had no criminal past, even in a nation where “criminality” could include acts antithetical to the revolutionary government’s ideals. In addition to roughly 1,500 mentally and physically disabled people, this wave of Cubans included a significant number of sex workers and queer and transgender people—some of whom were part of the minority who had criminal-justice involvement, having been formerly incarcerated because of their gender and sexual transgression.

Part of what made Castro’s propaganda scheme so successful was that his regime’s repudiation of Marielitos found an eager audience in the United States among those who found it useful to fuel the nativist furnace. U.S. legislators, policymakers and many in the general public accepted Castro’s negative depiction of the Marielitos as truth. By 1983, the film Scarface had even fictionalized a Marielito as a druglord and violent criminal.

Then and now, the boatlift proved incredibly unpopular among those living in the United States and is often cited as one of the most vivid examples of the dangers of lax immigration enforcement. In fact, many of President Jimmy Carter’s opponents listed Mariel as one of his and the Democratic Party’s greatest failures, even as his Republican successor, President Ronald Reagan, also embraced the Marielitos as part of an ideological campaign against Cuba. And the political consequences of the reaction to Mariel didn’t stop there: the episode also helped birth the English-only movement in the United States, after Dade County residents voted to remove Spanish as a second official language in November of 1980. (The new immigration proposal that Trump supports would also privilege immigrants who can speak English.)

While the Mariel boatlift—with its massive influx of people in a short period of time—may appear to be an ideal case study for economists to explore whether immigrants decreased wages for U.S.-born workers, its Cold War-influenced and largely anomalous history makes it less so.

During this week’s press conference, Miller later told Thrush that, more than statistics, we should use “common sense” in crafting our policies. As the case of the Mariel boatlift shows, so-called common sense can be inextricably informed by ulterior motives, prejudice and global political disagreement. When history is used to inform policy decisions, this too must be factored.

Historians explain how the past informs the present

Julio Capó, Jr. is assistant professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and was a visiting scholar at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. His book on Miami’s queer past, Welcome to Fairyland, is forthcoming from the University of North Carolina Press.

Voir aussi:

There’s no evidence that immigrants hurt any American workers
The debate over the Mariel boatlift, a crucial immigration case study, explained.
Michael Clemens

Aug 3, 2017

Pressed by a New York Times reporter yesterday for evidence that immigration hurts American workers, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller said: “I think the most recent study I would point to is the study from George Borjas that he just did about the Mariel Boatlift.” Michael Clemens recently explained why that much-cited study shouldn’t be relied upon:

Do immigrants from poor countries hurt native workers? It’s a perpetual question for policymakers and politicians. That the answer is a resounding “Yes!” was a central assertion of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. When a study by an economist at Harvard University recently found that a famous influx of Cuban immigrants into Miami dramatically reduced the wages of native workers, immigration critics argued that the debate was settled.

The study, by Harvard’s George Borjas, first circulated as a draft in 2015, and was finally published in 2017. It drew attention from the Atlantic, National Review, New Yorker, and others. Advocates of restricting immigration declared that the study was a “BFD” that had “nuked” their opponents’ views. The work underpinning the paper became a centerpiece of Borjas’s mass-market book on immigration, We Wanted Workers, which has been cited approvingly by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions as proving the economic harms of immigration.

But there’s a problem. The study is controversial, and its finding — that the Cuban refugees caused a large, statistically unmistakable fall in Miami wages — may be simply spurious. This matters because what happened in Miami is the one historical event that has most shaped how economists view immigration.

In his article, Borjas claimed to debunk an earlier study by another eminent economist, David Card, of UC Berkeley, analyzing the arrival of the Cubans in Miami. The episode offers a textbook case of how different economists can reach sharply conflicting conclusions from exactly the same data.

Yet this is not an “on the one hand, on the other” story: My own analysis suggests that Borjas has not proved his case. Spend a few minutes digging into the data with me, and it will become apparent that the data simply does not allow us to conclude that those Cubans caused a fall in Miami wages, even for low-skill workers.

The Mariel boatlift offered economists a remarkable opportunity to study the effect of immigration

For an economist, there’s a straightforward way to study how low-skill immigration affects native workers: Find a large, sudden wave of low-skill immigrants arriving in one city only. Watch what happens to wages and employment for native workers in that city, and compare that to other cities where the immigrants didn’t go.

An ideal “natural experiment” like this actually happened in Miami in 1980. Over just a few months, 125,000 mostly low-skill immigrants arrived from Mariel Bay, Cuba. This vast seaborne exodus — Fidel Castro briefly lifted Cuba’s ban on emigration -— is known as the Mariel boatlift. Over the next few months, the workforce of Miami rose by 8 percent. By comparison, normal immigration to the US increases the nationwide workforce by about 0.3 percent per year. So if immigrants compete with native workers, Miami in the 1980s is exactly where you should see natives’ wages drop.

Berkeley’s Card examined the effects of the Cuban immigrants on the labor market in a massively influential study in 1990. In fact, that paper became one of the most cited in immigration economics. The design of the study was elegant and transparent. But even more than that, what made the study memorable was what Card found.

In a word: nothing.

The Card study found no difference in wage or employment trends between Miami — which had just been flooded with new low-skill workers — and other cities. This was true for workers even at the bottom of the skills ladder. Card concluded that “the Mariel immigration had essentially no effect on the wages or employment outcomes of non-Cuban workers in the Miami labor market.”

You can see Card’s striking result in the graph below: There’s just no sign of a dip in low-skill Miami wages after the huge arrival of low-skill Cubans in 1980. The red line is the average wage, in each year, for workers in Miami, ages 19 to 65, whose education doesn’t go beyond high school. The dotted red lines show the interval of statistical confidence, so the true average wage could fall anywhere between the dotted lines.

These estimates come from a slice of a nationwide survey, in which small groups of individuals are chosen to represent the broader population. (It’s known as the March Supplement of the Current Population Survey, or CPS). Carving out low-skill workers in Miami alone, that leaves an average of 185 observations of workers per year, during the crucial years.

The gray dashed line shows what the wage would be if the pre-1980 trend had simply continued after 1980. As you can see, there is no dip in wages after those Cubans greatly increased the low-skill labor supply in 1980. If anything, wages rose relative to their previous trend in Miami. The same is true relative to wage trends in other, similar cities.

Current Population Survey, Clemens

Economists ever since have tried to explain this remarkable result. Was it that the US workers who might have suffered a wage drop had simply moved away? Had low-skill Cubans made native Miamians more productive by specializing in different tasks, thus stimulating the local economy? Was it that the Cubans’ own demand for goods and services had generated as many jobs in Miami as they filled? Or perhaps was it that Miami employers shifted to production technologies that used more low-skill labor, absorbing the new labor supply?

Regardless, there was no dip in wages to explain. The real-life economy was evidently more complex than an “Econ 101” model would predict. Such a model would require wages to fall when the supply of labor, through immigration, goes up.

Slicing up the data — all too finely

This is where two new studies came in, decades after Card’s — in 2015. One, by Borjas, claims that Card’s analysis had obscured a large fall in the wages of native workers by using too broad a definition of “low-skill worker.” Card’s study had looked at the wages of US workers whose education extended only to high school or less. That was a natural choice, since about half of the newly-arrived Cubans had a high school degree, and half didn’t.

Borjas, instead, focuses on workers who did not finish high school — and claimed that the Boatlift caused the wages of those workers, those truly at the bottom of the ladder, to collapse.

The other new study (ungated here), by economists Giovanni Peri and Vasil Yasenov, of the UC Davis and UC Berkeley, reconfirms Card’s original result: It cannot detect an effect of the boatlift on Miami wages, even among workers who did not finish high school.

In short, different well-qualified economists arrive at opposite conclusions about the effects of immigration, looking at the same data about the same incident, with identical modern analytical tools at their disposal. How that happened has a lot to teach about why the economics of immigration remains so controversial.

Suppose we are concerned that the graph above, covering all low-skill workers in Miami, is too aggregated — meaning it combines too many different kinds of workers. We would not want to miss the effects on certain subgroups that may have competed more directly with the newly-arrived Cubans. For example, the Mariel migrants were mostly men. They were Hispanic. Many of them were prime-age workers (age 25 to 59). So we should look separately at what happened to wages for each of those groups of low-skill workers who might compete with the immigrants more directly: men only, non-Cuban Hispanics only, prime-age workers only. Here’s what wages look like for those slices of the same data:

Here again, if anything, wages rose for each of these groups of low-skill workers after 1980, relative to their previous trend. There isn’t any dip in wages to explain. And, again, the same is true if you compare wage trends in Miami to trends in other, similar cities.

Peri and Yasenov showed that there is still no dip in wages even when you divide up low-skill workers by whether or not they finished high school. About half of the Mariel migrants had finished high school, and the other half hadn’t. So you might expect negative wage effects on both groups of workers in Miami. Here is what the wage trends look like for those two groups.

The wages of Miami workers with high school degrees (and no more than that) jump up right after the Mariel boatlift, relative to prior trends. The wages of those with less than a high school education appear to dip slightly, for a couple of years, although this is barely distinguishable amid the statistical noise. And these same inflation-adjusted wages were also falling in many other cities that didn’t receive a wave of immigrants, so it’s not possible to say with statistical confidence whether that brief dip on the right is real. It might have been — but economists can’t be sure. The rise on the left, in contrast, is certainly statistically significant, even relative to corresponding wage trends in other cities.

Here is how the Borjas study reaches exactly the opposite conclusion. The Borjas study slices up the data much more finely than even Peri and Yasenov do. It’s not every worker with less than high school that he looks at. Borjas starts with the full sample of workers of high school or less — then removes women, and Hispanics, and workers who aren’t prime age (that is, he tosses out those who are 19 to 24, and 60 to 65). And then he removes workers who have a high school degree.

In all, that means throwing out the data for 91 percent of low-skill workers in Miami in the years where Borjas finds the largest wage effect. It leaves a tiny sample, just 17 workers per year. When you do that, the average wages for the remaining workers look like this:

For these observations picked out of the broader dataset, average wages collapse by at least 40 percent after the boatlift. Wages fall way below their previous trend, as well as way below similar trends in other cities, and the fall is highly statistically significant.

How to explain the divergent conclusions?

There are two ways to interpret these findings. The first way would be to conclude that the wage trend seen in the subgroup that Borjas focuses on — non-Hispanic prime-age men with less than a high school degree — is the “real” effect of the boatlift. The second way would be to conclude, as Peri and Yasenov do, that slicing up small data samples like this generates a great deal of statistical noise. If you do enough slicing along those lines, you can find groups for which wages rose after the Boatlift, and others for which it fell. In any dataset with a lot of noise, the results for very small groups will vary widely.

Researchers can and do disagree about which conclusion to draw. But there are many reasons to favor the view that there is no compelling basis to revise Card’s original finding. There is not sufficient evidence to show that Cuban immigrants reduced any low-skill workers’ wages in Miami, even small minorities of them, and there isn’t much more that can be learned about the Mariel boatlift with the data we have.

Here are three reasons why Card’s canonical finding stands.

Borjas’s theory doesn’t fit the evidence

The first reason is economic theory. The simple theory underlying all of this analysis is that when the supply of labor rises, wages have to fall. But if we interpret the wage drop in Borjas’s subgroup as an effect of the Boatlift, we need to interpret the upward jumps in the other graphs above, too, as effects of the Boatlift. That is, we would need to interpret the sharp post-Boatlift rise in wages for low-skill Miami Hispanics, regardless of whether they had a high school degree, as another effect of the influx of workers.

But wait. The theory of supply and demand cannot explain how a massive infusion of low-skill Cuban Hispanics would cause wages to rise for other Hispanics, who would obviously compete with them. For the same reason, we would need to conclude that the boatlift caused a large rise in the wages of Miami workers with high school degrees only, both Hispanic and non-Hispanic — who constitute the large majority of low-skill workers in Miami. And so on.

Economic theory doesn’t offer a reason why such a big benefit should happen. So we should be suspicious of jumping to the rosy conclusion that the Mariel boatlift caused big wage increases for the other 91 percent of low-skill workers in Miami. One could reach that conclusion by the same method Borjas used, if one sought such a result. But we should hesitate to make strong conclusions — one way or another — from any handpicked subset of the data.

The study states that this was done because, among other reasons, the arrival of non-Cuban Hispanics in some of the other cities that Miami is being compared to — including Anaheim and Rochester — may have driven down wages in those places. But the graphs shown here are just for Miami, unaffected by that hypothetical concern.

As you can see above, the wages of low-skill Hispanics as a whole jumped upward in Miami in the years after the boatlift. Dropping the data on groups that experienced wage increases, without a sound theoretical reason to do so, ensures by construction that wages fall in the small group that remains. The method determines the result.

There’s too much noise in the data to conclude native workers were hurt

The second reason the data backs Peri and Yasenov’s interpretation is statistical noise caused by small subsamples. Because there is a great deal of noise in the data, if we’re willing to take low-skill workers in Miami and hand-pick small subsets of them, we can always find small groups of workers whose wages rose during a particular period, and other groups whose wages fell. But at some point we’re learning more about statistical artifacts than about real-world events.

Remember the key Borjas sample in each year — the one that experienced a large drop in wages — was just 17 men. By picking various small subsets of the data, a researcher could hypothetically get any positive or negative “effect” of the boatlift.

Race made a difference here

Yet another reason to believe the Card study remains solid has to do with something very different from statistical noise. Average wages in tiny slices of the data can change sharply because of small but systematic changes in who is getting interviewed. And it turns out that the CPS sample includes vastly more black workers in the data used for the Borjas study after the boatlift than before it.

Because black men earned less than others, this change would necessarily have the effect of exaggerating the wage decline measured by Borjas. The change in the black fraction of the sample is too big and long-lasting to be explained by random error. (This is my own contribution to the debate. I explore this problem in a new research paper that I co-authored with Jennifer Hunt, a professor of economics at Rutgers University.)

Around 1980, the same time as the Boatlift, two things happened that would bring a lot more low-wage black men into the survey samples. First, there was a simultaneous arrival of large numbers of very low-income immigrants from Haiti without high school degrees: that is, non-Hispanic black men who earn much less than US black workers but cannot be distinguished from US black workers in the survey data. Nearly all hadn’t finished high school.

That meant not just that Miami suddenly had far more black men with less than high school after 1980, but also that those black men had much lower earnings. Second, the Census Bureau, which ran the CPS surveys, improved its survey methods around 1980 to cover more low-skill black men due to political pressure after research revealed that many low-income black men simply weren’t being counted.

You can see what happened in the graph below, which has a point for each year’s group of non-Hispanic men with less than high school, in the data used by Borjas (ages 25 to 59). The horizontal axis is the fraction of the men in the sample who are black. The vertical axis is the average wage in the sample. Because black men in Miami at this skill level earned much less than non-blacks, it’s no surprise that the more black men are covered by each year’s sample, the lower the average wage.

But here’s the critical problem: The fraction of black workers in this sample increased dramatically between the years just before the boatlift (in red) and the years just after the boatlift (in blue). That demographic shift would make the average wage in this group appear to fall right after the boatlift, even if no one’s wages actually changed in any subpopulation. What changed was who was included in the sample.

Why hadn’t this problem affected Card’s earlier results? Because there wasn’t any shift like this for workers who had finished high school only (as opposed to less than high school). Here is the same graph for those workers (again, non-Hispanic males 25 to 59):

Here, too, you can see that in the years where the survey covered more black men, the average wage is lower. But for this group, there wasn’t any increase in the relative number of blacks surveyed after 1980. If anything, black fraction of the sample is a little lower right after 1980. So the average wage in the post-boatlift years (blue) isn’t any lower than the average wage in the pre-boatlift years (red). About two-thirds of Card’s sample was these workers, where the shift in the fraction of black workers did not happen.

When the statistical results in the Borjas study are adjusted to allow for changing black composition of the sample in each city, the result becomes fragile. In the dataset Borjas focuses on, the result suddenly depends on which set of cities one chooses to compare Miami to. And in the other, larger CPS dataset that covers the same period, there is no longer a statistically significant dip in wages at all.

You might think that there’s an easy solution: Just test for the effects of the boatlift on workers who aren’t black. But this is really pushing the data further than it can go. By the time you’ve discarded women, and Hispanics, and workers under 25, and workers over 59, and anyone who finished high school— and blacks, you’ve thrown away 98 percent of the data on low-skill workers in Miami. There are only four people left in each year’s survey, on average, during the years that the Borjas study finds the largest effect. The average wage in that minuscule slice of the data looks like this:

With samples that small, the statistical confidence interval (represented by the dotted lines) is huge, meaning we can’t infer anything general from the results. We can’t distinguish large declines in wages from large rises in wages — at least until several years after the boatlift happened, and those can’t be plausibly attributed to the boatlift. Taking just four workers at a time from the larger dataset, a researcher could achieve practically any result whatsoever. There may have been a wage decline in this group, or a rise, but there just isn’t sufficient evidence to know.

David Card’s canonical conclusion stands

In sum, the evidence from the Mariel boatlift continues to support the conclusion of David Card’s seminal research: There is no clear evidence that wages fell (or that unemployment rose) among the least-skilled workers in Miami, even after a sudden refugee wave sharply raised the size of that workforce.

This does not by any means imply that large waves of low-skill immigration could not displace any native workers, especially in the short term, in other times and places. But politicians’ pronouncements that immigrants necessarily do harm native workers must grapple with the evidence from real-world experiences to the contrary.

Michael Clemens is an economist at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC, and the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany. His book The Walls of Nations is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.

Voir aussi:

The Republican candidate wants to deport immigrants and build a wall to keep Mexicans out. So what drives los Trumpistas?

Lauren Gambino

‘Trump is our wakeup call’

Raul Rodriguez, 74, Apple Valley, California

I always carry a bullhorn with me to rallies and campaign events. Into it I shout: “America, wake up!” Americans have been asleep for way too long. We need to realise that the future of our country is at stake.

If we don’t elect Donald Trump, we’ll get another four years of Barack Obama and frankly, I don’t know what would happen to this wonderful country of ours. Obama has already done so much to destroy our way of life and Hillary Clinton is promising to carry on where he left off. Like Obama, she wants to change our fundamental values – the ones people like my father fought to defend.

My father was born in Durango, Mexico. When he came to the US he joined the military and served as a medic during the second world war. He was a very proud American – he truly loved this country. I think I got my sense of patriotism from him.

Obama and Hillary Clinton want to have open borders. They let illegal immigrants cross our borders and now they want to accept thousands of Syrians. We don’t know who these people are. If they want to come to this country, they have to do it the right way, like my father did it.

I’m tired of politicians telling voters what they want to hear and then returning to Washington and doing whatever their party tells them to do. Politicians are supposed to represent the people – not their parties or their donors.

Part of the reason I like Donald Trump is because he isn’t an established politician. Sometimes that hurts him and people get offended. But the truth hurts. Even if he doesn’t say it well, he’s not wrong. Trump is our wakeup call.

‘Democrats treat Latinos as if we’re all one big group’

Ximena Barreto, 31, San Diego, California

I was in primary school in my native Colombia when my father was murdered. I was six – just one year older than my daughter is now. My father was an officer in the Colombian army at a time when wearing a uniform made you a target for narcoterrorists, Farc fighters and guerrilla groups.

What I remember clearly from those early years is the bombing and the terror. I was so afraid, especially after my dad died. At night, I would curl up in my mother’s bed while she held me close. She could not promise me that everything was going to be all right, because it wasn’t true. I don’t want my daughter to grow up like that.

But when I turn on my TV, I see terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and in Orlando. There are dangerous people coming across our borders. Trump was right. Some are rapists and criminals, but some are good people, too. But how do we know who is who, when you come here illegally?

I moved to the US in 2006 on a work permit. It took nearly five years and thousands of dollars to become a US citizen. I know the process is not perfect, but it’s the law. Why would I want illegals coming in when I had to go through this? It’s not fair that they’re allowed to jump the line and take advantage of so many benefits, ones that I pay for with my tax dollars.

People assume that because I’m a woman, I should vote for the woman; or that because I’m Latina, I should vote for the Democrat. The Democrats have been pandering to minorities and women for the last 50 years. They treat Latinos as if we’re all one big group. I’m Colombian – I don’t like Mariachi music. Donald Trump is not just saying what he thinks people want to hear, he’s saying what they’re afraid to say. I believe that he’s the only candidate who can make America strong and safe again.

‘Trump beat the system: what’s more American than that?’

Bertran Usher, 20, Inglewood, California

Pinterest
Bertran Usher, centre. Photograph: Edoardo Delille and Giulia Piermartiri/Institute

Donald Trump is the candidate America deserves. For decades, Americans have bemoaned politicians and Washington insiders. We despise political speak and crave fresh, new ideas. When you ask for someone with no experience, this is what you get. It’s like saying you don’t want a doctor to operate on you.

But Trump is a big FU to America. He beat the system and proved everyone wrong. What’s more American than that?

As a political science student who one day hopes to go into politics, I am studying this election closely. Both candidates are deeply unpopular and people of my generation are not happy with their choices. I believe we can learn what not to do from this election. I see how divided the country is, and it’s the clearest sign that politicians will have to learn to work together to make a difference. It’s not always easy, but I’ve seen this work.

I was raised in a multicultural household. My mother, a Democrat, is Latino and African American, raised in the inner city of Los Angeles. My father, a Republican, is an immigrant from Belize. My parents and I don’t always see eye to eye on everything, but our spirited debates have helped add nuance to my politics.

I’m in favour of small government, but I support gay rights. I believe welfare is an important service for Americans who need it, but I think our current programme needs to be scaled back. I think we need to have stricter enforcement of people who come to the country illegally, but I don’t think we should deport the DREAMers [children of immigrants who were brought to the country illegally, named after the 2001 Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act].

Trump can be a nut, but I think he’s the best candidate in this election. Though there are issues of his I disagree with, at least he says what’s on his mind, as opposed to Hillary Clinton, who hides what she’s thinking behind her smile.

It’s up to my generation to fix the political mess we’re in. I plan to be a part of the solution.

‘Trump’s The Art Of The Deal inspired me to be a businessman’

Omar Navarro, 27, Torrance, California

When I was a kid, people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up. I would tell them: I want to be president of the United States. If that doesn’t work out, I want to be a billionaire like Trump.

In a way, I supported him long before he announced he was running for president. He was my childhood hero. I read The Art Of The Deal as a student; it inspired me to become a businessman. Now I own a small business and am running for Congress in California’s 43rd district.

Trump built an empire and a strong brand that’s recognisable all around the world; he’s a household name and a world-class businessman. Almost anywhere you go, you can see the mark of Donald Trump on a building or property. When I see that, I see the American Dream.

Some people ask me how I can support Donald Trump as the son of a Mexican and Cuban immigrants. They are categorising me. In this country we label people: Hispanic, African American, Asian, Caucasian. We separate and divide people into social categories based on race, ethnicity, gender and creed. To me, this is a form of racism. I’m proud of my Hispanic heritage but I’m an American, full stop.

Like all immigrants, my parents came to this country for a better opportunity. But they did it legally. They didn’t cut the line. They assimilated to the American way of life, learned English and opened small businesses.

Why should we allow people to skirt the law? Imagine making a dinner reservation and arriving at the restaurant to find out that another family has been seated at your table. How is that fair?

We have to have laws and as a country we must enforce those laws. A society without laws is just anarchy. If someone invited you to their house and asked you to remove your shoes would you keep them on? If we don’t enforce the rules, why would anyone respect them? I believe Donald Trump will enforce the rules.

‘He has taken a strong stand against abortion’

Jimena Rivera, 20, student at the University of Texas at Brownsville

I’m Mexican, so I don’t have a vote, but I support Donald Trump because he is the one candidate who opposes abortion. He may have wavered in the beginning, but since becoming the nominee he has taken a strong stand against abortion.

Hillary Clinton is running as the leader of a party that has pushed a very pro-choice platform. Even Democrats like her running mate, Tim Kaine, who is a devout Catholic, compromise their faith to support abortion.

I don’t always agree with his positions on immigration. I see the border wall every day. I’m not convinced that it’s effective. The people who want to cross will find a way. I don’t think it’s right that they do, but most of them are looking for a better way of life. A wall won’t stop them.

‘Lower taxes and less regulation will create more jobs’

Marissa Desilets, 22, Palm Springs, California

I am a proud Hispanic conservative Republican woman. I became politically engaged as a political science and economics major at university. By my junior year, I was a member of the campus Republicans’ club. As a student of economics, I am very impressed with Trump’s economic agenda. I believe we must cut taxes for everyone and eliminate the death tax. Lowering taxes and reeling back regulations will create more jobs – meaning more tax-paying Americans. This in turn will generate more revenue for the Treasury.

I also support Trump because he favours strong leadership and promised to preserve the constitution of the United States. We must have a rule of law in this country. We must close our open borders. Like Trump says: “a nation without borders is not a nation.” This doesn’t mean we should not allow any immigrants. We should welcome new immigrants who choose to legally enter our beautiful country.

This won’t be the case if Hillary Clinton becomes president. I would expect the poor to become poorer and our country to become divided. I believe that liberals’ reckless domestic spending will bankrupt our future generations. I refuse to support a party that desires to expand the government and take away my civil liberties.

‘He has gone through so many divorces, yet raised such a close-knit family’

Dr Alexander Villicana, 80, Pasadena, California

I am an example of the opportunities this country has to offer. My parents came from Mexico at the turn of the 20th century. They were not educated but they worked hard to make a better life for us and it paid off.

I went to school and studied cosmetic surgery. Now I work as a plastic surgeon and have been in practice for the last 40 years. I have a beautiful family and my health. I am Hispanic – but I am a citizen of the United States and I feel very patriotic for this country that has given me so much.

I’m supporting Trump because I agree with his vision for our economy. He has experience at the negotiating table, so he knows what to do to create jobs and increase workers’ salaries. In Trump’s America people would be rewarded for their hard work rather than penalised with hefty taxes.

The security of our nation is a top priority for me. I think it would be impossible to deport 11 million people who are here illegally, but we have to do a better job of understanding who is in our country and who is trying to come into our country.

A lot of what Trump says, especially about security and immigration, is twisted by the media. What he said about Mexicans, for example, that wasn’t negative – it was the truth. There are Mexicans bringing over drugs and perpetrating rapes. But what he also said – and the media completely ignored – is that many Mexicans are good people coming over for a better quality of life.

He may be blunt and occasionally offensive but I find him likable. I was so impressed by Trump and his family at the Republican National Convention. It’s hard for me to imagine that someone who has gone through so many divorces has managed to raise such a close-knit family. None of his children had to work and yet they spoke with eloquence and integrity about their father.

‘When Trump is harsh about Mexicans, he is right’

Francisco Rivera, 43, Huntington Park, California

People ask me how I can support Donald Trump. I say, let me tell you a story. I was in line at the movie theatre recently when I saw a young woman toss her cupcake into a nearby planter as if it were a trash can. I walked over to her and said, “Honey, excuse me, does that look like a garbage can to you?” And you know what she told me? “There’s already trash in the planter, so what does it matter?”

I asked her what part of Mexico she was from. She seemed surprised and asked how I knew she was from Mexico. “Look at what you just did,” I told her. “Donald Trump may sound harsh when he speaks about Mexicans, but he is right. It’s people like you that make everyone look bad.”

I moved from Mexico with my family when I was seven. I still carry a photo of my brother and I near our home, to remind people how beautiful the city once was. Now I spend my time erasing graffiti from the walls and picking up trash. Sixty years ago, we accepted immigrants into our country who valued the laws, rules and regulations that made America the land of opportunity. Back in those days, people worked hard to improve themselves and their communities.

I’m tired of living in a lawless country. It’s like we put a security guard at the front door, but the Obama administration unlocked the back door. And I have seen what my own people have done to this country. They want to convert America into the country they left behind. This country has given me so many opportunities I wouldn’t have had if my mom had raised her family in Mexico. I want America to be great again, and that’s why in November I am going to vote for Donald Trump.

‘I voted for Obama twice, but Hillary gets a free pass’

Teresa Mendoza, 44, Mesa, Arizona

In my day job I am a real estate agent but every now and then I dabble in standup comedy. Comedy used to be a safe space. You could say whatever you wanted to and it was understood that it was meant to make people laugh. Now everything has to be politically correct. You can’t say “Hand me the black crayon” without someone snapping back at you: “What do you mean by that?” Donald Trump offended a lot of people when he gave the speech calling [Mexicans] rapists and criminals but he didn’t offend me.

I was a liberal Democrat all my life. Before this I voted for Obama twice. I wanted to be a part of history. If it wasn’t for Obamacare and the ridiculous growth of our federal government, I’d probably still be a Democrat, asleep at the wheel. But I woke up and realised I’m actually much more in line with Republicans on major policy points.

I like to joke that I’m an original anchor baby. My parents came from Mexico in the 1970s under the Bracero work programme making me a California-born Chicana. We later became US citizens. But now that I’m a Republican, Hillary Clinton is trying to tell me I’m “alt-right”. It’s strange isn’t it? All of a sudden I’m a white nationalist.

My sons and I go back and forth. They don’t like Trump. But it’s what they’re hearing in school, from their friends and teachers, who are all getting their news from the same biased news outlets.

I’m very concerned about the role the media is taking in this election. The networks sensationalise and vilify Trump while they give Hillary Clinton a free pass. It amazes me. I don’t care if Trump likes to eat his fried chicken with a fork and a knife. I do care that Clinton has not been held responsible for the Benghazi attacks.

Voir également:

En 2016, le business des passeurs de migrants s’élevait à 7 milliards de dollars

Zoé Lauwereys
Le Parisien
10 juillet 2018

L’Office des Nations unies contre la drogue et le crime (l’UNODC) livre un rapport détaillé sur le trafic fructueux des passeurs.

On connaît les photos de ces hommes et de ces femmes débarquant sur des plages européennes, engoncés dans leurs gilets de sauvetage orange, tentant à tout prix de maintenir la tête de leur enfant hors de l’eau. Impossible également d’oublier l’image du corps du petit Aylan Kurdi, devenu en 2016 le symbole planétaire du drame des migrants. Ce que l’on sait moins c’est que le « business » des passeurs rapporte beaucoup d’argent. Selon la première étude du genre de l’Office des Nations unies contre la drogue et le crime (l’UNODC), le trafic de migrants a rapporté entre 5,5 et 7 milliards de dollars (entre 4,7 et 6 milliards d’euros) en 2016. C’est l’équivalent de ce que l’Union européenne a dépensé la même année dans l’aide humanitaire, selon le rapport.

A quoi correspond cette somme ?

En 2016, au moins 2,5 millions de migrants sont passés entre les mains de passeurs, estime l’UNODC qui rappelle la difficulté d’évaluer une activité criminelle. De quoi faire fructifier les affaires de ces contrebandiers. Cette somme vient directement des poches des migrants qui paient des criminels pour voyager illégalement. Le tarif varie en fonction de la distance à parcourir, du nombre de frontières, les moyens de transport utilisés, la production de faux papiers… La richesse supposée du client est un facteur qui fait varier les prix. Evidemment, payer plus cher ne rend pas le voyage plus sûr ou plus confortable, souligne l’UNODC.Selon les estimations de cette agence des Nations unies, ce sont les passages vers l’Amérique du Nord qui rapportent le plus. En 2016, jusqu’à 820 000 personnes ont traversé la frontière illégalement, versant entre 3,1 et 3,6 milliards d’euros aux trafiquants. Suivent les trois routes de la Méditerranée vers l’Union européenne. Environ 375 000 personnes ont ainsi entrepris ce voyage en 2016, rapportant entre 274 et 300 millions d’euros aux passeurs.Pour atteindre l’Europe de l’Ouest, un Afghan peut ainsi dépenser entre 8000 € et 12 000 €.

L’Europe, une destination de choix

Sans surprise, les rédacteurs du rapport repèrent que l’Europe est une des destinations principales des migrants. Les pays d’origine varient, mais l’UNODC parvient à chiffrer certains flux. Les migrants qui arrivent en Italie sont originaires à 89 % d’Afrique, de l’Ouest principalement. 94 % de ceux qui atteignent l’Espagne sont également originaires d’Afrique, de l’Ouest et du Nord. LIRE AUSSI >Migrants : pourquoi ils ont choisi la France

En revanche, la Grèce accueille à 85 % des Afghans, Syriens et des personnes originaires des pays du Moyen-Orient.

En route vers l’Amérique du Nord

Le nord de l’Amérique et plus particulièrement les Etats-Unis accueillent d’importants flux de migrants. Comme l’actualité nous l’a tristement rappelé récemment, des milliers de citoyens de pays d’Amérique centrale et de Mexicains traversent chaque année la frontière qui sépare les Etats-Unis du Mexique. Les autorités peinent cependant à quantifier les flux. Ce que l’on sait c’est qu’en 2016, 2 404 personnes ont été condamnées pour avoir fait passer des migrants aux Etats-Unis. 65 d’entre eux ont été condamnés pour avoir fait passer au moins 100 personnes.Toujours en 2016, le Mexique, qui fait office de « pays-étape » pour les voyageurs, a noté que les Guatémaltèques, les Honduriens et les Salvadoriens formaient les plus grosses communautés sur son territoire. En 2016, les migrants caribéens arrivaient principalement d’Haïti, note encore l’UNODC.

Un trafic mortel

S’appuyant sur les chiffres de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), le rapport pointe les risques mortels encourus par les migrants. Première cause : les conditions de voyage difficiles. Sur les 8189 décès de migrants recensés par l’OIM en 2016, 3832 sont morts noyés (46 %) en traversant la Méditerranée. Les passages méditerranéens sont les plus mortels. L’un d’entre eux force notamment les migrants à parcourir 300 kilomètres en haute mer sur des embarcations précaires.C’est aussi la cruauté des passeurs qui est en cause. L’UNODC décrit le sort de certaines personnes poussées à l’eau par les trafiquants qui espèrent ainsi échapper aux gardes-côtes. Le cas de centaines de personnes enfermées dans des remorques sans ventilation, ni eau ou nourriture pendant des jours est également relevé. Meurtre, extorsion, torture, demande de rançon, traite d’être humain, violences sexuelles sont également le lot des migrants, d’où qu’ils viennent. En 2017, 382 migrants sont décédés de la main des hommes, soit 6 % des décès.

Qui sont les passeurs ?

Le passeur est le plus souvent un homme mais des femmes (des compagnes, des sœurs, des filles ou des mères) sont parfois impliquées dans le trafic, définissent les rédacteurs de l’étude. Certains parviennent à gagner modestement leur vie, d’autres, membres d’organisations et de mafias font d’importants profits. Tous n’exercent pas cette activité criminelle à plein temps. Souvent le passeur est de la même origine que ses victimes. Il parle la même langue et partage avec elles les mêmes repères culturels, ce qui lui permet de gagner leur confiance. Le recrutement des futurs « clients » s’opère souvent dans les camps de réfugiés ou dans les quartiers pauvres.

Les réseaux sociaux, nouvel outil des passeurs

Facebook, Viber, Skype ou WhatsApp sont devenus des indispensables du contrebandier qui veut faire passer des migrants. Arrivé à destination, le voyageur publie un compte rendu sur son passeur. Il décrit s’il a triché, échoué ou s’il traitait mal les migrants. Un peu comme une note de consommateur, rapporte l’UNODC.Mieux encore, les réseaux sociaux sont utilisés par les passeurs pour leur publicité. Sur Facebook, les trafiquants présentent leurs offres, agrémentent leur publication d’une photo, détaillent les prix et les modalités de paiement.L’agence note que, sur Facebook, des passeurs se font passer pour des ONG ou des agences de voyages européennes qui organisent des passages en toute sécurité. D’autres, qui visent particulièrement les Afghans, se posent en juristes spécialistes des demandes d’asile…

Voir enfin:

How The Pee Tape Explains The World Cup

Bidding for the 2018 World Cup was the first glimpse of today’s “Machiavellian Russia,” Ken Bensinger explains in his new book about FIFA’s corruption scandal.

On the morning of May 27, 2015, Swiss police officers raided the Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich and arrested nine of the world’s top soccer officials on behalf of the United States government. In the coming days, the world would learn about deep-seated corruption throughout FIFA, global soccer’s governing body, that stretched from its top ranks to its regional confederations to its marketing partners around the world.

Top soccer officials from across North, South and Central America and the Caribbean were among those implicated in the case, which also brought down top executives from sports marketing firms that had bribed their way into controlling the broadcast and sponsorship rights associated with soccer’s biggest events. FIFA’s longtime president, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, eventually resigned in disgrace.

It was the biggest organized-corruption scandal in sports history, and some within FIFA were skeptical of the Americans’ motives. In 2010 the U.S. had bid to host the 2022 World Cup, only to lose a contentious vote to Qatar. For FIFA officials, it felt like a case of sour grapes.

But as BuzzFeed investigative reporter Ken Bensinger chronicles in his new book, Red Card: How the U.S. Blew the Whistle on the World’s Biggest Sports Scandal, the investigation’s origins began before FIFA handed the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar. The case had actually begun as an FBI probe into an illegal gambling ring the bureau believed was run by people with ties to Russian organized crime outfits. The ring operated out of Trump Tower in New York City.

Eventually, the investigation spread to soccer, thanks in part to an Internal Revenue Service agent named Steve Berryman, a central figure in Bensinger’s book who pieced together the financial transactions that formed the backbone of the corruption allegations. But first, it was tips from British journalist Andrew Jennings and Christopher Steele ― the former British spy who is now known to American political observers as the man behind the infamous so-called “pee tape” dossier chronicling now-President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia ― that pointed the Americans’ attention toward the Russian World Cup, and the decades of bribery and corruption that had transformed FIFA from a modest organization with a shoestring budget into a multibillion-dollar enterprise in charge of the world’s most popular sport. Later, the feds arrested and flipped Chuck Blazer, a corrupt American soccer official and member of FIFA’s vaunted Executive Committee. It was Blazer who helped them crack the case wide open, as HuffPost’s Mary Papenfuss and co-author Teri Thompson chronicled in their book American Huckster, based on the 2014 story they broke of Blazer’s role in the scandal.

Russia’s efforts to secure hosting rights to the 2018 World Cup never became a central part of the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice’s case. Thanks to Blazer, it instead focused primarily on CONCACAF, which governs soccer in the Caribbean and North and Central America, and other officials from South America.

But as Bensinger explained in an interview with HuffPost this week, the FIFA case gave American law enforcement officials an early glimpse into the “Machiavellian Russia” of Vladimir Putin “that will do anything to get what it wants and doesn’t care how it does it.” And it was Steele’s role in the earliest aspects of the FIFA case, coincidentally, that fostered the relationship that led him to hand his Trump dossier to the FBI ― the dossier that has now helped form “a big piece of the investigative blueprint,” as Bensinger said, that former FBI director Robert Mueller is using in his probe of Russian meddling in the election that made Trump president.

Ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final, which will take place in Moscow, HuffPost spoke with Bensinger about Red Card, the parallels between the FIFA case and the current American political environment, FIFA’s reform efforts, and whether the idea of corruption-free global soccer is at all possible.

The following is a lightly edited transcription of our discussion.

You start by addressing the main conspiracy theory around this, which is that this was a case of sour grapes from the United States losing out on hosting the 2022 World Cup. But the origin was a more traditional FBI investigation into Russian organized crime, right?

That’s correct. And there are sort of these weird connections to everything going on in the political sphere in our country, which I think is interesting because when I was reporting the book out, it was mostly before the election. It was a time when Christopher Steele’s name didn’t mean anything. But what I figured out over time is that this had nothing to do with sour grapes, and the FBI agents who opened the case didn’t really care about losing the World Cup. The theory was that the U.S. investigation was started because the U.S. lost to Qatar, and Bill Clinton or Eric Holder or Barack Obama or somebody ordered up an investigation.

What happened was that the investigation began in July or August 2010, four or five months before the vote happened. It starts because this FBI agent, who’s a long-term Genovese crime squad guy, gets a new squad ― the Eurasian Organized Crime Squad ― which is primarily focused on Russian stuff. It’s a squad that’s squeezed of resources and not doing much because under Robert Mueller, who was the FBI director at the time, the FBI was not interested in traditional crime-fighting. They were interested in what Mueller called transnational crime. So this agent looked for cases that he thought would score points with Mueller. And one of the cases they’re doing involves the Trump Tower. It’s this illegal poker game and sports book that’s partially run out of the Trump Tower. The main guy was a Russian mobster, and the FBI agent had gone to London ― that’s how he met Steele ― to learn about this guy. Steele told him what he knew, and they parted amicably, and the parting shot was, “Listen, if you have any other interesting leads in the future, let me know.”

It was the first sort of sign of the Russia we now understand exists, which is kind of a Machiavellian Russia that will do anything to get what it wants and doesn’t care how it does it.

Steele had already been hired by the English bid for the 2018 World Cup at that point. What Chris Steele starts seeing on behalf of the English bid is the Russians doing, as it’s described in the book, sort of strange and questionable stuff. It looks funny, and it’s setting off alarm bells for Steele. So he calls the FBI agent back, and says, “You should look into what’s happening with the World Cup bid.” And my sense is the FBI agent, at that point, says something along the lines of: “What’s the World Cup? And what’s FIFA?”

He really didn’t know much about it, to the point that when he comes back to New York and opens the case, it’s sort of small and they don’t take it too seriously. They were stymied, trying to figure out how to make it a case against Russia. Meanwhile, the vote happens and Russia wins its bid for the 2018 World Cup.

So it’s more a result of the U.S. government’s obsession, if you will, with Russia and Russian crime generally?

The story would be different if this particular agent was on a different squad. But he was an ambitious agent just taking over a squad and trying to make a name for himself. This was his first management job, and he wanted to make big cases. He decides to go after Russia in Russia as a way to make a splash. It’s tempting to look at this as a reflection of the general U.S. writ large obsession with Russia, which certainly exists, but it’s also a different era. This was 2009, 2010. This was during the Russian reset. It was Obama’s first two years in office. He’s hugging Putin and talking about how they’re going to make things work. Russia is playing nice-nice. The public image is fairly positive in that period. It wasn’t, “Russia’s the great enemy.” It was more like, “Russia can be our friend!”

That’s what I find interesting about this case is that, what we see in Russia’s attempt to win the World Cup by any means is the first sort of sign of the Russia we now understand exists, which is kind of a Machiavellian Russia that will do anything to get what it wants and doesn’t care how it does it. It was like a dress rehearsal for that.

Steele has become this sort of household name in politics in the U.S., thanks to the Trump dossier. But here he is in the FIFA scandal. Was this coincidental, because he’s the Russia guy and we’re investigating Russia?

It’s one of these things that looks like an accident, but so much of world history depends on these accidents. Chris Steele, when he was still at MI-6, investigated the death of Alexander Litvinenko, who was the Russian spy poisoned with polonium. It was Steele who ran that investigation and determined that Putin probably ordered it. And then Steele gets hired because of his expertise in Russia by the English bid, and he becomes the canary in the coal mine saying, “Uh oh, guys, it’s not going to be that easy, and things are looking pretty grim for you.”

That’s critical. I don’t know if that would have affected whether or not Chris Steele later gets hired by Fusion GPS to put together the Trump dossier. But it’s certain that the relationship he built because of the FIFA case meant that the FBI took it more seriously. The very same FBI agent that he gave the tip on FIFA to was the agent he calls up in 2016 to say, “I have another dossier.”

The FBI must get a crazy number of wild, outlandish tips all the time, but in this case, it’s a tip from Christopher Steele, who has proven his worth very significantly to the FBI. This is just a year after the arrests in Zurich, and the FBI and DOJ are feeling very good about the FIFA case, and they’re feeling very good about their relationship with Christopher Steele.

If we think about the significance of the dossier ― and I realize that we’ve learned that the FBI had already begun to look into Trump and Russia prior to having it ― it’s also clear that the dossier massively increased the size of the investigation, led to the FISA warrants where we’re listening to Carter Page and others, and formed a big piece of the investigative blueprint for Mueller today. Steele proved his worth to the FBI at the right time, and that led to his future work being decisive

To the investigation itself: In 2010, FIFA votes to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, and you quote (now former) FIFA vice president Jérôme Valcke as saying, “This is the end of FIFA.” So there were some people within FIFA that saw this vote as a major turning point in its history?

I think he and others were recognizing this increasingly brazen attitude of the criminality within FIFA. They had gone from an organization where people were getting bribes and doing dirty stuff, but doing it very carefully behind closed doors. And it was transitioning to one where the impunity was so rampant that people thought they could do anything. And I think in his mind, awarding the World Cup to Russia under very suspicious circumstances and also awarding it to Qatar, which by any definition has no right to host this tournament, it felt to him and others like a step too far.

I don’t think he had any advance knowledge that the U.S. was poking around on it, but he recognized that it was getting out of hand. People were handing out cash bribes in practically broad daylight, and as corrupt as these people were, they didn’t tend to do that.

You write early in the book that this all started with the election, as FIFA president, of João Havelange in 1974. He takes advantage of modern marketing and media to begin to turn FIFA into the organization that we know today. Is it fair to say that this corruption scandal was four decades in the making?

I haven’t thought of it that way, but in a way, you’re right. The FIFA culture we know today didn’t start yesterday. It started in 1974 when this guy gets elected, and within a couple years, the corruption starts. And it starts with one bribe to Havelange, or one idea that he should be bribed. And it starts a whole culture, and the people all sort of learn from that same model. The dominoes fell over time. It’s not a new model, and things were getting more and more out of hand over time. FIFA had been able to successfully bat these challenges down over the years. There’s an attempted revolt in FIFA in 2001 or 2002 that Blatter completely shut down. The general secretary of FIFA was accusing Blatter and other people of either being involved in corruption or permitting corruption, and there’s a moment where it seems like the Executive Committee was going to turn against Blatter and vote him out and change everything. But they all blinked, and Blatter dispensed his own justice by getting rid of his No. 2 and putting in people who were going to be loyal to him. The effect of those things was more brazen behavior.

Everyone knew this was going on. Why didn’t it come to light sooner?

It was an open secret. I think it’s because soccer’s just too big and important in all these other countries. I think other countries have just never been able to figure out how to deal with it. The best you’d get was a few members of Parliament in England holding outraged press conferences or a few hearings, but nothing ever came of it. It’s just too much of a political hot potato because soccer elsewhere is so much more important than it is the U.S. People are terrified of offending the FIFA gods.

There’s a story about how Andrew Jennings, this British journalist, wanted to broadcast a documentary detailing FIFA corruption just a week or so before the 2010 vote, and when the British bid and the British government got a hold of it, they tried really hard to stifle the press. They begged the BBC not to air the documentary until after the vote, because they were terrified of FIFA. That’s reflective of the kind of attitudes that all these countries have.

A lot of the things that resulted from the bribery and the corruption, or that were done to facilitate bribery and corruption, helped grow the sport here. The Gold Cup, the Women’s World Cup, the growth of the World Cup and Copa America. To the average fan, these are “good” developments for the sport. And yet, they were only created to make these guys rich. How do you square that?

Well, it reminds me of questions about Chuck Blazer. Is he all bad, or all good? He’s a little bit of both. The U.S. women’s national team probably wouldn’t exist without him. The Women’s World Cup probably wouldn’t either. Major League Soccer got its first revenue-positive TV deal because of Chuck Blazer.

A lot of these guys were truly surprised. If they thought they were doing something wrong, they didn’t think it was something that anyone cared about.

At the same time, he was a corrupt crook that stole a lot of money that could’ve gone to the game. And so, is he good or bad? Probably more bad than good, but he’s not all bad.

That applies to the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is a totally artificial thing that was made up ultimately as a money-making scheme for Blazer, but in the end, it’s probably benefited soccer in this country. So it’s clearly not all bad.

You’d like to think that we could take these things that end up being a good idea, and clean them up and wash away the bad.

Blazer is a fascinating figure, and it seems like there are hints of sympathy for him and some of the other corrupt players in the book. Were all of these guys hardened criminals, or did they get wrapped up in how the business worked, and how it had worked for so long?

There’s no question he’s greedy. But there’s something about the culture of corruption that it can almost sneak up on a person. Blazer had a longer history of it. He always had a touch of corruption about him. But I think a lot of the officials in the sport came up because they loved the sport and wanted to be involved in running it. And then they found out that people were lining their pockets and they thought: “Everyone else is doing it. I’d be a fool not to participate in this.”

And when they end up getting arrested and charged, it’s not the same as a mafia guy in Brooklyn. A lot of these guys were truly surprised. If they thought they were doing something wrong, they didn’t think it was something that anyone cared about. They clearly aren’t innocent, and they went to great lengths to hide it. But at the same time, the impunity came from a culture of believing it was OK to do that stuff. And this really was a case of the FBI and DOJ pulling the rug out from under these people.

One point you stress in the book is that fundamentally, this was a crime against the development of the sport, particularly in poorer nations and communities. How did FIFA’s corruption essentially rob development money from the lower levels of soccer?

That’s something that took me a little while to understand. But when I understood the way the bribery took place, it became clearer to me. The money stolen from the sport isn’t just the bribes. Let’s say I’m a sports marketing firm, and I bribe you a million dollars to sign over a rights contract to me. The first piece of it is that million dollars that could have gone to the sport. But it’s also the opportunity cost: What would the value of those rights have been if it was taken to the free market instead of a bribe?

All that money is taken away from the sport. And the second thing was traveling to South America and seeing the conditions of soccer for fans, for kids and for women. That was really eye-opening. There are stadiums in Argentina and Brazil that are absolutely decrepit. And people would explain, the money that was supposed to come to these clubs never comes. You have kids still playing with the proverbial ball made of rags and duct tape, and little girls who can’t play because there are no facilities or leagues for women at all. When you see that, and then you see dudes making millions in bribes and also marketing guys making far more from paying the bribes, I started to get indignant about it. FIFA always ties itself to children and the good of the game. But it’s absurd when you see how they operate. The money doesn’t go to kids. It goes to making soccer officials rich.

Former U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati pops up a couple times. He’s friends with Blazer, he ends up with a seat on the Executive Committee. Is there a chance U.S. Soccer is wrapped up in this, and we just don’t know about it yet?

I will say that I don’t believe Gulati is a cooperator. People wonder that and it’s reasonable. It’s curious how this guy who came up in Blazer’s shadow and rose to so much power, and literally had office space in the CONCACAF offices, could be clean. And he might not be clean, but more likely, he’s the kind of guy who decided to turn a blind eye to all the corruption and pretend he didn’t see it.

That said, there are legitimate questions about how U.S. Soccer operates that weirdly parallels a lot of the corruption that we saw in South America, the Caribbean and Central America. The relationship between U.S. Soccer, MLS and this entity called Soccer United Marketing ― that relationship is very questionable. MLS has the rights to the U.S. Soccer Federation wrapped up for years and years to come. There hasn’t been open bidding for those rights since 2002, I think it is. SUM has MLS, but it also has the rights for the U.S. Soccer Federation for men and women. There’s a lot of money to be made, and SUM’s getting all that, and since they haven’t put it out for public bid, it’s really not clear that U.S. Soccer is getting full value for its product. And in that sense it parallels the sort of corruption we saw.

What do you make of FIFA’s reform efforts?

FIFA is battling itself as it tries to reform itself. I’m suspicious of current FIFA president Gianni Infantino. This is a guy who grew up 6 miles from Sepp Blatter. His career echoes that. He was the general secretary of UEFA, which is not unlike being the general secretary of FIFA. Both of them are very similar in a lot of ways, in their ambitions and their role being the sport’s bureaucrat. Their promises to win elections by spilling money all over the place is just too similar. That said, I think Infantino recognizes that that culture is what led to these problems, and he sees an organization that’s in financial chaos right now. This World Cup’s going to bring in a lot of money, but the last three years have been massively income-negative. They’re losing money because of sponsors running away in droves and massive legal bills. I think he sees a pathway to financial security for FIFA by making more money and being more transparent.

When massive amounts of money mixes with a massively popular cultural phenomenon, is it ever going to be clean? It seems kind of hopeless.

But he still talks about patronage and handing out money, and federations around the world are still getting busted for taking bribes. The Ghana football federation got dissolved a week before the World Cup because a documentary came out that showed top officials taking bribes on secret camera. It’s still a deeply corrupt culture. Baby steps are being taken, but it seems like 42-plus years of corruption can’t be cleaned up in two or three years.

On that note, one of the marketing guys in the book says, “There will always be payoffs.” That stuck out to me, because I’m cynical about FIFA’s willingness or ability to clean this up at all. From your reporting, do you believe “there will always be payoffs” is the reality of the situation, given the structure of our major international sporting organizations?

This is like, “What is human nature all about?” When massive amounts of money mixes with a massively popular cultural phenomenon, is it ever going to be clean? I wish it would be different, but it seems kind of hopeless. How do you regulate soccer, and who can oversee this to make sure that people behave in an ethical, clean and fair way that benefits everyone else? It’s not an accident that every single international sports organization is based in Switzerland. The answer is because the Swiss, not only do they offer them a huge tax break, they also basically say, “You can do whatever you want and we’re not going to bother you.” That’s exactly what these groups want. Well, how do you regulate that?

I don’t think the U.S. went in saying, “We’re going to regulate soccer.” I think they thought if we can give soccer a huge kick in the ass, if we can create so much public and political pressure on them that sponsors will run away, they’ll feel they have no option but to react and clean up their act. It’s sort of, kick ’em where it hurts.

My cynicism about the ability for anyone to clean it up made me feel sorry for Steve Berryman, the IRS agent who’s one of the main investigators and one of your central characters. He said he’ll never stop until he cleans up the sport, and I couldn’t help but think, “That’ll never happen.”

That’s right. It’ll never happen. People like him are driven. It’s not just soccer for him. He cared so much about this. He felt, “I have to do this until it’s over, or else it’s a failed investigation.” I think people like him sometimes recognize that they can never get there, but it’s still disheartening, every piece of new corruption we see, and these guys think, “I’ve worked so hard, and … ”

The World Cup is going on right now, it’s in Russia, and corruption has barely been a part of the story. Do you think the book and the upcoming Qatari World Cup will reinvigorate that conversation, or are people just resigned to the belief that this is what FIFA is?

There is some of that resignation. But also, the annoying but true reality of FIFA is that when the World Cup is happening, all the soccer fans around the world forget all their anger and just want to watch the tournament. For three and a half years, everyone bitches about what a mess FIFA is, and then during the World Cup everyone just wants to watch soccer. There could be some reinvigoration in the next few months when the next stupid scandal appears. And I do think Qatar could reinvigorate more of that. There’s a tiny piece of me that thinks we could still see Qatar stripped of the World Cup. That would certainly spur a lot of conversation about this.

You talk at the end of the book about a shift in focus to corruption in the Asian federation. Are DOJ and the FBI tying up loose ends, or are there deeper investigations still going?

There are clear signs that there’s more. This is still cleaning up pieces from the old case, but just Tuesday, a Florida company pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in the FIFA case. It was a company that was known from the written indictments, but no one had known they were going to be pleading guilty, so it was a new piece of the case. This company’s going to pay $25 million in fines and forfeitures, and it was sort of a sign from DOJ that they have finished what they’re going to do.

That piece at the end of the book with the guy going off to the South Pacific is a guy named Richard Lai. He’s from Guam and he pleaded guilty in May or June of 2017. That was a pretty strong clue, too, that they’re looking at the Asian Football Confederation, which is the one that includes Qatar. I do know from sources that the cooperators in the case are still actively talking to prosecutors, and still spending many, many hours with them discussing many aspects of the case. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see more. That said, a lot of the people who were involved in the case in the beginning have moved on. It’s natural to have some turnover, and people who inherit a case aren’t necessarily as emotionally bought into it as the people who started. So at some point, it could get old.

But not Steve Berryman. He’s still going?

Steve Berryman will never stop.

Publicités

Effet spectateur: C’est le mimétisme, imbécile ! (Monkey see, monkey do: New example of bystander effect on Paris commuter train confirms everything is mimetic in whatever we do whether good or bad, but compounded by the effect of diversity)

4 juillet, 2018

Je vous le dis en vérité, toutes les fois que vous avez fait ces choses à l’un de ces plus petits de mes frères, c’est à moi que vous les avez faites. Jésus (Matthieu 25: 40)
Un docteur de la loi (…) voulant se justifier, dit à Jésus : Et qui est mon prochain ? Jésus reprit la parole, et dit : Un homme descendait de Jérusalem à Jéricho. Il tomba au milieu des brigands, qui le dépouillèrent, le chargèrent de coups, et s’en allèrent, le laissant à demi mort. Un sacrificateur, qui par hasard descendait par le même chemin, ayant vu cet homme, passa outre. Un Lévite, qui arriva aussi dans ce lieu, l’ayant vu, passa outre. Mais un Samaritain, qui voyageait, étant venu là, fut ému de compassion lorsqu’il le vit. Il s’approcha, et banda ses plaies, en y versant de l’huile et du vin ; puis il le mit sur sa propre monture, le conduisit à une hôtellerie, et prit soin de lui. Le lendemain, il tira deux deniers, les donna à l’hôte, et dit : Aie soin de lui, et ce que tu dépenseras de plus, je te le rendrai à mon retour. Lequel de ces trois te semble avoir été le prochain de celui qui était tombé au milieu des brigands ? C’est celui qui a exercé la miséricorde envers lui, répondit le docteur de la loi. Et Jésus lui dit : Va, et toi, fais de même. Jésus (Luc 10 : 25-37)
Alors les scribes et les pharisiens amenèrent une femme surprise en adultère; et, la plaçant au milieu du peuple, ils dirent à Jésus: Maître, cette femme a été surprise en flagrant délit d’adultère. Moïse, dans la loi, nous a ordonné de lapider de telles femmes: toi donc, que dis-tu? Ils disaient cela pour l’éprouver, afin de pouvoir l’accuser. Mais Jésus, s’étant baissé, écrivait avec le doigt sur la terre. Comme ils continuaient à l’interroger, il se releva et leur dit: Que celui de vous qui est sans péché jette le premier la pierre contre elle. Et s’étant de nouveau baissé, il écrivait sur la terre. Quand ils entendirent cela, accusés par leur conscience, ils se retirèrent un à un, depuis les plus âgés jusqu’aux derniers; et Jésus resta seul avec la femme qui était là au milieu. Alors s’étant relevé, et ne voyant plus que la femme, Jésus lui dit: Femme, où sont ceux qui t’accusaient? Personne ne t’a-t-il condamnée? Elle répondit: Non, Seigneur. Et Jésus lui dit: Je ne te condamne pas non plus: va, et ne pèche plus. Jean 8: 3-11
Ne croyez pas que je sois venu apporter la paix sur la terre; je ne suis pas venu apporter la paix, mais l’épée. Car je suis venu mettre la division entre l’homme et son père, entre la fille et sa mère, entre la belle-fille et sa belle-mère; et l’homme aura pour ennemis les gens de sa maison. Jésus (Matthieu 10 : 34-36)
L’erreur est toujours de raisonner dans les catégories de la « différence », alors que la racine de tous les conflits, c’est plutôt la « concurrence », la rivalité mimétique entre des êtres, des pays, des cultures. La concurrence, c’est-à-dire le désir d’imiter l’autre pour obtenir la même chose que lui, au besoin par la violence. Sans doute le terrorisme est-il lié à un monde « différent » du nôtre, mais ce qui suscite le terrorisme n’est pas dans cette « différence » qui l’éloigne le plus de nous et nous le rend inconcevable. Il est au contraire dans un désir exacerbé de convergence et de ressemblance. (…) Ce qui se vit aujourd’hui est une forme de rivalité mimétique à l’échelle planétaire. Lorsque j’ai lu les premiers documents de Ben Laden, constaté ses allusions aux bombes américaines tombées sur le Japon, je me suis senti d’emblée à un niveau qui est au-delà de l’islam, celui de la planète entière. Sous l’étiquette de l’islam, on trouve une volonté de rallier et de mobiliser tout un tiers-monde de frustrés et de victimes dans leurs rapports de rivalité mimétique avec l’Occident. Mais les tours détruites occupaient autant d’étrangers que d’Américains. Et par leur efficacité, par la sophistication des moyens employés, par la connaissance qu’ils avaient des Etats-Unis, par leurs conditions d’entraînement, les auteurs des attentats n’étaient-ils pas un peu américains ? On est en plein mimétisme. Ce sentiment n’est pas vrai des masses, mais des dirigeants. Sur le plan de la fortune personnelle, on sait qu’un homme comme Ben Laden n’a rien à envier à personne. Et combien de chefs de parti ou de faction sont dans cette situation intermédiaire, identique à la sienne. Regardez un Mirabeau au début de la Révolution française : il a un pied dans un camp et un pied dans l’autre, et il n’en vit que de manière plus aiguë son ressentiment. Aux Etats-Unis, des immigrés s’intègrent avec facilité, alors que d’autres, même si leur réussite est éclatante, vivent aussi dans un déchirement et un ressentiment permanents. Parce qu’ils sont ramenés à leur enfance, à des frustrations et des humiliations héritées du passé. Cette dimension est essentielle, en particulier chez des musulmans qui ont des traditions de fierté et un style de rapports individuels encore proche de la féodalité. (…) Cette concurrence mimétique, quand elle est malheureuse, ressort toujours, à un moment donné, sous une forme violente. A cet égard, c’est l’islam qui fournit aujourd’hui le ciment qu’on trouvait autrefois dans le marxismeRené Girard
L’inauguration majestueuse de l’ère « post-chrétienne » est une plaisanterie. Nous sommes dans un ultra-christianisme caricatural qui essaie d’échapper à l’orbite judéo-chrétienne en « radicalisant » le souci des victimes dans un sens antichrétien. (…) Jusqu’au nazisme, le judaïsme était la victime préférentielle de ce système de bouc émissaire. Le christianisme ne venait qu’en second lieu. Depuis l’Holocauste , en revanche, on n’ose plus s’en prendre au judaïsme, et le christianisme est promu au rang de bouc émissaire numéro un. (…) Le mouvement antichrétien le plus puissant est celui qui réassume et « radicalise » le souci des victimes pour le paganiser. (…) Comme les Eglises chrétiennes ont pris conscience tardivement de leurs manquements à la charité, de leur connivence avec l’ordre établi, dans le monde d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, elles sont particulièrement vulnérables au chantage permanent auquel le néopaganisme contemporain les soumet. René Girard
Notre monde est de plus en plus imprégné par cette vérité évangélique de l’innocence des victimes. L’attention qu’on porte aux victimes a commencé au Moyen Age, avec l’invention de l’hôpital. L’Hôtel-Dieu, comme on disait, accueillait toutes les victimes, indépendamment de leur origine. Les sociétés primitives n’étaient pas inhumaines, mais elles n’avaient d’attention que pour leurs membres. Le monde moderne a inventé la « victime inconnue », comme on dirait aujourd’hui le « soldat inconnu ». Le christianisme peut maintenant continuer à s’étendre même sans la loi, car ses grandes percées intellectuelles et morales, notre souci des victimes et notre attention à ne pas nous fabriquer de boucs émissaires, ont fait de nous des chrétiens qui s’ignorent. René Girard
« Que celui qui se croit sans péché lui jette la première pierre ! » Pourquoi la première pierre ? Parce qu’elle est seule décisive. Celui qui la jette n’a personne à imiter. Rien de plus facile que d’imiter un exemple déjà donné. Donner soi-même l’exemple est tout autre chose. La foule est mimétiquement mobilisée, mais il lui reste un dernier seuil à franchir, celui de la violence réelle. Si quelqu’un jetait la première pierre, aussitôt les pierres pleuvraient. En attirant l’attention sur la première pierre, la parole de Jésus renforce cet obstacle ultime à la lapidation. Il donne aux meilleurs de cette foule le temps d’entendre sa parole et de s’examiner eux-mêmes. S’il est réel, cet examen ne peut manquer de découvrir le rapport circulaire de la victime et du bourreau. Le scandale qu’incarne cette femme à leurs yeux, ces hommes le portent déjà en eux-mêmes, et c’est pour s’en débarrasser qu’ils le projettent sur elle, d’autant plus aisément, bien sûr, qu’elle est vraiment coupable. Pour lapider une victime de bon coeur, il faut se croire différent d’elle, et la convergence mimétique, je le rappelle, s’accompagne d’une illusion de divergence. C’est la convergence réelle combinée avec l’illusion de divergence qui déclenche ce que Jésus cherche à prévenir, le mécanisme du bouc émissaire. La foule précède l’individu. Ne devient vraiment individu que celui qui, se détachant de la foule, échappe à l’unanimité violente. Tous ne sont pas capables d’autant d’initiative. Ceux qui en sont capables se détachent les premiers et, ce faisant, empêchent la lapidation. (…) A côté des temps individuels, donc, il y a toujours un temps social dans notre texte, mais il singe désormais les temps individuels, c’est le temps des modes et des engouements politiques, intellectuels, etc. Le temps reste ponctué par des mécanismes mimétiques. Sortir de la foule le premier, renoncer le premier à jeter des pierres, c’est prendre le risque d’en recevoir. La décision en sens inverse aurait été plus facile, car elle se situait dans le droit fil d’un emballement mimétique déjà amorcé. La première pierre est moins mimétique que les suivantes, mais elle n’en est pas moins portée par la vague de mimétisme qui a engendré la foule. Et les premiers à décider contre la lapidation ? Faut-il penser que chez eux au moins il n’y a aucune imitation ? Certainement pas. Même là il y en a, puisque c’est Jésus qui suggère à ces hommes d’agir comme ils le font. La décision contre la violence resterait impossible, nous dit le christianisme, sans cet Esprit divin qui s’appelle le Paraclet, c’est-à-dire, en grec ordinaire, « l’avocat de la défense » : c’est bien ici le rôle de Jésus lui-même. Il laisse d’ailleurs entendre qu’il est lui-même le premier Paraclet, le premier défenseur des victimes. Et il l’est surtout par la Passion qui est ici, bien sûr, sous-entendue. La théorie mimétique insiste sur le suivisme universel, sur l’impuissance des hommes à ne pas imiter les exemples les plus faciles, les plus suivis, parce que c’est cela qui prédomine dans toute société. Il ne faut pas en conclure qu’elle nie la liberté individuelle. En situant la décision véritable dans son contexte vrai, celui des contagions mimétiques partout présentes, cette théorie donne à ce qui n’est pas mécanique, et qui pourtant ne diffère pas du tout dans sa forme de ce qui l’est, un relief que la libre décision n’a pas chez les penseurs qui ont toujours la liberté à la bouche et de ce fait même, croyant l’exalter, la dévaluent complètement. Si on glorifie le décisif sans voir ce qui le rend très difficile, on ne sort jamais de la métaphysique la plus creuse. Même le renoncement au mimétisme violent ne peut pas se répandre sans se transformer en mécanisme social, en mimétisme aveugle. Il y a une lapidation à l’envers symétrique de la lapidation à l’endroit non dénuée de violence, elle aussi. C’est ce que montrent bien les parodies de notre temps. Tous ceux qui auraient jeté des pierres s’il s’était trouvé quelqu’un pour jeter la première sont mimétiquement amenés à n’en pas jeter. Pour la plupart d’entre eux, la vraie raison de la non-violence n’est pas la dure réflexion sur soi, le renoncement à la violence : c’est le mimétisme, comme d’habitude. Il y a toujours emballement mimétique dans une direction ou dans une autre. En s’engouffrant dans la direction déjà choisie par les premiers, les « mimic men » se félicitent de leur esprit de décision et de liberté. Il ne faut pas se leurrer. Dans une société qui ne lapide plus les femmes adultères, beaucoup d’hommes n’ont pas vraiment changé. La violence est moindre, mieux dissimulée, mais structurellement identique à ce qu’elle a toujours été. Il n’y a pas sortie authentique du mimétisme, mais soumission mimétique à une culture qui prône cette sortie. Dans toute aventure sociale, quelle qu’en soit la nature, la part d’individualisme authentique est forcément minime mais pas inexistante. Il ne faut pas oublier surtout que le mimétisme qui épargne les victimes est infiniment supérieur objectivement, moralement, à celui qui les tue à coups de pierres. Il faut laisser les fausses équivalences à Nietzsche et aux esthétismes décadents. Le récit de la femme adultère nous fait voir que des comportements sociaux identiques dans leur forme et même jusqu’à un certain point dans leur fond, puisqu’ils sont tous mimétiques, peuvent néanmoins différer les uns des autres à l’infini. La part de mécanisme et de liberté qu’ils comportent est infiniment variable. Mais cette inépuisable diversité ne prouve rien en faveur du nihilisme cognitif ; elle ne prouve pas que les comportements sont incomparables et inconnaissables. Tout ce que nous avons besoin de connaître pour résister aux automatismes sociaux, aux contagions mimétiques galopantes, est accessible à la connaissance. René Girard
Jésus s’appuie sur la Loi pour en transformer radicalement le sens. La femme adultère doit être lapidée : en cela la Loi d’Israël ne se distingue pas de celle des nations. La lapidation est à la fois une manière de reproduire et de contenir le processus de mise à mort de la victime dans des limites strictes. Rien n’est plus contagieux que la violence et il ne faut pas se tromper de victime. Parce qu’elle redoute les fausses dénonciations, la Loi, pour les rendre plus difficiles, oblige les délateurs, qui doivent être deux au minimum, à jeter eux-mêmes les deux premières pierres. Jésus s’appuie sur ce qu’il y a de plus humain dans la Loi, l’obligation faite aux deux premiers accusateurs de jeter les deux premières pierres ; il s’agit pour lui de transformer le mimétisme ritualisé pour une violence limitée en un mimétisme inverse. Si ceux qui doivent jeter » la première pierre » renoncent à leur geste, alors une réaction mimétique inverse s’enclenche, pour le pardon, pour l’amour. (…) Jésus sauve la femme accusée d’adultère. Mais il est périlleux de priver la violence mimétique de tout exutoire. Jésus sait bien qu’à dénoncer radicalement le mauvais mimétisme, il s’expose à devenir lui-même la cible des violences collectives. Nous voyons effectivement dans les Évangiles converger contre lui les ressentiments de ceux qu’ils privent de leur raison d’être, gardiens du Temple et de la Loi en particulier. » Les chefs des prêtres et les Pharisiens rassemblèrent donc le Sanhédrin et dirent : « Que ferons-nous ? Cet homme multiplie les signes. Si nous le laissons agir, tous croiront en lui ». » Le grand prêtre Caïphe leur révèle alors le mécanisme qui permet d’immoler Jésus et qui est au cœur de toute culture païenne : » Ne comprenez-vous pas ? Il est de votre intérêt qu’un seul homme meure pour tout le peuple plutôt que la nation périsse » (Jean XI, 47-50) (…) Livrée à elle-même, l’humanité ne peut pas sortir de la spirale infernale de la violence mimétique et des mythes qui en camouflent le dénouement sacrificiel. Pour rompre l’unanimité mimétique, il faut postuler une force supérieure à la contagion violente : l’Esprit de Dieu, que Jean appelle aussi le Paraclet, c’est-à-dire l’avocat de la défense des victimes. C’est aussi l’Esprit qui fait révéler aux persécuteurs la loi du meurtre réconciliateur dans toute sa nudité. (…) Ils utilisent une expression qui est l’équivalent de » bouc émissaire » mais qui fait mieux ressortir l’innocence foncière de celui contre qui tous se réconcilient : Jésus est désigné comme » Agneau de Dieu « . Cela veut dire qu’il est la victime émissaire par excellence, celle dont le sacrifice, parce qu’il est identifié comme le meurtre arbitraire d’un innocent — et parce que la victime n’a jamais succombé à aucune rivalité mimétique — rend inutile, comme le dit l’Épître aux Hébreux, tous les sacrifices sanglants, ritualisés ou non, sur lesquels est fondée la cohésion des communautés humaines. La mort et la Résurrection du Christ substituent une communion de paix et d’amour à l’unité fondée sur la contrainte des communautés païennes. L’Eucharistie, commémoration régulière du » sacrifice parfait » remplace la répétition stérile des sacrifices sanglants. (…) En même temps, le devoir du chrétien est de dénoncer le péché là où il se trouve. Le communisme a pu s’effondrer sans violence parce que le monde libre et le monde communiste avaient accepté de ne plus remettre en cause les frontières existantes ; à l’intérieur de ces frontières, des millions de chrétiens ont combattu sans violence pour la vérité, pour que la lumière soit faite sur le mensonge et la violence des régimes qui asservissaient leurs pays. Encore une fois, face au danger de mimétisme universel de la violence, vous n’avez qu’une réponse possible : le christianisme. René Girard
Si nous voulons aborder le « fait religieux » autrement que sous la forme d’une collection de savoirs, forcément émiettés et terriblement lacunaires, une voie peut être l’approfondissement d’un texte assez bien choisi pour qu’il rende le « religieux » intelligible. Ce postulat d’intelligibilité fonde le christianisme par essence. Il ne saurait y avoir contradiction, en toute dernière instance, entre ce message « religieux » et la rationalité, et ce malgré le contentieux historique lourd entre l’Eglise et la philosophie des Lumières. Ce texte en est une illustration magnifique. Il suffit de le lire en oubliant qu’il nous a été transmis par une institution religieuse pour qu’il nous devienne singulièrement utile, et pour commencer sur le plan professionnel. Voilà une situation dite de « conflit » et qui pourrait dégénérer en « violence ». Cette fois c’est l’analyse du philosophe René Girard qui peut servir d’éclairage. Comme F. Quéré, il observe que l’épisode marque une étape dans un drame qui aboutira à l’explosion de violence du Golgotha, lieu où Jésus mourra crucifié. Mais au cours de cette scène qui se déroule au Temple, la spirale de violence est enrayée. Cette spirale, que Girard nomme aussi « l’escalade » est toujours mimétique ; elle procède d’un entraînement mutuel et aboutit dans un cercle fermé, où, comme dans un chaudron, la tension monte, les pulsions violentes convergeant vers une victime placée sans défense « au milieu du groupe ». La réponse apportée par cet artiste de la non violence qu’est Jésus tient ici d’abord à une attitude. « Mais Jésus, se baissant, se mit à tracer des traits sur le sol ». Les yeux baissés évitent ainsi la rencontre des regards. Or c’est de leur croisement que procède la violence mimétique. Il faut en avoir fait l’expérience pour comprendre à quel point une formule comme « Regarde-moi dans les yeux ! » peut être vécue comme agressive lorsque le maître, outré, croit ainsi provoquer les aveux de l’élève ! Donc, sans regarder cette troupe d’excités, Jésus s’absorbe dans une autre occupation : « il trace des traits sur le sol ». (…) Le verbe « graphein » qui a donné « graphie » pointe aussi bien l’écriture que le dessin. Dommage pour les commentateurs ultérieurs qui y voyaient la relativisation de la Loi de l’Ancien Testament, destinée à être dépassée, puisqu’écrite sur le sable. Mais le terme « gué » n’a pas ce sens : c’est la « terre », ou le « sol », ce socle qui nous est commun, que nous soyons agresseurs ou agressés. Il est possible d’ailleurs que Jésus ait su lire, mais non écrire, ce qui était courant à l’époque. Tout au plus, mais c’est là l’interprétation que me suggère mon enthousiasme, pourrait-on comprendre que l’activité graphique, par la concentration qu’elle requiert, oblige à prendre du recul, et contribue à la résolution du conflit ! (…) Les peintres quant à eux, astreints à rassembler dans une image immobile un développement narratif, anticiperont souvent la suite, et inscriront dans leur représentation la parole de Jésus : « que celui qui n’a jamais péché lui jette la première pierre ». Cette phrase est un coup de génie, parce que c’est aussi la solution la plus simple. D’abord l’énonciation se fait au singulier, sans pour autant désigner nommément quelqu’un. La spirale du « défoulement », toujours collectif, est rompue. Mais avec un grand doigté, par un protagoniste qui prend le risque calculé de l’accompagner : « Allez-y, lapidez-la, mais… ». La phrase reprend très certainement la disposition juridique du Deutéronome relative aux témoins, mais en procurant un éclairage aigu sur son fondement. En matière de lapidation, c’est « commencer » qui est la grande affaire ! Le fait de pointer ainsi la nature du phénomène suffit apparemment à l’inverser : le cercle mortel se défait, et les agresseurs s’en vont, « à commencer par les plus vieux ». Jean-Marc Muller
Des neurones qui stimulent en même temps, sont des neurones qui se lient ensemble. Règle de Hebb (1949)
Le phénomène est déjà fabuleux en soi. Imaginez un peu : il suffit que vous me regardiez faire une série de gestes simples – remplir un verre d’eau, le porter à mes lèvres, boire -, pour que dans votre cerveau les mêmes zones s’allument, de la même façon que dans mon cerveau à moi, qui accomplis réellement l’action. C’est d’une importance fondamentale pour la psychologie. D’abord, cela rend compte du fait que vous m’avez identifié comme un être humain : si un bras de levier mécanique avait soulevé le verre, votre cerveau n’aurait pas bougé. Il a reflété ce que j’étais en train de faire uniquement parce que je suis humain. Ensuite, cela explique l’empathie. Comme vous comprenez ce que je fais, vous pouvez entrer en empathie avec moi. Vous vous dites : « S’il se sert de l’eau et qu’il boit, c’est qu’il a soif. » Vous comprenez mon intention, donc mon désir. Plus encore : que vous le vouliez ou pas, votre cerveau se met en état de vous faire faire la même chose, de vous donner la même envie. Si je baille, il est très probable que vos neurones miroir vont vous faire bailler – parce que ça n’entraîne aucune conséquence – et que vous allez rire avec moi si je ris, parce que l’empathie va vous y pousser. Cette disposition du cerveau à imiter ce qu’il voit faire explique ainsi l’apprentissage. Mais aussi… la rivalité. Car si ce qu’il voit faire consiste à s’approprier un objet, il souhaite immédiatement faire la même chose, et donc, il devient rival de celui qui s’est approprié l’objet avant lui ! C’est la vérification expérimentale de la théorie du « désir mimétique » de René Girard ! Voilà une théorie basée au départ sur l’analyse de grands textes romanesques, émise par un chercheur en littérature comparée, qui trouve une confirmation neuroscientifique parfaitement objective, du vivant même de celui qui l’a conçue. Un cas unique dans l’histoire des sciences ! (…) Notre désir est toujours mimétique, c’est-à-dire inspiré par, ou copié sur, le désir de l’autre. L’autre me désigne l’objet de mon désir, il devient donc à la fois mon modèle et mon rival. De cette rivalité naît la violence, évacuée collectivement dans le sacré, par le biais de la victime émissaire. À partir de ces hypothèses, Girard et moi avons travaillé pendant des décennies à élargir le champ du désir mimétique à ses applications en psychologie et en psychiatrie. En 1981, dans Un mime nommé désir, je montrais que cette théorie permet de comprendre des phénomènes étranges tels que la possession – négative ou positive -, l’envoûtement, l’hystérie, l’hypnose… L’hypnotiseur, par exemple, en prenant possession, par la suggestion, du désir de l’autre, fait disparaître le moi, qui s’évanouit littéralement. Et surgit un nouveau moi, un nouveau désir qui est celui de l’hypnotiseur. (…) et ce qui est formidable, c’est que ce nouveau « moi » apparaît avec tous ses attributs : une nouvelle conscience, une nouvelle mémoire, un nouveau langage et des nouvelles sensations. Si l’hypnotiseur dit : « Il fait chaud » bien qu’il fasse frais, le nouveau moi prend ces sensations suggérées au pied de la lettre : il sent vraiment la chaleur et se déshabille. De toutes ces applications du désir mimétique, j’en suis venu à la théorie plus globale d’une « psychologie mimétique » – qui trouve également une vérification dans la découverte des neurones miroirs et leur rôle dans l’apprentissage. Le désir de l’autre entraîne le déclenchement de mon désir. Mais il entraîne aussi, ainsi, la formation du moi. En fait, c’est le désir qui engendre le moi par son mouvement. Nous sommes des « moi du désir ». Sans le désir, né en miroir, nous n’existerions pas ! Seulement voilà : le temps psychologique fonctionnant à l’inverse de celui de l’horloge, le moi s’imagine être possesseur de son désir, et s’étonne de voir le désir de l’autre se porter sur le même objet que lui. Il y a là deux points nodaux, qui rendent la psychologie mimétique scientifique, en étant aussi constants et universels que la gravitation l’est en physique : la revendication du moi de la propriété de son désir et celle de son antériorité sur celui de l’autre. Et comme la gravitation, qui permet aussi bien de construire des maisons que de faire voler des avions, toutes les figures de psychologie – normale ou pathologique – ne sont que des façons pour le sujet de faire aboutir ces deux revendications. On comprend que la théorie du désir mimétique ait suscité de nombreux détracteurs : difficile d’accepter que notre désir ne soit pas original, mais copié sur celui d’un autre. (…) Boris Cyrulnik explique (…) que – souvent par défaut d’éducation et pour n’avoir pas été suffisamment regardé lui-même – l’être humain peut ne pas avoir d’empathie. Les neurones miroirs ne se développent pas, ou ils ne fonctionnent pas, et cela donne ce que Cyrulnik appelle un pervers. Je ne sais pas si c’est vrai, ça mérite une longue réflexion. (…) Ce rôle de la pression sociale est extraordinairement bien expliqué dans Les Bienveillantes, de Jonathan Littel. Il montre qu’en fait, ce sont des modèles qui rivalisent : révolté dans un premier temps par le traitement réservé aux prisonniers, le personnage principal, officier SS, finit par renoncer devant l’impossibilité de changer les choses. Ses neurones miroirs sont tellement imprégnés du modèle SS qu’il perd sa sensibilité aux influences de ses propres perceptions, et notamment à la pitié. Il y a lutte entre deux influences, et les neurones miroirs du régime SS l’emportent. La cruauté envers les prisonniers devient finalement une habitude justifiée. Plutôt qu’une absence ou carence des neurones miroirs, cela indique peut-être simplement la force du mimétisme de groupe. Impossible de rester assis quand la « ola » emporte la foule autour de vous lors d’un match de football – même si vous n’aimez pas le foot ! Parce que tous vos neurones miroirs sont mobilisés par la pression mimétique de l’entourage. De même, les campagnes publicitaires sont des luttes acharnées entre marques voisines pour prendre possession, par la suggestion, des neurones miroirs des auditeurs ou spectateurs. Et c’est encore la suggestion qui explique pourquoi les membres d’un groupe en viennent à s’exprimer de la même façon. Il semblerait normal que les neurones miroirs soient dotés, comme les autres, d’une certaine plasticité. Ils agissent en tout cas tout au long de la vie. Et la pression du groupe n’a pas besoin d’être totalitaire : dans nos sociétés, c’est de façon « spontanée » que tout le monde fait la même chose. Jean-Michel Oughourlian
En présence de la diversité, nous nous replions sur nous-mêmes. Nous agissons comme des tortues. L’effet de la diversité est pire que ce qui avait été imaginé. Et ce n’est pas seulement que nous ne faisons plus confiance à ceux qui ne sont pas comme nous. Dans les communautés diverses, nous ne faisons plus confiance à ceux qui nous ressemblent. Robert Putnam
J’étais à l’étage inférieur quand j’ai entendu des premiers gémissements, assez faibles. J’ai pensé à des enfants qui avaient fait une bêtise. Les gémissements ont recommencé encore une fois, puis une autre alors je suis montée voir à l’étage ce qu’il se passait. Avec une autre dame, Aurélie, nous nous sommes retrouvées seules. Tous les gens qui étaient là sont descendus à Auber. On a vu la maman vaciller. Nous l’avons allongée et j’ai juste eu le temps de prendre le bébé qui arrivait dans mes bras. (…) Ce qui est grave, c’est l’indifférence. Personne n’est allé voir pourquoi cette dame gémissait, ce qui se passait. Et puis, tous les gens sont descendus sans apporter de l’aide. Ça aurait pu mal finir ou être encore plus grave. Eliane (cadre commerciale)
Il suffit d’une toute petite étincelle et c’est tout le groupe qui s’élève contre l’agresseur. […] Le but ce n’est pas de faire de chacun d’entre nous un super-héros, mais juste de savoir que l’union fait la force. Aurélia Bloch (france info)
Bibb Latané et John Darley, deux chercheurs américains en psychologie sociale, ont mis en lumière l’existence de ce « bystander effect », ou « effet spectateur ». En laboratoire, un participant est installé dans un box, avec un système d’interphone. Un complice, présent dans la discussion, simule alors une crise d’épilepsie. Les chercheurs constatent que si le participant pense être le seul interlocuteur de la victime, il aura davantage tendance à intervenir. Par contre, s’il est dans une discussion de groupe et que les autres ne réagissent pas, c’est le contraire. « L’effet spectateur, c’est le fait que plus il y a de témoins, moins on est poussé à agir parce que la réaction individuelle est influencée par celle des autres », explique Olivia Mons, porte-parole de la fédération France Victimes, à franceinfo. Lorsqu’un groupe de personnes assiste à une scène de détresse, un phénomène de « dilution de la responsabilité » opère. Ainsi, « plus on est nombreux, moins on va réagir », affirme Martine Batt, professeure de psychologie à l’université de Lorraine. Est-ce que j’interprète bien ce qui est en train de se passer, ou bien peut-être que j’exagère ce que je vois ? Pourquoi réagirais-je, alors que les autres ne le font pas ? Est-ce que je suis légitime à intervenir ou est-ce que je vais être ridicule ? Toutes ces interrogations retardent le temps d’action, voire empêchent toute intervention des témoins. Lorsque quelqu’un est le seul spectateur des faits, « il peut y avoir une espèce de calcul qui va se faire », explique Peggy Chekroun, professeure de psychologie sociale à l’université de Paris Nanterre. Il opère alors, « assez automatiquement, rapidement et pas forcément de manière consciente », la balance « coût-bénéfice » de sa propre intervention. Ces facteurs peuvent être personnels (« Vais-je perdre du temps ? ») ou collectifs (« Que va-t-on penser de moi si je n’interviens pas ? »). « La réponse va sortir en fonction de ce calcul », conclut l’enseignante. Sans compter la peur que peut inspirer une situation surprenante et inhabituelle. « C’est une émotion très puissante qui peut être vraiment inhibitrice d’une aide », rappelle Olivia Mons. (…) Culpabilité, honte… Les témoins passifs vivent avec le poids de leur apathie. « On a parfois des personnes qui viennent nous voir en se sentant quasiment autant victimes que la victime directe », explique Olivia Mons. « Bien sûr que la société condamne la non-réaction, on dit toujours ‘Moi j’aurais fait mieux’, parce qu’on a le syndrome du sauveur… Mais il faut nuancer ! », surenchérit-elle. A cause de ces mécanismes de psychologie sociale et de la peur paralysante d’une telle situation, elle appelle à « relativiser le côté ‘je suis témoin et je me sauve parce que je suis lâche' ». Mais pour les victimes, cette apathie de la part des témoins est désastreuse. Elle peut être ressentie comme une double peine : « La peine d’avoir été agressé et la peine surtout de ne pas avoir de valeur aux yeux des autres et d’être rien », analyse Aurélia Bloch, lors de son passage dans l’émission « C à vous », en décembre 2015. L’article 223-6 du Code pénal prévoit une peine de cinq ans de prison et une amende de 75 000 euros pour non-assistance à personne en danger. Mais peu de témoins passifs sont poursuivis en justice : « C’est quelque chose sur lequel on n’a pas beaucoup de jurisprudence », explique Jean-Philippe Vauthier, professeur de droit à l’université de Guyane. Le procureur de Lille avait, dans un premier temps, envisagé des poursuites dans l’affaire de Cécile P., avant d’abandonner, faute d’informations suffisantes sur les témoins. La non-assistance à personne en danger existe « pour combattre l’égoïsme sans imposer l’héroïsme », rappelle Jean-Philippe Vauthier. « Il faut que l’intervention soit sans péril pour moi ou pour les autres, décrypte le spécialiste. Tout va dépendre du mode d’action choisi. On ne va pas forcer quelqu’un à intervenir directement, mais si la personne n’appelle pas les secours, ça pourra lui être reproché. » Comment lutter contre notre inclinaison à rester inactifs ? Qu’il s’agisse d’un accident de la route, un malaise dans la rue ou du harcèlement dans les transports, des attitudes peuvent permettre de contrer l’apathie des témoins. « Il y a différents degrés d’action. Tirer une sonnette d’alarme à quai, avoir une intervention active en cas de harcèlement… ça peut être aussi un simple sourire, se lever ou se rapprocher… ça peut aider, le fait de montrer par un moyen ou un autre une sorte d’empathie avec la victime », argue Olivia Mons La connaissance de « l’effet spectateur » pourrait en limiter les conséquences. « On peut éduquer très tôt contre ses effets, expliquer comment appeler à l’aide et faire des enseignements sur les effets de groupe », prône Martine Batt. Aurélia Bloch en est persuadée, « si c’était à refaire, [elle] ne referai[t] pas du tout de la même façon » : « À l’époque, je ne savais pas du tout quoi faire. […] En fait, je pense que j’étais comme la plupart des personnes qui sont témoins. Je n’étais pas formée. » France info

C’est monkey see, monkey do, imbécile !

A l’heure où l’on reparle …

Avec cet accouchement spontané dans le RER parisien il y a deux semaines où quasiment personne n’est intervenu …

Du fameux effet spectateur

Comment ne pas repenser à ce fascinant documentaire de 2015 d’une journaliste de Franceinfo …

Mais aussi aux lumineuses analyses du regretté René Girard

Montrant l’importance, pour toutes nos actions et confirmé par la découverte des « neurones miroirs », de l’effet mimétique …

Et ce aussi bien pour le mal (les effets de lynchage) …

Que, mondialisation oblige, pour le bien (les effets de sauvetage) …

Ou même ses parodies (les emballements que l’on sait du politiquement correct) …

Et donc de l’importance, à l’instar du fameux épisode évangélique de la femme adultère, de la première pierre …

Ou plus précisément du refus de la première pierre qui peut entrainer tous les autres ?

Mais comment aussi ne pas repenser …

En ces temps d’invasion migratoire (pardon: « mixité sociale » !) imposée

Où entre déséquilibrés ou crieurs d’Allah akbaru la moindre rencontre peut se révéler fatale …

Aux célèbres analyses de Robert Putnam …

Et en particulier au facteur aggravant de la diversité

Qui loin des discours émerveillés et édifiants de nos élites protégées des conséquences de leurs propres décisions …

Peut nous pousser à ne plus faire confiance non seulement à ceux qui ne sont pas comme nous …

Mais aussi à ceux qui nous ressemblent ?

Ils assistent à une agression ou à un accident mais ne font rien : on vous explique le « bystander effect »
Une femme accouche dans une rame de RER et seulement deux personnes parmi les nombreuses présentes lui viennent en aide. Une autre se fait sexuellement agresser sur un quai de métro et aucun des dix témoins ne réagit… Etonnant ?
Lison Verriez
Franceinfo
03/07/2018

Il est environ 11 heures, ce lundi 18 juin. Les passagers du RER A arrivent en gare d’Auber, lorsque des gémissements commencent à se faire entendre à l’étage supérieur de la rame. Lamata Karamoko vient de perdre les eaux et s’apprête à accoucher dans le wagon. « Personne n’est allé voir pourquoi cette dame gémissait, ce qu’il se passait, témoigne Eliane, qui a assisté à la scène, dans Le ParisienEt puis tous les gens sont descendus sans apporter de l’aide. » Avec une autre passagère, elle tente d’épauler la jeune maman.

Et vous, qu’auriez-vous fait ? Accidents, malaises, agressions… Ces dernières années, la presse s’est fait l’écho à de nombreuses reprises de la passivité des témoins de certains faits-divers. Ce phénomène a un nom : le « bystander effect ».

« Plus on est nombreux, moins on va réagir »

Le concept émerge après le meurtre de Kitty Genovese en 1964. Cette New-Yorkaise de 28 ans est agressée, violée et poignardée en pleine rue dans un quartier tranquille du Queens, vers 3 heures du matin, alors qu’elle rentrait du travail. Le lendemain, la presse (en anglais) dénonce le silence des 38 témoins qui auraient assisté, depuis leur domicile, à la lente agonie de la jeune femme. Si le nombre de témoins a par la suite été contesté, des scientifiques se sont emparés de ce cas pour interroger la réaction – ou l’absence de réaction – des témoins.

Bibb Latané et John Darley, deux chercheurs américains en psychologie sociale, ont mis en lumière l’existence de ce « bystander effect », ou « effet spectateur ». En laboratoire, un participant est installé dans un box, avec un système d’interphone. Un complice, présent dans la discussion, simule alors une crise d’épilepsie. Les chercheurs constatent que si le participant pense être le seul interlocuteur de la victime, il aura davantage tendance à intervenir. Par contre, s’il est dans une discussion de groupe et que les autres ne réagissent pas, c’est le contraire.

« L’effet spectateur, c’est le fait que plus il y a de témoins, moins on est poussé à agir parce que la réaction individuelle est influencée par celle des autres », explique Olivia Mons, porte-parole de la fédération France Victimes, à franceinfo. Lorsqu’un groupe de personnes assiste à une scène de détresse, un phénomène de « dilution de la responsabilité » opère. Ainsi, « plus on est nombreux, moins on va réagir », affirme Martine Batt, professeure de psychologie à l’université de Lorraine. Est-ce que j’interprète bien ce qui est en train de se passer, ou bien peut-être que j’exagère ce que je vois ? Pourquoi réagirais-je, alors que les autres ne le font pas ? Est-ce que je suis légitime à intervenir ou est-ce que je vais être ridicule ? Toutes ces interrogations retardent le temps d’action, voire empêchent toute intervention des témoins.

Lorsque quelqu’un est le seul spectateur des faits, « il peut y avoir une espèce de calcul qui va se faire », explique Peggy Chekroun, professeure de psychologie sociale à l’université de Paris Nanterre. Il opère alors, « assez automatiquement, rapidement et pas forcément de manière consciente », la balance « coût-bénéfice » de sa propre intervention. Ces facteurs peuvent être personnels (« Vais-je perdre du temps ? ») ou collectifs (« Que va-t-on penser de moi si je n’interviens pas ? »). « La réponse va sortir en fonction de ce calcul », conclut l’enseignante. 

Sans compter la peur que peut inspirer une situation surprenante et inhabituelle. « C’est une émotion très puissante qui peut être vraiment inhibitrice d’une aide », rappelle Olivia Mons.

« J’ai été témoin d’un viol et je n’ai pas bougé »

« Je suis coupable de non-assistance à personne en danger », reconnaît Aurélia Bloch, dans son documentaire du même nom, diffusé le 8 décembre 2015 sur France 5. Un dimanche d’avril 2004, elle s’installe dans son train apparemment vide, en direction de Paris. Les voix d’une femme et de plusieurs hommes s’élèvent dans la rame. Elle ne les voit pas, mais entend des bruits de coups, la femme dire non et les hommes, ricaner. L’alarme du train est loin. « Elle ne demande pas d’aide », « elle est sûrement consentante », « j’ai peur de passer pour une folle »« Je me posais plein de questions », raconte la journaliste à franceinfo. Elle se terre dans son fauteuil, le reste du trajet, « trente minutes figées, comme anesthésiée », commente-t-elle dans son film.

On est dans la culpabilité sans en parler. […] C’était quelque chose de très enfoui, ça ne faisait pas l’objet d’une culpabilité quotidienne.Aurélia Bloch, journalisteà franceinfo

Jusqu’à l’affaire de Cécile P., en 2014. Sur un quai de métro lillois, cette jeune femme est sexuellement agressée par un homme aux alentours de 22h30. Autour d’elle, une dizaine de témoins, mais aucune réaction. L’affaire, très médiatisée, réveille les souvenirs d’Aurélia Bloch.

C’est une sorte d’exutoire. […] C’était une façon, en comprenant pourquoi les témoins étaient passifs, de comprendre pourquoi je l’avais été.Aurélia Bloch, journalisteà franceinfo

Culpabilité, honte… Les témoins passifs vivent avec le poids de leur apathie. « On a parfois des personnes qui viennent nous voir en se sentant quasiment autant victimes que la victime directe », explique Olivia Mons. « Bien sûr que la société condamne la non-réaction, on dit toujours ‘Moi j’aurais fait mieux’, parce qu’on a le syndrome du sauveur… Mais il faut nuancer ! », surenchérit-elle. A cause de ces mécanismes de psychologie sociale et de la peur paralysante d’une telle situation, elle appelle à « relativiser le côté ‘je suis témoin et je me sauve parce que je suis lâche' ».

Mais pour les victimes, cette apathie de la part des témoins est désastreuse. Elle peut être ressentie comme une double peine : « La peine d’avoir été agressé et la peine surtout de ne pas avoir de valeur aux yeux des autres et d’être rien », analyse Aurélia Bloch, lors de son passage dans l’émission « C à vous », en décembre 2015.

L’article 223-6 du Code pénal prévoit une peine de cinq ans de prison et une amende de 75 000 euros pour non-assistance à personne en danger. Mais peu de témoins passifs sont poursuivis en justice : « C’est quelque chose sur lequel on n’a pas beaucoup de jurisprudence », explique Jean-Philippe Vauthier, professeur de droit à l’université de Guyane. Le procureur de Lille avait, dans un premier temps, envisagé des poursuites dans l’affaire de Cécile P., avant d’abandonner, faute d’informations suffisantes sur les témoins.

La non-assistance à personne en danger existe « pour combattre l’égoïsme sans imposer l’héroïsme », rappelle Jean-Philippe Vauthier. « Il faut que l’intervention soit sans péril pour moi ou pour les autres, décrypte le spécialiste. Tout va dépendre du mode d’action choisi. On ne va pas forcer quelqu’un à intervenir directement, mais si la personne n’appelle pas les secours, ça pourra lui être repproché. »

« Il y a différents degrés d’action »

Comment lutter contre notre inclinaison à rester inactifs ? Qu’il s’agisse d’un accident de la route, un malaise dans la rue ou du harcèlement dans les transports, des attitudes peuvent permettre de contrer l’apathie des témoins. « Il y a différents degrés d’action. Tirer une sonnette d’alarme à quai, avoir une intervention active en cas de harcèlement… ça peut être aussi un simple sourire, se lever ou se rapprocher… ça peut aider, le fait de montrer par un moyen ou un autre une sorte d’empathie avec la victime », argue Olivia Mons.

Il suffit d’une toute petite étincelle et c’est tout le groupe qui s’élève contre l’agresseur. […] Le but ce n’est pas de faire de chacun d’entre nous un super-héros, mais juste de savoir que l’union fait la force.Aurélia Bloch, journalisteà franceinfo

La connaissance de « l’effet spectateur » pourrait en limiter les conséquences. « On peut éduquer très tôt contre ses effets, expliquer comment appeler à l’aide et faire des enseignements sur les effets de groupe », prône Martine Batt. Aurélia Bloch en est persuadée, « si c’était à refaire, [elle] ne referai[t] pas du tout de la même façon » : « À l’époque, je ne savais pas du tout quoi faire. […] En fait, je pense que j’étais comme la plupart des personnes qui sont témoins. Je n’étais pas formée. »

Voir aussi:

Bébé né dans le RER : «J’ai eu très peur mais j’étais contente de l’entendre pleurer»
Elia Dahan et Nicolas Maviel

Le Parisien

19 juin 2018

Nous avons rencontré la femme qui a mis au monde, ce lundi, un bébé dans le RER A avec l’aide de deux femmes présentes. Maman et bébé vont bien.
Allongée sur son lit d’hôpital Lamata, 28 ans, se remet doucement de son accouchement, ce mardi soir. A ses côtés, Mohamed, en layette bleu, dort à poings fermés. Le bébé, prénommé Mohamed, du RER est serein, il mesure 51 cm et pèse 3,4 kilos. L’enfant et sa mère sont arrivés à l’hôpital de Clamart (Hauts-de-Seine) lundi 18 juin vers 18 heures. Quelques heures plus tôt, Lamata donnait naissance à son troisième enfant à la station Auber du RER. « J’étais avec mes deux enfants et je me rendais à l’hôpital, raconte la mère de famille. J’avais rendez-vous ce jeudi, mais je sentais des contractions donc j’ai voulu y aller plus tôt. » Mais dans le RER, les contractions s’accentuent. Lamata, avec ses deux aînés, âgés de 7 et 2 ans se trouve alors à l’étage du wagon. « Il n’y avait personne à ce moment-là, se souvient la jeune maman. Puis mes enfants se sont mis à pleurer, et des gens sont venus. Je ne pensais pas du tout que j’étais en train d’accoucher. » Il est 11h10 et Mohamed pousse son premier cri dans le train. « J’ai eu très peur, mais j’étais contente de l’entendre pleurer », confie la jeune femme. Encore alitée, elle peut compter sur le soutient de sa famille, et de sa cousine, Makoulanga, qui s’est rendu à son chevet ce mardi soir après le travail. « Je m’occupe de ses enfants qui vivent chez moi à Antony pour l’instant », confie cette-dernière en caressant la tête du nouveau-né. Latima a encore à réaliser le caractère exceptionnel de son accouchement. Pour l’instant elle récupère et prend doucement son petit dernier dans ses bras quand il se met à crier pour lui donner le biberon.

Eliane, cadre commerciale, est encore toute bouleversée et émue par son lundi dans le RER A mais aussi… révoltée. Cette maman de quatre grands enfants, entre 20 et 25 ans, a aidé Lamata à accoucher avec une autre passagère, Aurélie.

« J’étais à l’étage inférieur quand j’ai entendu des premiers gémissements, assez faibles. J’ai pensé à des enfants qui avaient fait une bêtise. Les gémissements ont recommencé encore une fois, puis une autre alors je suis montée voir à l’étage ce qu’il se passait », explique cette habitante du Val-de-Marne qui revenait d’un cours d’anglais sur les Champs-Elysées (VIIIe). Et d’enchaîner : « Avec une autre dame, Aurélie, nous nous sommes retrouvées seules. Tous les gens qui étaient là sont descendus à Auber. On a vu la maman vaciller. Nous l’avons allongée et j’ai juste eu le temps de prendre le bébé qui arrivait dans mes bras. »

« Les minutes m’ont paru interminables »
Les deux femmes demandent alors à un monsieur qui passait par là, de tirer la sonnette d’alarme et d’appeler les secours. La maman et ses deux « sages-femmes » se retrouvent à nouveau seules dans leur wagon. « Les minutes m’ont paru interminables avant que les secours n’arrivent. Moi, je ne pensais qu’à mettre le bébé de côté pour qu’il puisse respirer et à couper le cordon ombilical. Aurélie faisait en sorte que la maman reste consciente et que le bébé n’ait pas froid », détaille Eliane.

Si, depuis lundi soir, les enfants d’Eliane sont encore plus fiers de leur maman, cette dernière est très remontée, comme sa comparse. « Ce qui est grave, c’est l’indifférence. Personne n’est allé voir pourquoi cette dame gémissait, ce qu’il se passait. Et puis, tous les gens sont descendus sans apporter de l’aide. Ça aurait pu mal finir ou être encore plus grave », conclut Eliane qui sourit toujours lorsqu’elle repense à ce petit garçon qu’elle a accueilli.


Affaire de la petite Yanela: C’est la formulation, imbécile ! (It’s not fake news, it’s misstated news, stupid !)

24 juin, 2018
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Two children detained by the Border Patrol in a holding cell in Nogales, Ariz. This image has been widely shared on social media in recent days, offered as an example of the Trump administration’s cruel policies toward immigrants, but in fact the picture was taken in 2014.

« La version originale de cet article a donné une mauvaise formulation du sort de la petite fille après la photographie. Elle n’a pas été emmenée en larmes par les patrouilles frontalières ; sa mère l’a récupérée et les deux ont été interpellées ensemble. »

Devrai-je sacrifier mon enfant premier-né pour payer pour mon crime, le fils, chair de ma chair, pour expier ma faute? On te l’a enseigné, ô homme, ce qui est bien et ce que l’Eternel attend de toi: c’est que tu te conduises avec droiture, que tu prennes plaisir à témoigner de la bonté et qu’avec vigilance tu vives pour ton Dieu. Michée 6: 7-8
Laissez les petits enfants, et ne les empêchez pas de venir à moi; car le royaume des cieux est pour ceux qui leur ressemblent. Jésus (Matthieu 19: 14)
Quiconque reçoit en mon nom un petit enfant comme celui-ci, me reçoit moi-même. Mais, si quelqu’un scandalisait un de ces petits qui croient en moi, il vaudrait mieux pour lui qu’on suspendît à son cou une meule de moulin, et qu’on le jetât au fond de la mer. Jésus (Matthieu 18: 5-6)
Une civilisation est testée sur la manière dont elle traite ses membres les plus faibles. Pearl Buck
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
Je crois que le moment décisif en Occident est l’invention de l’hôpital. Les primitifs s’occupent de leurs propres morts. Ce qu’il y a de caractéristique dans l’hôpital c’est bien le fait de s’occuper de tout le monde. C’est l’hôtel-Dieu donc c’est la charité. Et c’est visiblement une invention du Moyen-Age. René Girard
Notre monde est de plus en plus imprégné par cette vérité évangélique de l’innocence des victimes. L’attention qu’on porte aux victimes a commencé au Moyen Age, avec l’invention de l’hôpital. L’Hôtel-Dieu, comme on disait, accueillait toutes les victimes, indépendamment de leur origine. Les sociétés primitives n’étaient pas inhumaines, mais elles n’avaient d’attention que pour leurs membres. Le monde moderne a inventé la « victime inconnue », comme on dirait aujourd’hui le « soldat inconnu ». Le christianisme peut maintenant continuer à s’étendre même sans la loi, car ses grandes percées intellectuelles et morales, notre souci des victimes et notre attention à ne pas nous fabriquer de boucs émissaires, ont fait de nous des chrétiens qui s’ignorent. René Girard
L’inauguration majestueuse de l’ère « post-chrétienne » est une plaisanterie. Nous sommes dans un ultra-christianisme caricatural qui essaie d’échapper à l’orbite judéo-chrétienne en « radicalisant » le souci des victimes dans un sens antichrétien. René Girard
J’espère offrir mon fils unique en martyr, comme son père. Dalal Mouazzi (jeune veuve d’un commandant du Hezbollah mort en 2006 pendant la guerre du Liban, à propos de son gamin de 10 ans)
Nous n’aurons la paix avec les Arabes que lorsqu’ils aimeront leurs enfants plus qu’ils ne nous détestent. Golda Meir
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
L’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie. Charles Enderlin (Le Figaro, 27/01/05)
Oh, ils font toujours ça. C’est une question de culture. Représentants de France 2 (cités par Enderlin)
La mort de Mohammed annule, efface celle de l’enfant juif, les mains en l’air devant les SS, dans le Ghetto de Varsovie. Catherine Nay (Europe 1)
Il y a lieu de décider que Patrick Karsenty a exercé de bonne foi son droit à la libre critique (…) En répondant à Denis Jeambar et à Daniel Leconte dans le Figaro du 23 janvier 2005 que « l’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie », alors que la diffusion d’un reportage s’entend comme le témoignage de ce que le journaliste a vu et entendu, Charles Enderlin a reconnu que le film qui a fait le tour du monde en entrainant des violences sans précédent dans toute la région ne correspondait peut-être pas au commentaire qu’il avait donné. Laurence Trébucq (Présidente de la Cour d’appel de Paris, 21.05.08)
Voilà sept ans qu’une campagne obstinée et haineuse s’efforce de salir la dignité professionnelle de notre confrère Charles Enderlin, correspondant de France 2 à Jerusalem. Voilà sept ans que les mêmes individus tentent de présenter comme une « supercherie » et une « série de scènes jouées » , son reportage montrant la mort de Mohammed al-Doura, 12 ans, tué par des tirs venus de la position israélienne, le 30 septembre 2000, dans la bande de Gaza, lors d’un affrontement entre l’armée israélienne et des éléments armés palestiniens. Appel du Nouvel observateur (27 mai 2008)
This is not staging, it’s playing for the camera. When they threw stones and Molotov cocktails, it was in part for the camera. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. They wanted to be filmed throwing stones and being hit by rubber bullets. All of us — the ARD too — did reports on kids confronting the Israeli army, in order to be filmed in Ramallah, in Gaza. That’s not staging, that’s reality. Enderlin
Dans le numéro 1931 du Nouvel Observateur, daté du 8 novembre 2001, Sara Daniel a publié un reportage sur le « crime d’honneur » en Jordanie. Dans son texte, elle révélait qu’à Gaza et dans les territoires occupés, les crimes dits d’honneur qui consistent pour des pères ou des frères à abattre les femmes jugées légères représentaient une part importante des homicides. Le texte publié, en raison d’un défaut de guillemets et de la suppression de deux phrases dans la transmission, laissait penser que son auteur faisait sienne l’accusation selon laquelle il arrivait à des soldats israéliens de commettre un viol en sachant, de plus, que les femmes violées allaient être tuées. Il n’en était évidemment rien et Sara Daniel, actuellement en reportage en Afghanistan, fait savoir qu’elle déplore très vivement cette erreur qui a gravement dénaturé sa pensée. Une mise au point de Sara Daniel (Le Nouvel Observateur, le 15 novembre 2001)
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
Les pays européens qui ont transformé la Méditerranée en un cimetière de migrants partagent la responsabilité de chaque réfugié mort. Erdogan
Mr. Kurdi brought his family to Turkey three years ago after fleeing fighting first in Damascus, where he worked as a barber, then in Aleppo, then Kobani. His Facebook page shows pictures of the family in Istanbul crossing the Bosporus and feeding pigeons next to the famous Yeni Cami, or new mosque. From his hospital bed on Wednesday, Mr. Kurdi told a Syrian radio station that he had worked on construction sites for 50 Turkish lira (roughly $17) a day, but it wasn’t enough to live on. He said they depended on his sister, Tima Kurdi, who lived in Canada, for help paying the rent. Ms. Kurdi, speaking Thursday in a Vancouver suburb, said that their father, still in Syria, had suggested Abdullah go to Europe to get his damaged teeth fixed and find a way to help his family leave Turkey. She said she began wiring her brother money three weeks ago, in €1,000 ($1,100) amounts, to help pay for the trip. Shortly after, she said her brother called her and said he wanted to bring his whole family to Europe, as his wife wasn’t able to support their two boys alone in Istanbul. “If we go, we go all of us,” Ms. Kurdi recounted him telling her. She said she spoke to his wife last week, who told her she was scared of the water and couldn’t swim. “I said to her, ‘I cannot push you to go. If you don’t want to go, don’t go,’” she said. “But I guess they all decided they wanted to do it all together.” At the morgue, Mr. Kurdi described what happened after they set off from the deserted beach, under cover of darkness. “We went into the sea for four minutes and then the captain saw that the waves are so high, so he steered the boat and we were hit immediately. He panicked and dived into the sea and fled. I took over and started steering, the waves were so high the boat flipped. I took my wife in my arms and I realized they were all dead.” Mr. Kurdi gave different accounts of what happened next. In one interview, he said he swam ashore and walked to the hospital. In another, he said he was rescued by the coast guard. In Canada, Ms. Kurdi said her brother had sent her a text message around 3 a.m. Turkish time Wednesday confirming they had set off. (…) “He said, ‘I did everything in my power to save them, but I couldn’t,’” she said. “My brother said to me, ‘My kids have to be the wake-up call for the whole world.’” WSJ
Personne ne dit que ce n’est pas raisonnable de partir de Turquie avec deux enfants en bas âge sur une mer agitée dans un frêle esquife. Arno Klarsfeld
La justice israélienne a dit disposer d’une déposition selon laquelle la famille d’un bébé palestinien mort dans des circonstances contestées dans la bande de Gaza avait été payée par le Hamas pour accuser Israël, ce que les parents ont nié. Vif émoi après la mort de l’enfant. Leïla al-Ghandour, âgée de huit mois, est morte mi-mai alors que l’enclave palestinienne était depuis des semaines le théâtre d’une mobilisation massive et d’affrontements entre Palestiniens et soldats israéliens le long de la frontière avec Gaza. Son décès a suscité un vif émoi. Sa famille accuse l’armée israélienne d’avoir provoqué sa mort en employant des lacrymogènes contre les protestataires, parmi lesquels se trouvait la fillette. La fillette souffrait-elle d’un problème cardiaque ? L’armée israélienne, se fondant sur les informations d’un médecin palestinien resté anonyme mais qui selon elle connaissait l’enfant et sa famille, dit que l’enfant souffrait d’un problème cardiaque. Le ministère israélien de la Justice a rendu public jeudi l’acte d’inculpation d’un Gazaoui de 20 ans, présenté comme le cousin de la fillette. Selon le ministère, il a déclaré au cours de ses interrogatoires par les forces israéliennes que les parents de Leila avaient touché 8.000 shekels (1.800 euros) de la part de Yahya Sinouar, le chef du Hamas dans la bande de Gaza, pour dire que leur fille était morte des inhalations de gaz. Une « fabrication » du Hamas dénoncée par Israël. Les parents ont nié ces déclarations, réaffirmé que leur fille était bien morte des inhalations, et ont contesté qu’elle était malade. Selon la famille, Leïla al-Ghandour avait été emmenée près de la frontière par un oncle âgé de 11 ans et avait été prise dans les tirs de lacrymogènes. Europe 1
Donald Trump aurait (…) menti en affirmant que la criminalité augmentait en Allemagne, en raison de l’entrée dans le pays de 1,1 million de clandestins en 2015. (…) Les articles se sont immédiatement multipliés pour dénoncer « le mensonge » du président américain. Pourquoi ? Parce que les autorités allemandes se sont félicitées d’une baisse des agressions violentes en 2017. C’est vrai, elles ont chuté de 5,1% par rapport à 2016. Est-il possible, cependant, de feindre à ce point l’incompréhension ? Car les détracteurs zélés du président omettent de préciser que la criminalité a bien augmenté en Allemagne à la suite de cette vague migratoire exceptionnelle : 10% de crimes violents en plus, sur les années 2015 et 2016. L’étude réalisée par le gouvernement allemand et publiée en janvier dernier concluait même que 90% de cette augmentation était due aux jeunes hommes clandestins fraîchement accueillis, âgés de 14 à 30 ans. L’augmentation de la criminalité fut donc indiscutablement liée à l’accueil de 1,1 millions de clandestins pendant l’année 2015. C’est évidement ce qu’entend démontrer Donald Trump. Et ce n’est pas tout. Les chiffres du ministère allemand de l’Intérieur pour 2016 révèlent également une implication des étrangers et des clandestins supérieure à celle des Allemands dans le domaine de la criminalité. Et en hausse. La proportion d’étrangers parmi les personnes suspectées d’actes criminels était de 28,7% en 2014, elle est passée à 40,4% en 2016, avant de chuter à 35% en 2017 (ce qui reste plus important qu’en 2014). En 2016, les étrangers étaient 3,5 fois plus impliqués dans des crimes que les Allemands, les clandestins 7 fois plus. Des chiffres encore plus élevés dans le domaine des crimes violents (5 fois plus élevés chez les étrangers, 15 fois chez les clandestins) ou dans celui des viols en réunion (10 fois plus chez les étrangers, 42 fois chez les clandestins !). Factuellement, la criminalité n’augmente pas aujourd’hui en Allemagne. Mais l’exceptionnelle vague migratoire voulue par Angela Merkel en 2015 a bien eu pour conséquence l’augmentation de la criminalité en Allemagne. Les Allemands, eux, semblent l’avoir très bien compris. Valeurs actuelles
Je vous demande de ne rien céder, dans ces temps troublés que nous vivons, de votre amour pour l’Europe. Je vous le dis avec beaucoup de gravité. Beaucoup la détestent, mais ils la détestent depuis longtemps et vous les voyez monter, comme une lèpre, un peu partout en Europe, dans des pays où nous pensions que c’était impossible de la voir réapparaître. Et des amis voisins, ils disent le pire et nous nous y habituons. Emmanuel Macron
Il y a des choses insoutenables. Mais pourquoi on en est arrivé là ? Parce que justement il y a des gens comme Emmanuel Macron qui venaient donner des leçons de morale aux autres. Il y a une inquiétude identitaire » en Europe, « c’est une réalité politique. Tous les donneurs de leçon ont tué l’Europe, il y a une angoisse chez les Européens d’être dilués, pas une angoisse raciste, mais une angoisse de ne plus pouvoir être eux, chez eux. Jean-Sébastien Ferjou
Our message absolutely is don’t send your children unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers. We don’t even know how many of these kids don’t make it, and may have been waylaid into sex trafficking or killed because they fell off a train. Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it. Obama (2014)
I also think that we have to understand the difficulty that President Obama finds himself in because there are laws that impose certain obligations on him. And it was my understanding that the numbers have been moderating in part as the Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement officials understood that separating children from families — I mean, the horror of a father or a mother going to work and being picked up and immediately whisked away and children coming home from school to an empty house and nobody can say where their mother or father is, that is just not who we are as Americans. And so, I do think that while we continue to make the case which you know is very controversial in some corridors, that we have to reform our immigration system and we needed to do it yesterday. That’s why I approved of the bill that was passed in the Senate. We need to show humanity with respect to people to people who are working, contributing right now. And deporting them, leaving their children alone or deporting an adolescent, doing anything that is so contrary to our core values, just makes no sense. So I would be very open to trying to figure out ways to change the law, even if we don’t get to comprehensive immigration reform to provide more leeway and more discretion for the executive branch. (…) the numbers are increasing dramatically. And the main reason I believe why that’s happening is that the violence in certain of those Central American countries is increasing dramatically. And there is not sufficient law enforcement or will on the part of the governments of those countries to try to deal with this exponential increase in violence, drug trafficking, the drug cartels, and many children are fleeing from that violence. (…) first of all, we have to provide the best emergency care we can provide. We have children 5 and 6 years old who have come up from Central America. We need to do more to provide border security in southern Mexico. (…) they should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are, because there are concerns whether all of them should be sent back. But I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families. (…) But we have so to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey. Hillary Clinton (2014)
Over the past six years, President Obama has tried to make children the centerpiece of his efforts to put a gentler face on U.S. immigration policy. Even as his administration has deported a record number of unauthorized immigrants, surpassing two million deportations last year, it has pushed for greater leniency toward undocumented children. After trying and failing to pass the Dream Act legislation, which would offer a path to permanent residency for immigrants who arrived before the age of 16, the president announced an executive action in 2012 to block their deportation. Last November, Obama added another executive action to extend similar protections to undocumented parents. “We’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security,” he said in a speech on Nov. 20. “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.” But the president’s new policies apply only to immigrants who have been in the United States for more than five years; they do nothing to address the emerging crisis on the border today. Since the economic collapse of 2008, the number of undocumented immigrants coming from Mexico has plunged, while a surge of violence in Central America has brought a wave of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. According to recent statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, the number of refugees fleeing Central America has doubled in the past year alone — with more than 61,000 “family units” crossing the U.S. border, as well as 51,000 unaccompanied children. For the first time, more people are coming to the United States from those countries than from Mexico, and they are coming not just for opportunity but for survival. The explosion of violence in Central America is often described in the language of war, cartels, extortion and gangs, but none of these capture the chaos overwhelming the region. Four of the five highest murder rates in the world are in Central American nations. The collapse of these countries is among the greatest humanitarian disasters of our time. While criminal organizations like the 18th Street Gang and Mara Salvatrucha exist as street gangs in the United States, in large parts of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador they are so powerful and pervasive that they have supplanted the government altogether. People who run afoul of these gangs — which routinely demand money on threat of death and sometimes kidnap young boys to serve as soldiers and young girls as sexual slaves — may have no recourse to the law and no better option than to flee. The American immigration system defines a special pathway for refugees. To qualify, most applicants must present themselves to federal authorities, pass a “credible fear interview” to demonstrate a possible basis for asylum and proceed through a “merits hearing” before an immigration judge. Traditionally, those who have completed the first two stages are permitted to live with family and friends in the United States while they await their final hearing, which can be months or years later. If authorities believe an applicant may not appear for that court date, they can require a bond payment as guarantee or place the refugee in a monitoring system that may include a tracking bracelet. In the most extreme cases, a judge may deny bond and keep the refugee in a detention facility until the merits hearing. The rules are somewhat different when children are involved. Under the terms of a 1997 settlement in the case of Flores v. Meese, children who enter the country without their parents must be granted a “general policy favoring release” to the custody of relatives or a foster program. When there is cause to detain a child, he or she must be housed in the least restrictive environment possible, kept away from unrelated adults and provided access to medical care, exercise and adequate education. Whether these protections apply to children traveling with their parents has been a matter of dispute. The Flores settlement refers to “all minors who are detained” by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and its “agents, employees, contractors and/or successors in office.” When the I.N.S. dissolved into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, its detention program shifted to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Federal judges have ruled that ICE is required to honor the Flores protections for all children in its custody. Even so, in 2005, the administration of George W. Bush decided to deny the Flores protections to refugee children traveling with their parents. Instead of a “general policy favoring release,” the administration began to incarcerate hundreds of those families for months at a time. To house them, officials opened the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center near Austin, Tex. Within a year, the administration faced a lawsuit over the facility’s conditions. Legal filings describe young children forced to wear prison jumpsuits, to live in dormitory housing, to use toilets exposed to public view and to sleep with the lights on, even while being denied access to appropriate schooling. In a pretrial hearing, a federal judge in Texas blasted the administration for denying these children the protections of the Flores settlement. “The court finds it inexplicable that defendants have spent untold amounts of time, effort and taxpayer dollars to establish the Hutto family-detention program, knowing all the while that Flores is still in effect,” the judge wrote. The Bush administration settled the suit with a promise to improve the conditions at Hutto but continued to deny that children in family detention were entitled to the Flores protections. In 2009, the Obama administration reversed course, abolishing family detention at Hutto and leaving only a small facility in Pennsylvania to house refugee families in exceptional circumstances. For all other refugee families, the administration returned to a policy of release to await trial. Studies have shown that nearly all detainees who are released from custody with some form of monitoring will appear for their court date. But when the number of refugees from Central America spiked last summer, the administration abruptly announced plans to resume family detention. (…) From the beginning, officials were clear that the purpose of the new facility in Artesia was not so much to review asylum petitions as to process deportation orders. “We have already added resources to expedite the removal, without a hearing before an immigration judge, of adults who come from these three countries without children,” the secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, told a Senate committee in July. “Then there are adults who brought their children with them. Again, our message to this group is simple: We will send you back.” Elected officials in Artesia say that Johnson made a similar pledge during a visit to the detention camp in July. “He said, ‘As soon as we get them, we’ll ship them back,’ ” a city councilor from Artesia named Jose Luis Aguilar recalled. The mayor of the city, Phillip Burch, added, “His comment to us was that this would be a ‘rapid deportation process.’ Those were his exact words.” (…) “I arrived on July 5 and turned myself in at 2 a.m.,” a 28-year-old mother of two named Ana recalled. In Honduras, Ana ran a small business selling trinkets and served on the P.T.A. of her daughter’s school. “I lived well,” she said — until the gangs began to pound on her door, demanding extortion payments. Within days, they had escalated their threats, approaching Ana brazenly on the street. “One day, coming home from my daughter’s school, they walked up to me and put a gun to my head,” she said. “They told me that if I didn’t give them the money in less than 24 hours, they would kill me.” Ana had already seen friends raped and murdered by the gang, so she packed her belongings that night and began the 1,800-mile journey to the U.S. border with her 7-year-old daughter. Four weeks later, in McAllen, Tex., they surrendered as refugees. Ana and her daughter entered Artesia in mid-July. In October they were still there. Ana’s daughter was sick and losing weight rapidly under the strain of incarceration. Their lawyer, a leader in Chicago’s Mormon Church named Rebecca van Uitert, said that Ana’s daughter became so weak and emaciated that doctors threatened drastic measures. “They were like, ‘You’ve got to force her to eat, and if you don’t, we’re going to put a PICC line in her and force-feed her,’ ” van Uitert said. Ana said that when her daughter heard the doctor say this, “She started to cry and cry.” (…) Many of the volunteers in Artesia tell similar stories about the misery of life in the facility. “I thought I was pretty tough,” said Allegra Love, who spent the previous summer working on the border between Mexico and Guatemala. “I mean, I had seen kids in all manner of suffering, but this was a really different thing. It’s a jail, and the women and children are being led around by guards. There’s this look that the kids have in their eyes. This lackadaisical look. They’re just sitting there, staring off, and they’re wasting away. That was what shocked me most.” The detainees reported sleeping eight to a room, in violation of the Flores settlement, with little exercise or stimulation for the children. Many were under the age of 6 and had been raised on a diet of tortillas, rice and chicken bits. In Artesia, the institutional cafeteria foods were as unfamiliar as the penal atmosphere, and to their parents’ horror, many of the children refused to eat. “Gaunt kids, moms crying, they’re losing hair, up all night,” an attorney named Maria Andrade recalled. Another, Lisa Johnson-Firth, said: “I saw children who were malnourished and were not adapting. One 7-year-old just lay in his mother’s arms while she bottle-fed him.” Mary O’Leary, who made three trips to Artesia last fall, said: “I was trying to talk to one client about her case, and just a few feet away at another table there was this lady with a toddler between 2 and 4 years old, just lying limp. This was a sick kid, and just with this horrible racking cough.” (…) Attorneys for the Obama administration have argued in court, like the Bush administration previously, that the protections guaranteed by the Flores settlement do not apply to children in family detention. “The Flores settlement comes into play with unaccompanied minors,” a lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security named Karen Donoso Stevens insisted to a judge on Aug. 4. “That argument is moot here, because the juvenile is detained — is accompanied and detained — with his mother.” Federal judges have consistently rejected this position. Just as the judge reviewing family detention in 2007 called the denial of Flores protections “inexplicable,” the judge presiding over the Aug. 4 hearing issued a ruling in September that Homeland Security officials in Artesia must honor the Flores Settlement Agreement. “The language of the F.S.A. is unambiguous,” Judge Roxanne Hladylowycz wrote. “The F.S.A. was designed to create a nationwide policy for the detention of all minors, not only those who are unaccompanied.” Olavarria said she was not aware of that ruling and would not comment on whether the Department of Homeland Security believes that the Flores ruling applies to children in family detention today. (…) As the pro bono project in Artesia continued into fall, its attorneys continued to win in court. By mid-November, more than 400 of the detained women and children were free on bond. Then on Nov. 20, the administration suddenly announced plans to transfer the Artesia detainees to the ICE detention camp in Karnes, Tex., where they would fall under a new immigration court district with a new slate of judges. That announcement came at the very moment the president was delivering a live address on the new protections available to established immigrant families. In an email to notify Artesia volunteers about the transfer, an organizer for AILA named Stephen Manning wrote, “The disconnect from the compassionate-ish words of the president and his crushing policies toward these refugees is shocking.” Brown was listening to the speech in her car, while driving to Denver for a rare weekend at home, when her cellphone buzzed with the news that 20 of her clients would be transferred to Texas the next morning. Many of them were close to a bond release; in San Antonio, they might be detained for weeks or months longer. Brown pulled her car to the side of the highway and spent three hours arguing to delay the transfer. Over the next two weeks, officials moved forward with the plan. By mid-December, most of the Artesia detainees were in Karnes (…) One of McPhaul’s colleagues, Judge Gary Burkholder, was averaging a 91.6 percent denial rate for the asylum claims. Some Karnes detainees had been in the facility for nearly six months and could remain there another six. (…) “I agree,” Sischo said. “We should not be spending resources on detaining these families. They should be released. But people don’t understand the law. They think they should be deported because they’re ‘illegals.’ So they’re missing a very big part of the story, which is that they aren’t breaking the law. They’re trying to go through the process that’s laid out in our laws.” Wil S. Hylton (NYT magazine, 2015)
It was the kind of story destined to take a dark turn through the conservative news media and grab President Trump’s attention: A vast horde of migrants was making its way through Mexico toward the United States, and no one was stopping them. “Mysterious group deploys ‘caravan’ of illegal aliens headed for U.S. border,” warned Frontpage Mag, a site run by David Horowitz, a conservative commentator. The Gateway Pundit, a website that was most recently in the news for spreading conspiracies about the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., suggested the real reason the migrants were trying to enter the United States was to collect social welfare benefits. And as the president often does when immigration is at issue, he saw a reason for Americans to be afraid. “Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming,” a Twitter post from Mr. Trump read. The story of “the caravan” followed an arc similar to many events — whether real, embellished or entirely imagined — involving refugees and migrants that have roused intense suspicion and outrage on the right. The coverage tends to play on the fears that hiding among mass groups of immigrants are many criminals, vectors of disease and agents of terror. And often the president, who announced his candidacy by blaming Mexico for sending rapists and drug dealers into the United States, acts as an accelerant to the hysteria. The sensationalization of this story and others like it seems to serve a common purpose for Mr. Trump and other immigration hard-liners: to highlight the twin dangers of freely roving migrants — especially those from Muslim countries — and lax immigration laws that grant them easy entry into Western nations. The narrative on the right this week, for example, mostly omitted that many people in the caravan planned to resettle in Mexico, not the United States. And it ignored how many of those who did intend to come here would probably go through the legal process of requesting asylum at a border checkpoint — something miles of new wall and battalions of additional border patrol would not have stopped. (…) The story of the caravan has been similarly exaggerated. And the emotional outpouring from the right has been raw — that was the case on Fox this week when the TV host Tucker Carlson shouted “You hate America!” at an immigrants rights activist after he defended the people marching through Mexico. The facts of the caravan are not as straightforward as Mr. Trump or many conservative pundits have portrayed them. The story initially gained widespread attention after BuzzFeed News reported last week that more than 1,000 Central American migrants, mostly from Honduras, were making their way north toward the United States border. Yet the BuzzFeed article and other coverage pointed out that many in the group were planning to stay in Mexico. That did not stop Mr. Trump from expressing dismay on Tuesday with a situation “where you have thousands of people that decide to just walk into our country, and we don’t have any laws that can protect it.” The use of disinformation in immigration debates is hardly unique to the United States. Misleading crime statistics, speculation about sinister plots to undermine national sovereignty and Russian propaganda have all played a role in stirring up anti-immigrant sentiment in places like Britain, Germany and Hungary. Some of the more fantastical theories have involved a socialist conspiracy to import left-leaning voters and a scheme by the Hungarian-born Jewish philanthropist George Soros to create a borderless Europe. NYT
With the help of a humanitarian group called “Pueblo Sin Fronteras” (people without borders), the 1,000 plus migrants will reach the U.S. border with a list of demands to several governments in Central America, the United States, and Mexico. Here’s what they demanded of Mexico and the United States in a Facebook post:  -That they respect our rights as refugees and our right to dignified work to be able to support our families -That they open the borders to us because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel -That deportations, which destroy families, come to an end -No more abuses against us as migrants -Dignity and justice -That the US government not end TPS for those who need it -That the US government stop massive funding for the Mexican government to detain Central American migrants and refugees and to deport them -That these governments respect our rights under international law, including the right to free expression -That the conventions on refugee rights not be empty rhetoric. The Blaze
Au moins 150 migrants centraméricains sont arrivés à Tijuana au Mexique, à la frontière avec les États-Unis. Ils sont décidés à demander l’asile à Washington. Plusieurs centaines de migrants originaires d’Amérique centrale se sont rassemblés dimanche 30 avril à la frontière mexico-américaine au terme d’un mois de traversée du Mexique. Nombre d’entre eux ont décidé de se présenter aux autorités américaines pour déposer des demandes d’asile et devraient être placés en centres de rétention. « Nous espérons que le gouvernement des États-Unis nous ouvrira les portes », a déclaré Reyna Isabel Rodríguez, 52 ans, venu du Salvador avec ses deux petits-enfants. L’ONG Peuple Sans Frontières organise ce type de caravane depuis 2010 pour dénoncer le sort de celles et ceux qui traversent le Mexique en proie à de nombreux dangers, entre des cartels de la drogue qui les kidnappent ou les tuent, et des autorités qui les rançonnent. « Nous voulons dire au président des États-Unis que nous ne sommes pas des criminels, nous ne sommes pas des terroristes, qu’il nous donne la chance de vivre sans peur. Je sais que Dieu va toucher son cœur », a déclaré l’une des organisatrices de la caravane, Irineo Mujica. L’ONG, composée de volontaires, permet notamment aux migrants de rester groupés – lors d’un périple qui se fait à pied, en bus ou en train – afin de se prémunir de tous les dangers qui jalonnent leur chemin. En espagnol, ces caravanes sont d’ailleurs appelées « Via Crucis Migrantes » ou le « Chemin de croix des migrants », en référence aux processions catholiques, particulièrement appréciées en Amérique du Sud, qui mettent en scène la Passion du Christ, ou les derniers événements qui ont précédé et accompagné la mort de Jésus de Nazareth. Cette année, le groupe est parti le 25 mars de Tapachula, à la frontière du Guatemala, avec un groupe de près de 1 200 personnes, à 80 % originaires du Honduras, les autres venant du Guatemala, du Salvador et du Nicaragua, selon Rodrigo Abeja. Dans le groupe, près de 300 enfants âgés de 1 mois à 11 ans, une vingtaine de jeunes homosexuels et environ 400 femmes. Certains se sont ensuite dispersés, préférant rester au Mexique, d’autres choisissant de voyager par leurs propres moyens. En avril, les images de la caravane de migrants se dirigeant vers les États-Unis avaient suscité la colère de Donald Trump et une forte tension entre Washington et Mexico. Le président américain, dont l’un des principaux thèmes de campagne était la construction d’un mur à la frontière avec le Mexique pour lutter contre l’immigration clandestine, avait ordonné le déploiement sur la frontière de troupes de la Garde nationale. Il avait aussi soumis la conclusion d’un nouvel accord de libre-échange en Amérique du Nord à un renforcement des contrôles migratoires par le Mexique, une condition rejetée par le président mexicain Enrique Pena Nieto. France 24 
Il faut noter que les migrants qui veulent demander l’asile se rendent facilement aux agents de patrouille aux frontières. Ce ne sont pas des migrants sans papiers classiques, ils viennent avec autant de documents que possible pour obtenir l’asile politique. Dans ce groupe se trouvaient une vingtaine de femmes et d’enfants. La plupart venaient du Honduras.  (…) J’avais remarqué une mère qui tenait un enfant. Elle m’a dit que sa fille et elle voyageaient depuis un mois, au départ du Honduras. Elle m’a dit que sa fille avait 2 ans, et j’ai pu voir dans ses yeux qu’elle était sur ses gardes, exténuée et qu’elle avait probablement vécu un voyage très difficile. C’est l’une des dernières familles à avoir été embarquée dans le véhicule. Un des officiers a demandé à la mère de déposer son enfant à terre pendant qu’elle était fouillée. Juste à ce moment-là, la petite fille a commencé à pleurer, très fort. J’ai trois enfants moi-même, dont un tout petit, et c’était très difficile à voir, mais j’avais une fenêtre de tir très réduite pour photographier la scène. Dès que la fouille s’est terminée, elle a pu reprendre son enfant dans ses bras et ses pleurs se sont éteints. Moi, j’ai dû m’arrêter, reprendre mes esprits et respirer profondément. J’avais déjà photographié des scènes comme ça à de nombreuses reprises. Mais celle-ci était unique, d’une part à cause des pleurs de cette enfant, mais aussi parce que cette fois, je savais qu’à la prochaine étape de leur voyage, dans ce centre de rétention, elles allaient être séparées. Je doute que ces familles aient eu la moindre idée de ce qui allait leur arriver. Tous voyageaient depuis des semaines, ils ne regardaient pas la télévision et n’avaient aucun moyen d’être au courant de la nouvelle mesure de tolérance zéro et de séparation des familles mise en place par Trump. (…) Cela fait dix ans que je photographie l’immigration à la frontière américaine, toujours avec l’objectif d’humaniser des histoires complexes. Souvent, on parle de l’immigration avec des statistiques, arides et froides. Et je crois que la seule manière que les personnes dans ce pays trouvent des solutions humaines est qu’elles voient les gens comme des êtres humains. Je n’avais jamais imaginé que j’allais un jour mettre un visage sur une politique de séparation des familles, mais c’est le cas aujourd’hui. John Moore
Pourquoi aurait-elle fait subir ça à notre petite fille ? (….) Je pense que c’était irresponsable de sa part de partir avec le bébé dans les bras parce qu’on ne sait pas ce qui aurait pu arriver. Denis Hernandez
Interrogé par le Daily Mail, Denis Varela a indiqué que sa femme voulait expérimenter le rêve américain et trouver un travail au pays de l’Oncle Sam, mais qu’il était opposé à l’idée qu’elle parte avec sa fille : « Elle est partie sans prévenir. Je n’ai pas pu dire « Au revoir » à ma fille et maintenant la seule chose que je peux faire, c’est attendre. » Le couple a aussi trois autres enfants, un fils de 14 ans, et deux filles de 11 et 6 ans. « Les enfants comprennent ce qu’il se passe. Ils sont un peu inquiets mais j’essaye de ne pas trop aborder le sujet. Ils savent que leur mère et leur sœur sont en sécurité. » Il a ajouté qu’il espère que « les droits de sa femme et de sa fille sont respectés, parce qu’elles sont des reines […] Nous avons tous des droits. » Ouest France
Protecting children at the border is complicated because there have, indeed, been instances of fraud. Tens of thousands of migrants arrive there every year, and those with children in tow are often released into the United States more quickly than adults who come alone, because of restrictions on the amount of time that minors can be held in custody. Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner. Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing. (…) [Jessica M. Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies] said that some migrants were using children as “human shields” in order to get out of immigration custody faster. “It makes no sense at all for the government to just accept these attempts at fraud,” Ms. Vaughan said. “If it appears that the child is being used in this way, it is in the best interest of the child to be kept separately from the parent, for the parent to be prosecuted, because it’s a crime and it’s one that has to be deterred and prosecuted.” NYT
Over the weekend, you may have seen a horrifying story: Almost 1,500 migrant children were missing, and feared to be in the hands of human traffickers. The Trump administration lost track of the children, the story went, after separating them from their parents at the border. The news spread across liberal social media — with the hashtag #Wherearethechildren trending on Twitter — as people demanded immediate action. But it wasn’t true, or at least not the way that many thought. The narrative had combined parts of two real events and wound up with a horror story that was at least partly a myth. The fact that so many Americans readily believed this myth offers a lesson in how partisan polarization colors people’s views on a gut emotional level without many even realizing it. As other articles have explained, the missing children and the Trump administration’s separation of families who are apprehended at the border are two different matters. (…) These “missing” children had actually come to the United States without their parents, been picked up by the Border Patrol and then released to the custody of a parent or guardian. Many probably are not really missing. The figure represents the number of children whose households didn’t answer the phone when the Department of Health and Human Services called to check on them. The unanswered phone calls may warrant further welfare checks, but are not themselves a sign that something nefarious has happened. The Obama administration also detained immigrant families and children, as did other recent administrations. This past weekend, some social media users circulated a photo they said showed children detained as a result of President Trump’s policies, but the image was actually from 2014. (…) Long-running social science surveys have found that since the 1980s, Republicans’ opinions of Democrats and Democrats’ opinions of Republicans have been increasingly negative. At the same time, as Lilliana Mason, a political scientist at the University of Maryland, writes in a new book, partisan identity has become an umbrella for other important identities, including those involving race, religion, geography and even educational background. It has become a tribal identity itself, not merely a matter of policy preferences. So it’s not that liberals didn’t care about immigrant children until Mr. Trump became president, or that they’re only pretending to care now so as to score political points. Rather, with the Trump administration’s making opposition to immigrants a signature issue, the topic has become salient to partisan conflict in a way it wasn’t before. Mr. Trump’s treatment of immigrant families and children, when refracted through the lens of partisan bias, affirms liberals’ perception of being engaged in a broader moral struggle with the right, making it feel like an urgent threat. Mr. Obama’s detaining of immigrant children, by contrast, felt like a matter of abstract moral concern. Identity polarization means “you want to show that you’re a good member of your tribe,” Sean Westwood, a political scientist at Dartmouth College who studies partisan polarization, said in an interview early last year. “You want to show others that Republicans are bad or Democrats are bad, and your tribe is good.” Sharing stories on social media “provides a unique opportunity to publicly declare to the world what your beliefs are and how willing you are to denigrate the opposition and reinforce your own political candidates,” he said. Accurate news can serve that purpose. But fake news has an advantage. It can perfectly capture one side’s villainous archetypes of the other, without regard for pesky facts that might not fit the story line. The narrative that President Trump’s team lost hundreds of children after tearing them away from their parents combines some of the main liberal critiques of the administration: that it is racist, that it is authoritarian and that it is incompetent. The administration’s very real policy of separating families already plays to the first two archetypes. By adding in the missing children, the story manages to incorporate an incompetence angle as well. NYT
Nous ne voulons pas séparer les familles, mais nous ne voulons pas que des familles viennent illégalement. Si vous faites passer un enfant, nous vous poursuivrons. Et cet enfant sera séparé de vous, comme la loi le requiert. Jeff Sessions
Le dilemme est si vous êtes mou, ce que certaines personnes aimeraient que vous soyez, si vous êtes vraiment mou, pathétiquement mou… le pays va être envahi par des millions de gens. Et si vous êtes ferme, vous n’avez pas de coeur. C’est un dilemme difficile. Peut-être que je préfère être ferme, mais c’est un dilemme difficile. Donald Trump
La version originale de cet article a donné une représentation inexacte de ce qui est arrivé à la petite fille après la photo. Elle n’a pas été emmenée en larmes par les patrouilles frontalières ; sa mère l’a récupérée et les deux ont été interpellées ensemble. Time
Time has not responded to a request for comment from The Post, but in a statement sent to media outlets, the magazine said it’s standing by its cover. Washington Post
La photographie du 12 juin de la petite Hondurienne de 2 ans est devenue le symbole le plus visible du débat sur l’immigration en cours aux États-Unis et il y a une raison pour cela. Dans le cadre de la politique appliquée par l’administration, avant son revirement de cette semaine, ceux qui traversaient la frontière illégalement étaient l’objet de poursuites criminelles, qui entraînaient à leur tour la séparation des enfants et des parents. Notre couverture et notre reportage saisissent les enjeux de ce moment. Edward Felsenthal (rédacteur en chef de Time).
The Time cover is an illustration that interprets a wider issue being reported on within the magazine. The photograph I took is a straightforward and an honest image; it shows a brief moment in time of a distressed little girl, whose mother is being searched as they are both taken into custody. I believe this image has raised awareness of the zero tolerance policy of the current administration. Having covered immigration for Getty Images for 10 years, this photograph for me is part of a much larger story. John Moore
Obviously this child never met the president, it’s not misleading at all in that sense. I think that the power of it is in the juxtaposition of the two figures, of the child who quickly came to represent all of the children that we’re talking about, and the president who was making the decisions about their fate. Nancy Gibbs (former editor of Time)
It was well within the parameters of editorial license. This is a caustic, sharp-edged cover. But it’s a caustic, sharp-edged cover about an issue that is deeply emotional that has divided America. Moore’s photos are « iconic » and will be remembered alongside historic images of Emmett Till and the photo of a naked little girl running from a Naplam attack in Vietnam. Bruce Shapiro (Columbia University)
Il existe aux Etats-Unis un grave problème d’immigration illégale. Trump a commencé à prendre des décisions pour le régler. Les entrées clandestines dans le pays par la frontière Sud ont diminué de 70 pour cent. Elles sont encore trop nombreuses. Les immigrants illégaux présents dans le pays ne sont pas tous criminels, mais ils représentent une proportion importante des criminels incarcérés et des membres de gangs violents impliqués, entre autres, dans le trafic de drogue. Jeff Sessions, ministre de la justice inefficace dans d’autres secteurs, est très efficace dans ce secteur. Les Démocrates veulent que l’immigration illégale se poursuive, et s’intensifie, car ils ont besoin d’un électorat constitué d’illégaux fraîchement légalisés pour maintenir à flot la coalition électorale sur laquelle ils s’appuient et garder des chances de victoire ultérieure (minorités ethniques, femmes célibataires, étudiants, professeurs). La diminution de l’immigration clandestine leur pose problème. Les actions de la police de l’immigration (ICE; Immigration Control Enforcement) suscitent leur hostilité, d’où l’existence de villes sanctuaires démocrates et, en Californie, d’un Etat sanctuaire(démocrate, bien sûr). Ce qui se passe depuis quelques jours à la frontière Sud du pays est un coup monté auquel participent le parti démocrate, les grands médias américains, des organisations gauchistes, et le but est de faire pression sur Trump en diabolisant son action. La plupart des photos utilisées datent des années Obama, au cours desquelles le traitement des enfants entrant clandestinement dans le pays était exactement similaire à ce qu’il est aujourd’hui, sans qu’à l’époque les Démocrates disent un seul mot. Les enfants qui pleurent sur des vidéos ont été préparés à être filmés à des fins de propagande et ont appris à dire “daddy”, “mummy”. Le but est effectivement de faire céder Trump. Quelques Républicains à veste réversible ont joint leur voix au chœur. Trump, comme il sait le faire, a agi pour désamorcer le coup monté. On lui reproche de faire ce qui se fait depuis des années (séparer les enfants de leurs parents dès lors que les parents doivent être incarcérés) ? Il vient de décider que les enfants ne seront plus séparés des parents, et qu’ils seront placés ensemble dans des lieux de rétention.  Cela signifie-t-il un recul ? Non. La lutte contre l’immigration clandestine va se poursuivre selon exactement la même ligne. Les parents qui ont violé la loi seront traités comme ils l’étaient auparavant. Les enfants seront-ils dans de meilleures conditions ? Non. Ils ne seront pas dans des conditions plus mauvaises non plus. Décrire les lieux où ils étaient placés jusque là comme des camps de concentration est une honte et une insulte à ceux qui ont été placés dans de réels camps de concentration (certains Démocrates un peu plus répugnants que d’autres sont allés jusqu’à faire des comparaisons avec Auschwitz !) : les enfants sont placés dans ce qui est comparable à des auberges pour colonies de vacances. Un enfant clandestin coûte au contribuable américain à ce jour 35.000 dollars en moyenne annuelle. Désamorcer le coup monté ne réglera pas le problème d’ensemble. Des femmes viennent accoucher aux Etats-Unis pour que le bébé ait la nationalité américaine et puisse demander deux décennies plus tard un rapprochement de famille. Des gens font passer leurs enfants par des passeurs en espérant que l’enfant sera régularisé et pourra lui aussi demander un rapprochement de famille. Des parents paient leur passage aux Etats Unis en transportant de la drogue et doivent être jugés pour cela (le tarif des passeurs si on veut passer sans drogue est  de 10.000 dollars par personne). S’ils sont envoyés en prison, ils n’y seront pas envoyés avec leurs enfants.  Quand des trafiquants de drogue sont envoyés en prison, aux Etats-Unis ou ailleurs, ils ne vont pas en prison en famille, et si quelqu’un suggérait que leur famille devait les suivre en prison, parce que ce serait plus “humain”, les Démocrates seraient les premiers à hurler. Les Etats-Unis, comme tout pays développé, ne peuvent laisser entrer tous ceux qui veulent entrer en laissant leurs frontières ouvertes. Un pays a le droit de gérer l’immigration comme il l’entend et comme l’entend sa population, et il le doit, s’il ne veut pas être submergé par une population qui ne s’intègre pas et peut le faire glisser vers le chaos. Les pays européens sont confrontés au même problème que les Etats-Unis, d’une manière plus aiguë puisqu’en Europe s’ajoute le paramètre “islam”. La haine de la civilisation occidentale imprègne la gauche européenne, qui veut la dissolution des peuples européens. Une même haine imprègne la gauche américaine, qui veut la dissolution du peuple américain. Les grandes villes de l’Etat sanctuaire de Californie sont déjà méconnaissables, submergées par des sans abris étrangers (pas un seul pont de Los Angeles qui n’abrite désormais un petit bidonville, et un quart du centre ville est une véritable cour des miracles, à San Francisco ce n’est pas mieux). Il n’est pas du tout certain que le coup monte servira les Démocrates lors des élections de mi mandat. Nombre d’Américains ne veulent pas la dissolution du peuple américain. Guy Millière
Sur le plateau de la NBCNews, l’ancien président du Comité national du parti Républicain, Michael Steele, vient de comparer les centres dans lesquels sont accueillis les enfants de clandestins aux Etats-Unis à des camps de concentration. Il s’adresse alors aux Américains : « Demain, ce pourrait être vos enfants ». La scène résume à elle seule la folie qui s’est emparée de la sphère politico-médiatique après que Donald Trump a ordonné aux autorités gardant la frontière mexicaine d’appliquer la loi et de séparer les parents de leurs enfants entrés illégalement aux Etats-Unis. Passons sur la comparaison. Aussi indécente que manipulatrice : ces enfants ne sont pas enfermés en attendant la mort. Quant à la mise en garde, elle est grotesque. Aucun Américain ne se verra subitement séparé de ses enfants. A moins d’avoir commis un crime ou un délit puni de prison. Quand un citoyen lambda est condamné à une peine de prison, personne ne s’offusque jamais de cette séparation … Jusqu’à ce que cela touche des clandestins. Leur particularité étant de n’avoir aucun logement dans le pays dont ils viennent de violer la frontière, leurs enfants sont donc pris en charge dans des camps, en attendant que la situation des adultes soit examinée. Aux frais des Américains. (…) Reste que les parents, prévenus de la loi que nul n’est censé ignorer, sont les premiers responsables du sort qui menace leurs enfants, en choisissant de la violer. Ce sont eux qui font payer leur délit à leur propre progéniture. Les clandestins sont des adultes tout aussi responsables que n’importe quel autre adulte : leur retirer leur capacité de décision, leur liberté et donc leur responsabilité n’est pas exactement les respecter. Mais (…) remontons à 2014, époque bénie du président Barack Obama. Cette année-là, 47.017 mineurs sont appréhendés, alors qu’ils traversent la frontière… seuls. Des enfants, envoyés par leurs parents qui n’ont apparemment pas eu peur de s’en séparer pour leur faire prendre des risques inconsidérés. Comment est-ce possible ? L’administration américaine d’alors avait affirmé que les étrangers envoyaient leurs enfants seuls, persuadés qu’ils seraient ainsi mieux traités que des adultes. Le New York Times avait donné raison à l’administration : « alors que l’administration Obama a évolué vers une attitude plus agressive d’expulsion des adultes, elle a, dans les faits, expulsé beaucoup moins d’enfants que par le passé. » Les clandestins le savent, tout comme ils connaissent aujourd’hui les risques qui pèsent sur leurs propres enfants. On apprend également qu’à l’époque, les enfants mexicains sont directement reconduits de l’autre côté de la frontière et que les autres sont « pris en charge par le département de la Santé et des Services humanitaires qui les place dans des centres temporaires en attendant que leur processus d’expulsion soit lancé. » En 2013, 80 centres accueillaient 25 000 enfants non accompagnés. Et ce, dans les mêmes conditions aujourd’hui dénoncées. Si similaires d’ailleurs que certains ont voulu critiquer la politique migratoire de Donald Trump en usant de photos datant de… 2014 ! Rien n’a changé. A un détail près. Les enfants dont on parle en ce mois de juin 2018 sont parfois accompagnés d’adultes. Comme sous l’administration Obama, les enfants sont séparés de ces adultes lorsqu’il y a un doute sur le lien réel de parenté, en cas de suspicion de trafic de mineurs ou par manque de place dans les centres de rétention pour les familles. Restent les enfants effectivement accompagnés de leurs parents et malgré tout séparés de ces derniers qui partent en prison. Chaque mois, 50.000 clandestins entrent aux Etats-Unis, parmi lesquels 15% de familles. Une fois arrêtés, les clandestins sont pénalement poursuivis avant toute demande d’asile. (…) Mais il a suffi de quelques images, publiées en même temps que la sortie du très attendu rapport sur la possible partialité du FBI lors des dernières élections présidentielles américaines, pour que l’opinion politico-médiatique hurle au scandale. Jusqu’à la première dame du pays, Mélania Trump, qui a confié « détester » voir les clandestins séparés de leurs enfants. Le Président lui-même a fini par douter publiquement : «Le dilemme est si vous êtes mou, ce que certaines personnes aimeraient que vous soyez, si vous êtes vraiment mou, pathétiquement mou… le pays va être envahi par des millions de gens. Et si vous êtes ferme, vous n’avez pas de coeur. C’est un dilemme difficile. Peut-être que je préfère être ferme, mais c’est un dilemme difficile.» Donald Trump a subi l’indignation générale (à moins d’en profiter), au point de montrer au monde que même lui avait du cœur en annonçant la signature d’un décret mettant fin à cette séparation forcée. Tout le monde s’est félicité du résultat de la mobilisation : enfin, les enfants vont pouvoir rejoindre leurs parents en prison ! Quelle victoire… Charlotte d’Ornellas

Attention: une manipulation peut en cacher beaucoup d’autres !

Au lendemain de la révélation que la petite Hondurienne de deux ans dont les larmes avaient fait le tour du monde comme symbole de la séparation des familles de migrants aux Etats-Unis …

N’avait en fait jamais été séparée de sa mère, comme a bien dû le reconnaitre – problème de « mauvaise formulation », s’il vous plait  ! – le célèbre « Time magazine » lui-même qui en avait fait sa couverture

Ayant même, selon les dires du père resté seul avec leurs trois autres enfants, été emmenée à son insu par sa mère après une première tentative il y a cinq ans non de fuir la violence de son Honduras natal comme il avait été dit mais de « réaliser son rêve américain »…

Et sans compter la fausse attribution à l’Administration Trump de photos d’enfants détenus datant de 2014 et donc, comme d’ailleurs la pratique elle-même (mesure de protection des enfants – faut-il le rappeler ? – que, sauf en Corée du nord, l’on n’emprisonne normalement pas avec leur parents délinquants), de l’Administration Obama qui l’avait précédée …

Comment ne pas repenser …

Au-delà de la véritable situation de chaos, y compris par le simple effet de leur nombre dans les centres de rétention, que fuient et subissent depuis au moins dix ans nombre de demandeurs d’asile …

Des enfants boucliers humains du Hamas au petit Mohammed ou au petit Aylan ou même tout dernièrement à la petite Leila de Gaza …

A non seulement, dévoyant et détournant ce singulier souci des plus faibles qui fait la singularité de l’Occident judéo-chrétien, l’irresponsabilité voire de l‘intention clairement criminelle de tous ces parents, appuyés par militants et ONG sansfrontieristes, qui exploitent ainsi la misère de leurs enfants …

Mais aussi à la lourde responsabilité de médias qui, entre deux « mauvaises formulations » ou manipulations, leur servent de caisse de résonance ou même les encouragent …

Et qui aujourd’hui n’ont que le mot « fake news » à la bouche quand il s’agit de qualifier les dires du président Trump ou des rares médias qui le défendent encore ?

Charlotte d’Ornellas

Valeurs actuelles

21 juin 2018

Immigration. Pendant plusieurs jours, les médias du monde entier ont fait tourner en boucle des images d’enfants clandestins séparés de leurs parents à la frontière mexicano-américaine. Au point d’empêcher toute possibilité de réflexion.

Sur le plateau de la NBCNews, l’ancien président du Comité national du parti Républicain, Michael Steele, vient de comparer les centres dans lesquels sont accueillis les enfants de clandestins aux Etats-Unis à des camps de concentration. Il s’adresse alors aux Américains : « Demain, ce pourrait être vos enfants ».

La scène résume à elle seule la folie qui s’est emparée de la sphère politico-médiatique après que Donald Trump a ordonné aux autorités gardant la frontière mexicaine d’appliquer la loi et de séparer les parents de leurs enfants entrés illégalement aux Etats-Unis. Passons sur la comparaison. Aussi indécente que manipulatrice : ces enfants ne sont pas enfermés en attendant la mort. Quant à la mise en garde, elle est grotesque. Aucun américain ne se verra subitement séparé de ses enfants. A moins d’avoir commis un crime ou un délit puni de prison.

Quand un citoyen lambda est condamné à une peine de prison, personne ne s’offusque jamais de cette séparation … Jusqu’à ce que cela touche des clandestins. Leur particularité étant de n’avoir aucun logement dans le pays dont ils viennent de violer la frontière, leurs enfants sont donc pris en charge dans des camps, en attendant que la situation des adultes soit examinée. Aux frais des Américains.

Parce qu’un rappel n’est pas inutile dans le débat : franchir illégalement la frontière d’un pays est une violation de la loi. Un délit, puni d’emprisonnement aux Etats-Unis. Avec sa raison et non ses bons sentiments irrationnels, l’homme politique interrogé aurait donc pu être plus juste : si vous commettez un crime ou un délit passible de prison, vous aussi pourriez être séparés de vos enfants.

Reste que les parents, prévenus de la loi que nul n’est censé ignorer, sont les premiers responsables du sort qui menace leurs enfants, en choisissant de la violer. Ce sont eux qui font payer leur délit à leur propre progéniture. Les clandestins sont des adultes tout aussi responsables que n’importe quel autre adulte : leur retirer leur capacité de décision, leur liberté et donc leur responsabilité n’est pas exactement les respecter.

Certains ont voulu critiquer la politique migratoire de Donald Trump en usant de photos datant de… 2014

Mais penchons-nous plus précisément sur ce qui se passe à la frontière mexico-américaine. Et plutôt que de regarder la situation actuelle, qui ne saurait être analysée de manière raisonnable maintenant que Trump préside les Etats-Unis, remontons à 2014, époque bénie du président Barack Obama. Cette année-là, 47.017 mineurs sont appréhendés, alors qu’ils traversent la frontière… seuls.

Des enfants, envoyés par leurs parents qui n’ont apparemment pas eu peur de s’en séparer pour leur faire prendre des risques inconsidérés. Comment est-ce possible ? L’administration américaine d’alors avait affirmé que les étrangers envoyaient leurs enfants seuls, persuadés qu’ils seraient ainsi mieux traités que des adultes. Le New York Times avait donné raison à l’administration : « alors que l’administration Obama a évolué vers une attitude plus agressive d’expulsion des adultes, elle a, dans les faits, expulsé beaucoup moins d’enfants que par le passé. » 

Les clandestins le savent, tout comme ils connaissent aujourd’hui les risques qui pèsent sur leurs propres enfants. On apprend également qu’à l’époque, les enfants mexicains sont directement reconduits de l’autre côté de la frontière et que les autres sont « pris en charge par le département de la Santé et des Services humanitaires qui les place dans des centres temporaires en attendant que leur processus d’expulsion soit lancé. » En 2013, 80 centres accueillaient 25 000 enfants non accompagnés. Et ce, dans les mêmes conditions aujourd’hui dénoncées. Si similaires d’ailleurs que certains ont voulu critiquer la politique migratoire de Donald Trump en usant de photos datant de… 2014 !

Rien n’a changé. A un détail près. Les enfants dont on parle en ce mois de juin 2018 sont parfois accompagnés d’adultes. Comme sous l’administration Obama, les enfants sont séparés de ces adultes lorsqu’il y a un doute sur le lien réel de parenté, en cas de suspicion de trafic de mineurs ou par manque de place dans les centres de rétention pour les familles.

Restent les enfants effectivement accompagnés de leurs parents et malgré tout séparés de ces derniers qui partent en prison. Chaque mois, 50.000 clandestins entrent aux Etats-Unis, parmi lesquels 15% de familles. Une fois arrêtés, les clandestins sont pénalement poursuivis avant toute demande d’asile. Or Trump a été élu pour une tolérance zéro : la loi est donc strictement appliquée. Cette même loi américaine ne permet pas que les enfants puissent suivre leurs parents lorsque ces derniers sont poursuivis pénalement. La séparation était donc une conséquence logique, même très pénible, du choix des Américains.

«Le dilemme est si vous êtes mou, le pays va être envahi par des millions de gens. Et si vous êtes ferme, vous n’avez pas de coeur» 

C’est d’ailleurs ce qu’a immédiatement répondu le ministre américain de la justice Jeff Session : « Nous ne voulons pas séparer les familles, mais nous ne voulons pas que des familles viennent illégalement. Si vous faites passer un enfant, nous vous poursuivrons. Et cet enfant sera séparé de vous, comme la loi le requiert ». 

Mais il a suffi de quelques images, publiées en même temps que la sortie du très attendu rapport sur la possible partialité du FBI lors des dernières élections présidentielles américaines, pour que l’opinion politico-médiatique hurle au scandale. Jusqu’à la première dame du pays, Mélania Trump, qui a confié « détester » voir les clandestins séparés de leurs enfants.
Le Président lui-même a fini  par douter publiquement : «Le dilemme est si vous êtes mou, ce que certaines personnes aimeraient que vous soyez, si vous êtes vraiment mou, pathétiquement mou… le pays va être envahi par des millions de gens. Et si vous êtes ferme, vous n’avez pas de coeur. C’est un dilemme difficile. Peut-être que je préfère être ferme, mais c’est un dilemme difficile.»

Donald Trump a subi l’indignation générale (à moins d’en profiter), au point de montrer au monde que même lui avait du cœur en annonçant la signature d’un décret mettant fin à cette séparation forcée. Tout le monde s’est félicité du résultat de la mobilisation : enfin, les enfants vont pouvoir rejoindre leurs parents en prison ! Quelle victoire… Mais Donald Trump a insisté sur sa détermination à stopper l’immigration illégale en même temps, appelant de ses vœux un vote du Congrès pour « changer les lois ». Depuis son accession à la présidence, notamment due à un discours extrêmement ferme sur l’immigration, Donald Trump est empêché par les démocrates, comme par son administration : ils bloquent son projet de mur à la frontière, l’immigration fondée sur le mérite ainsi que tous les ajustements proposés pour les forces de l’ordre.

La situation finit par le servir, et il ne pouvait l’ignorer : il vient de faire une concession, il appelle maintenant le Congrès à voter contre les « anciennes lois horribles » en adoptant la sienne. Nul ne connaît la suite. Mais pour Donald Trump, le défi est immense. S’il n’a pas été élu sur la seule promesse d’une tolérance zéro vis-à-vis de l’immigration illégale, le sujet reste l’une des préoccupations majeures de ses électeurs.

Voir aussi:

Yanela, symbole des enfants séparés dans « Time magazine »… tout n’était pas tout à fait vrai

DÉCRYPTAGE – Son visage, en larmes, s’affiche en une du célèbre « Time Magazine » face au président Donald Trump dans un photomontage saisissant. Symbole de la politique migratoire qui a éloigné des milliers d’enfants de leurs parents, la petite Yanela Hernandez n’aurait en réalité jamais été séparée de sa mère. Le sort de la maman et de la fille, originaires du Honduras, reste néanmoins inconnu. Explications.

C’est une image qui a fait le tour du monde en quelques heures. Pour illustrer sa dernière Une, consacrée à la polémique autour de la politique migratoire de Donald Trump, le célèbre « Time Magazine » a réalisé un photomontage sur fond rouge qui met en scène une fillette en pleurs, sous les yeux du président, un sourire en coin. Le titre ? « Welcome to America » (Bienvenue en Amérique).

Sur le site de l’hebdomadaire, le photographe de l’agence Getty John Moore expliquait mercredi les coulisses du cliché, pris le 11 juin dernier à la frontière entre le Texas et le Mexique. Il a été réalisé au moment où les policiers étaient en train de fouiller la mère de la petite fille, âgée de 2 ans. « Dès qu’ils ont eu terminé, elles ont été mises dans un camion (…) Tout ce que je voulais, c’est la prendre avec moi. Mais je ne pouvais pas. »

Le photographe laisse également entendre que la mère et l’enfant, originaires du Honduras, ont pu être séparées par la suite, comme l’ont été au moins 23.000 enfants sans papiers depuis avril dernier, dans le cadre de politique de tolérance zéro menée par l’administration en matière migratoire. Face au tollé international, le président américain a annoncé mettre fin à ces séparations, expliquant également avoir été influencé par son épouse Melania.

Quid de la petite fille en une de « Time » ? Depuis la parution du magazine, de nombreux internautes ont relayé un appel pour aider à la retrouver, soutenus par de nombreuses personnalités comme les écrivains Don Winslow et Stephen King. Interrogé mercredi par le site américain Buzzfeed, un porte-parole de la police des frontière affirmait toutefois que mère et fille n’avait pas été séparées, sans donner plus de précision.

C’est finalement le père de la fillette qui a donné de ses nouvelles, ce vendredi. Dans un entretien téléphonique accordé au Daily Mail depuis le Honduras, Denis Javier Valera Hernandez, 32 ans, révèle que l’enfant s’appelle Yanela et qu’elle n’aurait pas été séparée de sa mère, Sandra. « Vous imaginez ce que j’ai ressenti lorsque j’ai vu la photo de ma fille. J’en ai eu le coeur brisé. C’est difficile pour un père de voir ça. Mais je sais maintenant qu’elles sont hors de danger. Elles sont plus en sécurité que lorsqu’elles ont fait le voyage vers la frontière. »

Denis Hernandez explique que sa femme et sa fille ont quitté leur pays en bateau, le 3 juin dernier, depuis le port de Puerto Cortes, sans le prévenir, afin de rejoindre des membres de sa famille déjà installés aux Etats-Unis. Pour effectuer le voyage, la mère aurait payé 6.000 dollars à un passeur. Depuis leur arrestation, Il affirme qu’elles sont détenues ensemble dans la ville frontalière de McAllen, au Texas, dans l’attente de l’examen d’un dossier de demande d’asile que la mère a déposé. S’il est refusé, elles seront contraintes de rentrer au Honduras.

« J’attends de voir ce qui va leur arriver »,  réagit le père dans un autre entretien accordé à l’agence de Reuters, qui a eu confirmation des faits par Nelly Jerez, la ministre des Affaires étrangères du Honduras. Ni les autorités américaines, ni « Time Magazine », n’ont commenté ces informations pour le moment. Et certains internautes continuent de les mettre en doute, tant que Yanela et sa mère n’auront pas été filmées par les caméras de télévision…

Quoi qu’il en soit, cet imbroglio vient mettre en lumière la difficulté de réunir les familles, dans la foulée de la décision  spectaculaire de la Maison Blanche. D’après Jodi Goodwin, avocate spécialisée dans l’immigration au Texas,  l’organisme ayant pris en charge les enfants ne dispose pas d’un système pour se synchroniser avec les autorités migratoires qui détiennent les parents et assurer ainsi une fluidité des informations.

« Lorsque je parle avec les parents, ils ont le regard fixé dans le vide parce qu’ils ne peuvent tout simplement pas comprendre, ils ne peuvent accepter, ils ne peuvent croire qu’ils ignorent où se trouvent leurs enfants et que le gouvernement américain les leur a retirés », a-t-elle expliqué à l’AFP. Un discours partagé dans les médias par de nombreuses ONG pour qui le revirement de Donald Trump n’est qu’une étape.

Rappelons que le décret, signé par le président américain devant les caméras, stipule que des poursuites pénales continueront à être engagées contre ceux qui traversent la frontière illégalement. Mais que parents et enfants seront détenus ensemble dans l’attente de l’examen de leur dossier. La petite Yanela et sa mère bénéficieront-elles de la clémence de la Maison Blanche ?

Voir de même:

La fillette en larmes sur la couverture du « Time » n’avait pas été séparée de sa mère
La petite fille éplorée lors de l’arrestation de sa mère hondurienne à la frontière n’a pas été séparée d’elle.
Delphine Bernard-Bruls
Le Monde
22.06.2018

Sur sa dernière couverture, le magazine américain Time a réutilisé une photographie déjà célèbre montrant une fillette en larmes alors que sa mère est arrêtée par la police à la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique. Placée face au président américain, Donald Trump, et à l’expression « Bienvenue en Amérique », la photo devait illustrer la politique migratoire de « tolérance zéro » qui a mené à plus de 2 000 séparations entre parents et enfants clandestins. Sauf que, contrairement à ce que de nombreux observateurs ont laissé penser, la mère et la fille n’ont pas été séparées à leur arrivée à McAllen, au Texas.

Le photographe de Getty Images, John Moore, savait que la fillette au gilet rose et sa mère arrivaient du Honduras, rien de plus. S’il ignorait que son cliché illustrerait le mouvement d’indignation contre la politique migratoire de M. Trump – contre laquelle ce dernier a finalement signé un décret le 20 juin – il ne savait pas plus que mère et fille n’avaient pas été séparées mais internées ensemble. Dans le Time, M. Moore a expliqué avoir photographié la mère et la fille dans la nuit du 12 au 13 juin alors qu’elles achevaient un mois de marche en direction des Etats-Unis.
Mise à jour tardive

Interrogé sur CNN, le photographe a souligné en début de semaine ne pas avoir été témoin d’une quelconque séparation, mais a rapporté que mère et fille « ont été envoyées vers un centre où elles ont peut-être été séparées », comme quelque 2 000 familles au cours de ces deux derniers mois. Le Time a lui-même fait l’erreur : après avoir d’abord affirmé le 19 juin que mère et fille avaient été séparées, le magazine a ajouté une mise à jour au bas de son article.

« La version originale de cet article a fait une fausse affirmation quant au sort de la petite fille après la photographie. Elle n’a pas été emmenée en larmes par les patrouilles frontalières ; sa mère l’a récupérée et les deux ont été interpellées ensemble. »

A des milliers de kilomètres de là, au Honduras, Denis Javier Varela Hernandez a reconnu la bambine en larmes figurant sur la photo devenue virale, et assuré qu’il s’agissait de sa fille, qu’il n’avait pas vue depuis plusieurs semaines. Il a d’abord affirmé cela, mardi sur la chaîne de télévision hispanophone Univision : « Cette photo… dès que je l’ai vue j’ai su que c’était ma fille. » Il a répété cette affirmation au quotidien britannique Daily Mail, précisant que sa compagne ne l’avait pas mis au courant de ses projets de migration vers les Etats-Unis. Sans nouvelles d’elle depuis son départ, il a appris la semaine dernière qu’elle avait été interpellée à son arrivée au Texas, mais internée avec sa fille.

D’autres sources sont venues corroborer les propos du père, resté au Honduras : « La mère et la fille n’ont pas été séparées », a déclaré une porte-parole des autorités douanières et frontalières au Daily Beast. Côté hondurien, la ministre adjointe des relations internationales, Nelly Jerez, a confirmé le récit du père auprès de l’agence de presse Reuters. Optimiste, ce dernier a estimé que « si elles sont déportées, ça ne fait rien, tant qu’ils ne laissent pas l’enfant sans sa mère ».

Voir de plus:

Que devient la fillette qui a ému l’Amérique ?

Valentin Davodeau

Ouest France

22 juin 2018

La photo de cette enfant de 2 ans en pleurs, arrêtée à la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis avec sa mère, avait fait le tour des médias américains et internationaux. Selon le père de la fillette, elles seraient toutes les deux détenues actuellement dans un centre au Texas.

« Elles sont détenues dans un établissement du Texas mais elles vont bien », a déclaré Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, père de la petite Yanela, 2 ans, et mari de Sandra Sanchez, 32 ans. Interrogé par différents médias, cet homme de 32 ans vivant à Puerto Cortes au Honduras dit avoir reconnu sa fille sur cette photo qui a fait le tour du monde. « Mon cœur était en miette quand j’ai vu ma petite fille sur cette image », a-t-il expliqué à Univision,

La mère et sa fille n’ont pas été séparées

Denis Varela a précisé que sa femme et sa fille n’ont pas été séparées quand elles ont été interceptées le 12 juin par la patrouille des frontières, à proximité de la ville d’Hidalgo, au Texas. Depuis le 5 mai, plus de 2 300 enfants ont été écartés de leurs parents alors que ces familles tentaient de passer la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis.

Yanela et sa mère se trouveraient actuellement dans un centre de rétention à Dilley, au sud du « Lone Star State ». Parties du Honduras le 3 juin, Sandra Sanchez et Yanela ont parcouru près de 2 900 kilomètres pour arriver jusqu’aux États-Unis.

Le rêve américain

Interrogé par le Daily Mail, Denis Varela a indiqué que sa femme voulait expérimenter le rêve américain et trouver un travail au pays de l’Oncle Sam, mais qu’il était opposé à l’idée qu’elle parte avec sa fille : « Elle est partie sans prévenir. Je n’ai pas pu dire « Au revoir » à ma fille et maintenant la seule chose que je peux faire, c’est attendre. »

Le couple a aussi trois autres enfants, un fils de 14 ans, et deux filles de 11 et 6 ans. « Les enfants comprennent ce qu’il se passe. Ils sont un peu inquiets mais j’essaye de ne pas trop aborder le sujet. Ils savent que leur mère et leur sœur sont en sécurité. » Il a ajouté qu’il espère que « les droits de sa femme et de sa fille sont respectés, parce qu’elles sont des reines […] Nous avons tous des droits. »

Voir encore:

Cette photo bouleverse le monde entier et illustre les effets de la politique de « tolérance zéro » revendiquée par Donald Trump sur la politique de séparation des familles pour lutter contre l’immigration illégale.

Une petite fille en pleurs, vêtue d’un tee-shirt rose et de chaussures assorties. Du haut de ses 2 ans, elle regarde avec effroi un garde-frontière qui vient d’arrêter sa mère, une immigrée hondurienne qui tentait de passer la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique. La photo a été prise le 12 juin et a, depuis, fait le tour du monde. Elle donne un visage aux 2 000 enfants séparés de leurs parents depuis que l’administration de Donald Trump a abruptement décrété début mai une politique de « tolérance zéro », sous la houlette de l’ultraconservateur ministre de la Justice, Jeff Sessions.

L’auteur de cette image, John Moore, s’efforce depuis dix ans d’illustrer l’immigration et ses souffrances. Mais cette photo restera unique à ses yeux. Ce correspondant spécial de Getty Images, titulaire du prix Pulitzer et auteur du livre de photos Undocumented (« Clandestin » en français), répond aux questions de franceinfo et nous raconte l’émotion de cette scène.

Franceinfo : Dans quelles circonstances avez-vous photographié cette famille ? 

John Moore : J’étais à McAllen, dans la vallée du Rio Grande, dans le sud du Texas, près de la frontière avec le Mexique. Je suivais les patrouilles aux frontières pendant leurs opérations. Cette nuit-là, un groupe de migrants a atteint les États-Unis. Ils ont été arrêtés et réunis au bord d’une route en terre par les patrouilles. Il faut noter que les migrants qui veulent demander l’asile se rendent facilement aux agents de patrouille aux frontières. Ce ne sont pas des migrants sans papiers classiques, ils viennent avec autant de documents que possible pour obtenir l’asile politique. Dans ce groupe se trouvaient une vingtaine de femmes et d’enfants. La plupart venaient du Honduras. Tous ces migrants ont dû se débarrasser de leurs effets personnels, ils ont dû se défaire de leurs sacs, de leurs bijoux et même des lacets de leurs chaussures. Il ne leur restait plus que leurs vêtements. Ils ont ensuite été fouillés avant d’être embarqués dans un van qui allait les emmener dans un centre de rétention.

Pourquoi la petite fille pleure-t-elle sur votre photo ? 

J’avais remarqué une mère qui tenait un enfant. Elle m’a dit que sa fille et elle voyageaient depuis un mois, au départ du Honduras. Elle m’a dit que sa fille avait 2 ans, et j’ai pu voir dans ses yeux qu’elle était sur ses gardes, exténuée et qu’elle avait probablement vécu un voyage très difficile. C’est l’une des dernières familles à avoir été embarquée dans le véhicule. Un des officiers a demandé à la mère de déposer son enfant à terre pendant qu’elle était fouillée.

Juste à ce moment-là, la petite fille a commencé à pleurer, très fort. J’ai trois enfants moi-même, dont un tout petit, et c’était très difficile à voir, mais j’avais une fenêtre de tir très réduite pour photographier la scène. Dès que la fouille s’est terminée, elle a pu reprendre son enfant dans ses bras et ses pleurs se sont éteints. Moi, j’ai dû m’arrêter, reprendre mes esprits et respirer profondément.

Comment avez-vous vécu la scène ? 

J’avais déjà photographié des scènes comme ça à de nombreuses reprises. Mais celle-ci était unique, d’une part à cause des pleurs de cette enfant, mais aussi parce que cette fois, je savais qu’à la prochaine étape de leur voyage, dans ce centre de rétention, elles allaient être séparées. Je doute que ces familles aient eu la moindre idée de ce qui allait leur arriver. Tous voyageaient depuis des semaines, ils ne regardaient pas la télévision et n’avaient aucun moyen d’être au courant de la nouvelle mesure de tolérance zéro et de séparation des familles mise en place par Trump.

Même maintenant, quand je regarde ces photos, cela m’attriste toujours, alors que je les ai maintenant vues de nombreuses fois. Cela fait dix ans que je photographie l’immigration à la frontière américaine, toujours avec l’objectif d’humaniser des histoires complexes. Souvent, on parle de l’immigration avec des statistiques, arides et froides. Et je crois que la seule manière que les personnes dans ce pays trouvent des solutions humaines est qu’elles voient les gens comme des êtres humains. Je n’avais jamais imaginé que j’allais un jour mettre un visage sur une politique de séparation des familles, mais c’est le cas aujourd’hui.

Je suis actuellement de retour chez moi, dans le Connecticut. Je suis très heureux d’être à la maison, avec mes enfants, pendant un moment. Ma dernière semaine de reportage m’a rappelé que nous ne pouvons jamais prendre la présence de nos êtres aimés pour acquise.

Voir aussi:

The crying Honduran girl on the cover of Time was not separated from her mother

The widely shared photo of the little girl crying as a U.S. Border Patrol agent patted down her mother became a symbol of the families pulled apart by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border, even landing on the new cover of Time magazine.

But the girl’s father told The Washington Post on Thursday night that his child and her mother were not separated, and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed that the family was not separated while in the agency’s custody. In an interview with CBS News, Border Patrol agent Carlos Ruiz, who was among the first to encounter the mother and her daughter at the border in Texas, said the image had been used to symbolize a policy but “that was not the case in this picture.”

Ruiz, who was not available for an interview Friday, said agents asked the mother, Sandra Sanchez, to put down her daughter, nearly 2-year-old Yanela, so they could search her. Agents patted down the mother for less than two minutes, and she immediately picked up her daughter, who then stopped crying.

“I personally went up to the mother and asked her, ‘Are you doing okay? Is the kid okay?’ and she said, ‘Yes. She’s tired and thirsty. It’s 11 o’clock at night,” Ruiz told CBS News.

The revelation has prompted a round of media criticism from the White House and other conservatives.

“It’s shameful that dems and the media exploited this photo of a little girl to push their agenda,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted Friday. “She was not separated from her mom. The separation here is from the facts.”

The heart-wrenching image, captured by award-winning Getty Images photographer John Moore, was spread across the front pages of international newspapers. It was used to promote a Facebook fundraiser that has collected more than $18 million to help reunite separated families.

And on Thursday, hours before the little girl’s father spoke out, Time magazine released its July 2 cover using the child’s image — without the mother — in a photo illustration that shows her looking up at President Trump, who is seen towering above her.

“Welcome to America,” the cover reads.

Time has not responded to a request for comment from The Post, but in a statement sent to media outlets, the magazine said it’s standing by its cover.

Time also has added a correction to an online article and gallery that ran Tuesday, before the cover was released: “The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she [was] taken from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.”

Moore, the photographer, told The Post in an email that Time corrected the story after he made a request minutes after it was published. He said that the picture “is a straightforward and honest image” showing a “distressed little girl” whose mother was being searched by border officials.

“I believe this image has raised awareness to the zero-tolerance policy of this administration. Having covered immigration for Getty Images for 10 years, this photograph for me is part of a much larger story,” Moore said, adding later: “The image showed a moment in time at the border, but the emotion in the little girl’s distress has ignited a response. As a photojournalist, my job is to inform and report what is happening, but I also think it is important to humanize an issue that is often reported in statistics.”

Moore told The Post’s Avi Selk that he ran into the mother and toddler in McAllen, Tex., on the night of June 12. He knew only that they were from Honduras and had been on the road for about a month. “I can only imagine what dangers she’d passed through, alone with the girl,” he said.

Moore photographed the girl crying as the border agent patted down the mother.

Moore said the woman picked up her daughter, they walked into the van, and the van drove away. When he took the picture, he said he did not know whether the mother and her daughter would be separated, “but it was a very real possibility,” given the slew of family separations carried out by the Trump administration.

He said he’s glad that although the two were detained, “they are together.”

In Honduras, Denis Javier Varela Hernandez recognized his daughter in the photo and also feared that she was separated from her mother, he told The Post.

But he said he learned this week that his 32-year-old wife and daughter were, in fact, detained together at a facility in McAllen. Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Nelly Jerez confirmed Varela’s account to Reuters.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said in a statement to The Post that Sanchez was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol near Hidalgo, Tex., on June 12 while traveling with a family member. She was transferred to ICE custody on June 17 and is being housed at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Tex., according to ICE.

ICE said Sanchez was previously deported to Honduras in July 2013.

Sanchez and her daughter left for the United States from Puerto Cortes, north of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, on June 3, Varela said. Sanchez had told her husband that she hoped to go to the United States to seek a better life for her children, away from the dangers of their home country. But she left without telling him that she was taking their youngest daughter with her. Varela, who has three other children with Sanchez, feared for the little girl’s safety, he said. Yanela is turning 2 years old in July.

After Sanchez left, Varela had no way to contact her or learn of her whereabouts. Then, on the news, he saw the photo of the girl in the pink shirt.

“The first second I saw it, I knew it was my daughter,” Varela told The Post. “Immediately, I recognized her.”

He heard that U.S. officials were separating families at the border, before Trump reversed the policy Wednesday. Varela felt helpless and distressed “imagining my daughter in that situation,” he said.

This week, Varela received a phone call from an official with Honduras’s foreign ministry, letting him know his wife and daughter were detained together. While he doesn’t know anything about the conditions of the facility or what is next for Sanchez and Yanela, he was relieved to hear they were in the same place.

As news emerged late Thursday that the mother and child were not separated, conservative media jumped on the story, portraying it as evidence of “fake news” surrounding the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

It was the most prominent story on the home page of the conservative news outlet Breitbart, which called it a “fake news photo.” Infowars, owned by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, singled out Time and CNN for using the “completely misleading” image to push “open border propaganda.”

Donald Trump Jr. has been talking about the photo on Twitter on Friday.

“No one is shocked anymore. There is a no low they won’t go to for their narrative,” the president’s eldest son tweeted.

Varela pushed back against the portrayals of his daughter’s story, saying it should not cast doubt on the “human-rights violations” taking place at the border.

“This is the case for my daughter, but it is not the case for 2,000 children that were separated from their parents,” Varela said.

At least 2,500 migrant children have been separated from their parents at the border since May 5.

Varela said he felt “proud” that his daughter has “represented the subject of immigration” and helped propel changes in policy. But he asked that Trump “put his hand on his heart.”

He hopes that U.S. officials will grant asylum to his wife and daughter, he said.

Asked whether he would also like to come to the United States, he said, “Of course, someday.”

Voir de même:

EXCLUSIVE: ‘They’re together and safe’: Father of Honduran two-year-old who became the face of family separation crisis reveals daughter was never separated from her mother, but the image of her in tears at U.S. border control ‘broke his heart’

  • Denis Javier Varela Hernandez spoke out about the status of his wife Sandra, 32, and daughter, Yanela, 2
  • Yanela became the face of the immigration crisis after a Getty photographer snapped a photo of her in tears
  • Speaking to DailyMail.com Hernandez said he has still not been in direct contact with his wife Sandra because he does not have a way of communicating
  • Denis said a Honduran official in the US told him that his wife and daughter are together and are doing ‘fine’
  • Sandra was part of a group that were caught by Border Patrol agents after making their way across the Rio Grande river on a raft
  • She set out on her journey from Puerto Cortes, Honduras to the U.S. at 6am on June 3 and allegedly paid $6,000 for a coyote
  • Hernandez  said he did not support his wife’s decision to make the journey with their young daughter in her arms and never got to properly say goodbye

The father of the Honduran girl who became the face of the family separation crisis has revealed that he still has not been in touch with his wife or daughter but was happy to learn they are safe.

Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, 32, said that he had not heard from his wife Sandra, 32, who was with his two-year-old daughter Yanela Denise, for nearly three weeks until he saw the image of them being apprehended in Texas.

In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Hernandez, who lives in Puerto Cortes, Honduras, says that he was told on Wednesday by a Honduran official in the US that his wife and child are being detained at a family residential center in Texas but are together and are doing ‘fine.’

‘You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter. It broke my heart. It’s difficult as a father to see that, but I know now that they are not in danger. They are safer now than when they were making that journey to the border,’ he said.

A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has told DailyMail.com that Sandra had been previously been deported from the US in 2013.

The spokeswoman said that she was ‘encountered by immigration officials in Hebbronville, Texas’ in and sent back to Honduras 15 days later under ‘expedited removal.’

Sandra current immigration proceedings are ‘ongoing’ and she is being housed at a family detention center in Texas.

Denis said that his wife had previously mentioned her wish to go to the United States for a ‘better future’ but did not tell him nor any of their family members that she was planning to make the trek.

‘I didn’t support it. I asked her, why? Why would she want to put our little girl through that? But it was her decision at the end of the day.’

He said that Sandra had always wanted to experience ‘the American dream’ and hoped to find a good job in the States.

Denis, who works as a captain at a port on the coast of Puerto Cortes, explained that things back home were fine but not great, and that his wife was seeking political asylum.

He said that Sandra set out on the 1,800-mile journey with the baby girl on June 3, at 6am, and he has not heard from her since.

‘I never got the chance to say goodbye to my daughter and now all I can do is wait’, he said, adding that he hopes they are either granted political asylum or are sent back home.

‘I don’t have any resentment for my wife, but I do think it was irresponsible of her to take the baby with her in her arms because we don’t know what could happen.’

The couple has three other children, son Wesly, 14, and daughters Cindy, 11, and Brianna, six.

‘The kids see what’s happening. They’re a little worried but I don’t try to bring it up that much. They know their mother and sister are safe now.’

Denis said that he believes the journey across the border is only worth it to some degree, and admits that it’s not something he would ever consider.

He said he heard from friends that his wife paid $6,000 for a coyote – a term for someone who smuggles people across the border.

‘I wouldn’t risk my life for it. It’s hard to find a good job here and that’s why many people choose to leave. But I thank God that I have a good job here. And I would never risk my life making that journey.’

The heart-breaking photo was taken by Getty photographer John Moore close to midnight on the night of June 12 near McAllen, Texas, as the row over Donald Trump’s separation of migrant parents and children escalated.

Denis said that he hopes to use the photo and his family’s situation to help him reunite with his daughter.

‘I don’t want money, what I want is someone to tell me that my daughter is going to be OK.’

When asked about his views on Trump’s border policy, Denis said: ‘I’ve never seen it in a positive light the way others do. It violates human rights and children’s rights. Separating children from their parents is just wrong. They are suffering and are traumatized.

‘The laws need to be modified and we need to have a conversation. It’s just not right.

‘[Illegal] Immigration and drug smuggling across the United States border is never gonna stop. They can build a wall and it’s never going to stop,’ he said.

Sandra was part of a group that were caught by Border Patrol agents after making their way across the Rio Grande river on a raft.

Moore’s photo showed Yanela crying on a dirt track as her mother is patted down by a Border Patrol agent.

For many the photo summed up the cruelty of Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards migrants which has caused 2,300 children to be separated from their mothers and fathers.

A photo of Yanela was used on the front cover of TIME magazine to show the devastating effect of the policy, which was brought in in April.

But actually Yanela remained with her mother after she arrived in the US after making the perilous 1,800 mile journey North through Central America and Mexico,

TIME magazine later issued a clarification saying that the original version of its story accompanying the cover was wrong because Yanela ‘was not carried away screaming by Border Patrol Agents’.

TIME’s editor in chief Edward Felsenthal said in a statement that it stood behind the wider point which is that Yanela was ‘the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate’

Among those who have Tweeted DailyMail.com’s story have been White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

She wrote: ‘It’s shameful that dems and the media exploited this photo of a little girl to push their agenda. She was not separated from her mom. The separation here is from the facts’.

Moore, who has worked on the border with Mexico for years and has won a Pulitzer for his photography, has said the the image of Yanela was the last one he took that night.

Speaking to People magazine he said that the girl’s mother was the last to be searched and a female agent asked her to put Yanela down so she could pat her down

Moore said: ‘The mother hesitated and then set down the little girl and the child immediately started crying.

‘As a father, it was very emotional for me just to hear those cries. When I saw this little girl break down in tears I wanted to comfort this child.

‘But as a photojournalist we sometimes have to keep photographing when things are hard. And tell a story that people would never see.’

Moore crouched 6ft from the girl as she looked up at her mother and took seven shots, Yanela’s mother’s hands spread out on the Border Patrol truck.

The image was a major factor in pressuring Trump to do a U-turn on his immigration policy and sign an executive order allowing families to stay together.

The President said that he wanted to look strong but admitted that the ‘zero tolerance’ policy made him look like he had ‘no heart’.

Trump’s climb down came after worldwide outrage including British Prime Minister Theresa May who called his policy ‘deeply disturbing’ while Pope Francis said it was ‘immoral’.

The climb down was a rare one from Trump, who almost never apologizes and rarely backs down.

But he had not choice when his policy created a wall of opposition between him and others, including his own wife Melania, Democrats, Republicans, every living former First Lady, Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Voir encore:

‘All I Wanted to Do Was Pick Her Up.’ How a Photographer at the U.S.-Mexico Border Made an Image America Could Not Ignore

« This one was tough for me. As soon as it was over, they were put into a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths, » Getty photographer John Moore said
June 19, 2018

John Moore has been photographing immigrants and the hardship and heartbreak of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border for years — but this time, he said, something is different.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for Getty Images said the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents — part of its “zero tolerance” stance toward people who illegally cross into the U.S. — has changed everything about enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border and resulted in a level of despair for immigrants that Americans can no longer ignore.

“It’s a very different scene now,” he said. “I’m almost positive these families last week had no idea they’d be separated from their children.”

Moore’s image last week of a 2-year-old Honduran girl crying as a U.S. Border Patrol agent patted down her mother has become a symbol of the human cost — and many critics say cruelty — of President Donald Trump’s hard line on immigration. The crying girl has become the face of the family separation policy, which has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike.

“When the officer told the mother to put her child down for the body search, I could see this look in the little girl’s eyes,” Moore told TIME. “As soon as her feet touched the ground she began to scream.”

Moore said the girl’s mother had a weariness in her eyes as she was stopped by Border Patrol agents. The father of three said his years of experience did not inoculate him from feeling intense emotions as he watched agents allowed the mother to pick up her child and loaded them both into a van. But, he said, he knew he had to keep photographing the scene.

“This one was tough for me. As soon as it was over, they were put into a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths,” he said. “All I wanted to do was pick her up. But I couldn’t.”

More than 2,000 children have been taken away from their parents since April, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced at “zero tolerance” policy that refers all cases of illegal entry at the border for prosecution. The Trump administration has said Border Patrol agents separate children from parents because children cannot be locked up for the crimes of their mothers and fathers.

A Honduran mother holds her two-year-old as U.S. Border Patrol as agents review their papers near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018. The asylum seekers had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents before being sent to a processing center for possible separation.
A Honduran mother holds her two-year-old as U.S. Border Patrol as agents review their papers near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018. The asylum seekers had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents before being sent to a processing center for possible separation.
John Moore—Getty Images
A U.S. Border Patrol spotlight shines on a terrified mother and son from Honduras as they are found in the dark near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018.
A U.S. Border Patrol spotlight shines on a terrified mother and son from Honduras as they are found in the dark near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018.
John Moore—Getty Images
U.S. Border Patrol agents detain a group of Central American asylum seekers near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018.
U.S. Border Patrol agents detain a group of Central American asylum seekers near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018.
John Moore—Getty Images

Moore has followed immigrant families and enforcement efforts since 2014 and recently published a book of some of his most stirring photographs, Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the United States-Mexico Border. He said despite the tough new policy, immigrants are not likely to lose the determination that drives them to make the dangerous journey to the United States.

“It’s been very easy for Americans to ignore over the years the desperation that people have to have a better life,” Moore said. “They often leave with their children with their shirts on their backs.”

A boy from Honduras watches a movie at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Tex. on Sept. 8, 2014.
A boy from Honduras watches a movie at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Tex. on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images

Footage released Monday of a detention facility where families arrested at the border and children taken from their parents are held echo a photo Moore took in 2014 of a Honduran child watching Casper in the same facility, alone except for a guard keeping watch. That photo, taken at the same detention center in McCallen, Texas where children are now being grouped inside cages, has stayed with Moore over the years.

While he is not sure if that boy was an unaccompanied minor or what happened to him, he said many of the other children at the facility were without their parents. “That picture is still haunting for me.”

Most of the photos below come from Moore’s 2018 book, published by powerHouse Books.

Families attend a memorial service for two boys who were kidnapped and killed in San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala on Feb. 14, 2017. More than 2,000 people walked in a funeral procession for Oscar Armando Top Cotzajay, 11, and Carlos Daniel Xiqin, 10 who were abducted walking to school Friday morning when they were abducted.
Families attend a memorial service for two boys who were kidnapped and killed in San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala on Feb. 14, 2017. More than 2,000 people walked in a funeral procession for Oscar Armando Top Cotzajay, 11, and Carlos Daniel Xiqin, 10 who were abducted walking to school Friday morning when they were abducted.
John Moore—Getty Images
Sonia Morales massages the back of her son Jose Issac Morales, 11, at the door of their one-room home in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Aug. 20, 2017. The mother of three said that her son's spinal deformation began at age four, but has never been able to afford the $6,000 surgery to correct his spinal condition. The boy's father, Issac Morales, 30, said he tried to immigrate to the U.S. in 2016 to work and send money home but was picked up by U.S. Border Patrol officers in the Arizona desert and deported back to Honduras.
Sonia Morales massages the back of her son Jose Issac Morales, 11, at the door of their one-room home in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Aug. 20, 2017. The mother of three said that her son’s spinal deformation began at age four, but has never been able to afford the $6,000 surgery to correct his spinal condition. The boy’s father, Issac Morales, 30, said he tried to immigrate to the U.S. in 2016 to work and send money home but was picked up by U.S. Border Patrol officers in the Arizona desert and deported back to Honduras.
John Moore—Getty Images
An Indigenous family walks from Guatemala into Mexico after illegally crossing the border at the Suchiate River in Talisman, Mexico on Aug. 1, 2013.
An Indigenous family walks from Guatemala into Mexico after illegally crossing the border at the Suchiate River in Talisman, Mexico on Aug. 1, 2013.
John Moore—Getty Images
Undocumented immigrant families walk before being taken into custody by Border Patrol agents near McAllen, Texas on July 21, 2014.
Undocumented immigrant families walk before being taken into custody by Border Patrol agents near McAllen, Texas on July 21, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
Families of Central American immigrants, including Lorena Arriaga, 27, and her son Jason Ramirez, 7, from El Salvador, turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico to Mission, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
Families of Central American immigrants, including Lorena Arriaga, 27, and her son Jason Ramirez, 7, from El Salvador, turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico to Mission, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
Immigrants from Central America wait to be taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Roma, Texas on August 17, 2016.
Immigrants from Central America wait to be taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Roma, Texas on August 17, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
U.S. Border Patrol agents take undocumented immigrants into custody after capturing them after they crossed Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas near Sullivan City, Texas on Aug. 18, 2016.
U.S. Border Patrol agents take undocumented immigrants into custody after capturing them after they crossed Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas near Sullivan City, Texas on Aug. 18, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
Undocumented immigrants are led after being caught and handcuffed by Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico border in Weslaco, Texas on April 13, 2016.
Undocumented immigrants are led after being caught and handcuffed by Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico border in Weslaco, Texas on April 13, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
Women and children sit in a holding cell at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after being detained by agents near the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
Women and children sit in a holding cell at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after being detained by agents near the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
Women and children wait in a holding cell at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after being detained by agents near the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
Women and children wait in a holding cell at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after being detained by agents near the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
A girl from Central America rests on thermal blankets at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patro in McAllen, Texasl on Sept. 8, 2014.
A girl from Central America rests on thermal blankets at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patro in McAllen, Texasl on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
Donated clothing await immigrants at the Catholic Sacred Heart Church Immigrant Respite Center from McAllen, Texas on Aug. 15, 2016.
Donated clothing await immigrants at the Catholic Sacred Heart Church Immigrant Respite Center from McAllen, Texas on Aug. 15, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
A detained Mexican immigrant (L) visits with his wife and children at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Florence, Ariz on July 30, 2010.
A detained Mexican immigrant (L) visits with his wife and children at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Florence, Ariz on July 30, 2010.
John Moore—Getty Images
Immigrants from Central America await transport from the U.S. Border Patrol in Roma, Texas on Aug. 17, 2016.
Immigrants from Central America await transport from the U.S. Border Patrol in Roma, Texas on Aug. 17, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
Central American immigrant families depart ICE custody, pending future immigration court hearings in McAllen, Texas on June 11, 2018.
Central American immigrant families depart ICE custody, pending future immigration court hearings in McAllen, Texas on June 11, 2018.
John Moore—Getty Images

Correction (Posted June 19): The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she was taken from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.

Voir par ailleurs:

Smuggler abandons 6-year-old in blazing desert heat

– A 6-year-old Costa Rican boy was rescued by U.S. Border Patrol agents after he was abandoned on a border road in Arizona on Tuesday evening.

The agents discovered the boy just north of the border west of Lukeville in temperatures over 100 degrees.

The child claimed that he was dropped off by « his uncle » and that Border Patrol would pick him up. Agents say the boy said he was on his way to see his mother in the U.S.

They say that the child was found in good condition.  He was taken to Tucson to be checked out and processed.  It was unclear what would happen to him next.

The Border Patrol says the incident highlights the dangers faced by migrants at the hands of smugglers. Children in particular are extremely vulnerable, not only to exploitation, but also to the elements in the environment.

They added that Arizona’s desert « is a merciless environment for those unprepared for its remote, harsh terrain and unpredictable weather. »

Voir aussi:

Guy Millière
Dreuz
21 juin 2018

Les titres des journaux européens et de bon nombre de journaux américains ces derniers jours prêtent à sourire une fois de plus. Trump, dit-on, aurait “reculé” en matière d’immigration.

Ceux qui disent cela ajoutent qu’il se conduit de manière infâme vis-à-vis des enfants à la frontière Sud des Etats-Unis. Des photos sont fournies à l’appui, montrant des enfants dans des lieux décrits comme des “camps de concentration”. Des vidéos ont été montrées où on voit des enfants pleurer de manière déchirante en appelant leurs parents, dont un agent de l’immigration vient de les séparer, et ils utilisent des mots anglais (ce qui est normal puisqu’ils viennent de pays où on parle espagnol et puisqu’ils ne parlent pas un mot d’anglais).

Ceux qui disent cela ajoutent aussi que “sous une large pression”, Trump vient de signer un executive order permettant d’éviter que les enfants soient séparés de leur famille et a donc dû se conduire de manière un peu moins infâme.

Ceux qui disent cela ne disent pas un seul mot de ce qui est en train de se passer par ailleurs aux Etats-Unis. L’Etat profond anti-Trump est en train de s’effondrer. Il résiste, certes, mais il est désormais très mal en point, comme c’était prévisible.

Disons ici ce qui doit l’être, car ce ne sera pas fait ailleurs, j’en suis, hélas, certain.

1. Il existe aux Etats-Unis un grave problème d’immigration illégale. Trump a commencé à prendre des décisions pour le régler. Les entrées clandestines dans le pays par la frontière Sud ont diminué de 70 pour cent. Elles sont encore trop nombreuses. Les immigrants illégaux présents dans le pays ne sont pas tous criminels, mais ils représentent une proportion importante des criminels incarcérés et des membres de gangs violents impliqués, entre autres, dans le trafic de drogue. Jeff Sessions, ministre de la justice inefficace dans d’autres secteurs, est très efficace dans ce secteur.

2. Les Démocrates veulent que l’immigration illégale se poursuive, et s’intensifie, car ils ont besoin d’un électorat constitué d’illégaux fraîchement légalisés pour maintenir à flot la coalition électorale sur laquelle ils s’appuient et garder des chances de victoire ultérieure (minorités ethniques, femmes célibataires, étudiants, professeurs). La diminution de l’immigration clandestine leur pose problème. Les actions de la police de l’immigration (ICE; Immigration Control Enforcement) suscitent leur hostilité, d’où l’existence de villes sanctuaires démocrates et, en Californie, d’un Etat sanctuaire(démocrate, bien sûr).

3. Ce qui se passe depuis quelques jours à la frontière Sud du pays est un coup monté auquel participent le parti démocrate, les grands médias américains, des organisations gauchistes, et le but est de faire pression sur Trump en diabolisant son action. La plupart des photos utilisées datent des années Obama, au cours desquelles le traitement des enfants entrant clandestinement dans le pays était exactement similaire à ce qu’il est aujourd’hui, sans qu’à l’époque les Démocrates disent un seul mot. Les enfants qui pleurent sur des vidéos ont été préparés à être filmés à des fins de propagande et ont appris à dire “daddy”, “mummy”. Le but est effectivement de faire céder Trump. Quelques Républicains à veste réversible ont joint leur voix au chœur.

4. Trump, comme il sait le faire, a agi pour désamorcer le coup monté. On lui reproche de faire ce qui se fait depuis des années (séparer les enfants de leurs parents dès lors que les parents doivent être incarcérés) ? Il vient de décider que les enfants ne seront plus séparés des parents, et qu’ils seront placés ensemble dans des lieux de rétention.  Cela signifie-t-il un recul ? Non. La lutte contre l’immigration clandestine va se poursuivre selon exactement la même ligne. Les parents qui ont violé la loi seront traités comme ils l’étaient auparavant. Les enfants seront-ils dans de meilleures conditions ? Non. Ils ne seront pas dans des conditions plus mauvaises non plus. Décrire les lieux où ils étaient placés jusque là comme des camps de concentration est une honte et une insulte à ceux qui ont été placés dans de réels camps de concentration (certains Démocrates un peu plus répugnants que d’autres sont allés jusqu’à faire des comparaisons avec Auschwitz !) : les enfants sont placés dans ce qui est comparable à des auberges pour colonies de vacances. Un enfant clandestin coûte au contribuable américain à ce jour 35.000 dollars en moyenne annuelle.

5. Désamorcer le coup monté ne réglera pas le problème d’ensemble. Des femmes viennent accoucher aux Etats-Unis pour que le bébé ait la nationalité américaine et puisse demander deux décennies plus tard un rapprochement de famille. Des gens font passer leurs enfants par des passeurs en espérant que l’enfant sera régularisé et pourra lui aussi demander un rapprochement de famille. Des parents paient leur passage aux Etats Unis en transportant de la drogue et doivent être jugés pour cela (le tarif des passeurs si on veut passer sans drogue est  de 10.000 dollars par personne). S’ils sont envoyés en prison, ils n’y seront pas envoyés avec leurs enfants.  Quand des trafiquants de drogue sont envoyés en prison, aux Etats-Unis ou ailleurs, ils ne vont pas en prison en famille, et si quelqu’un suggérait que leur famille devait les suivre en prison, parce que ce serait plus “humain”, les Démocrates seraient les premiers à hurler.

6. Les Etats-Unis, comme tout pays développé, ne peuvent laisser entrer tous ceux qui veulent entrer en laissant leurs frontières ouvertes. Un pays a le droit de gérer l’immigration comme il l’entend et comme l’entend sa population, et il le doit, s’il ne veut pas être submergé par une population qui ne s’intègre pas et peut le faire glisser vers le chaos. Les pays européens sont confrontés au même problème que les Etats-Unis, d’une manière plus aiguë puisqu’en Europe s’ajoute le paramètre “islam”. La haine de la civilisation occidentale imprègne la gauche européenne, qui veut la dissolution des peuples européens. Une même haine imprègne la gauche américaine, qui veut la dissolution du peuple américain. Les grandes villes de l’Etat sanctuaire de Californie sont déjà méconnaissables, submergées par des sans abris étrangers (pas un seul pont de Los Angeles qui n’abrite désormais un petit bidonville, et un quart du centre ville est une véritable cour des miracles, à San Francisco ce n’est pas mieux). Il n’est pas du tout certain que le coup monte servira les Démocrates lors des élections de mi mandat. Nombre d’Américains ne veulent pas la dissolution du peuple américain.

7. Le coup monté m’est pas arrive par hasard, à ce moment précisément. Le rapport de l’inspecteur général Michael Horowitz, même s’il est édulcoré, contient des éléments accablants pour James Comey, John Mc Cabe, l’enquêteur appelé Peter Strzoc. Le Congres procède à des auditions très révélatrices. Ce n’est que le début. L’Etat profond anti-Trump est en train de s’effondrer, disais-je. La monstruosité totalitaire que fut l’administration Obama finissante et le caractère criminel des activités d’Hillary Clinton commencent tout juste à être mis au jour. Des peines de prison suivront. L’équipe sinistre conduite par Robert Mueller avance dans le vide : tout ce qui lui sert de prétexte se révèle être une gigantesque imposture. La complicité des grands médias américains et mondiaux ne pourra pas être cachée indéfiniment. Un écran de fumée devait monter dans l’atmosphère pour détourner l’attention et éviter qu’on parle de l’effondrement de l’Etat profond. Le coup monte a servi d’écran de fumée. Que nul ne soit dupe. La révolution Trump ne fait que commencer.

Voir de plus:

Selon les déclarations d’un homme présenté comme le cousin de l’enfant, rendues publiques par Israël, les parents de la fillette morte mi-mai auraient touché 8.000 shekels (1.800 euros).

La justice israélienne a dit disposer d’une déposition selon laquelle la famille d’un bébé palestinien mort dans des circonstances contestées dans la bande de Gaza avait été payée par le Hamas pour accuser Israël, ce que les parents ont nié.

Vif émoi après la mort de l’enfant. Leïla al-Ghandour, âgée de huit mois, est morte mi-mai alors que l’enclave palestinienne était depuis des semaines le théâtre d’une mobilisation massive et d’affrontements entre Palestiniens et soldats israéliens le long de la frontière avec Gaza. Son décès a suscité un vif émoi. Sa famille accuse l’armée israélienne d’avoir provoqué sa mort en employant des lacrymogènes contre les protestataires, parmi lesquels se trouvait la fillette.

La fillette souffrait-elle d’un problème cardiaque ? L’armée israélienne, se fondant sur les informations d’un médecin palestinien resté anonyme mais qui selon elle connaissait l’enfant et sa famille, dit que l’enfant souffrait d’un problème cardiaque. Le ministère israélien de la Justice a rendu public jeudi l’acte d’inculpation d’un Gazaoui de 20 ans, présenté comme le cousin de la fillette. Selon le ministère, il a déclaré au cours de ses interrogatoires par les forces israéliennes que les parents de Leila avaient touché 8.000 shekels (1.800 euros) de la part de Yahya Sinouar, le chef du Hamas dans la bande de Gaza, pour dire que leur fille était morte des inhalations de gaz.

Une « fabrication » du Hamas dénoncée par Israël. Les parents ont nié ces déclarations, réaffirmé que leur fille était bien morte des inhalations, et ont contesté qu’elle était malade. Selon la famille, Leïla al-Ghandour avait été emmenée près de la frontière par un oncle âgé de 11 ans et avait été prise dans les tirs de lacrymogènes. L’armée israélienne, en butte aux accusations d’usage disproportionné de la force, a dénoncé ce cas comme une « fabrication » de la part du Hamas, le mouvement islamiste qui dirige la bande de Gaza et contrôle les autorités sanitaires, et auquel Israël a livré trois guerres depuis 2008.

Voir également:

Valeurs actuelles

19 juin 2018

Fake News. Donald Trump aurait donc menti en affirmant que la criminalité augmentait en Allemagne, en raison de l’entrée dans le pays de 1,1 million de clandestins en 2015. Pas si simple…

Nouveau tweet, nouvelle agitation médiatique. Les commentateurs n’ont pas tardé à s’armer de leur indéboulonnable mépris pour le président des États-Unis pour dénoncer un « mensonge », au lieu d’user d’une saine distance permettant de décrypter sereinement l’affirmation de Donald Trump.

« Le peuple allemand se rebelle contre ses gouvernants alors que l’immigration secoue une coalition déjà fragile », a donc entamé le président des États-Unis dans un tweet publié le 18 juin, alors que le gouvernement allemand se déchirait sur fond de crise migratoire. Propos factuel si l’on en croit un récent sondage allemand qui révèle que 90% des allemands désirent plus d’expulsions des personnes déboutées du droit d’asile.

Le chiffre ne laisse aucune place au doute : la population allemande penche du côté du ministre de l’Intérieur qui s’applique, depuis quelques jours, à contraindre Angela Merkel à la fermeté.

Et Donald Trump de poursuivre avec la phrase qui occupe nombre de journalistes depuis sa publication : « la criminalité augmente en Allemagne. Une grosse erreur a été commise partout en Europe : laisser rentrer des millions de personnes qui ont fortement et violemment changé sa culture. » Que n’avait-il pas dit. Les articles se sont immédiatement multipliés pour dénoncer « le mensonge » du président américain.

Pourquoi ? Parce que les autorités allemandes se sont félicitées d’une baisse des agressions violentes en 2017. C’est vrai, elles ont chuté de 5,1% par rapport à 2016.

Est-il possible, cependant, de feindre à ce point l’incompréhension ? Car les détracteurs zélés du président omettent de préciser que la criminalité a bien augmenté en Allemagne à la suite de cette vague migratoire exceptionnelle : 10% de crimes violents en plus, sur les années 2015 et 2016. L’étude réalisée par le gouvernement allemand et publiée en janvier dernier concluait même que 90% de cette augmentation était due aux jeunes hommes clandestins fraîchement accueillis, âgés de 14 à 30 ans.

En 2016, les étrangers étaient 3,5 fois plus impliqués dans des crimes que les Allemands, les clandestins 7 fois plus

L’augmentation de la criminalité fut donc indiscutablement liée à l’accueil de 1,1 millions de clandestins pendant l’année 2015. C’est évidement ce qu’entend démontrer Donald Trump.

Et ce n’est pas tout. Les chiffres du ministère allemand de l’Intérieur pour 2016 révèlent également une implication des étrangers et des clandestins supérieure à celle des Allemands dans le domaine de la criminalité. Et en hausse. La proportion d’étrangers parmi les personnes suspectées d’actes criminels était de 28,7% en 2014, elle est passée à 40,4% en 2016, avant de chuter à 35% en 2017 (ce qui reste plus important qu’en 2014).

En 2016, les étrangers étaient 3,5 fois plus impliqués dans des crimes que les Allemands, les clandestins 7 fois plus. Des chiffres encore plus élevés dans le domaine des crimes violents (5 fois plus élevés chez les étrangers, 15 fois chez les clandestins) ou dans celui des viols en réunion (10 fois plus chez les étrangers, 42 fois chez les clandestins !).

Factuellement, la criminalité n’augmente pas aujourd’hui en Allemagne. Mais l’exceptionnelle vague migratoire voulue par Angela Merkel en 2015 a bien eu pour conséquence l’augmentation de la criminalité en Allemagne. Les Allemands, eux, semblent l’avoir très bien compris.

Voir par ailleurs:

La caravane des migrants a atteint la frontière avec la Californie

 FRANCE 24

30/04/2018

Au moins 150 migrants centraméricains sont arrivés à Tijuana au Mexique, à la frontière avec les États-Unis. Ils sont décidés à demander l’asile à Washington.

Plusieurs centaines de migrants originaires d’Amérique centrale se sont rassemblés dimanche 30 avril à la frontière mexico-américaine au terme d’un mois de traversée du Mexique.

Nombre d’entre eux ont décidé de se présenter aux autorités américaines pour déposer des demandes d’asile et devraient être placés en centres de rétention. « Nous espérons que le gouvernement des États-Unis nous ouvrira les portes », a déclaré Reyna Isabel Rodríguez, 52 ans, venu du Salvador avec ses deux petits-enfants.

« Nous ne sommes pas des criminels »

L’ONG Peuple Sans Frontières organise ce type de caravane depuis 2010 pour dénoncer le sort de celles et ceux qui traversent le Mexique en proie à de nombreux dangers, entre des cartels de la drogue qui les kidnappent ou les tuent, et des autorités qui les rançonnent. « Nous voulons dire au président des États-Unis que nous ne sommes pas des criminels, nous ne sommes pas des terroristes, qu’il nous donne la chance de vivre sans peur. Je sais que Dieu va toucher son cœur », a déclaré l’une des organisatrices de la caravane, Irineo Mujica.

L’ONG, composée de volontaires, permet notamment aux migrants de rester groupés – lors d’un périple qui se fait à pied, en bus ou en train – afin de se prémunir de tous les dangers qui jalonnent leur chemin. En espagnol, ces caravanes sont d’ailleurs appelées « Via Crucis Migrantes » ou le « Chemin de croix des migrants », en référence aux processions catholiques, particulièrement appréciées en Amérique du Sud, qui mettent en scène la Passion du Christ, ou les derniers événements qui ont précédé et accompagné la mort de Jésus de Nazareth.

Cette année, le groupe est parti le 25 mars de Tapachula, à la frontière du Guatemala, avec un groupe de près de 1 200 personnes, à 80 % originaires du Honduras, les autres venant du Guatemala, du Salvador et du Nicaragua, selon Rodrigo Abeja. Dans le groupe, près de 300 enfants âgés de 1 mois à 11 ans, une vingtaine de jeunes homosexuels et environ 400 femmes. Certains se sont ensuite dispersés, préférant rester au Mexique, d’autres choisissant de voyager par leurs propres moyens.

La colère de Donald Trump

En avril, les images de la caravane de migrants se dirigeant vers les États-Unis avaient suscité la colère de Donald Trump et une forte tension entre Washington et Mexico. Le président américain, dont l’un des principaux thèmes de campagne était la construction d’un mur à la frontière avec le Mexique pour lutter contre l’immigration clandestine, avait ordonné le déploiement sur la frontière de troupes de la Garde nationale.

Il avait aussi soumis la conclusion d’un nouvel accord de libre-échange en Amérique du Nord à un renforcement des contrôles migratoires par le Mexique, une condition rejetée par le président mexicain Enrique Pena Nieto.

Avec AFP et Reuters

Voir aussi:

WASHINGTON — It was the kind of story destined to take a dark turn through the conservative news media and grab President Trump’s attention: A vast horde of migrants was making its way through Mexico toward the United States, and no one was stopping them.

“Mysterious group deploys ‘caravan’ of illegal aliens headed for U.S. border,” warned Frontpage Mag, a site run by David Horowitz, a conservative commentator.

The Gateway Pundit, a website that was most recently in the news for spreading conspiracies about the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., suggested the real reason the migrants were trying to enter the United States was to collect social welfare benefits.

And as the president often does when immigration is at issue, he saw a reason for Americans to be afraid. “Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming,” a Twitter post from Mr. Trump read.

The story of “the caravan” followed an arc similar to many events — whether real, embellished or entirely imagined — involving refugees and migrants that have roused intense suspicion and outrage on the right. The coverage tends to play on the fears that hiding among mass groups of immigrants are many criminals, vectors of disease and agents of terror. And often the president, who announced his candidacy by blaming Mexico for sending rapists and drug dealers into the United States, acts as an accelerant to the hysteria.

The sensationalization of this story and others like it seems to serve a common purpose for Mr. Trump and other immigration hard-liners: to highlight the twin dangers of freely roving migrants — especially those from Muslim countries — and lax immigration laws that grant them easy entry into Western nations.

The narrative on the right this week, for example, mostly omitted that many people in the caravan planned to resettle in Mexico, not the United States. And it ignored how many of those who did intend to come here would probably go through the legal process of requesting asylum at a border checkpoint — something miles of new wall and battalions of additional border patrol would not have stopped.

“They end up in schools on Long Island, some of which are MS-13!” declared Brian Kilmeade on the president’s preferred morning news program, “Fox & Friends,” referring to the predominantly Central American gang.

The coverage became so distorted that it prompted a reporter for Breitbart News who covers border migration, Brandon Darby, to push back. “I’m seeing a lot of right media cover this as ‘people coming illegally’ or as ‘illegal aliens.’ That is incorrect,” he wrote on Twitter. “They are coming to a port of entry and requesting refugee status. That is legal.”

In an interview, Mr. Darby said it was regrettable that the relatively routine occurrence of migrant caravans — which organizers rely on as a safety-in-numbers precaution against the violence that can happen along the trek — was being politicized. “The caravan isn’t something that’s a unique event,” he said. “And I think people are looking at it wrong. If you’re upset at the situation, it’s easier to be mad at the migrant than it is to be mad at the political leaders on both sides who won’t change the laws.”

As tends to be the case in these stories, the humanitarian aspects get glossed over as migrants are collapsed into one maligned category: hostile foreign invaders.

In November, Mr. Trump touched off an international furor when he posted a series of videos on Twitter that purported to show the effects of mass Muslim migration in Europe. Initially circulated by a fringe ultranationalist in Britain who has railed against Islam, the videos included titles like “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!”

The assailant in one video the president shared, however, was not a “Muslim migrant.” And the other two videos depicted four-year-old events with no explanation.

These items tend to metastasize irrespective of the facts, but contain powerful visual elements to which Mr. Trump is known to viscerally respond.

Last February, Mr. Trump insinuated that some kind of terror-related episode involving Muslim immigrants had taken place in Sweden. “Who would believe this? Sweden,” he said at a rally in Florida, leaving Swedes and Americans baffled because nothing out of the ordinary had happened at all. “They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

Like the caravan story, which apparently came to Mr. Trump’s attention as he watched “Fox & Friends,” the president was referring to something he had seen on cable news. And he later had to clarify that he was referring to a Fox News segment on issues Sweden was having with migrants generally, not any particular event.

The conservative National Review later called the piece in question “sensationalistic” and pointed out that a lack of government data made it virtually impossible to determine whether crime rates in the country were related to immigration.

When the president himself has not spread stories about immigration that were either misleading or turned out to be false, his White House aides have. Last year, the White House joined a pile-on by the conservative news media after it called attention to the account of a high school student in Montgomery County, Md., who said she was raped at school by two classmates, one of whom is an undocumented immigrant. The case became a national rallying cry on the right against permissive border policies and so-called sanctuary cities that treat undocumented immigrants more leniently. Fox News broadcast live outside the high school for days.

Prosecutors later dropped the charges after they said the evidence did not substantiate the girl’s claims.

The story of the caravan has been similarly exaggerated. And the emotional outpouring from the right has been raw — that was the case on Fox this week when the TV host Tucker Carlson shouted “You hate America!” at an immigrants rights activist after he defended the people marching through Mexico.

The facts of the caravan are not as straightforward as Mr. Trump or many conservative pundits have portrayed them. The story initially gained widespread attention after BuzzFeed News reported last week that more than 1,000 Central American migrants, mostly from Honduras, were making their way north toward the United States border. Yet the BuzzFeed article and other coverage pointed out that many in the group were planning to stay in Mexico.

That did not stop Mr. Trump from expressing dismay on Tuesday with a situation “where you have thousands of people that decide to just walk into our country, and we don’t have any laws that can protect it.”

The use of disinformation in immigration debates is hardly unique to the United States. Misleading crime statistics, speculation about sinister plots to undermine national sovereignty and Russian propaganda have all played a role in stirring up anti-immigrant sentiment in places like Britain, Germany and Hungary. Some of the more fantastical theories have involved a socialist conspiracy to import left-leaning voters and a scheme by the Hungarian-born Jewish philanthropist George Soros to create a borderless Europe.

Anyone watching Fox News this week would have heard about similar forces at work inside “the caravan.”

“This was an organized plan and deliberate attack on the sovereignty of the United States by a special interest group,” said David Ward, whom the network identified as a former agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “They rallied a bunch of foreign nationals to come north into the United States to test our resolve.”

Voir aussi:

Humanitarian group that organized migrant ‘caravan’ headed to US issues list of demands for refugees

 

One thousand Central American migrants are headed to the United States border. Adolfo Flores, a BuzzFeed News reporter, has been traveling with the group of migrants and wrote that “no one in Mexico dares to stop them.” President Donald Trump reacted to the report and called off all negotiations with Democrats over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) if the migrants arrive.

With the help of a humanitarian group called “Pueblo Sin Fronteras” (people without borders), the 1,000 plus migrants will reach the U.S. border with a list of demands to several governments in Central America, the United States, and Mexico.

Here’s what they demanded of Mexico and the United States in a Facebook post: 

-That they respect our rights as refugees and our right to dignified work to be able to support our families
-That they open the borders to us because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel
-That deportations, which destroy families, come to an end
-No more abuses against us as migrants
-Dignity and justice
-That the US government not end TPS for those who need it
-That the US government stop massive funding for the Mexican government to detain Central American migrants and refugees and to deport them
-That these governments respect our rights under international law, including the right to free expression
-That the conventions on refugee rights not be empty rhetoric

“The border is stained red!”
“Because there they kill the working class!”
“Why do they kill us? Why do they murder us…”
“If we are the hope of Latin America?”

Sincerely,

2018 Refugee Caravan “Migrantes en la Lucha”
Pueblo Sin Fronteras

Voir enfin:

American Nightmare
The shame of America’s refugee camps
Wil S. Hylton
The NYT magazine
February 2015

CHRISTINA BROWN pulled into the refugee camp after an eight-hour drive across the desert. It was late July of last year, and Brown was a 30-year-old immigration lawyer. She had spent a few years after college working on political campaigns, but her law degree was barely a year old, and she had only two clients in her private practice in Denver. When other lawyers told her that the federal government was opening a massive detention center for immigrants in southeastern New Mexico, where hundreds of women and children would be housed in metal trailers surrounded by barbed wire, Brown decided to volunteer legal services to the detainees. She wasn’t sure exactly what rights they might have, but she wanted to make sure they got them. She packed enough clothes to last a week, stopped by Target to pick up coloring books and toys and started driving south.Brown spent the night at a motel, then drove to the detention camp in the morning. She stood in the wind-swept parking lot with the other lawyers, overlooking the barren plains of the eastern plateau. After a few minutes, a transport van emerged from the facility to pick them up. It swung to a stop in the parking lot, and the attorneys filed on. They sat on the cold metal benches and stared through the caged windows as the bus rolled back into the compound and across the bleak brown landscape. It came to a stop by a small trailer, and the lawyers shuffled out.As they opened the door to the trailer, Brown felt a blast of cold air. The front room was empty except for two small desks arranged near the center. A door in the back opened to reveal dozens of young women and children huddled together. Many were gaunt and malnourished, with dark circles under their eyes. “The kids were really sick,” Brown told me later. “A lot of the moms were holding them in their arms, even the older kids — holding them like babies, and they’re screaming and crying, and some of them are lying there listlessly.”Brown took a seat at a desk, and a guard brought a woman to meet her. Brown asked the woman in Spanish how she ended up in detention. The woman explained that she had to escape from her home in El Salvador when gangs targeted her family. “Her husband had just been murdered, and she and her kids found his body,” Brown recalls. “After he was murdered, the gang started coming after her and threatening to kill her.” Brown agreed to help the woman apply for political asylum in the United States, explaining that it might be possible to pay a small bond and then live with friends or relatives while she waited for an asylum hearing. When the woman returned to the back room, Brown met with another, who was fleeing gangs in Guatemala. Then she met another young woman, who fled violence in Honduras. “They were all just breaking down,” Brown said. “They were telling us that they were afraid to go home. They were crying, saying they were scared for themselves and their children. It was a constant refrain: ‘I’ll die if I go back.’ ”As Brown emerged from the trailer that evening, she already knew it would be difficult to leave at the end of the week. The women she met were just a fraction of those inside the camp, and the government was making plans to open a second facility of nearly the same size in Karnes County, Tex., near San Antonio. “I remember thinking to myself that this was an impossible situation,” she said. “I was overwhelmed and sad and angry. I think the anger is what kept me going.”***OVER THE PAST six years, President Obama has tried to make children the centerpiece of his efforts to put a gentler face on U.S. immigration policy. Even as his administration has deported a record number of unauthorized immigrants, surpassing two million deportations last year, it has pushed for greater leniency toward undocumented children. After trying and failing to pass the Dream Act legislation, which would offer a path to permanent residency for immigrants who arrived before the age of 16, the president announced an executive action in 2012 to block their deportation. Last November, Obama added another executive action to extend similar protections to undocumented parents. “We’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security,” he said in a speech on Nov. 20. “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.” But the president’s new policies apply only to immigrants who have been in the United States for more than five years; they do nothing to address the emerging crisis on the border today.Since the economic collapse of 2008, the number of undocumented immigrants coming from Mexico has plunged, while a surge of violence in Central America has brought a wave of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. According to recent statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, the number of refugees fleeing Central America has doubled in the past year alone — with more than 61,000 “family units” crossing the U.S. border, as well as 51,000 unaccompanied children. For the first time, more people are coming to the United States from those countries than from Mexico, and they are coming not just for opportunity but for survival.The explosion of violence in Central America is often described in the language of war, cartels, extortion and gangs, but none of these capture the chaos overwhelming the region. Four of the five highest murder rates in the world are in Central American nations. The collapse of these countries is among the greatest humanitarian disasters of our time. While criminal organizations like the 18th Street Gang and Mara Salvatrucha exist as street gangs in the United States, in large parts of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador they are so powerful and pervasive that they have supplanted the government altogether. People who run afoul of these gangs — which routinely demand money on threat of death and sometimes kidnap young boys to serve as soldiers and young girls as sexual slaves — may have no recourse to the law and no better option than to flee.The American immigration system defines a special pathway for refugees. To qualify, most applicants must present themselves to federal authorities, pass a “credible fear interview” to demonstrate a possible basis for asylum and proceed through a “merits hearing” before an immigration judge. Traditionally, those who have completed the first two stages are permitted to live with family and friends in the United States while they await their final hearing, which can be months or years later. If authorities believe an applicant may not appear for that court date, they can require a bond payment as guarantee or place the refugee in a monitoring system that may include a tracking bracelet. In the most extreme cases, a judge may deny bond and keep the refugee in a detention facility until the merits hearing.The rules are somewhat different when children are involved. Under the terms of a 1997 settlement in the case of Flores v. Meese, children who enter the country without their parents must be granted a “general policy favoring release” to the custody of relatives or a foster program. When there is cause to detain a child, he or she must be housed in the least restrictive environment possible, kept away from unrelated adults and provided access to medical care, exercise and adequate education. Whether these protections apply to children traveling with their parents has been a matter of dispute. The Flores settlement refers to “all minors who are detained” by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and its “agents, employees, contractors and/or successors in office.” When the I.N.S. dissolved into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, its detention program shifted to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Federal judges have ruled that ICE is required to honor the Flores protections for all children in its custody.Even so, in 2005, the administration of George W. Bush decided to deny the Flores protections to refugee children traveling with their parents. Instead of a “general policy favoring release,” the administration began to incarcerate hundreds of those families for months at a time. To house them, officials opened the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center near Austin, Tex. Within a year, the administration faced a lawsuit over the facility’s conditions. Legal filings describe young children forced to wear prison jumpsuits, to live in dormitory housing, to use toilets exposed to public view and to sleep with the lights on, even while being denied access to appropriate schooling. In a pretrial hearing, a federal judge in Texas blasted the administration for denying these children the protections of the Flores settlement. “The court finds it inexplicable that defendants have spent untold amounts of time, effort and taxpayer dollars to establish the Hutto family-detention program, knowing all the while that Flores is still in effect,” the judge wrote. The Bush administration settled the suit with a promise to improve the conditions at Hutto but continued to deny that children in family detention were entitled to the Flores protections.In 2009, the Obama administration reversed course, abolishing family detention at Hutto and leaving only a small facility in Pennsylvania to house refugee families in exceptional circumstances. For all other refugee families, the administration returned to a policy of release to await trial. Studies have shown that nearly all detainees who are released from custody with some form of monitoring will appear for their court date. But when the number of refugees from Central America spiked last summer, the administration abruptly announced plans to resume family detention.From the beginning, officials were clear that the purpose of the new facility in Artesia was not so much to review asylum petitions as to process deportation orders. “We have already added resources to expedite the removal, without a hearing before an immigration judge, of adults who come from these three countries without children,” the secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, told a Senate committee in July. “Then there are adults who brought their children with them. Again, our message to this group is simple: We will send you back.” Elected officials in Artesia say that Johnson made a similar pledge during a visit to the detention camp in July. “He said, ‘As soon as we get them, we’ll ship them back,’ ” a city councilor from Artesia named Jose Luis Aguilar recalled. The mayor of the city, Phillip Burch, added, “His comment to us was that this would be a ‘rapid deportation process.’ Those were his exact words.”***DURING THE FIRST five weeks that the Artesia facility was open, officials deported more than 200 refugees to Central America. But as word of the detention camp began to spread, volunteers like Christina Brown trickled into town. Their goal was to stop the deportations, schedule asylum hearings for the detainees and, whenever possible, release the women and children on bond. Many of the lawyers who came to Artesia were young mothers, and they saw in the detained children a resemblance to their own. By last fall, roughly 200 volunteers were rotating through town in shifts: renting rooms in local motels, working 12-hour days to interview detainees and file asylum paperwork, then staying awake into the night to consult one another. Some volunteers returned to Artesia multiple times. A few spent more than a month there. Brown never moved back to Denver. She rented a little yellow house by the detention facility, took up office space in a local church and, with help from a nonprofit group called the American Immigration Lawyers Association, or AILA, she began to organize the volunteers pouring in.As Brown got to know detainees in Artesia, grim patterns emerged from their stories. One was the constant threat of gangs in their lives; another was the prevalence of sexual violence. A detainee in Artesia named Sofia explained that a gang murdered her brother, shot her husband and then kidnapped and raped her 14-year-old stepdaughter. A Guatemalan woman named Kira said that she fled when a gang targeted her family over their involvement in a nonviolence movement at church; when Kira’s husband went into hiding, the gang subjected her to repeated sexual assaults and threatened to cut her unborn baby from her womb. An inmate named Marisol said she crossed the U.S. border in June after a gang in Honduras murdered the father of her 3-year-old twins, then turned its attention to her.Less than a week after her arrival in Artesia, Brown represented the young Salvadoran mother she met on her first day. It was a preliminary hearing to see whether the woman met the basic preconditions for asylum. A frequent consideration in the refugee process is whether an applicant is being targeted as a member of a “particular social group.” Judges have interpreted the phrase to include a refugee’s victimhood on the basis of sex or sexual orientation. At the hearing, Brown planned to invoke the pervasiveness of gang violence and sexual assault, but she says the immigration judge refused to let her speak.“I wasn’t allowed to play any role,” Brown said. Speaking to the judge, her client described her husband’s murder and the threats she faced from gangs. “She testified very well,” Brown said. But when the judge asked whether she felt targeted as a member of a “social group,” the woman said no. “Because that is a legal term of art,” Brown said. “She had no idea what the heck it means.” Brown tried to interject, but the judge wouldn’t allow it. He denied the woman’s request for an asylum hearing and slated her for deportation. Afterward, Brown said, “I went behind one of the cubicles, and I started sobbing uncontrollably.”

Detainees who passed their initial hearings often found themselves stranded in Artesia without bond. Lawyers for Homeland Security have adopted a policy they call “no bond or high bond” for the women and children in detention. In court filings, they insist that prolonged detention is necessary to “further screen the detainees and have a better chance of identifying any that present threats to our public safety and national security.” Allowing these young mothers and children to be free on bond, they claim, “would have indirect yet significant adverse national-security consequences.”

As the months ticked by in Artesia, many detainees began to wonder if they would ever be free again. “I arrived on July 5 and turned myself in at 2 a.m.,” a 28-year-old mother of two named Ana recalled. In Honduras, Ana ran a small business selling trinkets and served on the P.T.A. of her daughter’s school. “I lived well,” she said — until the gangs began to pound on her door, demanding extortion payments. Within days, they had escalated their threats, approaching Ana brazenly on the street. “One day, coming home from my daughter’s school, they walked up to me and put a gun to my head,” she said. “They told me that if I didn’t give them the money in less than 24 hours, they would kill me.” Ana had already seen friends raped and murdered by the gang, so she packed her belongings that night and began the 1,800-mile journey to the U.S. border with her 7-year-old daughter. Four weeks later, in McAllen, Tex., they surrendered as refugees.

Ana and her daughter entered Artesia in mid-July. In October they were still there. Ana’s daughter was sick and losing weight rapidly under the strain of incarceration. Their lawyer, a leader in Chicago’s Mormon Church named Rebecca van Uitert, said that Ana’s daughter became so weak and emaciated that doctors threatened drastic measures. “They were like, ‘You’ve got to force her to eat, and if you don’t, we’re going to put a PICC line in her and force-feed her,’ ” van Uitert said. Ana said that when her daughter heard the doctor say this, “She started to cry and cry.”

In October, as van Uitert presented Ana’s case to an immigration judge, the lawyer broke down in the courtroom. “I’m starting to make these arguments before the judge, and I just couldn’t,” she said. “I sounded like a barking seal, just sucking and gasping, and because I was crying, a lot of people started crying. The attorney next to me was crying, Ana was crying, her little girl started crying. I looked over at the bailiff, who actually ended up being my friend when I went back another time. He had tears in his eyes.” The judge granted Ana’s release on bond; she is currently waiting for an asylum hearing in North Carolina.

Many of the volunteers in Artesia tell similar stories about the misery of life in the facility. “I thought I was pretty tough,” said Allegra Love, who spent the previous summer working on the border between Mexico and Guatemala. “I mean, I had seen kids in all manner of suffering, but this was a really different thing. It’s a jail, and the women and children are being led around by guards. There’s this look that the kids have in their eyes. This lackadaisical look. They’re just sitting there, staring off, and they’re wasting away. That was what shocked me most.”

The detainees reported sleeping eight to a room, in violation of the Flores settlement, with little exercise or stimulation for the children. Many were under the age of 6 and had been raised on a diet of tortillas, rice and chicken bits. In Artesia, the institutional cafeteria foods were as unfamiliar as the penal atmosphere, and to their parents’ horror, many of the children refused to eat. “Gaunt kids, moms crying, they’re losing hair, up all night,” an attorney named Maria Andrade recalled. Another, Lisa Johnson-Firth, said: “I saw children who were malnourished and were not adapting. One 7-year-old just lay in his mother’s arms while she bottle-fed him.” Mary O’Leary, who made three trips to Artesia last fall, said: “I was trying to talk to one client about her case, and just a few feet away at another table there was this lady with a toddler between 2 and 4 years old, just lying limp. This was a sick kid, and just with this horrible racking cough.”

***

IN EARLY AUGUST, a paralegal from Oregon named Vanessa Sischo arrived at the camp. Raised in a small town near Mount Hood, Sischo did not realize until high school that her parents brought her into the United States from Mexico as an infant without documentation. She gained protection from deportation under the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012. When Sischo learned that children arriving from Central America were being incarcerated in Artesia, she volunteered immediately. She arrived a week after Christina Brown, and like Brown, she stayed. After about a month, AILA and another nonprofit, the American Immigration Council, hired Brown as the pro bono project’s lead attorney. Brown recommended Sischo for the job of project coordinator. The two women began rooming together in the small yellow house near Main Street.

Brown and Sischo make an unlikely pair. Brown, who has a sturdy build and dark brown hair, has an inborn skepticism and a piercing wit. Sischo is six years younger and preternaturally easygoing. Until she discovered her own immigration background, she had little interest in political affairs and spent much of her time in Oregon as a competitive snowboarder. For both, Artesia was a jarring shift from life at home. As they sat together one evening in December, they described a typical week. “The new volunteers come in on Sunday, go through orientation, and by Wednesday night, everyone is crying,” Brown said. “A lot of the attorneys come in and say: ‘I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I’ve seen all of this before. I’ll be fine.’ ”

“I remember the first time I went in,” Sischo said. “I just stopped, and all I could hear was a symphony of coughing and sneezing and crying and wailing.”

“Kids vomiting all over the place,” Brown said.

“There was a big outbreak of fevers,” Sischo said. “It sent an infant into convulsions.”

“Pneumonia, scabies, lice,” Brown said.

Officials for ICE say these accounts are exaggerated. But they declined multiple requests to visit the Artesia facility and took weeks to answer questions about its facilities. Brown, who oversaw more than 500 detainee cases as lead attorney, was also unable to gain access to the camp’s housing, dining, medical and educational facilities. “I requested three times to be taken on a tour,” she said. “I sent it through the appropriate channels. No one ever responded, to date, to my request.”

Visitors who did gain access to the facility have raised troubling questions about the ethics — and legality — of how it handled children. The Flores settlement requires the government to provide regular schooling for juveniles in detention, but the mayor of Artesia, Phillip Burch, said that on several visits to the compound, the classrooms were always empty. “I was told that children were attending classes,” he recalled. “Did I personally witness it? No. And none of the tours that I made did I see the children actually in class.” Members of the New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice, who toured the facility in October, say that officials also showed them the empty school. When one member asked why the building was empty, an ICE official replied that school was temporarily closed. Detainees have consistently told their lawyers that the school was never reliably open. They recall a few weeks in October when classes were in session for an hour or two per day, then several weeks of closure through November, followed by another brief period of classes in December.

In response to questions about the school, ICE officials would say only that “regular school instruction began Oct. 13, 2014, and ended Dec. 17.” Asked whether the school was open consistently, and for how many hours, ICE officials declined to respond. The senior counselor for immigration issues at the Department of Homeland Security, Esther Olavarria, said that she was aware “there were challenges” at the Artesia school, but couldn’t say exactly when it was open or for how long. Olavarria has a distinguished record as advocate for refugees and previously served as a top immigration adviser for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She said that she was under the impression that attorneys in Artesia were granted access to the facility, and she could not explain why Brown was not. She also believed that the meal service in Artesia was adapted to reflect the dietary norms of Central America and that medical care was adequate and available. After hearing what detainees, attorneys, faith advocates and elected officials described in Artesia, Olavarria promised to look into these issues and provide further documentation. Despite several attempts to elicit that documentation, she provided none. In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said: “The regular school instruction began Oct. 13, 2014, but was suspended shortly thereafter in order to ensure appropriate vetting of all teachers.” Officials say that school resumed on Oct. 24 and continued through Dec. 17.

Attorneys for the Obama administration have argued in court, like the Bush administration previously, that the protections guaranteed by the Flores settlement do not apply to children in family detention. “The Flores settlement comes into play with unaccompanied minors,” a lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security named Karen Donoso Stevens insisted to a judge on Aug. 4. “That argument is moot here, because the juvenile is detained — is accompanied and detained — with his mother.”

Federal judges have consistently rejected this position. Just as the judge reviewing family detention in 2007 called the denial of Flores protections “inexplicable,” the judge presiding over the Aug. 4 hearing issued a ruling in September that Homeland Security officials in Artesia must honor the Flores Settlement Agreement. “The language of the F.S.A. is unambiguous,” Judge Roxanne Hladylowycz wrote. “The F.S.A. was designed to create a nationwide policy for the detention of all minors, not only those who are unaccompanied.” Olavarria said she was not aware of that ruling and would not comment on whether the Department of Homeland Security believes that the Flores ruling applies to children in family detention today.

***

AS THE PRO BONO project in Artesia continued into fall, its attorneys continued to win in court. By mid-November, more than 400 of the detained women and children were free on bond. Then on Nov. 20, the administration suddenly announced plans to transfer the Artesia detainees to the ICE detention camp in Karnes, Tex., where they would fall under a new immigration court district with a new slate of judges.

That announcement came at the very moment the president was delivering a live address on the new protections available to established immigrant families. In an email to notify Artesia volunteers about the transfer, an organizer for AILA named Stephen Manning wrote, “The disconnect from the compassionate-ish words of the president and his crushing policies toward these refugees is shocking.” Brown was listening to the speech in her car, while driving to Denver for a rare weekend at home, when her cellphone buzzed with the news that 20 of her clients would be transferred to Texas the next morning. Many of them were close to a bond release; in San Antonio, they might be detained for weeks or months longer. Brown pulled her car to the side of the highway and spent three hours arguing to delay the transfer. Over the next two weeks, officials moved forward with the plan.

By mid-December, most of the Artesia detainees were in Karnes, and Brown and Sischo were scrambling to pack the contents of their home and office. On the afternoon of Dec. 16, they threw their final bags into a U-Haul, its cargo area crammed with laundry baskets, suitcases, file boxes and hiking backpacks, all wedged precariously in place, then set out for the eight-hour drive across the desert to central Texas.

The next morning, a law professor named Barbara Hines was also speeding into San Antonio. Hines is a wiry woman in her 60s with a burst of black curls and an aspect of bristling intensity. In the battle over refugee detention, she is something of a seminal figure for advocates like Brown and Sischo. As co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Texas, Hines helped lead the 2007 lawsuit against the Hutto facility, which brought about its closure in 2009 and the abolition of widespread family detention until last summer. When the Obama administration announced plans to resume the practice in Artesia, Hines was outraged; when officials opened the second facility in Karnes, just two hours from her home in Austin, Hines began to organize a pro bono project of her own. Although she’d never met Brown or Sischo, she had been running a parallel operation for months. Now that they were in Texas, Hines was eager to meet them.

But first, she had a client to represent. Hines pulled into a parking lot behind the immigration court in downtown San Antonio and rushed inside, up a clattering elevator to the third floor and down a long hallway to a cramped courtroom. At the front, behind a vast wooden desk, sat Judge Glenn McPhaul, a tidy man with slicked hair and a pencil mustache. He presided from an elevated platform, with a clerk to his right, an interpreter to his left, and a large television monitor in the corner. On screen was the pale and grainy image of a dozen exhausted Central American women.

These were just a few of the Karnes detainees, linked by video feed to the courtroom. Another 500 women and children were in the compound with them. There was no legal distinction between their cases and those of the women in Artesia; they had simply been sent to a different facility, weeks or months earlier. Each of them, like the women in Artesia, had already been through the early stages of the asylum process — presenting herself to immigration authorities, asking for refugee status and passing the “credible-fear interview” to confirm a basis for her claim. But the odds of release in Karnes were worse. One of McPhaul’s colleagues, Judge Gary Burkholder, was averaging a 91.6 percent denial rate for the asylum claims. Some Karnes detainees had been in the facility for nearly six months and could remain there another six.

***

THE SITTING AREA of the courtroom was nearly empty, save for half a dozen attorneys. Many of the volunteers at Karnes are friends and former students of Hines, who has been drafting every licensed lawyer she can find. As she slid down the long bench to a seat, she nodded to some of the attorneys in the room and stopped to whisper with another. Then she spent a few minutes fidgeting with her phone until the clerk called her client’s name, and Hines sprang forward, slipping past the bar rail to a table facing the judge. On the television screen, her client, Juana, was stepping toward the camera at Karnes. She was a young woman with a narrow face and deep eyes. Her hair was pulled back to reveal high cheekbones and a somber expression.

McPhaul asked the stenographer to begin transcription, then he commenced with the ritualized exchange of detention proceedings, recording the names of the attorneys, the detainee and everyone on the bench. He noted the introduction of a series of legal documents and confirmed that Juana was still happy to be represented by Hines. There was a stream of legal jargon and a few perfunctory remarks about the status of the case, all of it in clipped judicial vernacular and a flat, indifferent tone. Then McPhaul set a date for the next hearing, at which Hines could begin to present an argument for Juana’s release on bond.

For now, Juana’s turn was over; the whole affair took less than 10 minutes, without any meaningful discussion of her case or its merits. As Hines stepped out of the courtroom, Juana was turning away from the camera to return to her children in Karnes. It was impossible to say how much of the hearing she understood, since none of the proceedings were translated into Spanish. The courtroom interpreter was there only to translate the judge’s questions and the detainees’ responses; everything else was said exclusively in English, including the outcome. For all that Juana knew, she might have been granted reprieve or confined for another six months.

Over the next two hours, the scene would repeat a dozen times. Each time McPhaul called a name, a new lawyer would step forward, taking a seat before the bench and proceeding through the verbal Kabuki. In a few cases, McPhaul offered the detainee the opportunity to post bond — usually around $3,000. But the courtroom interpreter was not allowed to convey this news to the detainee, either. If the pro bono attorney spoke Spanish fluently, there might be a few minutes at the end of the session to explain what happened. If not, the detainee would return to custody and might not discover that she had been granted bond until, or unless, someone paid it.

These, of course, were the lucky women with an attorney to represent them at all. Although the families in Artesia and Karnes have been detained in an environment that closely resembles incarceration, there is no requirement in American law to provide them with the sort of legal representation afforded to other defendants. Unlike the Artesia project, where the involvement of AILA brought in hundreds of volunteers from across the country, Hines could scrape together only so many friends and compatriots to lend their time. She formed a partnership with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or Raices, in San Antonio, and the law firm Akin Gump assigned a young lawyer named Lauren Connell to help organize the Karnes project. But there still weren’t enough lawyers to represent the detainees, and Hines and Connell were forced to evaluate which cases were most likely to win. The remaining refugees would proceed to court alone. They would understand little of what happened, and most would be deported.

It was difficult for Hines to think about what might happen to those women next. The refugees who are returned to Central America can be subject to even greater harassment by gangs for having fled. Hector Hernandez, a morgue operator in Honduras, has said that children who come back from U.S. detention “return just to die.” Jose Luis Aguilar, the city councilor for Artesia, recalled a group deportation on the day in July when Secretary Jeh Johnson visited the facility. “He came in the morning, and that same night, they took 79 people and shipped them to El Salvador on the ICE plane,” Aguilar said. “We got reports later that 10 kids had been killed. The church group confirmed that with four of the mortuaries where they went.”

***

HINES WAS HOPING the attorneys from Artesia would help represent the women in Karnes, but she had no idea whether they would be willing to do so. This was her agenda for the first meeting with Christina Brown, which took place that afternoon in a sunlit conference room in the downtown offices of Akin Gump. Hines sat at the head of a long table, with Lauren Connell to her left and an attorney from Raices named Steven Walden to her right. After a few minutes, Brown appeared in the doorway. She was wearing the same green T-shirt and black leggings she had been wearing the day before in Artesia, and she smiled sheepishly, offering a handshake to Hines.

“I’m really sorry,” Brown said with a small laugh. “I want to let you know that I believe very strongly in first impressions — but I am living out of a U-Haul right now.”

Hines smiled sympathetically as they sat down. “So,” she said. “What are you all going to do here?”

Brown paused. “Well, we know we’re going to be continuing our cases,” she said.

“Mmm-hmm,” Hines said.

“And I’m working on cleaning up our spreadsheet and figuring out who’s here,” Brown said. “Many of our clients who were transferred here had already been granted bond.”

“Wait,” Connell said. “They transferred them here to have them bond out?”

Brown sighed. “Yes,” she said.

“That’s ridiculous,” Connell said.

“We’ve had numerous fights on this issue,” Brown said. “We’ve had family members go to pay, and they can’t because the client is already in transit to Karnes.”

Hines shook her head in disbelief.

“It’s been kind of a nightmare,” Brown said.

“Do you have people who have been detained more than 90 days?” Hines asked.

“Every one we’re going forward with on merits has been detained more than 90 days,” Brown said. “So I want to see how you all are moving forward, so I can see what resources are here for Artesia clients.”

Hines laughed. “We can barely staff our cases,” she said. “My hope was that people who were at Artesia, after they’re finished your cases, are going to help with ours.”

“If she says that enough, maybe it will come true,” Connell said.

Brown shook her head. “At the moment, I can commit to nothing,” she said. “Right now, I’m the only attorney, and there’s no guarantee that other volunteers are coming.”

Hines and Connell exchanged a look. Even if the Artesia lawyers could double or triple their workload, the number of detainees would soon overwhelm them. The day before, officials in Karnes had approved a plan to expand the detention facility from about 500 beds to roughly 1,100. At the same time, two hours west of Karnes, in the little town of Dilley, the Department of Homeland Security was about to open another refugee camp for women and children. It would be the largest detention facility in the country, with up to 2,400 beds. If Hines and Brown had trouble finding lawyers to represent a few hundred women and children, there was little chance of generating support for more than 3,000.

***

AFTER THE MEETING, Brown returned to her motel and spent the afternoon searching for an apartment, but the options were limited, and by late afternoon, she and Sischo still had nowhere to live. They decided to spend their first evening in Texas at a vegetarian restaurant downtown. As they settled into a booth at the back of the cafe, they talked about the situation they’d left behind in Artesia, where much of the town opposed the detention facility and the lawyers with equal measure. Town-hall meetings in Artesia became so heated that city officials asked the police to stand guard.

“For people there, it’s a resource issue,” Brown said. “They blame the immigrant community for coming in and being jailed, and for us having to educate their children, when they would like more resources put into their own schools.”

Sischo nodded. “That’s what a guy at the electronics store said: ‘Oh, you’re helping the illegals?’ That’s how they view it. I remember a sign that a protester was holding that was like, ‘What about our children?’ ”

“It’s a legitimate question,” Brown said. “They don’t have a lot of resources in that town, and they should have more.”

“I agree,” Sischo said. “We should not be spending resources on detaining these families. They should be released. But people don’t understand the law. They think they should be deported because they’re ‘illegals.’ So they’re missing a very big part of the story, which is that they aren’t breaking the law. They’re trying to go through the process that’s laid out in our laws.”

For Sischo, seeing the families struggle — families much like her own — was almost more than she could stand. On visits to her parents in Oregon, she struggled to maintain composure. “Every time I’ve gone home, I’ve just cried pretty much nonstop,” she said. “It’s grief and anger and hopelessness and confusion as to how this could happen and whether we’re making a difference.”

For Brown, by contrast, the same experiences seemed to have amplified her energy and commitment. “I haven’t had time to go home and cry yet,” she said. “Maybe I’ll get a job at Dilley, because then I won’t have to process anything!” Brown laughed, but she acknowledged that some part of her was ready to commit to the nomadic life of a legal activist, parachuting into crises for a few months at a time. “That appeals to me,” she said. “It’s nice to be where people need you.”

As dinner came to an end, Brown and Sischo stepped outside into the night. They had parked the U-Haul in a nearby lot, and it had just been towed.

***

IN THE COMING YEAR, most of the families who are currently in detention will wend their way through the refugee system. Some will be released on bond to await their asylum hearing; others will remain in custody until their hearings are complete. Those without an attorney will most likely fail to articulate a reason for their claim in the appropriate jargon of the immigration courts and will be deported to face whatever horror they hoped to flee. Of the 15 families who have been shepherded through the process by the volunteer lawyers so far, 14 have received asylum — “Which should be all you need to know about the validity of their claims,” Brown said.

By late spring, the construction of the new facility at Dilley should be complete. It already represents a drastic departure from the refugee camp in Artesia. Managed by the Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in the country, the South Texas Family Residential Center has its own promotional website with promissory images of the spacious classrooms, libraries, play areas and lounges that will eventually be available to refugees in long-term detention. Architectural drawings for the site show eight distinct neighborhoods on the campus, with dormitory housing, outdoor pavilions, a chapel and several playgrounds. How much of this will ultimately materialize remains to be seen. Last week, C.C.A. listed job openings for child care workers, library aides and mailroom clerks at the site.

Esther Olavarria, the senior counselor for immigration issues at the Department of Homeland Security, acknowledged that there had been shortcomings in Artesia but described the Dilley facility as a correction. “We stood up Artesia very, very quickly and did the best that we could under the circumstances,” Olavarria said. “As concerns were brought to our attention by advocates, we worked with them to try to address the concerns as quickly as possible.”

Many advocates have expressed concerns about the Dilley facility as well. Its management company, C.C.A., is the same firm that ran the Hutto detention center, and it has been at the center of other significant controversies in recent years. In 2006, federal investigators reported that conditions at a C.C.A. immigration jail in Eloy, Ariz., were so lacking that “detainee welfare is in jeopardy.” Last March, the F.B.I. started an investigation of C.C.A. over a facility the company ran in Idaho, known by inmates as the “Gladiator School” because of unchecked fighting; in 2010, a video surfaced of guards watching one inmate beat another into a coma. Two years ago, C.C.A. executives admitted that employees falsified 4,800 hours of business records. The state has now taken control of the facility.

The management contract at Dilley was also created with unusual terms. In their hurry to open the new facility, officials for the Obama administration bypassed normal bidding procedures and established Dilley under an existing contract for the troubled C.C.A. jail in Eloy. Although the Dilley camp is nearly 1,000 miles away from Eloy, all federal funding for the new camp in Texas will flow through the small town in Arizona, which will keep $438,000 of the annual operating budget as compensation. Eloy city officials say they do not expect to monitor, or even visit, the Dilley facility.

Any new refugees who surrender this spring may spend more than a year in Dilley before their asylum hearings can be scheduled. Olavarria said that officials hope the process will move more quickly, but it will depend on the immigration courts in San Antonio, which fall under the Department of Justice. “From what I’ve heard from the Justice Department, generally it’s not taking 18 months,” Olavarria said. “We’re hearing that cases are being completed in a shorter time. But it’s a case-by-case situation that depends on the complexity, it depends on continuances that are provided to seek counsel, to prepare for cases, all those kinds of things.” The cost to house each detainee at Dilley is about $108,000 per year. A study funded by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, of more than 500 detainees between 1997 and 2000, found that 93 percent will appear in court when placed in a monitoring program. The savings of such a program for the 2,400 detainees at Dilley would be about $250 million per year.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security say the facilities in Karnes and Dilley are still insufficient to house the detainees they expect to process in the coming year. “Last year, we saw 60,000 families come in,” Olavarria said. “We’re hoping we don’t see those kinds of numbers this year, but even if we see half, those two facilities would hold a fraction of those numbers.” Olavarria said the department was not yet considering additional facilities. “We are in the middle of a battle with the Congress on our funding, so there’s very little discussion about long-term planning,” she said.

For now, the Artesia facility is closed, its bunk beds and hallways empty. Brown and Sischo remain in Texas; they rescued their U-Haul from an impound lot and found an apartment soon thereafter. That same week, an email from the mayor of Artesia, Phillip Burch, was circulating among city residents. “The pro bono attorneys have left our community,” he wrote. “Hopefully not to return.”


Wil S. Hylton is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and the author of Vanished. His complete archive is available on Longform.


Immigration: Cachez ce chez nous que je ne saurai voir ! (Migrants cynically use children as human shields while critics distort reality and history and guess who gets blamed ?)

20 juin, 2018

Personne ne dit que ce n’est pas raisonnable de partir de Turquie avec deux enfants en bas âge sur une mer agitée dans un frêle esquife. (Arno Klarselfd)

Two children detained by the Border Patrol in a holding cell in Nogales, Ariz. This image has been widely shared on social media in recent days, offered as an example of the Trump administration’s cruel policies toward immigrants, but in fact the picture was taken in 2014.

Ne croyez pas que je sois venu apporter la paix sur la terre; je ne suis pas venu apporter la paix, mais l’épée. Car je suis venu mettre la division entre l’homme et son père, entre la fille et sa mère, entre la belle-fille et sa belle-mère; et l’homme aura pour ennemis les gens de sa maison. Jésus (Matthieu 10 : 34-36)
Il n’y a plus ni Juif ni Grec, il n’y a plus ni esclave ni libre, il n’y a plus ni homme ni femme; car tous vous êtes un en Jésus Christ. Paul (Galates 3: 28)
Depuis que l’ordre religieux est ébranlé – comme le christianisme le fut sous la Réforme – les vices ne sont pas seuls à se trouver libérés. Certes les vices sont libérés et ils errent à l’aventure et ils font des ravages. Mais les vertus aussi sont libérées et elles errent, plus farouches encore, et elles font des ravages plus terribles encore. Le monde moderne est envahi des veilles vertus chrétiennes devenues folles. Les vertus sont devenues folles pour avoir été isolées les unes des autres, contraintes à errer chacune en sa solitude. Chesterton
L’inauguration majestueuse de l’ère « post-chrétienne » est une plaisanterie. Nous sommes dans un ultra-christianisme caricatural qui essaie d’échapper à l’orbite judéo-chrétienne en « radicalisant » le souci des victimes dans un sens antichrétien. René Girard
Nous sommes encore proches de cette période des grandes expositions internationales qui regardait de façon utopique la mondialisation comme l’Exposition de Londres – la « Fameuse » dont parle Dostoievski, les expositions de Paris… Plus on s’approche de la vraie mondialisation plus on s’aperçoit que la non-différence ce n’est pas du tout la paix parmi les hommes mais ce peut être la rivalité mimétique la plus extravagante. On était encore dans cette idée selon laquelle on vivait dans le même monde: on n’est plus séparé par rien de ce qui séparait les hommes auparavant donc c’est forcément le paradis. Ce que voulait la Révolution française. Après la nuit du 4 août, plus de problème ! René Girard
An advertent and sustained foreign policy uses a different part of the brain from the one engaged by horrifying images. If Americans had seen the battles of the Wilderness and Cold Harbor on TV screens in 1864, if they had witnessed the meat-grinding carnage of Ulysses Grant’s warmaking, then public opinion would have demanded an end to the Civil War, and the Union might well have split into two countries, one of them farmed by black slaves. (…) The Americans have ventured into Somalia in a sort of surreal confusion, first impersonating Mother Teresa and now John Wayne. it would help to clarify that self-image, for to do so would clarify the mission, and then to recast the rhetoric of the enterprise. Lance Morrow (1993)
The gospel revelation gradually destroys the ability to sacralize and valorize violence of any kind, even for Americans in pursuit of the good. (…) At the heart of the cultural world in which we live, and into whose orbit the whole world is being gradually drawn, is a surreal confusion. The impossible Mother Teresa-John Wayne antinomy Times correspondent (Lance) Morrow discerned in America’s humanitarian 1992 Somali operation is simply a contemporary manifestation of the tension that for centuries has hounded those cultures under biblical influence. Gil Bailie
Our message absolutely is don’t send your children unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers. We don’t even know how many of these kids don’t make it, and may have been waylaid into sex trafficking or killed because they fell off a train. Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it. Obama (2014)
I also think that we have to understand the difficulty that President Obama finds himself in because there are laws that impose certain obligations on him. And it was my understanding that the numbers have been moderating in part as the Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement officials understood that separating children from families — I mean, the horror of a father or a mother going to work and being picked up and immediately whisked away and children coming home from school to an empty house and nobody can say where their mother or father is, that is just not who we are as Americans. And so, I do think that while we continue to make the case which you know is very controversial in some corridors, that we have to reform our immigration system and we needed to do it yesterday. That’s why I approved of the bill that was passed in the Senate. We need to show humanity with respect to people to people who are working, contributing right now. And deporting them, leaving their children alone or deporting an adolescent, doing anything that is so contrary to our core values, just makes no sense. So I would be very open to trying to figure out ways to change the law, even if we don’t get to comprehensive immigration reform to provide more leeway and more discretion for the executive branch. (…) the numbers are increasing dramatically. And the main reason I believe why that’s happening is that the violence in certain of those Central American countries is increasing dramatically. And there is not sufficient law enforcement or will on the part of the governments of those countries to try to deal with this exponential increase in violence, drug trafficking, the drug cartels, and many children are fleeing from that violence. (…) first of all, we have to provide the best emergency care we can provide. We have children 5 and 6 years old who have come up from Central America. We need to do more to provide border security in southern Mexico. (…) they should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are, because there are concerns whether all of them should be sent back. But I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families. (…) But we have so to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey. Hillary Clinton (2014)
Je crois fermement qu’un individu sans papiers, condamné pour de multiples délits graves et sujet à une demande de détention des autorités fédérales n’aurait pas dû être remis en liberté. Dianne Feinstein (sénatrice démocrate de Californie et ancienne maire de San Francisco)
C’est l’hôtel-Dieu donc c’est la charité. Et c’est visiblement une invention du Moyen-Age. Tout ce qu’il y a de bon dans notre société peut faire l’objet d’abus. René Girard
Protecting children at the border is complicated because there have, indeed, been instances of fraud. Tens of thousands of migrants arrive there every year, and those with children in tow are often released into the United States more quickly than adults who come alone, because of restrictions on the amount of time that minors can be held in custody. Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner. Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing. (…) [Jessica M. Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies] said that some migrants were using children as “human shields” in order to get out of immigration custody faster. “It makes no sense at all for the government to just accept these attempts at fraud,” Ms. Vaughan said. “If it appears that the child is being used in this way, it is in the best interest of the child to be kept separately from the parent, for the parent to be prosecuted, because it’s a crime and it’s one that has to be deterred and prosecuted.” NYT
Over the weekend, you may have seen a horrifying story: Almost 1,500 migrant children were missing, and feared to be in the hands of human traffickers. The Trump administration lost track of the children, the story went, after separating them from their parents at the border. The news spread across liberal social media — with the hashtag #Wherearethechildren trending on Twitter — as people demanded immediate action. But it wasn’t true, or at least not the way that many thought. The narrative had combined parts of two real events and wound up with a horror story that was at least partly a myth. The fact that so many Americans readily believed this myth offers a lesson in how partisan polarization colors people’s views on a gut emotional level without many even realizing it. As other articles have explained, the missing children and the Trump administration’s separation of families who are apprehended at the border are two different matters. (…) These “missing” children had actually come to the United States without their parents, been picked up by the Border Patrol and then released to the custody of a parent or guardian. Many probably are not really missing. The figure represents the number of children whose households didn’t answer the phone when the Department of Health and Human Services called to check on them. The unanswered phone calls may warrant further welfare checks, but are not themselves a sign that something nefarious has happened. The Obama administration also detained immigrant families and children, as did other recent administrations. This past weekend, some social media users circulated a photo they said showed children detained as a result of President Trump’s policies, but the image was actually from 2014. (…) Long-running social science surveys have found that since the 1980s, Republicans’ opinions of Democrats and Democrats’ opinions of Republicans have been increasingly negative. At the same time, as Lilliana Mason, a political scientist at the University of Maryland, writes in a new book, partisan identity has become an umbrella for other important identities, including those involving race, religion, geography and even educational background. It has become a tribal identity itself, not merely a matter of policy preferences. So it’s not that liberals didn’t care about immigrant children until Mr. Trump became president, or that they’re only pretending to care now so as to score political points. Rather, with the Trump administration’s making opposition to immigrants a signature issue, the topic has become salient to partisan conflict in a way it wasn’t before. Mr. Trump’s treatment of immigrant families and children, when refracted through the lens of partisan bias, affirms liberals’ perception of being engaged in a broader moral struggle with the right, making it feel like an urgent threat. Mr. Obama’s detaining of immigrant children, by contrast, felt like a matter of abstract moral concern. Identity polarization means “you want to show that you’re a good member of your tribe,” Sean Westwood, a political scientist at Dartmouth College who studies partisan polarization, said in an interview early last year. “You want to show others that Republicans are bad or Democrats are bad, and your tribe is good.” Sharing stories on social media “provides a unique opportunity to publicly declare to the world what your beliefs are and how willing you are to denigrate the opposition and reinforce your own political candidates,” he said. Accurate news can serve that purpose. But fake news has an advantage. It can perfectly capture one side’s villainous archetypes of the other, without regard for pesky facts that might not fit the story line. The narrative that President Trump’s team lost hundreds of children after tearing them away from their parents combines some of the main liberal critiques of the administration: that it is racist, that it is authoritarian and that it is incompetent. The administration’s very real policy of separating families already plays to the first two archetypes. By adding in the missing children, the story manages to incorporate an incompetence angle as well. NYT
Pendant trop longtemps, le CDH a protégé les auteurs de violations des droits de l’homme et il a été un cloaque de partis pris politiques. (…) Cinq résolutions ont été votées contre Israël. C’est plus que toutes les résolutions confondues contre la Corée du Nord, l’Iran et la Syrie. Nikki Haley (ambassadrice américaine à l’ONU)
Les pays (membres) se sont entendus pour saper la méthode actuelle de sélection des membres. Et le biais continu et bien documenté du Conseil contre Israël est inadmissible. Depuis sa création, le Conseil a adopté plus de résolutions condamnant Israël que contre le reste du monde. Mike Pompeo
For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias. Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded. Human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the council. The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks. Therefore, as we said we would do a year ago if we did not see any progress, the United States is officially withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council. In doing so, I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments; on the contrary, we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights. (…) Almost every country we met with agrees with us in principle and behind closed doors that the Human Rights Council needs major, dramatic, systemic changes, yet no other country has had the courage to join our fight.(…) When a so-called Human Rights Council cannot bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name. Such a council, in fact, damages the cause of human rights. And then, of course, there is the matter of the chronic bias against Israel. Last year, the United States made it clear that we would not accept the continued existence of agenda item seven, which singles out Israel in a way that no other country is singled out. Earlier this year, as it has in previous years, the Human Rights Council passed five resolutions against Israel – more than the number passed against North Korea, Iran, and Syria combined. This disproportionate focus and unending hostility towards Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights. (…) America has a proud legacy as a champion of human rights, a proud legacy as the world’s largest provider of humanitarian aid, and a proud legacy of liberating oppressed people and defeating tyranny throughout the world. While we do not seek to impose the American system on anyone else, we do support the rights of all people to have freedoms bestowed on them by their creator. That is why we are withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, an organization that is not worthy of its name. Nikki Haley
We have no doubt that there was once a noble vision for this council. But today, we need to be honest – the Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights. Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy – with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored, and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself. The only thing worse than a council that does almost nothing to protect human rights is a council that covers for human rights abuses and is therefore an obstacle to progress and an impediment to change. The Human Rights Council enables abuses by absolving wrongdoers through silence and falsely condemning those who have committed no offense. A mere look around the world today demonstrates that the council has failed in its stated objectives. Its membership includes authoritarian governments with unambiguous and abhorrent human rights records, such as China, Cuba, and Venezuela. (…) And the council’s continued and well-documented bias against Israel is unconscionable. Since its creation, the council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined. Mike Pompeo
Le problème, c’est que quand vous aidez, dans un premier temps, vous créez un horizon qui est plus large: les gens commencent à penser qu’ils peuvent bouger puisqu’ils ont aussi les moyens – il faut plusieurs milliers d’euros pour entreprendre ce voyage – et donc ce ne sont pas les plus pauvres, les plus désespérés qui partent mais ceux qui commencent à sortir la tête de l’eau. Et c’est donc cet effet de seuil qui fait que dans un premier temps l’aide aide les gens à partir. Stephen Smith
Les pays du Nord subventionnent les pays du Sud, moyennant l’aide au développement, afin que les démunis puissent mieux vivre et – ce n’est pas toujours dit aussi franchement – rester chez eux. Or, ce faisant, les pays riches se tirent une balle dans le pied. En effet, du moins dans un premier temps, ils versent une prime à la migration en aidant des pays pauvres à atteindre le seuil de prospérité à partir duquel leurs habitants disposent des moyens pour partir et s’installer ailleurs. C’est l’aporie du « codéveloppement », qui vise à retenir les pauvres chez eux alors qu’il finance leur déracinement. Il n’y a pas de solution. Car il faut bien aider les plus pauvres, ceux qui en ont le plus besoin ; le codéveloppement avec la prospère île Maurice, sans grand risque d’inciter au départ, est moins urgent… Les cyniques se consoleront à l’idée que l’aide a rarement fait advenir le développement mais, plus souvent, servi de « rente géopolitique » à des alliés dans l’arrière-cour mondiale. Dans un reportage au long cours titré The Uninvited, « les hôtes indésirables », Jeremy Harding, l’un des rédacteurs en chef de la London Review of Books, a pointé avec ironie le dilemme du codéveloppement : « des pays nantis – par exemple, les pays membres de l’UE – qui espèrent décourager la migration depuis des régions très pauvres du monde par un transfert prudent de ressources (grâce à des accords bilatéraux, des annulations de dettes et ainsi de suite) ne devraient pas être trop déçus en découvrant au bout d’un certain temps que leurs initiatives ont échoué à améliorer les conditions de vie dans les pays ciblés. Car un pays qui réussirait effectivement à augmenter son PIB, le taux d’alphabétisation de ses adultes et l’espérance de vie – soit un mieux à tout point de vue – produirait encore plus de candidats au départ qu’un pays qui se contente de son enterrement en bas du tableau de l’économie mondiale. » Les premiers rayons de prospérité pourraient bien motiver un plus grand nombre d’Africains à venir en Europe. Pourquoi ? Les plus pauvres parmi les pauvres n’ont pas les moyens d’émigrer. Ils n’y pensent même pas. Ils sont occupés à joindre les deux bouts, ce qui ne leur laisse guère le loisir de se familiariser avec la marche du monde et, encore moins, d’y participer. À l’autre extrême, qui coïncide souvent avec l’autre bout du monde, les plus aisés voyagent beaucoup, au point de croire que l’espace ne compte plus et que les frontières auraient tendance à disparaître ; leur liberté de circuler – un privilège – émousse leur désir de s’établir ailleurs. Ce n’est pas le cas des « rescapés de la subsistance », qui peuvent et veulent s’installer sur une terre d’opportunités. L’Afrique émergente est sur le point de subir cet effet d’échelle : hier dépourvues des moyens pour émigrer, ses masses sur le seuil de la prospérité se mettent aujourd’hui en route vers le « paradis » européen. Stephen Smith
Les migrants aussi font un peu de benchmarking pour regarder les législations à travers l’Europe qui sont, on va dire, les plus fragiles. Gérard Collomb
Donald Trump aurait (…) menti en affirmant que la criminalité augmentait en Allemagne, en raison de l’entrée dans le pays de 1,1 million de clandestins en 2015. (…) Les articles se sont immédiatement multipliés pour dénoncer « le mensonge » du président américain. Pourquoi ? Parce que les autorités allemandes se sont félicitées d’une baisse des agressions violentes en 2017. C’est vrai, elles ont chuté de 5,1% par rapport à 2016. Est-il possible, cependant, de feindre à ce point l’incompréhension ? Car les détracteurs zélés du président omettent de préciser que la criminalité a bien augmenté en Allemagne à la suite de cette vague migratoire exceptionnelle : 10% de crimes violents en plus, sur les années 2015 et 2016. L’étude réalisée par le gouvernement allemand et publiée en janvier dernier concluait même que 90% de cette augmentation était due aux jeunes hommes clandestins fraîchement accueillis, âgés de 14 à 30 ans. L’augmentation de la criminalité fut donc indiscutablement liée à l’accueil de 1,1 millions de clandestins pendant l’année 2015. C’est évidement ce qu’entend démontrer Donald Trump. Et ce n’est pas tout. Les chiffres du ministère allemand de l’Intérieur pour 2016 révèlent également une implication des étrangers et des clandestins supérieure à celle des Allemands dans le domaine de la criminalité. Et en hausse. La proportion d’étrangers parmi les personnes suspectées d’actes criminels était de 28,7% en 2014, elle est passée à 40,4% en 2016, avant de chuter à 35% en 2017 (ce qui reste plus important qu’en 2014). En 2016, les étrangers étaient 3,5 fois plus impliqués dans des crimes que les Allemands, les clandestins 7 fois plus. Des chiffres encore plus élevés dans le domaine des crimes violents (5 fois plus élevés chez les étrangers, 15 fois chez les clandestins) ou dans celui des viols en réunion (10 fois plus chez les étrangers, 42 fois chez les clandestins !). Factuellement, la criminalité n’augmente pas aujourd’hui en Allemagne. Mais l’exceptionnelle vague migratoire voulue par Angela Merkel en 2015 a bien eu pour conséquence l’augmentation de la criminalité en Allemagne. Les Allemands, eux, semblent l’avoir très bien compris. Valeurs actuelles
L’arme de Trump est facile à comprendre, et beaucoup plus difficile à parer. C’est la négociation, déclenchée ici par la menace de droits de douane très élevés. Le raisonnement du président est simple : « Je suis le premier acheteur du monde. Comme je suis un gros client, je vais renégocier avec chacun de mes fournisseurs. » L’objectif ici n’est pas d’obtenir un rabais et encore moins de déclencher une guerre commerciale. La seule chose qui intéresse Trump, ce sont des implantations d’usines aux Etats-Unis ou de nouvelles exportations, qu’il pourra brandir comme autant de trophées devant ses électeurs. Face à cette arme, les gouvernants des grands pays sont démunis. Aucun n’a appris l’art brutal de la négociation d’affaires. A l’université, Angela Merkel et Xi Jinping ont étudié la chimie, Emmanuel Macron la philosophie et la science administrative, Theresa May la géographie, Giuseppe Conte le droit. Donald Trump, lui, s’est spécialisé dans l’immobilier et a passé ensuite près d’un demi-siècle à se battre sur le prix du mètre carré ou le taux de l’impôt local. A ce jeu, il est redoutable. Il va donc arracher de vrais résultats. Le bras de fer inédit risque bien sûr de créer des tensions commerciales sans précédent depuis près d’un siècle, de dégénérer en tempête financière mondiale, d’engendrer des chocs géopolitiques. Mais Donald Trump s’en moque. Il veut être, aux yeux de ses électeurs, le président qui tient ses promesses. Qui pourrait lui en vouloir ? Jean-Marc Vittori
Donald Trump (…) a su parler à l’Amérique traditionnelle, excédée par cette montée des progressismes. (…) Les États-Unis ont vécu dans une relative prospérité depuis la fin de la guerre, et 2008 sonne comme le glas de ce système, faisant ressurgir une conscience américaine sortie d’outre-tombe et très critique à l’égard de ce modèle de société. D’autant que l’Amérique blanche et rurale est aujourd’hui la première exposée, sur le plan économique: le bassin industriel du nord du pays, les grands bassins des Rocheuses ou les campagnes reculées subissent la crise de plein fouet ; tandis que dans les villes, la mutation économique et le passage à une société des services permet d’éviter en partie les conséquences du rétrécissement économique. (…) (…) Je ne crois pas que l’Amérique soit en guerre avec son histoire, mais qu’elle est en train d’atteindre une maturité en réfléchissant à son histoire. À mon sens, la remise en cause de l’histoire serait un problème, car avant 1860, tout le personnel politique américain a cautionné l’esclavage. On ne peut tout de même pas envoyer tous ces hommes aux oubliettes! Donc sans vouloir réécrire toute l’histoire, on peut cependant observer que de nombreux mouvements américains ont cherché à remettre en cause certaines injustices de l’histoire: c’est le cas bien sûr du mouvement pour les droits civiques par exemple. À Washington, on trouve un musée de l’Holocauste qui consacre une partie de ses expositions aux camps d’internement réservés aux Japonais pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Les Américains savent prendre du recul avec leur histoire, pour en critiquer les parties dont ils ne sont pas fiers, et ne pas retomber dans les erreurs du passé. (…) Donald Trump a permis aux conservateurs de reprendre confiance en eux. Il n’est pas lui-même conservateur, mais il a épousé leur programme, ou plus exactement, comme il n’est pas un homme politique, il a laissé le camp conservateur remplir l’espace laissé vide en distillant leurs idées et leurs revendications, une fois l’élection gagnée. D’autant que Mike Pence est, lui, très conservateur. Les juges nommés par Trump à la Cour suprême poursuivront ainsi son action pendant encore quinze à vingt ans, et les premières décisions fortes en témoignent: récemment, la Cour a reconnu la possibilité d’une liberté de conscience face au mariage homosexuel, en donnant raison au pâtissier qui avait refusé de confectionner une pièce montée. Jean-Éric Branaa
Most people can agree that international affairs should not be conducted by tweet — especially when the tweeter in question is Donald Trump. Among other reasons, it’s easy to dismiss the president’s mercurial rage and flagrant insults as little more than temper tantrums. But that’s a mistake. Mr. Trump’s anger at America’s allies embodies, however unpleasantly, a not unreasonable point of view, and one that the rest of the world ignores at its peril: The global world order is unbalanced and inequitable. And unless something is done to correct it soon, it will collapse, with or without the president’s tweets. While the West happily built the liberal order over the past 70 years, with Europe at its center, the Americans had the continent’s back. In turn, as it unravels, America feels this loss of balance the hardest — it has always spent the most money and manpower to keep the system working. The Europeans have basically been free riders on the voyage, spending almost nothing on defense, and instead building vast social welfare systems at home and robust, well-protected export industries abroad. Rather than lash back at Mr. Trump, they would do better to ask how we got to this place, and how to get out. The European Union, as an institution, is one of the prime drivers of this inequity. At the Group of 7, for example, the constituent countries are described as all equals. But in reality, the union puts a thumb on the scales in its members’ favor: It is a highly integrated, well-protected free-trade area that gives a huge leg up to, say, German car manufacturers while essentially punishing American companies who want to trade in the region. The eurozone offers a similar unfair advantage. If it were not for the euro, Germany would long ago have had to appreciate its currency in line with its enormous export surplus. (…) how can the very same politicians and journalists who defended the euro bailout payments during the financial crisis, arguing that Germany profited disproportionately from the common currency, now go berserk when Mr. Trump makes exactly this point? German manufacturers also have the advantage of operating in a common market with huge wage gaps. Bulgaria, one of the poorest member states, has a per capita gross domestic product roughly equal to that of Gabon, while even in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary — three relative success stories among the recent entrants to the union — that same measure is still roughly a third of what it is in Germany. Under the European Union, German manufacturers can assemble their cars in low-wage countries and export them without worrying about tariffs or other trade barriers. If your plant sits in Detroit, you might find the president’s anger over this fact persuasive. Mr. Trump is not the first president to complain about the unfair burden sharing within NATO. He’s merely the first president not just to talk tough, but to get tough. (…) All those German politicians who oppose raising military spending from a meager 1.3 percent of gross domestic product should try to explain to American students why their European peers enjoy free universities and health care, while they leave it up to others to cover for the West’s military infrastructure (…) When the door was opened, in 2001, many in the West believed that a growing Chinese middle class, enriched by and engaged with the world economy, would eventually claim voice and suffrage, thereby democratizing China. The opposite has happened. China, which has grown wealthy in part by stealing intellectual property from the West, is turning into an online-era dictatorship, while still denying reciprocity in investment and trade relations. (…) China’s unchecked abuse of the global free-trade regime makes a mockery of the very idea that the world can operate according to a rules-based order. Again, while many in the West have talked the talk about taking on China, only Mr. Trump has actually done something about it. Jochen Bittner (Die Zeit)
Last weekend a horrifying tale about the Trump administration “losing” 1,500 children was all over the Internet. The hashtag #Wherearethechildren went viral on Twitter. Adding fuel to the fire was a photo depicting children being kept in cages. The only problem was that the children weren’t lost and the photo was taken during the Obama administration. The Left’s eagerness to embrace this “fake news” stemmed, according to the Times’s Amanda Taub, from “partisan polarization,” and as a result the tale “spread across liberal social media.” Yet the problem goes a lot deeper than that. Anti-Trump readers and viewers may have fallen victim to confirmation bias, but prestige media outlets also deserve a lot of the blame. Even when such stories are later debunked, as this one was, these outlets habitually feed viral myths to the public and create a climate in which any anti-Trump claim seems believable. Instead of asking readers to engage in some introspection about their credulousness, liberal journalists should look at their own behavior. For starters, it wasn’t just social media that spread the “missing children” myth. Some media outlets ran headlines asserting that the government had “lost track” of immigrant children, a claim easily conflated with Trump’s decision to separate parents and children at the border. Most egregiously, an Arizona Republic story (republished at USA Today and corrected about a week later) reported as fact that the government had lost children in its own custody. But as the Times explained, these children were not separated from their parents but rather had arrived illegally at the border on their own, seeking asylum. Most said they had fled their homes in Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala to escape drug-cartel and gang violence. They were then placed in the homes of adults who had agreed to sponsor them, often relatives. But, as has happened for years, including during the Obama administration, many of these children ran away or left the United States, or the adult sponsors (who might have their own troubles with the law) refused to pick up the phone when the government checked up on them. Hence, the figure of 1,475 children “missing.” The policy of separating parents from children is not entirely new, either. Indeed, it is standard when adults who have committed a crime are arrested. The only alternatives are to create a detention system for families, a policy to which the ACLU objected under Obama (the policy is barred under a 1997 consent decree), or simply not to detain illegal entrants at all before their court hearings, allowing them to disappear into the country. Arrests are up, of course, thanks to the Trump administration’s attempts to deter illegal immigration. This was a necessary departure from the previous administration’s soft approach to this serious problem. The knee-jerk anger of the Left against Trump’s policies doesn’t really stem from the debate over the issue, though of course Americans are divided about how to deal with illegal immigrants. More fundamentally, it stems from the polarization Taub discusses — and more specifically, from the divisions the media constantly reinforce. Americans read, listen to, and watch different media and have largely forgotten how to deal with disagreement except through demonization. To consume what was once called “mainstream media” is to enter into a world not only where Trump is never given the benefit of the doubt but where everything he does or says is not reported so much as presented as evidence against him in a daily trial. There is much to criticize about Trump’s tweets, utterances, and behavior. But anger at his presence in the White House has caused many journalists to discard their professional principles and any sense of restraint. At places like CNN, and even at the Times to some extent, the church–state divide between news and opinion has completely broken down. Panel discussions have become competitions in Trump-bashing. News reports are slanted to take Trump’s guilt or incompetence as a given. Even when myths are exposed, there’s no letup in the drumbeat of incitement against Trump. As an example, the day the Times published the column about liberals’ being led astray by the “missing children” meme, columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote an anti-Trump screed on immigration in which he described the president’s policies as veering from “abhorrent to evil.” At this point, confirmation bias on the part of the readership is not the core issue. After the last 16 months of media coverage, why would anyone who identifies as liberal or a Democrat not believe the most outlandish or false tales about the president? If media analysts such as Taub want to understand why the loss of trust between liberals and conservatives is so extreme and how stories like this spread, they should start by looking in the mirror. It is the rabid partisanship of the media that is causing so many Americans to buy whatever myth the Internet is serving up against Trump on any given day. Jonathan S. Tobin
We’ve heard that the Trump administration has heartlessly sought to rip toddlers from the arms of their weeping mothers in order to punish illegal-immigrant parents who are merely seeking asylum. But the truth is more complex: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that even accompanied immigrant minors must be released from custody within 20 days. That means that if their parents do not arrive at a point of entry to claim asylum, and instead violate the law by crossing the border illegally, they will be arrested — and their children must then be separated from them by the working of the law. The only possible solution, without a change to the law itself, would involve releasing illegal-immigrant parents along with their children into the general population. We’ve also heard about the terrible living conditions in the holding centers for these children. Likely, some of that is true — although the stories from various sources conflict. But those facilities were overburdened for years before Trump took office; in fact, the media covered these same facilities and pointed out the problems therein during the Obama administration. In other words, this isn’t a Trumpian attempt to dump kids in hellholes. It’s a longtime problem that has yet to be solved. In reality, all of this could be solved with simple legislation. The House of Representatives is actually set to take up the issue of family separation in both versions of the immigration bill being presented in the House. But Democrats probably won’t sign on to either bill — and it’s unlikely they’d even sign onto an independent piece of legislation designed to allow children to stay with their illegal-immigrant parents until their cases can be adjudicated. That’s because thanks to biased media coverage — and, in some cases, outright falsehoods — Democrats are winning the public-relations war. The longer the Democrats prevent a solution from arising, the more they gain in the public-opinion polls. So they have little incentive to come to the table around an immigration solution — their better political option remains to wait Trump out and let the press inflict damage on him. There’s a reason every Republican attempt at immigration reform has stalled out over the past two decades — and there’s a reason Democrats have celebrated every time they have. There’s also a reason that Democrats with unified control of the presidency and Congress attempted no serious immigration reform. Better to let the problem fester for political gain than to attempt to solve it. If the media truly wished to contribute to a solution, all they’d have to do is cover the issue honestly. Yes, Trump is enforcing the laws against crossing the border illegally more harshly than the Obama administration did. But he didn’t create the separation policy. Yes, Trump has spoken with great passion in favor of stronger border controls. But he’s also offered a bigger amnesty for so-called DREAMers than even Barack Obama did. Instead of using truth as a guide, however, the press continue to suggest that base animus animates conservative feelings on immigration. This leads to a political prisoner’s dilemma in which everyone’s best option is stasis: Republicans are best off doing nothing, since they’ll earn nothing but scorn for any action they take from the press anyway, as well as the undying enmity of many in their base; Democrats are best off doing nothing, since they can count on the press to clock Republicans for any immigration failures. The only ones who lose out are the American people. Ben Shapiro
Much has been written — some of it either inaccurate or designed to obfuscate the issue ahead of the midterms for political purposes — about the border fiasco and the unfortunate separation of children from parents. (…) The media outrage usually does not include examination of why the Trump administration is enforcing existing laws that it inherited from the Bush and Obama administrations that at any time could have been changed by both Democratic and Republican majorities in Congress; of the use of often dubious asylum claims as a way of obtaining entry otherwise denied to those without legal authorization — a gambit that injures or at least hampers thousands with legitimate claims of political persecution; of the seeming unconcern for the safety of children by some would-be asylum seekers who illegally cross the border, rather than first applying legally at a U.S. consulate abroad; of the fact that many children are deliberately sent ahead, unescorted on such dangerous treks to help facilitate their own parents’ later entrance; of the cynicism of the cartels that urge and facilitate such mass rushes to the border to overwhelm general enforcement; and of the selective outrage of the media in 2018 in a fashion not known under similar policies and detentions of the past. In 2014, during a similar rush, both Barack Obama (“Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back.”) and Hillary Clinton (“We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”) warned — again to current media silence — would-be asylum seekers not to use children as levers to enter the U.S. A few other random thoughts. Mexico is the recipient of about $30 billion in annual remittances (aside from perhaps more than $20 billion annually sent to Central America) from mostly illegal aliens within the U.S. It is the beneficiary of an annual $71 billion trade surplus with the U.S. And it is mostly culpable for once again using illegal immigration and the lives of its own citizens — and allowing Central Americans unfettered transit through its country — as cynical tools of domestic and foreign policy. Illegal immigration, increasingly of mostly indigenous peoples, ensures an often racist Mexico City a steady stream of remittances (now its greatest source of foreign exchange), without much worry about how its indigent abroad can scrimp to send such massive sums back to Mexico. Facilitating illegal immigration also establishes and fosters a favorable expatriate demographic inside the U.S. that helps to recalibrate U.S. policy favorably toward Mexico. And Mexico City also uses immigration as a policy irritant to the U.S. that can be magnified or lessened, depending on Mexico’s own particular foreign-policy goals and moods at any given time. All of the above call into question whether Mexico is a NAFTA ally, a neutral, or a belligerent, a status that may become perhaps clearer during its upcoming presidential elections. So far, it assumes that the optics of this human tragedy facilitate its own political agendas, but it may be just as likely that its cynicism could fuel renewed calls for a wall and reexamination of the entire Mexican–U.S. relationship and, indeed, NAFTA. Finally, it is unfortunate that former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden and former first lady Laura Bush have both demagogued the issue by respective grotesque and ignorant comparisons of current border shelters to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and the forced Japanese internment during World War II. At its horrendous peak in August 1944, the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex on some days exterminated 10,000 human beings and may have cumulatively murdered well over 1 million Jews, as well as Eastern Europeans and Russians. To suggest that a detainee center is anything similar to that industrial killing monstrosity is unhinged, abhorrent — and shameful. It is an insult to current U.S. border-enforcement personnel who do a heroic job at great risk to protect the border in a humane fashion under unimaginable conditions and political pressures. And it is a greater injury to the lost 6 million of the Holocaust when their fate is so cavalierly and ignorantly used for political advantage. Hayden also should remember that during his own tenure at the NSA and as CIA director, he was constantly and in exaggerated style besmirched on issues such as “enhanced interrogation,” drones, and intrusive surveillance. He too often became the object of frequent and unfair comparisons to various Nazi allusions of the sort that he is now promulgating against the Trump administration. Equally ironic is that during the Abu Ghraib controversies, the Iraq War furor, and the post-9/11 renditions, George W. Bush — a constant target of brown shirt/fascist/Nazi slurs — was on occasion loosely compared to instigators of fascistic round-ups, including but not limited to the Japanese internment. One can disagree with a current policy without stooping to distort history to smear an administration, especially when such tactics in the past have been used against those now employing them. Victor Davis Hanson
La polémique autour de l’Aquarius est aussi déprimante que révélatrice de l’état d’esprit qui imprègne les grandes capitales d’Europe occidentale. L’Espagnol Sanchez fait preuve de noblesse d’âme et vole au secours des migrants sans penser deux fois aux conséquences de son geste sur sa propre frontière avec l’Afrique. Quant à Macron, il saute sur l’occasion pour taper sur les populistes fraîchement arrivés au pouvoir en Italie quitte à égratigner la qualité de la collaboration avec un membre du G7. Et tous oublient l’essentiel qui est de « réparer » la Libye, un pays qui saigne depuis 2011, date de la funeste intervention internationale dont les Libyens et les migrants paient encore les pots cassés. (…) Décidément, plus le temps passe, plus l’Europe ressemble à une énorme bijouterie sans portes ni fenêtres. Et tel est précisément le projet de Pedro Sanchez : scier les barreaux qui hérissent l’immense frontière méridionale de l’Espagne qui est aussi celle de l’Europe. Arrivé au pouvoir par effraction, grâce à une motion de censure (il n’a pas été élu et son parti ne détient la majorité des sièges au parlement), Pedro Sanchez est pressé de démanteler les protections soigneusement mises en place par ses prédécesseurs. Son ministre de l’Intérieur vient d’annoncer qu’il fera arracher les barbelés qui couvrent la frontière terrestre séparant le Maroc de Ceuta et Melilla, enclaves espagnoles en territoire africain. Un clin d’œil sans équivoque à destination des milliers d’Ivoiriens, de Maliens et de Guinéens, coincés au Maroc, et qui attendent le moment propice pour partir à l’assaut de la frontière. Il s’agit d’un ensemble de deux murs de six mètres de haut chacun, séparés par un chemin de patrouille et surveillés en permanence par des dispositifs électroniques. Le seul moyen de passer est de faire partie d’une marée humaine (à 200 ou 300) à même de déborder les capacités de réaction des policiers espagnols. Les plus chanceux s’équipent de gants et de couvertures pour ne pas se déchirer les doigts au contact des barbelés tranchants. Le jeu en vaut la chandelle car il suffit de poser le pied côté espagnol pour être couvert par le droit européen qui interdit les expulsions « à chaud ». En prenant la décision d’enlever les barbelés, donc d’entrouvrir de facto la frontière, Pedro Sanchez met les Marocains dans l’embarras. En effet, les policiers marocains font barrage aux migrants avec la plus grande difficulté au monde. Comment convaincre des jeunes qui ont traversé le désert à pied de ne pas tenter la chance de leur vie, si près de l’objectif ? L’exercice est difficile car la zone frontalière est un maquis idéal constitué de ravins profonds et de pinèdes denses. Le sujet épineux aussi sur le plan politique car le Maroc n’a jamais reconnu la souveraineté espagnole sur Ceuta et Melilla. Il se retrouve donc à dépenser chaque année des millions d’euros pour surveiller une frontière qu’il ne reconnaît même pas officiellement. Rien ne dit que le Maroc va continuer à jouer le bon élève si l’Espagne s’amuse à attiser artificiellement la tension aux alentours de Ceuta et Melilla. Ce vendredi 15 juin, ils ont été 686 à tenter leur chance entre le Maroc et l’Andalousie : un record. Quatre ont été repêchés sans vie. Et ce n’est qu’une entrée en matière car les côtes espagnoles ne sont séparées des plages africaines que par quelques heures de navigation. Du Sahara marocain jusqu’aux Canaries, il faut compter une vingtaine d’heures en chaloupe ; depuis Saint-Louis au Sénégal deux ou trois jours. Durant les mois d’été lorsque la mer est calme, la tentation est grande de prendre le large surtout quand on laisse derrière soi la misère et la violence. Driss Ghali
Deux questions un peu vulgaires sinon populistes: lorsque l’on admire en France le sauvetage d’un enfant par un migrant malien sans-papiers et que l’on insiste et sur son origine et sur son statut, s’agit-il d’une récupération, le cas échéant admissible? Lorsqu’un membre de la droite dure allemande veut rendre publiquement hommage à une enfant juive violée et assassinée, certes par un migrant musulman et non par un germain au crâne rasé, faut-il commencer par s’en indigner? Gilles William Goldnadel
Pour quelle raison, si seul le sauvetage dans l’urgence des migrants venus de la Libye incertaine leur importe, les gens de l’Aquarius ne les ont-ils pas acheminés vers les côtes assurées algériennes et tunisiennes, plus proches que l’Italie? Un peu embarrassée, leur représentante, Sophie Beau, a déclaré que le droit de ces pays était plus impérieux que le droit européen. Voilà qui en dit long pour ne pas dire tout: c’est parce que l’Europe est plus laxiste qu’on dédouane sans question des pays intransigeants mais pourtant plus proches des migrants, ne serait-ce que par la géographie et la religion. Dans la profondeur de ce déni se niche, comme je l’observe souvent, l’anti-occidentalisme culpabilisateur le plus sournois. Seule l’Europe devrait être comptable du sort des migrants, dès lors que c’est elle qui est coupable. C’est ainsi par exemple que l’ONU le lui a fait souvent grief sans un mot par exemple pour l’Arabie Saoudite et le Qatar, richissimes et déserts, qui expliquent ingénument la fermeture de leurs frontières, y compris à des frères en culture et en langue, au nom d’une exigence de sécurité qui ne se pose évidemment pas pour les peuples d’Europe… C’est ainsi par exemple que les responsables de l’Aquarius expliquaient avec insistance que les passagers étaient en surnombre et que la faim les menaçait. Mais pourquoi, dans ce cas hautement prévisible, accepter la présence à bord d’une journaliste d’Euronews et ne pas limiter strictement les passagers au personnel indispensable de bord aux fins de réserver une place supplémentaire à un naufragé? Enfin et surtout, dès lors que le sauveteur autoproclamé est avant tout un idéologue mondialiste, une question vous hante – et qui a hanté des juges italiens- sur les rapports entretenus avec des passeurs qui n’hésitent pas à saborder les embarcations pour placer les autorités européennes devant le forfait accompli. En réalité, on peut se poser toutes les questions du monde, on ne trouvera la réponse la plus satisfaisante à une question douloureuse désormais existentielle que lorsqu’on se débarrassera des deux obstacles qui empêchent toute appréhension rationnelle. Le premier obstacle est d’ordre juridique autant que politique. Tant que les déboutés du droit d’asile ne seront pas reconduits hors des frontières européennes, il n’y a aucune chance et même aucune raison que les peuples d’Europe, soucieux de la sécurité et du bien-être de leurs enfants comme de l’identité (le mot dit maudit) de leur pays, acceptent la situation actuelle. Et au-delà de la question de l’asile, et notamment en France, il est normal que le fait que des centaines de milliers de sans-papiers se maintiennent illégalement autant qu’ouvertement inspire aux citoyens chaque jour plus exaspérés un sentiment de révolte légitime. Ainsi, c’est le bafouement flagrant des lois républicaines sur la régulation des flux migratoires qui est le premier ennemi du réfugié éligible au droit d’asile qui mérite notre protection. Que penser, par ailleurs, de ce slogan qui attendait les migrants de l’Aquarius à leur arrivée à bon port espagnol: «Bienvenus chez vous»? Bienvenus chez nous, pourquoi pas, mais… «chez vous»! Pourquoi des migrants illégaux seraient-ils chez eux? Et même les réfugiés éligibles au droit d’asile, n’ont-ils pas vocation un jour de rentrer chez eux? Mais derrière cette question, on sent bien qu’il n’y a plus en Europe de «chez nous» pour personne sinon le monde entier, dans la tête des idéologues sans frontières, et que le mot «hôte» justifie plus que jamais son double sens absurde. Le second obstacle découle du premier. Mais il est de l’ordre de la psychologie et de la morale collective. Ainsi, il existe en Europe, et notamment en France, des gens, peu nombreux mais puissants médiatiquement et socialement qui refusent sans le dire ouvertement le respect des lois migratoires précisément dans le même cadre métapolitique que l’Open Society mondialiste de George Soros et de bien d’autres ONG. Il leur arrive parfois de l’avouer par mégarde puis de le regretter. C’est ainsi par exemple que j’ai réussi à faire dire à Iann Brossat, future tête de liste du Parti Communiste aux élections européennes et surtout adjoint au logement de Madame Hidalgo, qu’il ne saurait être question de reconduire les personnes déboutées de leur revendication au droit d’asile (RMC). Dès lors, que penser de la politique de la mairie de Paris qui, le lundi matin, joue à guichets ouverts l’accueil bruyant et entraînant de tous les migrants et, le mardi soir, se lamente de l’indignité de leur situation et incrimine la carence d’état? Dans ce cadre rien moins que sincère et rationnel, les ennemis déclarés de l’Europe des frontières continuent d’user de leur arme favorite: l’antinazisme fantasmé. C’est ainsi par exemple que l’ineffable mais combien populaire à Cannes et dans les médias, Cédric Herrou a twitté ainsi cette obscénité: «Quand Éric Ciotti dit en 2018 «mettons les migrants en Libye» il dirait en 1940 mettons-les dans des chambres à gaz». Bref l’utilisation nauséabonde d’un gaz incapacitant par voie de gazouillis écoeurant. Mais ces petits maîtres-chanteurs de Nuremberg et de l’antinazisme devenu fou ont, pour cause d’avoir trop crié au retour du loup, une voix enrouée qui porte désormais moins loin. Tout cela marche moins bien et les peuples ne marchent plus du tout. De l’Italie jusqu’en Autriche en passant par l’Allemagne. Et même en Israël. La semaine dernière, un tabou jusque-là entretenu avec une vigilance obsessionnelle autant que névrotique a été levé. Le chancelier autrichien Sébastien Kurz, pourtant allié à la droite dure, s’est rendu en Israël. Accompagné d’un ministre israélien, il s’est rendu au mémorial de Yad va Shem pour s’incliner devant les victimes de la Shoah. Il venait de décider d’expulser des imams islamistes radicaux inféodés à Erdogan. Il va être très difficile, malgré tous les efforts, de le faire passer pour un nazi antisémite, quand bien même il se montrera attaché au sort de ses compatriotes germaniques. Vous verrez que bientôt les populistes passeront pour plus intelligents et même plus généreux que les fausses élites aux cœurs artificiels. Gilles-William Goldnadel
Why would she put our little daughter through that ? (…) I do think it was irresponsible of her to take the baby with her in her arms because we don’t know what could happen. Denis Hernandez

Attention: une barbarie peut en cacher une autre !

A l’heure où de la frontière américano-mexicaine à l’Italie ou à l’Espagne …

Et à l’instar des boucliers humains du Hamas

C’est désormais derrière leurs enfants que les clandestins sont invités à faire leur « marche du retour » « chez eux »

Et qu’une mesure prévue pour protéger les enfants dans un pays où contrairement à la Corée du nord on n’emprisonne pas les enfants avec leurs parents

Se voit qualifier de criminelle par ceux-là mêmes qui pour « vivre leur rêve américain » sont prêts à sacrifier à la Aylan Kurdi la vie de leurs propres enfants …

Pendant qu’entre une Kate ou une Susanna une population osant regretter son « chez nous » se voit immédiatement excommuniée pour populisme

 Et que tout en ayant profité depuis 70 ans du parapluie nucléaire américain, c’est aux pires dictatures de la planète que l’on confie la surveillance des droits de l’homme

Devinez qui entre « fake news » et « fake history » y compris dans les têtes de nos enfants, on accuse à présent de cruauté et de barbarie nazie ?

Border Politics and the Use and Abuse of History
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
June 19, 2018

Much has been written — some of it either inaccurate or designed to obfuscate the issue ahead of the midterms for political purposes — about the border fiasco and the unfortunate separation of children from parents. Rich Lowry’s brief analysis is the most insightful.

The media outrage usually does not include examination of why the Trump administration is enforcing existing laws that it inherited from the Bush and Obama administrations that at any time could have been changed by both Democratic and Republican majorities in Congress; of the use of often dubious asylum claims as a way of obtaining entry otherwise denied to those without legal authorization — a gambit that injures or at least hampers thousands with legitimate claims of political persecution; of the seeming unconcern for the safety of children by some would-be asylum seekers who illegally cross the border, rather than first applying legally at a U.S. consulate abroad; of the fact that many children are deliberately sent ahead, unescorted on such dangerous treks to help facilitate their own parents’ later entrance; of the cynicism of the cartels that urge and facilitate such mass rushes to the border to overwhelm general enforcement; and of the selective outrage of the media in 2018 in a fashion not known under similar policies and detentions of the past.

In 2014, during a similar rush, both Barack Obama (“Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back.”) and Hillary Clinton (“We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”) warned — again to current media silence — would-be asylum seekers not to use children as levers to enter the U.S.

A few other random thoughts. Mexico is the recipient of about $30 billion in annual remittances (aside from perhaps more than $20 billion annually sent to Central America) from mostly illegal aliens within the U.S. It is the beneficiary of an annual $71 billion trade surplus with the U.S. And it is mostly culpable for once again using illegal immigration and the lives of its own citizens — and allowing Central Americans unfettered transit through its country — as cynical tools of domestic and foreign policy.

Mexico’s policies of deliberately exporting its own citizens are decades-old and hinge on providing it a social safety valve in lieu of domestic economic and human-rights reforms.

Illegal immigration, increasingly of mostly indigenous peoples, ensures an often racist Mexico City a steady stream of remittances (now its greatest source of foreign exchange), without much worry about how its indigent abroad can scrimp to send such massive sums back to Mexico. Facilitating illegal immigration also establishes and fosters a favorable expatriate demographic inside the U.S. that helps to recalibrate U.S. policy favorably toward Mexico. And Mexico City also uses immigration as a policy irritant to the U.S. that can be magnified or lessened, depending on Mexico’s own particular foreign-policy goals and moods at any given time.

All of the above call into question whether Mexico is a NAFTA ally, a neutral, or a belligerent, a status that may become perhaps clearer during its upcoming presidential elections. So far, it assumes that the optics of this human tragedy facilitate its own political agendas, but it may be just as likely that its cynicism could fuel renewed calls for a wall and reexamination of the entire Mexican–U.S. relationship and, indeed, NAFTA.

Finally, it is unfortunate that former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden and former first lady Laura Bush have both demagogued the issue by respective grotesque and ignorant comparisons of current border shelters to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and the forced Japanese internment during World War II. At its horrendous peak in August 1944, the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex on some days exterminated 10,000 human beings and may have cumulatively murdered well over 1 million Jews, as well as Eastern Europeans and Russians.

To suggest that a detainee center is anything similar to that industrial killing monstrosity is unhinged, abhorrent — and shameful. It is an insult to current U.S. border-enforcement personnel who do a heroic job at great risk to protect the border in a humane fashion under unimaginable conditions and political pressures. And it is a greater injury to the lost 6 million of the Holocaust when their fate is so cavalierly and ignorantly used for political advantage. Hayden also should remember that during his own tenure at the NSA and as CIA director, he was constantly and in exaggerated style besmirched on issues such as “enhanced interrogation,” drones, and intrusive surveillance. He too often became the object of frequent and unfair comparisons to various Nazi allusions of the sort that he is now promulgating against the Trump administration.

Equally ironic is that during the Abu Ghraib controversies, the Iraq War furor, and the post-9/11 renditions, George W. Bush — a constant target of brown shirt/fascist/Nazi slurs — was on occasion loosely compared to instigators of fascistic round-ups, including but not limited to the Japanese internment.

Moreover, we often forget that the forced relocation and internment was an unconstitutional and amoral act aimed at mostly Japanese-Americans citizens (among them the parents and grandparents of my current neighboring farmers), along with some Japanese residents.

It was whipped up by the feverish progressive McClatchy Bee papers, facilitated by California attorney general Earl Warren (“The Japanese situation as it exists in this state today may well be the Achilles heel of the entire civilian defense effort.”), who found the hysterical atmosphere that he helped create quite useful in getting elected governor in 1942, and, of course, green-lighted by a progressive FDR and his wartime advisers, especially Harvard Law grad John J. McCloy, a blue-chip Wall Street lawyer, FDR intimate, and later World Bank president, Ford Foundation head, and chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. Unlike Warren, McCloy never regretted his instrumental role in the Japanese-American internment.

One can disagree with a current policy without stooping to distort history to smear an administration, especially when such tactics in the past have been used against those now employing them.

Voir de plus:

The Truth about Separating Kids
Rich Lowry
National Review
May 28, 2018

Some economic migrants are using children as chits, but the problem is fixable — if Congress acts.The latest furor over Trump immigration policy involves the separation of children from parents at the border.

As usual, the outrage obscures more than it illuminates, so it’s worth walking through what’s happening here.

For the longest time, illegal immigration was driven by single males from Mexico. Over the last decade, the flow has shifted to women, children, and family units from Central America. This poses challenges we haven’t confronted before and has made what once were relatively minor wrinkles in the law loom very large.

The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)

When a migrant is prosecuted for illegal entry, he or she is taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals. In no circumstance anywhere in the U.S. do the marshals care for the children of people they take into custody. The child is taken into the custody of HHS, who cares for them at temporary shelters.

The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravating factor such as a prior illegal entity or another crime. The migrants generally plead guilty, and they are then sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day, although practices vary along the border. After this, they are returned to the custody of ICE.

If the adult then wants to go home, in keeping with the expedited order of removal that is issued as a matter of course, it’s relatively simple. The adult should be reunited quickly with his or her child, and the family returned home as a unit. In this scenario, there’s only a very brief separation.

Where it becomes much more of an issue is if the adult files an asylum claim. In that scenario, the adults are almost certainly going to be detained longer than the government is allowed to hold their children.

That’s because of something called the Flores Consent Decree from 1997. It says that unaccompanied children can be held only 20 days. A ruling by the Ninth Circuit extended this 20-day limit to children who come as part of family units. So even if we want to hold a family unit together, we are forbidden from doing so.

The clock ticking on the time the government can hold a child will almost always run out before an asylum claim is settled. The migrant is allowed ten days to seek an attorney, and there may be continuances or other complications.

This creates the choice of either releasing the adults and children together into the country pending the ajudication of the asylum claim, or holding the adults and releasing the children. If the adult is held, HHS places the child with a responsible party in the U.S., ideally a relative (migrants are likely to have family and friends here).

Even if Flores didn’t exist, the government would be very constrained in how many family units it can accommodate. ICE has only about 3,000 family spaces in shelters. It is also limited in its overall space at the border, which is overwhelmed by the ongoing influx. This means that — whatever the Trump administration would prefer to do — many adults are still swiftly released.

Why try to hold adults at all? First of all, if an asylum-seeker is detained, it means that the claim goes through the process much more quickly, a couple of months or less rather than years. Second, if an adult is released while the claim is pending, the chances of ever finding that person again once he or she is in the country are dicey, to say the least. It is tantamount to allowing the migrant to live here, no matter what the merits of the case.

A few points about all this:

1) Family units can go home quickly. The option that both honors our laws and keeps family units together is a swift return home after prosecution. But immigrant advocates hate it because they want the migrants to stay in the United States. How you view this question will depend a lot on how you view the motivation of the migrants (and how seriously you take our laws and our border).

2) There’s a better way to claim asylum. Every indication is that the migrant flow to the United States is discretionary. It nearly dried up at the beginning of the Trump administration when migrants believed that they had no chance of getting into the United States. Now, it is going in earnest again because the message got out that, despite the rhetoric, the policy at the border hasn’t changed. This strongly suggests that the flow overwhelmingly consists of economic migrants who would prefer to live in the United States, rather than victims of persecution in their home country who have no option but to get out.

Even if a migrant does have a credible fear of persecution, there is a legitimate way to pursue that claim, and it does not involve entering the United States illegally. First, such people should make their asylum claim in the first country where they feel safe, i.e., Mexico or some other country they are traversing to get here. Second, if for some reason they are threatened everywhere but the United States, they should show up at a port of entry and make their claim there rather than crossing the border illegally.

3) There is a significant moral cost to not enforcing the border. There is obviously a moral cost to separating a parent from a child and almost everyone would prefer not to do it. But, under current policy and with the current resources, the only practical alternative is letting family units who show up at the border live in the country for the duration. Not only does this make a mockery of our laws, it creates an incentive for people to keep bringing children with them.

Needless to say, children should not be making this journey that is fraught with peril. But there is now a premium on bringing children because of how we have handled these cases. They are considered chits.

In April, the New York Times reported:

Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner.

Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing.
According to azcentral.com, it is “common to have parents entrust their children to a smuggler as a favor or for profit.”

If someone is determined to come here illegally, the decent and safest thing would be to leave the child at home with a relative and send money back home. Because we favor family units over single adults, we are creating an incentive to do the opposite and use children to cut deals with smugglers.

4) Congress can fix this. Congress can change the rules so the Flores consent decree will no longer apply, and it can appropriate more money for family shelters at the border. This is an obvious thing to do that would eliminate the tension between enforcing our laws and keeping family units together. The Trump administration is throwing as many resources as it can at the border to expedite the process, and it desperately wants the Flores consent decree reversed. Despite some mixed messages, if the administration had its druthers, family units would be kept together and their cases settled quickly.

The missing piece here is Congress, but little outrage will be directed at it, and probably nothing will be done. And so our perverse system will remain in place and the crisis at the border will rumble on.

Voir de même:

Media Dishonesty on Immigration Contributes to Gridlock
Ben Shapiro
National Review
June 19, 2018

The hysteria over border-enforcement problems benefits Democrats — and gives them no incentive to fix the problem. The illegal-immigration issue has always been one fraught with politicking. We always hear the same refrain from both sides: that people are suffering and living in the shadows; that we must find a solution for them as well as a way to solidify our border security. And yet nothing ever gets done.

The impression of some in the press seems to be that nothing gets done because of a lack of public pressure. If only they could somehow jar American sensibilities into solving this problem once and for all!

Certainly, that’s the motivation that lies behind the sudden media enthusiasm for covering the phenomenon of Immigration and Customs Enforcement separating children from their illegal-immigrant parents at the border. For the last week, the attention has been nearly wall-to-wall — and the moral preening has hit an all-time apex. MSNBC is now analyzing Biblical verses while asking, “What Would Jesus Do?” (Does this mean Trump has finally won the War on Christmas?) Chuck Todd of NBC News is accusing Republicans of holding kids “hostage.” Media members are breaking land-speed records to rush down to the border in order to shout their outrage over the holding pens in which the authorities are holding small children.

Presumably, all of this is designed to effectuate change.

Instead, it achieves precisely the opposite.
That’s because the media coverage of the illegal-immigration issue has always been shot through with emotionally manipulative falsehoods. In this case, that manipulation has been particularly extreme.

We’ve heard that the Trump administration has heartlessly sought to rip toddlers from the arms of their weeping mothers in order to punish illegal-immigrant parents who are merely seeking asylum. But the truth is more complex: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that even accompanied immigrant minors must be released from custody within 20 days. That means that if their parents do not arrive at a point of entry to claim asylum, and instead violate the law by crossing the border illegally, they will be arrested — and their children must then be separated from them by the working of the law. The only possible solution, without a change to the law itself, would involve releasing illegal-immigrant parents along with their children into the general population.

We’ve also heard about the terrible living conditions in the holding centers for these children. Likely, some of that is true — although the stories from various sources conflict. But those facilities were overburdened for years before Trump took office; in fact, the media covered these same facilities and pointed out the problems therein during the Obama administration. In other words, this isn’t a Trumpian attempt to dump kids in hellholes. It’s a longtime problem that has yet to be solved.

In reality, all of this could be solved with simple legislation. The House of Representatives is actually set to take up the issue of family separation in both versions of the immigration bill being presented in the House. But Democrats probably won’t sign on to either bill — and it’s unlikely they’d even sign onto an independent piece of legislation designed to allow children to stay with their illegal-immigrant parents until their cases can be adjudicated. That’s because thanks to biased media coverage — and, in some cases, outright falsehoods — Democrats are winning the public-relations war. The longer the Democrats prevent a solution from arising, the more they gain in the public-opinion polls. So they have little incentive to come to the table around an immigration solution — their better political option remains to wait Trump out and let the press inflict damage on him. There’s a reason every Republican attempt at immigration reform has stalled out over the past two decades — and there’s a reason Democrats have celebrated every time they have. There’s also a reason that Democrats with unified control of the presidency and Congress attempted no serious immigration reform. Better to let the problem fester for political gain than to attempt to solve it.

If the media truly wished to contribute to a solution, all they’d have to do is cover the issue honestly. Yes, Trump is enforcing the laws against crossing the border illegally more harshly than the Obama administration did. But he didn’t create the separation policy. Yes, Trump has spoken with great passion in favor of stronger border controls. But he’s also offered a bigger amnesty for so-called DREAMers than even Barack Obama did.

Instead of using truth as a guide, however, the press continue to suggest that base animus animates conservative feelings on immigration. This leads to a political prisoner’s dilemma in which everyone’s best option is stasis: Republicans are best off doing nothing, since they’ll earn nothing but scorn for any action they take from the press anyway, as well as the undying enmity of many in their base; Democrats are best off doing nothing, since they can count on the press to clock Republicans for any immigration failures. The only ones who lose out are the American people.

Voir encore:

The Anti-Trump Media’s ‘Missing Kids’ Myth

The viral story not a mistake but the product of unchecked bias.

Jonathan S. Tobin
National Review
June 1, 2018

It was a mistake so egregious and so widespread that even the New York Times, the flagship of liberal journalism — and not the source of the original story — felt it had to devote an article to explaining how it happened.

Last weekend a horrifying tale about the Trump administration “losing” 1,500 children was all over the Internet. The hashtag #Wherearethechildren went viral on Twitter. Adding fuel to the fire was a photo depicting children being kept in cages.

The only problem was that the children weren’t lost and the photo was taken during the Obama administration. The Left’s eagerness to embrace this “fake news” stemmed, according to the Times’s Amanda Taub, from “partisan polarization,” and as a result the tale “spread across liberal social media.”

Yet the problem goes a lot deeper than that. Anti-Trump readers and viewers may have fallen victim to confirmation bias, but prestige media outlets also deserve a lot of the blame. Even when such stories are later debunked, as this one was, these outlets habitually feed viral myths to the public and create a climate in which any anti-Trump claim seems believable. Instead of asking readers to engage in some introspection about their credulousness, liberal journalists should look at their own behavior.

For starters, it wasn’t just social media that spread the “missing children” myth. Some media outlets ran headlines asserting that the government had “lost track” of immigrant children, a claim easily conflated with Trump’s decision to separate parents and children at the border. Most egregiously, an Arizona Republic story (republished at USA Today and corrected about a week later) reported as fact that the government had lost children in its own custody.

But as the Times explained, these children were not separated from their parents but rather had arrived illegally at the border on their own, seeking asylum. Most said they had fled their homes in Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala to escape drug-cartel and gang violence. They were then placed in the homes of adults who had agreed to sponsor them, often relatives. But, as has happened for years, including during the Obama administration, many of these children ran away or left the United States, or the adult sponsors (who might have their own troubles with the law) refused to pick up the phone when the government checked up on them. Hence, the figure of 1,475 children “missing.”

The policy of separating parents from children is not entirely new, either. Indeed, it is standard when adults who have committed a crime are arrested. The only alternatives are to create a detention system for families, a policy to which the ACLU objected under Obama (the policy is barred under a 1997 consent decree), or simply not to detain illegal entrants at all before their court hearings, allowing them to disappear into the country.

Arrests are up, of course, thanks to the Trump administration’s attempts to deter illegal immigration. This was a necessary departure from the previous administration’s soft approach to this serious problem.

The knee-jerk anger of the Left against Trump’s policies doesn’t really stem from the debate over the issue, though of course Americans are divided about how to deal with illegal immigrants. More fundamentally, it stems from the polarization Taub discusses — and more specifically, from the divisions the media constantly reinforce. Americans read, listen to, and watch different media and have largely forgotten how to deal with disagreement except through demonization. To consume what was once called “mainstream media” is to enter into a world not only where Trump is never given the benefit of the doubt but where everything he does or says is not reported so much as presented as evidence against him in a daily trial.

There is much to criticize about Trump’s tweets, utterances, and behavior. But anger at his presence in the White House has caused many journalists to discard their professional principles and any sense of restraint. At places like CNN, and even at the Times to some extent, the church–state divide between news and opinion has completely broken down. Panel discussions have become competitions in Trump-bashing. News reports are slanted to take Trump’s guilt or incompetence as a given.

In his farewell address as president Tuesday, Barack Obama warned of the dangers of uncontrolled partisanship. American democracy, he said, is weakened “when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive that people of good character are turned off from public service, so coarse with rancor that Americans with whom we disagree are not just misguided, but somehow malevolent.”

That seems a well-founded worry. Partisan bias now operates more like racism than mere political disagreement, academic research on the subject shows. And this widespread prejudice could have serious consequences for American democracy.

The partisan divide is easy to detect if you know where to look. Consider the thinly disguised sneer in most articles and editorials about so-called fake news. The very phrase implies that the people who read and spread the kind of false political stories that swirled online during the election campaign must either be too dumb to realize they’re being duped or too dishonest to care that they’re spreading lies.

But the fake-news phenomenon is not the result of personal failings. And it is not limited to one end of the political spectrum. Rather, Americans’ deep bias against the political party they oppose is so strong that it acts as a kind of partisan prism for facts, refracting a different reality to Republicans than to Democrats.

Partisan refraction has fueled the rise of fake news, according to researchers who study the phenomenon. But the repercussions go far beyond stories shared on Facebook and Reddit, affecting Americans’ faith in government — and the government’s ability to function.

The power of partisan bias

In 2009, Sean Westwood, then a Stanford Ph.D. student, discovered that partisanship was one of the most powerful forces in American life. He got annoyed with persistent squabbles among his friends, and he noticed that they seemed to be breaking along partisan lines, even when they concerned issues that ostensibly had nothing to do with politics.

“I didn’t expect political conflict to spill over from political aspects of our lives to nonpolitical aspects of our lives, and I saw that happening in my social group,” said Mr. Westwood, now a professor at Dartmouth.

He wondered if this was a sign that the role of partisanship in American life was changing. Previously, partisan conflict mostly applied to political issues like taxes or abortion. Now it seemed, among his acquaintances at least, to be operating more like racism or sexism, fueling negative or positive judgments on people themselves, based on nothing more than their party identification.

Curious, Mr. Westwood looked at the National Election Study, a long-running survey that tracks Americans’ political opinions and behavior. He found that until a few decades ago, people’s feelings about their party and the opposing party were not too different. But starting in the 1980s, Americans began to report increasingly negative opinions of their opposing party.

Since then, that polarization has grown even stronger. The reasons for that are unclear. “I suspect that part of it has to do with the rise of constant 24-hour news,” Mr. Westwood said, “and also the shift that we’ve unfortunately gone through in which elections are more or less now a permanent state of affairs.”

To find out more about the consequences of that polarization, Mr. Westwood, along with Shanto Iyengar, a Stanford professor who studies political communication, embarked on a series of experiments. They found something quite shocking: Not only did party identity turn out to affect people’s behavior and decision making broadly, even on apolitical subjects, but according to their data it also had more influence on the way Americans behaved than race did.

That is a sea change in the role of partisanship in public life, Mr. Westwood said.

“Partisanship, for a long period of time, wasn’t viewed as part of who we are,” he said. “It wasn’t core to our identity. It was just an ancillary trait. But in the modern era we view party identity as something akin to gender, ethnicity or race — the core traits that we use to describe ourselves to others.”

That has made the personal political. “Politics has become so important that people select relationships on that basis,” Mr. Iyengar said. For instance, it has become quite rare for Democrats to marry Republicans, according to the same Westwood/Iyengar paper, which cited a finding in a 2009 survey of married couples that only 9 percent consisted of Democrat-Republican pairs. And it has become more rare for children to have a different party affiliation from their parents.

But it has also made the political personal. Today, political parties are no longer just the people who are supposed to govern the way you want. They are a team to support, and a tribe to feel a part of. And the public’s view of politics is becoming more and more zero-sum: It’s about helping their team win, and making sure the other team loses.

How partisan bias fuels fake news

Partisan tribalism makes people more inclined to seek out and believe stories that justify their pre-existing partisan biases, whether or not they are true.

“If I’m a rabid Trump voter and I don’t know much about public affairs, and I see something about some scandal about Hillary Clinton’s aides being involved in an assassination attempt, or that story about the pope endorsing Trump, then I’d be inclined to believe it,” Mr. Iyengar said. “This is reinforcing my beliefs about the value of a Trump candidacy.”

And Clinton voters, he said, would be similarly drawn to stories that deride Mr. Trump as a demagogue or a sexual predator.

Sharing those stories on social media is a way to show public support for one’s partisan team — roughly the equivalent of painting your face with team colors on game day.

“You want to show that you’re a good member of your tribe,” Mr. Westwood said. “You want to show others that Republicans are bad or Democrats are bad, and your tribe is good. Social media provides a unique opportunity to publicly declare to the world what your beliefs are and how willing you are to denigrate the opposition and reinforce your own political candidates.”

Partisan bias fuels fake news because people of all partisan stripes are generally quite bad at figuring out what news stories to believe. Instead, they use trust as a shortcut. Rather than evaluate a story directly, people look to see if someone credible believes it, and rely on that person’s judgment to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.

“There are many, many decades of research on communication on the importance of source credibility,” said John Sides, a professor at George Washington University who studies political communication.

Partisan bias strongly influences whom people perceive as trustworthy. One of the experiments that Mr. Westwood and Mr. Iyengar conducted demonstrated that people are much more likely to trust members of their party. In that experiment, they gave study participants $10 and asked how much they wanted to give to another player. Whatever that second player received would be multiplied, and he or she would then have a chance to return some of the cash to the original player.

How much confidence would the participant have that the other player would give some of the money back? They found that participants gave more money if they were told the other player supported the same political party as they did.

Partisanship’s influence on trust means that when there is a partisan divide among experts, Mr. Sides said, “you get people believing wildly different sets of facts.”

Beyond fake news: how the partisan divide affects politics

The fake news that flourished during the election is a noticeable manifestation of that dynamic, but it’s not what experts like Mr. Iyengar and Mr. Westwood find most worrying. To them, the bigger concern is that the natural consequence of this growing national divide will be a feedback loop in which the public’s bias encourages extremism among politicians, undermining public faith in government institutions and their ability to function.

Politicians “have an incentive to attack, to go after their opponents, to reveal to their own side that they are good members of the tribe, that they are saying all the right things,” Mr. Iyengar said. “This is an incentive for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to behave in a hyperpartisan manner in order to excite their base.”

That feeds partisan bias among the public by reinforcing the idea that the opposition is made up of bad or dangerous people, which then creates more demand for political extremism.

The result is an environment in which compromise and collaboration with the opposing party are seen as signs of weakness, and of being a bad member of the tribe.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” Mr. Iyengar said. “All of this is going to make policy-making and fact-finding more problematic.”

He already sees it affecting politicians’ partisan response to Russia’s election interference, for instance: “The Republicans are going to resist the notion that there was an intervention by the Russians that may have benefited Trump, because it is an inconvenient act. Whereas the Democrats are obviously motivated to seize upon that as a plausible account of what occurred.”

Mr. Westwood agreed. When Russia intervened in the American election, “for a lot of voters it was to help defeat Hillary Clinton, so it’s not surprising that many Republicans see that as righteous.”

“To be cliché, the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” he said.

Already, partisan bias is undermining confidence in the last election. “We saw some symptoms of that in this last campaign,” Mr. Iyengar said. “You begin to have doubts about the legitimacy of the election. And you begin to view the outcome as somehow contaminated or tainted. And you had all of Trump’s comments about how he would not concede if the election went to Clinton, and then you had all the people demonstrating.”

Now, “you have quite a few people who are willing to call into question an institution for centuries that has been sacrosanct,” Mr. Iyengar said.

Mr. Westwood was even more pessimistic. “The consequences of that are insane,” he said, “and potentially devastating to the norms of democratic governance.”

“I don’t think things are going to get better in the short term; I don’t think they’re going to get better in the long term. I think this is the new normal.”

Voir encore:

Lost in the debate is any acknowledgment that President Obama’s administration also used detention facilities.

Current U.S. immigration laws, when enforced, have the consequence of temporarily separating adults who arrive with children into separate detention facilities in order to prosecute the adults.

The policy of prosecuting immigrants for crossing the border illegally has been in place for multiple administrations. The Obama administration prosecuted half a million illegal immigrants and similarly separated families in the process. So did the Bush administration.

Personal accounts from immigration lawyers tell a tale of Obama being equally concerned about unaccompanied minors traveling to the border and wanting to create a deterrent.

Photos of border detention facilities from the Obama-era, taken during 2014, look nearly identical to the ones taken during the Trump era.

You never see them, however. Here they are, taken in 2014 during a media tour of Obama-era detention facilities in Brownsville, Texas, and Nogales, Arizona.

As the Daily Caller previously reported, “Obama administration prosecuted nearly 500,000 illegal immigrants between FY 2010-FY2016. They referred 1/5 of illegals for prosecution, which often resulted in family separations.”

Editor’s Note: Two of the 32 photos originally included in this post were found to be from a CPB press handout June 17, 2018. They have since been removed.

Voir de plus:

What Trump Gets Right About Europe

Jochen Bittner

Mr. Bittner is a political editor for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and a contributing opinion writer.

NYT

HAMBURG, Germany — Most people can agree that international affairs should not be conducted by tweet — especially when the tweeter in question is Donald Trump. Among other reasons, it’s easy to dismiss the president’s mercurial rage and flagrant insults as little more than temper tantrums.

But that’s a mistake. Mr. Trump’s anger at America’s allies embodies, however unpleasantly, a not unreasonable point of view, and one that the rest of the world ignores at its peril: The global world order is unbalanced and inequitable. And unless something is done to correct it soon, it will collapse, with or without the president’s tweets.

While the West happily built the liberal order over the past 70 years, with Europe at its center, the Americans had the continent’s back. In turn, as it unravels, America feels this loss of balance the hardest — it has always spent the most money and manpower to keep the system working.

The Europeans have basically been free riders on the voyage, spending almost nothing on defense, and instead building vast social welfare systems at home and robust, well-protected export industries abroad. Rather than lash back at Mr. Trump, they would do better to ask how we got to this place, and how to get out.

The European Union, as an institution, is one of the prime drivers of this inequity. At the Group of 7, for example, the constituent countries are described as all equals. But in reality, the union puts a thumb on the scales in its members’ favor: It is a highly integrated, well-protected free-trade area that gives a huge leg up to, say, German car manufacturers while essentially punishing American companies who want to trade in the region.

The eurozone offers a similar unfair advantage. If it were not for the euro, Germany would long ago have had to appreciate its currency in line with its enormous export surplus.

Sure, eurozone membership makes imports to Germany more expensive than they would be under the deutschemark; wage restraint has also helped maintain the competitiveness of German machinery. But how can the very same politicians and journalists who defended the euro bailout payments during the financial crisis, arguing that Germany profited disproportionately from the common currency, now go berserk when Mr. Trump makes exactly this point?

German manufacturers also have the advantage of operating in a common market with huge wage gaps. Bulgaria, one of the poorest member states, has a per capita gross domestic product roughly equal to that of Gabon, while even in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary — three relative success stories among the recent entrants to the union — that same measure is still roughly a third of what it is in Germany. Under the European Union, German manufacturers can assemble their cars in low-wage countries and export them without worrying about tariffs or other trade barriers. If your plant sits in Detroit, you might find the president’s anger over this fact persuasive.

Mr. Trump is not the first president to complain about the unfair burden sharing within NATO. He’s merely the first president not just to talk tough, but to get tough.

Indeed, while his actions are shocking, the Europeans cannot say they are surprised. The warnings from the Obama administration that America’s indulgence might eventually cease had been plenty. Yet Europeans didn’t care much. All those German politicians who oppose raising military spending from a meager 1.3 percent of gross domestic product should try to explain to American students why their European peers enjoy free universities and health care, while they leave it up to others to cover for the West’s military infrastructure.

Europe’s unfair trade advantage is not the only challenge to the liberal world order. In retrospect, allowing China into the World Trade Organization — one of that order’s crowning achievements — was a huge mistake.

When the door was opened, in 2001, many in the West believed that a growing Chinese middle class, enriched by and engaged with the world economy, would eventually claim voice and suffrage, thereby democratizing China. The opposite has happened. China, which has grown wealthy in part by stealing intellectual property from the West, is turning into an online-era dictatorship, while still denying reciprocity in investment and trade relations.

Is this how you behave as a privileged member of the world’s business club? China’s unchecked abuse of the global free-trade regime makes a mockery of the very idea that the world can operate according to a rules-based order. Again, while many in the West have talked the talk about taking on China, only Mr. Trump has actually done something about it.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs against Europe are patently illegal, and Europe should retaliate. But simply punishing the makers of motorcycles, blue jeans and bourbon whiskey doesn’t solve any of the problems festering beneath the skin of the liberal world order. Europe needs to understand what is driving Mr. Trump’s anger and cooperate with Washington to fix the imbalances in the system.

That’s easy to say in theory, but can Europe work with Mr. Trump in practice? Maybe not. But there’s no real choice. And there’s a good chance for success if Europe engages Mr. Trump by his New York tycoon soul — he needs to be convinced that he’s getting a good deal. And right now, it’s easy to see why he thinks otherwise.

Jochen Bittner is a political editor for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and a contributing opinion writer.

Voir par ailleurs:

Goldnadel : «Quelles motivations poursuivent vraiment les ONG de sauvetage des migrants

FIGAROVOX/CHRONIQUE – Gilles-William Goldnadel s’interroge sur les motivations réelles de l’association SOS Méditerranée, qui a porté secours à des centaines de migrants avant de les acheminer en Espagne à bord de l’Aquarius.


Gilles-William Goldnadel est avocat et essayiste. Il est président de l’association France-Israël. Toutes les semaines, il décrypte l’actualité pour FigaroVox.


Toutes les questions que vous vous êtes posées sur la crise migratoire à travers l’odyssée de l’Aquarius, sans avoir osé le demander.

Et pour cause, dans le climat actuel d’hystérie, le fait de demander risque de vous exposer à être soumis à la question par la grande inquisition.

Vous pourriez, tout d’abord, vous interroger sur la question du droit maritime international dont on a dit un peu vite que l’Italie l’avait foulé aux pieds.

Et vous n’auriez pas tort. Les spécialistes les plus pointus, dans ce domaine mouvant, estiment que l’Aquarius n’était pas dans une situation de détresse qui commandait juridiquement son entrée au port.

Vous pourriez également vous étonner du manque de précisions sur l’origine des passagers du bateau. Un esprit chagrin pourrait être porté à penser que, précisément, cette absence de précision par ceux qui les transportent signifierait qu’il s’agissait de migrants économiques et non de réfugiés de guerre éligibles au droit d’asile, au moins dans sa conception extensive actuelle.

Vous pourriez également vous interroger légitimement sur le propriétaire de l’Aquarius.

L’auteur du présent article l’a fait à voix haute au micro de RMC en suggérant que, peut-être, George Soros, spéculateur international autant que philanthrope internationaliste se cachait, via sa fondation Open Society, derrière SOS Méditerranée qui est l’affréteur de l’Aquarius. Le site Checknews de Libération a passé au crible mes prudentes mais hérétiques déclarations. Évoquant un «raccourci» de ma part tout en empruntant un long tunnel, les décodeurs libérés ont admis, en gentlemen, que l’Open Society était indirectement en lien avec les affréteurs. Cela autorise amplement à se poser la question des arrière-pensées d’une fondation qui milite, et c’est son droit, pour l’immigration sans limites et pour la fin des frontières. Mais ces arrière-pensées métapolitiques sont très loin du discours officiel d’une association SOS Méditerranée qui déclare ne penser qu’au sauvetage des migrants.

Dès lors, vos soupçons commanderaient cette question de bon sens de l’orientation: pour quelle raison, si seul le sauvetage dans l’urgence des migrants venus de la Libye incertaine leur importe, les gens de l’Aquarius ne les ont-ils pas acheminés vers les côtes assurées algériennes et tunisiennes, plus proches que l’Italie? Un peu embarrassée, leur représentante, Sophie Beau, a déclaré que le droit de ces pays était plus impérieux que le droit européen. Voilà qui en dit long pour ne pas dire tout: c’est parce que l’Europe est plus laxiste qu’on dédouane sans question des pays intransigeants mais pourtant plus proches des migrants, ne serait-ce que par la géographie et la religion.

Dans la profondeur de ce déni se niche, comme je l’observe souvent, l’anti-occidentalisme culpabilisateur le plus sournois. Seule l’Europe devrait être comptable du sort des migrants, dès lors que c’est elle qui est coupable. C’est ainsi par exemple que l’ONU le lui a fait souvent grief sans un mot par exemple pour l’Arabie Saoudite et le Qatar, richissimes et déserts, qui expliquent ingénument la fermeture de leurs frontières, y compris à des frères en culture et en langue, au nom d’une exigence de sécurité qui ne se pose évidemment pas pour les peuples d’Europe…

Dès lors que le soupçon vous habite, des questions saugrenues d’intendance vous taraudent.

C’est ainsi par exemple que les responsables de l’Aquarius expliquaient avec insistance que les passagers étaient en surnombre et que la faim les menaçait. Mais pourquoi, dans ce cas hautement prévisible, accepter la présence à bord d’une journaliste d’Euronews et ne pas limiter strictement les passagers au personnel indispensable de bord aux fins de réserver une place supplémentaire à un naufragé?

Enfin et surtout, dès lors que le sauveteur autoproclamé est avant tout un idéologue mondialiste, une question vous hante – et qui a hanté des juges italiens- sur les rapports entretenus avec des passeurs qui n’hésitent pas à saborder les embarcations pour placer les autorités européennes devant le forfait accompli.

En réalité, on peut se poser toutes les questions du monde, on ne trouvera la réponse la plus satisfaisante à une question douloureuse désormais existentielle que lorsqu’on se débarrassera des deux obstacles qui empêchent toute appréhension rationnelle.

Le premier obstacle est d’ordre juridique autant que politique. Tant que les déboutés du droit d’asile ne seront pas reconduits hors des frontières européennes, il n’y a aucune chance et même aucune raison que les peuples d’Europe, soucieux de la sécurité et du bien-être de leurs enfants comme de l’identité (le mot dit maudit) de leur pays, acceptent la situation actuelle. Et au-delà de la question de l’asile, et notamment en France, il est normal que le fait que des centaines de milliers de sans-papiers se maintiennent illégalement autant qu’ouvertement inspire aux citoyens chaque jour plus exaspérés un sentiment de révolte légitime. Ainsi, c’est le bafouement flagrant des lois républicaines sur la régulation des flux migratoires qui est le premier ennemi du réfugié éligible au droit d’asile qui mérite notre protection.

Que penser, par ailleurs, de ce slogan qui attendait les migrants de l’Aquarius à leur arrivée à bon port espagnol: «Bienvenus chez vous»? Bienvenus chez nous, pourquoi pas, mais… «chez vous»!

Le diable se cache derrière une lettre à la place d’une autre. C’est lui qui tyrannise et déboussole les peuples. Pourquoi des migrants illégaux seraient-ils chez eux? Et même les réfugiés éligibles au droit d’asile, n’ont-ils pas vocation un jour de rentrer chez eux? Mais derrière cette question, on sent bien qu’il n’y a plus en Europe de «chez nous» pour personne sinon le monde entier, dans la tête des idéologues sans frontières, et que le mot «hôte» justifie plus que jamais son double sens absurde.

Le second obstacle découle du premier. Mais il est de l’ordre de la psychologie et de la morale collective. Ainsi, il existe en Europe, et notamment en France, des gens, peu nombreux mais puissants médiatiquement et socialement qui refusent sans le dire ouvertement le respect des lois migratoires précisément dans le même cadre métapolitique que l’Open Society mondialiste de George Soros et de bien d’autres ONG.

Il leur arrive parfois de l’avouer par mégarde puis de le regretter. C’est ainsi par exemple que j’ai réussi à faire dire à Iann Brossat, future tête de liste du Parti Communiste aux élections européennes et surtout adjoint au logement de Madame Hidalgo, qu’il ne saurait être question de reconduire les personnes déboutées de leur revendication au droit d’asile (RMC).

Dès lors, que penser de la politique de la mairie de Paris qui, le lundi matin, joue à guichets ouverts l’accueil bruyant et entraînant de tous les migrants et, le mardi soir, se lamente de l’indignité de leur situation et incrimine la carence d’état?

Dans ce cadre rien moins que sincère et rationnel, les ennemis déclarés de l’Europe des frontières continuent d’user de leur arme favorite: l’antinazisme fantasmé.

C’est ainsi par exemple que l’ineffable mais combien populaire à Cannes et dans les médias, Cédric Herrou a twitté ainsi cette obscénité: «Quand Éric Ciotti dit en 2018 «mettons les migrants en Libye» il dirait en 1940 mettons-les dans des chambres à gaz». Bref l’utilisation nauséabonde d’un gaz incapacitant par voie de gazouillis écoeurant.

Mais ces petits maîtres-chanteurs de Nuremberg et de l’antinazisme devenu fou ont, pour cause d’avoir trop crié au retour du loup, une voix enrouée qui porte désormais moins loin.

Tout cela marche moins bien et les peuples ne marchent plus du tout. De l’Italie jusqu’en Autriche en passant par l’Allemagne. Et même en Israël. La semaine dernière, un tabou jusque-là entretenu avec une vigilance obsessionnelle autant que névrotique a été levé. Le chancelier autrichien Sébastien Kurz, pourtant allié à la droite dure, s’est rendu en Israël. Accompagné d’un ministre israélien, il s’est rendu au mémorial de Yad va Shem pour s’incliner devant les victimes de la Shoah. Il venait de décider d’expulser des imams islamistes radicaux inféodés à Erdogan. Il va être très difficile, malgré tous les efforts, de le faire passer pour un nazi antisémite, quand bien même il se montrera attaché au sort de ses compatriotes germaniques.

Vous verrez que bientôt les populistes passeront pour plus intelligents et même plus généreux que les fausses élites aux cœurs artificiels.

Voir aussi:

Goldnadel : «Le mot populiste est-il vraiment une insulte ?»

FIGAROVOX/CHRONIQUE – Pour l’avocat, il est significatif que le nouveau chef du gouvernement italien ait retourné la connotation du mot «populiste», qu’il ne reçoit plus comme une insulte mais dont il fait une revendication. Gilles-William Goldnadel y voit une défaite du «clergé médiatique».


Gilles-William Goldnadel est avocat et essayiste. Il est président de l’association France-Israël. Toutes les semaines, il décrypte l’actualité pour FigaroVox.


Lors de son discours d’intronisation devant la Chambre des députés, le nouveau premier ministre italien – sans étiquette – Giuseppe Conte a accepté d’être appelé désormais «populiste»:«Si être populiste, c’est avoir la capacité d’écouter les besoins du peuple, alors je m’en revendique» s’est-il exclamé.

Certes, le vocable à présent adoubé n’avait pas été choisi initialement par la coalition hétéroclite qui vient de le porter au Palazzo Montecitorio mais au contraire par le parti médiatique pour disqualifier une politique de protection des frontières nationales contre l’immigration illégale et la concurrence déloyale, jugée, par un consensus idéologique aussi réflexe qu’unanime, comme pour le moins vulgaire.

Plusieurs raisons, qui transcendent largement les frontières alpines, peuvent expliquer pour quelles raisons souterraines un responsable politique décide à présent de ramasser une injure du ruisseau pour la porter en drapeau.

D’abord, en raison du discrédit grandissant qu’inspire à l’opinion le journaliste-clerc sermonneur et prêchi-prêcha. L’excommunié par lui ne saurait être tout à fait impie.

Ensuite, l’exaspération devant son pouvoir d’étiquetage unilatéral que s’est arrogé ce qu’on est bien contraint de nommer le clergé médiatique et qui lui permet, contre l’avis de l’intéressé, de lui faire porter le sceau de l’infamie. Aujourd’hui, certaines épithètes utilisées par la communauté médiatique non seulement dans un cadre polémique subjectif mais encore de l’information théoriquement objective ont pour but et avaient pour effet d’obtenir immédiatement de la collectivité un sentiment réflexe d’animosité. En tout état de cause, c’est ce vocabulaire et non un autre qui était de nature à obtenir immédiatement une réaction affective de rejet et de malédiction de grande intensité: «fasciste», «raciste», «xénophobe», «islamophobe»… ou encore «populiste».

Dans de nombreux articles critiques, j’ai eu l’occasion d’observer que dans le cadre de l’information politique prétendument objective, le terme «extrême droite» était utilisé plus souvent et plus facilement que l’épithète «extrême-gauche». Les clercs préférant utiliser pour qualifier des partis et personnalités extrêmement à gauche, en ce compris le Parti Communiste et les Insoumis, les termes moins disqualifiant de «gauche radicale» ou «gauche de la gauche».

Il est difficile de ne pas y déceler un parti pris idéologique au moins inconscient.

Il n’est pas douteux non plus que l’expression «extrême droite» était immédiatement associée dans l’inconscient imaginaire collectif fantasmé au racisme et à l’antisémitisme de la période brune.

Il affuble pourtant le plus souvent des personnalités qui ne sauraient y être associées, ne serait-ce que compte tenu du temps passé depuis cette période largement révolue. Le fait que ce soit celle qu’il m’arrive de nommer l’église cathodique qui s’arroge ce droit sans contrôle d’étiquetage pose un problème démocratique qui ne semble pas la gêner.

Toujours dans le même esprit d’étiquette, on remarquera que l’épithète politique péjorative de «droitier» ne connaît pas de symétrie, le personnel politique français ne comptant apparemment pas de gauchers…

Également on pourra noter que s’il existe nommément sur les réseaux sociaux «une fachosphère» dont l’appellation ne se veut certainement pas flatteuse, les «bolchosphère» et «islamosphère» ne sont pas médiatiquement référencées.

Tout ce qui était excessif a donc fini sans doute par excéder.

Enfin, et peut-être surtout, on constate une réaction de révolte, que j’ai nommée «cambronnisme» et qui incite désormais certains élus du peuple ou des intellectuels transgressifs à défier par les idées, les paroles ou les écrits une idéologie dominante mais défaite qu’ils considèrent désormais comme autant dictatoriale que mortifère.

Il faut dire que les exemples ne manquent pas, ne serait-ce que cette semaine, pour expliquer et la révolte et la colère.

Révolte et colère élémentaires contre une politique d’asile européenne devenue irresponsable.

C’est ainsi qu’on apprenait que la France avait accordé l’asile à l’un des plus hauts cadres de l’État Islamique, Ahmad H. Celui-ci avait obtenu en 2017 le statut de réfugié politique en France alors même qu’il aurait participé au massacre de 1 700 jeunes recrues irakiennes en juin 2014 à Tikrit. On apprenait dans le même temps que 18 personnes en 2016 et 15 en 2017 ont été déchues de leur statut pour «menaces graves» à la sécurité nationale.

Pourtant, lors du récent débat sur le projet de loi immigration, Éric Ciotti, député LR des Alpes-Maritimes, avait déposé un amendement pour que l’OPFRA puisse retirer son statut si un réfugié était soupçonné de radicalisation. Amendement rejeté. Il faut croire que la gauche morale est plus attachée au principe de précaution lorsqu’il s’agit des OGM dont la dangerosité mortelle pour l’homme est pourtant moins scientifiquement établie que celle des islamistes radicaux.

Autre sujet d’exaspération: à en croire Le Monde, il n’y aurait que le parti d’extrême-droite Alternative pour l’Allemagne qui mettrait en cause les autorités de ce pays, accusées d’avoir laissé un suspect réfugié irakien quitter le pays après avoir violé et assassiné une enfant.

En réalité, et comme le reconnaît pourtant le quotidien vespéral, ce drame fait les unes de l’actualité en Allemagne, y compris sur les sites d’information ordinairement peu friands de faits divers. Depuis jeudi soir, tous les journaux du pays consacrent une large place à la mort de Susanna Feldmann, une jeune juive de 14 ans violée et assassinée par un migrant délinquant, Ali Bashar, depuis interpellé au Kurdistan irakien et qui est passé aux aveux et a été extradé.

L’émotion est d’autant plus considérable outre-Rhin qu’ainsi que l’indique Le Monde : «elle fait écho à une autre affaire au centre de l’actualité allemande depuis dix jours: la délivrance de plus d’un millier de titres de séjour indus à des demandeurs d’asile qui n’auraient pas dû les recevoir. Une enquête pour corruption a été ouverte.»

Mais l’idéologie n’est jamais très loin. Selon Thomas Wieder, le journaliste du Monde: «le temps de l’émotion a vite laissé la place à celui de la récupération». Il est ainsi reproché à un député du parti AFD d’avoir profité de la parole qui lui était donné pour entamer une minute de silence «en hommage à Susanna, retrouvée morte à Wiesbaden».

«Le Bundestag est un lieu de débat, pas un lieu d’instrumentalisation politique des victimes» s’est emporté l’un des dirigeants du groupe social-démocrate.

Deux questions un peu vulgaires sinon populistes: lorsque l’on admire en France le sauvetage d’un enfant par un migrant malien sans-papiers et que l’on insiste et sur son origine et sur son statut, s’agit-il d’une récupération, le cas échéant admissible? Lorsqu’un membre de la droite dure allemande veut rendre publiquement hommage à une enfant juive violée et assassinée, certes par un migrant musulman et non par un germain au crâne rasé, faut-il commencer par s’en indigner?

Un dernier exemple de cette suffisance morale alliée à une stupidité insupportable qui a apporté au peuple sa ration de souffrance et lui inspire désormais les raisons de sa colère?

Il suffit pour cela de lire le Journal du Dimanche de cette semaine et notamment l’excellent article circonstancié de Guillaume Dasquier consacré à Oussama Attar, le cerveau des attaques du Bataclan et du Stade de France ainsi que des attentats-suicides de Bruxelles avec l’assistance de migrants envoyés par l’État Islamique. On y apprend qu’Attar a été arrêté en Irak en 2005 par des soldats de la coalition. Il était alors suspecté d’avoir rallié Al Qaïda et avait été condamné pour être entré illégalement dans le pays. Amnesty International – cette organisation vénérée – ainsi que des députés belges et des avocats de progrès se sont mobilisés aux côtés de la famille pour obtenir avec succès sa libération. Les familles des 162 morts et 753 blessés français et belges apprécieront.

Ces mêmes squatteurs si intelligents du camp du Bien s’activent à présent pour obtenir le retour en France des djihadistes détenus en Syrie. Combien de nouveaux enterrements précédés de marches blanches à organiser?

Bien entendu, la semaine écoulée aura apporté au peuple impuissant d’autres éléments d’amères ruminations.

La sortie de Françoise Nyssen approuvant le désir de la patronne de France 2 de déplorer moins de mâles blancs à la télévision à la suite de la saillie présidentielle lors de son discours vaporeux sur les banlieues montre que la dilection de Macron pour le post-nationalisme, la souveraineté européenne et l’ouverture à la mondialisation n’est pas qu’une posture politique mais aussi métaphysique.

L’incongruité, pour le coup bien vulgaire, de Mme Nyssen et dont nul humaniste antiraciste diplômé n’a songé à questionner son aversion anti-blanche comme son sexisme anti-masculin, était accompagnée d’une exhortation au progressisme du service public audiovisuel aux fins de s’opposer «à la France réactionnaire».

La charge était tellement furieuse que même le syndicat Force Ouvrière des médias s’est trouvé dans l’obligation de la fustiger par voie de communiqué. Qu’on en juge par sa conclusion encolérée:

«Les délires de Françoise Nyssen ne font pas rire. Ils nous inquiètent au contraire au plus haut point! Comment un membre du gouvernement peut-il bafouer de manière aussi flagrante le principe de neutralité qui est l’un des fondements les plus essentiels du service public de l’audiovisuel?… Qui sont les réactionnaires que la ministre entend dénoncer? Selon quels critères seront-ils identifiés dans le futur cahier des charges et selon quelles modalités Mme Nyssen entend les mettre hors d’état de nuire à son projet prométhéen de média global à vocation universelle?»

Sans doute, l’idéologie dominante autant que déclinante ne voit-elle plus que l’exclusion ou la contrainte pour faire taire ce peuple qui ne demeurera pas encore bien longtemps ruminant.

Il n’accepte plus qu’un individu qui scande: «crucifions les laïcards comme à Golgotha» se produise sur les lieux du calvaire de jeunes martyrs français sacrifiés sur l’autel de l’islamisme radical.

Et il souhaite très majoritairement que la France reste la France.

À se demander si le peuple ne deviendrait pas populiste.

Voir également:

Accueil de l’Aquarius: les portes sont ouvertes

Le navire européen navigue les yeux fermés


Le destin de l’Aquarius, ce bateau de migrants finalement accueilli à Valence en Espagne après une semaine de dérive en Méditerranée, est symptomatique de la « politique » européenne en matière d’immigration: chaotique. 


La polémique autour de l’Aquarius est aussi déprimante que révélatrice de l’état d’esprit qui imprègne les grandes capitales d’Europe Occidentale. L’Espagnol Sanchez fait preuve de noblesse d’âme et vole au secours des migrants sans penser deux fois aux conséquences de son geste sur sa propre frontière avec l’Afrique. Quant à Macron, il saute sur l’occasion pour taper sur les populistes fraîchement arrivés au pouvoir en Italie quitte à égratigner la qualité de la collaboration avec un membre du G7. Et tous oublient l’essentiel qui est de « réparer » la Libye, un pays qui saigne depuis 2011, date de la funeste intervention internationale dont les Libyens et les migrants paient encore les pots cassés.

Une bijouterie sans portes ni fenêtres

S’il y a un coupable de la détresse des 629 migrants à la dérive au cœur de la Méditerranée c’est bien le duo Cameron-Sarkozy. En provoquant la mort de Kadhafi (à la suite d’un lynchage infâme), ces deux chefs d’Etat ont privé l’Europe d’un interlocuteur qui scellait sa frontière au sud-est. Désormais, le téléphone sonne dans le vide à Tripoli. Nous n’avons plus personne à qui parler car nous avons détruit l’Etat libyen

Toute approche sérieuse du problème de l’immigration illégale dépend de la résolution du problème libyen. Pour préserver la vie des migrants, il faut les arracher aux griffes des mafias qui ont occupé l’espace politico-administratif libéré par les bombes franco-britanniques. Emmanuel Macron lui-même, lors de son discours remarqué devant les étudiants de Ouagadougou, a mis le doigt sur la réalité de la traite humaine qui s’active dans les eaux libyennes. Malheureusement, il n’a pas réussi à traduire son diagnostic en une action réelle en Méditerranée, une action qui combine la force et la politique. Il s’agit d’une tâche extrêmement difficile mais incontournable et qui mérite la mobilisation de nos meilleurs talents. On sait former des coalitions à la va-vite pour détruire un régime, certes abject, mais on ne parvient pas à se mettre d’accord entre Européens pour couper l’herbe sous le pied des trafiquants ! Décidément, plus le temps passe, plus l’Europe ressemble à une énorme bijouterie sans portes ni fenêtres.

Et Pedro Sanchez décida du destin de l’Europe…

Et tel est précisément le projet de Pedro Sanchez : scier les barreaux qui hérissent l’immense frontière méridionale de l’Espagne qui est aussi celle de l’Europe. Arrivé au pouvoir par effraction, grâce à une motion de censure (il n’a pas été élu et son parti ne détient la majorité des sièges au parlement), Pedro Sanchez est pressé de démanteler les protections soigneusement mises en place par ses prédécesseurs. Son ministre de l’Intérieur vient d’annoncer qu’il fera arracher les barbelés qui couvrent la frontière terrestre séparant le Maroc de Ceuta et Melilla, enclaves espagnoles en territoire africain. Un clin d’œil sans équivoque à destination des milliers d’Ivoiriens, de Maliens et de Guinéens, coincés au Maroc, et qui attendent le moment propice pour partir à l’assaut de la frontière. Il s’agit d’un ensemble de deux murs de six mètres de haut chacun, séparés par un chemin de patrouille et surveillés en permanence par des dispositifs électroniques. Le seul moyen de passer est de faire partie d’une marée humaine (à 200 ou 300) à même de déborder les capacités de réaction des policiers espagnols. Les plus chanceux s’équipent de gants et de couvertures pour ne pas se déchirer les doigts au contact des barbelés tranchants. Le jeu en vaut la chandelle car il suffit de poser le pied côté espagnol pour être couvert par le droit européen qui interdit les expulsions « à chaud ».

A lire aussi: « Defend Europe »: l’identité n’est pas quelque chose de sale

En prenant la décision d’enlever les barbelés, donc d’entrouvrir de facto la frontière, Pedro Sanchez met les Marocains dans l’embarras. En effet, les policiers marocains font barrage aux migrants avec la plus grande difficulté au monde. Comment convaincre des jeunes qui ont traversé le désert à pied de ne pas tenter la chance de leur vie, si près de l’objectif ? L’exercice est difficile car la zone frontalière est un maquis idéal constitué de ravins profonds et de pinèdes denses. Le sujet épineux aussi sur le plan politique car le Maroc n’a jamais reconnu la souveraineté espagnole sur Ceuta et Melilla. Il se retrouve donc à dépenser chaque année des millions d’euros pour surveiller une frontière qu’il ne reconnaît même pas officiellement. Rien ne dit que le Maroc va continuer à jouer le bon élève si l’Espagne s’amuse à attiser artificiellement la tension aux alentours de Ceuta et Melilla.

L’anarchie européenne

Ce vendredi 15 juin, ils ont été 686 à tenter leur chance entre le Maroc et l’Andalousie : un record. Quatre ont été repêchés sans vie. Et ce n’est qu’une entrée en matière car les côtes espagnoles ne sont séparées des plages africaines que par quelques heures de navigation. Du Sahara marocain jusqu’aux Canaries, il faut compter une vingtaine d’heures en chaloupe ; depuis Saint-Louis au Sénégal deux ou trois jours. Durant les mois d’été lorsque la mer est calme, la tentation est grande de prendre le large surtout quand on laisse derrière soi la misère et la violence.

En réalité, tout le monde a raison en même temps. Pedro Sanchez avec ses bons sentiments, Matteo Salvini avec son ras-le-bol contre le manque de solidarité entre Européens et Emmanuel Macron qui s’indigne contre l’insensibilité des Italiens. Mais avoir raison dans son coin ne suffit pas. La Méditerranée n’étant pas assez large pour séparer l’Europe de l’Afrique, il faudrait regarder loin et penser grand. Pratiquer un leadership qui permette à la fois de sauver les vies et de garantir la souveraineté. Nicolas Sarkozy, avant de casser la Libye, avait mis sur la table le projet d’une Union pour la Méditerranée, une superbe initiative vite torpillée par les Allemands. Il est grand temps de la ressusciter. En effet, l’Europe ne peut pas choisir ses voisins mais elle doit co-écrire avec eux le meilleur règlement de copropriété possible.

Voir de plus:

Journaliste et co-auteure du livre « La part du ghetto » avec Malek Dehoune, Manon Quérouil-Bruneel était l’invitée du Grand Matin Sud Radio ce mardi.

« J’ai été accueillie au début avec surprise, je pense que pour eux l’exercice était un peu bizarre. Ils ne voyaient pas en quoi leur vie était suffisamment intéressante pour qu’on ait envie de la raconter« . Dans le cadre de l’écriture de son livre La part du ghetto, centrée sur des parcours de vie d’habitants d’un quartier de la région parisienne, Manon Quérouil-Bruneel s’est heurtée comme beaucoup de journalistes à certaines barrières, avant de parvenir à établir un lien de confiance indispensable. « L’idée était de faire un travail d’écoute, de recueillir des confidences de gens qui se confiaient rarement. On va souvent dans les banlieues quand ça pète et que ça va mal. Ici, l’idée était d’y aller quand tout allait à peu près bien pour qu’on ait le temps de raconter un quotidien qui n’est quand même pas facile et d’instaurer un lien de confiance sur la durée avec les gens« , ajoute-t-elle au micro de Sud Radio.

« Je suis venue avec uniquement un stylo »

« Je suis venue avec uniquement un stylo, que j’ai d’ailleurs mis du temps à sortir pour que le lien de confiance soit bien instauré. Au début, il y avait de la surprise, forcément un peu de méfiance aussi parce qu’on ne se connaît pas et que les gens n’ont pas forcément envie de raconter leur vie à des inconnus. Après, il y a eu de l’intérêt, de l’envie de se raconter et de réfléchir à un parcours sur lequel ils se sont rarement retournés. Ce sont des vies assez rudes, qu’on fait à l’instinct, et l’idée qu’on nous pose des questions pour savoir comment on est arrivés là, c’était un exercice nouveau pour eux, qui a fini par leur plaire avec le temps« , raconte-t-elle.

La journaliste a constaté dans le cadre de cet ouvrage un décalage générationnel dans ce quartier. « Il y a eu un glissement entre cette première génération arrivée essentiellement pour travailler dans les années 1970-1980, avec une volonté d’intégration à tout prix, et la génération des 30-40 qui ont vu que cette intégration avait échoué pour plein de raisons. Aujourd’hui, les jeunes de 20 ans prennent la place qu’ils peuvent s’octroyer en faisant des petits arrangements ou trafics pour subsister« , explique-t-elle avant de prendre notamment l’exemple de Karima*, jeune fille ayant recours à la prostitution.

« Il y a l’émergence d’une prostitution de banlieue »

« Karima s’inscrit dans une veine que j’avais déjà pu constater il y a un an ou deux lors d’un reportage pour Marie Claire : l’émergence d’une prostitution de banlieue chez des jeunes filles pour qui ça représente un ascenseur social. C’est de l’argent vite gagné. Karima est une exception car elle travaille sans proxénète. La plupart des jeunes filles de cité que j’ai rencontré sont obligées de s’offrir une protection parce qu’on tombe parfois sur des clients violents ou dangereux. Ces proxénètes prennent la moitié des bénéfices de la jeune fille, on est donc sur une prostitution d’abattage avec 10 ou 15 passes par jour pour arriver à gagner de l’argent« , indique-t-elle.

* Le prénom a été changé

Voir de même:

L’hallucinante plongée dans un ghetto du 93
François de Labarre

Paris Match

La journaliste Manon Quérouil-Bruneel s’est immergée pendant un an dans une cité de Seine-Saint-Denis. Elle en a tiré un livre.

De son immersion pendant un an dans une cité de Seine-Saint-Denis, la journaliste Manon Quérouil-Bruneel sort « La part du ghetto » (éd. Fayard), un livre passionnant et déroutant. Son guide, Malek Dehoune, qu’elle utilise comme le fil rouge de l’histoire, lui a ouvert une à une les portes qui dévoilent un univers différent, contrasté. Des « présumés coupables » aux « repris de justesse », en passant par d’anciennes escortes converties au salafisme. On est loin des idées reçues. En toile de fond, la religion musulmane est omniprésente, mais lorsque les jeunes vont à La Mecque, c’est pour y faire des selfies. Aux prédicateurs salafistes, ces caïds 2.0 préfèrent les experts du Darknet, braqueurs virtuels de l’ère numérique.

Dans cette jungle où l’argent (sale) est roi, « les cultures se superposent sans se mélanger », comme l’observe une habitante. Les migrants, traités de « lempedouz », y sont mal accueillis. Le business des stups florissant permet à ce chauffeur de VTC d’ajouter un 0 à son salaire. Pour lui comme ses potes, pas question d’aller « crever en Syrie avec des blédards » ni de passer des vacances à Phuket en Thaïlande, « trop banlieue ». Ses courts séjours en prison lui permettent de reprendre le sport et de grossir son carnet d’adresses pendant que les gardiens longent les murs car, dit-il, « le pouvoir est inversé ». En sortant, quelques séances d’UV lui permettent de montrer un visage hâlé à ses proches avant de retrouver ses grosses voitures cylindrées, immatriculées au nom de sa maman.

Voir encore:

Valeurs actuelles

19 juin 2018

Fake News. Donald Trump aurait donc menti en affirmant que la criminalité augmentait en Allemagne, en raison de l’entrée dans le pays de 1,1 million de clandestins en 2015. Pas si simple…

Nouveau tweet, nouvelle agitation médiatique. Les commentateurs n’ont pas tardé à s’armer de leur indéboulonnable mépris pour le président des États-Unis pour dénoncer un « mensonge », au lieu d’user d’une saine distance permettant de décrypter sereinement l’affirmation de Donald Trump.

« Le peuple allemand se rebelle contre ses gouvernants alors que l’immigration secoue une coalition déjà fragile », a donc entamé le président des États-Unis dans un tweet publié le 18 juin, alors que le gouvernement allemand se déchirait sur fond de crise migratoire. Propos factuel si l’on en croit un récent sondage allemand qui révèle que 90% des allemands désirent plus d’expulsions des personnes déboutées du droit d’asile.

Le chiffre ne laisse aucune place au doute : la population allemande penche du côté du ministre de l’Intérieur qui s’applique, depuis quelques jours, à contraindre Angela Merkel à la fermeté.

Et Donald Trump de poursuivre avec la phrase qui occupe nombre de journalistes depuis sa publication : « la criminalité augmente en Allemagne. Une grosse erreur a été commise partout en Europe : laisser rentrer des millions de personnes qui ont fortement et violemment changé sa culture. » Que n’avait-il pas dit. Les articles se sont immédiatement multipliés pour dénoncer « le mensonge » du président américain.

Pourquoi ? Parce que les autorités allemandes se sont félicitées d’une baisse des agressions violentes en 2017. C’est vrai, elles ont chuté de 5,1% par rapport à 2016.

Est-il possible, cependant, de feindre à ce point l’incompréhension ? Car les détracteurs zélés du président omettent de préciser que la criminalité a bien augmenté en Allemagne à la suite de cette vague migratoire exceptionnelle : 10% de crimes violents en plus, sur les années 2015 et 2016. L’étude réalisée par le gouvernement allemand et publiée en janvier dernier concluait même que 90% de cette augmentation était due aux jeunes hommes clandestins fraîchement accueillis, âgés de 14 à 30 ans.

En 2016, les étrangers étaient 3,5 fois plus impliqués dans des crimes que les Allemands, les clandestins 7 fois plus

L’augmentation de la criminalité fut donc indiscutablement liée à l’accueil de 1,1 millions de clandestins pendant l’année 2015. C’est évidement ce qu’entend démontrer Donald Trump.

Et ce n’est pas tout. Les chiffres du ministère allemand de l’Intérieur pour 2016 révèlent également une implication des étrangers et des clandestins supérieure à celle des Allemands dans le domaine de la criminalité. Et en hausse. La proportion d’étrangers parmi les personnes suspectées d’actes criminels était de 28,7% en 2014, elle est passée à 40,4% en 2016, avant de chuter à 35% en 2017 (ce qui reste plus important qu’en 2014).

En 2016, les étrangers étaient 3,5 fois plus impliqués dans des crimes que les Allemands, les clandestins 7 fois plus. Des chiffres encore plus élevés dans le domaine des crimes violents (5 fois plus élevés chez les étrangers, 15 fois chez les clandestins) ou dans celui des viols en réunion (10 fois plus chez les étrangers, 42 fois chez les clandestins !).

Factuellement, la criminalité n’augmente pas aujourd’hui en Allemagne. Mais l’exceptionnelle vague migratoire voulue par Angela Merkel en 2015 a bien eu pour conséquence l’augmentation de la criminalité en Allemagne. Les Allemands, eux, semblent l’avoir très bien compris.

Voir de plus:

Les Etats-Unis quittent le Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU

La représentante américaine auprès des Nations unies a formalisé la décision de la Maison Blanche, qui juge l’instance partiale envers Israël.

Marie Bourreau (New York, Nations unies, correspondante) et Gilles Paris (Washington, correspondant)

Le Monde

C’est un retrait de plus dans la longue liste des désengagements américains. Washington a annoncé, mardi 19 juin, qu’il claquait la porte du Conseil des droits de l’homme (CDH), un organe onusien basé à Genève, alors que son mandat y courait en principe jusqu’en 2019.

Ce départ fait suite à la sortie d’un accord de libre-échange transpacifique, à celle de l’accord de Paris sur le climat, ainsi qu’à celle de l’accord sur le nucléaire iranien. Il vient par ailleurs s’ajouter au retrait de l’Unesco, effectif depuis décembre 2017, et ne fait que confirmer la politique unilatéraliste et volontiers isolationniste d’une administration Trump défiante à l’égard des organisations internationales.

L’annonce a été faite par l’ambassadrice américaine aux Nations unies (ONU), Nikki Haley, au côté du secrétaire d’Etat américain, Mike Pompeo, au département d’Etat. Les deux ministres n’ont pas eu de mots assez durs contre cette institution qualifiée d’« hypocrite », d’« égoïste » et accusée d’être « une source d’embarras » pour les Etats-Unis, alors que ces derniers sont actuellement critiqués pour leur politique migratoire.

« Un cloaque de partis pris politiques »

Ce retrait de Washington ne prend pourtant personne par surprise. Depuis son arrivée à la tête de la mission américaine à l’ONU, en janvier 2017, Nikki Haley n’avait eu de cesse d’agiter la menace d’un départ. Faute d’obtenir une réforme en profondeur du CDH – elle souhaitait pouvoir exclure les membres ayant commis de graves violations des droits humains –, l’ambassadrice est donc passée à l’acte.

« Pendant trop longtemps, le CDH a protégé les auteurs de violations des droits de l’homme et il a été un cloaque de partis pris politiques », a-t-elle fustigé en s’en prenant particulièrement à la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), qui y siège, tout comme au Venezuela, à la Chine, à l’Egypte ou à l’Iran.

Mais si elle a assuré que ce retrait « ne signifiait en rien un désengagement des Américains en faveur des droits de l’homme », dont elle s’est fait le héraut, elle s’est bien gardée de mentionner l’Arabie saoudite ou les Emirats arabes unis, qui conduisent une offensive militaire depuis trois ans au Yémen plongeant le pays dans une crise humanitaire dramatique.

Le CDH est certes « imparfait », s’est émue l’ancienne diplomate américaine Suzanne Nossel. « Aucun instrument multilatéral ne peut être pur ou presque parfait (…). Ses défauts sont les défauts des Etats membres qui sacrifient parfois les droits humains au profit d’objectifs politiques ou économiques », a-t-elle assuré, déplorant la décision de Washington.

Un biais supposé contre Israël

Les organisations de défense des droits humains ont régulièrement dénoncé une instance contestable dès lors qu’elle accueillait des Etats qualifiés d’autoritaires en son sein, tout en lui reconnaissant le bénéfice de l’ouverture d’enquêtes sur des violations des droits en Syrie, au Yémen, au Burundi, en Birmanie et au Soudan du Sud, ainsi que sa capacité à aborder des sujets-clés comme la migration, le contre-terrorisme et la protection des femmes, des personnes LGBT, des personnes handicapées.

Suzanne Nossel avait été chargée, sous l’administration démocrate de Barack Obama, en 2009, de défendre la candidature des Etats-Unis à un siège au sein de l’institution créée en 2006 pour promouvoir les droits humains dans le monde. Auparavant, l’administration républicaine de George W. Bush et l’actuel conseiller à la sécurité nationale de Donald Trump, John Bolton, qui était alors ambassadeur à l’ONU mais déjà un fervent opposant au multilatéralisme, avaient refusé d’y siéger.

Pour les diplomates, Washington fait surtout payer au CDH son biais supposé contre Israël, évoqué à chacune des réunions de l’organe onusien. « Cinq résolutions ont été votées contre [l’Etat hébreu]. C’est plus que toutes les résolutions confondues contre la Corée du Nord, l’Iran et la Syrie », a fait valoir Nikki Haley.

Le 18 mai, le CDH s’était ainsi prononcé en faveur d’une enquête sur les violences commises par Israël contre des manifestants palestiniens à Gaza. Cette décision avait suscité l’ire de la représentante américaine qui avait immédiatement dénoncé « un nouveau jour de honte pour les droits de l’homme ». En 2012, une enquête précédente portant sur la colonisation israélienne des territoires palestiniens conquis militairement en 1967 avait provoqué la colère de l’Etat hébreu et son boycottage de l’examen périodique de la situation des droits humains en Israël.

Le premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Nétanyahou, a sans surprise salué dans la nuit une « décision courageuse contre l’hypocrisie et les mensonges de ce soi-disant Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU ». Depuis des années, poursuit le communiqué, cette instance aurait démontré qu’elle était « biaisée, hostile, anti-israélienne ».

Désengagement

Cette réaction renforce l’impression d’alignement de Washington sur les positions du gouvernement israélien, après le transfert controversé en mai de l’ambassade des Etats-Unis de Tel-Aviv à Jérusalem, reconnaissant cette dernière comme capitale de l’Etat hébreu.

Ce transfert a entraîné la rupture des relations entre Washington et la partie palestinienne, alors que le gendre et conseiller de Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, doit pourtant présenter prochainement un projet de plan de paix. Les critiques palestiniennes ont entraîné en janvier une baisse drastique des fonds alloués par les Etats-Unis à l’agence de l’ONU chargée des réfugiés palestiniens.

Ce désengagement « n’est pas un bon signal alors que les droits de l’homme sont massivement mis à l’épreuve », a estimé François Delattre, le représentant français à l’ONU, qui rappelle que « ce sont deux grandes personnalités française et américaine, René Cassin et Eleanor Roosevelt, qui ont écrit ensemble la Déclaration des droits de l’homme dont nous célébrons cette année le soixante-dixième anniversaire ».

Voir aussi:

Mutual Praise Society

UN Watch

February 6, 2009


Key Findings and Recommendations

1. The primary innovation of the UN Human Rights Council is its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, which is meant to review the human rights records of all 192 UN member states, once every four years. According to the Council’s Institution-Building Package of 2007, UPR’s objectives are to achieve “the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground” in the country under review, and “the fulfilment of the State’s human rights obligations and commitments.” Reviews are to be conducted in an “objective,” “non-selective” and “non politicized” manner.

2. The substantial data compiled in this study reveals, however, that the reviews conducted by the vast majority of countries participating in the UPR process are failing to achieve its stated purpose. More than 300 UPR interventions were analyzed and evaluated, as detailed in 12 country charts. Out of 55 countries examined—including all 47 members of the UN Human Rights Council—only 19 had average scores indicating that they contributed positively. Tragically, a majority of 32 out of 55 countries acted as a mutual praise society, misusing the process in order to legitimize human rights abusers, instead of holding them to account. (Four were neither positive nor negative: two with average scores of 0, and another two having made no interventions in any of the country reviews examined.)

3. As shown in Table 1, of the 19 countries with overall positive scores—who properly used the UPR process to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms—Canada was the only country that ranked as VERY CONSTRUCTIVE. It was the most consistent in vigorously challenging countries on specific human rights issues, with strong interventions that support the UPR’s purpose of reminding countries of their responsibilities in order to help victims and address human rights violations wherever they occur. We recommend that Canada continue to hold all countries to account, particularly the world’s worst abusers, and that other countries follow.

4. Close behind were France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, all of whom were rated as CONSTRUCTIVE.  We recommend that these nations—which include some the world’s leading democracies—undertake to do better. While it is in the nature of governments to balk at confronting other countries for fear of affecting friendly diplomatic relations, human rights cannot be neglected, and countries must live up to their obligations as participants in the UPR process. The UN member states that conduct UPR will only engender accountability from the country under review, and thereby protect human rights victims, to the extent that they pose tough and specific questions for each country under review.

5. Another 10 countries were found to have made contributions to the review process that were positive, yet WEAK: Argentina, Australia, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Japan, Slovakia, South Korea and Zambia.  That so many respected democracies choose to ask soft questions, shying away from pointedly addressing violations and ensuring scrutiny, is unacceptable. We urge a dramatic shift in approach by countries that should be leading by example. (Included also in this same category were two countries whose contributions were neither positive nor negative: Cameroon and Ukraine.)

6. The rankings in Table 1 reflect only the average quality of interventions made. They do not measure the quantity of statements, the statistics for which are available in Tables 2 and 3. Switzerland, for example, spoke only in 6 out of the 12 country reviews examined in this report. Similarly, the United States spoke in only 7 of the 12 reviews, and of late has been silent at UPR sessions. Argentina, Bosnia, Chile and Slovakia spoke only a handful of times. We recommend that all countries—in particular, those who are members of the Human Rights Council—fulfill their duties by participating meaningfully in the UPR process.

7. Regrettably, a majority of the countries examined in this report not only failed to fulfill the stated objective of UPR, but acted to undermine it. Their interventions praised and covered up for the country reviewed, effectively blocking, undermining and spoiling genuine scrutiny of violations. When violators are granted impunity, victims are let down. This group includes five countries whose interventions were rated as DETRIMENTAL: Bolivia, Ghana, Russia, South Africa and Uruguay. Even worse, 11 countries were rated in their performance as VERY DETRIMENTAL: Angola, Egypt, Jordan, India, Iran, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia and Senegal.

8. The 16  worst UPR performers of all, however—countries that specifically praised, legitimized and encouraged country policies and practices that violate human rights—were rated as DESTRUCTIVE: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea,  Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Syria, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

9. The report demonstrates that bloc affiliations played an important role in determining how countries reviewed each other. For example, as a rule, members of the 57-strong Organization of the Islamic Conference strongly praised each other’s records. As a result, some of the poorest overall reviews were those performed on Algeria, Bahrain, Morocco and Tunisia, closely followed by Pakistan and Uzbekistan. We urge all UN members states not to allow bloc politics to override their obligation to conduct UPR reviews in an objective, non-selective and non-politicized manner.

10. While almost all of the countries that acted positively in UPR rank as free democracies under the annual survey by Freedom House, not all free democracies acted positively. On average, the UPR interventions of Ghana, India, Indonesia, Mauritius, Senegal, South Africa and Uruguay undermined human rights, while those of Ukraine were neither negative nor positive. It is time for democratic countries at the UN to act like democracies.

11. Each of the 12 country charts in this report begins with a list of human rights violations committed by the country under review, as documented by respected human rights NGOs, along with a link to the official UN compilation of NGO submissions on that country’s record. Regrettably, as the charts show, most country interventions failed to consider this NGO information, and failed to address the most prevalent human rights violations.

12. We urge the Human Rights Council to allow reliable NGO information to play a far greater role. We recommend an end to the exclusion of NGOs from the oral debate of review sessions. Moreover, in the modest time currently allotted to NGOs during the Human Rights Council’s plenary sessions that treat each UPR report, the freedom of speech of NGOs must be protected. States that frivolously interrupt NGOs on one or another pretext should be disciplined by the council President. At the same time, the UN secretariat should beware of submissions by “GONGOs”—phony, government-controlled NGOs—that seek to subvert the system.

Voir également:

Remarks

Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
June 19, 2018

SECRETARY POMPEO: Good afternoon. The Trump administration is committed to protecting and promoting the God-given dignity and freedom of every human being. Every individual has rights that are inherent and inviolable. They are given by God, and not by government. Because of that, no government must take them away.For decades, the United States has led global efforts to promote human rights, often through multilateral institutions. While we have seen improvements in certain human rights situations, for far too long we have waited while that progress comes too slowly or in some cases never comes. Too many commitments have gone unfulfilled.

President Trump wants to move the ball forward. From day one, he has called out institutions or countries who say one thing and do another. And that’s precisely the problem at the Human Rights Council. As President Trump said at the UN General Assembly: “It is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the Human Rights Council.”

We have no doubt that there was once a noble vision for this council. But today, we need to be honest – the Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights.

Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy – with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored, and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.

The only thing worse than a council that does almost nothing to protect human rights is a council that covers for human rights abuses and is therefore an obstacle to progress and an impediment to change. The Human Rights Council enables abuses by absolving wrongdoers through silence and falsely condemning those who have committed no offense. A mere look around the world today demonstrates that the council has failed in its stated objectives.

Its membership includes authoritarian governments with unambiguous and abhorrent human rights records, such as China, Cuba, and Venezuela.

There is no fair or competitive election process, and countries have colluded with one another to undermine the current method of selecting members.

And the council’s continued and well-documented bias against Israel is unconscionable. Since its creation, the council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined.

The United States has no opposition in principle to multilateral bodies working to protect human rights. We desire to work with our allies and partners on this critical objective that reflects America’s commitment to freedom.

But when organizations undermine our national interests and our allies, we will not be complicit. When they seek to infringe on our national sovereignty, we will not be silent.

The United States – which leads the world in humanitarian assistance, and whose service members have sacrificed life and limb to free millions from oppression and tyranny – will not take lectures form hypocritical bodies and institution as Americans selflessly give their blood and treasure to help the defenseless.

Ambassador Haley has spent more than a year trying to reform the Human Rights Council.

She is the right leader to drive our efforts in this regard at the United Nations. Her efforts in this regard have been tireless.

She has asserted American leadership on everything from the Assad regime’s chemical weapons use, to the pressure campaign against North Korea, and the Iran-backed provocations in the Middle East.

Ambassador Haley has been fearless and a consistent voice on behalf of our ally Israel. And she has a sincere passion to protect the security, dignity, and the freedom of human beings around the world – all while putting American interests first. She has been a fierce defender of human rights around the world.

I will now turn it over to Ambassador Haley for her announcement on how the United States will move forward with respect to the UN Human Rights Council.

AMBASSADOR HALEY: Thank you. Good afternoon. I want to thank Secretary Pompeo for his friendship and his partnership and his leadership as we move forward on these issues.

One year ago, I traveled to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. On that occasion, I outlined the U.S. priorities for advancing human rights and I declared our intent to remain a part of the Human Rights Council if essential reforms were achieved. These reforms were needed in order to make the council a serious advocate for human rights. For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.

Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded. Human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the council. The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks.

Therefore, as we said we would do a year ago if we did not see any progress, the United States is officially withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council. In doing so, I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments; on the contrary, we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.

We did not make this decision lightly. When this administration began 17 months ago, we were well aware of the enormous flaws in the Human Rights Council. We could have withdrawn immediately. We did not do that.

Instead, we made a good-faith effort to resolve the problems. We met with ambassadors of over a dozen countries in Geneva. Last September, in President Trump’s speech before the UN General Assembly, he called for member-states to support Human Rights Council reform. During High-Level Week last year, we led a session on Human Rights Council reform cohosted by the British and Dutch foreign ministers and more than 40 other countries.

Our efforts continued all through this year in New York, where my team met with more than 125 member-states and circulated draft texts. Almost every country we met with agrees with us in principle and behind closed doors that the Human Rights Council needs major, dramatic, systemic changes, yet no other country has had the courage to join our fight.

Meanwhile, the situation on the council has gotten worse, not better. One of our central goals was to prevent the world’s worst human rights abusers from gaining Human Rights Council membership. What happened? In the past year, the Democratic Republic of Congo was elected as a member. The DRC is widely known to have one of the worst human rights records in the world. Even as it was being elected to membership in the Human Rights Council, mass graves continued to be discovered in the Congo.

Another of our goals was to stop the council from protecting the world’s worst human rights abusers. What happened? The council would not even have a meeting on the human rights conditions in Venezuela. Why? Because Venezuela is a member of the Human Rights Council, as is Cuba, as is China.

Similarly, the council failed to respond in December and January when the Iranian regime killed and arrested hundreds of citizens simply for expressing their views.

When a so-called Human Rights Council cannot bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name. Such a council, in fact, damages the cause of human rights.

And then, of course, there is the matter of the chronic bias against Israel. Last year, the United States made it clear that we would not accept the continued existence of agenda item seven, which singles out Israel in a way that no other country is singled out. Earlier this year, as it has in previous years, the Human Rights Council passed five resolutions against Israel – more than the number passed against North Korea, Iran, and Syria combined. This disproportionate focus and unending hostility towards Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights.

For all these reasons, the United States spent the past year engaged in a sincere effort to reform the Human Rights Council. It is worth examining why our efforts didn’t succeed. At its core, there are two reasons. First, there are many unfree countries that simply do not want the council to be effective. A credible human rights council poses a real threat to them, so they opposed the steps that would create it.

Look at the council membership and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic human rights. These countries strongly resist any effort to expose their abusive practices. In fact, that’s why many of them run for a seat on the Human Rights Council in the first place: to protect themselves from scrutiny. When we made it clear we would strongly pursue council reform, these countries came out of the woodwork to oppose it. Russia, China, Cuba, and Egypt all attempted to undermine our reform efforts this past year.

The second reason our reforms didn’t succeed is in some ways even more frustrating. There are several countries on the Human Rights Council who do share our values. Many of them strongly urged us to remain engaged in the council. They are embarrassed by the obsessive mistreatment of Israel. They share our alarm with the hypocrisy of countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Democratic Republic of Congo, and others serving on the council.

Ultimately, however, many of these likeminded countries were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo. We gave them opportunity after opportunity and many months of consultations, and yet they would not take a stand unless it was behind closed doors. Some even admittedly were fine with the blatant flaws of the council as long as they could pursue their own narrow agenda within the current structure.

We didn’t agree with such a moral compromise when the previous UN Human Rights Commission was disbanded in 2006, and we don’t agree with it now. Many of these countries argued that the United States should stay on the Human Rights Council because American participation is the last shred of credibility that the council has. But that is precisely why we must leave. If the Human Rights Council is going to attack countries that uphold human rights and shield countries that abuse human rights, then America should not provide it with any credibility. Instead, we will continue to lead on human rights outside the misnamed Human Rights Council.

Last year, during the United States presidency of the Security Council, we initiated the first ever Security Council session dedicated to the connection between human rights and peace and security. Despite protests and prohibitions, we did organize an event on Venezuela outside the Human Rights Council chambers in Geneva. And this past January, we did have a Security Council session on Iranian human rights in New York.

I have traveled to the – to UN refugee and internally displaced persons camps in Ethiopia, Congo, Turkey, and Jordan, and met with the victims of atrocities in those troubled regions. We have used America’s voice and vote to defend human rights at the UN every day, and we will continue to do so. Even as we end our membership in the Human Rights Council, we will keep trying to strengthen the entire framework of the UN engagement on human rights issues, and we will continue to strongly advocate for reform of the Human Rights Council. Should it become reformed, we would be happy to rejoin it.

America has a proud legacy as a champion of human rights, a proud legacy as the world’s largest provider of humanitarian aid, and a proud legacy of liberating oppressed people and defeating tyranny throughout the world. While we do not seek to impose the American system on anyone else, we do support the rights of all people to have freedoms bestowed on them by their creator. That is why we are withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, an organization that is not worthy of its name.

Thank you.

QUESTION: Ambassador, is the timing related to the criticism of the border policy?

QUESTION: Do you believe that the criticism is justified?

Voir enfin:

QUELLES LIMITES DU DOCUMENT ? (Bonus : on pourra noter que le retrait américain d’Irak sous Obama a généré les horreurs de l’Etat islamique et que l’Iran continue de menacer Israël d’annihilation comme de semer le chaos dans toute la région)
Le Proche et le Moyen-Orient, foyer de conflits depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale
Consigne : à partir de ce document, montrez que, depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le Proche et le Moyen-Orient est à la fois un foyer de conflits et un enjeu des affrontements internationaux.
Document : discours du président américain Barack Obama au Caire (Egypte) le 4 juin 2009
[…] Dans un passé relativement récent, les tensions ont été nourries par le colonialisme qui a privé beaucoup de musulmans de droits et de chances de réussir, ainsi que par une guerre froide qui s’est trop souvent déroulée par acteurs interposés, dans des pays à majorité musulmane et au mépris de leurs propres aspirations. En outre, les mutations de grande envergure qui sont nées de la modernité et de la mondialisation ont poussé beaucoup de musulmans à voir dans l’Occident un élément hostile aux traditions de l’islam. […] Permettez-moi de m’exprimer aussi clairement et aussi simplement que possible sur certaines questions précises auxquelles nous devons maintenant faire face ensemble. La première est celle de l’extrémisme violent sous toutes ses formes. À Ankara, j’ai fait clairement savoir que l’Amérique n’est pas – et ne sera jamais – en guerre contre l’islam. (Applaudissements) […] Voilà maintenant plus de sept ans, forts d’un large appui de la communauté internationale, les Etats-Unis ont donné la chasse à Al Qaïda et aux talibans. Nous avons agi de la sorte non par choix, mais par nécessité. […] Je voudrais aussi aborder le dossier de l’Irak. Contrairement à la guerre en Afghanistan, la guerre en Irak est le résultat d’un choix, lequel a provoqué des désaccords marqués dans mon pays et à travers le monde. Tout en étant convaincu que le peuple irakien a gagné au bout du compte à être libéré de la tyrannie de Saddam Hussein, je crois aussi que les événements en Irak ont rappelé à l’Amérique la nécessité de recourir à la diplomatie et de construire un consensus international pour résoudre ses problèmes à chaque fois que c’est possible. […] La deuxième grande source de tension que nous devon s aborder concerne la situation entre les Israéliens, les Palestiniens et le monde arabe. […] Depuis des dizaines d’années, une impasse persiste : deux peuples aux aspirations légitimes, chacun marqué par un passé douloureux qui rend un compromis insaisissable. Il est aisé de pointer un doigt accusateur : les Palestiniens peuvent attirer l’attention sur la dislocation consécutive à la fondation d’Israël, et les Israéliens peuvent dénoncer l’hostilité et les attaques dont l e pays a de tout temps fait l’objet à l’intérieur même de ses frontières et par-delà. Mais si nous ex aminons ce conflit à travers le prisme de l’une ou l’autre partie, nos œillères nous cacheront la vérité : la seule solution consiste à répondre aux aspirations des uns et des autres en créant deux Etats, où Israéliens et Palestiniens vivront chacun dans la paix et la sécurité. […] La troisième source de tension est nos intérêts en commun à l’égard des droits et des responsabilités des Etats concernant les armes nucléaires. Cette question a constitué une source de tension entre les Etats-Unis et la République islamique d’Iran. Pendant de nombreuses années, l’Iran s’est défini en partie par son opposition à mon pays et il existe en effet un passé tumultueux entre nos deux pays. […] Chaque pays, y compris l’Iran, devrait avoir le droit d’avoir accès à l’énergie nucléaire pacifique s’il respecte ses engagements dans le cadre du Traité de non-prolifération nucléaire.
DISCOURS DU PRESIDENT OBAMA AU CAIRE, 4 JUIN 2009.
Sont attendues en introduction : Une présentation rapide de B. Obama : pdt élu en nov. 2008, avec pour but de renouer avec le multilatéralisme et de désengager son pays d’Irak et d’Afghanistan.
Une présentation rapide du contexte : Guerre d’Irak déclenchée unilatéralement par G. Bush en 2003 a plongé le pays dans le chaos et fortement dégradé l’ image des EU au Moyen-Orient. Parallèlement, reprise sanglante des affrontements entre Israël et les Palestiniens. Obama délivre un message d’apaisement destiné à redonner une image positive de son pays. Une annonce de plan conforme à la consigne, qui invite à se placer à deux échelles différentes : dans son discours, B. Obama cible deux lieux de conflits au Moyen-Orient (I), tout en insistant davantage sur l’ implication d’acteurs extérieurs, en particulier les EU, dans les grands dossiers régionaux.
NB : la consigne n’invite pas à s’interroger sur les limites du document, mais des remarques en ce sens sont possibles dans chaque partie.
10 I – B. Obama évoque les deux grands foyers de conflits du Moyen – Orient, que sont l’opposition entre Israël et l es Palestiniens d’une part, la guerre civile qui plonge l’Irak dans le chaos depuis 2003, d’autre part. [Ligne 21- 30] : évocation du conflit israélo-palestinien. Attentes : Rappelez, à partir des lignes 21- 24, qui restent très générales, les dates majeures du conflit : guerres Israélo-arabes (1948-49, 1967, 1967), première (1987) et surtout ici seconde intifada (2000), menées par les Palestiniens à partie des territoires occupés (Gaza, Cisjordanie). On peut aussi évoquer la répression israélienne et la construction du « mur de sécurité ».
Notez qu’Obama ne prend pas position (même si les EU sont depuis au moins 1967 les alliés d’Israël ) entre les deux parties : Israéliens comme Palestiniens ont droit à un Etat (une référence au « droit des peuples à disposer d’eux -mêmes » est attendue : à relier à Roosevelt et à la fondation de l’ONU ; Obama se place dans cette filiation) ; l’un et l’autre ont des critiques légitimes (terrorisme palestinien, naissance traumatisante d’ Israël en 1948 aux dépens des Arabes). Obama prône une relance du dialogue pour parvenir à deux Etats (Cf. accords d’Oslo, 1993).
[Lignes 15- 20] : évocation plus vague de la guerre civile en Irak. Evoquez la Guerre de 2003 et le chaos qui s’ensuit. II – La plus grande partie du texte concerne cependant le rôle des acteurs extérieurs, et en particulier des EU, dans les grands conflits de la région. Obama souligne d’abord l’ancienneté de l’enjeu constitué par le Moyen – Orient. Une phrase sur les colossales ressources pétrolières du Golfe sera appréciée ici.
Allusion au colonialisme (lignes 1- 2) : sans remonter avant 1945, on citera la crise du Suez de 1956 ; les Eu soutiennent alors Nasser contre l’impérialisme franco -britannique.
Allusion à la Guerre froide (lignes 3- 4) : EU et URSS disposent d’alliés dans la région. Evoquez l’appui massif fourni, lors de la Guerre du Kippour de 1973, par les Eu à Israël, par l’URSS à l’Egypte et à la Syrie.
Obama évoque ensuite les dossiers qu’il a à gérer en tant que président. 1er enjeu, pour les EU : revenir à une gestion multilatérale des problèmes régionaux. O. oppose la guerre d’Afghanistan, autorisée par l’ONU suite aux attentats du 1 sept. 2001(Ligne 13 : al Qaïda), à la guerre d’Irak (2003) , qui a suscité de fortes oppositions.
Ligne 19- 20 : retour souhaité au multilatéralisme. Rappelez que le président s’est engagé à retirer ses troupes d’Irak. Parallèlement, nécessité de dialoguer avec l’islam ; souligne (ligne 6) la montée de l’antiaméricanisme. [On peut souligner qu’existe symétriquement un discours américain annonçant le « choc des civilisations » (Huntington)].
2ème enjeu : contenir le programme nucléaire iranien. 11 Ligne 32 invite à préciser la rupture EU- Iran de 1979. On citera la relance du programme nucléaire iranien par Ahmadinejad à partir de 2003. Notez la modération du discours, qui annonce un dialogue (à l’origine de l’accord du 14 juillet 2015).
[Bonus : on pourra noter que l’Iran est en conflit, à échelle régionale, avec Israël d’une part, avec l’Arabie Saoudite sunnite, alliée des EU, d’autre part.
Conclusion (facultative ) : discours dresse moins un état des tensions régionales qu’il ne montre un infléchissement de la politique américaine, en rupture (apparente) avec les années Bush.

Société: L’Apocalypse pour tous (Apocalypse for all: Ready for the fifty-shades-of-greyization of the world ?)

22 février, 2018

 
Note de la SNCF sur la présence de migrants
Ne croyez pas que je sois venu apporter la paix sur la terre; je ne suis pas venu apporter la paix, mais l’épée. Car je suis venu mettre la division entre l’homme et son père, entre la fille et sa mère, entre la belle-fille et sa belle-mère; et l’homme aura pour ennemis les gens de sa maison. Jésus (Matthieu 10 : 34-36)
Presque aucun des fidèles ne se retenait de s’esclaffer, et ils avaient l’air d’une bande d’anthropophages chez qui une blessure faite à un blanc a réveillé le goût du sang. Car l’instinct d’imitation et l’absence de courage gouvernent les sociétés comme les foules. Et tout le monde rit de quelqu’un dont on voit se moquer, quitte à le vénérer dix ans plus tard dans un cercle où il est admiré. C’est de la même façon que le peuple chasse ou acclame les rois. Marcel Proust
Jésus a tout fichu par terre. Le Désaxé (Les braves gens ne courent pas les rues, Flannery O’Connor)
Depuis que l’ordre religieux est ébranlé – comme le christianisme le fut sous la Réforme – les vices ne sont pas seuls à se trouver libérés. Certes les vices sont libérés et ils errent à l’aventure et ils font des ravages. Mais les vertus aussi sont libérées et elles errent, plus farouches encore, et elles font des ravages plus terribles encore. Le monde moderne est envahi des veilles vertus chrétiennes devenues folles. Les vertus sont devenues folles pour avoir été isolées les unes des autres, contraintes à errer chacune en sa solitude.  G.K. Chesterton
Tout se disloque. Le centre ne peut tenir. L’anarchie se déchaîne sur le monde Comme une mer noircie de sang : partout On noie les saints élans de l’innocence …Sûrement que quelque révélation, c’est pour bientôt … Sûrement que la Seconde Venue, c’est pour bientôt. La Seconde Venue ! A peine dits ces mots, Une image, immense, du Spiritus Mundi Trouble ma vue : quelque part dans les sables du désert, Une forme avec corps de lion et tête d’homme Et l’oeil nul et impitoyable comme un soleil Se meut, à cuisses lentes, tandis qu’autour Tournoient les ombres d’une colère d’oiseaux… La ténèbre, à nouveau ; mais je sais, maintenant, Que vingt siècles d’un sommeil de pierre, exaspérés Par un bruit de berceau, tournent au cauchemar, – Et quelle bête brute, revenue l’heure, Traîne la patte vers Bethléem, pour naître enfin ? Yeats (1919)
La Raison sera remplacée par la Révélation. À la place de la Loi rationnelle et des vérités objectives perceptibles par quiconque prendra les mesures nécessaires de discipline intellectuelle, et la même pour tous, la Connaissance dégénérera en une pagaille de visions subjectives (…) Des cosmogonies complètes seront créées à partir d’un quelconque ressentiment personnel refoulé, des épopées entières écrites dans des langues privées, les barbouillages d’écoliers placés plus haut que les plus grands chefs-d’œuvre. L’Idéalisme sera remplacé par le Matérialisme. La vie après la mort sera un repas de fête éternelle où tous les invités auront 20 ans … La Justice sera remplacée par la Pitié comme vertu cardinale humaine, et toute crainte de représailles disparaîtra … La Nouvelle Aristocratie sera composée exclusivement d’ermites, clochards et invalides permanents. Le Diamant brut, la Prostituée Phtisique, le bandit qui est bon pour sa mère, la jeune fille épileptique qui a le chic avec les animaux seront les héros et héroïnes du Nouvel Age, quand le général, l’homme d’État, et le philosophe seront devenus la cible de chaque farce et satire. Hérode (Pour le temps présent, oratorio de Noël, W. H. Auden, 1944)
Just over 50 years ago, the poet W.H. Auden achieved what all writers envy: making a prophecy that would come true. It is embedded in a long work called For the Time Being, where Herod muses about the distasteful task of massacring the Innocents. He doesn’t want to, because he is at heart a liberal. But still, he predicts, if that Child is allowed to get away, « Reason will be replaced by Revelation. Instead of Rational Law, objective truths perceptible to any who will undergo the necessary intellectual discipline, Knowledge will degenerate into a riot of subjective visions . . . Whole cosmogonies will be created out of some forgotten personal resentment, complete epics written in private languages, the daubs of schoolchildren ranked above the greatest masterpieces. Idealism will be replaced by Materialism. Life after death will be an eternal dinner party where all the guests are 20 years old . . . Justice will be replaced by Pity as the cardinal human virtue, and all fear of retribution will vanish . . . The New Aristocracy will consist exclusively of hermits, bums and permanent invalids. The Rough Diamond, the Consumptive Whore, the bandit who is good to his mother, the epileptic girl who has a way with animals will be the heroes and heroines of the New Age, when the general, the statesman, and the philosopher have become the butt of every farce and satire. »What Herod saw was America in the late 1980s and early ’90s, right down to that dire phrase « New Age. » (…) Americans are obsessed with the recognition, praise and, when necessary, the manufacture of victims, whose one common feature is that they have been denied parity with that Blond Beast of the sentimental imagination, the heterosexual, middle-class white male. The range of victims available 10 years ago — blacks, Chicanos, Indians, women, homosexuals — has now expanded to include every permutation of the halt, the blind and the short, or, to put it correctly, the vertically challenged. (…) Since our newfound sensitivity decrees that only the victim shall be the hero, the white American male starts bawling for victim status too. (…) European man, once the hero of the conquest of the Americas, now becomes its demon; and the victims, who cannot be brought back to life, are sanctified. On either side of the divide between Euro and native, historians stand ready with tarbrush and gold leaf, and instead of the wicked old stereotypes, we have a whole outfit of equally misleading new ones. Our predecessors made a hero of Christopher Columbus. To Europeans and white Americans in 1892, he was Manifest Destiny in tights, whereas a current PC book like Kirkpatrick Sale’s The Conquest of Paradise makes him more like Hitler in a caravel, landing like a virus among the innocent people of the New World. Robert Hughes (24.06.2001)
La vérité biblique sur le penchant universel à la violence a été tenue à l’écart par un puissant processus de refoulement. (…) La vérité fut reportée sur les juifs, sur Adam et la génération de la fin du monde. (…) La représentation théologique de l’adoucissement de la colère de Dieu par l’acte d’expiation du Fils constituait un compromis entre les assertions du Nouveau Testament sur l’amour divin sans limites et celles sur les fantasmes présents en chacun. (…) Même si la vérité biblique a été de nouveau  obscurcie sur de nombreux points, (…) dénaturée en partie, elle n’a jamais été totalement falsifiée par les Églises. Elle a traversé l’histoire et agit comme un levain. Même l’Aufklärung critique contre le christianisme qui a pris ses armes et les prend toujours en grande partie dans le sombre arsenal de l’histoire de l’Eglise, n’a jamais pu se détacher entièrement de l’inspiration chrétienne véritable, et par des détours embrouillés et compliqués, elle a porté la critique originelle des prophètes dans les domaines sans cesse nouveaux de l’existence humaine. Les critiques d’un Kant, d’un Feuerbach, d’un Marx, d’un Nietzsche et d’un Freud – pour ne prendre que quelques uns parmi les plus importants – se situent dans une dépendance non dite par rapport à l’impulsion prophétique. Raymund Schwager
An advertent and sustained foreign policy uses a different part of the brain from the one engaged by horrifying images. If Americans had seen the battles of the Wilderness and Cold Harbor on TV screens in 1864, if they had witnessed the meat-grinding carnage of Ulysses Grant’s warmaking, then public opinion would have demanded an end to the Civil War, and the Union might well have split into two countries, one of them farmed by black slaves. (…) The Americans have ventured into Somalia in a sort of surreal confusion, first impersonating Mother Teresa and now John Wayne. it would help to clarify that self-image, for to do so would clarify the mission, and then to recast the rhetoric of the enterprise. Lance Morrow (1993
In recent years, skewering the politically correct and the political correctness of those mocking political correctness has become a thriving journalistic enterprise. One of the more interesting examples of the genre was a cover-story essay by Robert Hughes, which appeared in the February 3, 1992, edition of Time magazine. The essay was entitled “The Fraying of America.”  In it, Hughes cast a cold eye on the American social landscape, and his assessment was summarized in the article’s subtitle: “When a nation’s diversity breaks into factions, demagogues rush in, false issues cloud debate, and everybody has a grievance.” “Like others, Hughes found himself puzzling over how and why the status of ‘victim’ had become the seal of moral rectitude in American society. He began his essay by quoting a passage from W. H. Auden’s Christmas oratorio, For the Time Being. The lines he quoted were ones in which King Herod ruminates over whether the threat to civilization posed by the birth of Christ is serious enough to warrant murdering all the male children in one region of the empire. (The historical Herod may have been a vulgar and conniving Roman sycophant, but Auden’s Herod, let’s not forget, is watching the rough beast of the twentieth century slouching toward Bethlehem.) Weighing all the factors, Herod decides that the Christ child must be destroyed, even if to do so innocents must be slaughtered. For, he argues in the passage that Hughes quoted, should the Child survive: Reason will be replaced by Revelation . . . . Justice will be replaced by Pity as the cardinal virtue, and all fear of retribution will vanish . . . . The New Aristocracy will consist exclusively of hermits, bums and permanent invalids. The Rough Diamond, the Consumptive Whore, the bandit who is good to his mother, the epileptic girl who has a way with animals will be the heroes and heroines of the New Age, when the general, the statesman, and the philosopher have become the butt of every farce and satire. “Hughes quoted this passage from Auden in order to point out that Auden’s prophecy had come true. As Auden’s Herod had predicted, American society was awash in what Hughes termed the “all-pervasive claim to victimhood.” He noted that in virtually all the contemporary social, political, or moral debates, both sides were either claiming to be victims or claiming to speak on their behalf. It was clear to Hughes, however, that this was not a symptom of a moral victory over our scapegoating impulses. There can be no victims without victimizers. Even though virtually everyone seemed to be claiming the status of victim, the claims could be sustained only if some of the claims could be denied. (At this point, things become even murkier, for in the topsy-turvy world of victimology, a claimant denied can easily be mistaken for a victim scorned, the result being that denying someone’s claim to victim status can have the same effect as granting it.) Nevertheless, the algebraic equation of victimhood requires victimizers, and so, for purely logical reasons, some claims have to be denied. Some, in Hughes’s words, would have to remain “the butt of every farce and satire.” Hughes argued that all those who claim victim status share one thing in common, “they have been denied parity with that Blond Beast of the sentimental imagination, the heterosexual, middle-class, white male.” “Hughes realized that a hardy strain of envy and resentment toward this one, lone nonvictim continued to play an important role in the squabbles over who would be granted victim status. Those whose status as victim was secure were glaring at this last nonvictim with something of the vigilante’s narrow squint. Understandably, the culprit was anxious to remove his blemish. “Since our new found sensitivity decrees that only the victim shall be the hero,” Hughes wrote, “the white American male starts bawling for victim status too.” Gil Bailie
The gospel revelation gradually destroys the ability to sacralize and valorize violence of any kind, even for Americans in pursuit of the good. (…) At the heart of the cultural world in which we live, and into whose orbit the whole world is being gradually drawn, is a surreal confusion. The impossible Mother Teresa-John Wayne antinomy Times correspondent (Lance) Morrow discerned in America’s humanitarian 1992 Somali operation is simply a contemporary manifestation of the tension that for centuries has hounded those cultures under biblical influence. Gil Bailie
Notre monde est de plus en plus imprégné par cette vérité évangélique de l’innocence des victimes. L’attention qu’on porte aux victimes a commencé au Moyen Age, avec l’invention de l’hôpital. L’Hôtel-Dieu, comme on disait, accueillait toutes les victimes, indépendamment de leur origine. Les sociétés primitives n’étaient pas inhumaines, mais elles n’avaient d’attention que pour leurs membres. Le monde moderne a inventé la « victime inconnue », comme on dirait aujourd’hui le « soldat inconnu ». Le christianisme peut maintenant continuer à s’étendre même sans la loi, car ses grandes percées intellectuelles et morales, notre souci des victimes et notre attention à ne pas nous fabriquer de boucs émissaires, ont fait de nous des chrétiens qui s’ignorent. René Girard
L’inauguration majestueuse de l’ère « post-chrétienne » est une plaisanterie. Nous sommes dans un ultra-christianisme caricatural qui essaie d’échapper à l’orbite judéo-chrétienne en « radicalisant » le souci des victimes dans un sens antichrétien. (…) Jusqu’au nazisme, le judaïsme était la victime préférentielle de ce système de bouc émissaire. Le christianisme ne venait qu’en second lieu. Depuis l’Holocauste, en revanche, on n’ose plus s’en prendre au judaïsme, et le christianisme est promu au rang de bouc émissaire numéro un. René Girard
Les événements qui se déroulent sous nos yeux sont à la fois naturels et culturels, c’est-à-dire qu’ils sont apocalyptiques. Jusqu’à présent, les textes de l’Apocalypse faisaient rire. Tout l’effort de la pensée moderne a été de séparer le culturel du naturel. La science consiste à montrer que les phénomènes culturels ne sont pas naturels et qu’on se trompe forcément si on mélange les tremblements de terre et les rumeurs de guerre, comme le fait le texte de l’Apocalypse. Mais, tout à coup, la science prend conscience que les activités de l’homme sont en train de détruire la nature. C’est la science qui revient à l’Apocalypse. René Girard
La religion doit être historicisée : elle fait des hommes des êtres qui restent toujours violents mais qui deviennent plus subtils, moins spectaculaires, moins proches de la bête et des formes sacrificielles comme le sacrifice humain. Il se pourrait qu’il y ait un christianisme historique qui soit une nécessité historique. Après deux mille ans de christianisme historique, il semble que nous soyons aujourd’hui à une période charnière – soit qui ouvre sur l’Apocalypse directement, soit qui nous prépare une période de compréhension plus grande et de trahison plus subtile du christianisme. (…) Oui, pour moi l’Apocalypse c’est la fin de l’histoire. (…) L’Apocalypse, c’est l’arrivée du royaume de Dieu. Mais on peut penser qu’il y a des « petites ou des demi-apocalypses » ou des crises c’est-à-dire des périodes intermédiaires… (…) Il faut prendre très au sérieux les textes apocalyptiques. Nous ne savons pas si nous sommes à la fin du monde, mais nous sommes dans une période-charnière. Je pense que toutes les grandes expériences chrétiennes des époques-charnières sont inévitablement apocalyptiques dans la mesure où elles rencontrent l’incompréhension des hommes et le fait que cette incompréhension d’une certaine manière est toujours fatale. Je dis qu’elle est toujours fatale, mais en même temps elle ne l’est jamais parce que Dieu reprend toujours les choses et toujours pardonne. (…) Je me souviens d’un journal dans lequel il y avait deux articles juxtaposés. Le premier se moquait de l’Apocalypse d’une certaine façon ; le second était aussi apocalyptique que possible. Le contact de ces deux textes qui se faisaient face et qui dans le même temps se donnaient comme n’ayant aucun rapport l’un avec l’autre avait quelque chose de fascinant. (…) Nous sommes encore proches de cette période des grandes expositions internationales qui regardait de façon utopique la mondialisation comme l’Exposition de Londres – la « Fameuse » dont parle Dostoievski, les expositions de Paris… Plus on s’approche de la vraie mondialisation plus on s’aperçoit que la non-différence ce n’est pas du tout la paix parmi les hommes mais ce peut être la rivalité mimétique la plus extravagante. On était encore dans cette idée selon laquelle on vivait dans le même monde : on n’est plus séparé par rien de ce qui séparait les hommes auparavant donc c’est forcément le paradis. Ce que voulait la Révolution française. Après la nuit du 4 août, plus de problème ! (…) L’Amérique connaît bien cela. Il est évident que la non-différence de classe ne tarit pas les rivalités mais les excite à mort avec tout ce qu’il y a de bon et de mortel dans ce phénomène. (…)  il n’y a plus de sacrifice et donc les hommes sont exposés à la violence et il n’y a plus que deux choix : soit on préfère subir la violence soit on cherche à l’infliger à autrui. Le Christ veut nous dire entre autres choses : il vaut mieux subir la violence (c’est le sacrifice de soi) que de l’infliger à autrui. Si Dieu refuse le sacrifice, il est évident qu’il nous demande la non-violence qui empêchera l’Apocalypse. René Girard
L’avenir apocalyptique n’est pas quelque chose d’historique. C’est quelque chose de religieux sans lequel on ne peut pas vivre. C’est ce que les chrétiens actuels ne comprennent pas. Parce que, dans l’avenir apocalyptique, le bien et le mal sont mélangés de telle manière que d’un point de vue chrétien, on ne peut pas parler de pessimisme. Cela est tout simplement contenu dans le christianisme. Pour le comprendre, lisons la Première Lettre aux Corinthiens : si les puissants, c’est-à-dire les puissants de ce monde, avaient su ce qui arriverait, ils n’auraient jamais crucifié le Seigneur de la Gloire – car cela aurait signifié leur destruction (cf. 1 Co 2, 8). Car lorsque l’on crucifie le Seigneur de la Gloire, la magie des pouvoirs, qui est le mécanisme du bouc émissaire, est révélée. Montrer la crucifixion comme l’assassinat d’une victime innocente, c’est montrer le meurtre collectif et révéler ce phénomène mimétique. C’est finalement cette vérité qui entraîne les puissants à leur perte. Et toute l’histoire est simplement la réalisation de cette prophétie. Ceux qui prétendent que le christianisme est anarchiste ont un peu raison. Les chrétiens détruisent les pouvoirs de ce monde, car ils détruisent la légitimité de toute violence. Pour l’État, le christianisme est une force anarchique, surtout lorsqu’il retrouve sa puissance spirituelle d’autrefois. Ainsi, le conflit avec les musulmans est bien plus considérable que ce que croient les fondamentalistes. Les fondamentalistes pensent que l’apocalypse est la violence de Dieu. Alors qu’en lisant les chapitres apocalyptiques, on voit que l’apocalypse est la violence de l’homme déchaînée par la destruction des puissants, c’est-à-dire des États, comme nous le voyons en ce moment. Lorsque les puissances seront vaincues, la violence deviendra telle que la fin arrivera. Si l’on suit les chapitres apocalyptiques, c’est bien cela qu’ils annoncent. Il y aura des révolutions et des guerres. Les États s’élèveront contre les États, les nations contre les nations. Cela reflète la violence. Voilà le pouvoir anarchique que nous avons maintenant, avec des forces capables de détruire le monde entier. On peut donc voir l’apparition de l’apocalypse d’une manière qui n’était pas possible auparavant. Au début du christianisme, l’apocalypse semblait magique : le monde va finir ; nous irons tous au paradis, et tout sera sauvé ! L’erreur des premiers chrétiens était de croire que l’apocalypse était toute proche. Les premiers textes chronologiques chrétiens sont les Lettres aux Thessaloniciens qui répondent à la question : pourquoi le monde continue-t-il alors qu’on en a annoncé la fin ? Paul dit qu’il y a quelque chose qui retient les pouvoirs, le katochos (quelque chose qui retient). L’interprétation la plus commune est qu’il s’agit de l’Empire romain. La crucifixion n’a pas encore dissout tout l’ordre. Si l’on consulte les chapitres du christianisme, ils décrivent quelque chose comme le chaos actuel, qui n’était pas présent au début de l’Empire romain. (..) le monde actuel (…) confirme vraiment toutes les prédictions. On voit l’apocalypse s’étendre tous les jours : le pouvoir de détruire le monde, les armes de plus en plus fatales, et autres menaces qui se multiplient sous nos yeux. Nous croyons toujours que tous ces problèmes sont gérables par l’homme mais, dans une vision d’ensemble, c’est impossible. Ils ont une valeur quasi surnaturelle. Comme les fondamentalistes, beaucoup de lecteurs de l’Évangile reconnaissent la situation mondiale dans ces chapitres apocalyptiques. Mais les fondamentalistes croient que la violence ultime vient de Dieu, alors ils ne voient pas vraiment le rapport avec la situation actuelle – le rapport religieux. Cela montre combien ils sont peu chrétiens. La violence humaine, qui menace aujourd’hui le monde, est plus conforme au thème apocalyptique de l’Évangile qu’ils ne le pensent. René Girard
Dans le monde actuel, beaucoup de choses correspondent au climat des grands textes apocalyptiques du Nouveau Testament, en particulier Matthieu et Marc. Il y est fait mention du phénomène principal du mimétisme, qui est la lutte des doubles : ville contre ville, province contre province… Ce sont toujours les doubles qui se battent et leur bagarre n’a aucun sens puisque c’est la même chose des deux côtés. Aujourd’hui, il ne semble rien de plus urgent à la Chine que de rattraper les Etats-Unis sur tous les plans et en particulier sur le nombre d’autoroutes ou la production de véhicules automobiles. Vous imaginez les conséquences ? Il est bien évident que la production économique et les performances des entreprises mettent en jeu la rivalité. Clausewitz le disait déjà en 1820 : il n’y a rien qui ressemble plus à la guerre que le commerce. Souvent les chrétiens s’arrêtent à une interprétation eschatologique des textes de l’Apocalypse. Il s’agirait d’un événement supranaturel… Rien n’est plus faux ! Au chapitre 16 de Matthieu, les juifs demandent à Jésus un signe. « Mais, vous savez les lire, les signes, leur répond-t-il. Vous regardez la couleur du ciel le soir et vous savez deviner le temps qu’il fera demain. » Autrement dit, l’Apocalypse, c’est naturel. L’Apocalypse n’est pas du tout divine. Ce sont les hommes qui font l’Apocalypse. René Girard
Bailie livre une sorte d’Apocalypse — « révélation » où il ne s’agit pas tant de montrer la violence que de la dire — de la dire dans des termes irrécusables alors que, précisément, toute l’histoire de l’humanité pourrait se résumer en cette tentative pour taire la violence, pour nier qu’elle fonde toute société, et qu’elle doit être dépassée. Choix de taire ou de dire, choix de sacraliser ou de démasquer pour toujours. Un livre qui (…) révèle avec tant de clarté et de lucidité les « choses cachées » depuis la fondation du monde : il nous révèle dans un aujourd’hui pressant des choix qui nous concernent. Il traque le sens qui se cache au coeur des monstres sacrés ( ! ) de la littérature ou des faits retentissants de notre actualité. Impossible d’échapper à l’interpellation, de ne pas re-considérer toutes ces « choses » et surtout ce sujet — la violence — qui fait tellement partie de notre quotidien qu’on en oublie son vrai visage. (…) un cheminement révélateur pour parcourir des sentiers que nous empruntons : la littérature, la philosophie, la politique, la culture, l’information, bref, tout ce qui fait de nous des membres de cette humanité convoquée pour une lecture violente de notre heure. (…) La Violence révélée propose une analyse de la crise anthropologique, culturelle et historique que traversent les sociétés contemporaires, à la lumière de l’oeuvre de René Girard. Dans La Violence et le sacré, puis Des choses cachées depuis la fondation du monde, Girard avait montré le rôle essentiel de la violence pour les sociétés : un meurtre fondateur est à l’origine de la société. Girard met en évidence la logique victimaire : pour assurer la cohésion, le groupe désigne un bouc émissaire et défoule la violence sur lui — violence qui devient sacrée puisque ritualisée. Le meurtre et le sacrifice rituel renforcent les liens de la communauté qui échappe ainsi au chaos de la violence désorganisée. La violence sur le bouc émissaire a donc une fonction cathartique. Elle reste de la violence mais elle est dépouillée de son effet anarchique et destructeur. Les mythes garderaient mémoire de ce sacrifice mais tairaient la violence faite à la victime en la rationalisant : « le mythe ferme la bouche et les yeux sur certains événements ». Voilà donc le grand « mensonge », relayé par les rituels, des religions archaïques qui sont incapables de découvrir le mécanisme victimaire qui les fonde. Un autre concept girardien fondamental est celui du « désir mimétique ». Les passions (jalousie, envie, convoitise, ressentiment, rivalité, mépris, haine) qui conduisent à des comportements violents trouvent leur origine dans ce désir mimétique. Dans l’acceptation girardienne du terme, le désir représente l’influence que les autres ont sur nous ; le désir, « c’est ce qui arrive aux rapports humains quand il n’y a plus de résolution victimaire, et donc plus de polarisations vraiment unanimes, susceptibles de déclencher cette résolution » [Girard]. La « mimesis », souvent traduite par « imitation » (ce qui est inexact, ainsi que le souligne Bailie, car ce terme comporte une dimension volontaire alors que ce n’est pas conscient) est cette « propension qu’a l’être humain à succomber à l’influence des désirs positifs, négatifs, flatteurs ou accusateurs exprimés par les autres » . Personne n’échappe à cette logique. D’où l’effet de foule qui exacerbe les comportements mimétiques. La rivalité qui naît de la mimesis — on désire ce que désire l’autre — oblige à résoudre le conflit en le déplaçant sur une victime. Or le Christianisme démonte le schéma sacrificiel en révélant l’innocence de la victime : la Croix révèle et dénonce la violence sacrificielle. Elle met à nu l’unanimité fallacieuse de la foule en proie au mimétisme collectif et la violence contagieuse : la foule, elle, « ne sait pas ce qu’elle fait », pour reprendre les paroles du Christ en croix. Jésus propose une voie hors de la logique des représailles et de la vengeance en invitant à « tendre l’autre joue ». La non-violence révèle à la violence sa propre nature et la désarme. A partir des concepts girardiens, Bailie examine les conséquences de la révélation évangélique pour la société humaine. Il entreprend l’exploration systématique de l’histoire de l’humanité et sa tentative pour sortir du schéma de la violence sacrificielle. Son hypothèse centrale est que « la compassion d’origine biblique pour les victimes paralyse le système du bouc émissaire dont l’humanité dépend depuis toujours pour sa cohésion sociale. Mais la propension des êtres humains à résoudre les tensions sociales aux dépens d’une victime de substitution reste ». Ce que les Ecritures « doivent accomplir, c’est une conversion du coeur de l’homme qui permettra à l’humanité de se passer de la violence organisée sans pour autant s’abîmer dans la violence incontrôlée, dans la violence de l’Apocalypse » [p. 31]. Or qu’en est-il ? La Bible, en proposant la compassion pour les victimes, a permis « l’éclosion de la première contre-culture du monde, que nous appelons la ‘‘culture occidentale’’ ». La Bible, notre « cahier de souvenirs », est une chronique des efforts accomplis par l’homme pour renoncer aux formes primitives de religion et aux rituels sacrificiels, et s’extirper des structures de la violence sacrée. Ainsi, avec Abraham, le sacrifice humain est abandonné ; les commandements de Moise indiquent la voie hors du désir mimétique (« tu ne convoiteras pas » car c’est la convoitise qui mène à la rivalité et la violence). Baillie s’attarde sur le récit biblique car pour lui il contient une valeur anthropologique essentielle ; il permet en effet d’observer « les structures et la dynamique de la vie culturelle et religieuse conventionnelles de l’humanité et d’être témoin de la façon dont ces structures s’effondrent sous le poids d’une révélation incompatible avec elles ». Peut-être peut-on parler de prototype de l’avènement de l’humanité à elle-même. Dans la Bible, la révélation est en cours et l’on peut mesurer les conséquences déstabilisantes sur le peuple de cette révélation. Pas un hasard, donc, que le Christ se soit incarné dans la tradition hébraïque déjà aux prises avec la révélation. (…) Les Evangiles, donc, ont rendu moralement et culturellement problématique le recours au système sacrificiel. Toutefois, « les passions mimétiques qu’il pouvait jadis contrôler ont pris de l’ampleur, jusqu’à provoquer la crise sociale, psychologique et spirituelle que nous connaissons ». L’Occident, en effet, est sorti du schéma de la violence sacrificielle, mais son impossibilité à embrasser le modèle proposé par l’Evangile a pour conséquence la descente dans la violence première. La distinction morale entre « bonne violence » et « mauvaise violence » n’est plus « un impératif catégorique ». Puisque nous vivons dans un monde où la violence a perdu son prestige moral et religieux, « La violence a gagné en puissance destructrice »: elle a perdu «  son pouvoir de fonder la culture et de la restaurer ». L’effondrement de la distinction cruciale entre violence officielle et violence officieuse se révèle par exemple dans le fait que les policiers ne sont plus respectés (Bailie oppose cela à la scène finale de Lord of the Flies où les enfants sont arrêtés dans leur frénésie de violence par la simple vue de l’officier de marine : son « autorité morale » bloque le chaos). Donc, puisque le violence a perdu son aura religieuse, « la fascination que suscite sa contemplation n’entraîne plus le respect pour l’institution sacrée qui en est à l’origine. Au contraire, le spectacle de la violence servira de modèle à des violences du même ordre ». De la violence thérapeutique, on risque fort de passer à une violence gratuite, voire ludique. A l’instar du Christ qui utilise les paraboles pour « révéler les choses cachées depuis la fondation du monde  », Bailie utilise des citations tirées de la presse contemporaine « de façon à montrer quelles formes prend la révélation de la violence dans le monde d’aujourd’hui ». Bailie note plusieurs résurgences du « religieux », dans le culte du nationalisme par exemple. Le nationalisme fournit en effet une forme de transcendance sociale qui renforce le sentiment communautaire, et devient un « ersatz de sacré » qui conduit encore à la violence sur des « boucs émissaires ». Il note aussi comment la rhétorique de la guerre légitime (mythifie même) la violence. Ainsi ce général salvadorien chargé du massacre de femmes et d’enfants en 1981 s’adresse à son armée en ces termes : « Ce que nous avons fait hier et le jour d’avant, ça s’appelle la guerre. C’est ça, la guerre […] Que les choses soient claires, il est hors de question qu’on vous entende gémir et vous lamenter sur ce que vous avez fait […] c’est la guerre, messieurs. C’est ça la guerre ». La philosophie même, pour Bailie, participerait du sacré mais n’en serait peut-être que le simulacre car « elle a érigé des formes de rationalité dont la tâche a été d’empêcher la prise de conscience de la vérité ». D’ou son impasse en tant que vraie transcendance. Dans le combat entre les forces du sacrificiel et de la violence collective, et la « déconstruction à laquelle se livre l’Evangile », qu’en est-il de l’autre protagoniste du combat, celui qui représente la révélation évangélique ? Sa puissance est d’un autre ordre. Bailie la voit à l’oeuvre, par exemple, dans deux moments, le chant d’une victime sur la montagne de la Cruz, et la prière d’un Juif à Buchenwald : « Paix à tous les hommes de mauvaise volonté  ! Qu’il y ait une fin à la vengeance, à l’exigence de châtiments et de représailles ». Et Bailie de conclure : « si nous ne trouvons le repos auprès de Dieu, c’est notre propre inquiétude qui nous servira de transcendance ». Le texte de l’Apocalypse « révèle » ce que les hommes risquent de faire « s’ils continuent, dans un monde désacralisé et sans garde-fou sacrificiel, de tenir pour rien la mise en garde évangélique contre la vengeance ». La seule façon d’éviter que l’Apocalypse ne devienne une réalité est d’accueillir l’impératif évangélique de l’amour. Pour Girard, « l’humanité est confrontée à un choix […] explicite et même parfaitement scientifique entre la destruction totale et le renoncement total à la violence ». A sa suite, Bailie identifie deux alternatives : soit un retour à la violence sacrée dans un contexte religieux non biblique, soit une révolution anthropologique que la révélation chrétienne a générée. Il s’agira donc d’arriver à résister au mal pour en empêcher la propagation : « la seule façon d’éviter la transcendance fictive de la violence et de la contagion sociale est une autre forme de transcendance religieuse au centre de laquelle se trouve un dieu qui a choisi de subir la violence plutôt que de l’exercer ». Marie Liénard
La concurrence entre États a pris une forme nouvelle et nous devons être prêts à y faire face. Les menaces auxquelles nous sommes confrontés ne sont pas à des milliers de kilomètres mais sont maintenant aux portes de l’Europe. Nous avons vu comment la guerre informatique peut être menée sur le champ de bataille et perturber la vie des gens. Au Royaume-Uni, nous ne sommes pas à l’abri de cela. Général Nick Carter
La menace du terrorisme international (…) s’est diversifiée et est plus dispersée, et nous voyons le phénomène que Daech représente émergeant dans d’autres parties du monde. Et bien sûr, nous avons appris que n’importe qui peut devenir un terroriste ces jours-ci – simplement en louant un véhicule ou à coups de machette. (…) Nous vivons aujourd’hui dans un monde beaucoup plus compétitif et multipolaire, et la nature complexe du système mondial a créé les conditions dans lesquelles les États sont en mesure d’affronter la concurrence de nouvelles façons, en deçà de ce que nous aurions défini comme une « guerre » dans le passé. Mais, ce qui est inquiétant, c’est que tous ces États sont passés maîtres dans l’exploitation des zones d’ombre entre la paix et la guerre. Ce qui constitue une arme dans cette zone d’ombre ne fait pas nécessairement “boum”. L’énergie, l’argent sous forme de pots-de-vin, les pratiques commerciales malhonnêtes, les cyberattaques, les assassinats, les fausses nouvelles, la propagande et même l’intimidation militaire sont autant d’exemples d’armes utilisées pour tirer profit de cette ère de « concurrence constante. L’architecture internationale fondée sur des règles qui a assuré notre stabilité et notre prospérité depuis 1945 est donc menacée. Il ne s’agit pas d’une crise, ni d’une série de crises auxquelles nous sommes confrontés. C’est un défi stratégique. Et cela nécessite une réponse stratégique. Gen Nick Carter (chef d’état-major des forces britanniques)
L’islamisme, c’est le FN du musulman déclassé. Hakim El Karoui
J’étais outré lors des débats par les rires. Moi, ça ne me fait pas rire. Je ne suis pas ici au spectacle. Bendaoud a réussi à transformer le tribunal en théâtre de boulevard. Ces énergumènes n’ont ni foi ni loi. Victime des attentats du Bataclan
Alors d’abord, une femme ayant été violée considère qu’elle a été souillée, à mon avis elle intériorise le discours des autres autour d’elle. (…) Je pense que ça c’est un résidu d’archaïsme (…) Ça c’est mon grand problème, je regrette beaucoup de ne pas avoir été violée. Parce que je pourrais témoigner que du viol on s’en sort. Mais par contre ça m’est arrivé d’avoir des rapports sexuels avec des gens qui ne me plaisaient pas spécialement. Parce que voilà c’était plus facile de céder à la personne ou parce que c’était une partouze et qu’on était en groupe. Catherine Millet
Les hébergements proposés ne le sont que pour quelques jours et on ballotte les gens d’un bout à l’autre de l’Ile-de-France. Beaucoup ne veulent pas quitter leur bout de trottoir de peur de perdre leur place et le peu d’affaires qu’ils conservent, mais aussi de couper les liens qu’ils ont pu nouer avec les riverains, les commerçants. Ils ont besoin de stabilité et on ne la leur offre pas. Nicolas Clément (collectif Les morts de la rue, bénévole au Secours catholique)
Pour ces jeunes gens, la rue, c’est d’abord le choix d’être en marge, souvent en groupe. Et même quand ce choix n’en est plus un, il reste le désir de ne pas être contraint par des horaires, la collectivité, la promiscuité ou la nécessité de quitter ses animaux, comme c’est le cas dans les centres d’accueil. Marie-Laurence Sassine
Trois Capverdiens ont été interpellés, dimanche soir à Clichy-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), pour violences volontaires, acte de barbarie et anthropophagie ayant entraîné une mutilation permanente. Vers 18 heures, allée Hector-Berlioz, quatre hommes se disputent pour une histoire d’argent. Trois hommes se liguent pour en frapper un quatrième. Ils le mordent violemment à la lèvre inférieure et à l’oreille gauche avant d’ingérer les morceaux de chair arrachés. La victime se défend en portant des coups à ses agresseurs. Elle parvient à blesser l’un d’eux à une cheville. La police et les secours sont finalement intervenus. Les trois agresseurs ont été arrêtés. Les deux blessés, victime et agresseur, ont été transportés à l’hôpital de Montfermeil (Seine Saint-Denis). Le commissariat est chargé de l’enquête. Le Parisien
This election season, the candidacy of Donald Trump has provoked a crise de conscience in the ranks of conservatives. But whatever our sympathy for those who banded together to oppose Trump in the January 21 issue of The National Review or for the politicians who have brawled with him on stage, and of whatever use such gestures are politically, they surely have had little value in clarifying the crisis of conservatism that has led to Trump’s rise. Instead of focusing on Trump’s business practices and on the ignorance of his supporters, conservatives might do well to consider the possibility that his success reflects an objective political reality: the relative uselessness in a victimocracy of taking “conservative positions,” when the more urgent task is to relegitimize the liberal-conservative dialogue through which policy has traditionally gotten made in a democratic republic. In a word, restoring the art of the deal.  (…) And it goes unmentioned on the right as well as the left that the result of the latter’s promotion of minority concerns not as group interests but in the guise of victimary social justice is that, while its bureaucratic saviors enrich themselves, the minority community has experienced previously unknown levels of social disintegration, with results clearly visible in Detroit, Baltimore, Washington DC, Saint Louis…. There are precious few fora to the left of the ominous “alt-right” where such concerns can be aired. As I pointed out in Chronicle 508, Trump embodies far more than he articulates resistance to the victimocracy. Yet this is indeed an issue concerning which, at this historical moment, embodiment is more important than articulation. Although Trump rarely denounces PC by name, his demeanor loudly proclaims his rejection of White Guilt—unlike Bernie, he has no trouble telling Black Lives Matter protesters that “all lives matter.” Trump’s unexpected staying power—leading to his “presidential” performance at the March 10 debate—reflects to my mind far more than attractiveness to the benighted bearers of poor-white resentment. On the contrary, Trump’s continual emphasis on “deals” suggests a sharp intuition of how to adapt conservatism to the current victimocratic context. Before we can exercise Buckley’s Burkean resistance to unnecessary change, we have to return to the left-right dichotomy of the Assemblée Nationale. What is required at this moment is not conservatism as usual, but second-degree conservatism, metaconservatism. The contempt of the voting public for Washington’s inability to “get anything done” reflects the fact that under the current administration, the shift of Democratic politics from liberalism to progressivism, from focusing on the concerns of the working class to those of ascriptive minorities, involves a fundamental change from defending interests to seeking justice. The first can be negotiated on a more or less level footing with opposing interests; the second can only be resisted by unregenerate evil-doers, which is more or less the way the current president and his potential Democratic successors characterize the representatives of the other party. In this noxious context, the (meta)conservative position is not to deny victimary claims, but tonormalize them: to turn them back into assertions of interests to be negotiated as political questions were in days of old—in a word, into issues that can be settled by making a deal. Victimary activism should not in itself guarantee representative status for its leaders on campuses and elsewhere. But when university officials find it appropriate to hold discussions with representatives of the black or gay or Muslim student body, by making it clear that they view the latter as interest groups rather than as communities of the oppressed, they can avoid putting themselves, as such officials all too often do, in a situation of moral inferiority. There is no reason not to allow a group to express what it considers its legitimate interests; there is every reason not to consider the expression of these interests a priori as “demands for justice.” In their preoccupation with denouncing Trump as a false conservative, the guardians of the flame forget that at a time when the victimary left seeks to portray the normal order of things in American society as founded on privilege and discrimination, Trump’s supporters turn to him as a figure of hope because his mind, unclouded by White Guilt, views the political battlefield, foreign as well as domestic, as a place for making deals. This used to be called Realpolitik. All too often, to read today’s mainstream press, let alone more extreme publications such as the new New Republic or Salon, is to be subjected to the verbal equivalent of race war. The political discourse of Sanders and Clinton is deeply impregnated with this same rhetoric. Whether or not Trump is its nominee, I hope the Republican party does not need another general election loss to teach it that to articulate and defend a conservative position today, it is first necessary to reject the victimary moralization of politics and return to the liberal-democratic continuum within which conflicts can be mediated. At that point, regardless of the party in power, liberals and conservatives can argue their points, and then come together and make a deal. Eric Gans
One of Christianity’s contributions to civilization has been a startling compassion for the victim. As René Girard has pointed out, from the beginning of time primitive peoples focused their animus on the outsider, the oddball, or the eccentric in their midst. It was the disabled, the alien, the poor, and the weak who most often took the blame for society’s ills. The crowd turned on them as the origin and cause of their problems. They became the scapegoat. As they were ostracized, excluded, persecuted, and killed, the source of the tribe’s problems was eliminated. Consequently, the tribe felt cleansed. The violence unleashed a feeling of power and freedom. As the evil was purged, thrill surged. All was well. Life could continue and the tribe could prosper. Until, of course, another crisis developed—and at that point another victim would be needed. Because of the regularity of the crises, religions developed the ritual of regular sacrifice. Victims were found, throats were cut, blood was shed, and if animals were substituted, it did not mitigate the truth that the society still ran on the blood-fuel of the victim. This may seem terribly primitive in a modern age, until one see videos of ISIS soldiers ritually beheading their victims. Modern Americans may think they are far removed from the barbarities of the Aztecs until they view a video of a wine-sipping high priestess of the cult of abortion describing how she dismembers children and harvests their organs. Is this so far removed from the haruspication of the ancients? When crazed and enraged young men—be they Islamist or racist extremists—open fire on their innocent victims, are we so far from Girard’s theory of the scapegoat? Girard points out that Jesus of Nazareth turned the model on its head. He does so first by valuing the victim. The poor, the outcast, the crippled, diseased, blind, and demon-possessed are his prizes. He treasures children and magnifies women. He turns the sacrificial system upside down not only by valuing the victim, but by becoming the victim. He accepts the victim role and willingly becomes “the Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world. He defeats the sacrificial system by embracing it. He breaks it from the inside. For the last two thousand years, the world has been learning that the victim is the hero. The problem is that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Being a victim is fashionable—ironically, becoming bullied is now the best way to bully others. It works like this: If you want to move forward in the world, make progress for you and your tribe, further your ambitions, justify your immoral actions, grab a bigger piece of the pie, and elbow others away from the trough, simply present yourself and your tribe as victims. Once you successfully portray yourselves as a poor, outcast, persecuted, minority group you instantly gain the sympathy of all. The first key to success in this campaign is to portray your victim condition as something over which you have no control. This is clear when the victim group is a racial or ethnic minority. The same sense of unjust destiny has to be produced for other groups. So the feminists have exploited the technique to portray all women as downtrodden. Homosexual campaigners have likewise insisted that their condition is something they were born with, and now anyone with a sexual proclivity that is other than heterosexual can be portrayed as a misunderstood and persecuted victim. People suffering from any kind of illness, disability, or misfortune are victims of some sort of injustice, cruelty, or neglect. Those who suffer from poverty, addiction, broken families, psychological problems, emotional distress, or just plain unhappiness are victims too. The victim mentality is linked with an entitlement culture: Someone must be culpable for the unhappiness of the victims because someone should be responsible for making them happy. The second step in effective victim-campaigning is to accumulate and disseminate the propaganda. Academic papers must be written. Sociological studies must be undertaken. Groundbreaking books must be published. Stories of the particular minority group being persecuted must make front page news. The whimpers of the persecuted must rise to heaven. The shock at their victimhood must be expressed as “sadness,” “concern,” and “regret.” If one is not sympathetic, if one is reticent to pour balm in the victim’s wounds, then the bullying begins. You must recognize the victim. You must be sympathetic. You must be tolerant. You must join the campaign to help the victim, solve their problems, and make them happy at last. If you do not, you are not only hard-hearted, you are part of the problem. The third stage of the campaign is the release of anger. Once the victim is identified and the information is widespread, the rage can be released. The anger must be expressed because, without knowing it, a new cycle of tribal scapegoating has developed. As the tribe gathers around the victim in sympathy, they must find the culprit, and their search for the culprit (whether he is guilty or not does not matter) sends them on the same frantic scapegoating quest that created their victim in the first place. The supposed persecutors have now become the persecuted. The unhappiness of the tribe (which presents itself as sympathy for the victim) is now focused on violence against the new victim—and so the cycle of sin and irrational rage continues. Observe American society today. Everywhere you look we are apportioning blame and seeking scapegoats. The blacks blame the whites. The whites blame the blacks. The homosexuals blame the Christians. The Christians blame the homosexuals. The Republicans blame the immigrants. The immigrants blame the residents. The workers blame the wealthy. The wealthy blame the workers. Why has our society descended into the violence of scapegoating and blame? Because it is inevitable. The victimhood cycle will continue through cycles of revenge and further victimhood unless there is an outlet. Where is there an end to the cycle of violence and victimization? There is only one solution: Find a constant victim—one who is the eternal victim and remains the victim. How is this done? It is done within the religion of a society. If a society has a religion of sacrifice the ritual victim becomes the focus of the tribal animus. The ritual victim becomes the constant scapegoat. The ritual victim becomes the psychological safety valve. Catholicism, of course, is the only religion in the modern world which, astoundingly, still claims to be offering a sacrifice. This is why the ancient celebration of the Mass is still so vital in the modern world—because there the one, full, final sacrifice is re-presented for the salvation of the world. The problem is that we are not a sacrificial and a sacramental people. We do not understand what the liturgy calls “these holy mysteries.” Most Catholics in America are embarrassed by the language of sacrifice. We are a blandly utilitarian race–shallow, and lacking in imagination. We are uncomfortable with blood sacrifices and cannot understand the rituals of redemption. American Catholics prefer their liturgy to be a banal family meal where they sing happy songs about making the world a better place. It is no longer a sacred sacrifice or a holy mystery, but a cross between a campfire and a pep rally. Dwight Longenecker
In recent years, a number of Christian writers, inspired by French critic and philosopher René Girard, have stressed with new urgency how the Bible shows the way in which groups and societies work out their fears and frustrations by finding scapegoats. Because we compete for the same goods and comforts, we need to sustain our competition with our rivals and maintain distance from them. But to stop this getting completely out of hand, we unite with our rivals to identify the cause of the scarcity that makes us compete against each other, with some outside presence we can all agree to hate. Just as the BBC drama suggested, Jesus’s context was one where Judaeans and Romans equally lived in fear of each other, dreading an explosion of violence that would be destructive for everyone. Their leaders sweated over compromises and strategies to avoid this. In such a context, Jesus offered a perfect excuse for them to join in a liberating act of bloodletting which eliminated a single common enemy. The spiral of fear was halted briefly. Frequently in this mechanism, the victim has little or nothing to do with the initial conflict itself. But in the case of Jesus, the victim is not only wholly innocent; he is the embodiment of a grace or mercy that could in principle change the whole frame of reference that traps people in rivalry and mutual terror. Thus the scapegoat mechanism is exposed for what it is – an arbitrary release of tension that makes no difference to the underlying problem. And if you want to address the underlying problem, perhaps you should start listening to the victim. (…) But what if the Christian story (…) proposed a way of understanding some of the most pervasive and dangerous mechanisms in human relationships, interpersonal or international? It doesn’t take much imagination to see how internally divided societies find brief moments of unity when they have successfully identified some other group as the real source of their own insecurity. Look at any major conflict in the world at the moment and the mechanism is clear enough. Repressive and insecure states in the Islamic world demonise a mythical Christian ‘West’, while culturally confused, sceptical and frightened European and North American societies cling to the picture of a global militant Islam, determined to ‘destroy our way of life’. Two fragile and intensely quarrelsome societies in the Holy Land find some security in at least knowing that there is an enemy they can all hate on the other side of the wall. A crumbling dictatorship in Zimbabwe steps up the rhetoric of loathing and resentment towards the colonial powers that create the poverty and the shortages. Nearer home, disadvantaged communities make sense of their situation by blaming migrants and asylum seekers. It’s not that the fears involved are unreal. Global terrorism is a threat, Israel and Palestine really do menace each other’s existence, colonialism isn’t an innocent legacy and so on. But the exploitation of these real fears to provide a ‘solution’ to more basic problems both breeds collective untruthfulness and makes any rational handling of such external fears infinitely harder. It breeds a mentality that always seeks to mirror the one who is threatening you. It generates the ‘zero-sum game’ that condemns so many negotiations to futility. Worst of all, it gives a fragile society an interest in keeping some sort of external conflict going. Consciously or not, political leaders in a variety of contexts are reluctant to let go of an enemy who has become indispensable to their own stability. The claim of Christianity is both that this mechanism is universal, ingrained in how we learn to behave as human beings and that it is capable of changing. It changes when we recognise our complicity and when we listen to what the unique divine scapegoat says: that you do not have to see the rival as a threat to everything, that it is possible to believe that certain values will survive whatever happens in this earth’s history because they reflect the reality of an eternal God; that letting go of the obsessions of memory and resentment is release, not betrayal. (…) Yes, the Christian church has been guilty of colossal evasion, colluding in just those scapegoating mechanisms it exists to overcome. Its shameful record of anti-semitism is the most dramatic reversal of the genuine story it has to tell, the most dramatic example of claiming that the killing of Jesus was indeed about them and not us. Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury)
In Girard’s analysis, the Cult of Victimhood is, though unacknowledged by its practicioners, literally a Christian heresy (or more accurately, a Judeo-Christian heresy, if one can say that).  For Girard, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ reveals to the world the mechanism of scapegoating–a victim is selected from among the people and sacrificed in order to discharge our rivalrous, imitative desires, and that sacrifice becomes both ritualized and camouflaged so that we are unaware of our participation.  Jesus, finishing a process begun at the beginning of the Hebrew Scriptures, comes to strip off the veil over our eyes, to reveal to us the truth.  Where once we held fast to the idea that the victim really deserved to be sacrificed, we now understand that the victim is innocent. Girard insists that this bell cannot be un-rung, and society can never go back to the way it was prior to Easter Sunday.  But that does not mean that scapegoating is ended forever.  It simply means that we as a people cannot rely on the simplistic old versions of the sacred to sustain the Big Lie.  Instead, if we want to avoid the hard work of imitating Jesus, forgiving our enemies, and learning to live in peace, we have to construct a new version of the Big Lie.  This new narrative has to incorporate on some level what Alison calls the « Intelligence of the Victim » that is provided by Jesus’s life, death and resurrection (since that is now a permanent part of human understanding), while still finding a way to create space for sacrificing victims. One way to do this, as Jean-Pierre Dupuy has explored in Marks of the Sacred and Economy and the Future, is to set up supposedly « neutral, » technocratic systems to, in essence, « do the dirty work for you » while keeping a clean conscience (« I’m not punishing the poor, it’s just ‘market forces’ that are leaving people destitute » etc.).  But the other way is through the Cult of Victimhood.  The Cult of Victimhood begins by appropriating the Intelligence of the Victim, recognizing the truth that discrete groups are often persecuted unjustly by virtue of being a discrete group, and not as a result of anything for which they are responsible.  And the Cult of Victimhood insists, correctly, that persecution of the particular discrete group at issue is unjust and should be stopped.  So far, so good.  But then the Cult of Victimhood turns being a victim into a status, defining itself in terms of the marker (either directly or indirectly) of having been through the experience of being a victim. The Cult of Victimhood is thus an inversion of the normal, pre-Christian process of the Sacred–rather than the majority forming an identity over and against some identifiable minority victim or group of victims through the process of victimization, the minority forms an identity over and against the majority by virtue of being victimized, either presently or at some point in the past. This creates three serious problems.  First, the identity of the group is tied up in the status of being a victim.  Thus, perversely, there is an incentive for the minority to seek to be victimized, because it supports and reinforces the group identity, leading to counter-productive co-dependent relationships with the persecuting majority.  Or, at a minimum, the minority needs to perceive itself as being victimized in order to shore up its self-identity, leading to incentives to find persecution behind every rock or tree, even when it is not there. The second problem is that the Cult of Victimhood creates a tempting platform to seize the moral high ground.  In light of the message of Jesus, we have an obligation to have special moral concern for victims as victims.  But it does not follow that those that are victimized have some special moral qualities or status by virtue of being victims.  Being a victim does not necessarily make you wiser, or more just, or better able to discern moral realities in the world around you, because being a victim is ultimately and fundamentally arbitrary.  As the great Ta-Nehisi Coates says, « [w]e, too, are capable of fictions because, as it turns out, oppression confers no wisdom and is rarely self-improving. »  But the Cult of Victimhood seizes on being a victim to provide a kind of imputed righteousness.  Once again, this is an inversion for the old vision of the Sacred–whereas before the society explained that victims became victims through some narrative of moral failure, now the victims understand their victim status through a narrative of their own moral superiority. In doing so, it sets up a purely binary, Manichean distortion of the Gospel message, dividing the world into fixed categories of victims who are righteous and victimizers who are unrighteous.  This binary system acts as a kind of moral shield for their own behavior.  The logical chain goes like this:  because I am a victim, I am righteous; because I am righteous, those that challenge or critique that righteousness (especially if the critique comes from those that victimized me) are per se wrong and their critique is per se illegitimate; thus, I can stay in a comfortable bubble of my own imputed righteousness.  Because I am an innocent victim, I don’t have to take seriously any critiques of my own actions. This in turn leads to the third problem.  Because of the power of feature #1 and especially feature #2 of the Cult of Victimhood, everyone wants to get in on the action.  And, given both the pervasive nature of scapegoating and the cultural awareness of the phenomenon (even if inchoate) brought about by thousands of years of Judeo-Christian presence, everyone can get in on the action if they look hard enough.  Everyone can craft a story of why they are the « real » victims over and against some group of victimizers.  What results is an utterly intractable set of mutually incompatible victimhood narratives, in which every group is the righteous but persecuted minority over and against some nefarious overculture. In an attempt to resolve this deadlock, the basic instinct (especially for the partisans of one competing narrative or another) is to try to adjudicate who are the « real » victims and who is the « fake » victims.  Girard would insist that this is an utterly futile activity, because all of these stories of victimhood are on some level true and on some level self-serving nonsense.  The fact of being the victim is true, but the narrative of why the victimization occurred, tied into some group identity and moral status, is not.  And it is not true because, again, being a victim is arbitrary.  Sometimes you are victimized because of some trait you happen to have (like race or gender), sometimes it is because of some social group you happen to belong to that happens to be on the short end of the stick for whatever reason (like LGBT folks), sometimes it is for no reason at all.  The only real difference between the victim and the victimizer is circumstance.  Or, to put it another way, there has only been one truly innocent victim in all of history, and He was last seen outside of Jerusalem 2000 years ago and 40 days after Easter Sunday. Again, it’s crucial, here and elsewhere, to draw a very clear line between the fact of victimization and the status as a victim.  People get victimized, and we have a moral obligation to try to end the victimization.  But the Cult of Victimization makes that project more difficult, because it weaponizes victimization and intermixes genuine victimization with dubious claims of moral righteousness.  It also incentivizes out-and-out bogus claims of victimization, because the power of victimhood status is too enticing. To see an example of the Cult of Victimhood in action, consider this piece from Andrew Sullivan about Trump.  In the piece, Sullivan makes the point that one key dimension of why white, working-class voters have rallied to Trump is the disdain shown by cultural elites (mostly liberal but also conservative, to the extent those are still distinct categories) toward the culture and values of said white working-class people.  The reaction on social media to the piece was very telling.  Instead of pushing back on the thesis (i.e., « you are wrong, Andrew, we don’t disdain the values of these folks. »), or to admit the thesis and stand firm on the position (i.e. « yes, Andrew, we do disdain the values of these folks because these values are bad. »), the reaction was to criticize Sullivan for failing to assert that racism (and, to a lesser extent, homophobia) was the « real » reason why these voters were supporting Trump. First off, Sullivan does talk about that in the piece.  But, more to the point, seizing on Sullivan’s purported failure to talk about race or homophobia is a way to side-step and de-legitimize the basic point that cultural elites disdain a big chunk of the population.  Because, if the « real » issue is race or homophobia, then in the Cult of Victimhood world the issues and objections of white working class folks are per se illegitimate, because they are the unrighteous victimizers.  In other words, yelling at Sullivan for failing to talk about race is another way of saying « their assertion of victimhood status is bogus because my victimhood status is real, and because my victimhood status is real their assertion of victimhood status must be bogus. »  And, of course, the same story can (and is) being said on the other side.  Which is why, along the lines of Sullivan’s piece, the 2016 U.S. Presidential election has been a heretofore unprecedented orgy of the Cult of Victimhood from all sides, and promises to become even more grotesque as we get closer to November. (…) The point is to talk about how the Cult of Victimhood works, and why it makes these kinds of debates so intractable.  No matter how real the persecution, the stories people tell regarding the persecution are fundamentally unreliable, especially if they divide the world into an « us » and a « them. »  And, once they are a « them, » we can stay safe in our bubble of righteousness. The power of Girard’s ideas, for me, is the constant and destabilizing claim of a radical equality–we are all victims, and we are all victimizers.  This doctrine cuts through both our self-serving claims to goodness as well as the paralyzing guilt of our wickedness. Michael Boyle
Even his most sympathetic biographers acknowledge that, as an officer of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, he paid regular visits to the waterfront brothels of Rangoon. After spending time in Morocco, he also confessed to his friend Harold Acton that he ‘seldom tasted such bliss as with certain Moroccan girls’. A friend recalled Orwell saying that ‘he found himself increasingly attracted by the young Arab girls’. He confessed to the same friend that he told his wife, Eileen, he ‘had to have one of these girls on just one occasion’. Eileen agreed, and so he went ahead. During his marriage to Eileen, Orwell made an improper advance to a young woman, Lydia Jackson. ‘He did not attract me as a man and his ill health even aroused in me a slight feeling of revulsion,’ she recalled. Once he was better, he wrote Lydia a suggestive letter, letting her know when his wife was away, and adding: ‘I know it’s indiscreet to write such things in letters, but you’ll be clever & burn this, won’t you?’ But Lydia had no wish to go along with this deceit. ‘His masculine conceit annoyed me,’ she said. After the sudden death of Eileen, Orwell made a pass at another young woman, who lived in the flat below. ‘I wonder if you were angry or surprised when I sort of made advances to you that night . . .’ he wrote to her. ‘It is only that I feel so desperately alone . . . Of course, it’s absurd to make love to someone of your age.’ A few years ago, letters were discovered in which a childhood friend, Jacintha Buddicom, revealed that when Orwell was 15 and she was 17, a bit of canoodling had accelerated into something more violent, and he had attempted to rape her. Jacintha shouted, kicked and screamed before running home with a bruised hip and a torn skirt. Afterwards, she broke off all contact with him. Nearly 60 years later, Jacintha wrote to a relative about the additional hurt she suffered when she realised he had turned her into a character in his most famous book. She wrote: ‘At least you have not had the public shame of being destroyed in a classic book as Eric did to me. Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four is clearly Jacintha, of that I feel certain . . . in the end he absolutely destroys me, like a man in hobnailed boots stamping on a spider. ‘It hurt my mother so much when she read that book that we always thought it brought on her final heart attack a few days later. Be glad you have not been torn limb from limb in public.’ Does this mean the works of George Orwell should be removed from libraries and bookshops? Of course not. But if he is to be excused, then why not other literary heroes? The Daily Mail
What a scandal for our times. Oxfam, that upholder of modern-day virtue, unassailable in its righteousness, buried for seven years that its aid workers exploited young girls. The men abused their power to have sex with desperate victims of the Haiti earthquake — the very people they were supposed to protect. Sadly Oxfam is not alone. Andrew Macleod, former chief operator of the UN Emerging Coordination Centre warns the infiltration of the aid industry by paedophiles is on the scale of the Catholic church — if not bigger. The aid industry has manipulated public opinion with the help of celebrities and politicians eager for the glitz of poverty porn. It’s a powerful and cosy lobby. Oxfam and Save the Children are prime overseas contractors for the DfID1. Many DfID workers are former activists from the NGO sector. Western media depend on aid agencies for access and transport in conflict areas. Dambisa Moyo, a global economist from Zambia, points out the first world has sent more than $1 trillion to Africa over the past 50 years. Far from ending extreme poverty, this fabulous sum promoted it. Between 1970 and 1998, when aid flows to Africa were at their peak, poverty in Africa rose from 11 per cent to a staggering 66 per cent. Of course there are other factors. But the more development aid a country receives, the less likely it is to enjoy economic success. Aid distorts home markets. Food aid, for example, causes agricultural sectors to shrink and makes famine more rather than less likely. The cascade of aid money permits government to abdicate its responsibility to fund health care, education and infrastructure. It promotes a disconnect between a government and its citizens. When foreign donors cover 40 per cent of the operating budgets of countries such as Kenya and Uganda, why would leaders listen to their citizens? Schmoozing2 foreign donors comes first. What Africa needs is not more ‘Band Aid solutions’ but jobs for the 60 per cent of Africans under the age of 24. ’And aid,’ as Moyo says, ‘has never created a single job.’ On Radio 4’s Today programme this week, Madeleine Rees, a human rights lawyer, insisted: ‘The majority of aid does good.’ She went on, ‘Who is going to get hurt if the aid budget is destroyed?’ Of course, like obedient children, we are meant to reply, ‘The poor.’ But as more and more stories emerge about waste and abuse, I wonder if aid doesn’t do more harm than good. Harriet Sergeant
Quel silence assourdissant face au suicide démographique de l’Europe à l’horizon 2050 ! Les projections démographiques des grandes régions du monde d’ici là sont connues et réévaluées tous les deux ans par les Nations unies et régulièrement par Eurostat pour les Etats membres de l’Union européenne[2], mais il faut être un spécialiste des bases de données pour s’en servir. De fait, personne n’en parle, surtout à Bruxelles où l’on préfère produire des rapports sur les révolutions technologiques, le développement durable ou la transition énergétique. Nous devons remplir notre fonction d’alerte, même si nous savons que nous ne serons plus là en 2050 pour regretter de ne pas avoir été entendus. Contrairement à l’Amérique du Nord qui verrait sa population augmenter de 75 millions d’habitants (soit deux fois moins que l’Amérique du Sud), l’Europe pourrait stagner autour de 500 millions d’habitants et perdre 49 millions de personnes en âge de travailler dans la tranche des 20-64 ans, dont 11 millions pour l’Allemagne. L’Espagne et l’Italie devraient aussi perdre de 7 à 8 millions d’actifs potentiels. La France pourrait se réjouir de quasiment rattraper l’Allemagne, ce qu’en réalité le Royaume-Uni devrait réaliser avant elle. Il est illusoire de se réjouir d’une telle perspective car nos voisins sont aussi nos principaux débouchés : 87% de ce qui est produit en France est consommé en Europe dont 70% pour la France, et 17% pour les exportations (56% des 30% exportés dans le monde). Les autres enseignements de la tectonique démographique d’ici à 2050 ne sont pas moins interpellants : la Chine, le Japon et la Russie perdraient respectivement 38 millions, 20 millions et 15 millions d’habitants alors que l’Inde augmenterait de près de 400 millions d’habitants et dépasserait la Chine d’au moins 300 millions d’habitants. La saignée sera particulièrement forte pour la tranche d’âge des 20-64 ans d’ici à 2050 : – 22 millions pour la Russie, -20 millions pour le Japon et – 195 millions pour la Chine. Les Etats-Unis verraient leurs actifs potentiels augmenter de presque 20 millions dans la période. Il faudra des bras et des cerveaux pour compenser ces pertes d’actifs. Chance ? Dans le même temps, la population de l’Afrique devrait augmenter de 1,3 milliard, dont 130 millions rien que pour l’Afrique du Nord. C’est dire que la pression migratoire sur l’Europe va être plus forte que jamais ! Ce choc démographique (implosion interne et explosion externe), l’Europe n’en parle pas et ne s’y prépare pas. Tout se passe comme si le tsunami démographique était moins important que la vague numérique. Pour que cesse l’omerta, nous invitons nos interlocuteurs à imaginer quelques millions de réfugiés climatiques en provenance d’Asie ou encore plus de réfugiés politiques et économiques en provenance d’Afrique et du Moyen-Orient. Relevons que si 1% du surcroît de la population africaine s’installait en France d’ici à 35 ans (ce qui est aussi proche de nous que 1980), cela ferait quand même 13 millions d’habitants en plus dans l’hexagone d’ici à 2050, soit 20% de plus ! Quand on songe que l’Union européenne a été fragilisée et ébranlée en 2015 par un million de réfugiés dont les trois-quarts politiques, on se rend compte que l’Europe ne devrait pas attendre pour se préparer à de telles perspectives. Elle devrait s’inspirer du Canada qui n’hésite pas à pratiquer une politique de quotas en fonction des besoins du marché du travail. Et aussi encourager la relance de la fécondité dans le vieux continent. Car l’intégration se fait d’abord par le brassage des cultures dans les écoles. (…) Quand il y a trop de sable, le ciment ne prend pas. Pour accueillir le maximum de sable, il faut plus de ciment, c’est-à-dire d’enfants parlant la langue du pays quelle que soit leur couleur. Bref, pour rester ouvert au monde, il faudrait relancer la fécondité en Europe dès maintenant. Mais qui parle de politique familiale dans une Europe qui permet qu’il y ait des hôtels et lieux de vacances réservés aux adultes, interdits aux enfants et tolérant seulement les animaux familiers ! Les médias commencent tout juste à s’alarmer du fait qu’en 2016 pour la première fois, en Europe, le nombre de cercueils a dépassé celui des berceaux. Il est intéressant de relever que c’est le cas en Allemagne depuis 1971, de l’Italie depuis 1991, de l’Espagne depuis 2016, de la Russie depuis 1991, du Japon depuis 2006. Le tour de la Chine viendra en 2028. Le phénomène ne devrait concerner la France, voire les Etats-Unis, qu’après 2050. On ne fabrique pas de berceaux avec des cercueils. Le suicide démographique de la vieille Europe est annoncé mais il est encore temps : la bonne prévision n’est pas forcément celle qui se réalise mais celle qui conduit à l’action pour l’éviter. Les chercheurs s’interrogent sur les causes du ralentissement concomitant de la croissance et de la productivité alors que les révolutions technologiques de l’information et de la communication (TIC), des biotechnologies, des nanotechnologies ou des énergies (nouvelles et stockage) sont plus que jamais perceptibles. C’est le fameux paradoxe de Solow (on trouve des ordinateurs partout sauf dans les statistiques de productivité). Curieusement, ces mêmes chercheurs ne s’interrogent pas sur le lien qu’il pourrait y avoir entre ce ralentissement de la croissance et le vieillissement démographique des anciennes zones développées : Etats-Unis, Japon, Europe. Michel Godet
Les pays nantis – par exemple, les pays membres de l’UE – qui espèrent décourager la migration depuis des régions très pauvres du monde par un transfert prudent de ressources (grâce à des accords bilatéraux, des annulations de dettes et ainsi de suite) ne devraient pas être trop déçus en découvrant au bout d’un certain temps que leurs initiatives ont échoué à améliorer les conditions de vie dans les pays ciblés. Car un pays qui réussirait effectivement à augmenter son PIB, le taux d’alphabétisation de ses adultes et l’espérance de vie – soit un mieux à tout point de vue – produirait encore plus de candidats au départ qu’un pays qui se contente de son enterrement en bas du tableau de l’économie mondiale. Jeremy Harding
La guerre, la faim et l’effondrement social n’ont pas causé des migrations massives au-delà de la frontière naturelle que constitue le Sahara. mais les premiers rayons de prospérité pourraient bien motiver un plus grand nombre d’Africains à venir en Europe. Jeremy Harding
Je dis ça sans affolement. Quand vous avez un voisin qui en 2050 sera 5 fois plus nombreux que toute l’Europe comprise, il y a une pression migratoire qui est très forte et il faut s’arranger entre voisins (européens), il faut négocier. Il faut prendre la mesure du réel d’abord. Puis il faut des négociations entre l’Europe et l’Afrique pour éviter notamment que ses forces vives quittent le continent. Tant que l’Afrique croit à ce rythme, c’est impossible (de juguler). Tous les progrès sont noyés par la progression démographique. Il faut à un moment maitriser cette croissance démographique. C’est un problème de long terme qui se jouera sur les deux générations à venir, pas avant 2050. Toutes les régions du monde ont migré. En Europe il y avait 300 millions d’habitants et 60 millions en sont partis, dont 40 millions vers les Etats-Unis. L’Afrique ne fait que reproduire des scenarii qui ont eu lieu en Europe et en Amérique latine. Et il est évident que l’Europe va faire face à une migration très forte depuis l’Afrique, c’est inévitable. [l’aide au développement] c’est une imposture. Nous allons développer un continent d’1,3 milliards, soit l’équivalent de la Chine. Et tous ceux qui se sont développés, les millions de personnes qui sont sortis de la pauvreté ces dernières décennies – les Chinois, les Indiens -, n’en sont jamais sortis par l’aide au développement. L’aide au développement va d’abord permettre à une classe moyenne qui émerge de migrer, de partir du continent. Toutes les volontés de fermer les frontières sont inutiles. Avec 6 milliards d’euros, les européens se sont achetés la paix de 2,5 millions de migrants, bloqués en Turquie. Mais c’est cynique de parler comme ça. Les gens passeront, par une porte ou une autre. C’est inévitable. Mettez-vous à la place des Africains qui voient de telles inégalités et qui pensent à leur vie ou à leurs enfants. Nous ferions pareil à leur place. Bien sûr qu’un moment l’Afrique arrivera à retenir ses forces vives. On oublie souvent qu’un tiers des européens partis en Amérique sont revenus en Europe. Ce n’est pas forcément le bonheur d’arriver en Europe, beaucoup de migrants sont déçus, et vous préférez toujours rester parmi les vôtres ». Stephen Smith
Le problème, c’est que quand vous aidez, dans un premier temps, vous créez un horizon qui est plus large: les gens commencent à penser qu’ils peuvent bouger puisqu’ils ont aussi les moyens – il faut plusieurs milliers d’euros pour entreprendre ce voyage – et donc ce ne sont pas les plus pauvres, les plus désespérés qui partent mais ceux qui commencent à sortir la tête de l’eau. Et c’est donc cet effet de seuil qui fait que dans un premier temps l’aide aide les gens à partir. Stephen Smith
Les pays du Nord subventionnent les pays du Sud, moyennant l’aide au développement, afin que les démunis puissent mieux vivre et – ce n’est pas toujours dit aussi franchement – rester chez eux. Or, ce faisant, les pays riches se tirent une balle dans le pied. En effet, du moins dans un premier temps, ils versent une prime à la migration en aidant des pays pauvres à atteindre le seuil de prospérité à partir duquel leurs habitants disposent des moyens pour partir et s’installer ailleurs. C’est l’aporie du « codéveloppement », qui vise à retenir les pauvres chez eux alors qu’il finance leur déracinement. Il n’y a pas de solution. Car il faut bien aider les plus pauvres, ceux qui en ont le plus besoin ; le codéveloppement avec la prospère île Maurice, sans grand risque d’inciter au départ, est moins urgent… Les cyniques se consoleront à l’idée que l’aide a rarement fait advenir le développement mais, plus souvent, servi de « rente géopolitique » à des alliés dans l’arrière-cour mondiale. Dans un reportage au long cours titré The Uninvited, « les hôtes indésirables », Jeremy Harding, l’un des rédacteurs en chef de la London Review of Books, a pointé avec ironie le dilemme du codéveloppement : « des pays nantis – par exemple, les pays membres de l’UE – qui espèrent décourager la migration depuis des régions très pauvres du monde par un transfert prudent de ressources (grâce à des accords bilatéraux, des annulations de dettes et ainsi de suite) ne devraient pas être trop déçus en découvrant au bout d’un certain temps que leurs initiatives ont échoué à améliorer les conditions de vie dans les pays ciblés. Car un pays qui réussirait effectivement à augmenter son PIB, le taux d’alphabétisation de ses adultes et l’espérance de vie – soit un mieux à tout point de vue – produirait encore plus de candidats au départ qu’un pays qui se contente de son enterrement en bas du tableau de l’économie mondiale. » Les premiers rayons de prospérité pourraient bien motiver un plus grand nombre d’Africains à venir en Europe. Pourquoi ? Les plus pauvres parmi les pauvres n’ont pas les moyens d’émigrer. Ils n’y pensent même pas. Ils sont occupés à joindre les deux bouts, ce qui ne leur laisse guère le loisir de se familiariser avec la marche du monde et, encore moins, d’y participer. À l’autre extrême, qui coïncide souvent avec l’autre bout du monde, les plus aisés voyagent beaucoup, au point de croire que l’espace ne compte plus et que les frontières auraient tendance à disparaître ; leur liberté de circuler – un privilège – émousse leur désir de s’établir ailleurs. Ce n’est pas le cas des « rescapés de la subsistance », qui peuvent et veulent s’installer sur une terre d’opportunités. L’Afrique émergente est sur le point de subir cet effet d’échelle : hier dépourvues des moyens pour émigrer, ses masses sur le seuil de la prospérité se mettent aujourd’hui en route vers le « paradis » européen. Stephen Smith

Vous avez dit cinquante-nuances-de-grisation du monde ?

« Fan fiction » parasite devenant succès mondial de librairie et du cinéma en fusionnant roman de gare et sadomasochisme; déboulonnage généralisé de tous nos maitres à penser, y compris les plus lucides; chef d’état-major annonçant, après l’avènement du terrorisme pour tous, la contamination de la guerre par « l’exploitation » systématiques par certains Etats « des zones d’ombre entre la paix et la guerre »;  migrants clandestins important la pratique anthropopagique au sein même des sociétés théoriquement les plus avancées; société nationale de chemin de fer ayant déjà connu des attaques terroristes sur ses passagers sommée de s’excuser pour avoir osé s’opposer à l’arrivée massive de clandestins dont on ne sait rien à bord de ses trains; conjonction annoncée d’un véritable suicide démographique d’une Europe vieillissante et d’une jeune Afrique à la démographie explosive; études montrant outre le détournement systématique et l’infiltration généralisée d’oeuvres caritatives par des pédophiles les effets contreproductifs d’une aide qui « aide en fait les gens à quitter leur pays »; intellectuelle regrettant de ne pas avoir été violée pour pouvoir prouver aux femmes que le traumatisme est surmontable; culpabilisation entretenue d’une obligation charitable face à des gens qui au nom de leur droit à la liberté en abusent ou même la refusent; apologie de l’ouverture à tous crins et dénonciation du repli identitaire par des élites protégées des conséquences des décisions qu’elles imposent aux plus vulnérables; procès concernant des centaines de victimes tournant à la farce; hommage national d’un chanteur de rock se finissant en crêpage de chignons médiatique

En ces temps de plus en plus étranges …

Où avec la dénonciation comme fascisme ou repli de toute barrière ou protection …

La perte des repères se généralise et se mondialise …

Comment ne pas repenser aux prophéties à présent centenaires de nos poètes …

Annonçant la « dislocation de toutes choses et le déchainement de l’anarchie sur le monde » (Yeats) ou la « dégénérescence de la connaissance en une pagaille de visions subjectives », le  « remplacement de la justice par la pitié » et la « disparition de toute crainte de représailles » (Auden) …

Et  surtout ne pas voir avec René Girard …

Que loin des représentations fondamentalistes d’une brutale rétribution divine à venir …

Cette fameuse Apocalypse annoncée depuis plus de 2000 ans qui est avant tout et étymologiquement dévoilement …

Pourrait bien en fait sous l’effet de la privation, initiée par le Christ lui-même, du recours multimillénaire à la violence légitime …

Avoir tout simplement déjà commencé  ?

Migrations : « La Ruée vers l’Europe », le livre qui dérange
EXCLUSIF. Que dit Stephen Smith, spécialiste de l’Afrique, des migrations vers l’Europe ? Sa principale thèse : le développement économique du continent les alimente.
Le Point Afrique
01/02/2018

Ce n’est que dans les années 2000 que l’Europe grisonnante a pris conscience de son déclin démographique, du vieillissement de sa population et des effets à long terme sur l’emploi et les retraites. Dans le même temps, l’Afrique s’est mise à rimer avec boom démographique. Une explosion initiée dans les années 1930 par des politiques de développement de la France et de la Grande-Bretagne, qui entendaient recadrer leur « mission civilisatrice ». C’est récemment aussi que la « tragédie statistique » de l’Afrique a commencé à préoccuper sa voisine européenne en matière de politique migratoire. Cette exceptionnelle jeunesse, Stephen Smith, spécialiste de ce continent qui est à la fois à part et déjà mondialisé, en fait la matrice de l’avenir où viennent aussi se télescoper une pauvreté persistante, les conflits armés, la montée des extrémismes religieux, les défis sanitaires, urbains, économiques, l’affrontement entre les générations.

Mais la ruée vers l’Europe est-elle inéluctable ? Partant de cette « loi des grands nombres » démographique, Smith répond par l’affirmative. Tout en s’écartant des afro-pessimistes, il ne tombe pas dans l’optimisme béat des tenants de l’Afrique qui gagne. Pour lui, dans le cadre d’une telle explosion de population, c’est le développement économique de l’Afrique qui va nourrir cette levée en masse, ceux qui partent constituant le sel même de ce continent. Sur ce sujet complexe, qu’il traite du point de vue africain, il prend donc à rebrousse-poil certaines idées reçues, envisageant plusieurs scénarios, dont il évalue la probabilité et les conséquences. Au final, il signe un ouvrage indispensable pour bien comprendre l’un des enjeux majeurs des prochaines décennies.

Extraits

Le codéveloppement alimente la ruée

Les pays du Nord subventionnent les pays du Sud, moyennant l’aide au développement, afin que les démunis puissent mieux vivre et – ce n’est pas toujours dit aussi franchement – rester chez eux. Or, ce faisant, les pays riches se tirent une balle dans le pied. En effet, du moins dans un premier temps, ils versent une prime à la migration en aidant des pays pauvres à atteindre le seuil de prospérité à partir duquel leurs habitants disposent des moyens pour partir et s’installer ailleurs. C’est l’aporie du « codéveloppement », qui vise à retenir les pauvres chez eux alors qu’il finance leur déracinement. Il n’y a pas de solution. Car il faut bien aider les plus pauvres, ceux qui en ont le plus besoin ; le codéveloppement avec la prospère île Maurice, sans grand risque d’inciter au départ, est moins urgent… Les cyniques se consoleront à l’idée que l’aide a rarement fait advenir le développement mais, plus souvent, servi de « rente géopolitique » à des alliés dans l’arrière-cour mondiale.

Dans un reportage au long cours titré The Uninvited, « les hôtes indésirables », Jeremy Harding, l’un des rédacteurs en chef de la London Review of Books, a pointé avec ironie le dilemme du codéveloppement : « des pays nantis – par exemple, les pays membres de l’UE – qui espèrent décourager la migration depuis des régions très pauvres du monde par un transfert prudent de ressources (grâce à des accords bilatéraux, des annulations de dettes et ainsi de suite) ne devraient pas être trop déçus en découvrant au bout d’un certain temps que leurs initiatives ont échoué à améliorer les conditions de vie dans les pays ciblés. Car un pays qui réussirait effectivement à augmenter son PIB, le taux d’alphabétisation de ses adultes et l’espérance de vie – soit un mieux à tout point de vue – produirait encore plus de candidats au départ qu’un pays qui se contente de son enterrement en bas du tableau de l’économie mondiale. » Les premiers rayons de prospérité pourraient bien motiver un plus grand nombre d’Africains à venir en Europe. Pourquoi ? Les plus pauvres parmi les pauvres n’ont pas les moyens d’émigrer. Ils n’y pensent même pas. Ils sont occupés à joindre les deux bouts, ce qui ne leur laisse guère le loisir de se familiariser avec la marche du monde et, encore moins, d’y participer. À l’autre extrême, qui coïncide souvent avec l’autre bout du monde, les plus aisés voyagent beaucoup, au point de croire que l’espace ne compte plus et que les frontières auraient tendance à disparaître ; leur liberté de circuler – un privilège – émousse leur désir de s’établir ailleurs. Ce n’est pas le cas des « rescapés de la subsistance », qui peuvent et veulent s’installer sur une terre d’opportunités. L’Afrique émergente est sur le point de subir cet effet d’échelle : hier dépourvues des moyens pour émigrer, ses masses sur le seuil de la prospérité se mettent aujourd’hui en route vers le « paradis » européen.

« La Ruée vers l’Europe », de Stephen Smith (Grasset, 272 pages, 19,50 euros). Parution le 7 février

Voir aussi:

Migrants : « L’aide au développement de l’Afrique aide les gens à partir »

Stephen Smith, journaliste, écrivain, enseignant, spécialiste de l’Afrique et qui publie La ruée vers l’Europe, est l’invité du Grand Soir 3 ce mardi 6 février.

France 3


L’Union européenne compte 510 millions d’habitants en 2018 et en comptera 450 en 2050. En parallèle, l’Afrique compte 1,25 milliard d’habitants et en comptera 2,5 milliards en 2050. Pour Stephen Smith, la jeune Afrique va se ruer sur le Vieux continent, c’est inscrit dans l’ordre des choses. « C’est la loi des grands nombres. l’Afrique crée des hôpitaux et des écoles pour la population actuelle, mais tous les quinze ans, il y a deux fois plus d’habitants« , explique l’auteur du livre La ruée vers l’Europe.

Les aides des pays occidentaux à l’Afrique « fonctionnent parfois, mais ce ne sont pas les plus pauvres ni les plus désespérés qui partent, ce qui fait que dans un premier temps l’aide aide les gens à partir », affirme l’enseignant spécialiste de l’Afrique.

« Il faut faire du tri »

Il rappelle que « 60 millions d’Européens sont partis au moment de la transition démographique du Vieux continent, dont 40 millions aux États-Unis. L’Afrique en est là. Il n’y a rien d’exceptionnel ».

Stephen Smith juge la politique envers les migrants d’Emmanuel Macron « cohérente, réaliste. Il faut faire du tri. Une frontière est là pour que la barrière se lève et se baisse. Les migrants comme leurs hôtes doivent pouvoir s’épanouir ».

Voir également:

Stephen Smith, journaliste et écrivain, spécialiste de l’Afrique était l’invité de Bourdin Direct ce jeudi. Pour lui, les États européens vont devoir négocier entre eux pour faire face à la forte pression migratoire en provenance de l’Afrique ces prochaines décennies.

Europe 2050 : ce suicide démographique que rien ne semble pouvoir arrêter

Quel silence assourdissant face au suicide démographique de l’Europe à l’horizon 2050[1] ! Les projections démographiques des grandes régions du monde d’ici là sont connues et réévaluées tous les deux ans par les Nations unies et régulièrement par Eurostat pour les Etats membres de l’Union européenne[2], mais il faut être un spécialiste des bases de données pour s’en servir.
Michel Godet

Atlantico
21 Février 2018

De fait, personne n’en parle, surtout à Bruxelles où l’on préfère produire des rapports sur les révolutions technologiques, le développement durable ou la transition énergétique.

Nous devons remplir notre fonction d’alerte, même si nous savons que nous ne serons plus là en 2050 pour regretter de ne pas avoir été entendus. Contrairement à l’Amérique du Nord qui verrait sa population augmenter de 75 millions d’habitants (soit deux fois moins que l’Amérique du Sud), l’Europe pourrait stagner autour de 500 millions d’habitants et perdre 49 millions de personnes en âge de travailler dans la tranche des 20-64 ans, dont 11 millions pour l’Allemagne. L’Espagne et l’Italie devraient aussi perdre de 7 à 8 millions d’actifs potentiels.

La France pourrait se réjouir de quasiment rattraper l’Allemagne, ce qu’en réalité le Royaume-Uni devrait réaliser avant elle. Il est illusoire de se réjouir d’une telle perspective car nos voisins sont aussi nos principaux débouchés : 87% de ce qui est produit en France est consommé en Europe dont 70% pour la France, et 17% pour les exportations (56% des 30% exportés dans le monde).

LA TECTONIQUE DÉMOGRAPHIQUE

Les autres enseignements de la tectonique démographique d’ici à 2050 ne sont pas moins interpellants : la Chine, le Japon et la Russie perdraient respectivement 38 millions, 20 millions et 15 millions d’habitants alors que l’Inde augmenterait de près de 400 millions d’habitants et dépasserait la Chine d’au moins 300 millions d’habitants. La saignée sera particulièrement forte pour la tranche d’âge des 20-64 ans d’ici à 2050 : – 22 millions pour la Russie, -20 millions pour le Japon et – 195 millions pour la Chine. Les Etats-Unis verraient leurs actifs potentiels augmenter de presque 20 millions dans la période.

Il faudra des bras et des cerveaux pour compenser ces pertes d’actifs. Chance ? Dans le même temps, la population de l’Afrique devrait augmenter de 1,3 milliard, dont 130 millions rien que pour l’Afrique du Nord. C’est dire que la pression migratoire sur l’Europe va être plus forte que jamais ! Ce choc démographique (implosion interne et explosion externe), l’Europe n’en parle pas et ne s’y prépare pas. Tout se passe comme si le tsunami démographique était moins important que la vague numérique. Pour que cesse l’omerta, nous invitons nos interlocuteurs à imaginer quelques millions de réfugiés climatiques en provenance d’Asie ou encore plus de réfugiés politiques et économiques en provenance d’Afrique et du Moyen-Orient. Relevons que si 1% du surcroît de la population africaine s’installait en France d’ici à 35 ans (ce qui est aussi proche de nous que 1980), cela ferait quand même 13 millions d’habitants en plus dans l’hexagone d’ici à 2050, soit 20% de plus ! Quand on songe que l’Union européenne a été fragilisée et ébranlée en 2015 par un million de réfugiés dont les trois-quarts politiques, on se rend compte que l’Europe ne devrait pas attendre pour se préparer à de telles perspectives. Elle devrait s’inspirer du Canada qui n’hésite pas à pratiquer une politique de quotas en fonction des besoins du marché du travail. Et aussi encourager la relance de la fécondité dans le vieux continent. Car l’intégration se fait d’abord par le brassage des cultures dans les écoles.

En Europe et au Japon, la croissance du PIB a été supérieure dans les années 1980 à celle des années 1990 : 2.5% contre 2.3% en Europe et 4.6% contre 1.1% au Japon. Au cours de ces deux décennies, la croissance du PIB des États-Unis est supérieure d’environ un point à celle de l’Europe. L’explication est essentiellement (pour plus de la moitié) démographique, car l’écart de croissance du PIB par habitant n’est que de 0.2 point plus élevé outreAtlantique qu’en Europe sur les mêmes périodes. En effet, la croissance démographique, de l’ordre de 1% par an aux Etats-Unis, est depuis le début des années 60, deux à trois fois plus élevée qu’en Europe. Une autre partie de l’explication de la croissance du PIB plus élevée aux Etats-Unis est à rechercher du côté du taux d’emploi et de la durée annuelle du travail plus élevés[4]. Si les Américains avancent plus vite, c’est parce qu’ils sont plus nombreux et rament plus. Nous avons retenu un panel de 23 pays, membres depuis longtemps de l’OCDE : Belgique, Danemark, Allemagne, Irlande, Grèce, Espagne, France, Italie, Pays-Bas, Luxembourg, Autriche, Portugal, Finlande, Suède, Royaume-Uni, Islande, Norvège, Suisse, Etats-Unis, Japon, Canada, Australie et Nouvelle- Zélande. A partir de la base de données Ameco de la Commission européenne, nous avons calculé pour chaque pays et sur la période 1993-2015 la moyenne des variations annuelles (en %) de la population totale d’une part et la moyenne des variations annuelles (en %) du volume du PIB/habitant d’autre part. Le nuage de 23 couples de données que nous obtenons s’ordonne significativement d’un point de vue statistique autour d’une droite de régression avec un R2 de 0,42.

Quand il y a trop de sable, le ciment ne prend pas. Pour accueillir le maximum de sable, il faut plus de ciment, c’est-à-dire d’enfants parlant la langue du pays quelle que soit leur couleur. Bref, pour rester ouvert au monde, il faudrait relancer la fécondité en Europe dès maintenant. Mais qui parle de politique familiale dans une Europe qui permet qu’il y ait des hôtels et lieux de vacances réservés aux adultes, interdits aux enfants et tolérant seulement les animaux familiers ! Les médias commencent tout juste à s’alarmer du fait qu’en 2016 pour la première fois, en Europe, le nombre de cercueils a dépassé celui des berceaux. Il est intéressant de relever que c’est le cas en Allemagne depuis 1971, de l’Italie depuis 1991, de l’Espagne depuis 2016, de la Russie depuis 1991, du Japon depuis 2006. Le tour de la Chine viendra en 2028. Le phénomène ne devrait concerner la France, voire les Etats-Unis, qu’après 2050. On ne fabrique pas de berceaux avec des cercueils. Le suicide démographique de la vieille Europe est annoncé mais il est encore temps : la bonne prévision n’est pas forcément celle qui se réalise mais celle qui conduit à l’action pour l’éviter.

CHEVEUX GRIS ET CROISSANCE MOLLE[3] 

Il est classique d’attribuer la forte croissance économique de l’après-guerre en Europe à la reconstruction et au rattrapage par rapport aux Etats-Unis. Ces trente glorieuses ont coïncidé avec la vague démographique. Il est plus rare de relever que dans les années 50 et 60, l’augmentation de la productivité apparente du travail était deux à trois fois plus élevée que dans les années 80 et suivantes alors qu’à l’époque il n’y avait pas d’ordinateurs et qu’on ne parlait pas de révolution technologique. Comment ne pas voir dans cette productivité élevée, un effet de courbe d’expérience et de baisse des coûts unitaires de production dans des marchés en expansion continue ? A l’inverse, la croissance économique comme celle de la productivité n’ont cessé de ralentir aux Etats-Unis, en Europe et au Japon depuis le début des années 1980.

Les chercheurs s’interrogent sur les causes du ralentissement concomitant de la croissance et de la productivité alors que les révolutions technologiques de l’information et de la communication (TIC), des biotechnologies, des nanotechnologies ou des énergies (nouvelles et stockage) sont plus que jamais perceptibles. C’est le fameux paradoxe de Solow (on trouve des ordinateurs partout sauf dans les statistiques de productivité). Curieusement, ces mêmes chercheurs ne s’interrogent pas sur le lien qu’il pourrait y avoir entre ce ralentissement de la croissance et le vieillissement démographique des anciennes zones développées : Etats-Unis, Japon, Europe.

QUAND LA VAGUE NUMÉRIQUE CACHE LE TSUNAMI DÉMOGRAPHIQUE

A la Commission européenne, mais aussi dans la plupart des instances internationales et nationales, la question du lien entre démographie et croissance est rarement évoquée. Les rapports sur la technologie, l’innovation, la compétitivité sont légions. L’homme n’est abordé que comme capital humain, et sous l’angle de la formation, considérée à juste titre comme un investissement et un facteur de croissance à long terme. La démographie n’est traitée qu’à travers le vieillissement par le haut et les problèmes qui en découlent pour l’équilibre des systèmes de retraites, les dépenses de santé, la prise en charge de la dépendance, mais quasiment jamais relativement aux conséquences du vieillissement par le bas sur la croissance et sur la place de l’Europe dans le monde. En 2000, l’ambitieuse stratégie de Lisbonne pour la croissance et l’emploi misait essentiellement sur les technologies de l’information et l’économie de la connaissance pour assurer à l’Europe son avenir et sa puissance sur la scène internationale à l’horizon 2010. A presque mi-parcours, le rapport Wim Kok (2004) maintenait le cap sur la société de la connaissance et un développement durable pour une Europe élargie et consacrait, fait nouveau, une petite page au vieillissement de l’Europe. Ce dernier pouvait faire baisser le potentiel de croissance de l’Union d’un point (autour de 1% au lieu de 2%) d’ici à 2040. Mais rien n’était dit des évolutions démographiques comparées de l’Europe avec les Etats-Unis. Oubli d’autant plus remarquable que les mêmes comparaisons sont systématiques pour l’effort de recherche, l’innovation et la mesure de la productivité.

LES EFFETS MULTIPLICATEURS DE LA DÉMOGRAPHIE

Comme le disait Alfred Sauvy, les économistes « refusent de voir » le lien entre croissance économique et dynamique démographique et ne cherchent donc pas à le vérifier. Pourtant, les Trente Glorieuses et le baby-boom sont allés de pair, et l’essor des Etats-Unis s’explique sans doute, aussi, par une meilleure santé démographique. Depuis trente ans, le taux de fécondité y est en moyenne de près de 2,1 enfants par femme, contre 1,5 dans l’Europe ; la population, du fait aussi d’importants flux migratoires, continue d’augmenter fortement. La comparaison des taux de croissance entre l’Europe et les Etats-Unis fait généralement appel à la technique pour expliquer des différences sur le long terme. On peut se demander s’il n’y a pas aussi un effet de « multiplicateur démographique». Cette hypothèse permet de mieux comprendre pourquoi la croissance et, surtout, les gains de productivité des années 1950 et 1960 ont été en moyenne deux fois plus élevés que dans les années 1980 et 1990, marquées pourtant par les révolutions techniques, sources théoriques de gains de productivité. Avec la nouvelle économie, la question paraissait résolue, les Etats-Unis connaissant une période de forte croissance économique avec des gains de productivité (apparente du travail) bien supérieurs à ceux de l’Europe. N’était-ce pas la preuve du décrochage technologique de l’Europe par rapport aux Etats-Unis ?

On peut douter de cette explication maintenant que l’on connaît les statistiques validées pour le passé. Dans les années 1980, la croissance du PIB par actif était comparable dans les deux zones (autour de 1.5%) avec un léger avantage pour l’Europe dans les années 1980. Cependant, depuis les années 1990, l’Europe semble décrocher par rapport aux Etats-Unis, dont la productivité apparente (PIB/actif occupé) a augmenté de plus de 2% par an dans les années 1990 et 1.5% par an jusqu’en 2007, 1% depuis la crise. Dans le même temps, la hausse de la productivité de l’Europe est passée de 1.7% dans les années 1990 à 1% par an entre 2000 et 2007 pour s’effondrer à 0.3% depuis 2008. La question est donc posée : faut-il attribuer cet écart au gap technologique ou au gap démographique ? Nous avançons l’hypothèse que ce dernier facteur joue un rôle déterminant car le fossé démographique se creuse plus que jamais. Tous les habitants ne sont pas actifs, mais le nombre d’heures travaillées explique l’essentiel de la différence de niveau de productivité apparente du travail par actif employé, puisque les Américains travaillent 46% de plus que les Français par an. S’ils travaillent, c’est qu’il y a une demande solvable à satisfaire, peut-être aussi plus soutenue qu’ailleurs pour cause d’expansion démographique. Si l’on renonce à l’hypothèse d’indépendance entre les deux variables « PIB par habitant » et « croissance démographique », alors nous pouvons avancer une nouvelle hypothèse, celle d’un multiplicateur démographique qui serait à l’origine d’une part importante des gains de productivité plus élevés aux Etats-Unis qu’en Europe. Généralement, les économistes (se référant à la fameuse fonction de production de Cobb-Douglas) expliquent la croissance par trois facteurs : le capital, le travail et le progrès technique. Revenons aux sources : la productivité est le résidu de croissance supplémentaire, qui ne s’explique pas par l’augmentation des facteurs de production (capital et travail). Faute de mieux, on attribue ce surcroît de croissance du PIB par actif au progrès technique (en l’occurrence la diffusion des technologies de l’information), ce qui est une manière positive de désigner le résidu non expliqué.

Voir de même:

Does aid do more harm than good?

The Oxfam abuse scandal has revealed a sinister side to international charities

The Spectator

17 February 2018

What a scandal for our times. Oxfam, that upholder of modern-day virtue, unassailable in its righteousness, buried for seven years that its aid workers exploited young girls. The men abused their power to have sex with desperate victims of the Haiti earthquake — the very people they were supposed to protect.

Michelle Russell of the Charity Commission is clear about the deception. ‘We were categorically told by Oxfam; there were no allegations of abuse of beneficiaries. We are very angry and cross about this.’

Nor was this a one-off. Helen Evans, the charity’s global head of safeguarding, begged senior staff, ministers and the Department for International Development to act. She had uncovered sexual abuse allegations both abroad — three in one day — and in Oxfam’s charity shops. Nothing was done.

This is the same Oxfam that recently blamed capitalism for world poverty and set up deck chairs in Trafalgar square to protest against corruption and tax havens. Now the virtue signallers are hoisted on the shard of their own fallibility. Compared with the emerging sins of our aid agencies, tax havens look almost benign.

Sadly Oxfam is not alone. Andrew Macleod, former chief operator of the UN Emerging Coordination Centre, contends paedophiles and ‘-predatory’ sex abusers use the halo of charity work to get close to desperate women and children. ‘You have the impunity to do whatever you want. It is endemic across the aid industry and across the world.’ He warns the infiltration of the aid industry by paedophiles is on the scale of the Catholic church — if not bigger. The difficult truth is that ‘child rape crimes are being inadvertently funded in part by the United Kingdom taxpayer’.

These revelations threaten to extinguish the virtuous glow that has protected the aid industry from scrutiny. We should seize the opportunity. Is the £13.5 billion we spend on aid each year doing its job? What is its impact on the countries it is supposed to transform at the local and on the national level?

Until now the aid industry has escaped such examination. It is astonishing to learn that aid effectiveness was not even seen as a priority until 2005. Evaluations still use dubious methods, Jonathan Foreman points out in his excellent report ‘Aiding and Abetting’ (Civitas 2013). One man recalls being told about a splendid school in a village in Pakistan. He had visited the village the week before. There had been no school.

The aid industry has manipulated public opinion with the help of celebrities and politicians eager for the glitz of poverty porn. It’s a powerful and cosy lobby. Oxfam and Save the Children are prime overseas contractors for the DfID. Many DfID workers are former activists from the NGO sector. Western media depend on aid agencies for access and transport in conflict areas.

Most of us would back humanitarian aid and international help when disaster strikes. Few would argue with aid that is there for a specific purpose and ends when that purpose is accomplished. But that is not the same as the open-ended commitment demanded by aid agencies. An Oxfam advert sums up the myth we have been sold: ‘Together we can end extreme poverty for good. Will you join in?’ Who can resist that exhortation? Who wants to sound like a spoilsport by questioning how much must be spent, for how long and how do we judge the job done?

Dambisa Moyo, a global economist from Zambia, points out the first world has sent more than $1 trillion to Africa over the past 50 years. Far from ending extreme poverty, this fabulous sum promoted it. Between 1970 and 1998, when aid flows to Africa were at their peak, poverty in Africa rose from 11 per cent to a staggering 66 per cent. Of course there are other factors. But in her book Dead Aid, Moyo states, ‘Aid has been and continues to be an unmitigated political, economic and humanitarian disaster for most parts of the developing world.’

Indeed the more development aid a country receives, the less likely it is to enjoy economic success. In 1957, Ghana boasted a higher per capita GDP than South Korea. Thirty years later, it was lower by a factor of ten — the toxic effect of official development aid being one factor. On the other hand, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, the recipients of relatively little aid, flourished. Aid distorts home markets. Food aid, for example, causes agricultural sectors to shrink and makes famine more rather than less likely. As Moyo puts it, in no other sector, business or politics, are such proven failures ‘allowed to persist in the face of such stark and unassailable evidence’.

Aid does little to promote peace, security, trade and good governance. If anything, it hinders effective government. The cascade of aid money permits government to abdicate its responsibility to fund health care, education and infrastructure. It promotes a disconnect between a government and its citizens. When foreign donors cover 40 per cent of the operating budgets of countries such as Kenya and Uganda, why would leaders listen to their citizens? Schmoozing foreign donors comes first. As Moyo says, ‘Long, long lines of people have stood in the sun to vote for a president who is effectively impotent because of foreign donors or because glamour aid [in the form of Bob Geldof or Bono] has decided to speak on behalf of a continent.’

What Africa needs is not more ‘Band Aid solutions’ but jobs for the 60 per cent of Africans under the age of 24. ’And aid,’ as Moyo says, ‘has never created a single job.’

If aid too often fails countries on the national level, what about locally? Surely local projects must be wholly beneficial? The problem is they come with a catch.

When Mary Wakefield wrote about the UN’s ‘sex for food’ scandal, she mentioned the 2006 report by Save the Children into the effect of the aid cavalcade in Liberia. The report is invaluable because it gives the actual recipients of our aid a voice. Mostly we only have the word of the charities.

The welcome distribution of aid, it soon became clear, went hand in hand with increasing numbers of children caught up, as their parents complained, in ‘man business’. The (mostly) girls ranged from eight to 18. Levels of desperation in the town and the nearby refugee camp meant ‘as soon as they see their “tete” [breasts] coming up then they jump into this man business’. Prostitution had not been common before, and certainly not among children. Teenage pregnancies soared.

All focus groups and individuals interviewed ‘without exception mentioned NGO workers’. As one girl said, ‘I have been asked more than 20 times by men to go with them for money. All are NGO workers.’ The report goes on, ‘It is clear that sex with underage girls by humanitarian workers continues openly.’ Communities were afraid to report NGO staff, ‘as they were concerned that the assistance provided by the NGO might be withdrawn’.

Save the Children noted an alarming trend. ‘Communities were increasingly resigned to the fact that sex in exchange for services was another method of survival.’ Like those African governments dependent on aid, the adults had lost all self-determination. They were rendered as helpless in the hands of the foreign donor as their politicians.

On Radio 4’s Today programme this week, Madeleine Rees, a human rights lawyer, insisted: ‘The majority of aid does good.’ She went on, ‘Who is going to get hurt if the aid budget is destroyed?’ Of course, like obedient children, we are meant to reply, ‘The poor.’ But as more and more stories emerge about waste and abuse, I wonder if aid doesn’t do more harm than good.

POLEMIQUE Cette note adressée aux contrôleurs leur demande notamment de recueillir le maximum d’informations sur les migrants. La direction de la SNCF affirme qu’elle n’en avait pas connaissance et qu’elle a été retirée…

Mickaël Bosredon

Une note interne de la SNCF, datée du 16 février et envoyée par l’établissement de Bordeaux aux 600 contrôleurs de la région, et que 20 Minutes s’est procurée, suscite l’indignation en interne depuis lundi.

Intitulée « Présence groupe de migrants à bord », cette note demande aux contrôleurs, s’ils remarquent « un groupe constitué de population migrante » à bord des trains ou sur les quais, d’en « aviser l’escale », « d’essayer, si la situation le permet, de recueillir le maximum d’informations [nombre de personnes, présence d’enfants, gare de destination, raison de cette mobilité…] » enfin « rédiger un rapport circonstancié et factuel. »

La SNCF fait marche arrière

Contactée mardi par 20 Minutes, Séverine Rizzi, du syndicat CGT des cheminots de Bordeaux, estime que cette directive revient à « demander aux contrôleurs, dont ce n’est pas le but, de classer les migrants et de se comporter comme une milice de la préfecture. Il faudrait ainsi identifier les groupes de migrants, avant même de savoir s’ils ont ou pas un billet. »

Dans un communiqué, la CGT ajoute qu’il s’agit « d’une incitation à des pratiques de discrimination et de délation vis à vis d’une population d’usagers de par leurs origines ou leur apparence physique (…) Pire, les préconisations sous entendent que des usagers d’origine étrangère qui voyageraient en groupes seraient soit disant dangereux et en situation de fraude. »

« Dans le contexte actuel, que les contrôleurs puissent s’entendre dire qu’ils feraient la chasse aux migrants est inacceptable », poursuit la syndicaliste. Une réunion entre direction et syndicats est prévue ce mercredi à 14h30. Mais mardi en fin d’après-midi, la SNCF a tenté de déminer l’affaire. Elle affirme que cette note est « le fruit d’une initiative personnelle » et que « la direction régionale n’en avait pas connaissance et ne l’a donc pas validée ».

Une nouvelle note sera diffusée

Par ailleurs, « il a été demandé, dès connaissance de cette note par la direction mardi en tout début d’après-midi, de ne plus la diffuser car elle est en effet incomplète et fait preuve de maladresses ». Enfin, « cette note ne reflète en aucun cas la politique nationale de SNCF qui se doit de communiquer les coordonnées des services pouvant aider les populations concernées par la crise migratoire. »

D’ici à mercredi, « une nouvelle note sera diffusée et portera sur les “gestes métiers” à tenir de manière globale pour toute personne non munie de billet ». La CGT demande effectivement la diffusion d’une note revenant sur ces préconisations, et rappelant les missions des contrôleurs.

Voir encore:

Clichy-sous-Bois : trois hommes arrêtés pour anthropophagie

Ils ont violemment mordu leur victime à la lèvre inférieure et à l’oreille gauche avant de consommer les morceaux.

Julien Constant

Le Parisien
19 février 2018

Trois Capverdiens ont été interpellés, dimanche soir à Clichy-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), pour violences volontaires, acte de barbarie et anthropophagie ayant entraîné une mutilation permanente.

Vers 18 heures, allée Hector-Berlioz, quatre hommes se disputent pour une histoire d’argent. Trois hommes se liguent pour en frapper un quatrième. Ils le mordent violemment à la lèvre inférieure et à l’oreille gauche avant d’ingérer les morceaux de chair arrachés. La victime se défend en portant des coups à ses agresseurs. Elle parvient à blesser l’un d’eux à une cheville.

La police et les secours sont finalement intervenus. Les trois agresseurs ont été arrêtés. Les deux blessés, victime et agresseur, ont été transportés à l’hôpital de Montfermeil (Seine Saint-Denis). Le commissariat est chargé de l’enquête.

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Retraite : les fonctionnaires japonais pourront travailler jusqu’à 80 ans

Le gouvernement japonais vient d’annoncer que l’âge limite de la retraite des fonctionnaires sera repoussé à 80 ans, contre 70 ans actuellement.

Pour sauver son système de retraite, le Japon n’y va pas par quatre chemins. Le gouvernement conservateur du Premier ministre Shinzo Abe vient d’annoncer, selon la RTBF, que l’âge limite de départ à la retraite des fonctionnaires s’établira à 80 ans, contre 70 ans actuellement. Une solution extrême pour un problème radical : le taux de natalité du Japon est le deuxième plus faible du monde – après la Corée du Sud – avec 1,4 enfant par femme, très loin du seuil de renouvellement établi à 2,1 enfants par femme. Cette mesure de rallongement permettrait ainsi de contenir le déficit budgétaire des retraites.

Conscient de l’ampleur du chantier, le gouvernement a précisé que, pour le moment, cette réforme ne s’appliquerait que sur la base du volontariat. Et le nombre de candidats potentiels ne manque pas : 27,7% des Japonais ont plus de 65 ans selon le National institute of sopulation and social security research (NIPSSR), l’Insee japonais. Parmi eux, 20% sont encore actifs. Il faut dire qu’ils n’ont pas véritablement le choix : 19% des seniors vivent sous le seuil de pauvreté.

Un autre élément vient compliquer la situation : le taux de chômage dans le pays s’élève à 2,8 % de la population. Il n’y a donc plus assez de demandeurs d’emplois, notamment dans la fonction publique. Et toujours selon le NIPSSR, le pays devrait perdre 39 millions d’habitants dans les 50 prochaines années, soit près du tiers de sa population actuelle.

This election season, the candidacy of Donald Trump has provoked a crise de conscience in the ranks of conservatives. But whatever our sympathy for those who banded together to oppose Trump in the January 21 issue of The National Review or for the politicians who have brawled with him on stage, and of whatever use such gestures are politically, they surely have had little value in clarifying the crisis of conservatism that has led to Trump’s rise. Instead of focusing on Trump’s business practices and on the ignorance of his supporters, conservatives might do well to consider the possibility that his success reflects an objective political reality: the relative uselessness in a victimocracy of taking “conservative positions,” when the more urgent task is to relegitimize the liberal-conservative dialogue through which policy has traditionally gotten made in a democratic republic. In a word, restoring the art of the deal.


As the defense of the legitimacy, if not the perfection, of the status quo, conservatism is less a doctrine than a rule of thumb, the simplest version of which is no doubt William F. Buckley’s “standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’” In the left-right dichotomy born with the seating arrangement in the Assemblée Nationale in 1789, the left defends the moral model of reciprocal equality while the right defends the privileges of firstness in the service of the community. For the left, inequality of reward, if not of power, is in principle illegitimate, and can be tolerated only out of necessity. For the right, social hierarchy, the reward of firstness, is valid in principle. The right is not necessarily conservative; the far right can be as militant in its defense of privileges as the far left in its attack on them. The beginnings of the moderate right philosophy that can specifically be called conservatism were defined in Edmund Burke’s 1790 Reflections on the Revolution in France as what we might call a zero-based philosophy of social change: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; appreciate the fact that it works at all.

As this suggests, with the extremes removed, the two sides are not symmetrical. The left demands major changes in the system, and seeks to accrue more power to the government in order to implement them. The right tends to find the system basically acceptable and agrees to change it only reluctantly, except perhaps to walk back some of the left’s changes. Yet the very fact of sitting in the same chamber implies that the two sides hope to reach a compromise through negotiation—as was still the case in 1789. As applied to non-revolutionary parliamentary situations, the right realizes that the left can disrupt the social order if its demands are not met; the left realizes that when the disruption reaches a certain level, the state, even under a left-leaning administration, must defend this order by force. So long as both sides sit together, they tacitly agree, as Churchill put it in a different context, that jaw jaw is preferable to war war.

This system has functioned, not without crises, throughout the history of American democracy. In particular, from the late 19th century through the 1950s, the elected representatives of the various regional, industrial, occupational, and other interest groups, most notably the countervailing market forces of capital and labor, negotiated over specifics while largely confining their moral arguments to rhetoric to rally their supporters. Conservatism was never a major consideration throughout this period; the Republican party, representing large and small business interests, generally took a Burkean perspective (exception: Teddy Roosevelt), but was little concerned with doctrine as such.

But since 1989, the perspective of the New Left, which began in the 1960s as a campus-based opposition to the Vietnam War and came to attack liberal democracy itself, has gone mainstream. After the fall of the USSR, the left no longer needed affirm the superiority of liberal democracy over communism; it was the only game in town. And now that the market system is tacitly understood by both sides to be the final system—Fukuyama’s end of history—a permanent quasi-revolutionary situation is paradoxically reestablished. Since the system is in principle invulnerable, there is no a priori limit to the degree of unrest it can tolerate. The result is an attitude analogous to the behavior of naughty children secure in their parents’ care, one that flourishes more freely on university campuses than in serious workplaces, but which nonetheless increasingly sets the tone for the Democratic party, as Sanders’ surprising success has revealed. In particular, there has been a growing tendency on the left to replace its formerstructural focus—defending labor against capital—by a fight against inequality attributed toascriptive differences—seeking justice within the Nazi-Jew/master-slave/colonizer-colonized model.

Because even in the past the left tolerated but never truly embraced the model of politics as negotiation among countervailing interest groups, the right has remained largely unaware of the revolutionary potential of this new development. In political terms, it is far easier to justify wealth differentials along structural lines than to defend against the attribution of differentials among ascriptive groups to “white privilege.”

Traditional conservatives, unprepared for this change in configuration, have been blind-sided by the resulting accusations of race and gender prejudice. The term “PC,” by which conservatives refer to the victimary phenomenon when they do so at all, reduces it to a matter of etiquette, ignoring its deeper political implications. The Republican presidential candidates have almost entirely avoided victimary issues despite their preponderance in the Democratic program: reducing incarceration and criminal prosecution, restraining the police, raising women’s pay from “77 cents on the dollar” and granting women sex-related health benefits, granting “transgendered” boys access to women’s bathrooms, identifying voter-ID laws with “voter suppression,” and generally treating Wall Street, the “one percent,” “millionaires and billionaires” and “the Koch brothers” not merely as greedy cheats but as sustainers of “white privilege”—not to speak of encouraging the “crybullying” about racism and the “rape culture” that goes on at college campuses. Only Trump and, while he was active, Ben Carson (whose recent endorsement of Trump confirms their agreement on this point) have conspicuously denounced PC, and none have made it the focus of their campaigns, except on the point of limiting immigration, which Trump has made so to speak his trump card.

And it goes unmentioned on the right as well as the left that the result of the latter’s promotion of minority concerns not as group interests but in the guise of victimary social justice is that, while its bureaucratic saviors enrich themselves, the minority community has experienced previously unknown levels of social disintegration, with results clearly visible in Detroit, Baltimore, Washington DC, Saint Louis…. There are precious few fora to the left of the ominous “alt-right” where such concerns can be aired.


As I pointed out in Chronicle 508, Trump embodies far more than he articulates resistance to the victimocracy. Yet this is indeed an issue concerning which, at this historical moment, embodiment is more important than articulation. Although Trump rarely denounces PC by name, his demeanor loudly proclaims his rejection of White Guilt—unlike Bernie, he has no trouble telling Black Lives Matter protesters that “all lives matter.” Trump’s unexpected staying power—leading to his “presidential” performance at the March 10 debate—reflects to my mind far more than attractiveness to the benighted bearers of poor-white resentment. On the contrary, Trump’s continual emphasis on “deals” suggests a sharp intuition of how to adapt conservatism to the current victimocratic context. Before we can exercise Buckley’s Burkean resistance to unnecessary change, we have to return to the left-right dichotomy of the Assemblée Nationale. What is required at this moment is not conservatism as usual, butsecond-degree conservatism, metaconservatism.

The contempt of the voting public for Washington’s inability to “get anything done” reflects the fact that under the current administration, the shift of Democratic politics from liberalism to progressivism, from focusing on the concerns of the working class to those of ascriptive minorities, involves a fundamental change from defending interests to seeking justice. The first can be negotiated on a more or less level footing with opposing interests; the second can only be resisted by unregenerate evil-doers, which is more or less the way the current president and his potential Democratic successors characterize the representatives of the other party. In this noxious context, the (meta)conservative position is not to deny victimary claims, but tonormalize them: to turn them back into assertions of interests to be negotiated as political questions were in days of old—in a word, into issues that can be settled by making a deal.

Victimary activism should not in itself guarantee representative status for its leaders on campuses and elsewhere. But when university officials find it appropriate to hold discussions with representatives of the black or gay or Muslim student body, by making it clear that they view the latter as interest groups rather than as communities of the oppressed, they can avoid putting themselves, as such officials all too often do, in a situation of moral inferiority. There is no reason not to allow a group to express what it considers its legitimate interests; there is every reason not to consider the expression of these interests a priori as “demands for justice.”


In their preoccupation with denouncing Trump as a false conservative, the guardians of the flame forget that at a time when the victimary left seeks to portray the normal order of things in American society as founded on privilege and discrimination, Trump’s supporters turn to him as a figure of hope because his mind, unclouded by White Guilt, views the political battlefield, foreign as well as domestic, as a place for making deals. This used to be called Realpolitik.

All too often, to read today’s mainstream press, let alone more extreme publications such as the new New Republic or Salon, is to be subjected to the verbal equivalent of race war. The political discourse of Sanders and Clinton is deeply impregnated with this same rhetoric. Whether or not Trump is its nominee, I hope the Republican party does not need another general election loss to teach it that to articulate and defend a conservative position today, it is first necessary to reject the victimary moralization of politics and return to the liberal-democratic continuum within which conflicts can be mediated. At that point, regardless of the party in power, liberals and conservatives can argue their points, and then come together and make a deal.

Voir aussi:

The Archbishop of Canterbury tells why the Easter story can help humanity escape a lethal cycle of fear and resentment

A couple of weeks ago, there was a sadly predictable report of the reaction from some ultra-conservative Christian groups to the BBC’s advance publicity for its dramatisation of the passion of Jesus. The author and producer had underlined the fact that they were presenting a fairly nuanced view of the characters of the ‘villains’ of the story such as Judas and Pilate; the Christian critics responded by complaining that this was being unfaithful to the Bible. These characters were bad and that was an end of it.

Viewers of the series will have their own judgment. But the alarming thing is that anyone should think that the story of Jesus’s death is a story about the triumph of bad men over good ones, with the implication that if we’d been there we would have been on the side of the good ones.

It’s not only that the biblical story, especially St John’s Gospel, shows us just the mixed motives that can be seen in figures such as Pilate and the High Priest. Much more importantly, the entire message of the Bible on this point is that the problem begins with us, not them. Jesus is killed because people who think they are good are in fact trapped in self-deception and unable to get out of the groove of their self-justifying behaviour. And the New Testament invites every reader to recognise this in himself or herself.

In recent years, a number of Christian writers, inspired by French critic and philosopher René Girard, have stressed with new urgency how the Bible shows the way in which groups and societies work out their fears and frustrations by finding scapegoats.

Because we compete for the same goods and comforts, we need to sustain our competition with our rivals and maintain distance from them. But to stop this getting completely out of hand, we unite with our rivals to identify the cause of the scarcity that makes us compete against each other, with some outside presence we can all agree to hate.

Just as the BBC drama suggested, Jesus’s context was one where Judaeans and Romans equally lived in fear of each other, dreading an explosion of violence that would be destructive for everyone. Their leaders sweated over compromises and strategies to avoid this. In such a context, Jesus offered a perfect excuse for them to join in a liberating act of bloodletting which eliminated a single common enemy. The spiral of fear was halted briefly.

Frequently in this mechanism, the victim has little or nothing to do with the initial conflict itself. But in the case of Jesus, the victim is not only wholly innocent; he is the embodiment of a grace or mercy that could in principle change the whole frame of reference that traps people in rivalry and mutual terror.

Thus the scapegoat mechanism is exposed for what it is – an arbitrary release of tension that makes no difference to the underlying problem. And if you want to address the underlying problem, perhaps you should start listening to the victim.

For many of our contemporaries, the Christian message is either a matter of unwelcome moral nagging or a set of appealing but finally irrelevant legends. If it has a place in our public life or our national institutions, it is on the basis of a slightly grudging recognition that ‘it does a lot of good work’ and represents something about continuity with our past.

But what if the Christian story offered more than this? What if it proposed a way of understanding some of the most pervasive and dangerous mechanisms in human relationships, interpersonal or international?

It doesn’t take much imagination to see how internally divided societies find brief moments of unity when they have successfully identified some other group as the real source of their own insecurity. Look at any major conflict in the world at the moment and the mechanism is clear enough. Repressive and insecure states in the Islamic world demonise a mythical Christian ‘West’, while culturally confused, sceptical and frightened European and North American societies cling to the picture of a global militant Islam, determined to ‘destroy our way of life’.

Two fragile and intensely quarrelsome societies in the Holy Land find some security in at least knowing that there is an enemy they can all hate on the other side of the wall. A crumbling dictatorship in Zimbabwe steps up the rhetoric of loathing and resentment towards the colonial powers that create the poverty and the shortages. Nearer home, disadvantaged communities make sense of their situation by blaming migrants and asylum seekers.

It’s not that the fears involved are unreal. Global terrorism is a threat, Israel and Palestine really do menace each other’s existence, colonialism isn’t an innocent legacy and so on. But the exploitation of these real fears to provide a ‘solution’ to more basic problems both breeds collective untruthfulness and makes any rational handling of such external fears infinitely harder.

It breeds a mentality that always seeks to mirror the one who is threatening you. It generates the ‘zero-sum game’ that condemns so many negotiations to futility. Worst of all, it gives a fragile society an interest in keeping some sort of external conflict going. Consciously or not, political leaders in a variety of contexts are reluctant to let go of an enemy who has become indispensable to their own stability.

The claim of Christianity is both that this mechanism is universal, ingrained in how we learn to behave as human beings and that it is capable of changing.

It changes when we recognise our complicity and when we listen to what the unique divine scapegoat says: that you do not have to see the rival as a threat to everything, that it is possible to believe that certain values will survive whatever happens in this earth’s history because they reflect the reality of an eternal God; that letting go of the obsessions of memory and resentment is release, not betrayal.

People may or may not grasp what is meant by the resolution that the Christian message offers. But at least it is possible that they will see the entire scheme as a structure within which they – we – can understand some of what most lethally imprisons us in our relationships, individual and collective. We may acquire a crucial tool for exposing the evasions on which our lives and our political systems are so often built.

Yes, the Christian church has been guilty of colossal evasion, colluding in just those scapegoating mechanisms it exists to overcome. Its shameful record of anti-semitism is the most dramatic reversal of the genuine story it has to tell, the most dramatic example of claiming that the killing of Jesus was indeed about them and not us.

But it keeps alive that story. Every human society needs it to be told again and again, listening to the question it puts, whether or not people identify with Christianity’s answer. The point of the church’s presence in our culture is not to be a decorative annexe to the heritage industry, but to help us see certain things we’d rather not about common responsibility – and the costly way to a common hope.

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The Rise of the Victim Bully

The imaginative conservative
Aug. 2, 2015

One of Christianity’s contributions to civilization has been a startling compassion for the victim. As René Girard has pointed out, from the beginning of time primitive peoples focused their animus on the outsider, the oddball, or the eccentric in their midst. It was the disabled, the alien, the poor, and the weak who most often took the blame for society’s ills. The crowd turned on them as the origin and cause of their problems. They became the scapegoat. As they were ostracized, excluded, persecuted, and killed, the source of the tribe’s problems was eliminated.

Consequently, the tribe felt cleansed. The violence unleashed a feeling of power and freedom. As the evil was purged, thrill surged. All was well. Life could continue and the tribe could prosper. Until, of course, another crisis developed—and at that point another victim would be needed. Because of the regularity of the crises, religions developed the ritual of regular sacrifice. Victims were found, throats were cut, blood was shed, and if animals were substituted, it did not mitigate the truth that the society still ran on the blood-fuel of the victim.

This may seem terribly primitive in a modern age, until one see videos of ISIS soldiers ritually beheading their victims. Modern Americans may think they are far removed from the barbarities of the Aztecs until they view a video of a wine-sipping high priestess of the cult of abortion describing how she dismembers children and harvests their organs. Is this so far removed from the haruspication of the ancients? When crazed and enraged young men—be they Islamist or racist extremists—open fire on their innocent victims, are we so far from Girard’s theory of the scapegoat?

Girard points out that Jesus of Nazareth turned the model on its head. He does so first by valuing the victim. The poor, the outcast, the crippled, diseased, blind, and demon-possessed are his prizes. He treasures children and magnifies women. He turns the sacrificial system upside down not only by valuing the victim, but by becoming the victim. He accepts the victim role and willingly becomes “the Lamb of God” who takes away sin of the world. He defeats the sacrificial system by embracing it. He breaks it from the inside. For the last two thousand years, the world has been learning that the victim is the hero.

The problem is that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Being a victim is fashionable—ironically, becoming bullied is now the best way to bully others. It works like this: If you want to move forward in the world, make progress for you and your tribe, further your ambitions, justify your immoral actions, grab a bigger piece of the pie, and elbow others away from the trough, simply present yourself and your tribe as victims. Once you successfully portray yourselves as a poor, outcast, persecuted, minority group you instantly gain the sympathy of all.

The first key to success in this campaign is to portray your victim condition as something over which you have no control. This is clear when the victim group is a racial or ethnic minority. The same sense of unjust destiny has to be produced for other groups. So the feminists have exploited the technique to portray all women as downtrodden. Homosexual campaigners have likewise insisted that their condition is something they were born with, and now anyone with a sexual proclivity that is other than heterosexual can be portrayed as a misunderstood and persecuted victim.

People suffering from any kind of illness, disability, or misfortune are victims of some sort of injustice, cruelty, or neglect. Those who suffer from poverty, addiction, broken families, psychological problems, emotional distress, or just plain unhappiness are victims too. The victim mentality is linked with an entitlement culture: Someone must be culpable for the unhappiness of the victims because someone should be responsible for making them happy.

The second step in effective victim-campaigning is to accumulate and disseminate the propaganda. Academic papers must be written. Sociological studies must be undertaken. Groundbreaking books must be published. Stories of the particular minority group being persecuted must make front page news. The whimpers of the persecuted must rise to heaven. The shock at their victimhood must be expressed as “sadness,” “concern,” and “regret.” If one is not sympathetic, if one is reticent to pour balm in the victim’s wounds, then the bullying begins. You must recognize the victim. You must be sympathetic. You must be tolerant. You must join the campaign to help the victim, solve their problems, and make them happy at last. If you do not, you are not only hard-hearted, you are part of the problem.

The third stage of the campaign is the release of anger. Once the victim is identified and the information is widespread, the rage can be released. The anger must be expressed because, without knowing it, a new cycle of tribal scapegoating has developed. As the tribe gathers around the victim in sympathy, they must find the culprit, and their search for the culprit (whether he is guilty or not does not matter) sends them on the same frantic scapegoating quest that created their victim in the first place. The supposed persecutors have now become the persecuted. The unhappiness of the tribe (which presents itself as sympathy for the victim) is now focused on violence against the new victim—and so the cycle of sin and irrational rage continues.

Observe American society today. Everywhere you look we are apportioning blame and seeking scapegoats. The blacks blame the whites. The whites blame the blacks. The homosexuals blame the Christians. The Christians blame the homosexuals. The Republicans blame the immigrants. The immigrants blame the residents. The workers blame the wealthy. The wealthy blame the workers.

Why has our society descended into the violence of scapegoating and blame? Because it is inevitable. The victimhood cycle will continue through cycles of revenge and further victimhood unless there is an outlet.

Where is there an end to the cycle of violence and victimization? There is only one solution: Find a constant victim—one who is the eternal victim and remains the victim. How is this done? It is done within the religion of a society. If a society has a religion of sacrifice the ritual victim becomes the focus of the tribal animus. The ritual victim becomes the constant scapegoat. The ritual victim becomes the psychological safety valve.

Catholicism, of course, is the only religion in the modern world which, astoundingly, still claims to be offering a sacrifice. This is why the ancient celebration of the Mass is still so vital in the modern world—because there the one, full, final sacrifice is re-presented for the salvation of the world.

The problem is that we are not a sacrificial and a sacramental people. We do not understand what the liturgy calls “these holy mysteries.” Most Catholics in America are embarrassed by the language of sacrifice. We are a blandly utilitarian race–shallow, and lacking in imagination. We are uncomfortable with blood sacrifices and cannot understand the rituals of redemption. American Catholics prefer their liturgy to be a banal family meal where they sing happy songs about making the world a better place. It is no longer a sacred sacrifice or a holy mystery, but a cross between a campfire and a pep rally.

Nevertheless, when the religion in a culture offers the mysteries of sacrifice the urge to lay blame is assuaged, the cycle of blame finds its proper resolution. As the eternal victim is offered the mystery unfolds, and the words, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” echo more profoundly than we ever could have imagined.

Voir encore:

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am a hardcore devotee of the ideas of Rene Girard.  I’ve tried before to set out, in a big picture way, why I think his ideas are so important and so fruitful–not just in terms of Christianity or religion, but in general.  But those things I mentioned are big-picture concepts, and can be seen as somewhat abstract.  If you want some specific idea of Girard’s, one that is directly relevant to our current political and cultural situation, I think his most trenchant idea is his discussion of the Cult of Victimhood.

In Girard’s analysis, the Cult of Victimhood is, though unacknowledged by its practicioners, literally a Christian heresy (or more accurately, a Judeo-Christian heresy, if one can say that).  For Girard, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ reveals to the world the mechanism of scapegoating–a victim is selected from among the people and sacrificed in order to discharge our rivalrous, imitative desires, and that sacrifice becomes both ritualized and camouflaged so that we are unaware of our participation.  Jesus, finishing a process begun at the beginning of the Hebrew Scriptures, comes to strip off the veil over our eyes, to reveal to us the truth.  Where once we held fast to the idea that the victim really deserved to be sacrificed, we now understand that the victim is innocent.

Girard insists that this bell cannot be un-rung, and society can never go back to the way it was prior to Easter Sunday.  But that does not mean that scapegoating is ended forever.  It simply means that we as a people cannot rely on the simplistic old versions of the sacred to sustain the Big Lie.  Instead, if we want to avoid the hard work of imitating Jesus, forgiving our enemies, and learning to live in peace, we have to construct a new version of the Big Lie.  This new narrative has to incorporate on some level what Alison calls the « Intelligence of the Victim » that is provided by Jesus’s life, death and resurrection (since that is now a permanent part of human understanding), while still finding a way to create space for sacrificing victims.

One way to do this, as Jean-Pierre Dupuy has explored in Marks of the Sacred and Economy and the Future, is to set up supposedly « neutral, » technocratic systems to, in essence, « do the dirty work for you » while keeping a clean conscience (« I’m not punishing the poor, it’s just ‘market forces’ that are leaving people destitute » etc.).  But the other way is through the Cult of Victimhood.  The Cult of Victimhood begins by appropriating the Intelligence of the Victim, recognizing the truth that discrete groups are often persecuted unjustly by virtue of being a discrete group, and not as a result of anything for which they are responsible.  And the Cult of Victimhood insists, correctly, that persecution of the particular discrete group at issue is unjust and should be stopped.  So far, so good.  But then the Cult of Victimhood turns being a victim into a status, defining itself in terms of the marker (either directly or indirectly) of having been through the experience of being a victim.

The Cult of Victimhood is thus an inversion of the normal, pre-Christian process of the Sacred–rather than the majority forming an identity over and against some identifiable minority victim or group of victims through the process of victimization, the minority forms an identity over and against the majority by virtue of being victimized, either presently or at some point in the past. This creates three serious problems.  First, the identity of the group is tied up in the status of being a victim.  Thus, perversely, there is an incentive for the minority to seek to be victimized, because it supports and reinforces the group identity, leading to counter-productive co-dependent relationships with the persecuting majority.  Or, at a minimum, the minority needs to perceive itself as being victimized in order to shore up its self-identity, leading to incentives to find persecution behind every rock or tree, even when it is not there.

The second problem is that the Cult of Victimhood is it creates a tempting platform to seize the moral high ground.  In light of the message of Jesus, we have an obligation to have special moral concern for victimsas victims.  But it does not follow that those that are victimized have some special moral qualities or status by virtue of being victims.  Being a victim does not necessarily make you wiser, or more just, or better able to discern moral realities in the world around you, because being a victim is ultimately and fundamentally arbitrary.  As the great Ta-Nehisi Coates says, « [w]e, too, are capable of fictions because, as it turns out, oppression confers no wisdom and is rarely self-improving. »  But the Cult of Victimhood seizes on being a victim to provide a kind of imputed righteousness.  Once again, this is an inversion for the old vision of the Sacred–whereas before the society explained that victims became victims through some narrative of moral failure, now the victims understand their victim status through a narrative of their own moral superiority.

In doing so, it sets up a purely binary, Manichean distortion of the Gospel message, dividing the world into fixed categories of victims who are righteous and victimizers who are unrighteous.  This binary system acts as a kind of moral shield for their own behavior.  The logical chain goes like this:  because I am a victim, I am righteous; because I am righteous, those that challenge or critique that righteousness (especially if the critique comes from those that victimized me) are per se wrong and their critique is per se illegitimate; thus, I can stay in a comfortable bubble of my own imputed righteousness.  Because I am an innocent victim, I don’t have to take seriously any critiques of my own actions.

This in turn leads to the third problem.  Because of the power of feature #1 and especially feature #2 of the Cult of Victimhood, everyone wants to get in on the action.  And, given both the pervasive nature of scapegoating and the cultural awareness of the phenomenon (even if inchoate) brought about by thousands of years of Judeo-Christian presence, everyone can get in on the action if they look hard enough.  Everyone can craft a story of why they are the « real » victims over and against some group of victimizers.  What results is an utterly intractable set of mutually incompatible victimhood narratives, in which every group is the righteous but persecuted minority over and against some nefarious overculture.

In an attempt to resolve this deadlock, the basic instinct (especially for the partisans of one competing narrative or another) is to try to adjudicate who are the « real » victims and who is the « fake » victims.  Girard would insist that this is an utterly futile activity, because all of these stories of victimhood are on some level true and on some level self-serving nonsense.  The fact of being the victim is true, but the narrative of why the victimization occurred, tied into to some group identity and moral status, is not.  And it is not true because, again, being a victim is arbitrary.  Sometimes you are victimized because of some trait you happen to have (like race or gender), sometimes it is because of some social group you happen to belong to that happens to be on the short end of the stick for whatever reason (like LGBT folks), sometimes it is for no reason at all.  The only real difference between the victim and the victimizer is circumstance.  Or, to put it another way, there has only been one truly innocent victim in all of history, and He was last seen outside of Jerusalem 2000 years ago and 40 days after Easter Sunday.

Again, it’s crucial, here and elsewhere, to draw a very clear line between the fact of victimization and the status as a victim.  People get victimized, and we have a moral obligation to try to end the victimization.  But the Cult of Victimization makes that project more difficult, because it weaponizes victimization and intermixes genuine victimization with dubious claims of moral righteousness.  It also incentivizes out-and-out bogus claims of victimization, because the power of victimhood status is to enticing.

To see an example of the Cult of Victimhood in action, consider this piece from Andrew Sullivan about Trump.  In the piece, Sullivan makes the point that one key dimension of why white, working-class voters have rallied to Trump is the disdain shown by cultural elites (mostly liberal but also conservative, to the extent those are still distinct categories) toward the culture and values of said white working-class people.  The reaction on social media to the piece was very telling.  Instead of pushing back on the thesis (i.e., « you are wrong, Andrew, we don’t disdain the values of these folks. »), or to admit the thesis and stand firm on the position (i.e. « yes, Andrew, we do disdain the values of these folks because these values are bad. »), the reaction was to criticize Sullivan for failing to assert that racism (and, to a lesser extent, homophobia) was the « real » reason why these voters were supporting Trump.

First off, Sullivan does talk about that in the piece.  But, more to the point, seizing on Sullivan’s purported failure to talk about race or homophobia is a way to side-step and de-legitimize the basic point that cultural elites disdain a big chunk of the population.  Because, if the « real » issue is race or homophobia, then in the Cult of Victimhood world the issues and objections of white working class folks are per se illegitimate, because they are the unrighteous victimizers.  In other words, yelling at Sullivan for failing to talk about race is another way of saying « their assertion of victimhood status is bogus because my victimhood status is real, and because my victimhood status is real their assertion of victimhood status must be bogus. »  And, of course, the same story can (and is) being said on the other side.  Which is why, along the lines of Sullivan’s piece, the 2016 U.S. Presidential election has been a heretofore unprecedented orgy of the Cult of Victimhood from all sides, and promises to become even more grotesque as we get closer to November.

Or, let’s take a perhaps less weighty example, from my geekdom of choice, tabletop role playing games.  To my utter shock, tabletop role-playing games are undergoing a renaissance.  A month or so ago, Slate, that bastion of middle-brow coastal opinion, published an article praising the Youtube show « Critical Role, » calling it « flat out great television. »  Now, I really like « Critical Role, » and it is a very well done show with interesting and engaging personalities, but at the end of the day it is an extended (usually four hours at a time!) video of a bunch of people playing Dungeons and Dragons.  If you told Middle School me that filmed D&D games would be covered and praised in the media, my head would have exploded.

My head would have exploded because when I was a kid there was a bias against geeky activities like D&D.  Now, I don’t want to oversell this–it would be grossly exaggerated to say most people into geeky stuff were persecuted, and it should never be compared to what is experienced by racial or sexual minorities.  But it was social disfavored, and the stigma was real.  For example, I kept my interests in this area mostly to myself as an adult, and kept the hobby at arms-length–I felt that people would perceive it as immature or weird.  I’ve shed that idea, partially out of a sense that letting what people think of your fun dictate what you do is lame and counter-productive, but also because it has become clear than no one cares anymore.

So, this should be a great time to be a tabletop RPG fan, and everyone should be happy, right?  Not quite.  It turns out there is a deeply toxic element of the tabletop RPG culture, one that has full-throatedly embraced the Cult of Victimhood.  Here’s a good example.  The basic claim is that there is a culture of sexual harassment in the hobby, directed an women in particular.  Immediately with the first commenter, we see the classic Cult of Victimhood push-back–« I am not the victimizer, because I am the victim of your persecution. »  Again, we see the clear binary, which is that if I am a victim, I cannot be a victimizer, and for me to be a victim, I need you, or someone else, to be the victimizer.

One theme, and this runs through much of the toxicity in geek culture (seen most clearly with « Gamergate »), is that the presence of women in the hobby is The Worst and is ruining it.  Here, I will simply restate my view that mixed gendered scenarios are basically always better than single gendered ones.  But the reflexive misogyny is not really about concrete experiences, but about the Cult of Victimhood.  A person who was rejected by the broader culture (which, to an adolescent male, is often identified with girls) builds an identity around the notion of being excluded and marginalized by « them. »  When « they » attempt to enter those spaces, this identity formed via perceived victimhood is threatened.  Thus, something which would logically be seen as a victory (« Girls once shunned me for playing tabletop RPGs, and now they want to play, too! ») becomes an existential threat.  By excluding these intruders, identity is maintained–at the cost, of course, of victimizing innocent women who just want to play a game.  But that reality doesn’t have to be faced, because it can be shunted aside in the binary narrative of the Cult of Victimhood.

My point in using these two examples is not pass judgment on the validity of the victimhood claims involved (though, from where I sit, the claims of victimization of racial and sexual minorities, as well as women in the RPG space, seem mostly real; the claims of male gamers seem mostly bogus; and the claims of white working class folks seem to be some combination of truth and self-serving fantasy).  The point is to talk about how the Cult of Victimhood works, and why it makes these kinds of debates so intractable.  No matter how real the persecution, the stories people tell regarding the persecution are fundamentally unreliable, especially if they divide the world into an « us » and a « them. »  And, once they are a « them, » we can stay safe in our bubble of righteousness.

The power of Girard’s ideas, for me, is the constant and destabilizing claim of a radical equality–we are all victims, and we are all victimizers.  This doctrine cuts through both our self-serving claims to goodness as well as the paralyzing guilt of our wickedness. Our only escape from the Cult of Victimhood is to find a way to embrace the hard teaching of Elder Zosima:

There is only one means of salvation, then take yourself and make yourself responsible for all men’s sins, that is the truth, you know, friends, for as soon as you sincerely make yourself responsible for all men, you will see at once that it is really so, and that you are to blame for everyone and all things.

The story of Donald Trump’s stunning upset victory, according to exit poll data, is very clear: He won the white working class by an unprecedented margin, and held on to a surprising majority of college-educated whites. That allowed him to flip heavily white areas of states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that had voted for Obama.

The big questions now are: Why this? And why now?

One answer you’ll hear is economic: that those white-working class voters were angry in the wake of the Great Recession and the ongoing job losses due to globalization, and were looking for someone to blame. This may end up being part of the general election story — we don’t have enough data to say for sure.

But preliminary data suggests it is hardly all of it. An analysis from USA Today’s Brad Heath found that Hillary Clinton got crushed in counties where unemployment had fallen in the late Obama years:

There’s something deeper going on here. And to understand this part of the story, you need to look beyond American borders. It’s tempting to think of Trump as something uniquely American, but the truth is that his rise is being repeated throughout the Western world, where far-right populists are rising in the polls. They’re not rising because of their economies. They’re gaining unprecedented strength because of their xenophobia.

In Hungary, the increasingly authoritarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, has started building a wall to keep out immigrants and holding migrants in detention camps where guards have been filmed flinging food at them as if they were zoo animals. In Italy, the anti-immigrant Northern League, led by a politician who has attacked the pope for calling for dialogue with Muslims, is polling at more than three times its 2013 level, making it the country’s third most popular party. And in Finland, the Finns Party — which wants to dramatically slash immigration numbers and keep out many non-Europeans — is part of the government. Its leader, Timo Soini, is the country’s foreign minister.

Those leaders were among the first to praise the president-elect. Marine Le Pen, who runs an increasingly popular French far-right party, tweeted in elation: “Congratulations to the new president of the United States Donald Trump and to the free American people!”

Politicians like Le Pen and Orban share Trump’s populist contempt for the traditional political elite. They share his authoritarian views on crime and justice. But most importantly, they share his deeply negative views of immigrants, his belief that Muslims are inherently dangerous, and his stated support for closing the borders to refugees and economic migrants alike.

These parties’ values are too similar, and their victories coming too quickly, for their success to be coincidental. Their platforms, a right-wing radicalism somewhere between traditional conservatism and the naked racism of the Nazis and Ku Klux Klan, have attracted widespread support in countries with wildly different cultures and histories.

A vast universe of academic research suggests the real sources of the far right’s appeal on both sides of the Atlantic are anger over immigration and a toxic mix of racial and religious intolerance. That conclusion is supported by an extraordinary amount of social science, from statistical analyses that examine data on how hundreds of thousands of Europeans to books on how, when, and why ethnic conflicts erupt.

We cannot understand Donald Trump’s victory, then, without understanding this global wave of what CNN anchor Van Jones memorably summed up as a “white lash.”

The resentment of the privileged

Political scientist Roger Petersen has argued, persuasively, that ethnic conflict around the world is often driven by something he calls “resentment”: the feeling of injustice on the part of a privileged portion of society when it sees power slipping into the hands of a group that hadn’t previously held it. Drawing on social psychology, he theorized that one of the underappreciated causes of ethnic violence was a change in the legal and political status of majority and minority ethnic groups.

In his book, Understanding Ethnic Violence, Petersen argues that his theory helps explain the causes of other cases of ethnic violence in Eastern Europe, including the carnage in the Balkans in the 1990s. Other scholars have since found that it could be used to understand communal violence elsewhere in the world.

A 2010 paper published in the journal World Politics tested Petersen’s theory, looking at 157 cases of ethnic violence in nations ranging from Chad to Lebanon. It found strong statistical correlations between a group’s decline in status and the likelihood that it turns to violence against another group.

What does any of this have to do with Donald Trump?

Petersen predicts that ethnic struggle should play out differently when governments are weak, as in the wake of a Nazi invasion, versus when they’re strong, as in modern France. In nations with strong and legitimate governments, the loss of status by a privileged group is extremely unlikely to produce large-scale ethnic slaughter.

But « resentment » on the part of the previously dominant group doesn’t just dissipate; it is simply channeled into another way of clinging to power and preventing another group from attaining it. Like, say, elections and government policies.

« Dominance, » Petersen writes, « is sought by shaping the nature of the state rather than through violence. »

While Petersen’s book focuses on Eastern Europe, his framework applies to all different kinds of countries. So when post–World War II Europe experienced a massive wave of immigration, in large part from nonwhite and Muslim countries, Petersen’s work would predict a major backlash. Ditto when the United States ended Jim Crow, allowing black people to participate as formal equals, and when it experienced a mass wave of Latino immigration.

What you saw in many of these countries was a very different kind of population moving in and occupying social roles that had previously been reserved for white Christians. This was the ultimate change in social hierarchy. Nonwhites, who had historically been Europe and America’s colonial subjects and slaves, were now becoming its citizens. They weren’t just moving in; they were changing its society.

The question wasn’t whether there would be a massive electoral backlash. It was when.

The rise of the European far right

For Jean-Marie Le Pen, arguably the father of Europe’s far-right political movement, the backlash began in earnest in 1984. His political party, the Front National (FN), won about 11 percent of the French national vote in the 1984 elections to the European Parliament. It was the first major electoral victory for a party of its kind.

Le Pen had founded the party 12 years earlier. It was a populist party, one that argued that ordinary people were being exploited by a corrupt class of cosmopolitan elites. They were also authoritarian, constantly warning of the dangers of crime and the need for a harsh state response.

But above all else, the FN was xenophobic. Its members believed the postwar wave of immigrants threatened the French nation itself; stopping more from coming in was the only thing that could save the country from being overrun. The party cleverly avoided labeling nonwhites “inferior,” but instead sold their xenophobia as a defense of “French culture” — rhetoric that functioned very similarly to Trump rhetoric about Latino crime.

« Immigration is the symbolic starting point for the debate of the future of the French nation, » FN politician Jean-Yves Le Gallou once said.

The FN’s success spawned imitators. In 1986, Jörg Haider — a firebrand who once praised Hitler for having a « proper employment policy » — took over Austria’s Freedom Party (FPO), transforming it into a xenophobic party along the FN’s lines. In 1999, the FPO came in second in Austria’s parliamentary elections, joining a government led by the center-right People’s Party.

In 2001, a Dutch sociology professor named Pim Fortuyn launched a new political movement — oriented entirely around opposition to Muslim immigration. « I don’t hate Islam, » he once said. « I consider it a backward culture. »

By 2002, Fortuyn’s new party, the Pim Fortuyn List, was second in the national polls. Fortuyn was assassinated by a far-left activist that year but was succeeded by another charismatic populist, Geert Wilders.

Wilders, who declared in July that « I don’t want more Muslims in the Netherlands and I am proud to say that, » leads the third-largest bloc in the Dutch parliament. Wilders’s party, the ironically named Party for Freedom, is consistently leading the polls ahead of the March 2017 national elections.

There are many others examples. The British far-right party, the United Kingdom Independence Party, played a crucial role in fueling the Brexit vote. In France, meanwhile, Le Pen’s daughter Marine has shed many of her father’s most controversial statements — his denial of the Holocaust, for instance — and turned herself into the kinder, gentler face of the party he founded decades earlier. Recent polling shows her near the top in the 2017 presidential election.

The rise of these parties has been studied extensively — and the evidence is quite conclusive. These parties’ success was driven by fear of immigrants.

« What unites the radical right is their focus on immigration, » Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, a professor at the University of Bergen in Norway who studies the far right, told me in a recent interview.

In a 2008 paper, she looked at data on vote shares for seven European far-right parties, to try to figure out why people voted for them. She found that a person’s support for restricting immigration was « close to a perfect predictor » of one’s likelihood of voting for a far-right party.

By contrast, people’s views on other political questions — like economics or trust in government — didn’t have nearly the same predictive value. You can see this in the following chart from her paper. The Y-axis is the probability of voting for a far-right party; the X-axis is the level of support for restrictive immigration policies, right-wing economic views, and the like. The difference between immigration policy preferences and the others is striking:

« This study therefore to a large extent settles the debate about which grievances unite all populist right parties, » Ivarsflaten concluded. « The answer is the grievances arising from Europe’s ongoing immigration crisis. »

Eight years later, after running tests on newer data for a forthcoming paper, Ivarsflaten believes the thesis still holds.

Crucially, the research also suggests that these people are driven by cultural grievances rather than economic ones — Petersen’s resentment theory, almost to a tee.

The most systematic effort to assess this, to date, comes from Harvard University’s Pippa Norris and the University of Michigan’s Ronald Inglehart. Norris and Inglehart looked at 12 years of European Social Survey data, surveying a whopping 294,000 respondents, to figure out the relationship between economic and cultural grievances and support for the European far right.

They found something startling: Earlier research suggesting the European far right draws support from globalization’s losers was simply wrong. Instead, it was from exactly the kind of people who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

« The strongest populist support, » they write, « remains among the petty bourgeoisie — typically small proprietors like self-employed plumbers, or family owned small businesses, and mom-and-pop shopkeepers — not among the category of low-waged, unskilled manual workers. »

Only one of the five economic variables they tested — employment status — correlated well with support for the populist right. That held true even when they controlled for variables like age, sex, ethnic identity, and minority status.

Then they set up an alternative model, one that tested whether five distinct cultural factors — like anti-immigrant attitudes and authoritarian values — would predict support for the far right. Every single one did.

In short: There was no good evidence that economic anxiety was driving cultural resentment. Economics played some contributing role, but it seems much more likely that the far-right backlash is about what the far-rightists say it’s about: immigration, race, and culture.

« [Populists’] greatest support is concentrated among the older generation, men, the religious, majority populations, and the less educated — sectors generally left behind by progressive tides of cultural value change, » they write.

You can’t understand Trump’s win without understanding this global movement

Far-right leaders like Le Pen have every reason to be elated by Trump’s win. He ran on an Americanized version of the European far-right platform. He essentially turned the Republican Party into a vehicle for their style of populism, and used it to win a national election in the world’s most powerful country.

Like his European counterparts, Trump has eschewed overt discussion of racial superiority during his campaign. He claims to have « a great relationship with the blacks » and tweets things like, « I love Hispanics! » He also claims to be an American nationalist standing up against a corrupt elite in hoc to « the false song of globalism. » One of his favorite descriptions of his worldview is « America First, » a slogan coined by World War II–era isolationists and anti-Semites.

Protestations aside, the bigotry that runs through Trump’s rhetoric is pretty blatant.

Trump first became a major political figure as leader of the birther movement — the people who questioned whether Barack Obama was really a natural-born US citizen — in 2011, taking advantage of racial anxieties about a black president to turn himself into a GOP power broker. He has claimed that a Mexican-American judge shouldn’t hear a case involving him because of the judge’s Hispanic background, described life in black communities as an unending hellscape of crime and poverty, and implied that all Muslim immigrants were potential terrorists. He deployed classic anti-Semitic rhetoric, warning of dark international banking conspiracies rigging the system against ordinary Americans.

Data from the primary shows that this kind of rhetoric was absolutely critical to his appeal. Over the summer, Michael Tesler, a professor at the University of California Irvine, took a look at racial resentment scores among Republican primary voters in the past three GOP primaries. In 2008 and 2012, Tesler found, Republican voters who scored higher were less likely to vote for the eventual winner. The more racial bias you harbored, the less likely you were to vote for Mitt Romney or John McCain.

With Trump, the opposite was the case. The more a person saw black people as lazy and undeserving, the more likely they were to vote for the self-proclaimed billionaire.

 

Tesler found similar effects on measures of anti-Hispanic and anti-Muslim prejudice. This shows that Trump isn’t drawing support from the same type of Republicans who were previously picking the party’s winners. He’s mobilizing a new Republican coalition, one dominated by the voters whose political attitudes are driven by prejudice.

« The party’s growing conservatism on matters of race and ethnicity provided fertile ground for Trump’s racial and ethnic appeals to resonate in the primaries, » Tesler wrote at the Washington Post in August. « So much so, in fact, that Donald Trump is the first Republican in modern times to win the party’s presidential nomination on anti-minority sentiments. »

It’s too soon to say how much, precisely, this explains about Trump’s stunning general election performance.

But we do have enough evidence to say that white resentment played a major role in fueling his support, even among the general population. Because the GOP nominee fit the mold of the European far right, rather than a traditional Republican, he was uniquely positioned to take advantage of racial anxieties produced by eight years of a black president and decades of mass Latino immigration.

Philip Klinkner, a political scientist at New York’s Hamilton College, found that factors like economic pessimism and income were statistically insignificant to Trump’s support. Instead, his research found that the leading driver was party identification, followed closely by racial resentment.

« Moving from the least to the most resentful view of African Americans increases support for Trump by 44 points, those who think Obama is a Muslim (54 percent of all Republicans) are 24 points more favorable to Trump, and those who think the word ‘violent’ describes Muslims extremely well are about 13 points more pro-Trump than those who think it doesn’t describe them well at all, » he writes.

He also set up an interaction variable between measures of economic pessimism and « racial resentment. » This tests whether people who were pessimistic about the economy were more likely to be racially resentful and support Trump.

Klinkner found bupkis. People who were racially resentful were more likely to support Trump regardless of their views of the economy.

Someone who was not very economically pessimistic but quite racially resentful was as likely to support Trump as someone who was equally resentful but much more pessimistic about the economy. Economic stress didn’t appear to be « activating » racial resentment.

Another study — whose findings were published by three researchers at Slate — took a different stab at this. They surveyed 2000 white Americans and asked them to say whether they thought whites were “more evolved” than blacks — that is, further away from apes.

They found very little differences in rates of prejudice by income. But, they write, “there is one group of whites that stands out in the degree to which it holds dehumanizing views of black people: Trump supporters.” Fifty-two percent of strong Trump supporters, they found, thought African Americans were less evolved — about twice as high as the rates among strong Trump opponents.

“We detected substantial levels of dehumanization among Trump supporters through additional survey questions as well,” they continue:

27 percent of Trump supporters said the phrase “lacking self-restraint, like animals” describes black people well, compa