Terrorisme: Attention, un aveuglement peut en cacher un autre (Rhetorical tricks aside, the reality is that during Obama’s tenure scores of innocent Americans have been murdered on U.S. soil by jihadists, mostly inspired by or acting under the direction of foreign terror groups)

26 février, 2017
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Daech dispose d’équipements militaires nombreux, rustiques mais aussi lourds et sophistiqués. Plus que d’une mouvance terroriste, nous sommes confrontés à une véritable armée encadrée par des militaires professionnels. Quel est le docteur Frankenstein qui a créé ce monstre ? Affirmons-le clairement, parce que cela a des conséquences : ce sont les États-Unis. Par intérêt politique à court terme, d’autres acteurs – dont certains s’affichent en amis de l’Occident – d’autres acteurs donc, par complaisance ou par volonté délibérée, ont contribué à cette construction et à son renforcement. Mais les premiers responsables sont les Etats-Unis. Général Vincent Desportes (17.12.2014)
We should take great pride in the progress that we’ve made over the last eight years. That’s the bottom line. No foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland. (…) The most deadly attacks on the homeland over the last eight years have not been carried out by operatives with sophisticated networks or equipment directed from abroad. “They’ve been carried out by home-grown and largely isolated individuals who were radicalized online. Barack Hussein Obama (MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla., Dec. 6, 2016)
L’Amérique est un endroit meilleur et plus fort qu’il ne l’était quand nous avons commencé. (…) Si je vous avais dit il y a huit ans que l’Amérique renverserait une grande récession, redémarrerait notre industrie automobile et entammerait la plus longue période de création d’emplois de notre histoire … si je vous avais dit que nous ouvririons un nouveau chapitre avec le peuple cubain , que nous fermerions le programme d’armes nucléaires de l’Iran sans tirer un coup de feu, et tuer le cerveau des attentats du 9/11 … si je vous avais dit que nous gagnerions l’égalité au mariage et le droit à l’assurance maladie pour 20 millions de nos concitoyens – Vous auriez pu dire que nos objectifs étaient un peu trop élevés. (…) Les relations raciales sont meilleures qu’avant, croyez-moi, mais nous se sommes pas encore où nous devons être. (…) En raison de l’extraordinaire courage de nos hommes et de nos femmes en uniforme, des officiers du renseignement, des forces de l’ordre et des diplomates qui les soutiennent, aucune organisation terroriste étrangère n’a planifié et exécuté avec succès une attaque dans notre pays ces huit dernières années. Et bien que Boston et Orlando nous rappellent à quel point la radicalisation peut être dangereuse, nos forces de l’ordre sont plus efficaces et plus vigilantes que jamais. Barack Hussein Obama (Chicago, 10.01.2017)
Regardez ce qui se passe en Allemagne, regardez ce qui s’est passé hier soir en Suède. La Suède, qui l’aurait cru ? La Suède. Ils ont accueilli beaucoup de réfugiés, et maintenant ils ont des problèmes comme ils ne l’auraient jamais pensé. Donald Trump
La sécurité nationale commence par la sécurité aux frontières. Les terroristes étrangers ne pourront pas frapper l’Amérique s’ils ne peuvent entrer dans notre pays. Regardez ce qui se passe en Europe! Regardez ce qui passe en Europe! J’adore la Suède mais les gens là-bas comprennent que j’ai raison. J’ai un ami, c’est quelqu’un de très très important. Il adore la Ville lumière. Pendant des années, tous les étés, il allait à Paris, avec sa femme et sa famille. Je ne l’avais pas vu depuis longtemps et j’ai dit “Jim, comment va Paris?”; “Je n’y vais plus. Paris n’est plus Paris. Il n’aurait jamais raté une occasion. Aujourd’hui, il n’envisage même plus d’y aller. Donald Trump
Je ne ferai pas de comparaison, mais ici il n’y a pas de circulation d’armes, il n’y a pas de personnes qui prennent des armes pour tirer dans la foule. François Hollande
Examinant mon passeport, il relève que j’ai bénéficié récemment d’un visa « J1 », accordé notamment aux universitaires. J’ai été, en effet, professeur invité à l’Université Columbia de New York, de septembre 2016 à janvier 2017. Il conclut que je suis donc revenu travailler « illégalement » avec un visa expiré. J’ai beau expliquer que ma situation n’a rien d’anormal, sinon l’université n’aurait pas pu m’inviter, rien n’y fait. N’étant pas en possession d’un document fédéral m’autorisant à travailler aux États-Unis, je suis en infraction. La décision sera confirmée plus tard par son supérieur hiérarchique – que je n’aurai pas la possibilité de rencontrer. (…) Vers 21h, il reste une demi-douzaine de personnes, somnolentes et inquiètes, un Africain ne parlant pas bien l’anglais, les autres sans doute d’origine latino-américaine. Je suis apparemment le seul Européen – le seul « blanc ». Arrivent alors deux officiers de police. Ils se dirigent vers le monsieur assis devant moi, peut-être un Mexicain, bien mis de sa personne. Ils lui montrent un billet d’avion et lui disent qu’ils vont l’emmener. Invité à se lever, il est alors menotté, enchaîné à la taille, et entravé aux chevilles. Je n’en crois pas mes yeux. Des images d’esclaves me traversent l’esprit: la policière qui lui met les fers aux pieds est une Africaine-Américaine, vaguement gênée. J’imagine le temps qu’il va mettre pour rejoindre la porte d’embarquement. Je me demande surtout si c’est le même sort qui nous attend. Je préfère croire que lui a commis un délit sérieux. J’apprendrai par la suite que « c’est la procédure ». Cette façon de faire – proprement indigne – serait exigée par les compagnies aériennes. Je ne suis pas sûr, au demeurant, que les conditions d’expulsion soient plus humaines chez nous.A 1h 30 du matin – cela fait plus de 26 heures que j’ai quitté mon domicile parisien – je vois une certaine agitation. Une policière vient vers moi et me demande quelle est ma destination finale aux États-Unis et si quelqu’un m’attend à l’aéroport. (…) Quelques minutes plus tard, un policier au ton cette fois amical me rend mon téléphone et mon passeport, dûment tamponné, et me déclare autorisé à entrer aux États-Unis. Les restrictions qui m’ont été imposées sont levées, ajoute-t-il, sans que je puisse savoir ce qui va rester dans leurs fichiers. Il m’explique que le fonctionnaire qui a examiné mon dossier était « inexpérimenté » et ne savait pas que certaines activités, dont celles liées à la recherche et à l’enseignement, bénéficiaient d’un régime d’exception et pouvaient parfaitement être menées avec un simple visa touristique. « Il ne savait pas ». Abasourdi, je lui demande, ou plutôt je déclare que c’était donc une erreur. Il ne me répond pas. Il me laisse simplement entendre qu’ayant, lui, une longue expérience, il a vu le problème en prenant son poste en début de nuit. Il aura l’amabilité de me raccompagner à la sortie d’un aéroport totalement désert, m’indiquant l’adresse d’un hôtel dans la zone portuaire. À aucun moment, ni lui, ni ses collègues ne se sont excusés. En réalité, ma libération n’a rien eu de fortuit. Elle est la conséquence de l’intervention de mon collègue auprès du président de l’université Texas A & M, d’une professeure de droit chargée des questions d’immigration, et de plusieurs avocats. Sans eux, j’aurais été conduit menotté, enchaîné, et entravé à l’embarquement pour Paris. Historien de métier, je me méfie des interprétations hâtives. Cet incident a occasionné pour moi un certain inconfort, difficile de le nier. Je ne peux, cependant, m’empêcher de penser à tous ceux qui subissent ces humiliations et cette violence légale sans les protections dont j’ai pu bénéficier. J’y pense d’autant plus que j’ai connu l’expulsion et l’exil dans mon enfance. Pour expliquer ce qui s’est passé, j’en suis rendu aux conjectures. Pourquoi le contrôle aléatoire est-il tombé sur moi? Je ne le sais pas mais ce n’est pas le fruit du hasard. Mon « cas » présentait un problème avant même l’examen approfondi de mon visa. Peut-être est-ce mon lieu de naissance, l’Egypte, peut-être ma qualité d’universitaire, peut-être mon récent visa de travail expiré, pourtant sans objet ici, peut-être aussi ma nationalité française. Peut-être aussi le contexte. Quand bien même aurais-je commis une erreur, ce qui n’est pas le cas, cela méritait-il pareil traitement? Comment expliquer ce zèle, évident, de la part du policier qui m’a examiné et de son supérieur hiérarchique sinon par le souci de faire du chiffre et de justifier, au passage, ces contrôles accrus? J’étais d’autant plus « intéressant » que je ne tombais pas dans la catégorie habituelle des « déportables ». Telle est donc la situation aujourd’hui. Il faut désormais faire face outre-Atlantique à l’arbitraire et à l’incompétence la plus totale. Je ne sais ce qui est le pire. Ce que je sais, aimant ce pays depuis toujours, c’est que les États-Unis ne sont plus tout à fait les États-Unis. Henry Rousso
La chancelière allemande Angela Merkel et les Premiers ministres des 16 Landers allemands ont conclu jeudi un accord visant à faciliter les expulsions de réfugiés dont la demande d’asile a été rejetée. Les expulsions sont normalement du ressort des landers, mais Merkel souhaite coordonner un certain nombre de choses au niveau fédéral pour accélérer les procédures. Le gouvernement fédéral veut s’accaparer plus de pouvoirs pour refuser des permis de séjour et effectuer lui-même les expulsions. L’un des objectifs centraux du plan en 16 points est de construire un centre de rapatriement à Potsdam (Berlin) qui comptera un représentant pour chaque lander. En outre, il prévoit la création de centres d’expulsion à proximité des aéroports pour faciliter les expulsions collectives. Un autre objectif est de faciliter l’expulsion des immigrants qui présentent un danger pour la sécurité du pays et de favoriser les «retours volontaires» d’autres migrants par le biais d’incitations financières s’ils acceptent de quitter le pays avant qu’une décision ait été prise au regard de leur demande d’asile. Une somme de 40 millions d’euros est consacrée à ce projet. Selon le ministère allemand de l’Intérieur, 280.000 migrants ont sollicité l’asile en Allemagne en 2016. C’est trois fois moins que les 890.000 de l’année précédente, au plus fort de la crise des réfugiés en Europe. Près de 430 000 demandes d’asile sont encore en cours d’instruction. L’Express
When President Trump last week raised Sweden’s problematic experience with open door immigration, skeptics were quick to dismiss his claims. Two days later an immigrant suburb of Stockholm was racked by another riot. No one was seriously injured, though the crowd burned cars and hurled stones at police officers. Mr. Trump did not exaggerate Sweden’s current problems. If anything, he understated them. Sweden took in about 275,000 asylum-seekers from 2014-16—more per capita than any other European country. Eighty percent of those who came in 2015 lacked passports and identification, but a majority come from Muslim nations. Islam has become Sweden’s second-largest religion. In Malmö, our third-largest city, Mohamed is the most common name for baby boys. The effects are palpable, starting with national security. An estimated 300 Swedish citizens with immigrant backgrounds have traveled to the Middle East to fight for Islamic State. Many are now returning to Sweden and are being welcomed back with open arms by our socialist government. In December 2010 we had our first suicide attack on Swedish soil, when an Islamic terrorist tried to blow up hundreds of civilians in central Stockholm while they were shopping for Christmas presents. Thankfully the bomber killed only himself. Riots and social unrest have become a part of everyday life. Police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel are regularly attacked. Serious riots in 2013, involving many suburbs with large immigrant populations, lasted for almost a week. Gang violence is booming. Despite very strict firearm laws, gun violence is five times as common in Sweden, in total, as in the capital cities of our three Nordic neighbors combined. Anti-Semitism has risen. Jews in Malmö are threatened, harassed and assaulted in the streets. Many have left the city, becoming internal refugees in their country of birth. The number of sex crimes nearly doubled from 2014-15, according to surveys by the Swedish government body for crime statistics. One-third of Swedish women report that they no longer feel secure in their own neighborhoods, and 12% say they don’t feel safe going out alone after dark. A 1996 report from the same government body found that immigrant men were far likelier to commit rape than Swedish men.  (…) Our nation’s culture hasn’t been spared either. Artists accused of insulting Islam live under death threats. Dance performances and art exhibitions have been called off for fear of angering Islamists. Schools have prohibited the singing of traditional Christian hymns because they don’t want to “insult” non-Christian immigrants. Yet reports made with hidden cameras by journalists from Swedish public media show mosques teaching fundamentalist interpretations of Islam. Sweden’s government now spends an incredible amount of money caring for newly arrived immigrants each year. The unemployment rate among immigrants is five times as high as that of native Swedes. Among some groups, such as Somalis, in places like Malmö unemployment reaches 80%. Jimmie Åkesson and Mattias Karlsson
Sweden has the highest rape rate in Europe, author Naomi Wolf said on the BBC’s Newsnight programme recently. (…) The Swedish police recorded the highest number of offences – about 63 per 100,000 inhabitants – of any force in Europe, in 2010. The second-highest in the world. This was three times higher than the number of cases in the same year in Sweden’s next-door neighbour, Norway, and twice the rate in the United States and the UK. It was more than 30 times the number in India, which recorded about two offences per 100,000 people. On the face of it, it would seem Sweden is a much more dangerous place than these other countries. But that is a misconception, according to Klara Selin, a sociologist at the National Council for Crime Prevention in Stockholm. She says you cannot compare countries’ records, because police procedures and legal definitions vary widely. « In Sweden there has been this ambition explicitly to record every case of sexual violence separately, to make it visible in the statistics, » she says. « So, for instance, when a woman comes to the police and she says my husband or my fiance raped me almost every day during the last year, the police have to record each of these events, which might be more than 300 events. In many other countries it would just be one record – one victim, one type of crime, one record. » The thing is, the number of reported rapes has been going up in Sweden – it’s almost trebled in just the last seven years. In 2003, about 2,200 offences were reported by the police, compared to nearly 6,000 in 2010. So something’s going on. But Klara Selin says the statistics don’t represent a major crime epidemic, rather a shift in attitudes. The public debate about this sort of crime in Sweden over the past two decades has had the effect of raising awareness, she says, and encouraging women to go to the police if they have been attacked. The police have also made efforts to improve their handling of cases, she suggests, though she doesn’t deny that there has been some real increase in the number of attacks taking place – a concern also outlined in an Amnesty International report in 2010. « There might also be some increase in actual crime because of societal changes. Due to the internet, for example, it’s much easier these days to meet somebody, just the same evening if you want to. Also, alcohol consumption has increased quite a lot during this period. « But the major explanation is partly that people go to the police more often, but also the fact that in 2005 there has been reform in the sex crime legislation, which made the legal definition of rape much wider than before. » The change in law meant that cases where the victim was asleep or intoxicated are now included in the figures. Previously they’d been recorded as another category of crime. BBC
Comment se fait-il, alors, qu’en 2008, le Danemark, voisin de la Suède, avait seulement 7,3 viols pour cent mille habitants par rapport à 53,2 en Suède ? La législation danoise n’est pas très différente de celle de la Suède et il n’y a aucune raison évidente pour laquelle les femmes danoises auraient moins tendance à signaler un viol que les femmes suédoises. En 2011, six mille cinq cent neuf viols ont été signalés à la police suédoise – mais seulement trois cent quatre vingt douze au Danemark. La population du Danemark est d’environ la moitié de celle de Suède et, même ajustée à ces chiffres, la différence est donc significative. En Suède, les autorités font ce qu’elles peuvent pour dissimuler l’origine des violeurs. Au Danemark, l’Office Statistique Officiel de l’État, Statistics Denmark, a révélé qu’en 2010, plus de la moitié des violeurs condamnés étaient issus de l’immigration. Depuis 2000, il n’y a eu qu’un seul rapport de recherche sur la criminalité des immigrants. Cela a été fait en 2006 par Ann-Christine Hjelm de l’Université Karlstads. Il est apparu que, en 2002, 85% des personnes condamnées à au moins deux ans de prison pour viol par Svea hovrätt, une cour d’appel, étaient nées à l’étranger ou étaient des immigrants de deuxième génération. Un rapport de 1996 du Conseil National Suédois pour la Prévention du Crime est arrivé à la conclusion que les immigrants en provenance d’Afrique du Nord (Algérie, Libye, Maroc et Tunisie) étaient vingt-trois fois plus susceptibles de commettre des viols que les Suédois. Les chiffres pour les hommes venus d’Irak, de Bulgarie et de Roumanie étaient, respectivement de vingt, dix-huit et dix-huit. Les hommes venant du reste de l’Afrique étaient seize fois plus susceptibles de commettre un viol ; et les hommes originaires d’Iran, du Pérou, de l’Équateur et de Bolivie, dix fois plus enclins à en commettre que les Suédois. Une nouvelle tendance a frappé la Suède de plein fouet au cours des dernières décennies : le viol collectif – pratiquement inconnu auparavant dans l’histoire criminelle suédoise. Le nombre de viols collectifs a augmenté de façon spectaculaire entre 1995 et 2006. Depuis lors, aucune étude n’a été faite à ce sujet. L’un des pires cas s’est produit en 2012, quand une femme de trente ans a été violée par huit hommes dans une cité pour demandeurs d’asile, dans la petite ville de Mariannelund. Cette femme était une connaissance d’un Afghan qui avait vécu en Suède pendant un certain nombre d’années. Il l’a invitée à sortir avec lui. Elle avait accepté. Cet Afghan l’avait emmenée dans une cité pour réfugiés et l’y avait laissée, sans défense. Pendant la nuit, elle a été violée à plusieurs reprises par des demandeurs d’asile et quand son « ami » est revenu, il l’a violée aussi. Le lendemain matin, elle a réussi à appeler la police. Le Procureur de la Suède a qualifié cet incident de « pire crime de viol de l’histoire criminelle suédoise. » Gatestone institute
Depuis les Attentats du 11 septembre 2001, la France doit faire face, comme d’autres pays, à une menace plus diffuse et qui n’émane plus d’États bien identifiés. Les attentats les plus récents sont généralement revendiqués par l’État islamique. Eric Denécé évalue à 102 morts le nombre de victimes françaises du terrorisme islamiste entre 2001 et le 5 mai 20156. Les tueries de mars 2012 à Toulouse et Montauban font un total de 8 morts dont l’agresseur. Les attentats de janvier 2015 à Paris et dans sa région (au siège de Charlie Hebdo, à Montrouge, à Dammartin-en-Goële et la prise d’otages du magasin Hyper Cacher de la porte de Vincennes) font un total de 20 morts dont les trois terroristes. Le 19 avril 2015 Sid Ahmed Ghlam assassine Aurélie Châtelain à Villejuif et se blesse avant de pouvoir attaquer plusieurs églises. Le 26 juin 2015, attentat de Saint-Quentin-Fallavier: Yassin Salhi décapite son patron et fait deux blessés. Il se suicide en prison 6 mois plus tard. Lors des attentats du 13 novembre 2015 en France, deux kamikazes font détoner leur ceinture d’explosifs au Stade de France, faisant une victime ; en même temps, diverses fusillades à la Kalachnikov visent des restaurants situés dans le 10e et 11e arrondissements de Paris, suivies d’une nouvelle fusillade puis d’une prise d’otages au Bataclan, qui se soldera après assaut des forces de l’ordre par la mort de 89 otages et des trois terroristes impliqués. Au total, le bilan s’élève à 130 morts et 415 blessés7. Les attentats seront revendiqués par l’État islamique8. Tous les terroristes sont abattus par les forces de l’ordre ou meurent dans ce qui sont les premiers attentats suicides en France, sauf Salah Abdeslam qui sera capturé 4 mois plus tard en Belgique Le 13 juin 2016, un terroriste, Larossi Abballa (Français d’origine marocaine), ayant fait allégeance à l’État islamique perpètre un double meurtre sur des fonctionnaires de police, un commandant et sa compagne, agent administratif, par arme blanche, à leur domicile9. Le bilan est de trois morts, dont l’assassin, abattu lors de l’assaut du RAID. Le couple laisse un jeune enfant. Lors de l’attentat du 14 juillet 2016 à Nice, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel fonce délibérément sur la promenade des Anglais à Nice, au volant d’un poids lourd de 19 tonnes avec lequel il écrase de nombreux passants qui regardaient la fin du feu d’artifice lors de la fête nationale française. L’attentat fait 86 morts et 434 blessés, dont de nombreux enfants. Le terroriste est abattu par la police à bord de son véhicule. Le père Jacques Hamel est égorgé le mardi 26 juillet 2016 lors de l’attentat de l’église de Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, ses deux assassins sont abattus par la police alors qu’il sortaient avec des otages. Le 3 février 2017 se déroule une attaque au Musée du Louvre à Paris. Des militaires sont agressés par un homme les attaquant avec deux machettes. L’un d’eux est légèrement blessé et ses camarades neutralisent l’assaillant en ouvrant le feu. Plusieurs projets d’attentats sont déjoués en 2015, notamment contre des églises et des bases militaires10. Le plus spectaculaire est l’attentat du train Thalys le 21 août 2015 où Ayoub El Khazzani est arrêté dans sa tentative par un français et des militaires américains en permission. Une tentative d’attentat de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris par des femmes est déjoué en septembre 2016. En 2016, de nombreux projets sont également déjoués dans le pays11. En France, la région parisienne, la région Rhône-Alpes et l’agglomération Roubaix-Tourcoing sont considérées comme des « viviers du terrorisme islamique » selon Claude Moniquet, codirecteur de l’European strategic Intelligence and Security Center. En France, environ 5000 personnes font l’objet d’une fiche « S » (Sûreté de l’État) et la majorité des terroristes de la seconde vague d’attentats qui ont touché la France étaient fichés « S » eux aussi. Wikipedia
Les déclarations controversées de Donald Trump associant immigration et criminalité en Suède ont involontairement ravivé le débat dans le pays scandinave sur les réussites et les échecs de sa politique d’intégration. Deux jours après les propos du président américain samedi en Floride, des émeutes dans un quartier nord de Stockholm où vit une majorité de personnes issues de l’immigration ont semblé mettre en pièces l’argumentaire déployé pour lui répondre. (…) Lundi soir en effet, plusieurs dizaines de jeunes ont affronté les policiers venus procéder à l’arrestation d’un trafiquant de drogue, incendiant des voitures, pillant des commerces. Les forces de l’ordre ont effectué un tir à balles réelles pour se dégager, a indiqué à l’AFP Lars Byström, porte-parole de la police de la capitale. Les images ont fait le tour du monde, brouillant la réponse des autorités suédoises à Donald Trump et à la chaîne Fox News qui a diffusé un reportage sur l’insécurité en Suède dont le président républicain s’était inspiré. Pour Tove Lifvendahl, éditorialiste du quotidien Svenska Dagbladet, il existe bel et bien « une once de vérité dans ce qu’a dit Trump ». « Que cela nous plaise ou non, c’est l’occasion de se demander si la perception que l’étranger a de nous et la perception que nous avons de nous-mêmes coïncident », écrivait-elle mercredi. Les contradicteurs de M. Trump font valoir que la Suède n’a pas connu d’attentat depuis 2010, qu’elle n’enregistre pas d’inflation criminelle depuis l’accueil de 244.000 migrants en 2014 et 2015 –un record en Europe par habitant –, et qu’elle demeure au total un pays parmi les plus sûrs du monde. Parmi les plus riches aussi. Si la Suède n’est pas épargnée par les difficultés de l’intégration, elle est loin de connaître les tensions entre communautés, les inégalités, la pauvreté et la violence à l’oeuvre aux États-Unis, soulignent-ils. Une autre vision met en avant la surreprésentation des personnes d’origine étrangère dans les statistiques de la délinquance, leur sous-activité professionnelle, les règlements de compte, les quelque 300 jeunes partis faire le jihad en Syrie et en Irak, le repli religieux, l’existence présumée de zones de non-droit… (…) Benjamin Dousa, un élu local conservateur d’origine turque, dénonce lui dans une tribune « une émeute par mois, un incendie de voitures par jour et le plus fort taux d’homicides par balles au niveau national » par habitant. En tout état de cause, le président américain a tort de stigmatiser une population en raison de son origine ethnique ou religieuse, estiment les sociologues Susanne Urban et Oskar Adenfelt. La clé de l’intégration est sociale et passe par « l’accès à l’État-providence, aux services sociaux, à l’emploi, à une école de qualité, à la mixité et au droit de peser sur la vie locale », défendaient-ils mercredi dans le grand quotidien Dagens Nyheter. Le Point/AFP

Attention: un aveuglement peut en cacher un autre !

Alors qu’après ses récentes allusions aux problèmes soulevés par l’immigration et le terrorisme islamiques en Europe nos médias se sont dument gaussés de la prétendue ignorance du président Trump …

Inspiré certes pour la Suède d’un reportage quelque peu sensationaliste sur un pays qui, sans compter un attentat-suicide d’un immigré irakien heureusement sans victimes il y a sept ans, tout en ayant apparemment dramatiquement sa définition du viol se trouve avoir ces dernières années le record du nombre de viols comme de migrants par habitant …

Et que refusant toute « comparaison » après, sans parler il y a deux mois ou encore hier en une Allemagne en pleine révision de sa politique migratoire, la quarantaine d’attentats et projets d’attentats islamistes depuis 2012 pour quelque 240 morts et 800 blessés, un président français nous assure qu’ « ici (…) il n’y a pas de personnes qui prennent des armes pour tirer dans la foule »

Pendant qu’apparemment victime du zèle d’un employé inexpérimenté et d’un contrôle de sécurité prolongé à un aéroport américain un mois à peine après un attentat à l’aéroport de Fort Lauderdale ayant fait cinq morts et six blessés, un universitaire français né en Egypte, porteur d’un ancien visa de travail et en route pour une conférence rémunérée se fend d’une tribune entière déplorant avec force « images d’esclaves » que « les États-Unis ne sont plus tout à fait les États-Unis » …

Comment ne pas repenser à un autre président américain

Qui au terme de deux mandats qui, suite à l’abandon d’un Irak alors sécurisé, ont vu pas moins de 124 attentats ou tentatives d’attentats islamiques

Dont une douzaine, entre Little Rock, Fort Hood, Boston, Moore (Oklahoma), Queens, Brooklyn, Garland, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, Orlando, St. Cloud (Minnesota), New York,  Columbus, d’attaques majeures …

Nous annonçait tranquillement il y a un mois qu’ « aucune organisation terroriste étrangère n’a planifié et exécuté avec succès une attaque dans notre pays ces huit dernières années » ?

A Complete List of Radical Islamic Terror Attacks on U.S. Soil Under Obama

James Barrett

Dailywire
December 7, 2016

In a speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, President Obama declared that « [n]o foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland. » The claim earned perfunctory applause, but a closer look at the reaction of many of the servicemen and women there made clear what they really thought about the administration’s handling of national security.

The President’s claim — which he has repeated in some form or fashion over the last few years — is an obvious rhetorical attempt to gloss over the reality of the threat of radical Islamic terror on American soil. The attempt to disconnect « lone wolf » terrorists from the terror organizations who often inspire them does nothing to alleviate the pain of those who have suffered at the hands of jihadists and only hurts prevention efforts. Rhetorical tricks aside, the reality is that during Obama’s tenure scores of innocent Americans have been murdered on U.S. soil by jihadists, most of whom were inspired by or acting under the direction of foreign terror groups, particularly the Islamic state.

Below is a list of the major, verifiable radical Islamic terror attacks « successfully planned and executed » on U.S. soil since Obama first took office in 2009 (the first section provided by Daily Wire’s Aaron Bandler):

Little Rock, Arkansas, June 1, 2009. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and murdered one soldier, Army Pvt. William Andrew Long, and injured another, Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, at a military recruiting station in Little Rock. Muhammad reportedly converted to Islam in college and was on the FBI’s radar after being arrested in Yemen–a hotbed of radical Islamic terrorism–for using a Somali passport, even though he was a U.S. citizen. In a note to an Arkansas judge, Muhammad claimed to be a member of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, the terror group’s Yemen chapter.

Fort Hood, Texas, November 5, 2009. Major Nidal Malik Hasan shot up a military base in Fort Hood and murdered 14 people. Hasan was in contact with al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack and shouted « Allahu Akbar! » as he fired upon the soldiers on the Fort Hood base. After being sentenced to death, Hasan requested to join ISIS while on death row. It took six years for Obama to acknowledge the shooting as a terror attack instead of « workplace violence. »

Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 2013. Tamerlan and Dhozkar Tsarnaev set off two bombs at the 2013 Boston marathon, killing three and injuring over 260 people. The Tsarnaev brothers later shot and murdered Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier. The Tsarnaev brothers were self-radicalized through online jihadist propaganda and through a mosque with ties to al-Qaeda.

Moore, Oklahoma, September 24, 2014. Alton Nolen beheaded a woman, Colleen Huff, at a Vaughan Foods plant and stabbed and injured another person. While Nolen’s motives are unclear, he appears to have been another radicalized Muslim who was obsessed with beheadings.

Queens, New York, October 23, 2014. Zale Thompson, another self-radicalized Muslim, injured two police officers with a hatchet before being shot dead by other cops. Thompson reportedly indoctrinated himself with ISIS, al-Qaeda and al-Shabab–a Somali jihadist terror group–websites and was a lone wolf attacker.

Brooklyn, New York, December 20, 2014. Ismaayil Brinsley shot and murdered two police officers execution-style and his Facebook page featured jihadist postings and had ties to a terror-linked mosque.

Garland, Texas, May 3, 2015. Two gunmen shot up the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, where a Mohammed cartoon contest was taking place, and were killed by a police officer. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 16, 2015. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed four Marines and a sailor at a military base in Chattanooga and was believed to have been inspired by ISIS.

San Bernardino, California, December 14, 2015. Two radical Islamists, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, shot and murdered 14 people and injured 22 others at an office holiday party.

Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016. Omar Mateen, 29, opened fire at a gay nightclub, killing 49 and injuring 53. The FBI investigated Mateen twice before his rampage, but did not take any substantive action. Officials believe Mateen was self-radicalized but he pledged fealty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before his death. « The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west, » Mateen posted on his Facebook page after committing his heinous act at Pulse nightclub. « I pledge my alliance to (ISIS leader) abu bakr al Baghdadi..may Allah accept me, » he wrote.

St. Cloud, Minnesota, September 17, 2016. Dahir Ahmed Adan, a 20-year-old Somali refugee, began hacking at people with a steak knife at a Minnesota mall, injuring nine people before he was shot dead by off-duty police officer Jason Falconer. The FBI said numerous witnesses heard Adan yelling « Allahu akbar! » and « Islam! Islam! » during the rampage. He also asked potential victims if they were Muslims before inflicting wounds in their heads, necks, and chests. The FBI believe he had recently become self-radicalized. (As the Daily Wire highlighted, the Minneapolis Star Tribune attempted to blame « anti-Muslim tensions » for his murderous actions.)

New York City/New Jersey, September 17, 2016. Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized citizen from Afghanistan, set off multiple bombs in New York and New Jersey. In Chelsea, his bomb resulted in the injury of over 30 people. Rahami wrote in his journal that he was connected to « terrorist leaders, » and appears to have been heavily influenced by Sheikh Anwar, Anwar al-Awlaki, Nidal Hassan, and Osama bin Laden. « I pray to the beautiful wise ALLAH, [d]o not take JIHAD away from me, » Rahami wrote. « You [USA Government] continue your [unintelligible] slaught[er] » against the holy warriors, « be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham [Syria], Palestine … « 

Columbus, Ohio, November 28, 2016. Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an ISIS-inspired 20-year-old Somali refugee who had been granted permanent legal residence in 2014 after living in Pakistan for 7  years, attempted to run over his fellow Ohio State students on campus. After his car was stopped by a barrier, he got out of the vehicle and began hacking at people with a butcher knife before being shot dead by a campus police officer. He injured 11 people, one critically. ISIS took credit for the attack, describing Artan as their « soldier. » Just three minutes before his rampage, Artan posted a warning to America on Facebook that the « lone wolf attacks » will continue until America « give[s] peace to the Muslims. » He also praised deceased al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki as a « hero. »

Voir aussi:

Les États-Unis sont-ils encore les États-Unis?
Il faut désormais faire face outre-Atlantique à l’arbitraire et à l’incompétence la plus totale.
Henry Rousso
Historien, directeur de recherches au CNRS (Institut d’histoire du temps présent)
Le Hugffington Post

26.02.2017

Le 22 février dernier, j’ai atterri vers 14h30 à l’aéroport de Houston, aux États-Unis, en provenance de Paris. Je devais me rendre à un colloque de la Texas A&M University (College Station), où j’ai été invité à plusieurs reprises ces dernières années. Au guichet de l’immigration, une fonctionnaire me refuse l’entrée et m’emmène dans une salle attenante pour contrôle, sans explications. Une trentaine de personnes y attendent que l’on statue sur leur sort. J’observe machinalement une certaine fréquence dans les entrées et sorties. Au bout de trois quarts d’heure, alors que la plupart de ceux qui attendent repartent sans problèmes, un jeune officier de police me demande de le suivre dans un bureau particulier. Commence alors un interrogatoire informel. Je lui demande ce qui me vaut d’être là. Il me répond : « contrôle aléatoire » (random check). Il me demande ce que je viens faire aux États-Unis. Je lui présente alors la lettre d’invitation de l’université. Cette intervention doit-elle être rémunérée ? Je confirme – c’est la règle dans beaucoup universités Nord-américaines. Il m’objecte alors que je n’ai qu’un visa touristique et non un visa spécifique de travail. Je lui réponds que je n’en ai pas besoin, que l’université s’est occupée comme d’habitude des formalités et, surtout, que je fais cela depuis plus de trente ans sans jamais avoir eu le moindre ennui. Son attitude se fait alors encore plus suspicieuse. Examinant mon passeport, il relève que j’ai bénéficié récemment d’un visa « J1 », accordé notamment aux universitaires. J’ai été, en effet, professeur invité à l’Université Columbia de New York, de septembre 2016 à janvier 2017. Il conclut que je suis donc revenu travailler « illégalement » avec un visa expiré. J’ai beau expliquer que ma situation n’a rien d’anormal, sinon l’université n’aurait pas pu m’inviter, rien n’y fait. N’étant pas en possession d’un document fédéral m’autorisant à travailler aux États-Unis, je suis en infraction. La décision sera confirmée plus tard par son supérieur hiérarchique – que je n’aurai pas la possibilité de rencontrer.

On bascule alors dans une autre dimension. Le policier me fait prêter serment et me soumet à un interrogatoire étendu : questions sur mon père, ma mère, ma situation familiale, me posant près d’une dizaine de fois les mêmes questions: qui m’emploie, où j’habite, etc. J’ai la copie du procès-verbal. Il relève toutes mes empreintes digitales, pourtant déjà enregistrées dans le système comme pour tous les visiteurs. Il opère une fouille au corps en règle, malgré mes protestations. « C’est la procédure », me rétorque-t-il. Il m’informe ensuite que je vais être refoulé (deported) et mis dans le prochain avion en partance pour Paris. Il ajoute que je ne pourrai plus jamais entrer dans le pays sans un visa particulier. Je suis stupéfait mais ne peux rien faire sinon prévenir mon collègue de l’université. Le policier me demande si je veux contacter le Consulat de France à Houston. Je réponds par l’affirmative mais c’est lui qui se charge de composer le numéro, plusieurs heures après, aux alentours de 19h, appelant le standard et non le numéro d’urgence, donc sans résultat. Il m’indique également qu’il n’arrive pas à contacter Air France pour mon billet. Cela fait déjà près de cinq heures que je suis détenu et je comprends alors que rien ne se passera avant le lendemain.

Je m’apprête donc à passer encore entre une dizaine ou une vingtaine d’heures installé sur une chaise, sans téléphone – l’usage en est interdit –, avant de pouvoir occuper un fauteuil un peu plus adapté à la situation de personnes ayant effectué un long voyage. Toutes les heures, un fonctionnaire vient nous proposer à boire ou à manger, et nous fait signer un registre comme quoi nous avons accepté ou refusé. Malgré la tension, j’observe ce qui se passe dans ce lieu insolite, à la fois salle d’attente anodine et zone de rétention. Si la plupart des policiers adoptent un ton réglementaire, non discourtois, quelques-uns ricanent discrètement en observant cette population hétéroclite sous leur contrôle. Une policière engueule une femme dont le garçon de trois ans court dans tous les sens. Un homme se lève pour demander ce qu’il en est de sa situation. Trois policiers lui hurlent de s’asseoir immédiatement.

Vers 21h, il reste une demi-douzaine de personnes, somnolentes et inquiètes, un Africain ne parlant pas bien l’anglais, les autres sans doute d’origine latino-américaine. Je suis apparemment le seul Européen – le seul « blanc ». Arrivent alors deux officiers de police. Ils se dirigent vers le monsieur assis devant moi, peut-être un Mexicain, bien mis de sa personne. Ils lui montrent un billet d’avion et lui disent qu’ils vont l’emmener. Invité à se lever, il est alors menotté, enchaîné à la taille, et entravé aux chevilles. Je n’en crois pas mes yeux. Des images d’esclaves me traversent l’esprit: la policière qui lui met les fers aux pieds est une Africaine-Américaine, vaguement gênée. J’imagine le temps qu’il va mettre pour rejoindre la porte d’embarquement. Je me demande surtout si c’est le même sort qui nous attend. Je préfère croire que lui a commis un délit sérieux. J’apprendrai par la suite que « c’est la procédure ». Cette façon de faire – proprement indigne – serait exigée par les compagnies aériennes. Je ne suis pas sûr, au demeurant, que les conditions d’expulsion soient plus humaines chez nous.

L’attente continue, cette fois avec une réelle angoisse. A 1h 30 du matin – cela fait plus de 26 heures que j’ai quitté mon domicile parisien – je vois une certaine agitation. Une policière vient vers moi et me demande quelle est ma destination finale aux États-Unis et si quelqu’un m’attend à l’aéroport. Je réponds avec un début d’énervement – à éviter absolument dans ce genre de situations – que le chauffeur de l’université, qui se trouve à deux heures de route, est sans doute reparti… Elle me prie alors de ne pas me rendormir car je vais être appelé. Quelques minutes plus tard, un policier au ton cette fois amical me rend mon téléphone et mon passeport, dûment tamponné, et me déclare autorisé à entrer aux États-Unis. Les restrictions qui m’ont été imposées sont levées, ajoute-t-il, sans que je puisse savoir ce qui va rester dans leurs fichiers. Il m’explique que le fonctionnaire qui a examiné mon dossier était « inexpérimenté » et ne savait pas que certaines activités, dont celles liées à la recherche et à l’enseignement, bénéficiaient d’un régime d’exception et pouvaient parfaitement être menées avec un simple visa touristique. « Il ne savait pas ». Abasourdi, je lui demande, ou plutôt je déclare que c’était donc une erreur. Il ne me répond pas. Il me laisse simplement entendre qu’ayant, lui, une longue expérience, il a vu le problème en prenant son poste en début de nuit. Il aura l’amabilité de me raccompagner à la sortie d’un aéroport totalement désert, m’indiquant l’adresse d’un hôtel dans la zone portuaire. À aucun moment, ni lui, ni ses collègues ne se sont excusés.

En réalité, ma libération n’a rien eu de fortuit. Elle est la conséquence de l’intervention de mon collègue auprès du président de l’université Texas A & M, d’une professeure de droit chargée des questions d’immigration, et de plusieurs avocats. Sans eux, j’aurais été conduit menotté, enchaîné, et entravé à l’embarquement pour Paris.

Historien de métier, je me méfie des interprétations hâtives. Cet incident a occasionné pour moi un certain inconfort, difficile de le nier. Je ne peux, cependant, m’empêcher de penser à tous ceux qui subissent ces humiliations et cette violence légale sans les protections dont j’ai pu bénéficier. J’y pense d’autant plus que j’ai connu l’expulsion et l’exil dans mon enfance. Pour expliquer ce qui s’est passé, j’en suis rendu aux conjectures. Pourquoi le contrôle aléatoire est-il tombé sur moi? Je ne le sais pas mais ce n’est pas le fruit du hasard. Mon « cas » présentait un problème avant même l’examen approfondi de mon visa. Peut-être est-ce mon lieu de naissance, l’Egypte, peut-être ma qualité d’universitaire, peut-être mon récent visa de travail expiré, pourtant sans objet ici, peut-être aussi ma nationalité française. Peut-être aussi le contexte. Quand bien même aurais-je commis une erreur, ce qui n’est pas le cas, cela méritait-il pareil traitement? Comment expliquer ce zèle, évident, de la part du policier qui m’a examiné et de son supérieur hiérarchique sinon par le souci de faire du chiffre et de justifier, au passage, ces contrôles accrus? J’étais d’autant plus « intéressant » que je ne tombais pas dans la catégorie habituelle des « déportables ». Telle est donc la situation aujourd’hui. Il faut désormais faire face outre-Atlantique à l’arbitraire et à l’incompétence la plus totale. Je ne sais ce qui est le pire. Ce que je sais, aimant ce pays depuis toujours, c’est que les États-Unis ne sont plus tout à fait les États-Unis.

 Voir aussi:
Valeurs actuelles

25 février 2017 

Irrespect. Suite à une nouvelle critique du président américain sur la situation sécuritaire de la France et de sa capitale, François Hollande a de nouveau dérapé. Une faute que la droite n’a pas manqué de souligner.

François Hollande a sans doute la mémoire courte. Alors que Donald Trump citait vendredi “un ami” effrayé par l’insécurité qui règne à Paris, le chef de l’État a tenté de répliquer, samedi 25 février, affirmant qu’en France il “n’y a pas de circulation d’armes, il n’y a pas de personnes qui prennent des armes pour tirer dans la foule”.

“Comment François Hollande peut-il ainsi effacer les victimes ?”

Passablement remontée contre cette réponse fallacieuse, qui fait fi des dizaines de victimes récentes du terrorisme dans l’Hexagone, la droite a confronté le président socialiste à ses incohérences. François Fillon a par exemple rappelé les drames de “Toulouse, Charlie, Bataclan, Nice” et dénoncé un “effacement” des victimes.

Du côté du Front national, Florian Philippot s’est insurgé contre le “manque de respect pour les familles des victimes des attentats” et l’“indécence” du locataire de l’Élysée, quand Nicolas Bay a fustigé un “oubli [des victimes] du Bataclan et de Charlie Hebdo”.

Voir également:

L’effet Trump? La Suède s’interroge sur sa politique d’intégration

Le Point/ AFP

22/02/2017

Voir de même:

Trump Is Right: Sweden’s Embrace of Refugees Isn’t Working

The country has accepted 275,000 asylum-seekers, many without passports—leading to riots and crime.

Jimmie Åkesson and Mattias Karlsson
The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 22, 2017

When President Trump last week raised Sweden’s problematic experience with open door immigration, skeptics were quick to dismiss his claims. Two days later an immigrant suburb of Stockholm was racked by another riot. No one was seriously injured, though the crowd burned cars and hurled stones at police officers.

Mr. Trump did not exaggerate Sweden’s current problems. If anything, he understated them. Sweden took in about 275,000 asylum-seekers from 2014-16—more per capita than any other European country. Eighty percent of those who came in 2015 lacked passports and identification, but a majority come from Muslim nations. Islam has become Sweden’s second-largest religion. In Malmö, our third-largest city, Mohamed is the most common name for baby boys.

The effects are palpable, starting with national security. An estimated 300 Swedish citizens with immigrant backgrounds have traveled to the Middle East to fight for Islamic State. Many are now returning to Sweden and are being welcomed back with open arms by our socialist government. In December 2010 we had our first suicide attack on Swedish soil, when an Islamic terrorist tried to blow up hundreds of civilians in central Stockholm while they were shopping for Christmas presents. Thankfully the bomber killed only himself.

Riots and social unrest have become a part of everyday life. Police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel are regularly attacked. Serious riots in 2013, involving many suburbs with large immigrant populations, lasted for almost a week. Gang violence is booming. Despite very strict firearm laws, gun violence is five times as common in Sweden, in total, as in the capital cities of our three Nordic neighbors combined.

Anti-Semitism has risen. Jews in Malmö are threatened, harassed and assaulted in the streets. Many have left the city, becoming internal refugees in their country of birth.

The number of sex crimes nearly doubled from 2014-15, according to surveys by the Swedish government body for crime statistics. One-third of Swedish women report that they no longer feel secure in their own neighborhoods, and 12% say they don’t feel safe going out alone after dark. A 1996 report from the same government body found that immigrant men were far likelier to commit rape than Swedish men. Last year our party asked the minister of justice to conduct a new report on crime and immigration, and he replied: “In light of previous studies, I do not see that a further report on recorded crime and individuals’ origins would add knowledge with the potential to improve the Swedish society.”

Our nation’s culture hasn’t been spared either. Artists accused of insulting Islam live under death threats. Dance performances and art exhibitions have been called off for fear of angering Islamists. Schools have prohibited the singing of traditional Christian hymns because they don’t want to “insult” non-Christian immigrants. Yet reports made with hidden cameras by journalists from Swedish public media show mosques teaching fundamentalist interpretations of Islam.

Sweden’s government now spends an incredible amount of money caring for newly arrived immigrants each year. The unemployment rate among immigrants is five times as high as that of native Swedes. Among some groups, such as Somalis, in places like Malmö unemployment reaches 80%.

Our party, the Sweden Democrats, wants to put the security and welfare of Swedish citizens first. We are surging in the opinion polls and seem to have a good chance of becoming the country’s largest party during the elections next year. We will not rest until we have made Sweden safe again.

For the sake of the American people, with whom we share so many strong historical and cultural ties, we can only hope that the leaders in Washington won’t make the same mistakes that our socialist and liberal politicians did.

Mr. Åkesson is party chairman of the Sweden Democrats. Mr. Karlsson is the party’s group leader in Parliament.

Voir par ailleurs:

Hommage national aux victimes du terrorisme: Trois décennies d’attentats en France

Laure Cometti

20 minutes

L’hommage national aux victimes du terrorisme, qui a lieu chaque année le 19 septembre, depuis 1998, prend ce lundi un écho particulier. Depuis janvier 2015, 236 personnes sont mortes dans des attentats en France, sur un total de 271 en trente ans. 20 Minutes revient sur les attaques terroristes perpétrées dans l’Hexagone au cours des trois dernières décennies.

1986

Cette année est marquée par neuf attaques terroristes, dont six sont meurtrières. Elles s’inscrivent dans une vague d’attentats, de décembre 1985 à septembre 1986, dont certains seront imputés au Hezbollah.

Le mois de septembre est particulièrement meurtrier. Le 8, une explosion fait un mort et dix-huit blessés dans le bureau de poste de l’Hôtel de Ville à Paris. Le 12, plus d’une cinquantaine de personnes sont blessées par une bombe placée dans un magasin Casino à la Défense. Le 14, une nouvelle explosion tue deux personnes dans le pub Renault des Champs-Elysées. Le lendemain, c’est la préfecture de police de Paris qui est visée : une bombe fait un mort et 51 blessés. Le 17, ce mois de septembre meurtrier s’achève par un attentat à la bombe devant le magasin Tati de la rue de Rennes, toujours à Paris. Le bilan est de sept morts et une cinquantaine de blessés.

1995

Entre juillet et novembre, l’Hexagone est le théâtre d’une série d’attaques à la bombe imputées à l’organisation terroriste algérienne du Groupe islamique armé (GIA). La seule attaque meurtrière est celle de la station de RER B Saint-Michel à Paris, le 25 juillet. Le bilan est de huit tués et plus d’une centaine de blessés.

Près de Lyon, une bombe est découverte le 26 août sur une ligne de TGV. Les empreintes digitales de Khaled Kelkal sont retrouvées sur l’engin explosif. Le jeune homme, impliqué dans l’attentat de la station Saint-Michel, est abattu par la police le 29 septembre. Arrêté deux jours auparavant, son complice Karim Koussa a été jugé et condamné à de la prison. Deux autres membres du GIA ont été arrêtés le 1er novembre dans le cadre de l’enquête sur cette vague d’attentats, Boualem Bensaïd et Smaïn Aït Ali Belkacem, tous deux jugés et incarcérés.

Le 3 septembre, une bombe blesse quatre personnes sur un marché du boulevard Richard Lenoir à Paris.

Les transports en commun de la capitale sont ciblés à deux autres reprises, sans faire de morts : le 6 octobre à Maison-Blanche (seize blessés) et le 17 octobre dans une rame du RER C, entre les stations Saint-Michel et Quai d’Orsay (une trentaine de blessés).

1996

Le 3 décembre, une explosion tue quatre personnes et en blesse plus de 90 à la station de RER B de Port-Royal. Les auteurs de l’attaque n’ont pas été identifiés.

2000

Le 19 avril, une bombe explose dans un restaurant de la chaîne McDonald’s à Quévert (ôtes-d’Armor), tuant une employée. L’enquête démontrera plus tard que la bombe devait exploser pendant la nuit. Trois hommes appartenant à la mouvance indépendantiste bretonne seront jugés puis acquittés dans cette affaire qui n’a pas été élucidée à ce jour.

2007

Le 6 décembre, un colis piégé explose dans un cabinet d’avocat au 52, boulevard Malesherbes à Paris. La secrétaire du cabinet est tuée sur le coup. L’affaire n’est pas élucidée à ce jour.

2012

En mars, Mohamed Merah tue sept personnes par balle à Toulouse et Montauban. Il s’agit de trois militaires et de  trois élèves et un professeur d’une école juive. Le terroriste islamiste est abattu le 22 mars après une intervention du Raid dans le quartier de Côte Pavée à Toulouse.

2015

Le début de l’année est marquée par la tuerie au siège de Charlie Hebdo. Les frères Saïd et Chérif Kouachi, qui affirment agir au nom de l’organisation Al-Qaida dans la péninsule arabique (Aqpa), abattent le 7 janvier huit membres de la rédaction de l’hebdomadaire, un dessinateur invité à la conférence du journal, deux policiers et un agent de maintenance de l’entreprise Sodexo. Les terroristes sont tués deux jours plus tard à Dammartin-en-Goële.

Le lendemain, une policière municipale est tuée à Montrouge par Amédy Coulibaly qui mènera la prise d’otages du magasin Hypercacher de la Porte de Vincennes, le 9 janvier. Le terroriste, qui se revendique du groupe Etat islamique (EI) dans une vidéo, est abattu après avoir tué un employé et trois clients de la boutique vendant des produits casher.

Le 26 juin, Yassin Salhi décapite son patron sur le site de l’usine AirProducts. Fiché S pour ses liens avec l’islam radical, le présumé coupable s’est suicidé en prison le 23 décembre de la même année.

Le 13 novembre au soir, des attaques simultanées à Saint-Denis et Paris font 130 morts et plus de 400 blessés. Il s’agit des pires attaques terroristes de l’histoire de la France. Tous les auteurs de ces attentats, revendiqués par Daesh, sont morts en kamikazes. Salah Abdeslam, l’unique membre encore vivant des commandos, a été arrêté en le 18 mars 2016 en Belgique et remis à la France où il a été écroué.

2016

Le 13 juin, un policier de Magnanville et sa compagne employée au commissariat de Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines) sont assassinés chez eux par  Larossi Abballa, qui avait revendiqué son action sur Twitter et Facebook au nom de Daesh. Le terroriste est abattu par le Raid.

Le soir de la fête nationale, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, au volant d’un camion, fonce dans la foule quelques instants après le feu d’artifice du 14 juillet sur la Promenade des Anglais à Nice. Le bilan est de 86 morts et plus de 300 blessés. L’attaque est revendiquée par Daesh.

Le 26 juillet, un prêtre est tué lors d’une prise d’otages pendant la messe dans une église catholique à Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Les auteurs, deux djihadistes sont abattus par les forces de l’ordre. Cette attaque est aussi revendiquée par Daesh..

Voir de même:

Nordactu.fr

19/07/2016

Alors que le bilan humain de l’attentat de Nice du 14 juillet n’est pas encore définitif, Nord Actu a dressé la liste chronologique des attentats terroristes islamistes qui ont touché la France depuis début 2012, ainsi que les tentatives déjouées par les services de sécurité dont nous avons eu connaissance. La liste des projets d’attentats est donc non-exhaustive, mais permet de se faire une idée sur la quantité d’actions islamistes entreprises depuis 4 ans en France. Le bilan humain provisoire de cette guerre fait état de 254 morts et 684 blessés.

(NDLR: les attentats ayant « abouti » apparaissent en gras)

Attentats de mars 2012 par Mohammed Merah : 8 morts et 6 blessés.

Attentat du 25 mai 2013, un individu tente d’égorger un militaire à la Défense : 1 blessé.

Attentat déjoué en octobre 2013 : Un homme arrêté à Lille après son retour de Syrie.

Attentat déjoué en février 2014 : Le carnaval de Nice.

Attentat déjoué en juillet 2014 : Des lieux chiites à Créteil.

Attentat déjoué en août 2014 : Des synagogues à Lyon.

Attentat déjoué en septembre 2014 : Une réunion du CRIF à Lyon.

Attentat du 20 décembre 2014 à Joué les Tours, un individu attaque le commissariat à l’arme blanche, il est abattu : 1 mort et 3 blessés.

Attentat du 21 décembre 2014 à Dijon, un individu fonce dans la foule avec son véhicule au cri d’ «Allah Ahkbar» : 13 blessés.

Attentat du 22 décembre 2014 à Nantes, modus operandi similaire à l’attaque de Dijon : 1 mort et 10 blessés.

Attentats de janvier 2015 (Charlie hebdo + Montrouge + Hyper Kasher) : 17 morts et 22 blessés.

Attentat du 3 février 2015 à Nice, Moussa Coulibaly attaque des militaires à l’arme blanche : 3 blessés.

Attentat du 19 avril 2015 : Meurtre d’Aurélie Châtelain à Villejuif par Sid Ahmed Ghlam lors du vol de son véhicule devant servir à des actions contre des églises (voir ci-dessous) : 1 mort.

Attentat déjoué en avril 2015 : Une ou plusieurs églises en région parisienne par Sid Ahmed Ghlam (le suspect avait effectué des repérages autour du Sacré Cœur  de Montmartre et de deux églises de Villejuif).

Attentat de Saint-Quentin-Fallavier 26 juin 2015 : 1 mort et 2 blessés.

Attentat déjoué en juillet 2015 : Une base militaire dans les Pyrénées-Orientales.

Attentat du 21 août 2015 (attaque d’un train Thalys entre Bruxelles et Paris) : 3 blessés.

Attentat déjoué en octobre 2015 : Hakim Marnissi voulait attaquer la base navale de Toulon.

Attentat déjoué en octobre 2015 : Arrestation à Fontenay-sous-Bois, Salim et Ahmed M., deux frères « velléitaires pour le jihad syrien » qui ont planifié de s’en prendre à « des militaires, des policiers et/ou des juifs ».

Attentats du 13 novembre 2015 (Bataclan + terrasses de cafés + Stade de France + St Denis) : 137 morts et 413 blessés.

Attentat déjoué en novembre 2015 : Le quartier de la Défense.

Attentat déjoué en décembre 2015 : « Des représentants de la force publique » dans la région d’Orléans. Les deux suspects voulaient s’en prendre notamment au préfet du Loiret et à une centrale nucléaire.

Attentat déjoué en décembre 2015 : Interpellation d’un couple à Montpellier, la femme aurait dû commettre un attentat suicide à l’aide d’un faux-ventre de femme enceinte rempli d’explosifs.

Attentat du 1er janvier 2016 à Valence : un individu fonce sur des militaires avec son véhicule. Il doit être neutralisé par des tirs, un passant est blessé : 3 blessés au total.

Attentat du 7 janvier 2016 au commissariat de la Goutte d’Or à Paris : 1 mort (l’assaillant).

Attentat du 11 janvier 2016 à Marseille, un kurde de 15 ans attaque un enseignant juif à la machette : 1 blessé. Des policiers étaient également visés.

Attentat déjoué en janvier 2016 : Fort Béar dans les Pyrénées orientales, un gradé devait être kidnappé puis décapité. 3 interpellés.

Attentat déjoué du 2 février 2016 : Arrestation à Lyon de 6 individus qui projetaient d’attaquer des « clubs échangistes en France ».

Attentat déjoué du 9 mars 2016 : Un individu radicalisé d’une trentaine d’années a embarqué à l’aéroport de Nantes en direction de Fès. Il a été arrêté au Maroc par les autorités marocaines. Il était en possession de plusieurs armes blanches et une bonbonne de gaz.

Attentat déjoué du 9 mars  2016 : Un franco-algérien a délibérément lancé sa voiture contre la façade d’un commissariat de police à Firminy. D’après Noëlle Deraime, directrice départementale de la sécurité publique, il ne s’agit pas d’un accident.

Attentat déjoué en mars 2016 : 4 jeunes femmes devaient attaquer une salle de concert, deux cafés et un centre commercial à Paris.

Attentat déjoué en mars 2016: Quatre personnes (3 hommes et 1 femme) ont été interpellées par la DGSI dans le XVIIIe arrondissement de Paris ainsi qu’en Seine-Saint-Denis. Elles sont suspectées de s’être préparées à commettre des attentats dans la capitale.

Attentat déjoué en mars 2016 : Arrestation de Rada Kriket à Boulogne Billancourt, d’Anis B. à Rotterdam et d’Abderahmane Ameuroud  à Bruxelles pour « risque imminent d’action terroriste ».

Attentat déjoué le 8 avril 2016: Arrestation de Mohamed Abrini, recherché depuis les attentats du 13 novembre, à Anderlecht. Il révèle que le commando des attentats du 22 mars 2016 à Bruxelles devait à nouveau frapper la France.

Attentat du 24 avril 2016: Un militaire de l’opération Sentinelle est agressé au cutter par un individu tenant des propos en arabe à Strasbourg. L’agresseur prend la fuite et est interpellé le 4 mai 2016. Bilan : 1 blessé.

Attentat contre un couple de policiers du 13 juin 2016 à Magnanville par Larossi Abballa : 3 morts.

Attentat du 14 juin 2016 à Rennes, une lycéenne âgée de 19 ans est agressée à coups de couteau par un homme de 32 ans connu des services de police qui voulait procéder à un « sacrifice » au cours du ramadan, selon ses propres termes. Bilan : 1 blessé.

Attentat déjoué le 16 juin 2016: Un jeune homme de 22 ans arrêté par la DGSI à la gare de Carcassonne en possession d’un couteau et d’une machette projetant un attentat en s’attaquant à des touristes américains et anglais ainsi qu’aux forces de l’ordres et « mourir en martyr ».

Attentat déjoué le 17 juin 2016: À Béziers, un détenu converti à l’islam et radicalisé voulait commettre un attentat contre un club naturiste au Cap d‘Agde car il n’aimait pas les « culs-nus ». L’individu s’est fait allonger sa peine de 6 mois supplémentaires.

Attentat du 14 juillet 2016 à Nice : 84 morts et 202 blessés

Le détail des attentats déjoués en France depuis un an

INFO LE FIGARO – Des projets d’assassinats et d’attentats, visant notamment un centre commercial, une salle de spectacle ou encore une centrale nucléaire, ont été révélés devant la commission d’enquête parlementaire.

«Nous avons tout eu»: le 18 mai, devant la commission d’enquête, le coordonnateur national du renseignement, Didier Le Bret, résume en une formule les multiples attaques, contrecarrées ou non, qui ont visé le pays. Pour la première fois, le rapport de Sébastien Pietrasanta fournit le détail d’une dizaine d’attentats déjoués en France en un an. Certains, comme celui ciblant la base militaire de Port Vendres où trois djihadistes voulaient filmer la décapitation d’un haut gradé ou celui en octobre contre des militaires de la base de Toulon, sont connus. D’autres sont restés plus confidentiels. Ainsi, le document révèle que, le 16 mars, «quatre jeunes femmes, dont trois mineures (…) ont été interpellées à Roubaix, Lyon et Brie-Comte-Robert» alors qu’«elles avaient formé le projet d’attaquer une salle de concert, deux cafés et un centre commercial à Paris».

Ce coup de filet a lieu huit jours avant que la DGSI interpelle Reda Kriket à Boulogne-Billancourt et découvre à Argenteuil une «cache» remplie d’armes de guerre et d’explosifs susceptible de perpétrer une attaque au nom de Daech. Les 15 et 16 décembre dernier, la DGSI arrêtait Rodrigue D. et Karim K., deux terroristes en puissance qui «projetaient de s’attaquer à des militaires et des policiers orléanais». Le rapport dévoile que «tout en minimisant son implication dans ce projet», Karim K. a «reconnu vouloir assassiner le préfet du Loiret et s’attaquer à une centrale nucléaire». Avant de préciser que «les deux mis en cause ont confirmé le rôle d’Anthony D., djihadiste français de l’EI évoluant en Syrie depuis fin 2014, comme soutien financier».

Communications cryptées

Au même moment, la DGSI, toujours elle, appréhendait, à Tours, Issa Khassiev, un Russe d’origine tchétchène «susceptible d’avoir rejoint la Syrie en 2013» et qui envisageait de «réaliser une action violente en France avant de regagner la zone syro-irakienne pour y mourir en martyr». Lors d’une perquisition, celui qui a prêté «allégeance à l’EI» avait «proféré des menaces à l’encontre des fonctionnaires de police présents». Outre le cas d’un radicalisé en prison projetant d’assassiner une députée parisienne interpellé en octobre «après s’être lui-même dénoncé (…)», le document évoque aussi l’arrestation, à Fontenay-sous-Bois, de Salim et Ahmed M., deux frères «velléitaires pour le djihad syrien» qui voulaient s’en prendre à des «militaires, des policiers et/ou des juifs». Ces réussites policières ne peuvent cependant obérer les échecs des attentats de janvier et de novembre qui enseignent que «les terroristes ne relèvent plus d’aucune logique nationale ni dans leur profil ou leur recrutement, ni dans leur mode opératoire et la conception de leurs attaques».

Rappelant que «les commandos ne se sont effectivement rendus sur le territoire français que la veille des attaques, un délai peut-être trop bref pour être repérés par les seuls services français», Sébastien Pietrasanta considère que «cette tactique a également si bien fonctionné parce que les terroristes ont encore accru leur mobilité par une bien plus grande furtivité que par le passé». Le directeur général de la sécurité extérieure, Bernard Bajolet, l’a concédé devant la commission Fenech: «La difficulté à laquelle nous nous heurtons est que ces terroristes sont rompus à la clandestinité et font une utilisation très prudente, très parcimonieuse, des moyens de communication: les téléphones ne sont utilisés qu’une seule fois, les communications sont cryptées et nous ne pouvons pas toujours les décoder.» «Pour connaître leurs projets, il faut avoir des sources humaines directement en contact avec ces terroristes, décrit le patron de la DGSE. Or ces réseaux sont très cloisonnés, ils peuvent recevoir des instructions de caractère général, mais avoir ensuite une certaine autonomie dans la mise en œuvre de la mission qui leur est confiée.» (…). Et le rapporteur Pietrasanta de conclure: «L’explosion des communications électroniques, le développement du darknet, la mise à portée de tous de moyens de communication bénéficiant de puissants chiffrements – telle que l’application de messagerie Telegram – rendent les terroristes plus furtifs aux yeux des services de renseignements et leur imposent d’opérer des sauts capacitaires réguliers.»

Voir de plus:

Sweden’s rape rate under the spotlight

  • 15 September 2012

The Julian Assange extradition case has put Sweden’s relatively high incidence of rape under the spotlight. But can such statistics be reliably compared from one country to another?

Which two countries are the kidnapping capitals of the world?

Australia and Canada.

Official figures from the United Nations show that there were 17 kidnaps per 100,000 people in Australia in 2010 and 12.7 in Canada.

That compares with only 0.6 in Colombia and 1.1 in Mexico.

So why haven’t we heard any of these horror stories? Are people being grabbed off the street in Sydney and Toronto, while the world turns a blind eye?

No, the high numbers of kidnapping cases in these two countries are explained by the fact that parental disputes over child custody are included in the figures.

If one parent takes a child for the weekend, and the other parent objects and calls the police, the incident will be recorded as a kidnapping, according to Enrico Bisogno, a statistician with the United Nations.

Comparing crime rates across countries is fraught with difficulties – this is well known among criminologists and statisticians, less so among journalists and commentators.

Sweden has the highest rape rate in Europe, author Naomi Wolf said on the BBC’s Newsnight programme recently. She was commenting on the case of Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder who is fighting extradition from the UK to Sweden over rape and sexual assault allegations that he denies.

Is it true? Yes. The Swedish police recorded the highest number of offences – about 63 per 100,000 inhabitants – of any force in Europe, in 2010. The second-highest in the world.

This was three times higher than the number of cases in the same year in Sweden’s next-door neighbour, Norway, and twice the rate in the United States and the UK. It was more than 30 times the number in India, which recorded about two offences per 100,000 people.

On the face of it, it would seem Sweden is a much more dangerous place than these other countries.

But that is a misconception, according to Klara Selin, a sociologist at the National Council for Crime Prevention in Stockholm. She says you cannot compare countries’ records, because police procedures and legal definitions vary widely.

« In Sweden there has been this ambition explicitly to record every case of sexual violence separately, to make it visible in the statistics, » she says.

« So, for instance, when a woman comes to the police and she says my husband or my fiance raped me almost every day during the last year, the police have to record each of these events, which might be more than 300 events. In many other countries it would just be one record – one victim, one type of crime, one record. »

The thing is, the number of reported rapes has been going up in Sweden – it’s almost trebled in just the last seven years. In 2003, about 2,200 offences were reported by the police, compared to nearly 6,000 in 2010.

So something’s going on.

But Klara Selin says the statistics don’t represent a major crime epidemic, rather a shift in attitudes. The public debate about this sort of crime in Sweden over the past two decades has had the effect of raising awareness, she says, and encouraging women to go to the police if they have been attacked.

The police have also made efforts to improve their handling of cases, she suggests, though she doesn’t deny that there has been some real increase in the number of attacks taking place – a concern also outlined in an Amnesty International report in 2010.

« There might also be some increase in actual crime because of societal changes. Due to the internet, for example, it’s much easier these days to meet somebody, just the same evening if you want to. Also, alcohol consumption has increased quite a lot during this period.

« But the major explanation is partly that people go to the police more often, but also the fact that in 2005 there has been reform in the sex crime legislation, which made the legal definition of rape much wider than before. »

The change in law meant that cases where the victim was asleep or intoxicated are now included in the figures. Previously they’d been recorded as another category of crime.

So an on-the-face-of-it international comparison of rape statistics can be misleading.

Botswana has the highest rate of recorded attacks – 92.9 per 100,000 people – but a total of 63 countries don’t submit any statistics, including South Africa, where a survey three years ago showed that one in four men questioned admitted to rape.

In 2010, an Amnesty International report highlighted that sexual violence happens in every single country, and yet the official figures show that some countries like Hong Kong and Mongolia have zero cases reported.

Evidently, women in some countries are much less likely to report an attack than in others and are much less likely to have their complaint recorded.

UN statistician Enrico Bisogno says surveys suggest that as few as one in 10 cases are ever reported to the police, in many countries.

« We often present the situation as kind of an iceberg where really what we can see is just the tip while the rest is below the sea level. It remains below the radar of the law enforcement agencies, » he says.

Naomi Wolf has also written that Sweden has the lowest conviction rate in Europe.

She was relying on statistics from a nine-year-old report, which calculated percentage conviction rates based on the number of offences recorded by the police and the number of convictions. But this is a problematic way of analysing statistics, as several offences could be committed by one person.

The United Nations holds official statistics on the number of convictions for rape per 100,000 people and actually, by that measure, Sweden has the highest number of convictions per capita in Europe, bar Russia. In 2010, 3.7 convictions were achieved per 100,000 population.

Though it’s still the case, as Wolf pointed out to the BBC, that women in Sweden report a high number of offences – and only a small number of rapists are punished.

So there’s a lot that official statistics don’t tell us. They certainly don’t reveal the real number of rapes that happen in Sweden, or any other country. And they don’t give a clear view of which countries have worse crime rates than others.

Rape is particularly complex, but you’d think it would be straightforward to analyse murder rates across different countries – just count up the dead bodies, and compare and contrast.

If only, says Enrico Bisogno. « For example, if I punch somebody and the person eventually dies, some countries can consider that as an intentional murder, others as a manslaughter. Or in some countries, dowry killings are coded separately because there is separate legislation. »

What’s more, a comparison of murder rates between developed and less developed countries may tell you as much about health as crime levels, according to Professor Chris Lewis, a criminologist from Portsmouth University in the UK.

The statistics are to some unknown degree complicated by the fact that you’re more likely to survive an attack in a town where you’re found quickly and taken to a hospital that’s well-equipped.


Histoire: Plus inconnu que le soldat inconnu… le déserteur ! (Dos Passos was right: Book reveals how gangs of AWOL GIs terrorized WWII Paris with a reign of mob-style violence)

23 février, 2017
Glass's study of the very different stories and men grouped together under the label, Deserters

hacksaw-ridgehacksawLife_1
Cela met en lumière ce que cela signifie pour un homme de conviction et de foi de se retrouver dans une situation infernale… et, au milieu de ce cauchemar, cet homme est en mesure d’approfondir sa spiritualité et d’accomplir quelque chose de plus grand. Mel Gibson
Oscars Poll: 60 percent of Americans can’t name one best picture nominee (…) For most of the best picture nominees, Clinton voters were more likely to have seen the various films when compared to Trump voters. The big exception was Hacksaw Ridge, which Trump voters were considerately more likely (27%) than Clinton voters (18%). The Hollywood Reporter
Après les vives polémiques provoquées par La Passion du Christ (2004) puis Apocalypto (2006) (…) Mel Gibson a choisi de mettre en scène Desmond Doss, objecteur de conscience américain, qui tint à aller au front comme infirmier pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, sans jamais porter d’arme. Les images sanglantes, christiques, cruelles de son film font écho à celles de ses réalisations précédentes. (…) Dans chacun de ses films, Mel Gibson, fervent catholique, explore une figure isolée, prête à soulever les foules, mais aussi à subir les exactions de ses pourfendeurs. Le paroxysme de ce postulat –  la cruauté humaine envers ses semblables – est atteint avec La passion du Christ, où la foule déchaînée s’acharne sans relâche pour faire crucifier Jésus. Le film suscitera une immense controverse autour du réalisateur, accusé de véhiculer un message profondément antisémite, les Juifs étant représentés comme un peuple cruel et déicide. Cette foule haineuse, on la retrouve aussi dans Braveheart (1995) avant le sacrifice de William Wallace, torturé puis tué dans d’atroces souffrances. Dans Tu ne tueras point, le choix de Desmond Doss de ne pas porter d’armes déplaît fortement aux autres soldats qui le prennent pour un lâche, le torturent psychologiquement puis le passent lâchement à tabac en pleine nuit. (…) Tu ne tueras point, met en scène la figure ô combien christique de Desmond Doss, adventiste du septième jour, objecteur de conscience qui sauva 75 de ses camarades pendant la bataille d’Okinawa. Le tout, renforcé par des plans sans ambiguïté : Wallace les bras en croix avant la torture, ou Desmond, filmé allongé sur son brancard, en contre-plongée, les bras ouverts, comme appelé par les cieux. Télérama
“Don’t think I’m sticking up for the Germans,” puts in the lanky young captain in the upper berth, “but…” “To hell with the Germans,” says the broad-shouldered dark lieutenant. “It’s what our boys have been doing that worries me.” The lieutenant has been talking about the traffic in Army property, the leaking of gasoline into the black market in France and Belgium even while the fighting was going on, the way the Army kicks the civilians around, the looting. “Lust, liquor and loot are the soldier’s pay,” interrupts a red-faced major. (…) A tour of the beaten-up cities of Europe six months after victory is a mighty sobering experience for anyone. Europeans. Friend and foe alike, look you accusingly in the face and tell you how bitterly they are disappointed in you as an American. They cite the evolution of the word “liberation.” Before the Normandy landings it meant to be freed from the tyranny of the Nazis. Now it stands in the minds of the civilians for one thing, looting. (…) Never has American prestige in Europe been lower. People never tire of telling you of the ignorance and rowdy-ism of American troops, of out misunderstanding of European conditions. They say that the theft and sale of Army supplies by our troops is the basis of their black market. They blame us for the corruption and disorganization of UNRRA. (…) The Russians came first. The Viennese tell you of the savagery of the Russian armies. They came like the ancient Mongol hordes out of the steppes, with the flimsiest supply. The people in the working-class districts had felt that when the Russians came that they at least would be spared. But not at all. In the working-class districts the tropes were allowed to rape and murder and loot at will. When victims complained, the Russians answered, “You are too well off to be workers. You are bourgeoisie.” When Americans looted they took cameras and valuables but when the Russians looted they took everything. And they raped and killed. From the eastern frontiers a tide of refugees is seeping across Europe bringing a nightmare tale of helpless populations trampled underfoot. When the British and American came the Viennese felt that at last they were in the hands of civilized people. (…) We have swept away Hitlerism, but a great many Europeans feel that the cure has been worse than the disease. John Dos Passos (Life, le 7 janvier 1946)
lls sont venus, ils ont vaincu, ils ont violé… Sale nouvelle, les beaux GI débarqués en 1944 en France se sont comportés comme des barbares. Libération (mars 2006)
Oui, les libérateurs pratiquaient un racisme institutionnalisé et ils condamnèrent à mort des soldats noirs, accusés à tort de viols. En son temps, l’écrivain Louis Guilloux, qui fut l’interprète officiel des Américains en 1944 en Bretagne, assista à certains de ces procès en cour martiale. Durablement marqué, il relata son expérience dans OK, Joe !, un récit sobre, tranchant, qui a la puissance d’un brûlot. Loin du mélo. Télérama (décembre 2009)
Sur fond d’histoire d’amour impossible, Les Amants de l’ombre nous transportent dans une période méconnue de la Seconde Guerre mondiale où l’armée américaine, présentée comme libératrice, n’hésitait pas à condamner à mort des soldats noirs accusés à tort de viol. Métro (dec. 2009)
Soviet and German treatment of deserters, a story of pitiless savagery, is not mentioned here. Glass is concerned only with the British and Americans in the second world war, whose official attitudes to the problem were tortuous. In the first world war, the British shot 304 men for desertion or cowardice, only gradually accepting the notion of « shell-shock ». In the United States, by contrast, President Woodrow Wilson commuted all such death sentences. In the second world war, the British government stood up to generals who wanted to bring back the firing squad (the Labour government in 1930 had abolished the death penalty for desertion). Cunningly, the War Office suggested that restoration might suggest to the enemy that morale in the armed forces was failing. President Roosevelt, on the other hand, was persuaded in 1943 to suspend « limitations of punishment ». In the event, the Americans shot only one deserter, the luckless Private Eddie Slovik, executed in France in January 1945. He was an ex-con who had never even been near the front. Slovik quit when his unit was ordered into action, calculating that a familiar penitentiary cell would be more comfortable than being shot at in a rainy foxhole. His fate was truly unfair, set against the bigger picture. According to Glass, « nearly 50,000 American and 100,000 British soldiers deserted from the armed forces » during the war. Some 80% of these were front-line troops. Almost all « took a powder » (as they said then) in the European theatres of war; there were practically no desertions from US forces in the Pacific, perhaps because there was nowhere to go. By the end of the conflict, London, Paris and Naples, to name only a few European cities, swarmed with heavily-armed Awol servicemen, many of them recruited into gangs robbing and selling army supplies. Units were diverted from combat to guard supply trains, which were being hijacked all over liberated Europe. Paris, where the police fought nightly gun battles with American bandits, seemed to be a new Chicago. The Guardian
Thousands of American soldiers were convicted of desertion during the war, and 49 were sentenced to death. (Most were given years of hard labor.) Only one soldier was actually executed, an unlucky private from Detroit named Eddie Slovik. This was early 1945, at the moment of the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Glass observes: “It was not the moment for the supreme Allied commander, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, to be seen to condone desertion.” There were far more desertions in Europe than in the Pacific theater. In the Pacific, there was nowhere to disappear to. “In Europe, the total that fled from the front rarely exceeded 1 percent of manpower,” Mr. Glass writes. “However, it reached alarming proportions among the 10 percent of the men in uniform who actually saw combat.” (…) Too few men did too much of the fighting during World War II, the author writes. Many of them simply cracked at the seams. Poor leadership was often a factor. “High desertion rates in any company, battalion or division pointed to failures of command and logistics for which blame pointed to leaders as much as to the men who deserted,” he says. Mr. Glass adds, “Some soldiers deserted when all the other members of their units had been killed and their own deaths appeared inevitable.” The essential unfairness of so few men seeing the bulk of the combat was undergirded by other facts. Many men never shipped out. Mr. Glass cites a statistic that psychiatrists allowed about 1.75 million men to avoid service for “reasons other than physical.”This special treatment led to bitterness. Mr. Glass quotes a general who wrote, “When, in 1943, it was found that 14 members of the Rice University football team had been rejected for military service, the public was somewhat surprised.”Mr. Glass provides information about desertions in other American wars. During the Civil War, more than 300,000 troops went AWOL from the Union and Confederate armies. He writes, “Mark Twain famously deserted from both sides.” The NYT
In the weeks following liberation from the Nazis, Paris was hit by wave of crime and violence that saw the city compared to Prohibition New York or Chicago. And the cause was the same: American Gangsters. While the Allies fought against Hitler’s forces in Europe, law enforcers fought against the criminals who threatened that victory. Men who had abandoned the ‘greater good’ in favour of self-interest, black-market profits and the lure of the cafes and brothels of Paris: deserters. Highly organised, armed to the teeth and merciless, these deserters used their US uniforms as another tool of their trade along with the vast arrays of stolen weapons, forged passes and hijacked vehicles they had at their disposal. Between June 1944 and April 1945 the US army’s Criminal Investigation Branch (CBI) handled a total of 7,912 cases. Forty per cent involved misappropriation of US supplies. Greater yet was the proportion of crimes of violence – rape, murder, manslaughter and assault which accounted for 44 per cent of the force’s workload. The remaining 12 per cent were crimes such as robbery, housebreaking and riot.Many were afraid. They had reached a point beyond which they could not endure and chosen disgrace over the grave. Some recounted waking, as if from a dream, to find their bodies had led them away from the battelfield. (…)  Others, like Weiss, fought until their faith in their immediate commanders disappeared. Was it a form of madness or a dawning lucidity that led them to desert? Glass does not claim to be able to answer that question to which Weiss himself had devoted his latter years to addressing to no avail. Others still deserted to make money, stealing and selling the military supplies that their comrades at the front needed to survive. Opportunists and crooks, certainly, but not cowards – the life they chose was every bit as violent and bloody as battle. 50,000 American and 100,000 British soldiers deserted during World War II. Yet according to Glass the astounding fact is not that so many men deserted, but that so few did. Only one was executed for it, Eddie Slovik. He was, until that point, by his own assessment the unluckiest man alive.He never fought a battle. He never went on the run as most deserters did. He simply made it clear that he preferred prison to battle.  Of the 49 Americans sentenced to death for desertion during the Second World War he was the only one whose appeal for commutation was rejected. His greatest sin, as Glass tells it, was his timing. His appeal came in January 1945 just as the German counter-offensive, the Battle of the Bulge, was at its peak. Allied forces were near breaking point. It was not, Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight Eisenhower decided, time to risk seeming to condone desertion. (…) Led by an ex-paratrooper sergeant, raids were planned like military operations. Whitehead himself admitted, ‘we stole trucks, sold whatever they carried, and used the trucks to rob warehouses of the goods in them.’ They used combat tactics, hijacked goods destined for front-line troops. Their crimes even spread into Belgium. They attacked civilians and military targets indiscriminately. His gangland activities gave Whitehead ‘a bigger thrill than battle.’ Quoting from the former soldier’s memoir Glass recounts his boasts: ‘We robbed every café in Paris, in all sectors except our own, while the gendarmes went crazy.’ They robbed crates of cognac and champagne, hijacked jeeps and raided private houses whose bed sheets and radios were ‘easy to fence.’ They stole petrol, cigarettes, liquor and weapons. Within six months Whitehead reckoned his share of the plunder at $100,000. Little wonder that when Victory in Europe was announced on 7 May 1945, Whitehead admitted, ‘That day and night everyone in Paris and the rest of Europe was celebrating, but I just stayed in my apartment thinking about it all.’ (…) Ultimately Whitehead was captured and court martialled. He was dishonourably discharged and spent time in the Delta Disciplinary Training Barracks in the south of France and in federal penitentiaries in New Jersey. Many years later he had that ‘dishonourable discharge,’ turned into a General one on rather disingenuous legal grounds.
En Allemagne, on dresse depuis 1986 des monuments aux déserteurs allemands de la seconde guerre mondiale. En Grande-Bretagne et aux Etats-Unis, personne, jusqu’il y a peu, ne voulait aborder cette thématique historique des déserteurs des armées de la coalition anti-hitlérienne. Charles Glass, ancien correspondant d’ABC pour le Moyen Orient, otage de milices chiites au Liban pendant 67 jours en 1987, vient d’innover en la matière: il a brisé ce tabou de l’histoire contemporaine, en racontant par le menu l’histoire des 50.000 militaires américains et des 100.000 militaires britanniques qui ont déserté leurs unités sur les théâtres d’opération d’Europe et d’Afrique du Nord. Le chiffre de 150.000 hommes est énorme: cela signifie qu’un soldat sur cent a abandonné illégalement son unité. Chez les Américains, constate Glass, les déserteurs ne peuvent pas être considérés comme des lâches ou des tire-au-flanc; il s’agit souvent de soldats qui se sont avérés des combattants exemplaires et courageux, voir des idéalistes qui ont prouvé leur valeur au front. Ils ont flanché pour les motifs que l’on classe dans la catégorie “SNAFU” (“Situation Normal, All Fucked Up”). Il peut s’agir de beaucoup de choses: ces soldats déserteurs avaient été traités bestialement par leurs supérieurs hiérarchiques incompétents, leur ravitaillement n’arrivait pas à temps, les conditions hygiéniques étaient déplorables; aussi le fait que c’était toujours les mêmes unités qui devaient verser leur sang, alors que personne, dans la hiérarchie militaire, n’estimait nécessaire de les relever et d’envoyer des unités fraîches en première ligne. Dans une telle situation, on peut comprendre la lassitude des déserteurs surtout que certaines divisions d’infanterie en France et en Italie ont perdu jusqu’à 75% de leurs effectifs. Pour beaucoup de GI’s appartenant à ces unités lourdement éprouvées, il apparaissait normal de déserter ou de refuser d’obéir aux ordres, même face à l’ennemi. (…) Au cours de l’automne 1944, dans l’US Army en Europe, il y avait chaque mois près de 8500 déserteurs ou de cas d’absentéisme de longue durée, également passibles de lourdes sanctions. La situation était similaire chez les Britanniques: depuis l’offensive de Rommel en Afrique du Nord, le nombre de déserteurs dans les unités envoyées dans cette région a augmenté dans des proportions telles que toutes les prisons militaires du Proche Orient étaient pleines à craquer et que le commandant-en-chef Claude Auchinleck envisageait de rétablir la peine de mort pour désertion, ce qui n’a toutefois pas été accepté pour des motifs de politique intérieure (ndt: ou parce que les Chypriotes grecs et turcs ou les Juifs de Palestine avaient été enrôlés de force et en masse dans la 8ème Armée, contre leur volonté?). Les autorités britanniques ont dès lors été forcées d’entourer tous les camps militaires britanniques d’une triple rangée de barbelés pour réduire le nombre de “fuites”. Le cauchemar du commandement allié et des décideurs politiques de la coalition anti-hitlérienne n’était pas tellement les déserteurs proprement dits, qui plongeaient tout simplement dans la clandestinité et attendaient la fin de la guerre, mais plutôt ceux d’entre eux qui se liguaient en bandes et se donnaient pour activité principale de piller la logistique des alliés et de vendre leur butin au marché noir. La constitution de pareilles bandes a commencé dès le débarquement des troupes anglo-saxonnes en Italie, où les gangs de déserteurs amorcèrent une coopération fructueuse avec la mafia locale. Parmi elles, le “Lane Gang”, dirigé par un simple soldat de 23 ans, Werner Schmeidel, s’est taillé une solide réputation. Ce “gang” a réussi à s’emparer d’une cassette militaire contenant 133.000 dollars en argent liquide. A l’automne 1944, ces attaques perpétrées par les “gangs” a enrayé l’offensive du Général Patton en direction de l’Allemagne: des déserteurs américains et des bandes criminelles françaises avaient attaqué et pillé les véhicules de la logistique amenant vivres et carburants. La situation la plus dramatique s’observait alors dans le Paris “libéré”, où régnait l’anarchie la plus totale: entre août 1944 et avril 1945, la “Criminal Investigation Branch” de l’armée américaine a ouvert 7912 dossiers concernant des délits importants, dont 3098 cas de pillage de biens militaires américains et 3481 cas de viol ou de meurtre (ou d’assassinat). La plupart de ces dossiers concernaient des soldats américains déserteurs. La situation était analogue en Grande-Bretagne où 40.000 soldats britanniques étaient entrés dans la clandestinité et étaient responsables de 90% des délits commis dans le pays. Pour combattre ce fléau, la justice militaire américaine s’est montrée beaucoup plus sévère que son homologue britannique: de juin 1944 à l’automne 1945, 70 soldats américains ont été exécutés pour avoir commis des délits très graves pendant leur période de désertion. La masse énorme des déserteurs “normaux” était internée dans d’immenses camps comme le “Loire Disciplinary Training Center” où séjournait 4500 condamnés. Ceux-ci y étaient systématiquement humiliés et maltraités. Des cas de décès ont été signalés et attestés car des gardiens ont à leur tour été traduits devant des juridictions militaires. En Angleterre, la chasse aux déserteurs s’est terminée en pantalonnade: ainsi, la police militaire britannique a organisé une gigantesque razzia le 14 décembre 1945, baptisée “Operation Dragnet”. Résultat? Quatre arrestations! Alors qu’à Londres seulement, quelque 20.000 déserteurs devaient se cacher. Au début de l’année 1945, l’armée américaine se rend compte que la plupart des déserteurs condamnés avaient été de bons soldats qui, vu le stress auquel ils avaient été soumis pendant de trop longues périodes en zones de combat, auraient dû être envoyés en clinique plutôt qu’en détention. Les psychologues entrent alors en scène, ce qui conduit à une révision de la plupart des jugements qui avaient condamné les soldats à des peines entre 15 ans et la perpétuité. En Grande-Bretagne, il a fallu attendre plus longtemps la réhabilitation des déserteurs malgré la pression de l’opinion publique. Finalement, Churchill a cédé et annoncé une amnistie officielle en février 1953. Wolfgang Kaufmann 

C’est Dos Passos qui avait raison !

Combattants exemplaires et courageux, voire idéalistes qui craquent, bandes de charognards sans scrupule pillant la logistique de vivres et de carburants des Alliés et les revendant au marché noir, violeurs notamment noirs ou assassins …

A la veille d’une cérémonie des Oscars …

Où face à des films nombriliste (La la land) ou très marqués minorités (Hidden figures, Fences) voire minorités/homosexualité (Moonlight) ou étranger (Lion) ou la chronique sociale d’une communauté de marins prolétaires (Manchester by the sea), la science fiction classique (Arrival/Premier contact) ou le néo-western (Hell or high water/Comancheria) …

Emerge notamment du côté des électeurs républicains, avec quand même six nominations, par le réalisateur controversé de la Passion du Christ …

L’étrange ovni (souligné par ailleurs par son titre français tiré tout droit du décalogue) du film de guerre religieux  (Hacksaw ridge/Tu ne tueras point) …

Avec cette histoire vraie mais ô combien christique du seul objecteur de conscience américain à recevoir la médaille d’honneur …

Ce guerrier sans armes qui tout en s’en tenant à sa volonté de ne pas porter d’armes parvint à sauver des dizaines de soldats (ennemis compris !) …

Retour, avec le livre du journaliste-historien Charles Glass d’il y a quatre ans …

Sur ces oubliés des oubliés de notre dernière grande guerre …

A savoir les déserteurs !

Une étude sur les déserteurs des armées alliées pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale
Wolfgang Kaufmann

Snerfies

16 janvier 2014

En Allemagne, on dresse depuis 1986 des monuments aux déserteurs allemands de la seconde guerre mondiale. En Grande-Bretagne et aux Etats-Unis, personne, jusqu’il y a peu, ne voulait aborder cette thématique historique des déserteurs des armées de la coalition anti-hitlérienne. Charles Glass, ancien correspondant d’ABC pour le Moyen Orient, otage de milices chiites au Liban pendant 67 jours en 1987, vient d’innover en la matière: il a brisé ce tabou de l’histoire contemporaine, en racontant par le menu l’histoire des 50.000 militaires américains et des 100.000 militaires britanniques qui ont déserté leurs unités sur les théâtres d’opération d’Europe et d’Afrique du Nord. Le chiffre de 150.000 hommes est énorme: cela signifie qu’un soldat sur cent a abandonné illégalement son unité.

Chez les Américains, constate Glass, les déserteurs ne peuvent pas être considérés comme des lâches ou des tire-au-flanc; il s’agit souvent de soldats qui se sont avérés des combattants exemplaires et courageux, voir des idéalistes qui ont prouvé leur valeur au front. Ils ont flanché pour les motifs que l’on classe dans la catégorie “SNAFU” (“Situation Normal, All Fucked Up”). Il peut s’agir de beaucoup de choses: ces soldats déserteurs avaient été traités bestialement par leurs supérieurs hiérarchiques incompétents, leur ravitaillement n’arrivait pas à temps, les conditions hygiéniques étaient déplorables; aussi le fait que c’était toujours les mêmes unités qui devaient verser leur sang, alors que personne, dans la hiérarchie militaire, n’estimait nécessaire de les relever et d’envoyer des unités fraîches en première ligne.

Dans une telle situation, on peut comprendre la lassitude des déserteurs surtout que certaines divisions d’infanterie en France et en Italie ont perdu jusqu’à 75% de leurs effectifs. Pour beaucoup de GI’s appartenant à ces unités lourdement éprouvées, il apparaissait normal de déserter ou de refuser d’obéir aux ordres, même face à l’ennemi. Parmi les militaires qui ont réfusé d’obéir, il y avait le Lieutenant Albert C. Homcy, de la 36ème division d’infanterie, qui n’a pas agi pour son bien propre mais pour celui de ses subordonnés. Il a comparu devant le conseil de guerre le 19 octobre 1944 à Docelles, qui l’a condamné à 50 ans de travaux forcés parce qu’il avait refusé d’obéir à un ordre qui lui demandait d’armer et d’envoyer à l’assaut contre les blindés allemands des cuisiniers, des boulangers et des ordonnances sans formation militaire aucune.

Au cours de l’automne 1944, dans l’US Army en Europe, il y avait chaque mois près de 8500 déserteurs ou de cas d’absentéisme de longue durée, également passibles de lourdes sanctions. La situation était similaire chez les Britanniques: depuis l’offensive de Rommel en Afrique du Nord, le nombre de déserteurs dans les unités envoyées dans cette région a augmenté dans des proportions telles que toutes les prisons militaires du Proche Orient étaient pleines à craquer et que le commandant-en-chef Claude Auchinleck envisageait de rétablir la peine de mort pour désertion, ce qui n’a toutefois pas été accepté pour des motifs de politique intérieure (ndt: ou parce que les Chypriotes grecs et turcs ou les Juifs de Palestine avaient été enrôlés de force et en masse dans la 8ème Armée, contre leur volonté?). Les autorités britanniques ont dès lors été forcées d’entourer tous les camps militaires britanniques d’une triple rangée de barbelés pour réduire le nombre de “fuites”.

Le cauchemar du commandement allié et des décideurs politiques de la coalition anti-hitlérienne n’était pas tellement les déserteurs proprement dits, qui plongeaient tout simplement dans la clandestinité et attendaient la fin de la guerre, mais plutôt ceux d’entre eux qui se liguaient en bandes et se donnaient pour activité principale de piller la logistique des alliés et de vendre leur butin au marché noir. La constitution de pareilles bandes a commencé dès le débarquement des troupes anglo-saxonnes en Italie, où les gangs de déserteurs amorcèrent une coopération fructueuse avec la mafia locale. Parmi elles, le “Lane Gang”, dirigé par un simple soldat de 23 ans, Werner Schmeidel, s’est taillé une solide réputation. Ce “gang” a réussi à s’emparer d’une cassette militaire contenant 133.000 dollars en argent liquide. A l’automne 1944, ces attaques perpétrées par les “gangs” a enrayé l’offensive du Général Patton en direction de l’Allemagne: des déserteurs américains et des bandes criminelles françaises avaient attaqué et pillé les véhicules de la logistique amenant vivres et carburants.

La situation la plus dramatique s’observait alors dans le Paris “libéré”, où régnait l’anarchie la plus totale: entre août 1944 et avril 1945, la “Criminal Investigation Branch” de l’armée américaine a ouvert 7912 dossiers concernant des délits importants, dont 3098 cas de pillage de biens militaires américains et 3481 cas de viol ou de meurtre (ou d’assassinat). La plupart de ces dossiers concernaient des soldats américains déserteurs. La situation était analogue en Grande-Bretagne où 40.000 soldats britanniques étaient entrés dans la clandestinité et étaient responsables de 90% des délits commis dans le pays. Pour combattre ce fléau, la justice militaire américaine s’est montrée beaucoup plus sévère que son homologue britannique: de juin 1944 à l’automne 1945, 70 soldats américains ont été exécutés pour avoir commis des délits très graves pendant leur période de désertion. La masse énorme des déserteurs “normaux” était internée dans d’immenses camps comme le “Loire Disciplinary Training Center” où séjournait 4500 condamnés. Ceux-ci y étaient systématiquement humiliés et maltraités. Des cas de décès ont été signalés et attestés car des gardiens ont à leur tour été traduits devant des juridictions militaires. En Angleterre, la chasse aux déserteurs s’est terminée en pantalonnade: ainsi, la police militaire britannique a organisé une gigantesque razzia le 14 décembre 1945, baptisée “Operation Dragnet”. Résultat? Quatre arrestations! Alors qu’à Londres seulement, quelque 20.000 déserteurs devaient se cacher.

Au début de l’année 1945, l’armée américaine se rend compte que la plupart des déserteurs condamnés avaient été de bons soldats qui, vu le stress auquel ils avaient été soumis pendant de trop longues périodes en zones de combat, auraient dû être envoyés en clinique plutôt qu’en détention. Les psychologues entrent alors en scène, ce qui conduit à une révision de la plupart des jugements qui avaient condamné les soldats à des peines entre 15 ans et la perpétuité.

En Grande-Bretagne, il a fallu attendre plus longtemps la réhabilitation des déserteurs malgré la pression de l’opinion publique. Finalement, Churchill a cédé et annoncé une amnistie officielle en février 1953.

Wolfgang KAUFMANN.

(article paru dans “Junge Freiheit”, n°49/2013; http://www.jungefreiheit.de ).

Charles GLASS, The Deserters. A hidden history of World War II, Penguin Press, New York, 2013, 380 pages, ill., 20,40 euro.

The untold truth about WWII deserters the US Army tried to hide: New book reveals how gangs of AWOL GIs terrorized WWII Paris with a reign of mob-style violence

In the weeks following liberation from the Nazis, Paris was hit by wave of crime and violence that saw the city compared to Prohibition New York or Chicago.

And the cause was the same: American Gangsters.

While the Allies fought against Hitler’s forces in Europe, law enforcers fought against the criminals who threatened that victory. Men who had abandoned the ‘greater good’ in favour of self-interest, black-market profits and the lure of the cafes and brothels of Paris: deserters.

Glass’s study of the very different stories and men grouped together under the label, Deserters

Highly organised, armed to the teeth and merciless, these deserters used their US uniforms as another tool of their trade along with the vast arrays of stolen weapons, forged passes and hijacked vehicles they had at their disposal.

Between June 1944 and April 1945 the US army’s Criminal Investigation Branch (CBI) handled a total of 7,912 cases. Forty per cent involved misappropriation of US supplies.

Greater yet was the proportion of crimes of violence – rape, murder, manslaughter and assault which accounted for 44 per cent of the force’s workload. The remaining 12 per cent were crimes such as robbery, housebreaking and riot.

Former Chief Middle East correspondent for ABC News, the book’s author Charles Glass had long harboured an interest in the subject. But it was only truly ignited by a chance meeting with Steve Weiss – decorated combat veteran of the US 36th Infantry Division and former deserter.

Glass was giving a talk to publicise his previous book, ‘Americans in Paris: Life and Death under Nazi Occupation’ when the American started asking questions. It was clear, Glass recounts, that the questioner’s knowledge of the French Resistance was more intimate than his own.

Tested beyond endurance: This official US Army photograph taken in Pozzuoli near Naples in August 1944, captured Private First Class Steve Weiss boarding a British landing craft. He is climbing the gangplank on the right-hand side of the photograph. The Deserters, A Hidden History of World War II by Charles Glass

Hero or Coward? Steve Weiss receives the Croix de Guerre in July 1946 yet 2 years earlier the US army jailed him as a deserter

They met for coffee and Weiss asked Glass what he was working on. Glass recalls: ‘I told him it was a book on American and British deserters in the Second World War and asked if he knew anything about it.

‘He answered, « I was a deserter. »‘

This once idealistic boy from Brooklyn who enlisted at 17, had fought on the beachhead at Anzio and through the perilous Ardennes forest, he was one of the very few regular American soldiers to fight with the Resistance in 1944. And he had deserted.

His story was, Glass realised, both secret and emblematic of a group of men, wreathed together under a banner of shame that branded them cowards. Yet the truth was far more complex.

Many were afraid. They had reached a point beyond which they could not endure and chosen disgrace over the grave. Some recounted waking, as if from a dream, to find their bodies had led them away from the battelfield.

Others, like Weiss, fought until their faith in their immediate commanders disappeared. Was it a form of madness or a dawning lucidity that led them to desert? Glass does not claim to be able to answer that question to which Weiss himself had devoted his latter years to addressing to no avail

Others still deserted to make money, stealing and selling the military supplies that their comrades at the front needed to survive. Opportunists and crooks, certainly, but not cowards – the life they chose was every bit as violent and bloody as battle.

50,000 American and 100,000 British soldiers deserted during World War II. Yet according to Glass the astounding fact is not that so many men deserted, but that so few did.

Only one was executed for it, Eddie Slovik. He was, until that point, by his own assessment the unluckiest man alive.

The Unluckiest Man: Eddie Slovik, left, was the only American executed for desertion as his trial fell at a time when General Dwight Eisenhower, right, decided he could not risk appearing lenient on the crime

He never fought a battle. He never went on the run as most deserters did. He simply made it clear that he preferred prison to battle.

Of the 49 Americans sentenced to death for desertion during the Second World War he was the only one whose appeal for commutation was rejected. His greatest sin, as Glass tells it, was his timing.

His appeal came in January 1945 just as the German counter-offensive, the Battle of the Bulge, was at its peak. Allied forces were near breaking point. It was not, Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight Eisenhower decided, time to risk seeming to condone desertion.

Slovik was shot for his crime on the morning of 31 January 1945.

He was dispatched in the remote French village of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines and the truth concealed even from his wife, Antoinette.

She was informed that her husband had died in the European Theatre of Operations.

His identity was ultimately revealed in 1954 and twenty years later Martin Sheen played him in the television film, The Execution of Private Slovik.

In it Sheen recites the words Slovik spoke before the firing squad shot him.

‘They’re not shooting me for deserting the United States Army,’ he said.

‘They just need to make an example out of somebody and I’m it because I’m an ex-con.

‘I used to steal things when I was a kid, and that’s what they are shooting me for.

‘They’re shooting me for the bread and chewing gum I stole when I was 12 years old.’

Private Alfred T Whitehead’s was a very different story.

He was a farm boy from Tennessee who rushed to join up to escape a life of brutalising poverty and violence at the hands of his stepfather.

He ended up a gangster tearing through Paris.

Whitehead fought at Normandy and claims to have stormed the beaches on the D-Day landings.

He considered himself a battle-hardened professional soldier and bit by bit the small reserve of mercy that had survived his childhood evaporated in the heat of war.

He had been in continuous combat with them from D-Day to 30th December 1944. He had earned the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, Combat Infantry Badge and Distinguished Unit Citation.

When he was invalided out to Paris with appendicitis and assumed that he would rejoin his unit, the 2nd Division, on his recovery.

Instead he was sent to the 94th Reinforcement Battalion, a replacement depot in Fontainebleau.

When a young lieutenant presented Whitehead with a First World War vintage rifle for guard duty, he told the officer to take the ‘peashooter’ and ‘shove it up his ass.’

Loyalties Lost: Before deserting Alfred T Whitehead was decorated for bravery he has identified himself as the third soldier on the right, visible in profile, at the front of this D-Day landing craft approaching Normandy 6 June 1944

He demanded the weapons he was used to – a .45 pistol, a Thompson sub-machine gun and a trench knife.

His actual desertion was unspectacular. Whitehead was looking for a drink. The American Service Club refused him entrance because he didn’t have a pass and so he wandered on ‘in search of a bed in a brothel.’

He found one. By morning he was officially AWOL. The next day a waitress in a café took pity on him and added fried eggs and potatoes to his order of soup and bread. When Military Police came in and started asking questions she gave Whitehead the key to her room in a cheap hotel and told him to wait for her there.

From decorated soldier he moved seamlessly into life as a criminal in the Paris underworld.

A chance meeting led to him taking his place as a member of one of the many gangs of ex-soldiers terrorizing Paris.

Led by an ex-paratrooper sergeant, raids were planned like military operations. Whitehead himself admitted, ‘we stole trucks, sold whatever they carried, and used the trucks to rob warehouses of the goods in them.’

They used combat tactics, hijacked goods destined for front-line troops.

Their crimes even spread into Belgium. They attacked civilians and military targets indiscriminately.

His gangland activities gave Whitehead ‘a bigger thrill than battle.’ Quoting from the former soldier’s memoir Glass recounts his boasts: ‘We robbed every café in Paris, in all sectors except our own, while the gendarmes went crazy.’

They robbed crates of cognac and champagne, hijacked jeeps and raided private houses whose bed sheets and radios were ‘easy to fence.’ They stole petrol, cigarettes, liquor and weapons.
Within six months Whitehead reckoned his share of the plunder at $100,000.

Little wonder that when Victory in Europe was announced on 7 May 1945, Whitehead admitted, ‘That day and night everyone in Paris and the rest of Europe was celebrating, but I just stayed in my apartment thinking about it all.’

Because Private Whitehead’s desertion did not end his war – it was a part of it. As it was a part of many soldiers’ wars that has long gone unrecorded.

Ultimately Whitehead was captured and court martialled. He was dishonourably discharged and spent time in the Delta Disciplinary Training Barracks in the south of France and in federal penitentiaries in New Jersey.

Many years later he had that ‘dishonourable discharge,’ turned into a General one on rather disingenuous legal grounds.

In peacetime appearances mattered more to Whitehead than they ever had in war.

Back then, he admitted: ‘I never knew what tomorrow would hold, so I took every day as it came. War does strange things to people, especially their morality.’

Those ‘strange things’ rather than the false extremes of courage and cowardice are the truths set out in this account of the War and its deserters.

The Deserters: A Hidden History of world War II by Charles Glass is published by The Penguin Press, 13 June, Price $27.95. Available on Amazon by clicking here.

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Deserter: The Last Untold Story of the Second World War by Charles Glass: review
Nearly 150,000 Allied soldiers deserted during the Second World War – some through fear and some for love. Nicholas Shakespeare uncovers their story, reviewing Deserter by Charles Glass.
The Telegraph
09 Apr 2013

In 1953, Winston Churchill gave an amnesty for wartime deserters as part of the celebrations for the coronation. According to Charles Glass, nearly 100,000 British and 50,000 American soldiers had deserted the armed forces during the Second World War, but only one was executed for this (theoretically) capital offence: a 25-year-old US infantryman who preferred to go to prison than into battle, and was condemned “to death by musketry” in January 1945. His story was finally told, a year after Churchill’s amnesty, in William Bradford Huie’s The Execution of Private Slovik, which remains, according to Glass, “almost the only full-length discussion of the subject”.

Who were the other deserters, why did they desert – and what happened to them? The absence of readily available material is a blood-red rag to a bullish reporter like Glass. Following his masterful study into the activities of his compatriots in Nazi-occupied France, Americans in Paris (2009), Glass has unearthed a shameful and inconvenient cluster of tragedies, which history – unreliably narrated by the victors – has whitened over.

At the opposite end to Pte Slovik was Pte Wayne Powers, an army truck driver from Missouri who absconded for love and was one of a few convicted deserters to get off scot-free. Buried in Glass’s introduction, and casually discarded, is the account of Powers’s elopement with a dark-haired French girl in November 1944. Hiding in her family house near the Belgian border, the couple had five children. For the next 14 years, Powers stayed a wanted man but undetected – until 1958, when a car crashed into the house, and a policeman, taking down details, noticed a face peering through the curtains. Court-martialed, Powers was released after 60,000 letters appealed for clemency; but his haunted gaze in the window is what lingers, and unites him with each deserter: an ever-present fear of capture, “an overshadowing presence that darkened my consciousness”, in the words of John Bain, a 23-year-old British soldier finally run to ground in Leeds.

Neither the conscientious objector Slovik nor the love-struck Powers were emblematic of the vast majority who deserted from the ranks. John Bain, the only British example explored by Glass, is a more satisfying representative. A boxer-poet like Byron, Bain is known today by the cover name that he adopted when on the run, Vernon Scannell (“a name picked from a passport in a brothel”). He had wandered away from his post in Wadi Akarit, trance-like, in “a kind of disgust”, after seeing his friends loot the corpses of their own men. His punishment was consistent both with US Gen George Patton’s remedy for malingerers – in Sicily, Patton famously slapped a shell-shocked soldier – and with US Brig Gen Elliot Cooke’s suspicion of “psychiatricks”.

Bain was imprisoned in Mustafa Barracks near Alexandria, snarled at by officers (“You’re all cowards. You’re all yellow”) and brutalised by guards, not one of whom had been within range “of any missile more dangerous than a flying cork” writes Glass. Captured in Leeds after going awol a third time, Bain told his interrogators that he wished to write poetry. Only then was his condition recognised. “We’ll send him to a psychiatrist. He’s clearly mad.”

Bain, who would go on to write some of the best poetry of the war, observed that “the dramatically heroic role is for the few”. He had left the battlefield to preserve his humanity, his time in the Army “totally destructive of the human qualities I most valued, the qualities of imagination, sensitivity and intelligence”.

With his own skill and sensitivity, Glass recreates the inhuman scenes that pummel the other soldiers he examines. Almost all of them were brave men like Bain. They knew what it was to be bombed by your own side. Slog through minefields littered with bloated, blackened bodies. Sit in foxholes knee-deep in your own excrement. Listen to the rising screams of the wounded. Struggle to obey orders that were impossible to carry out.

All too frequently, as in William Wharton’s memorable novel A Midnight Clear, your own commanders posed the greatest danger. Bain’s captain deserted from the Mareth Line in 1943, only to bob up as a major. Conversely, in the US 36th Division, which boasted the highest number of deserters, Lt Albert Homcy, already singled out for “exceptionally meritorious conduct” in Italy, was sentenced to 50 years of hard labour after he refused to lead untrained men to certain death.

Glass displays an unusual degree of empathy and kinship with these men. It causes him to focus on those he senses to have been misjudged or misdiagnosed, and whose condition cried out for treatment rather than punishment. There is a deficit in his book of more flagrant, less nuanced absconders. With a slight air of duty and disdain, one feels, he tracks the fate of Sgt Al Whitehead from Tennessee, who deserted for reasons of avarice and goes “to live it up” in Paris, where he became part of a GI gang that stole Allied supplies and shot at military policemen. Glass leaves us thirsty for details about these gangsters (also observed in Naples, with exemplary dry comedy, by Norman Lewis) and their British equivalents in Egypt.

Given the author’s knowledge of Paris – “home to deserters from most of the armies of Europe” – the absence of any French, German or Italian examples is also a curious omission. Deserter is unashamedly an Anglo-American story. In its selection of hitherto suppressed voices, it is refreshing and stimulating – history told from the loser’s perspective. But if I have a quibble, it is that the author concentrates too much on too few.

Even so Glass’s principal guide, on whom the narrative depends, is a compelling choice to lead the author’s project of rehabilitation. Pte Steve Weiss, who after the war became (of all things) a psychiatrist, is perhaps not your typical deserter, but if anyone deserves a sympathetic hearing, it is Weiss. Enlisting against his father’s wishes at 18, and determined to play a meaningful part in the war, Weiss joined the French Resistance after being separated from the 36th Division near Valence; for his courage, he would earn the Légion d’honneur. Eventually reunited with his company, he was treated like just another round of ammunition. After one earth tremor too many, he stumbled off into a forest during an artillery barrage. Discovered in a shell-shocked state by American troops, having slept for six days, Weiss was tried before a court-martial that lasted a mere five hours, including one hour for lunch, and condemned to hard labour for life.

His father complained: “This is the thanks he received for giving his all to his country.” Later interviewed by a military psychiatrist in the Loire Disciplinary Training Camp, Weiss was told: “You don’t belong here. You belong in a hospital.” It is altogether fitting that when Glass accompanies 86-year-old Weiss back to Bruyères to look for the courtroom in which the US Army delivered its ludicrous sentence, they cannot find it.

Deserter: The Last Untold Story of the Second World War

by Charles Glass

400pp, Harperpress, t £23 (PLUS £1.35 p&p) Buy now from Telegraph Books (RRP £25, ebook £12.50)

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Deserter: The Untold Story of WWII by Charles Glass – review

The shocking stories of three young men who fled the battlefield leave Neal Ascherson wondering why more soldiers don’t go awol
Neal Ascherson
The Guardian
28 March 2013

Desertion in war is not a mystery. It can have contributory motives – « family problems » at home, hatred of some officer or moral reluctance to kill are among them. But the central motive is the obvious one: to get away from people who are trying to blow your head off or stick a bayonet through you. Common sense, in other words. So the enigma is not why soldiers desert. It is why most of them don’t, even in battle and even in the face of imminent defeat (remember the stubborn Wehrmacht in the second world war). They do not run away, but stand and fight. Why?

That is the most interesting thing in Charles Glass‘s new book. He takes three young men – boys, really – who were drafted into the infantry in the last European war, who fought, deserted, and yet often fought again. Steve Weiss was from a Jewish family in Brooklyn; his father had been wounded and gassed in the first world war. Alfred Whitehead came from the bleakest rural poverty in Tennessee. John Bain was English (and after the war became famous as the poet Vernon Scannell); he was desperate to get away from his sadistic father, another veteran of the trenches.

All three quit their posts for solid and obvious reasons. Two of them deserted several times over. They saw heartbreaking horrors, or were tempted by women, booze and loot in a liberated city, or were shattered by prolonged artillery barrages, or realised – suddenly, and with cold clarity – that they would almost certainly be killed in the next few days.

The common sense of desertion was plain to almost anyone who had actually been under fire. Again and again, Glass’s book tells how these men on the run were fed, sheltered, comforted and transported by soldiers close to the front line. But the further away from the guns they got, entering the reposeful regions of pen-pushing « rear echelons », the more wary, disapproving and uncomprehending their compatriots became. Ultimately they would end up in the hands of the military police, and then in some nightmare « stockade » or military prison where shrieking, muscle-bound monsters who had never been within miles of a mortar « stonk » devoted themselves to breaking their spirit.

Soviet and German treatment of deserters, a story of pitiless savagery, is not mentioned here. Glass is concerned only with the British and Americans in the second world war, whose official attitudes to the problem were tortuous.

In the first world war, the British shot 304 men for desertion or cowardice, only gradually accepting the notion of « shell-shock ». In the United States, by contrast, President Woodrow Wilson commuted all such death sentences. In the second world war, the British government stood up to generals who wanted to bring back the firing squad (the Labour government in 1930 had abolished the death penalty for desertion). Cunningly, the War Office suggested that restoration might suggest to the enemy that morale in the armed forces was failing. President Roosevelt, on the other hand, was persuaded in 1943 to suspend « limitations of punishment ». In the event, the Americans shot only one deserter, the luckless Private Eddie Slovik, executed in France in January 1945. He was an ex-con who had never even been near the front. Slovik quit when his unit was ordered into action, calculating that a familiar penitentiary cell would be more comfortable than being shot at in a rainy foxhole.

His fate was truly unfair, set against the bigger picture. According to Glass, « nearly 50,000 American and 100,000 British soldiers deserted from the armed forces » during the war. Some 80% of these were front-line troops. Almost all « took a powder » (as they said then) in the European theatres of war; there were practically no desertions from US forces in the Pacific, perhaps because there was nowhere to go. By the end of the conflict, London, Paris and Naples, to name only a few European cities, swarmed with heavily-armed Awol servicemen, many of them recruited into gangs robbing and selling army supplies. Units were diverted from combat to guard supply trains, which were being hijacked all over liberated Europe. Paris, where the police fought nightly gun battles with American bandits, seemed to be a new Chicago.

But none of Glass’s three subjects left the front as soon as fighting began. They tried to do their duty for as long as they could. Steve Weiss first encountered battle in Italy, posted to the 36th infantry division near Naples after the Salerno and Anzio landings. He was 18 years old. At Anzio he saw for the first time deserters in a stockade yelling abuse at the army, found that a friend had collapsed with « battle fatigue », and was bombed from the air.

Soon he was fighting his way up Italy with « Charlie Company », facing artillery and snipers by day and night. Once, exhausted, rain-drenched and on his own, he broke down in tears of fatigue and terror and cried out for his mother. Next day he was street-fighting in the ruins of Grosseto. What kept him going? Not ideals about the war. He had seen Naples, now run by the Mafia boss Vito Genovese in cahoots with the Americans, and the notion that Roosevelt’s « Four Freedoms » could matter to starving Italians was a joke. What kept him and the other two going was comradeship: trust in a friend, or in some older and more experienced member of the squad. For Weiss in Italy, it was Corporal Bob Reigle, and later in France, a Captain Binoche in the resistance. For the truculent Alfred Whitehead, who survived Omaha Beach and the murderous battles of the Normandy « Bocage », it was his fellow-Tennessean Paul « Timmiehaw » Turner; staying drunk helped too. For John Bain, with the 51st Highland Division in North Africa and Normandy, it was his foul-mouthed, loyal pal Hughie from Glasgow.

The war was crazy, the army was brainless and callous, but there were these men who would never let you down, and for whose sake you bore the unbearable. When Weiss rejoined his company in the Vosges and found how many comrades were dead, when « Timmiehaw » was killed by a mine near St-Lo and Hughie by a mortar barrage near Caen, the psychic exhaustion all three young men had been suppressing finally kicked in.

Whitehead left to become a gangster in liberated Paris. Weiss and a few mates ran away from the winter battles in the Vosges hills; he did time in a military prison and eventually became a psychiatrist in California. Bain had already deserted once before, in Tunisia, and served a sentence in the appalling Mustafa Barracks « glasshouse » near Alexandria. Badly wounded in Normandy, he deserted again after the war was over because he couldn’t wait to be demobbed, and vanished into London to become poet and boxer Scannell.

Not much of this book, it should be said, is about deserting. Most of it consists of the three men’s own narratives of « their war », published or unpublished, and – because they are the stories of individual human beings who eventually cracked under the strain of hardly imaginable fear and misery – they are wonderful, unforgettable acts of witness, something salvaged from a time already sinking into the black mud of the past. I’ll certainly remember Bain watching his mates rifling the pockets of their own dead, Weiss witnessing the botched hanging of black soldiers for rape, Whitehead hijacking an American supply truck in the middle of the Paris traffic.

Memorable, too, is the astonishing Psychology for the Fighting Man, a work of startling empathy and humanity, produced in 1943 and distributed to American forces. Glass posts extracts at the outset of each chapter. « Giving up is nature’s way of protecting the organism against too much pain. » Or « There are a few men in every army who know no fear – just a few. But these men are not normal. » Statements of the obvious? Maybe. But in the madness of war, the right to state the obvious becomes worth fighting for.

Neal Ascherson’s Black Sea is published by Vintage.

Voir de plus:

Stories about cowardice can be as gripping as those about courage. One tells us about who we’d like to be; the other tells us about who we fear we are.

Nearly 50,000 American and 100,000 British soldiers deserted from the armed forces during World War II. (The British were in the war much longer.) Some fell into the arms of French or Italian women. Some became black-market pirates. Many more simply broke under the strain of battle.

These men’s stories have rarely been told. During the war, newspapers largely abstained from writing about desertions. The topic was bad for morale and could be exploited by the enemy. In more recent decades the subject has been essentially taboo, as if to broach it would dent the halo around the Greatest Generation.

Gen. George S. Patton wanted to shoot the men, whom he considered “cowards.” Other commanders were more humane. “They recognized that the mind — subject to the daily threat of death, the concussion of aerial bombardment and high-velocity artillery, the fear of land mines and booby traps, malnutrition, appalling hygiene and lack of sleep — suffered wounds as real as the body’s,” Mr. Glass writes. “Providing shattered men with counseling, hot food, clean clothes and rest was more likely to restore them to duty than threatening them with a firing squad.”

Thousands of American soldiers were convicted of desertion during the war, and 49 were sentenced to death. (Most were given years of hard labor.) Only one soldier was actually executed, an unlucky private from Detroit named Eddie Slovik. This was early 1945, at the moment of the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Glass observes: “It was not the moment for the supreme Allied commander, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, to be seen to condone desertion.”

There were far more desertions in Europe than in the Pacific theater. In the Pacific, there was nowhere to disappear to. “In Europe, the total that fled from the front rarely exceeded 1 percent of manpower,” Mr. Glass writes. “However, it reached alarming proportions among the 10 percent of the men in uniform who actually saw combat.”

It is among this book’s central contentions that “few deserters were cowards.” Mr. Glass also observes, “Those who showed the greatest sympathy to deserters were other front-line soldiers.”

Too few men did too much of the fighting during World War II, the author writes. Many of them simply cracked at the seams. Poor leadership was often a factor. “High desertion rates in any company, battalion or division pointed to failures of command and logistics for which blame pointed to leaders as much as to the men who deserted,” he says.

Mr. Glass adds, “Some soldiers deserted when all the other members of their units had been killed and their own deaths appeared inevitable.”

The essential unfairness of so few men seeing the bulk of the combat was undergirded by other facts. Many men never shipped out. Mr. Glass cites a statistic that psychiatrists allowed about 1.75 million men to avoid service for “reasons other than physical.”This special treatment led to bitterness. Mr. Glass quotes a general who wrote, “When, in 1943, it was found that 14 members of the Rice University football team had been rejected for military service, the public was somewhat surprised.”Mr. Glass provides information about desertions in other American wars. During the Civil War, more than 300,000 troops went AWOL from the Union and Confederate armies. He writes, “Mark Twain famously deserted from both sides.” Nearly all of the information I have provided about “The Deserters” thus far comes from its excellent introduction. The rest of the book is not nearly so provocative or rending.

Mr. Glass abandons his textured overview of his topic to focus almost exclusively on three individual soldiers, men who respectively abandoned their posts in France, Italy and Africa.

One was a young man from Brooklyn who fought valiantly with the 36th Infantry Division in Italy and France before coming unglued. Another is the English poet Vernon Scannell, who suffered in Mustafa Barracks, the grim prison camp in Egypt. The third was a Tennessee farm boy who fought bravely with the 2nd Infantry Division before deserting and becoming a criminal in post-liberation Paris.

These men’s stories are not uninteresting, but Mr. Glass tells them at numbing length in bare, reportorial prose that rarely picks up much resonance. On the rare occasions the author reaches for figurative language, he takes a pratfall: “Combat exhaustion was etched into each face as sharp as a bullet hole.”The lives and times of Mr. Glass’s three soldiers slide by slowly, as if you were scanning microfilm. We lose sight of this book’s larger topic for many pages at a time. The men’s stories provide limited points of view. From the author we long for more synthesis and sweep and argument and psychological depth.

Terminology changes. Before we had post-traumatic stress disorder we had battle fatigue, and before that, in World War I, there was shell shock. In her lovely book “Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point” (2007), Elizabeth D. Samet reminds us that “soldier’s heart” was another and quite resonant term for much the same thing.

At its best, “The Deserters” has much to say about soldier’s hearts. It underscores the truth of the following observation, made by a World War II infantry captain named Charles B. MacDonald: “It is always an enriching experience to write about the American soldier in adversity no less than in glittering triumph.”

THE DESERTERS

A Hidden History of World War II

By Charles Glass

Illustrated. 380 pages. The Penguin Press. $27.95.

Voir encore:
“Tu ne tueras point“ : violence, religion et sacrifice chez Mel Gibson

Dans son dernier film, le réalisateur poursuit une œuvre où les héros se débattent dans une vallée de sang et de larmes. Pour tenter de saisir la spiritualité du Christ.

En 1995, dans Braveheart, Mel Gibson se mettait en scène sous les traits et les peintures de guerre de William Wallace. Soumis à la torture à la fin du film, le héros du peuple écossais rendait l’âme en hurlant : « Liberté ! » Pouvait-on se douter que ce dénouement aussi sanglant qu’exalté placerait toute la carrière du réalisateur – jusqu’à Tu ne tueras point aujourd’hui – sous le signe du sacrifice ?

Le lien avec La Passion du Christ (2004) et Apocalypto (2006) semble évident, le premier sur la crucifixion de Jésus, le second sur les sacrifices humains au crépuscule de la civilisation maya. Les deux sont des hécatombes. Pas de sacrifice, chez Gibson, sans tripes ni hémoglobine. Si cette vision a été critiquée pour son simplisme, elle n’en témoigne pas moins d’une conviction de réalisateur : montrer dans le détail la réalité charnelle de la passion du Christ aide à en saisir la dimension spirituelle. Gibson semble friand de ce paradoxe catholique voulant que le salut puisse passer par le spectacle ou le récit de la déchéance. Ce qu’il illustrera d’ailleurs jusque dans sa vie privée par ses frasques et sa traversée du désert après 2006 : problèmes d’alcool, violence, propos antisémites…

L’histoire de Tu ne tueras point (Hacksaw Ridge en VO) ne dépareille pas dans ce tableau : pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, un objecteur de conscience qui s’est engagé comme infirmier dans l’armée américaine, se retrouve propulsé dans la boucherie de la bataille d’Okinawa. Le champ de bataille que le héros Desmond Doss foule du pied est littéralement tapissé de corps déchiquetés. À un moment du film, un blessé se cache dans la terre pour échapper à la vigilance de ses ennemis, offrant la vision saisissante d’une terre humanisée et, inversement, d’une humanité rabaissée à sa seule condition terrestre. Mais à ces corps rampants répond à la fin du film un plan sur le corps suspendu de Doss, sur fond de nuages radieux. Le héros de Gibson est un saint, c’est-à-dire un trait d’union entre la terre et le ciel. Une idée qui pourra être diversement prise au sérieux, mais dont l’évidence esthétique ne peut que frapper ici.

Gibson semble friand de ce paradoxe catholique voulant que le salut puisse passer par le spectacle ou le récit de la déchéance.

De Braveheart à Tu ne tueras point, l’idée de sacrifice permet à Mel Gibson de faire le pont entre plusieurs idées contradictoires. Le rapport entre la force et la justice, par exemple : tous les héros gibsonniens, victimes d’une injustice initiale, s’interrogent en retour sur l’usage de leur puissance. L’Écossais, après avoir fédéré la rébellion, donne sa mort en exemple. L’Amérindien capturé par des guerriers mayas devient un héros parce qu’il doit sauver sa famille. Et bien sûr Jésus, pourtant le plus puissant de tous, laisse s’abattre sur lui une violence inouïe. Au-delà même de la question de la foi, ces personnages se distinguent par leur capacité à tracer leur propre chemin dans des vallées de sang et de larmes.

Rien d’étonnant, dans ce contexte, à ce que Gibson s’intéresse cette fois-ci à un objecteur de conscience. La représentation de la violence dans le film pose évidemment un certain nombre de problèmes, qui sont intéressants dans la mesure où ils répondent aux questions que se pose Doss sur la guerre. La position de ce dernier est compliquée : adventiste, il ne veut pas toucher à une arme mais veut bien aller au combat. Il y a très vite un écart entre la radicalité de sa position et la casuistique qu’elle finit par impliquer. Ne pourrait-on pas considérer qu’en se battant au côté des soldats, il contribue tout de même à tuer ?

Il y a une ambiguïté équivalente dans la manière dont Gibson représente le déchaînement de la puissance de feu des Américains. C’est comme si le sacrifice de Doss (faire la guerre, mais avant tout pour sauver ses camarades blessés) était augmenté et sublimé par la vision de l’enfer même qu’il est censé avoir refusé. Toujours ce rapport contourné de Gibson à la force, que l’on retrouve chez un autre des personnages du film : le père de Desmond Doss, un pacifiste paradoxalement violent et tourmenté par la vision des boyaux de ses amis morts au combat lors de la Première Guerre mondiale.

Au-delà même de la question de la foi, les personnages de Mel Gibson se distinguent par leur capacité à tracer leur propre chemin dans des vallées de sang et de larmes.

Le sacrifice est enfin, pour Mel Gibson, une sorte de pivot entre les religions païennes et la religion chrétienne, qu’il aime mettre en regard. Apocalypto racontait la fin de la civilisation maya et la manière dont un sacrifice héroïque pouvait prendre le pas sur les sacrifices humains. En toute logique, la fin ouvrait sur l’arrivée des colons chrétiens. Dans Tu ne tueras point, la confrontation avec l’altérité religieuse, tournant à nouveau autour du sacrifice, vient de l’affrontement avec les Japonais, qui ont des kamikazes en guise de héros. La scène de hara kiri d’un général japonais, typiquement gibsonnienne, est une sorte de version négative du sacrifice de Doss.

Tu ne tueras point est à bien des égards un film naïf – ne serait-ce que dans son portrait d’un héroïsme conciliant gaiement la guerre à l’objection de conscience –, mais il l’est de manière audacieuse. La simplicité est un trait de personnalité de Doss, qui est présenté de la même manière étrange que les personnages d’Apocalypto, sans abuser des ficelles canoniques de l’identification. Ce côté très entier du personnage est à l’image d’un film qui va jusqu’au bout de son système : au bord du ridicule sans jamais y basculer totalement, portant la violence jusqu’au grotesque et l’héroïsme jusqu’à la sainteté.

Passé par plusieurs années de purgatoire à Hollywood, essentiellement en raison de ses dérapages personnels, Mel Gibson a-t-il choisi à dessein ce sujet ? Difficile de ne pas se poser la question, tant c’est au cœur des visions infernales et des pulsions bellicistes que le cinéaste semble vouloir ménager pour ses héros – et pour lui-même ? – un horizon pacifique.

Voir enfin:
THOU SHALL NOT KILL
He was devoutly Christian, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and was unusually, unfashionably (even for America, even for the 1940s) tenacious in his beliefs. Unable to reconcile his adherence to the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” with a role as a soldier, but nonetheless patriotic, he was classed as a conscientious objector and joined the army as a medic. Unlike many other medics, he also refused to carry any form of knife or gun, determined that, no matter what situation he found himself in, he would not take the life of another human being. Instead, Doss’s heroism took another form: he is remembered today for the number of lives he saved.
Original estimates places the number of lives saved at 100: Doss (both modest and rigorously honest) later insisted that “it couldn’t have been more than 50”, and the 75 figure was agreed as a compromise.
In some ways, Doss himself – a man who combined staunch religious faith with patriotism and outstanding bravery – feels like the perfect movie subject for both the traditional American heartlands and for Gibson himself, who is Catholic and often described as an ultra-conservative. But Doss’s story is also a very human one, with a much wider importance and appeal.
Whether or not the film will really restore Gibson to awards-ceremony respectability and acclaim remains to be seen – but it looks as if one of America’s most unlikely heroes may have finally received a fitting cinematic tribute.
Desmond Doss was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, son of William Thomas Doss, a carpenter, and Bertha E. (Oliver) Doss. Enlisting voluntarily in April 1942, Doss refused to kill an enemy soldier or carry a weapon (pistol) into combat because of his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist. He consequently became a medic, and while serving in the Pacific theatre of World War II, he saved the lives of numerous comrades, while at the same time adhering to his religious convictions. Doss was wounded three times during the war, and shortly before leaving the Army, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which cost him a lung. Discharged from the Army in 1946, he spent five years undergoing medical treatment for his injuries and illness….

Héritage Obama: Attention, un monstre peut en cacher un autre ! (The “Legacy of Obama” can be explained in one word: Trump)

20 février, 2017
osmonster obamaangel
ObamasteinLe 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
Tous les grands événements et personnages historiques se répètent pour ainsi dire deux fois […] la première fois comme tragédie, la seconde fois comme farce. Marx
Il faut constamment se battre pour voir ce qui se trouve au bout de son nez. George Orwell
Le plus difficile n’est pas de dire ce que l’on voit mais d’accepter de voir ce que l’on voit. Charles Péguy
Qui veut noyer son chien l’accuse de la rage. La Fontaine
Nous crions d’un bout à l’autre de l’Afrique : Attention, l’Amérique a la rage. Tranchons tous les liens qui nous rattachent à elle, sinons nous serons à notre tour mordus et enragés. Sartre (1953)
The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing. (…) We created an echo chamber. They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say. Ben Rhodes (conseiller du président Obama)
When a Republican congressman on MSNBC brought up a 2012 incident where President Barack Obama was caught on a hot mic promising to give Russia’s Vladimir Putin a little more “flexibility” after the election, NBC journalist and MSNBC host Katy Tur seemed not to recall the incident. Tur pressed Florida Representative Francis Rooney about the number of Donald Trump advisors with close tie to Russia. “I see a lot of folks within Donald Trump’s administration who have a friendlier view of Russia than maybe past administrations did,” she noted. “Well, I think it was Obama that leaned over to Putin and said, ‘I’ll have a little more flexibility to give you what you want after the re-election,’” Rooney responded. Tur paused for a moment. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re referring to, Congressman,” she said. “Remember when he leaned over at a panel discussion or in a meeting, and he said, ‘I’ll have more flexibility after the election’?” Rooney asked. “No one pushed the president on what he meant by that, but I can only assume for a thug like Putin that it would embolden him,” which gave Tur pause, again. In Tur’s defense, Rooney is slightly off in his retelling: it was then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who Obama whispered to, who then promised to relay Obama’s message to Putin. But his recollection of the content of Obama’s message was accurate: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility,” he told the Russians. Obama’s hot mic comments were major news at the time, receiving widespread coverage. Obama’s Republican opponent Mitt Romney seized upon the gaffe and worked it into his stump speeches, even bringing it up during one of the presidential debates. Mediaite
Chacun sait que notre époque de fausse liberté a accouché d’une tyrannie de la pensée dont la sage-femme devenue folle était déguisée en antiraciste diplômée. Valeurs Actuelles en a fait les frais en osant voiler Marianne pour défendre la laïcité républicaine contre les menées islamistes et Pascal Bruckner comme Georges Bensoussan payeront peut-être le prix pour des raisons voisines. Silence dans les rangs de la gauche paraît-il démocratique. Mais aujourd’hui vient d’éclater une tout autre affaire dans laquelle, au contraire, le racisme comme l’antisémitisme n’ont rien d’imaginaire. Et je prends le pari, qu’ici, précisément, les organisations prétendument antiracistes resteront aux abris. La vedette s’appelle Mehdi Meklat, hier encore il était la coqueluche de la famille islamo-gauchiste et de tous ses compagnons de chambrée. Dans le numéro du 1er février des Inrockuptibles il partageait la une avec l’icône Taubira. Il collaborait aussi avec le Bondy Blog, très engagé dans le combat actuel contre les policiers considérés uniment comme des tortionnaires racistes. Il était encore récemment chroniqueur de la radio active de service public France Inter. Oui mais voilà, patatras, on a retrouvé parmi les milliers de tweets qu’il n’a pas réussi à effacer des gazouillis racistes du dernier cri strident. Échantillons choisis : “je crache des glaires sur la sale gueule de Charb et tous ceux de Charlie hebdo”. “Sarkozy = la synagogue = les juifs = Shalom = oui, mon fils = l’argent”, “Faites entrer Hitler pour tuer les juifs”, “j’ai gagné 20 $ au PMU, je ne les ai pas rejoués parce que je suis un juif”, “les Blancs vous devez mourir asap” etc. Avec une touchante spontanéité, à présent qu’ils ont été découverts, voici ce que notre Mehdi a tweeté samedi dernier : “je m’excuse si ces tweets ont pu choquer certains d’entre vous : ils sont obsolètes”. Bah voyons, certains datent de 2012, autant dire le déluge. J’en connais qui vont fouiller les poubelles du père Le Pen, d’autres qui reprochent à un ancien conseiller de Sarkozy d’avoir dirigé Minute il y a 30 ans, mais dans notre cas, certains plaident déjà l’Antiquité… Gilles-William Goldnadel
Mehdi Meklat, 24 ans, était jusqu’ici connu pour son ton décalé. Du Bondy Blog, à France Inter en passant par Arte, le chroniqueur, journaliste et auteur, s’est taillé, avec son compère Badrou (« les Kids », époque France Inter) une réputation de porte-voix de la jeunesse, « à l’avant garde d’une nouvelle génération venue de banlieue » écrivaient encore Les Inrocks le 1er février. Sauf qu’entre temps, des internautes ont exhumé des tweets de Meklat : injures antisémites, homophobes, racistes, misogynes. Un florilège qui provoque la sidération. De son côte, le jeune homme s’excuse, dépublie, et assure qu’il s’agissait « de questionner la notion d’excès et de provocation » à travers un « personnage fictif ». Faire mentir les stéréotypes sur les-jeunes-de-banlieue. Sans rien renier de soi. Depuis ses débuts au Bondy Blog en 2008, c’est ce que Mehdi Meklat tente de faire, au gré d’une exposition médiatique précoce. A 24 ans désormais, après avoir fait ses premiers pas de journaliste au Bondy Blog à 16 ans, puis tenu chronique pendant six ans chez France Inter en duo avec son ami Badrou (« les Kids »), Meklat le touche à tout (réalisateur, blogueur, reporter) est en promo pour un second livre. Mehdi et Badrou « l’avant-garde d’une nouvelle génération venue de banlieue qui compte bien faire entendre sa voix » écrivaient les Inrocks qui leur consacraient une couverture le 1er février en compagnie de Christiane Taubira. Un binôme qui avait tapé dans l’œil de l’animatrice de France Inter Pascale Clark dès 2010, pour son ton « décalé », sa capacité à chroniquer avec autant d’acuité la vie de l’autre côté du périph (Meklat a grandi à Saint-Ouen, Badrou à la Courneuve) que le tout venant de l’actualité plus « médiatique ». Et voilà que depuis quelques jours, après son passage sur le plateau de l’émission la Grande Librairie (France 5) pour la promo de son second livre, le roman « Minute » (co-écrit avec Badrou), Meklat est dans l’œil du cyclone Twitter. Propulsé dans les sujets les plus discutés non pas pour la promotion de son nouvel ouvrage dédié à Adama Traoré. Mais pour des tweets, exhumés ces derniers jours par plusieurs internautes. Pas quelques tweets isolés. Mais des messages par dizaines, anciens (2012) et pour certains plus récents (2016) dans lesquels Meklat tape tous azimuts sur « les Français », « les juifs », « les homos », Alain Finkelkraut, Charlie Hebdo, les séropositifs, les « travelos »… La liste est longue, et les messages à même d’interpeller. Une prose en 140 signes qui tranche avec l’image de jeune talent à la plume « poétique » et acérée que Meklat s’était jusqu’ici taillée et qui lui a valu jusqu’à aujourd’hui des articles dithyrambiques dans la presse culturelle. Quelques heures auront suffit pour que, soient exhumés et massivement partagés des dizaines de messages issus de son compte twitter personnel @mehdi_meklat. (…) Parmi les premiers et les plus zélés chasseurs de tweets, la fachosphère s’est ruée sur l’occasion. Le blog d’extrême droite Fdesouche publie à tout-va plus d’une cinquantaine de messages de Meklat « journaliste homophobe et antisémite du Bondy blog ». Le site d’extrême droite Boulevard Voltaire, fondé par Robert Ménard, trouve là prétexte à acculer la « gauchosphère sous son vrai visage », quand l’ex-porte parole de génération identitaire s’en donne, lui aussi, à coeur joie. Très vite rejoint dans cette avalanche d’indignation par Marion Maréchal Le Pen. Ce dimanche, la twitta-éditorialiste du Figaro Eugénie Bastié y allait aussi de ses commentaires en 140 signes, suivis d’un article corrosif, soulignant bien au passage que Meklat avait fondé il y a peu avec le journaliste Mouloud Achour (CliqueTV) les « éditions du grand Remplacement » qui ont lancé en juin dernier un magazine baptisé « Téléramadan ». Cette nouvelle revue annuelle qui entend parler d’islam de façon dépassionnée, avait su trouver un titre pied-de-nez déjà à même de faire bondir certains. Mais dans le cas des tweets de Meklat, de fait, la sidération dépasse de loin la sphère des militants de droite et d’extrême droite. D’autres aussi s’indignent : de simples twittos, mais aussi des journalistes, tels Françoise Laborde, Claude Askolovitch, des élus PS comme la ministre de la Famille Laurence Rossignol, ou encore la conseillère municipale Elodie Jauneau sans compter le délégué interministériel à la lutte contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme Gille Clavreul. Ils interpellent les Inrocks qui ont placé Meklat en Une de leur numéro du 1er février au côté de Taubira. Ils apostrophent également les éditions du Seuil où Meklat vient de publier son ouvrage, et font part de leur stupéfaction. A l’image de l’auteur de bande dessinée, romancier et réalisateur, Joann Sfar qui s’étrangle : « Je découvre tout ça ce matin, il semble que c’est authentique. Je trouve ça inexcusable quand on se veut représentant de la jeunesse. » Face à l’avalanche de messages indignés, sommé de s’expliquer, samedi après-midi, Meklat se fend finalement de quatre tweets d’excuse et d’explication : « je m’excuse si ces tweets ont pu choquer certains d’entre vous : ils sont obsolètes », assure Meklat qui supprimera dans la foulée la totalité de ses tweets d’avant février 2017 (plus de 30 000). Surtout, il affirme que ces messages ne reflètent en rien sa pensée. Il ne nie pas en être l’auteur, mais assure qu’il s’agit de messages parodiques. « Jusqu’en 2015, sous le pseudo Marcelin Deschamps, j’incarnais un personnage honteux raciste antisémite misogyne homophobe sur Twitter ». Marcellin Deschamps ? Un « personnage fictif », assure-t-il par lequel il avait entrepris de « questionner la notion d’excès et de provocation ». Mais, il l’affirme : les propos de ce personnage « ne représentent évidemment pas ma pensée et en sont tout l’inverse. » Sur Twitter, une fois troqué son pseudo contre son vrai patronyme, le jeune homme n’a pas supprimé ces anciens messages, apparaissant depuis sous son vrai nom Mehdi Meklat. Dans la foulée, ce samedi, l’animatrice radio Pascale Clark, ex chaperonne de Meklat à France Inter (2010-2015) a pris sa défense « Son personnage odieux, fictif, ne servait qu’à dénoncer », assure-t-elle sur Twitter avant de préciser dans un second message : « Les comiques font ça à longueur d’antenne et tout le monde applaudit ». Un peu facile de se cacher derrière un personnage fictif ? A la remarque de plusieurs internautes, le journaliste Claude Askolovitch tempère : « c’est même piteux. Mais cela ne change pas la nature de ses messages pourris – une énorme connerie, pas des appels au meurtre ». Si le journaliste ne cache pas son dégoût pour ces messages qu’il assimile à « des excréments verbaux », « des blagues absolument laides, impardonnables, perverses », « dans un jeu périlleux », il se refuse à y voir de « vraies prises de position ». Tout en tançant « un mec qui s’est cru assez malin pour twitter des immondices ». « Twitter des immondices », sous pseudo dans « un jeu périlleux » ? Yagg, le site de presse LGBT y avait vu davantage qu’un jeu. Le site avait bondi en mars 2014 quand Meklat écrivait sur Twitter : « Christophe Barbier a des enfants séropo ». Yagg le taxe alors d’ « humour sérophobe », « au goût douteux » (visant des personnes séropositives). Le site avait contacté Meklat pour qu’il s’en explique. Réponse de l’intéressé : « J’ai un pseudo sur Twitter, il ne faut pas faire d’amalgame entre mon personnage et moi-même ». Contacté par Yagg, il développait : « Je peux comprendre qu’on se sente insulté par mes tweets, car ils sont parfois extrêmes, provocants ou insultants, mais il ne faut pas en faire des tonnes(…) J’ai créé un personnage violent, provocant, méchant. Pourquoi? Je ne me l’explique pas à moi-même, alors je ne peux pas l’expliquer aux autres. Mais je ne suis pas du tout homophobe. » En octobre 2012, les Inrocks consacraient un portrait élogieux (comme beaucoup) aux gamins précoces Mehdi Meklat et Badroudine Saïd Abdallah, alias « les Kids » de France inter qui entamaient leur quatrième saison sur les ondes de la radio publique. « Un matin, ils partent avec leur micro enregistrer la plainte de la vallée de Florange abandonnée, le lendemain ils sont à l’Elysée et tapent la discute avec Michael Haeneke » écrivent les Inrocks qui dressent le portrait de deux « gamins « talentueux », de « vrais passe-murailles ». Comme beaucoup, l’hebdo s’enthousiasme de leur « reportages poétiques » et de leur « style unique ». Les Inrocks notent : « ils attirent les sympathies ». Quant à Meklat ? Au passage, l’hebdo raconte que c’est « le plus provoc » de deux. « Il faut le voir sur Twitter, vaguement caché derrière un pseudo depuis longtemps éventé : c’est une vraie terreur. Il se pose en métallo furieux, insulte à tout va, se moque de tout et de tous avec une férocité indécente » écrivent les Inrocks qui commentent : « Ça peut aller trop loin (France Inter lui a déjà demandé de retirer un tweet) mais la plupart du temps, c’est drôle à mourir. » Et Meklat d’expliquer déjà que sur le réseau social il « joue un personnage » : « Je ne suis attaché à rien, je n’ai de comptes à rendre à personne, j’ai la liberté de dire ce que je veux. C’est un terrain de jeu, j’y abuse de tout, je ne me mets pas de limite. » Trois ans plus tard. Octobre 2015. Les « Kids » de Pascale Clark ont grandi. Lorsque Le Monde les interviewe pour la sortie de leur premier livre, la journaliste s’attarde sur le cas Meklat. « Si doux et poli à la ville, Mehdi s’est inventé sur Twitter un double diabolique, qui insulte à tout-va », écrit Le Monde. Meklat commente alors : « Tout est trop convenu, on n’ose plus s’énerver. L’idée de casser ça en étant méchant gratuitement me plaît ». En septembre 2016, dans un long article, la journaliste Marie-France Etchegoin revenait pour M le magazine du Monde sur le parcours et l’état d’esprit du tandem Mehdi-Badrou, « une nouvelle génération, à la fois cool et dure, investissant le champ de la culture plutôt que celui des partis politiques, et extrêmement engagée ». Engagée, brillante et convoitée. Comme l’explique M, le duo Mehdi-Badrou est sollicité de toutes parts, ces dernier temps. Ici pour pour un projet avec la Fondation Cartier, là pour écrire un dossier de presse pour un long-métrage avec Depardieu. Ou encore pour mettre en scène la pièce d’un auteur suédois. Quant à leur magazine Téléramadan, la revue annuelle « des musulmans qui ne veulent plus s’excuser d’exister », la journaliste explique que « Pierre Bergé mais aussi Agnès b ont accepté de soutenir la revue ». Parfait. Seul bémol dans la success story, observe la journaliste : « Les bonnes fées qui accompagnent les deux garçons depuis l’adolescence observent leur évolution, avec parfois une pointe d’inquiétude, qui n’empêche ni bienveillance ni compréhension. » Concrètement ? Il est question notamment de Meklat et de son usage de Twitter. « Un troll déchaîné qui déconne et dézingue à tout-va. «Giclez-lui sa mère», «On s’en bat les couilles», «Elle est pas morte, celle-là?» « , énumère la journaliste qui constate : « il se défoule sur des personnalités dont les manières ou les prises de position sur l’islam n’ont pas l’heur de lui plaire ». Certains parrains et autres bonnes fées, explique la journaliste, s’en soucient : « «Arrête ces Tweets! Tu n’es pas dans une cour de récréation!» Mouloud Achour le met en garde: «Les écrits restent, un jour on te les ressortira.». Quant à Mehdi, raconte la journaliste, il « se défend, la main sur le cœur: «Ce n’est pas moi, c’est un personnage que j’ai inventé», ne pouvant s’empêcher d’ajouter, comme dans un lapsus: «Mes Tweets sont des pulsions!» » Meklat et son avatar pulsionnel, une histoire qui ne date pas d’hier. Un double « je » qui ne semble pas géner Meklat, mais qui ne met pas tout le monde à l’aise. Ce dimanche, l’animateur de la Grande Librairie (France 5) François Busnel, qui avait invité Meklat cette semaine publie un communiqué pour prendre ses distances avec son invité. Busnel y affirme que si il avait eu connaissance de ces messages, il n’aurait pas invité le jeune homme dans son émission. Samedi, le Bondy Blog, pressé par une foule d’internautes de réagir, avait également publié un message sur Twitter , expliquant que « les tweets de Meklat n’engagent en aucun cas la responsabilité de la rédaction ». Et le média de préciser : « Puisqu’il y a des évidences qu’il faut affirmer, le Bondy Blog ne peut cautionner des propos antisémites, sexistes, homophobes, racistes, ou tout autre propos discriminatoires et stigmatisants, même sur le ton de l’humour ». Arrêt sur images
Des milliers de manifestants anti-Trump ont défilé à New York lundi et dans plusieurs villes américaines à l’occasion du « Presidents Day », un jour férié en l’honneur des présidents des Etats-Unis. Au cri de « Pas mon président! », quelque 10’000 manifestants  – selon une estimation officieuse de la police – de tous âges et toutes origines se sont rassemblés devant le Trump International Hotel de New York près de Central Park, pour exprimer une nouvelle fois leur opposition au milliardaire républicain un mois jour pour jour après son entrée en fonction.  Les activistes anti-Trump avaient appelé à détourner les célébrations du « Presidents Day » au profit d’un « Not My President Day » avec des rassemblements dans plusieurs villes, dont Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta et Washington. Par ailleurs, environ 7000 opposants à Donald Trump ont manifesté lundi aux abords du parlement britannique contre le projet de visite d’Etat du président américain à Londres. Cela au moment même où les députés débattaient du sujet. Une pétition demandant que sa visite ne soit pas « d’Etat » – ce qui pourrait mettre la reine dans l’embarras -, a recueilli 1,8 million de signatures. RTS info
Fuir Washington, le temps d’un week-end de trois jours. Donald Trump attendait impatiemment cette escapade en Floride, devant ses irréductibles supporteurs, fidèles de la première heure, qui se font si rares depuis un mois à Washington. Oublier le froid, le crachin pendant le discours d’investiture, ces médias «malhonnêtes», ces manifestants acrimonieux, les fuites des services secrets, la fronde de la Justice face à son décret sur l’immigration, celle du Congrès face à ses plans grandioses de mur à la frontière mexicaine, le limogeage à contrecœur du général Michael Flynn, son conseiller à la sécurité nationale, éclaboussé par la «Russian Connection», et les centaines de nominations gouvernementales en souffrance. Mais tout cela n’a que peu d’importance pour le «peuple de Trump». «Nous l’aimons et nous sommes venus le lui dire», s’exclame Sheila Gaylor, une résidente de Melbourne, où le président fait escale le temps d’un rassemblement populaire. Comme durant la campagne, lorsque l’adrénaline le poussait de l’avant. Cette ivresse s’est tarie, mais voici l’occasion de la ressusciter, grâce à un bain de foule régénérateur, et de remettre le tribun sur orbite, loin du «marigot» fédéral si difficile à «assécher». Dans le hangar 6 de l’aérodrome local, plusieurs milliers de Floridiens, blancs pour la plupart, se pressent pour apercevoir la tignasse blonde la plus célèbre du monde, et la silhouette élégante de sa femme, Melania. C’est ici, à Melbourne, en septembre 2016, que 15 000 supporteurs déchaînés ont offert au candidat républicain l’une de ses escales les plus mémorables. Peu importe que les opposants se fassent entendre au dehors, réclamant la destitution du président milliardaire.«Ils ne sont que quelques milliers, alors que nous sommes 50 000. Vous croyez que les médias malhonnêtes vont parler de quoi?» gronde une femme à crinière blonde, reprenant le discours officiel.Les pro-Trump ne sont en réalité que 9 000, selon la police de Melbourne sur Twitter, mais leur enthousiasme, débordant, est récompensé par un vrombissement dans le ciel: le Boeing présidentiel Air Force One surgit en rase-mottes, déclenchant les vivats. Le quadriréacteur s’immobilise dans le soleil couchant, et le couple présidentiel apparaît. Dans un tonnerre d’ovations, le chef de l’État s’empresse de révéler la raison de sa venue sur la Space Coast: «Je suis ici parce que je veux être parmi mes amis, et parmi le peuple. Je veux être au même endroit que des patriotes travailleurs qui aiment leur pays, qui saluent le drapeau et prient pour un avenir meilleur.» Ce même peuple qui l’a porté au pouvoir et continue de lui vouer une loyauté sans faille. Ce soutien est inestimable, et probablement fondamental: apprenant à naviguer dans l’air vicié de Washington, le milliardaire va devoir pérenniser sa base militante, surtout s’il compte briguer une réélection en 2020. C’est d’ailleurs son comité de soutien officiel, lancé le 20 janvier, qui finance l’événement du jour, annonciateur de raouts semblables à l’avenir. Bronzé et visiblement détendu, Donald Trump s’amuse avec la foule. Il recycle ses thèmes les plus populaires et désigne ses boucs émissaires habituels. (…) Un mot, un seul, à l’adresse des médias, une allusion (erronée) à «tous ces grands présidents, comme Thomas Jefferson, qui se sont souvent battus avec les médias, ont dénoncé leurs mensonges», et des centaines de poings rageurs se dressent vers la forêt de caméras. Que ses ouailles se rassurent: «La Maison-Blanche tourne comme sur des roulettes!» «CNN craint!» renchérit la foule en chœur. «Je peux vous parler directement, sans le filtre des fausses informations», poursuit Trump. (…) À l’applaudimètre, celui que «nous attendions depuis si longtemps», selon Claudia, une mère au foyer venue de Titusville, un rejeton assoupi dans les bras, ce «héros qui va se dresser», selon l’expression imprimée sur les badges d’accès, l’emporte en évoquant les emplois, le business, qui vont décoller sous son mandat, ces contrats militaires bons pour la région, et, surtout, ce «fichu islamisme radical que nous allons tenir à distance de notre pays». (…) «Il est vraiment formidable, il est comme nous, il parle comme nous, confient d’une seule voix Jake et Colleen, un couple de retraités débonnaire exhibant toute la panoplie du parfait petit supporteur, croisé dans la pénombre en bordure d’aérodrome, pour voir s’envoler le Boeing présidentiel. Il est en train de tenir toutes ses promesses, encore plus vite que prévu. Au-delà de toutes nos attentes!» Le Figaro
Thank you, President Barack Obama, for serving the country for the past eight years. (…) Thank you for the Iran deal. Before the deal, Iran was weeks from attaining nuclear bomb capability. Now the world has a decade before the mullahs have the capability of developing a bomb. (…) Thank you for killing Osama bin Laden. And for taking out al-Qaida’s senior leadership. And for stopping and reversing gains by ISIS. (…) Thank you for standing up to Vladimir Putin. You saw the expansionist, anti-democratic nature of Putin’s actions in Ukraine and quickly confronted him. Perhaps that opposition slowed what may have been an inevitable march through the Baltics. (….) Thank you for recognizing our Cuba embargo was a failed policy and that the time for change had come. Thank you for steering the country through the recession. Thank you for cutting unemployment in half. And for doing so in the face of Republican obstructionism on the kind of infrastructure bill that your successor now likely will get through. Thank you for doubling clean energy production. For recognizing that our dependence on fossil fuels can’t help but degrade our environment and hold us back from being competitive in the green energy future, and embolden corrupt and backward regimes from Venezuela to the Middle East to Russia. (…) Thank you for the Affordable Care Act. It has brought the security of health care to millions. It has saved lives. It has kept the rate of cost increases in premiums lower in the past eight years than they were in the previous eight years. It needs to be fixed — what doesn’t? — but only with better ideas, not worse ones. (…) Thank you for trying to get immigration reform through Congress, and for pursuing the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which let 5 million people already living and working here come out of the shadows. (…) Thank you for trying. You grappled with one great chaos after another, and sometimes you fell short. In Syria, you needed a smarter course of action. In Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, you underestimated the need, early on, to deal with Israeli fears and Palestinian obstructionism. As for ending the Sudan embargo, the jury is out. (…) Thank you. Thank you for not embarrassing us, your family or yourself. Though your opponents and their friends at “Fox and Friends” tried to pin scandals to you, none could stick. In my lifetime, there has never been an administration so free from personal and professional moral stain. Thank you for the seriousness, dignity, grace, humor and cool you brought to the Oval Office. Thank you for being my president. Rob Eshman
I think it’s important not to dismiss the president’s reply simply as dumb. We ought to assume that it’s darkly brilliant — if not in intention than certainly in effect. The president is responding to a claim of fact not by denying the fact, but by denying the claim that facts are supposed to have on an argument. He isn’t telling O’Reilly that he’s got his facts wrong. He’s saying that, as far as he is concerned, facts, as most people understand the term, don’t matter: That they are indistinguishable from, and interchangeable with, opinion; and that statements of fact needn’t have any purchase against a man who is either sufficiently powerful to ignore them or sufficiently shameless to deny them — or, in his case, both. (…) But the most interesting conversation is not about why Donald Trump lies. Many public figures lie, and he’s only a severe example of a common type. The interesting conversation concerns how we come to accept those lies. Nearly 25 years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the great scholar and Democratic Senator from New York, coined the phrase, “defining deviancy down.” His topic at the time was crime, and how American society had come to accept ever-increasing rates of violent crime as normal. “We have been re-defining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard,” Moynihan wrote. You can point to all sorts of ways in which this redefinition of deviancy has also been the story of our politics over the past 30 years, a story with a fully bipartisan set of villains. I personally think we crossed a rubicon in the Clinton years, when three things happened: we decided that some types of presidential lies didn’t matter; we concluded that “character” was an over-rated consideration when it came to judging a president; and we allowed the lines between political culture and celebrity culture to become hopelessly blurred. But whatever else one might say about President Clinton, what we have now is the crack-cocaine version of that. If a public figure tells a whopping lie once in his life, it’ll haunt him into his grave. If he lies morning, noon and night, it will become almost impossible to remember any one particular lie. Outrage will fall victim to its own ubiquity. It’s the same truth contained in Stalin’s famous remark that the death of one man is a tragedy but the death of a million is a statistic. One of the most interesting phenomena during the presidential campaign was waiting for Trump to say that one thing that would surely break the back of his candidacy. Would it be his slander against Mexican immigrants? Or his slur about John McCain’s record as a POW? Or his lie about New Jersey Muslims celebrating 9/11? Or his attacks on Megyn Kelly, on a disabled New York Times reporter, on a Mexican-American judge? Would it be him tweeting quotations from Benito Mussolini, or his sly overtures to David Duke and the alt-right? Would it be his unwavering praise of Vladimir Putin? Would it be his refusal to release his tax returns, or the sham that seems to been perpetrated on the saps who signed up for his Trump U courses? Would it be the tape of him with Billy Bush? None of this made the slightest difference. On the contrary, it helped him. Some people became desensitized by the never-ending assaults on what was once quaintly known as “human decency.” Others seemed to positively admire the comments as refreshing examples of personal authenticity and political incorrectness. (…) Donald Trump’s was the greatest political strip-tease act in U.S. political history: the dirtier he got, the more skin he showed, the more his core supporters liked it. Abraham Lincoln, in his first inaugural address, called on Americans to summon “the better angels of our nature.” Donald Trump’s candidacy, and so far his presidency, has been Lincoln’s exhortation in reverse. Bret Stephens
Barack Obama is the Dr. Frankenstein of the supposed Trump monster. If a charismatic, Ivy League-educated, landmark president who entered office with unprecedented goodwill and both houses of Congress on his side could manage to wreck the Democratic Party while turning off 52 percent of the country, then many voters feel that a billionaire New York dealmaker could hardly do worse. If Obama had ruled from the center, dealt with the debt, addressed radical Islamic terrorism, dropped the politically correct euphemisms and pushed tax and entitlement reform rather than Obamacare, Trump might have little traction. A boring Hillary Clinton and a staid Jeb Bush would most likely be replaying the 1992 election between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush — with Trump as a watered-down version of third-party outsider Ross Perot. But America is in much worse shape than in 1992. And Obama has proved a far more divisive and incompetent president than George H.W. Bush. Little is more loathed by a majority of Americans than sanctimonious PC gobbledygook and its disciples in the media. And Trump claims to be PC’s symbolic antithesis. Making Machiavellian Mexico pay for a border fence or ejecting rude and interrupting Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a press conference is no more absurd than allowing more than 300 sanctuary cities to ignore federal law by sheltering undocumented immigrants. Putting a hold on the immigration of Middle Eastern refugees is no more illiberal than welcoming into American communities tens of thousands of unvetted foreign nationals from terrorist-ridden Syria. In terms of messaging, is Trump’s crude bombast any more radical than Obama’s teleprompted scripts? Trump’s ridiculous view of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a sort of « Art of the Deal » geostrategic partner is no more silly than Obama insulting Putin as Russia gobbles up former Soviet republics with impunity. Obama callously dubbed his own grandmother a « typical white person, » introduced the nation to the racist and anti-Semitic rantings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and petulantly wrote off small-town Pennsylvanians as near-Neanderthal « clingers. » Did Obama lower the bar for Trump’s disparagements? Certainly, Obama peddled a slogan, « hope and change, » that was as empty as Trump’s « make America great again. » (…) How does the establishment derail an out-of-control train for whom there are no gaffes, who has no fear of The New York Times, who offers no apologies for speaking what much of the country thinks — and who apparently needs neither money from Republicans nor politically correct approval from Democrats? Victor Davis Hanson
To me, the “Legacy of Obama” can be explained in one word: Trump. Hallie Lerman
Once hailed as a political genius, Obama’s radicalism led his party into disarray, and repeated electoral disaster, with some 1000 national and state legislative seats and many Governorships lost during his tenure. Ungenerous to his political opponents, he ultimately was quite uncaring about his own political party too. The black community faired quite economically poorly during his two terms. And, abandoning his roots, Barack Obama has sadly accepted no accountability for the years-long murder wave gripping Chi-town. Barack Hussein Obama chose purposefully to assail American allies abroad, befriend tyrannies, abandon dissidents and victims abroad, and attack traditional Americans and economic growth at home. He was also never a truth teller about Islamic Jihad and the challenge of radical Islam’s assaults on Americans within our own borders. His legacy is to have made America less safe and sovereign, less prosperous and entrepreneurial, and less united than the promised hope and change campaign of 2008. Larry Greenfield
Tiré à quatre épingles, col blanc éclatant et cravate rouge vif, l’homme grand, noir, élégant, fait son apparition sur scène devant des milliers de drapeaux américains portés par une marée humaine en délire. Des applaudissements se mélangent aux cris hystériques, pleurs et voix hurlant en chœur « Yes we can ». Les larmes coulent sur les joues du révérend Jesse Jackson qui vient d’apprendre que le rêve de Martin Luther King s’est réalisé en ce 4 novembre 2008. Et le monde entier assiste, le souffle coupé, à cette scène inédite de l’histoire. « Hello Chicago », lance le quadragénaire avec un sourire tiré des publicités de dentifrice. « S’il y a encore quelqu’un qui doute que l’Amérique est un endroit où tout est possible, ce soir, vous avez votre réponse. » Et la foule s’enflamme. Ce soir-là, Barack Obama a réussi son pari en devenant le premier président noir des Etats-Unis. Aux yeux de ses électeurs, il n’était pas seulement l’incarnation de l’ » American dream ». Il était aussi celui qui allait tendre l’oreille aux difficultés des minorités, sortir une nation de la pire crise économique depuis la Grande Dépression, ramasser les pots cassés de George W. Bush, soigner les plaies d’un pays hanté par la guerre et l’insécurité, rendre aux familles leurs soldats partis en Irak et en Afghanistan, offrir des soins de santé aux plus démunis… La liste est sans fin. (…) Les attentes étaient particulièrement grandes au sein de la communauté afro-américaine (…) « Tout le monde a cru qu’avec Obama nous allions rentrer dans une ère post-raciale. C’est donc assez ironique que la race soit devenue un problème majeur sous sa présidence », affirme Robert Shapiro, politologue à l’université new-yorkaise de Columbia. (…) Outre quelques discours, le Président se distingue par le peu d’initiatives prises en faveur de sa communauté. Certes, il a nommé un nombre sans précédent de juges noirs. Et, paradoxalement, cette reprise de la lutte pour l’égalité est parfois notée comme une victoire du Président, malgré lui. (…) Dans un premier temps, l’ancien sénateur a aussi suscité la colère des immigrés en situation irrégulière en autorisant un nombre record d’expulsions. Barack Obama finira par faire volte-face et s’engagera dans une lutte féroce pour faire passer au Congrès le « Dream Act », projet de loi légalisant 2 millions de jeunes sans-papiers. En vain. Furieux, le chef d’Etat signera alors un décret permettant à ceux-ci d’obtenir un permis de travail et donc de les protéger. Aussi, peu de présidents américains peuvent se targuer d’avoir fait autant progresser la protection des droits des homosexuels. En mai 2012, « Newsweek » surnommait Barack Obama « the first gay president », pour saluer sa décision de soutenir le mariage homosexuel. Quelques mois plus tard, la loi « Don’t ask, don’t tell », interdisant aux militaires d’afficher leur homosexualité, était abrogée. Et, en 2015, Barack Obama criait « victoire », alors que la Cour suprême venait de légaliser le mariage gay. Reste que le natif de Hawaii n’est pas parvenu à réduire les inégalités sociales et raciales qui sévissent toujours aux Etats-Unis. En 2012, 27,2 % des Afro-Américains et 25,6 % des Latinos vivaient sous le seuil de pauvreté, contre 9,7 % des Blancs. Autre épine dans le pied du Démocrate : la débâcle de la ville de Detroit, majoritairement peuplée par des Noirs et déclarée en banqueroute de 2013 à 2014. (…) Peut-être était-il trop dépensier. Surnommé « Monsieur 20 trillions », Barack Obama est accusé d’avoir doublé la dette publique. (…) L’histoire se souviendra d’Obama comme de celui qui aura doté les Etats-Unis d’un système d’assurance santé universelle. L’ »Affordable Care Act », lancé en 2010 après quinze mois de tractations, est « la » grande victoire du Démocrate. (…) Mais (…) le système montre-t-il ses limites puisque (…) il comprend (…) trop de personnes malades, nécessitant des soins, et pas assez de personnes en bonne santé. Ce problème est devenu récurrent et des compagnies d’assurances quittent le programme », explique Victor Fuchs, spécialiste américain de l’économie de la santé. (…) En 2009, le Président envoie 30 000 hommes supplémentaires en Afghanistan, pour ensuite déclarer la fin des opérations militaires en Irak, avant de bombarder la Libye. (…) Sa crédibilité en prend un coup lorsqu’il refuse de frapper la Syrie, même après que Bachar Al-Assad eut franchi la fameuse ligne rouge, tracée par Obama lui-même, en utilisant des armes chimiques contre les rebelles. En huit ans, le prix Nobel de la paix, arrivé au pouvoir comme un Président antiguerre, aura entériné le recours à la force militaire dans neuf pays (Afghanistan, Irak, Syrie, Pakistan, Libye, Yémen, Somalie, Ouganda et Cameroun). Le « New York Times » indique d’ailleurs que « si les Etats-Unis restent au combat en Afghanistan, Irak et Syrie jusqu’à la fin de son mandat […] il deviendra de façon assez improbable le seul président dans l’histoire du pays à accomplir deux mandats entiers à la tête d’un pays en guerre ». Le Congrès aura été le talon d’Achille de Barack Obama. (…) Résultat : l’adepte du « centrisme » laissera derrière lui un paysage politique plus polarisé que jamais. « Il n’y a pas une Amérique libérale et une Amérique conservatrice, il y a les Etats-Unis d’Amérique. Les érudits aiment à découper notre pays entre Etats rouges et Etats bleus […] mais j’ai une nouvelle pour eux. Nous formons un seul peuple », avait-il pourtant déclaré lors de la Convention démocrate de Boston le 27 juillet 2004. Ce jour-là, une star politique était née. Barack Obama avait tout : la rhétorique enflammée, le charisme hors norme, l’intelligence, le parcours au parfum de rêve américain et la famille idéale. Avec son style châtié, son allure juvénile, sa capacité à susciter l’enthousiasme des jeunes électeurs, il était le candidat parfait du XXIe siècle. Trop parfait, peut être. A tel point qu’il aura suscité plus d’espoirs qu’il ne pouvait en porter. « Il a été meilleur candidat en campagne qu’il n’a été président », regrette M. McKee. La Libre Belgique

Attention: un monstre peut en cacher un autre !

En ce Washington’s Day devenu Presidents’ Day

Et, si l’on en croit nos valeureux journalistes,  Not my Presidents’ Day

Pendant qu’en Floride la part maudite de l’Amérique encensait son élu …

Et qu’en France nos propres juges comme nos médias montrent le vrai prix, selon la tête du client, qu’ils attachent à la vérité

Comment ne pas voir …

Par l’un de ces effets de balancier dont l’histoire est friande …

La radicalité encouragée par la trop grande adulation et indulgence de toute une presse et finalement tant d’entre nous

D’un certain Dr. Frankenstein dont il ne serait au bout du compte que la créature ?

Voir aussi:

Le bilan Obama
Barack Obama, le président dont on attendait trop
Maria Udrescu
La Libre Belgique
2016

Le Président n’a pas pu sortir de baguette magique pour laisser derrière lui une Amérique idéale.

Tiré à quatre épingles, col blanc éclatant et cravate rouge vif, l’homme grand, noir, élégant, fait son apparition sur scène devant des milliers de drapeaux américains portés par une marée humaine en délire. Des applaudissements se mélangent aux cris hystériques, pleurs et voix hurlant en chœur « Yes we can ». Les larmes coulent sur les joues du révérend Jesse Jackson qui vient d’apprendre que le rêve de Martin Luther King s’est réalisé en ce 4 novembre 2008. Et le monde entier assiste, le souffle coupé, à cette scène inédite de l’histoire. « Hello Chicago », lance le quadragénaire avec un sourire tiré des publicités de dentifrice. « S’il y a encore quelqu’un qui doute que l’Amérique est un endroit où tout est possible, ce soir, vous avez votre réponse. » Et la foule s’enflamme.

Ce soir-là, Barack Obama a réussi son pari en devenant le premier président noir des Etats-Unis. Aux yeux de ses électeurs, il n’était pas seulement l’incarnation de l’ » American dream ». Il était aussi celui qui allait tendre l’oreille aux difficultés des minorités, sortir une nation de la pire crise économique depuis la Grande Dépression, ramasser les pots cassés de George W. Bush, soigner les plaies d’un pays hanté par la guerre et l’insécurité, rendre aux familles leurs soldats partis en Irak et en Afghanistan, offrir des soins de santé aux plus démunis…

La liste est sans fin. Et huit ans plus tard, d’aucuns applaudissent les réussites du Démocrate malgré un contexte hostile – un Congrès aux mains des Républicains – et une situation dramatique héritée de son prédécesseur. D’autres s’étonnent de voir que ce Président, qui aura suscité un enthousiasme quasi messianique, n’ait pas sorti sa baguette magique pour laisser derrière lui une Amérique idéale, ou même pour tenir toutes ses promesses de campagne.

La désillusion des minorités

Les attentes étaient particulièrement grandes au sein de la communauté afro-américaine, même si Barack Obama, né d’un père kenyan, ne s’est jamais présenté comme un « président des Noirs ». « Tout le monde a cru qu’avec Obama nous allions rentrer dans une ère post-raciale. C’est donc assez ironique que la race soit devenue un problème majeur sous sa présidence », affirme Robert Shapiro, politologue à l’université new-yorkaise de Columbia.

En 2014, des vagues de protestation ont secoué la ville de Ferguson après la mort de Michael Brown, un Afro-Américain tué par un policier blanc. Un an plus tôt, le « Black Lives Matter » naissait dans la foulée de l’acquittement de George Zimmerman, policier ayant abattu Trayvon Martin, un jeune Noir. Barack Obama avait alors célèbrement déclaré : « Trayvon Martin, ça aurait pu être moi il y a trente-cinq ans »

Outre quelques discours, le Président se distingue par le peu d’initiatives prises en faveur de sa communauté. Certes, il a nommé un nombre sans précédent de juges noirs. Et, paradoxalement, cette reprise de la lutte pour l’égalité est parfois notée comme une victoire du Président, malgré lui. « Le ‘Black Lives Matter’ rappelle enfin que des problèmes liés à l’héritage de discrimination raciale existent encore aux Etats-Unis, comme dans la justice ou la distribution des richesses », explique William Howell, professeur de sciences politiques à l’université de Chicago. Mais, « Barack Obama a été réticent à prendre des mesures qui affectent uniquement les Afro-Américains, au risque de voir les électeurs blancs l’accuser de se charger uniquement de ‘ses gens’ », observe Seth McKee, de la Texas Tech University. Dans un premier temps, l’ancien sénateur a aussi suscité la colère des immigrés en situation irrégulière en autorisant un nombre record d’expulsions. Barack Obama finira par faire volte-face et s’engagera dans une lutte féroce pour faire passer au Congrès le « Dream Act », projet de loi légalisant 2 millions de jeunes sans-papiers. En vain. Furieux, le chef d’Etat signera alors un décret permettant à ceux-ci d’obtenir un permis de travail et donc de les protéger.

Aussi, peu de présidents américains peuvent se targuer d’avoir fait autant progresser la protection des droits des homosexuels. En mai 2012, « Newsweek » surnommait Barack Obama « the first gay president », pour saluer sa décision de soutenir le mariage homosexuel. Quelques mois plus tard, la loi « Don’t ask, don’t tell », interdisant aux militaires d’afficher leur homosexualité, était abrogée. Et, en 2015, Barack Obama criait « victoire », alors que la Cour suprême venait de légaliser le mariage gay.

Une croissance florissante, mais inégale

Reste que le natif de Hawaii n’est pas parvenu à réduire les inégalités sociales et raciales qui sévissent toujours aux Etats-Unis. En 2012, 27,2 % des Afro-Américains et 25,6 % des Latinos vivaient sous le seuil de pauvreté, contre 9,7 % des Blancs. Autre épine dans le pied du Démocrate : la débâcle de la ville de Detroit, majoritairement peuplée par des Noirs et déclarée en banqueroute de 2013 à 2014.

Barack Obama peut néanmoins rétorquer que c’est le bien-être économique de tout un pays qu’il a dû relever, à la sueur de son front. En effet, »personne ne peut dire, objectivement, que l’économie est dans un pire état aujourd’hui que lorsqu’Obama est devenu président. En 2008, le taux de chômage présentait deux chiffres, la Bourse était en chute libre, les banques fermaient, c’était un chaos total », rappelle M. Howell. Aujourd’hui, l’Amérique s’est remise de la grande récession de 2008, présentant un taux de chômage de 5 %, une croissance de 2,4 % et une Bourse au plus haut. Pendant ses mandats, l’Amérique a créé près de 16 millions d’emplois et le rachat de General Motors et Chrysler en a sauvé 3 millions.

Peut-être aurait-il pu faire plus. « Mais gardez à l’esprit qu’il a dû faire avec un Congrès qui ne voulait lui accorder aucune victoire », rappelle M. Howell. A défaut de convaincre les Républicains de relever le salaire minimum bloqué à 7,25 dollars de l’heure, le Président a dû se résoudre à le faire par décret pour les employés des sociétés privées au service de l’Etat.

Peut-être était-il trop dépensier. Surnommé « Monsieur 20 trillions », Barack Obama est accusé d’avoir doublé la dette publique. Mais ce phénomène est en grande partie dû aux dépenses liées au paiement des retraites et, surtout, à la santé.

L’Obamacare, légendaire, mais sur la sellette

L’histoire se souviendra d’Obama comme de celui qui aura doté les Etats-Unis d’un système d’assurance santé universelle. L’ »Affordable Care Act », lancé en 2010 après quinze mois de tractations, est « la » grande victoire du Démocrate. Honni des Républicains et traîné par trois fois devant la Cour suprême, l’Obamacare a malgré tout accordé une couverture médicale à près de 20 millions de personnes. « La réforme a aussi interdit aux compagnies d’assurances de refuser de couvrir une personne en raison de son état de santé et relevé l’âge en dessous duquel les enfants peuvent être couverts par l’assurance de leurs parents. Mais est-ce tout ce dont Obama a rêvé ? Sûrement pas. Est-ce que ça a résolu la crise des soins de santé aux Etats-Unis ? Sûrement pas », analyse M. Howell.

Tout d’abord parce que la Cour suprême a donné, en 2012, le choix aux Etats d’adopter ou non Medicaid, assurance santé destinée aux Américains les plus pauvres. Aussi, le système montre-t-il ses limites puisque « l’amende infligée à ceux qui n’y participent pas n’est pas suffisamment élevée (1 % du salaire brut la première année et en augmentation les années suivantes, NdlR). Il comprend donc trop de personnes malades, nécessitant des soins, et pas assez de personnes en bonne santé. Ce problème est devenu récurrent et des compagnies d’assurances quittent le programme », explique Victor Fuchs, spécialiste américain de l’économie de la santé.

De façon générale, selon Seth McKee, « l’‘Affordable Care Act’ est une législation polarisante. Mais c’est une réforme massive telle qu’on n’en a plus vu depuis le président Johnson, dans les années 60 ».

Un Président engagé contre le réchauffement climatique

Le locataire de la Maison-Blanche s’était aussi lancé le défi de convaincre les Etats-Unis de mieux préserver la planète. En juin 2008, Obama s’exclamait : « Nous pourrons nous souvenir de ce jour et dire à nos enfants qu’alors la montée des océans a commencé à ralentir et la planète à guérir ».

Huit ans plus tard, les Américains sont loin d’avoir adopté un esprit vert, malgré des signes alarmants tels que la sécheresse en Californie ou les inondations en Louisiane. La majorité des tentatives du chef d’Etat pour limiter la pollution – comme son projet de loi plafonnant les émissions de carbone – ont été torpillées par les Républicains.

Mais Barack Obama n’en est pas au point de décoller son étiquette de « green president ». Ainsi, le « New York Times » l’a-t-il surnommé le « monument maker », soulignant que le Démocrate a créé 23 espaces protégés et la plus grande réserve naturelle marine au monde. Il a été le premier chef d’Etat américain à se rendre en Alaska pour y mettre en relief les effets du changement climatique, même si, peu après sa visite, il décida maladroitement d’autoriser Shell à forer dans la mer des Tchouktches. En novembre 2015, il a mis son veto à l’oléoduc Keystone, qui devait relier le Canada au golfe du Mexique. « Last but not least », le président américain a convaincu Pékin de s’engager à ses côtés pour permettre aux négociations climatiques d’aboutir à Paris.

Une diplomatie tantôt gauche, tantôt fructueuse

La politique internationale est d’ailleurs le domaine où Barack Obama a accumulé le plus de victoires… et d’échecs. Ni messianique ni indifférent, le Démocrate dit être un « réaliste », prêt à faire la balance entre les intérêts des Etats-Unis et ceux de ses alliés. Lorsqu’il prend place derrière le Bureau ovale, l’Amérique a mauvaise presse. Le pays avait sorti le plus grand mensonge de l’histoire de l’espionnage pour envahir l’Irak et était en passe de perdre une guerre en Afghanistan.

Les premiers pas du leader américain sur la scène internationale sont prometteurs. Quelques mois après son investiture, il prononce le discours du Caire visant à améliorer les relations entre Washington et le monde musulman. Mais entre une Amérique plus modeste, recentrée sur ses défis nationaux, et un interventionnisme militaire digne de la plus grande puissance mondiale, son cœur balance.

En 2009, le Président envoie 30 000 hommes supplémentaires en Afghanistan, pour ensuite déclarer la fin des opérations militaires en Irak, avant de bombarder la Libye. Barack Obama avait pourtant promis de tourner la page des années George W. Bush. Et l’exécution d’Oussama Ben Laden, le chef d’Al Qaïda, devait y mettre le point final. Mais le printemps arabe lui force la main et rappelle les Etats-Unis au Proche-Orient. Sa crédibilité en prend un coup lorsqu’il refuse de frapper la Syrie, même après que Bachar Al-Assad eut franchi la fameuse ligne rouge, tracée par Obama lui-même, en utilisant des armes chimiques contre les rebelles.

En huit ans, le prix Nobel de la paix, arrivé au pouvoir comme un Président antiguerre, aura entériné le recours à la force militaire dans neuf pays (Afghanistan, Irak, Syrie, Pakistan, Libye, Yémen, Somalie, Ouganda et Cameroun). Le « New York Times » indique d’ailleurs que « si les Etats-Unis restent au combat en Afghanistan, Irak et Syrie jusqu’à la fin de son mandat […] il deviendra de façon assez improbable le seul président dans l’histoire du pays à accomplir deux mandats entiers à la tête d’un pays en guerre ».

Le dirigeant américain ne manque pas pour autant de faire honneur à son prix Nobel. Le 10 décembre 2013, il échange une poignée de main historique avec le dirigeant cubain Raúl Castro. C’est le début du dégel des relations entre les deux pays, après plus d’un demi-siècle d’animosités et de sanctions économiques. Autre grand succès diplomatique de l’ancien sénateur : l’accord sur le nucléaire iranien, que les Républicains n’ont pas réussi à bloquer.

Ces derniers parviendront par contre à tuer dans l’œuf un autre de ses projets : la fermeture de Guantanamo. S’il ne reste plus que 61 prisonniers dans le centre ouvert à Cuba en 2002, Barack Obama aura échoué à verrouiller définitivement les portes de ce site.

Une Amérique divisée

Le Congrès aura été le talon d’Achille de Barack Obama. La droite ne pouvait avaler sa double défaite face à un Démocrate, noir et fils d’un immigré musulman, qui plus est. Le cœur du Parti républicain a presque fait de la dénonciation du Président son seul programme politique. « De façon générale, pour toute une partie de l’Amérique, avoir un Président afro-américain, issu des grandes universités de la côte Est, qui est ouvert sur le monde et prône le multiculturalisme et la tolérance vis-à-vis de l’islam, c’est insupportable », observe Marie-Cécile Naves, chercheuse associée à l’Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques (Iris).

De son côté, Barack Obama a voulu effacer ce qui avait fait de lui l’homme providentiel, symbole d’une nouvelle ère, pour apparaître comme un « président normal ». Aussi, « il n’a pas eu la motivation suffisante de travailler avec le Congrès, raison pour laquelle il ne s’est pas donné les moyens de le faire. Il a presque abandonné avant même d’essayer », estime Seth McKee. Résultat : l’adepte du « centrisme » laissera derrière lui un paysage politique plus polarisé que jamais.

« Il n’y a pas une Amérique libérale et une Amérique conservatrice, il y a les Etats-Unis d’Amérique. Les érudits aiment à découper notre pays entre Etats rouges et Etats bleus […] mais j’ai une nouvelle pour eux. Nous formons un seul peuple », avait-il pourtant déclaré lors de la Convention démocrate de Boston le 27 juillet 2004. Ce jour-là, une star politique était née. Barack Obama avait tout : la rhétorique enflammée, le charisme hors norme, l’intelligence, le parcours au parfum de rêve américain et la famille idéale. Avec son style châtié, son allure juvénile, sa capacité à susciter l’enthousiasme des jeunes électeurs, il était le candidat parfait du XXIe siècle. Trop parfait, peut être. A tel point qu’il aura suscité plus d’espoirs qu’il ne pouvait en porter. « Il a été meilleur candidat en campagne qu’il n’a été président », regrette M. McKee.

« Barack Obama ne figurera pas sur la liste des grands présidents américains, réservée à ceux qui étaient en fonction pendant les grandes guerres », estime M. Shapiro. « Mais plutôt sur celle des bons présidents, aux côtés de Truman, Reagan ou encore Jefferson. Parce qu’il a engrangé beaucoup de réussites, parce qu’il a fait face à de grands défis économiques et militaires, et parce qu’il est le premier Président noir des Etats-Unis. »

Voir aussi:

A legacy of O
Larry Greenfield
JTA
Jan 17, 2017

When he ran for President, Barack Obama promoted “we are not red states or blue states, but the United States.” He didn’t mean it.

Radicalized by his prolific communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis, Barry (Soetero) enjoyed his pot-smoking “choom gang” in high school, and then regularly attended socialist conferences while in college.

He became a community organizer in Chicago and close friend of the radical Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, his philosophical and political influencers. Obama’s “Dreams from My Father” were calculations against the American Dream.

As Presidential candidate in 2008, Senator Obama declared the cumulative national debt, at 8 Trillion dollars, “unpatriotic.” But his unprecedented generational assault on America’s children has now resulted in a staggering debt of 20 Trillion dollars, and all-time high levels of government dependency in “food stamp nation”.

For that bill, taxpayers could have easily covered all the medical care of the uninsured without imposing the Obamacare disaster. But the Affordable Care Act was never about affordability, access, reducing health care costs, or keeping your insurance or your doctor.  It was always about federal control and a path to socialized health care through an eventual single-payer system.

Obama’s legacy therefore is a decline of consumer choice and health care competition, with providers and doctors walking away, and middle class Americans shocked at their skyrocketing insurance premiums and extremely high insurance deductibles.

Since 1790, the annual average domestic economic growth rate in our nation is just under 4%. Having never worked in the private sector, Barack Obama has presided over the poorest-ever 8 year national economic performance, a mere 1.5% annual growth.

Declaring “I won”, President Obama promoted an extreme and often petty partisanship, incessantly castigating, and never compromising with Congress.

He demoralized entrepreneurs (“you didn’t build that”), demonized the “bitter clingers” to their guns and religion, opposed domestic energy production (Keystone pipeline) and ridiculed doctors “seeking profit”.

A former adjunct law professor, Obama’s executive over-reach was repeatedly repudiated by the Courts.

Mr. Obama promised transparency, but his administration produced a stunning collection of scandals:

Fast & Furious gun running to Mexican drug lords, the IRS assault on Conservatives, the targeting of James Rosen and AP reporters, released GITMO terrorists returning to battle, the Benghazi failure to anticipate, protect, defend, or admit the truth about the planned 9/11 anniversary assault on U.S. assets, Healthcare Insurance Fraud, the woeful Bo Berghdahl trade, Auto Dealergate, the DOJ Black Panther whitewash, the NEA Art scandal, the Sestak affair, Inspector General Gerald Walpin’s firing, the mis-spending of Stimulus Funds , the DOJ propaganda unit, Solyndra, the Attorney General held in contempt of Congress, and massive failures at the Veterans Administration, the CDC, and the Secret Service.  The list goes on and on.

As Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama, absent any national security experience or credentials, called our troops “corpsemen” and oversaw significant declines in military preparedness and troops, tanks, planes, and warship levels.

His human rights record is a disaster — diffidence about assaults on Christians, and Yazidi and Nigerian girls sold into slavery without rescue, and unforgivable decisions to side against dissidents from Tehran to Eastern Europe.  Mr. Obama took the wrong side in Honduras and Egypt (Moslem Brotherhood), and sought to appease and empower the Castro regime in Cuba and the Mullah tyranny in Iran.  He didn’t extract concessions; he conceded, over and over, to our enemies.

The Russian re-set was an historic blunder (“Tell Vladimir I’ll have more flexibility after I’m re-elected”) and Obama failed to retaliate against Chinese cyber hacking, a lesson Russians must have learned.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner managed a tripling of US combat deaths in Afghanistan over his predecessor, and his most unfortunate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq, which VP Biden had declared stable, helped to unleash the barbarism of ISIS (“a JV Team”, “contained”).

Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry exhibited remarkable ineffectiveness in promoting stability in the Middle East, encouraging Palestinian irredentism and resulting in failed states in Libya and Yemen.

UN Ambassador Samantha Power who literally wrote the book on R2P, the “responsibility to protect” against genocide, failed her mission. Responsibility was abandoned to beg favor with the Iranians, who received not further sanction but billions of American dollars and a green light to continue regional domination and terror, support of Assad in Syria, and threats against Israel.

Most egregiously, President Obama failed to enforce his own red line in Syria or even create no fly zones, after the Assad regime used chemical weapons. There is no more Syrian state, 500,000 are dead, and millions of refugees are flooding into Europe, destabilizing the West.  History will judge this administration harshly.

The Obama Doctrine (“offend friends and hug thugs”) was perhaps most calculated to undermine Bibi Netanyahu, (including Obama sending his political team and U.S. taxpayer funds to influence the Israeli elections).  Seeking “daylight” between special allies, Mr. Obama used every opportunity to destroy the bi-partisan tradition of U.S. diplomatic and political support for the Jewish state.  During the Iran Deal debate, Mr. Obama sank to new lows, castigating opponents (the majority in Congress and in public opinion) as dual loyalists.

Once hailed as a political genius, Obama’s radicalism led his party into disarray, and repeated electoral disaster, with some 1000 national and state legislative seats and many Governorships lost during his tenure. Ungenerous to his political opponents, he ultimately was quite uncaring about his own political party too.

The black community faired quite economically poorly during his two terms.  And, abandoning his roots, Barack Obama has sadly accepted no accountability for the years-long murder wave gripping Chi-town.

Barack Hussein Obama chose purposefully to assail American allies abroad, befriend tyrannies, abandon dissidents and victims abroad, and attack traditional Americans and economic growth at home.

He was also never a truth teller about Islamic Jihad and the challenge of radical Islam’s assaults on Americans within our own borders.

His legacy is to have made America less safe and sovereign, less prosperous and entrepreneurial, and less united than the promised hope and change campaign of 2008.


Larry Greenfield has served as executive director of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and the Republican Jewish Coalition of California. He is long associated with the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship & Political Philosophy.

Voir également:

Thank you, Obama

Thank you, President Barack Obama, for serving the country for the past eight years.

Thank you, Obama, for not moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. You were wise enough to follow the lead of your Democratic and Republican predecessors and realize the chaos such a move could cause would not be worth the cost. There is no doubt the embassy should be in Jerusalem. There is no question that Jerusalem is the eternal and contemporary capital of Israel. But thank you for knowing that not every right must be claimed at any cost.

Thank you for protecting Israel when and where it mattered most: with off-budget millions for Iron Dome, for standing up for Israel’s right to defend itself in the Gaza war, for a record-setting $38 billion in aid.

Thank you for declaring as eloquently as any president ever has, and in as many international forums as possible, the value and justice of a Jewish state. Thank you for trying to protect that state from pursuing policies that will endanger its own existence.

Thank you for the Iran deal. Before the deal, Iran was weeks from attaining nuclear bomb capability. Now the world has a decade before the mullahs have the capability of developing a bomb. You tackled a problem that only had gotten worse under previous American and Israeli leaders. Despite fierce opposition, you found a solution that even those Israelis who hated it have grown to see as beneficial.

Thank you for killing Osama bin Laden. And for taking out al-Qaida’s senior leadership. And for stopping and reversing gains by ISIS. You know who’s really happy to see you go? Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Thank you for standing up to Vladimir Putin. You saw the expansionist, anti-democratic nature of Putin’s actions in Ukraine and quickly confronted him. Perhaps that opposition slowed what may have been an inevitable march through the Baltics. There is nothing wrong with having positive relations with Russia, but “positive” cannot mean giving the Putin regime a pass.

Thank you for recognizing our Cuba embargo was a failed policy and that the time for change had come.

Thank you for steering the country through the recession. Thank you for cutting unemployment in half. And for doing so in the face of Republican obstructionism on the kind of infrastructure bill that your successor now likely will get through.

Thank you for doubling clean energy production. For recognizing that our dependence on fossil fuels can’t help but degrade our environment and hold us back from being competitive in the green energy future, and embolden corrupt and backward regimes from Venezuela to the Middle East to Russia.

Thank you for saving the American auto industry. You revived General Motors with $50 billion in loans, saving 1.2 million jobs and creating $35 billion in tax revenue so far. Have you checked out GM’s Chevy Bolt? All electric, 240 miles per charge, drives like a rocket and made in Detroit. They should call it the “Obamacar.”

Thank you for the Paris Agreement to address climate change. Thank you for throwing America’s lot in with the rest of the planet.

Thank you for the Affordable Care Act. It has brought the security of health care to millions. It has saved lives. It has kept the rate of cost increases in premiums lower in the past eight years than they were in the previous eight years. It needs to be fixed — what doesn’t? — but only with better ideas, not worse ones.

Thank you for Merrick Garland. It was a great idea while it lasted.

Thank you for trying to get immigration reform through Congress, and for pursuing the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which let 5 million people already living and working here come out of the shadows.

Thanks for Michelle. Not just her brains and biceps, but her choice of causes. Your wife saw all the good the food movement had accomplished from the grass roots up and planted it squarely in the front yard of the White House, where it would grow even more from the top down.

Thank you for trying. You grappled with one great chaos after another, and sometimes you fell short. In Syria, you needed a smarter course of action. In Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, you underestimated the need, early on, to deal with Israeli fears and Palestinian obstructionism. As for ending the Sudan embargo, the jury is out. Stateside, your administration should have put some of the bad guys of the recession behind bars and found fixes that better addressed the wealth gap.

Time will reveal more blemishes — and heal some of the scars. But in the meantime:

Thank you. Thank you for not embarrassing us, your family or yourself. Though your opponents and their friends at “Fox and Friends” tried to pin scandals to you, none could stick. In my lifetime, there has never been an administration so free from personal and professional moral stain.

Thank you for the seriousness, dignity, grace, humor and cool you brought to the Oval Office. Thank you for being my president.


ROB ESHMAN is publisher and editor-in-chief of TRIBE Media Corp./Jewish Journal. Email him at robe@jewishjournal.com. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @foodaism and @RobEshman.

Voir encore:

Media
Bret Stephens
Time
Feb 18, 2017

Bret Stephens writes the foreign-affairs column of the Wall Street Journal, for which he won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

Bret Stephens delivered the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture this week at the University of California, Los Angeles. Read the full text of his remarks below:

I’m profoundly honored to have this opportunity to celebrate the legacy of Danny Pearl, my colleague at The Wall Street Journal.

My topic this evening is intellectual integrity in the age of Donald Trump. I suspect this is a theme that would have resonated with Danny.

When you work at The Wall Street Journal, the coins of the realm are truth and trust — the latter flowing exclusively from the former. When you read a story in the Journal, you do so with the assurance that immense reportorial and editorial effort has been expended to ensure that what you read is factual.

Not probably factual. Not partially factual. Not alternatively factual. I mean fundamentally, comprehensively and exclusively factual. And therefore trustworthy.

This is how we operate. This is how Danny operated. This is how he died, losing his life in an effort to nail down a story.

In the 15 years since Danny’s death, the list of murdered journalists has grown long.

Paul Klebnikov and Anna Politkovskaya in Russia.

Zahra Kazemi and Sattar Behesti in Iran.

Jim Foley and Steve Sotloff in Syria.

Five journalists in Turkey. Twenty-six in Mexico. More than 100 in Iraq.

When we honor Danny, we honor them, too.

We do more than that.

We honor the central idea of journalism — the conviction, as my old boss Peter Kann once said, “that facts are facts; that they are ascertainable through honest, open-minded and diligent reporting; that truth is attainable by laying fact upon fact, much like the construction of a cathedral; and that truth is not merely in the eye of the beholder.”

And we honor the responsibility to separate truth from falsehood, which is never more important than when powerful people insist that falsehoods are truths, or that there is no such thing as truth to begin with.

So that’s the business we’re in: the business of journalism. Or, as the 45th president of the United States likes to call us, the “disgusting and corrupt media.”

Some of you may have noticed that we’re living through a period in which the executive branch of government is engaged in a systematic effort to create a climate of opinion against the news business.

The President routinely describes reporting he dislikes as FAKE NEWS. The Administration calls the press “the opposition party,” ridicules news organizations it doesn’t like as business failures, and calls for journalists to be fired. Mr. Trump has called for rewriting libel laws in order to more easily sue the press.

This isn’t unprecedented in U.S. history, though you might have to go back to the Administration of John Adams to see something quite like it. And so far the rhetorical salvos haven’t been matched by legal or regulatory action. Maybe they never will be.

But the question of what Mr. Trump might yet do by political methods against the media matters a great deal less than what he is attempting to do by ideological and philosophical methods.

Ideologically, the president is trying to depose so-called mainstream media in favor of the media he likes — Breitbart News and the rest. Another way of making this point is to say that he’s trying to substitute news for propaganda, information for boosterism.

His objection to, say, the New York Times, isn’t that there’s a liberal bias in the paper that gets in the way of its objectivity, which I think would be a fair criticism. His objection is to objectivity itself. He’s perfectly happy for the media to be disgusting and corrupt — so long as it’s on his side.

But again, that’s not all the president is doing.

Consider this recent exchange he had with Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly asks:

Is there any validity to the criticism of you that you say things that you can’t back up factually, and as the President you say there are three million illegal aliens who voted and you don’t have the data to back that up, some people are going to say that it’s irresponsible for the President to say that.

To which the president replies:

Many people have come out and said I’m right.

Now many people also say Jim Morrison faked his own death. Many people say Barack Obama was born in Kenya. “Many people say” is what’s known as an argumentum ad populum. If we were a nation of logicians, we would dismiss the argument as dumb.

We are not a nation of logicians.

I think it’s important not to dismiss the president’s reply simply as dumb. We ought to assume that it’s darkly brilliant — if not in intention than certainly in effect. The president is responding to a claim of fact not by denying the fact, but by denying the claim that facts are supposed to have on an argument.

He isn’t telling O’Reilly that he’s got his facts wrong. He’s saying that, as far as he is concerned, facts, as most people understand the term, don’t matter: That they are indistinguishable from, and interchangeable with, opinion; and that statements of fact needn’t have any purchase against a man who is either sufficiently powerful to ignore them or sufficiently shameless to deny them — or, in his case, both.

If some of you in this room are students of political philosophy, you know where this argument originates. This is a version of Thrasymachus’s argument in Plato’s Republic that justice is the advantage of the stronger and that injustice “if it is on a large enough scale, is stronger, freer, and more masterly than justice.”

Substitute the words “truth” and “falsehood” for “justice” and “injustice,” and there you have the Trumpian view of the world. If I had to sum it up in a single sentence, it would be this: Truth is what you can get away with.

If you can sell condos by claiming your building is 90% occupied when it’s only 20% occupied, well, then—it’s 90% occupied. If you can convince a sufficient number of people that you really did win the popular vote, or that your inauguration crowds were the biggest—well then, what do the statistical data and aerial photographs matter?

Now, we could have some interesting conversations about why this is happening—and why it seems to be happening all of a sudden.

Today we have “dis-intermediating” technologies such as Twitter, which have cut out the media as the middleman between politicians and the public. Today, just 17% of adults aged 18-24 read a newspaper daily, down from 42% at the turn of the century. Today there are fewer than 33,000 full-time newsroom employees, a drop from 55,000 just 20 years ago.

When Trump attacks the news media, he’s kicking a wounded animal.

But the most interesting conversation is not about why Donald Trump lies. Many public figures lie, and he’s only a severe example of a common type.

The interesting conversation concerns how we come to accept those lies.

Nearly 25 years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the great scholar and Democratic Senator from New York, coined the phrase, “defining deviancy down.” His topic at the time was crime, and how American society had come to accept ever-increasing rates of violent crime as normal.

“We have been re-defining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard,” Moynihan wrote.

You can point to all sorts of ways in which this redefinition of deviancy has also been the story of our politics over the past 30 years, a story with a fully bipartisan set of villains.

I personally think we crossed a rubicon in the Clinton years, when three things happened: we decided that some types of presidential lies didn’t matter; we concluded that “character” was an over-rated consideration when it came to judging a president; and we allowed the lines between political culture and celebrity culture to become hopelessly blurred.

But whatever else one might say about President Clinton, what we have now is the crack-cocaine version of that.

If a public figure tells a whopping lie once in his life, it’ll haunt him into his grave. If he lies morning, noon and night, it will become almost impossible to remember any one particular lie. Outrage will fall victim to its own ubiquity. It’s the same truth contained in Stalin’s famous remark that the death of one man is a tragedy but the death of a million is a statistic.

One of the most interesting phenomena during the presidential campaign was waiting for Trump to say that one thing that would surely break the back of his candidacy.

Would it be his slander against Mexican immigrants? Or his slur about John McCain’s record as a POW? Or his lie about New Jersey Muslims celebrating 9/11? Or his attacks on Megyn Kelly, on a disabled New York Times reporter, on a Mexican-American judge? Would it be him tweeting quotations from Benito Mussolini, or his sly overtures to David Duke and the alt-right? Would it be his unwavering praise of Vladimir Putin? Would it be his refusal to release his tax returns, or the sham that seems to been perpetrated on the saps who signed up for his Trump U courses? Would it be the tape of him with Billy Bush?

None of this made the slightest difference. On the contrary, it helped him. Some people became desensitized by the never-ending assaults on what was once quaintly known as “human decency.” Others seemed to positively admire the comments as refreshing examples of personal authenticity and political incorrectness.

Shameless rhetoric will always find a receptive audience with shameless people. Donald Trump’s was the greatest political strip-tease act in U.S. political history: the dirtier he got, the more skin he showed, the more his core supporters liked it.

Abraham Lincoln, in his first inaugural address, called on Americans to summon “the better angels of our nature.” Donald Trump’s candidacy, and so far his presidency, has been Lincoln’s exhortation in reverse.

Here’s a simple truth about a politics of dishonesty, insult and scandal: It’s entertaining. Politics as we’ve had it for most of my life has, with just a few exceptions, been distant and dull.

Now it’s all we can talk about. If you like Trump, his presence in the White House is a daily extravaganza of sticking it to pompous elites and querulous reporters. If you hate Trump, you wake up every day with some fresh outrage to turn over in your head and text your friends about.

Whichever way, it’s exhilarating. Haven’t all of us noticed that everything feels speeded up, more vivid, more intense and consequential? One of the benefits of an alternative-facts administration is that fiction can take you anywhere.

Earlier today, at his press conference, the president claimed his administration is running like a “fine-tuned machine.” In actual fact, he just lost his Labor Secretary nominee, his National Security Adviser was forced out in disgrace, and the Intelligence Community is refusing to fully brief the president for fear he might compromise sources and methods.

But who cares? Since when in Washington has there been a presidential press conference like that? Since when has the denial of reality been taken to such a bald-faced extreme?

At some point, it becomes increasingly easy for people to mistake the reality of the performance for reality itself. If Trump can get through a press conference like that without showing a hint of embarrassment, remorse or misgiving—well, then, that becomes a new basis on which the president can now be judged.

To tell a lie is wrong. But to tell a lie with brass takes skill. Ultimately, Trump’s press conference will be judged not on some kind of Olympic point system, but on whether he “won”—which is to say, whether he brazened his way through it. And the answer to that is almost certainly yes.

So far, I’ve offered you three ideas about how it is that we have come to accept the president’s behavior.

The first is that we normalize it, simply by becoming inured to constant repetition of the same bad behavior.

The second is that at some level it excites and entertains us. By putting aside our usual moral filters—the ones that tell us that truth matters, that upright conduct matters, that things ought to be done in a certain way—we have been given tickets to a spectacle, in which all you want to do is watch.

And the third is that we adopt new metrics of judgment, in which politics becomes more about perceptions than performance—of how a given action is perceived as being perceived. If a reporter for the New York Times says that Trump’s press conference probably plays well in Peoria, then that increases the chances that it will play well in Peoria.

Let me add a fourth point here: our tendency to rationalize.

One of the more fascinating aspects of last year’s presidential campaign was the rise of a class of pundits I call the “TrumpXplainers.” For instance, Trump would give a speech or offer an answer in a debate that amounted to little more than a word jumble.

But rather than quote Trump, or point out that what he had said was grammatically and logically nonsensical, the TrumpXplainers would tell us what he had allegedly meant to say. They became our political semioticians, ascribing pattern and meaning to the rune-stones of Trump’s mind.

If Trump said he’d get Mexico to pay for his wall, you could count on someone to provide a complex tariff scheme to make good on the promise. If Trump said that we should not have gone into Iraq but that, once there, we should have “taken the oil,” we’d have a similarly high-flown explanation as to how we could engineer this theft.

A year ago, when he was trying to explain his idea of a foreign policy to the New York Times’s David Sanger, the reporter asked him whether it didn’t amount to a kind of “America First policy”—a reference to the isolationist and anti-Semitic America First Committee that tried to prevent U.S. entry into World War II. Trump clearly had never heard of the group, but he liked the phrase and made it his own. And that’s how we got the return of America First.

More recently, I came across this headline in the conservative Washington Times: “How Trump’s ‘disarray’ may be merely a strategy,” by Wesley Pruden, the paper’s former editor-in-chief. In his view, the president’s first disastrous month in office is, in fact, evidence of a refreshing openness to dissent, reminiscent of Washington and Lincoln’s cabinet of rivals. Sure.

Overall, the process is one in which explanation becomes rationalization, which in turn becomes justification. Trump says X. What he really means is Y. And while you might not like it, he’s giving voice to the angers and anxieties of Z. Who, by the way, you’re not allowed to question or criticize, because anxiety and anger are their own justifications these days.

Watching this process unfold has been particularly painful for me as a conservative columnist. I find myself in the awkward position of having recently become popular among some of my liberal peers—precisely because I haven’t changed my opinions about anything.

By contrast, I’ve become suddenly unpopular among some of my former fans on the right—again, because I’ve stuck to my views. It is almost amusing to be accused of suffering from something called “Trump Derangement Syndrome” simply because I feel an obligation to raise my voice against, say, the president suggesting a moral equivalency between the U.S. and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

The most painful aspect of this has been to watch people I previously considered thoughtful and principled conservatives give themselves over to a species of illiberal politics from which I once thought they were immune.

In his 1953 masterpiece, “The Captive Mind,” the Polish poet and dissident Czeslaw Milosz analyzed the psychological and intellectual pathways through which some of his former colleagues in Poland’s post-war Communist regime allowed themselves to be converted into ardent Stalinists. In none of the cases that Milosz analyzed was coercion the main reason for the conversion.

They wanted to believe. They were willing to adapt. They thought they could do more good from the inside. They convinced themselves that their former principles didn’t fit with the march of history, or that to hold fast to one’s beliefs was a sign of priggishness and pig-headedness. They felt that to reject the new order of things was to relegate themselves to irrelevance and oblivion. They mocked their former friends who refused to join the new order as morally vain reactionaries. They convinced themselves that, brutal and capricious as Stalinism might be, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the exploitative capitalism of the West.

I fear we are witnessing a similar process unfold among many conservative intellectuals on the right. It has been stunning to watch a movement that once believed in the benefits of free trade and free enterprise merrily give itself over to a champion of protectionism whose economic instincts recall the corporatism of 1930s Italy or 1950s Argentina. It is no less stunning to watch people who once mocked Obama for being too soft on Russia suddenly discover the virtues of Trump’s “pragmatism” on the subject.

And it is nothing short of amazing to watch the party of onetime moral majoritarians, who spent a decade fulminating about Bill Clinton’s sexual habits, suddenly find complete comfort with the idea that character and temperament are irrelevant qualifications for high office.

The mental pathways by which the new Trumpian conservatives have made their peace with their new political master aren’t so different from Milosz’s former colleagues.

There’s the same desperate desire for political influence; the same belief that Trump represents a historical force to which they ought to belong; the same willingness to bend or discard principles they once considered sacred; the same fear of seeming out-of-touch with the mood of the public; the same tendency to look the other way at comments or actions that they cannot possibly justify; the same belief that you do more good by joining than by opposing; the same Manichean belief that, if Hillary Clinton had been elected, the United States would have all-but ended as a country.

This is supposed to be the road of pragmatism, of turning lemons into lemonade. I would counter that it’s the road of ignominy, of hitching a ride with a drunk driver.

So, then, to the subject that brings me here today: Maintaining intellectual integrity in the age of Trump.

When Judea wrote me last summer to ask if I’d be this year’s speaker, I got my copy of Danny’s collected writings, “At Home in the World,” and began to read him all over again. It brought back to me the fact that, the reason we honor Danny’s memory isn’t that he’s a martyred journalist. It’s that he was a great journalist.

Let me show you what I mean. Here’s something Danny wrote in February 2001, almost exactly a year before his death, from the site of an earthquake disaster in the Indian town of Anjar.

What is India’s earthquake zone really like? It smells. It reeks. You can’t imagine the odor of several hundred bodies decaying for five days as search teams pick away at slabs of crumbled buildings in this town. Even if you’ve never smelled it before, the brain knows what it is, and orders you to get away. After a day, the nose gets stuffed up in self-defense. But the brain has registered the scent, and picks it up in innocent places: lip balm, sweet candy, stale breath, an airplane seat.

What stands out for me in this passage is that it shows that Danny was a writer who observed with all his senses. He saw. He listened. He smelled. He bore down. He reflected. He understood that what the reader had to know about Anjar wasn’t a collection of statistics; it was the visceral reality of a massive human tragedy. And he was able to express all this in language that was compact, unadorned, compelling and deeply true.

George Orwell wrote, “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” Danny saw what was in front of his nose.

We each have our obligations to see what’s in front of one’s nose, whether we’re reporters, columnists, or anything else. This is the essence of intellectual integrity.

Not to look around, or beyond, or away from the facts, but to look straight at them, to recognize and call them for what they are, nothing more or less. To see things as they are before we re-interpret them into what we’d like them to be. To believe in an epistemology that can distinguish between truth and falsity, facts and opinions, evidence and wishes. To defend habits of mind and institutions of society, above all a free press, which preserve that epistemology. To hold fast to a set of intellectual standards and moral convictions that won’t waver amid changes of political fashion or tides of unfavorable opinion. To speak the truth irrespective of what it means for our popularity or influence.

The legacy of Danny Pearl is that he died for this. We are being asked to do much less. We have no excuse not to do it.

Thank you.

Voir par ailleurs:

Trump retrouve «son» peuple, le temps d’un meeting en Floride

Maurin Picard

19/02/2017

VIDÉO – À Melbourne, le président américain s’est remis sur orbite le temps d’une escale devant des supporters de la première heure, soutien inestimable.

De notre envoyé spécial à Melbourne (Floride)

Fuir Washington, le temps d’un week-end de trois jours. Donald Trump attendait impatiemment cette escapade en Floride, devant ses irréductibles supporteurs, fidèles de la première heure, qui se font si rares depuis un mois à Washington. Oublier le froid, le crachin pendant le discours d’investiture, ces médias «malhonnêtes», ces manifestants acrimonieux, les fuites des services secrets, la fronde de la Justice face à son décret sur l’immigration, celle du Congrès face à ses plans grandioses de mur à la frontière mexicaine, le limogeage à contrecœur du général Michael Flynn, son conseiller à la sécurité nationale, éclaboussé par la «Russian Connection», et les centaines de nominations gouvernementales en souffrance.

Mais tout cela n’a que peu d’importance pour le «peuple de Trump». «Nous l’aimons et nous sommes venus le lui dire», s’exclame Sheila Gaylor, une résidente de Melbourne, où le président fait escale le temps d’un rassemblement populaire. Comme durant la campagne, lorsque l’adrénaline le poussait de l’avant. Cette ivresse s’est tarie, mais voici l’occasion de la ressusciter, grâce à un bain de foule régénérateur, et de remettre le tribun sur orbite, loin du «marigot» fédéral si difficile à «assécher».

Dans le hangar 6 de l’aérodrome local, plusieurs milliers de Floridiens, blancs pour la plupart, se pressent pour apercevoir la tignasse blonde la plus célèbre du monde, et la silhouette élégante de sa femme, Melania. C’est ici, à Melbourne, en septembre 2016, que 15 000 supporteurs déchaînés ont offert au candidat républicain l’une de ses escales les plus mémorables. Peu importe que les opposants se fassent entendre au dehors, réclamant la destitution du président milliardaire.«Ils ne sont que quelques milliers, alors que nous sommes 50 000. Vous croyez que les médias malhonnêtes vont parler de quoi?» gronde une femme à crinière blonde, reprenant le discours officiel.Les pro-Trumpne sont en réalité que 9 000, selon la police de Melbourne sur Twitter, mais leur enthousiasme, débordant, est récompensé par un vrombissement dans le ciel: le Boeing présidentiel Air Force One surgit en rase-mottes, déclenchant les vivats. Le quadriréacteur s’immobilise dans le soleil couchant, et le couple présidentiel apparaît. Dans un tonnerre d’ovations, le chef de l’État s’empresse de révéler la raison de sa venue sur la Space Coast: «Je suis ici parce que je veux être parmi mes amis, et parmi le peuple. Je veux être au même endroit que des patriotes travailleurs qui aiment leur pays, qui saluent le drapeau et prient pour un avenir meilleur.» Ce même peuple qui l’a porté au pouvoir et continue de lui vouer une loyauté sans faille. Ce soutien est inestimable, et probablement fondamental: apprenant à naviguer dans l’air vicié de Washington, le milliardaire va devoir pérenniser sa base militante, surtout s’il compte briguer une réélection en 2020. C’est d’ailleurs son comité de soutien officiel, lancé le 20 janvier, qui finance l’événement du jour, annonciateur de raouts semblables à l’avenir.

Bronzé et visiblement détendu, Donald Trump s’amuse avec la foule. Il recycle ses thèmes les plus populaires et désigne ses boucs émissaires habituels. Puis, il invite à ses côtés Gene Huber, un inconditionnel fier d’avoir patienté depuis 4 heures du matin et autorisé par le président en personne à enjamber la barrière, au grand dam du Secret Service. Un mot, un seul, à l’adresse des médias, une allusion (erronée) à «tous ces grands présidents, comme Thomas Jefferson, qui se sont souvent battus avec les médias, ont dénoncé leurs mensonges», et des centaines de poings rageurs se dressent vers la forêt de caméras. Que ses ouailles se rassurent: «La Maison-Blanche tourne comme sur des roulettes!» «CNN craint!» renchérit la foule en chœur. «Je peux vous parler directement, sans le filtre des fausses informations», poursuit Trump. «Je ne regarde même plus le Saturday Night Live!» s’esclaffe une supportrice tout de rouge vêtue, affichant son soutien au site conspirationniste infowars.com.

À l’applaudimètre, celui que «nous attendions depuis si longtemps», selon Claudia, une mère au foyer venue de Titusville, un rejeton assoupi dans les bras, ce «héros qui va se dresser», selon l’expression imprimée sur les badges d’accès, l’emporte en évoquant les emplois, le business, qui vont décoller sous son mandat, ces contrats militaires bons pour la région, et, surtout, ce «fichu islamisme radical que nous allons tenir à distance de notre pays». «Ce gouvernement va tenir toutes ses promesses», martèle le chef de l’État, sur un air des Rolling Stones, avant de rembarquer à bord d’Air Force One.

«Il est vraiment formidable, il est comme nous, il parle comme nous, confient d’une seule voix Jake et Colleen, un couple de retraités débonnaire exhibant toute la panoplie du parfait petit supporteur, croisé dans la pénombre en bordure d’aérodrome, pour voir s’envoler le Boeing présidentiel. Il est en train de tenir toutes ses promesses, encore plus vite que prévu. Au-delà de toutes nos attentes!»

Voir enfin:

‘I Don’t Know What You’re Referring To’: NBC’s Katy Tur Doesn’t Remember Obama Promising Putin ‘Flexibility’

 Alex Griswold

When a Republican congressman on MSNBC brought up a 2012 incident where President Barack Obama was caught on a hot mic promising to give Russia’s Vladimir Putin a little more “flexibility” after the election, NBC journalist and MSNBC host Katy Tur seemed not to recall the incident.

Tur pressed Florida Representative Francis Rooney about the number of Donald Trump advisors with close tie to Russia. “I see a lot of folks within Donald Trump’s administration who have a friendlier view of Russia than maybe past administrations did,” she noted.

“Well, I think it was Obama that leaned over to Putin and said, ‘I’ll have a little more flexibility to give you what you want after the re-election,’” Rooney responded.

Tur paused for a moment. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re referring to, Congressman,” she said.

“Remember when he leaned over at a panel discussion or in a meeting, and he said, ‘I’ll have more flexibility after the election’?” Rooney asked. “No one pushed the president on what he meant by that, but I can only assume for a thug like Putin that it would embolden him,” which gave Tur pause, again.

In Tur’s defense, Rooney is slightly off in his retelling: it was then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who Obama whispered to, who then promised to relay Obama’s message to Putin. But his recollection of the content of Obama’s message was accurate: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility,” he told the Russians.

Obama’s hot mic comments were major news at the time, receiving widespread coverage. Obama’s Republican opponent Mitt Romney seized upon the gaffe and worked it into his stump speeches, even bringing it up during one of the presidential debates.

Voir par ailleurs:

Goldnadel : “Lorque Medhi s’éclate…”

Gilles-William Goldnadel

Valeurs actuelles

20 février 2017

Il y a évidemment pire que les excès de la liberté d’expression : son absence. Mais il y a le pire du pire: la liberté d’expression à la tête du client. Du racisme à l’état pur. L’hypocrisie en prime. Chacun sait que notre époque de fausse liberté a accouché d’une tyrannie de la pensée dont la sage-femme devenue folle était déguisée en antiraciste diplômée. Valeurs Actuelles en a fait les frais en osant voiler Marianne pour défendre la laïcité républicaine contre les menées islamistes et Pascal Bruckner comme Georges Bensoussan payeront peut-être le prix pour des raisons voisines. Silence dans les rangs de la gauche paraît-il démocratique. Mais aujourd’hui vient d’éclater une tout autre affaire dans laquelle, au contraire, le racisme comme l’antisémitisme n’ont rien d’imaginaire. Et je prends le pari, qu’ici , précisément, les organisations prétendument antiracistes resteront aux abris. La vedette s’appelle Mehdi Meklat, hier encore il était la coqueluche de la famille islamo-gauchiste et de tous ses compagnons de chambrée. Dans le numéro du 1er février des Inrockuptibles il partageait la une avec l’icône Taubira. Il collaborait aussi avec le Bondy Blog, très engagé dans le combat actuel contre les policiers considérés uniment comme des tortionnaires racistes. Il était encore récemment chroniqueur de la radio active de service public France Inter.

Oui mais voilà, patatras, on a retrouvé parmi les milliers de tweets qu’il n’a pas réussi à effacer des gazouillis racistes du dernier cri strident. Échantillons choisis : “je crache des glaires sur la sale gueule de Charb et tous ceux de Charlie hebdo”. “Sarkozy = la synagogue = les juifs = Shalom = oui, mon fils = l’argent”, “Faites entrer Hitler pour tuer les juifs”, “j’ai gagné 20 $ au PMU, je ne les ai pas rejoués parce que je suis un juif”, “les Blancs vous devez mourir asap” etc.

Avec une touchante spontanéité, à présent qu’ils ont été découverts, voici ce que notre Mehdi a tweeté samedi dernier : “je m’excuse si ces tweets ont pu choquer certains d’entre vous : ils sont obsolètes”.

Bah voyons, certains datent de 2012, autant dire le déluge. J’en connais qui vont fouiller les poubelles du père Le Pen, d’autres qui reprochent à un ancien conseiller de Sarkozy d’avoir dirigé Minute il y a 30 ans, mais dans notre cas, certains plaident déjà l’Antiquité.

Car le plus grave n’habite pas dans la tête dérangée d’un islamo-gauchiste finalement assez classique, il demeure dans le silence gêné de la gauche donneuse de leçons. Il réside plus encore dans les combles du gauchisme médiatique façon France Inter. Ainsi, Pascale Clark maîtresse d’école antiraciste en chef et qui a eu l’effronterie de tenter d’expliquer que son petit Mehdi était dans la provocation… D’autres expliquent qu’il faut prendre cela au troisième degré… Evidemment, puisque c’est de gauche , c’est plus subtil… Il arrive parfois que l’ignoble atteigne les sommets du sublime.

Que cela plaise ou non à Madame Clark, Mehdi Meklat a rejoint Messieurs de Lesquen et Bourbon dans le même bataillon. Il y a encore pire que l’absence de liberté d’expression : la liberté d’expression à la tête du client.

Voir de même:

Mehdi Meklat, jeune écrivain prodige, et son double antisémite et homophobe
L’ex-chroniqueur (France Inter, Bondy Blog) pris à son double « Je » : sidération sur Twitter

Manuel Vicuña

Arrêt sur images

20/02/2017

Mehdi Meklat, 24 ans, était jusqu’ici connu pour son ton décalé. Du Bondy Blog, à France Inter en passant par Arte, le chroniqueur, journaliste et auteur, s’est taillé, avec son compère Badrou (« les Kids », époque France Inter) une réputation de porte-voix de la jeunesse, « à l’avant garde d’une nouvelle génération venue de banlieue » écrivaient encore Les Inrocks le 1er février. Sauf qu’entre temps, des internautes ont exhumé des tweets de Meklat : injures antisémites, homophobes, racistes, misogynes. Un florilège qui provoque la sidération. De son côte, le jeune homme s’excuse, dépublie, et assure qu’il s’agissait « de questionner la notion d’excès et de provocation » à travers un « personnage fictif ».

Faire mentir les stéréotypes sur les-jeunes-de-banlieue. Sans rien renier de soi. Depuis ses débuts au Bondy Blog en 2008, c’est ce que Mehdi Meklat tente de faire, au gré d’une exposition médiatique précoce. A 24 ans désormais, après avoir fait ses premiers pas de journaliste au Bondy Blog à 16 ans, puis tenu chronique pendant six ans chez France Inter en duo avec son ami Badrou (« les Kids »), Meklat le touche à tout (réalisateur, blogueur, reporter) est en promo pour un second livre. Mehdi et Badrou « l’avant-garde d’une nouvelle génération venue de banlieue qui compte bien faire entendre sa voix » écrivaient les Inrocks qui leur consacraient une couverture le 1er février en compagnie de Christiane Taubira. Un binôme qui avait tapé dans l’œil de l’animatrice de France Inter Pascale Clark dès 2010, pour son ton « décalé », sa capacité à chroniquer avec autant d’acuité la vie de l’autre côté du périph (Meklat a grandi à Saint-Ouen, Badrou à la Courneuve) que le tout venant de l’actualité plus « médiatique ».

Et voilà que depuis quelques jours, après son passage sur le plateau de l’émission la Grande Librairie (France 5) pour la promo de son second livre, le roman « Minute » (co-écrit avec Badrou), Meklat est dans l’œil du cyclone Twitter. Propulsé dans les sujets les plus discutés non pas pour la promotion de son nouvel ouvrage dédié à Adama Traoré. Mais pour des tweets, exhumés ces derniers jours par plusieurs internautes.

Pas quelques tweets isolés. Mais des messages par dizaines, anciens (2012) et pour certains plus récents (2016) dans lesquels Meklat tape tous azimuts sur « les Français », « les juifs », « les homos », Alain Finkelkraut, Charlie Hebdo, les séropositifs, les « travelos »… La liste est longue, et les messages à même d’interpeller. Une prose en 140 signes qui tranche avec l’image de jeune talent à la plume « poétique » et acérée que Meklat s’était jusqu’ici taillée et qui lui a valu jusqu’à aujourd’hui des articles dithyrambiques dans la presse culturelle. Quelques heures auront suffit pour que, soient exhumés et massivement partagés des dizaines de messages issus de son compte twitter personnel @mehdi_meklat.

Ici un tweet de 2011 dans lequel Meklat « regrette que Ben Laden soit mort. Il aurait pu tout faire péter ». Là, Meklat au sujet du dessinateur de Charlie Hebdo, Charb : « Je crache des glaires sur la sale gueule de Charb et de Charlie Hebdo » (le 30 décembre 2012, avant la tuerie qui a décimé la rédaction). Plus récemment, Alain Finkelkraut qui pointe son nez à un rassemblement de Nuit Debout en avril 2016 : « fallait lui casser la jambe à ce fils de putes ». Plus en amont dans son fil Twitter : « Vive les PD vive le sida avec Hollande » (3 décembre 2013). La campagne de Sarkozy en 2012 ? « Sarkozy = la synagogue = les juifs = shalom = oui, mon fils = l’argent ». La remise des Césars la même année ? « Faites entrer Hitler pour tuer les juifs » (24/02/2012). Toute cette vaste littérature en 140 caractères est subitement remontée à la surface de Twitter et a été, depuis, copieusement documentée.

Parmi les premiers et les plus zélés chasseurs de tweets, la fachosphère s’est ruée sur l’occasion. Le blog d’extrême droite Fdesouche publie à tout-va plus d’une cinquantaine de messages de Meklat « journaliste homophobe et antisémite du Bondy blog ». Le site d’extrême droite Boulevard Voltaire, fondé par Robert Ménard, trouve là prétexte à acculer la « gauchosphère sous son vrai visage », quand l’ex-porte parole de génération identitaire s’en donne, lui aussi, à coeur joie. Très vite rejoint dans cette avalanche d’indignation par Marion Maréchal Le Pen.

Ce dimanche, la twitta-éditorialiste du Figaro Eugénie Bastié y allait aussi de ses commentaires en 140 signes, suivis d’un article corrosif, soulignant bien au passage que Meklat avait fondé il y a peu avec le journaliste Mouloud Achour (CliqueTV) les « éditions du grand Remplacement » qui ont lancé en juin dernier un magazine baptisé « Téléramadan ». Cette nouvelle revue annuelle qui entend parler d’islam de façon dépassionnée, avait su trouver un titre pied-de-nez déjà à même de faire bondir certains.

« excréments verbaux »

Mais dans le cas des tweets de Meklat, de fait, la sidération dépasse de loin la sphère des militants de droite et d’extrême droite. D’autres aussi s’indignent : de simples twittos, mais aussi des journalistes, tels Françoise Laborde, Claude Askolovitch, des élus PS comme la ministre de la Famille Laurence Rossignol, ou encore la conseillère municipale Elodie Jauneau sans compter le délégué interministériel à la lutte contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme Gille Clavreul.

Ils interpellent les Inrocks qui ont placé Meklat en Une de leur numéro du 1er février au côté de Taubira. Ils apostrophent également les éditions du Seuil où Meklat vient de publier son ouvrage, et font part de leur stupéfaction. A l’image de l’auteur de bande dessinée, romancier et réalisateur, Joann Sfar qui s’étrangle : « Je découvre tout ça ce matin, il semble que c’est authentique. Je trouve ça inexcusable quand on se veut représentant de la jeunesse. »

Face à l’avalanche de messages indignés, sommé de s’expliquer, samedi après-midi, Meklat se fend finalement de quatre tweets d’excuse et d’explication : « je m’excuse si ces tweets ont pu choquer certains d’entre vous : ils sont obsolètes », assure Meklat qui supprimera dans la foulée la totalité de ses tweets d’avant février 2017 (plus de 30 000). Surtout, il affirme que ces messages ne reflètent en rien sa pensée. Il ne nie pas en être l’auteur, mais assure qu’il s’agit de messages parodiques. « Jusqu’en 2015, sous le pseudo Marcelin Deschamps, j’incarnais un personnage honteux raciste antisémite misogyne homophobe sur Twitter ».

Marcellin Deschamps ? Un « personnage fictif », assure-t-il par lequel il avait entrepris de « questionner la notion d’excès et de provocation ». Mais, il l’affirme : les propos de ce personnage « ne représentent évidemment pas ma pensée et en sont tout l’inverse. » Sur Twitter, une fois troqué son pseudo contre son vrai patronyme, le jeune homme n’a pas supprimé ces anciens messages, apparaissant depuis sous son vrai nom Mehdi Meklat.

Dans la foulée, ce samedi, l’animatrice radio Pascale Clark, ex chaperonne de Meklat à France Inter (2010-2015) a pris sa défense « Son personnage odieux, fictif, ne servait qu’à dénoncer », assure-t-elle sur Twitter avant de préciser dans un second message : « Les comiques font ça à longueur d’antenne et tout le monde applaudit ».

Un peu facile de se cacher derrière un personnage fictif ? A la remarque de plusieurs internautes, le journaliste Claude Askolovitch tempère : « c’est même piteux. Mais cela ne change pas la nature de ses messages pourris – une énorme connerie, pas des appels au meurtre ». Si le journaliste ne cache pas son dégoût pour ces messages qu’il assimile à « des excréments verbaux », « des blagues absolument laides, impardonnables, perverses », « dans un jeu périlleux », il se refuse à y voir de « vraies prises de position ». Tout en tançant « un mec qui s’est cru assez malin pour twitter des immondices ».

« Twitter des immondices », sous pseudo dans « un jeu périlleux » ? Yagg, le site de presse LGBT y avait vu davantage qu’un jeu. Le site avait bondi en mars 2014 quand Meklat écrivait sur Twitter : « Christophe Barbier a des enfants séropo ». Yagg le taxe alors d’ « humour sérophobe », « au goût douteux » (visant des personnes séropositives). Le site avait contacté Meklat pour qu’il s’en explique. Réponse de l’intéressé : « J’ai un pseudo sur Twitter, il ne faut pas faire d’amalgame entre mon personnage et moi-même ». Contacté par Yagg, il développait : « Je peux comprendre qu’on se sente insulté par mes tweets, car ils sont parfois extrêmes, provocants ou insultants, mais il ne faut pas en faire des tonnes(…) J’ai créé un personnage violent, provocant, méchant. Pourquoi? Je ne me l’explique pas à moi-même, alors je ne peux pas l’expliquer aux autres. Mais je ne suis pas du tout homophobe. »

« C’est un terrain de jeu, j’y abuse de tout »

En octobre 2012, les Inrocks consacraient un portrait élogieux (comme beaucoup) aux gamins précoces Mehdi Meklat et Badroudine Saïd Abdallah, alias « les Kids » de France inter qui entamaient leur quatrième saison sur les ondes de la radio publique. « Un matin, ils partent avec leur micro enregistrer la plainte de la vallée de Florange abandonnée, le lendemain ils sont à l’Elysée et tapent la discute avec Michael Haeneke » écrivent les Inrocks qui dressent le portrait de deux « gamins « talentueux », de « vrais passe-murailles ».

Comme beaucoup, l’hebdo s’enthousiasme de leur « reportages poétiques » et de leur « style unique ». Les Inrocks notent : « ils attirent les sympathies ». Quant à Meklat ? Au passage, l’hebdo raconte que c’est « le plus provoc » de deux. « Il faut le voir sur Twitter, vaguement caché derrière un pseudo depuis longtemps éventé : c’est une vraie terreur. Il se pose en métallo furieux, insulte à tout va, se moque de tout et de tous avec une férocité indécente » écrivent les Inrocks qui commentent : « Ça peut aller trop loin (France Inter lui a déjà demandé de retirer un tweet) mais la plupart du temps, c’est drôle à mourir. » Et Meklat d’expliquer déjà que sur le réseau social il « joue un personnage » : « Je ne suis attaché à rien, je n’ai de comptes à rendre à personne, j’ai la liberté de dire ce que je veux. C’est un terrain de jeu, j’y abuse de tout, je ne me mets pas de limite. »

Trois ans plus tard. Octobre 2015. Les « Kids » de Pascale Clark ont grandi. Lorsque Le Monde les interviewe pour la sortie de leur premier livre, la journaliste s’attarde sur le cas Meklat. « Si doux et poli à la ville, Mehdi s’est inventé sur Twitter un double diabolique, qui insulte à tout-va », écrit Le Monde. Meklat commente alors : « Tout est trop convenu, on n’ose plus s’énerver. L’idée de casser ça en étant méchant gratuitement me plaît ».

En septembre 2016, dans un long article, la journaliste Marie-France Etchegoin revenait pour M le magazine du Monde sur le parcours et l’état d’esprit du tandem Mehdi-Badrou, « une nouvelle génération, à la fois cool et dure, investissant le champ de la culture plutôt que celui des partis politiques, et extrêmement engagée ». Engagée, brillante et convoitée. Comme l’explique M, le duo Mehdi-Badrou est sollicité de toutes parts, ces dernier temps. Ici pour pour un projet avec la Fondation Cartier, là pour écrire un dossier de presse pour un long-métrage avec Depardieu. Ou encore pour mettre en scène la pièce d’un auteur suédois.

Quant à leur magazine Téléramadan, la revue annuelle « des musulmans qui ne veulent plus s’excuser d’exister », la journaliste explique que « Pierre Bergé mais aussi Agnès b ont accepté de soutenir la revue ». Parfait. Seul bémol dans la success story, observe la journaliste : « Les bonnes fées qui accompagnent les deux garçons depuis l’adolescence observent leur évolution, avec parfois une pointe d’inquiétude, qui n’empêche ni bienveillance ni compréhension. » Concrètement ? Il est question notamment de Meklat et de son usage de Twitter. « Un troll déchaîné qui déconne et dézingue à tout-va. «Giclez-lui sa mère», «On s’en bat les couilles», «Elle est pas morte, celle-là?» « , énumère la journaliste qui constate : « il se défoule sur des personnalités dont les manières ou les prises de position sur l’islam n’ont pas l’heur de lui plaire ». Certains parrains et autres bonnes fées, explique la journaliste, s’en soucient : « «Arrête ces Tweets! Tu n’es pas dans une cour de récréation!» Mouloud Achour le met en garde: «Les écrits restent, un jour on te les ressortira.». Quant à Mehdi, raconte la journaliste, il « se défend, la main sur le cœur: «Ce n’est pas moi, c’est un personnage que j’ai inventé», ne pouvant s’empêcher d’ajouter, comme dans un lapsus: «Mes Tweets sont des pulsions!» »

Meklat et son avatar pulsionnel, une histoire qui ne date pas d’hier. Un double « je » qui ne semble pas géner Meklat, mais qui ne met pas tout le monde à l’aise. Ce dimanche, l’animateur de la Grande Librairie (France 5) François Busnel, qui avait invité Meklat cette semaine publie un communiqué pour prendre ses distances avec son invité. Busnel y affirme que si il avait eu connaissance de ces messages, il n’aurait pas invité le jeune homme dans son émission.

Samedi, le Bondy Blog, pressé par une foule d’internautes de réagir, avait également publié un message sur Twitter , expliquant que « les tweets de Meklat n’engagent en aucun cas la responsabilité de la rédaction ».

Et le média de préciser : « Puisqu’il y a des évidences qu’il faut affirmer, le Bondy Blog ne peut cautionner des propos antisémites, sexistes, homophobes, racistes, ou tout autre propos discriminatoires et stigmatisants, même sur le ton de l’humour ».


Présidence Trump: Vous avez dit surréaliste ? (It’s the unbearable smugness of the press, stupid !)

19 février, 2017
walk-on-water-o obamatime trum-meltdown-time-cover time

impeach

Montage - Parler comme Macron

Le plus difficile n’est pas de dire ce que l’on voit mais d’accepter de voir ce que l’on voit. Charles Péguy
Qui veut noyer son chien l’accuse de la rage. LaFontaine
Nous crions d’un bout à l’autre de l’Afrique : Attention, l’Amérique a la rage. Tranchons tous les liens qui nous rattachent à elle, sinons nous serons à notre tour mordus et enragés. Sartre (1953)
Les deux grands partis, c’est l’amicale des boulistes. Mais sans l’amitié et sans les boules… Emmanuel Macron
La politique internationale que je veux conduire pour notre émancipation vraie et donc pour notre sécurité, c’est celle qui respectera l’équilibre, qui préservera l’indépendance française, qui assurera la stabilité des Etats et qui, partout, défendra nos valeurs et nos principes. Emmanuel Macron
Coup sur coup, Emmanuel Macron nous a dit en deux déclarations son rapport à l’Histoire. Affirmant qu’il n’existe pas de culture française, il s’inscrit , digne enfant du «terranovisme», dans cette perspective sans racines que le rapport avorté du conseiller d’Etat Tuot exaltait en 2013 pour mieux reconstruire un passé accueillant aux vents de tous les communautarismes. L’assimilation de la colonisation française en Algérie à un «crime contre l’humanité», outre qu’elle sur-infecte des plaies mémorielles chez nombre de nos compatriotes pieds noirs et harkis, criminalise notre histoire au service d’une repentance dont la visée électorale n’échappe à personne . Cette double prise de position à quinze jours d’intervalles efface les clins d’œil plus anciens à Jeanne d’Arc et au récit national que sa visite ministérielle au Puy-du-fou en terre vendéenne avait esquissé. Accélérant sa campagne, toute de symboles bien plus que d’offre programmatique, Macron déroule le discours dominant, celui de la com’, celui de la sidération par l’activisme communicant et par l’exaltation d’un imaginaire rallié au culte de l’immédiat . Le jeune Macron n’aime pas l’ancien ; il le fait savoir et à son corps défendant il en vient même parfois à l’avouer jusque dans une rhétorique post-oratoire nourrie d’un phrasé saccadé tout droit issu de cette culture «power-point» qu’il parle couramment à l’instar des nouvelles élites sans lettre ni mémoires. Macron s’installe ainsi, jour après jour, comme la plus exacerbée et exacerbante métaphore de la com’. Il en délivre tous les rythmes et tous les codes. Les premiers se manifestent par une hyper-saturation de l’espace médiatique, par un face-à-face permanent et construit avec les médias, par une économie de la com’ qui circule non pas du candidat au peuple mais du produit au people… Le marketing n’est pas tant celui du préau , du marché – lieux de mémoire des vieilles politiques républicaines – que celui des scènes calculées avec ses plans médias, ses salles chauffées par des agitateurs de shows télévisés, ses photos calculées à destination d’une presse magazine friande de poses prétendument spontanées mais millimétriquement sophistiquées. Macron reflète la société médiatique ; il en est tout à la fois le Narcisse et la Léthé, la déesse de l’oubli … Car là où souffle l’esprit de la com’ se déploie aussi le voile de l’amnésie. La com’ agit par magie ; elle vise d’abord à transformer notre rapport au réel, soit en le liquidant par dénégation et en lui substituant un avenir tout d’optimisme et d’harmonie, soit en exorcisant son passé. Macron joue des deux registres: il promet un horizon de bonheur consumériste et liquide les spectres d’une histoire lourde, belliqueuse, conflictuelle, traumatisante… Il est le héraut des générations mainstream pour lesquelles il n’y a pas d’Histoire mais des histoires qui viennent se greffer les unes aux autres, morceaux d’un puzzle très «united color» à la mode Benetton… Macron préfère la publicité au réel, on l’aura compris. Cette vieille culture française, son Histoire, il n’a sans doute pas appris à les aimer… et en ce sens il est le produit d’un temps où les maîtres ont failli à transmettre . Quand il n’y a plus de transmission reste alors la com’… Arnaud Benedetti
C’est une manière de s’exprimer qui rappelle la campagne de Tony Blair, en Grande-Bretagne. On l’appelait aussi le candidat du flou (« Tony Blur »). Enoncer des lieux communs permet à chacun de comprendre ce qu’il a envie de comprendre. Tout cela est très fluide et offre donc peu de prises à ses adversaires, au-delà du ‘ »ah, mais vous n’avez pas de programme !' » (…) Ces dix dernières années, nous avons eu des programmes-catalogues de plus en plus précis jusqu’aux 1.000 pages de Bruno Le Maire. Or, ça ne fonctionne pas car les Français n’y croient plus. La présidentielle se joue surtout autour de la confiance en un homme ou une femme politique. Emmanuel Macron préfère donc créer un imaginaire autour de sa candidature en utilisant des mots apaisants. Le programme de Macron, c’est Macron. Christian Delporte
Chaque réunion publique est guettée par les médias car elle révélera une facette inédite, tenue secrète longtemps et indéfiniment annoncée, du ‘produit’ fini (ici le programme), qui est toujours en projet, fruit d’ajustements en fonction du marché politique et des « feedbacks » de clients/électeurs sur les phases bêta. Cécile Alduy
Ces intellectuels tétanisés par la culpabilité postcoloniale battent la campagne médiatique. Ils font de l’islamophobie le ressort exclusif des grandes manifestations antiterroristes du 11 janvier… Proclamer « Je suis Charlie », c’est pour eux faire acte d’islamophobie ! Cette cécité les conduit à minimiser le péril djihadiste de peur de désespérer Molenbeek comme les compagnons de route du Parti communiste s’interdisaient de dénoncer les exactions du stalinisme de peur de « désespérer Billancourt ». Par-delà l’organisation terroriste Daech, qui a fracturé la cohésion rêvée de la patrie, je crois que deux forces de désintégration sont à l’œuvre dans la société française. D’une part, les mouvements communautaristes, qui font prévaloir l’appartenance religieuse et ses marqueurs dans l’espace public. De l’autre, une conception identitaire et étroite de la France, dont le fond est ethno-racial et xénophobe. Gilles Kepel
Nous pourrons nous souvenir de ce jour et dire à nos enfants (…) qu’alors la montée des océans a commencé à ralentir et la planète à guérir. Barack Hussein Obama (discours de nomination, St Paul, 04.06. 2008)
The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing. (…) We created an echo chamber. They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.  Ben Rhodes (conseiller-adjoint à la sécurité extérieure d’Obama)
Je ne sais pas, on m’a donné cette information. En fait, j’ai vu passer cette information. Mais c’était une victoire très substantielle, vous ne croyez pas ? Donald Trump (18.02.2017)
Je ne considère pas le président-élu comme un président légitime. Je pense que les Russes ont contribué à aider cet homme à être élu. Et ils ont aidé à détruire la candidature d’Hillary Clinton. Ça n’est pas bien, ça n’est pas juste et ça n’est pas le processus démocratique. Je n’irai pas à l’investiture. John Lewis
Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white, working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in? Bill Kristol
I think she’s the favorite. I have a sense that it would have happened anyway and that, at the end of the day, people were going to come home to who they were. And what’s depressed me, frankly, most about this race is, we went into this country a divided nation, and now the chasms are just solidified, so divided along race, divided along gender, urban/rural, college-educated/non-college-educated. We can go down the list. And, basically, less educated or high school-educated whites are going to Trump. It doesn’t matter what the guy does. And college-educated going to Clinton. Everyone is dividing based on demographic categories. And, sometimes, you get the sense that the campaign barely matters. People are just going with their gene pool and whatever it is. And that is one of the more depressing aspects of this race for me. (…) And, well, it’s a campaign of hate. Obama is a campaign of at least hope. At least his first campaign was. This is just a campaign of hate. And, you know, people who don’t like Trump really don’t like Trump. And I guess I’m among them. And we just saw in our report about the Trump voters in Pennsylvania. Did you see — when they were shouting on the road, did you see anything nice about Trump? No. Send Clinton to jail. (…) So we had a lot of good things over the years that were really good for America. I think globalization has been really good for America. I think the influx of immigrants has been really good for America. Feminism has been really good for America. But there are a lot of people who used to be up in society, because of those three good things, are now down, a lot of high school-educated white guys. And they have been displaced. And shame on us for not paying attention to that and helping them out. And, therefore, as a result, what happened was, they were alienated, they got super cynical, because they really were being shafted. And so they react in an angry way. David Brooks (November 5, 2016)
Theodore White wrote that America is Republican until 5:00 or 6:00 at night. And that’s when working people and their families got off work, had supper, and if America is going to vote — be Democratic, it’s going to happen between 5:30 and 8:00 at night. That has been totally turned on its ear. The working-class, blue-collar, non-college-educated base of the Democratic Party is the base of Donald Trump’s campaign this year. And the Democrats are now an upscale party. Mark Shields
How can we get rid of Trump ?  We’re just a month into the Trump presidency, and already so many are wondering: How can we end it? One poll from Public Policy Polling found that as many Americans — 46 percent — favor impeachment of President Trump as oppose it. Ladbrokes, the betting website, offers even odds that Trump will resign or leave office through impeachment before his term ends. Sky Bet, another site, is taking wagers on whether Trump will be out of office by July. (…) Trump still has significant political support, so the obstacles are gargantuan. But the cleanest and quickest way to remove a president involves Section 4 of the 25th Amendment and has never been attempted. It provides that the cabinet can, by a simple majority vote, strip the president of his powers and immediately hand power to the vice president. The catch is that the ousted president can object, and in that case Congress must approve the ouster by a two-thirds vote in each chamber, or the president regains office. The 25th Amendment route is to be used when a president is “unable” to carry out his duties. I asked Laurence Tribe, the Harvard professor of constitutional law, whether that could mean not just physical incapacity, but also mental instability. Or, say, the taint of having secretly colluded with Russia to steal an election? Tribe said that he believed Section 4 could be used in such a situation. (…) The better known route is impeachment. But for now it’s hard to imagine a majority of the House voting to impeach, and even less conceivable that two-thirds of the Senate would vote to convict so that Trump would be removed. Moreover, impeachment and trial in the Senate would drag on for months, paralyzing America and leaving Trump in office with his finger on the nuclear trigger. My take is that unless things get much worse, removal may be a liberal fantasy. Progressives thought that Trump would never win the nomination or the election. He survived the “Access Hollywood” tape and countless crises that pundits thought would doom him, so it’s not clear why Republicans would desert him now that he’s president. Some people believe that the 2018 midterm elections will be so catastrophic for the G.O.P. that everyone will be ready to get rid of him. I’m skeptical. In the Senate, the map is disastrous for Democrats in 2018: The Republicans will be defending only eight Senate seats, while Democrats will in effect be defending 25. (…) And what does it say about a presidency that, just one month into it, we’re already discussing whether it can be ended early? Nicholas Kristof
We have never taken seriously from the very beginning Russia hacked our election. That was a 9/11 scale event. They attacked the core of our very democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor scale event. Can you imagine if Hillary Clinton were where Trump was, what the right would be doing on this issue? This goes to the very core of our democracy. Thomas Friedman
L’enjeu est trop important pour demeurer silencieux (…) Nous croyons que la grave instabilité émotionnelle révélée par le discours et les actions de M Trump le rend incapable de servir comme président de façon sécuritaire. Lettre ouverte de 35 psychiatres et personnels psychiatriques
Lancer des insultes psychiatriques est une mauvaise façon de répliquer aux attaques de M Trump contre la démocratie. Allen Frances
It was a wild press conference. (…) He spent the first part of his remarks talking about accomplishments that he thought the media, the fake media, whatever he wants to call us, we’re not paying enough attention to. But then, instead of focusing on these accomplishments and offering an optimistic, positive view of what he’s doing for this country, it was an airing of grievances. It was Festivus. It was complaints about the media. At one point, he said the leaks were real, but the news is fake, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. He said things that were not true. Peter Alexander from NBC pointed out one of them when (Trump) said he had the biggest electoral victory win since Ronald Reagan. That’s not true. Clinton, Clinton, Obama, Obama, George H. W. Bush, all were bigger. But, moving on. If you are a soldier in harm’s way right now, if you are a hungry child in Appalachia or the inner city, if you are an unemployed worker in a hollow shell of a steel town, that’s not a President that seemed focused on your particular needs and wants. That’s a President focused on his bad press. It was unhinged, it was wild and I can’t believe that there are Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the White House who don’t understand that might play well with the 44% of the population that voted for the President, but a lot of Americans are going to watch that press conference and think ‘That guy isn’t focused on me.’ I don’t know even what he’s focused on. Jack Tapper (CNN)
En août dernier, Donald Trump avait qualifié Barack Obama de «pire président» de l’histoire américaine. Avide consommateur de médias (même s’il les déteste), Donald Trump a sans doute vu passer l’enquête réalisée par la chaîne parlementaire C-SPAN. Et il n’a sans doute pas apprécié les résultats. Selon cette étude, publiée vendredi, les historiens classent Barack Obama au douzième rang des présidents américains, la meilleure performance depuis la neuvième place de Ronald Reagan en 1988. Dans trois catégories, Obama entre dans le top 10 : «quête d’une justice égale pour tous» (3e), «autorité morale» (7e) et «gestion économique» (8e). En revanche, il se classe parmi les derniers (39e sur 44) en matière de relations avec le Congrès et termine à une très moyenne 24e place en relations internationales. A en croire cette étude, les trois meilleurs présidents de l’histoire se nomment Abraham Lincoln, George Washington et Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Libération
Avec son sens du détail et son éloquence habituels, Donald Trump résume ainsi sa position : «Je regarde deux Etats ou un Etat, et j’aime la solution que les deux parties aiment. Les deux me conviennent». En une petite phrase digne d’un élève de CM1, Donald Trump balaie plusieurs décennies de diplomatie américaine. Le négociateur-en-chef est déjà au travail. Libération
I’ve got to say, with all due respect, Mika, you and immediate members of your family didn’t care four years ago or eight years ago when you all were running around screaming hope and change. Hope and change. What does that mean? And Barack Obama, remember? He said when I get elected, people will look back on this as the moment when the oceans began to recede. Joe Scarborough (July 2016)
Have you heard the one about the presidential candidate who was once so popular that comedians were frightened to make jokes about him? (…) Mr Obama has provided rich fodder for comedians looking to prick his pomposity, predicting that people would look back at his nomination as the moment « when the rise of the oceans began to slow ». He also told Congressmen that his campaign was « the moment . . . that the world is waiting for ». The attitude was summed up by Dana Milbank, the Washington Post’s resident political humourist, who declared: « Barack Obama has long been his party’s presumptive nominee. Now he’s becoming its presumptuous nominee. » Mr Letterman listed top ten signs that Barack Obama is overconfident, which included « Offered Bush 20 bucks for the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner » and « Having head measured for Mount Rushmore. » Mr Obama is also under fire for moving politically towards the centre ground, moderating positions he had once boasted were evidence of his unique appeal. Jay Leno, of the long-running Tonight Show, said: « Barack Obama now says he’s open to offshore oil drilling. So, apparently, when he promised change, he was talking about his mind. » The Telegraph (09 Aug 2008)
Nobody could describe Donald Trump as lacking in self-confidence, but the billionaire egomaniac is emotional jelly compared with King Barack. Even before he won the Nobel peace prize, Obama was telling America that his elevation to the presidency would be remembered as ‘the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow’. He doesn’t have Mr Trump’s gold-plated helicopter, private jet, penthouse and yacht. But when it comes to self-reverence and sheer hauteur there is no one to beat him. Someone who believes his political personality can reverse global warming will have no doubts about his ability to persuade the British people to stay in the European Union. Just a few of his mellifluous sentences and a flash of those teeth and surely the British people will go weak at the knees! The polls show that Britain is split on the EU, so King Barack will come and help the nation resolve its indecision — to the delight of David Cameron and George Osborne. The timing of his visit, halfway through the EU referendum debate, is no accident. There is a longstanding international understanding that world leaders don’t visit during election campaigns — but such conventions were obviously designed for lesser mortals. Obama has no qualms and the Prime Minister has no shame: he needs every endorsement he can get. The Chancellor is pulling all the strings he can so the likes of the IMF’s Christine Lagarde ask us to stay in. Short of engineering a Second Coming, a visitation from King Barack is to their minds the best plug imaginable. That enthusiasm does not seem to be shared as much by British voters. Polls show that only 4 per cent of us think Mr -Obama’s primary reason for wanting us to stay in the EU is because ‘he cares about Britain’. A majority of us recognise that Mr Obama finds it easier ‘to deal with Europe as one bloc’. It’s not, as some Tory MPs have alleged, that Obama hates Britain. It’s just that he cares less about us — and our neighbours — than any of his recent predecessors. The ‘pivot’ to Asia, turning America’s strategic gaze away from Europe and towards the Pacific, has been his chief international objective. The turmoil in Europe and the Middle East — the Ukraine and Syrian refugee crises which have, at the very least, been encouraged by US withdrawal from the world — were distractions from his focus on China and the rising economies of East Asia. The world has not become a safer place as a result of Obama’s policy of ‘leading from behind’. (…) The arrogance is breathtaking but it is far from the only manifestation of, dare I say it, the madness of King Barack. Mr Obama does not let any adviser, voter or foreign leader get in his way. During his two-term presidency, his Democratic party has lost control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. But King Barack was unimpressed at the verdicts of the people. By royal decree, or as the White House calls it, executive order, he has attempted to stop illegal immigrants being deported, increase the minimum wage, intensify gun regulation and cut greenhouse gas emissions. All of these policies may be cheered from Europe. But the US constitution is quite clear: it’s the job of the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass laws and it’s the job of the President to either veto or implement them. There is a word for ignoring and overruling the legislative branches of the American government and that word is ‘undemocratic’. It was not supposed to be this way when Mr Obama launched his transformational bid for the presidency. He came to national attention with an uplifting speech to the 2004 Democratic Convention. He told his party about gay Americans living in red-leaning Republican states and how blue-leaning Democratic states worshipped ‘an awesome God’. There weren’t red states or blue states but ‘one America: red, white, and blue’. An America demoralised by the Iraq war, the global recession and bitterness towards the often tongue-tied George W. Bush embraced Obama and his soaring oratory in 2008, in the hope that he would unite an unhappy, fractious nation. It has not come to pass, of course. Whether it’s the Black Lives Matter protests at police violence or the fact that only 1 per cent of Americans think the people who caused the 2008 crash have been brought to justice, the American left is as energised and angry as the right. Today, barely a quarter of Americans think their country is heading in the right direction. They are more pessimistic about their economic prospects than the Brits or Germans. You would, perhaps, expect the American right to be angry, because Mr Obama does little to build ties with them. He didn’t attend the funeral of the conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia or that of Nancy Reagan — choosing to speak at a music festival instead. But his lack of respect and charity is not confined to Republicans. It recently emerged that Obama declined to invite the Clintons to dinner at the White House because Michelle, the First Lady, has struggled to forgive Bill Clinton for criticising her husband. Jeffrey Goldberg’s extraordinary recent essay in the Atlantic magazine about Obama’s foreign policy gave insight after insight into the President’s arrogance. Angela Merkel is ‘one of the few foreign leaders Obama respects’. When Obama reversed his Syrian policy and decided that President Assad’s crossing of those famous ‘red lines’ would not, after all, be punished, his secretary of state, John Kerry, and defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, found out hours after he’d told his advisers. It’s a common experience for so many of his colleagues. Hillary Clinton was overruled on Syria, generals were overruled on Iraq. Obama blamed David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy for the Libyan ‘shit show’. It is never King Barack’s fault. Obama’s election in 2008 inspired the world. But after eight years, it’s hard not to blame his abrasive style of politics for the rise of anti-politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Americans are rebelling against the emergence of an imperial presidency. As Barack Obama offers his hand to the Queen this week, and lectures the British on their place in the world, voters here might feel somewhat resentful, too. Tim Montgomerie
Tiré à quatre épingles, col blanc éclatant et cravate rouge vif, l’homme grand, noir, élégant, fait son apparition sur scène devant des milliers de drapeaux américains portés par une marée humaine en délire. Des applaudissements se mélangent aux cris hystériques, pleurs et voix hurlant en chœur « Yes we can ». Les larmes coulent sur les joues du révérend Jesse Jackson qui vient d’apprendre que le rêve de Martin Luther King s’est réalisé en ce 4 novembre 2008. Et le monde entier assiste, le souffle coupé, à cette scène inédite de l’histoire. « Hello Chicago », lance le quadragénaire avec un sourire tiré des publicités de dentifrice. « S’il y a encore quelqu’un qui doute que l’Amérique est un endroit où tout est possible, ce soir, vous avez votre réponse. » Et la foule s’enflamme. Ce soir-là, Barack Obama a réussi son pari en devenant le premier président noir des Etats-Unis. Aux yeux de ses électeurs, il n’était pas seulement l’incarnation de l’ » American dream ». Il était aussi celui qui allait tendre l’oreille aux difficultés des minorités, sortir une nation de la pire crise économique depuis la Grande Dépression, ramasser les pots cassés de George W. Bush, soigner les plaies d’un pays hanté par la guerre et l’insécurité, rendre aux familles leurs soldats partis en Irak et en Afghanistan, offrir des soins de santé aux plus démunis… La liste est sans fin. (…) Les attentes étaient particulièrement grandes au sein de la communauté afro-américaine (…) « Tout le monde a cru qu’avec Obama nous allions rentrer dans une ère post-raciale. C’est donc assez ironique que la race soit devenue un problème majeur sous sa présidence », affirme Robert Shapiro, politologue à l’université new-yorkaise de Columbia. (…) Outre quelques discours, le Président se distingue par le peu d’initiatives prises en faveur de sa communauté. Certes, il a nommé un nombre sans précédent de juges noirs. Et, paradoxalement, cette reprise de la lutte pour l’égalité est parfois notée comme une victoire du Président, malgré lui. (…) Dans un premier temps, l’ancien sénateur a aussi suscité la colère des immigrés en situation irrégulière en autorisant un nombre record d’expulsions. Barack Obama finira par faire volte-face et s’engagera dans une lutte féroce pour faire passer au Congrès le « Dream Act », projet de loi légalisant 2 millions de jeunes sans-papiers. En vain. Furieux, le chef d’Etat signera alors un décret permettant à ceux-ci d’obtenir un permis de travail et donc de les protéger. Aussi, peu de présidents américains peuvent se targuer d’avoir fait autant progresser la protection des droits des homosexuels. En mai 2012, « Newsweek » surnommait Barack Obama « the first gay president », pour saluer sa décision de soutenir le mariage homosexuel. Quelques mois plus tard, la loi « Don’t ask, don’t tell », interdisant aux militaires d’afficher leur homosexualité, était abrogée. Et, en 2015, Barack Obama criait « victoire », alors que la Cour suprême venait de légaliser le mariage gay. Reste que le natif de Hawaii n’est pas parvenu à réduire les inégalités sociales et raciales qui sévissent toujours aux Etats-Unis. En 2012, 27,2 % des Afro-Américains et 25,6 % des Latinos vivaient sous le seuil de pauvreté, contre 9,7 % des Blancs. Autre épine dans le pied du Démocrate : la débâcle de la ville de Detroit, majoritairement peuplée par des Noirs et déclarée en banqueroute de 2013 à 2014. (…) Peut-être était-il trop dépensier. Surnommé « Monsieur 20 trillions », Barack Obama est accusé d’avoir doublé la dette publique. (…) L’histoire se souviendra d’Obama comme de celui qui aura doté les Etats-Unis d’un système d’assurance santé universelle. L’ »Affordable Care Act », lancé en 2010 après quinze mois de tractations, est « la » grande victoire du Démocrate. (…) Mais (…) le système montre-t-il ses limites puisque (…) il comprend (…) trop de personnes malades, nécessitant des soins, et pas assez de personnes en bonne santé. Ce problème est devenu récurrent et des compagnies d’assurances quittent le programme », explique Victor Fuchs, spécialiste américain de l’économie de la santé. (…) En 2009, le Président envoie 30 000 hommes supplémentaires en Afghanistan, pour ensuite déclarer la fin des opérations militaires en Irak, avant de bombarder la Libye. (…) Sa crédibilité en prend un coup lorsqu’il refuse de frapper la Syrie, même après que Bachar Al-Assad eut franchi la fameuse ligne rouge, tracée par Obama lui-même, en utilisant des armes chimiques contre les rebelles. En huit ans, le prix Nobel de la paix, arrivé au pouvoir comme un Président antiguerre, aura entériné le recours à la force militaire dans neuf pays (Afghanistan, Irak, Syrie, Pakistan, Libye, Yémen, Somalie, Ouganda et Cameroun). Le « New York Times » indique d’ailleurs que « si les Etats-Unis restent au combat en Afghanistan, Irak et Syrie jusqu’à la fin de son mandat […] il deviendra de façon assez improbable le seul président dans l’histoire du pays à accomplir deux mandats entiers à la tête d’un pays en guerre ». Le Congrès aura été le talon d’Achille de Barack Obama. (…) Résultat : l’adepte du « centrisme » laissera derrière lui un paysage politique plus polarisé que jamais. « Il n’y a pas une Amérique libérale et une Amérique conservatrice, il y a les Etats-Unis d’Amérique. Les érudits aiment à découper notre pays entre Etats rouges et Etats bleus […] mais j’ai une nouvelle pour eux. Nous formons un seul peuple », avait-il pourtant déclaré lors de la Convention démocrate de Boston le 27 juillet 2004. Ce jour-là, une star politique était née. Barack Obama avait tout : la rhétorique enflammée, le charisme hors norme, l’intelligence, le parcours au parfum de rêve américain et la famille idéale. Avec son style châtié, son allure juvénile, sa capacité à susciter l’enthousiasme des jeunes électeurs, il était le candidat parfait du XXIe siècle. Trop parfait, peut être. A tel point qu’il aura suscité plus d’espoirs qu’il ne pouvait en porter. « Il a été meilleur candidat en campagne qu’il n’a été président », regrette M. McKee. La Libre Belgique
My frustration (…) is that for eight years, I wanted the press to press President Obama on things like the jayvees, the red line, leading from behind, Aleppo, and they didn’t. And in the first month, they’re pressing Trump, and they’re upset that he’s not saying (…) things that Manhattan-Beltway media elites want him to say. Instead, he says this. Let me play for you, I think, the key line in the 77 minute press conference yesterday, is this one, cut number four: « Look, I want to see an honest press. When I started off today by saying that it’s so important to the public to get an honest press, the public doesn’t believe you people anymore. » (…) that’s the key. The public doesn’t believe you people anymore. (…) He never corrects anything that he says, and he says lots of wrong things. But that one comment, they don’t trust you anymore, is a summation of where we are in America, because I really do think Manhattan-Beltway elites have lost the country. They’ve lost it. There’s just no confidence in, I’m not going to say us, because I am neither in nor of the Beltway-Manhattan media elite. I live in California still. Hugh Hewitt
It’s not because of anything obviously Donald Trump did. The press did all that good work ruining its reputation on its own, and we can have a long conversation about what created that. Part of it, though, is what you mentioned about the local weather report, which is to say a lot of hysterical coverage about every little last thing that doesn’t warrant it. John Dickerson
If there are winners and losers in America, I know the losers. They lost jobs to China and Vietnam. And they’re dying younger, caught in an endless cycle of jail, drug charges and applying for disability to pay the child support bill. They lost their influence, their dignity and their shot at the American Dream, and now they’re angry. They’re angry at Washington and Wall Street, at big corporations and big government. And they’re voting now for Donald Trump. My Republican friends are for Trump. My state representative is for Trump. People who haven’t voted in years are for Trump. He’ll win the primary here on March 15 and he will carry this county in the general. His supporters realize he’s a joke. They do not care. They know he’s authoritarian, nationalist, almost un-American, and they love him anyway, because he disrupts a broken political process and beats establishment candidates who’ve long ignored their interests. Michael Cooper (writer, attorney, and liberal Democrat who lives in rural North Carolina, March 2016)
The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on. This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’d be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic. So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time. And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid. It’s a profound failure of empathy in the service of endless posturing. There’s been some sympathy from the press, sure: the dispatches from “heroin country” that read like reports from colonial administrators checking in on the natives. But much of that starts from the assumption that Trump voters are backward, and that it’s our duty to catalogue and ultimately reverse that backwardness. What can we do to get these people to stop worshiping their false god and accept our gospel? We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice. You’d think that Trump’s victory – the one we all discounted too far in advance – would lead to a certain newfound humility in the political press. But of course that’s not how it works. To us, speaking broadly, our diagnosis was still basically correct. The demons were just stronger than we realized. This is all a “whitelash,” you see. Trump voters are racist and sexist, so there must be more racists and sexists than we realized. Tuesday night’s outcome was not a logic-driven rejection of a deeply flawed candidate named Clinton; no, it was a primal scream against fairness, equality, and progress. Let the new tantrums commence! That’s the fantasy, the idea that if we mock them enough, call them racist enough, they’ll eventually shut up and get in line. It’s similar to how media Twitter works, a system where people who dissent from the proper framing of a story are attacked by mobs of smugly incredulous pundits. Journalists exist primarily in a world where people can get shouted down and disappear, which informs our attitudes toward all disagreement. Journalists increasingly don’t even believe in the possibility of reasoned disagreement, and as such ascribe cynical motives to those who think about things a different way. We see this in the ongoing veneration of “facts,” the ones peddled by explainer websites and data journalists who believe themselves to be curiously post-ideological. That the explainers and data journalists so frequently get things hilariously wrong never invites the soul-searching you’d think it would. Instead, it all just somehow leads us to more smugness, more meanness, more certainty from the reporters and pundits. Faced with defeat, we retreat further into our bubble, assumptions left unchecked. No, it’s the voters who are wrong. As a direct result, we get it wrong with greater frequency. Out on the road, we forget to ask the right questions. We can’t even imagine the right question. We go into assignments too certain that what we find will serve to justify our biases. The public’s estimation of the press declines even further — fewer than one-in-three Americans trust the press, per Gallup — which starts the cycle anew. There’s a place for opinionated journalism; in fact, it’s vital. But our causal, profession-wide smugness and protestations of superiority are making us unable to do it well. Our theme now should be humility. We must become more impartial, not less so. We have to abandon our easy culture of tantrums and recrimination. We have to stop writing these know-it-all, 140-character sermons on social media and admit that, as a class, journalists have a shamefully limited understanding of the country we cover. What’s worse, we don’t make much of an effort to really understand, and with too few exceptions, treat the economic grievances of Middle America like they’re some sort of punchline. Will Rahn (CBS, 10.11.2016)
When he makes claims like this, the press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally. Salena Zito
Les journalistes prennent toujours Trump au pied de la lettre mais sans le prendre au sérieux. Ses électeurs, en revanche, le prennent au sérieux mais ne le prennent pas au pied de la lettre. Par exemple, quand il propose de construire un mur à la frontière mexicaine, les journalistes exigent des détails, veulent savoir comment il va s’y prendre. Ses électeurs comprennent qu’il ne veut pas vraiment édifier un mur. Ils entendent simplement qu’il propose une politique migratoire plus saine et plus intelligente. Peter Thiel
I expected some broken dishes, some firings, some chaos, and some rookie mistakes. We got all of that. But I also expect a systems-thinker to tame the chaos over time as he learns on the job. For example, the leaks will stop as soon as Trump fires the right people. He’ll figure out which meetings he can skip. He’ll know who to trust. He’ll learn where all the buttons and levers are. It’s a process. If you are comparing the incoming Trump administration to the smooth transfer of power that defines our modern history, that’s an irrational comparison. If the country wanted a smooth ride it would have elected Hillary Clinton. Instead, voters opted to “drain the swamp.“ And you can’t drain the swamp without angering the alligators and getting some swamp water on your pants. That’s what we’re watching now. My liberal friends are gleefully scouring the semi-fake news and sending me articles that show Trump is “incompetent.” That’s the new narrative on the left. The Hitler illusion is starting to fade because Trump refuses to build concentration camps as his critics hallucinated he would. And Israel likes Trump, which is making the Hitler illusion harder to maintain. So the critics are evolving their main line of attack from Hitler to “incompetent,” with a dash of “chaos.” You’ll see those two words all over the Opposition Media’s coverage. It isn’t a coincidence. Persuasion-wise, focusing on incompetence and chaos is a strong play by the anti-Trumpers. One would expect the new Trump administration to have lots of growing pains. That means the Opposition Media will have plenty of fodder that they can frame as incompetence and chaos. Confirmation bias will make it all seem to fit the narrative. This is the same persuasion play that Trump used when he assigned to his opponents nicknames such as Lyin’ Ted and Crooked Hillary. He depended on future news cycles to serve up lots of confirmation bias to make his labels more credible over time. Trump’s opposition is running the same persuasion play on him. Now everything he does will be seen through their frame of “incompetence” and “chaos.” Even if it isn’t. That is strong persuasion. If you step out of the Opposition Media’s framing of Trump, another frame that fits the data is that he’s learning on the job, just like he learned every other field that he entered and eventually mastered. I don’t know what you expected when Trump went to Washington, but it isn’t too different from what I imagined. I assumed there would be broken dishes. And I assumed it would take him months to get his systems in place. When I worked in corporate America, I was usually involved in setting goals for the department. When we didn’t meet those goals, I always pointed out that the problem could be on either end. Either the goals were unrealistic or the performance was bad. Both explanations fits the data. Likewise, Trump’s first few weeks do look exactly like “incompetence” and “chaos” if you are primed to see it that way. But they also look like a systems-thinker simultaneously draining the swamp and learning on the job. Scott Adams
We live in our own personal movies. This is a perfect example. Millions of Americans looked at the same press conference and half of us came away thinking we saw an entirely different movie than the other half. Many of us saw Trump talking the way he normally does, and saying the things he normally says. Other people saw a raving lunatic, melting down. Those are not the same movies. So how can we know who is hallucinating in this case? The best way to tell is by looking for the trigger for cognitive dissonance. In this case, the trigger is clear. Trump’s unexpected win forced the Huffington Post to rewrite their mental movies from one in which they were extra-clever writers to one in which they were the dumbest political observers in the entire solar system. You might recall that the Huffington Post made a big deal of refusing to cover Trump on their political pages when he first announced his candidacy. They only carried him on their entertainment pages because they were so smart they knew he could not win. Then he won. When reality violates your ego that rudely, you either have to rewrite the movie in your head to recast yourself as an idiot, or you rewrite the movie to make yourself the hero who could see what others missed. Apparently the Huffington Post chose to rewrite their movie so Trump is a deranged monster, just like they warned us. That’s what they see. This isn’t an example of so-called “fake” news as we generally understand it. This is literally imaginary news. I believe the Huffington Post’s description of the press conference is literally what they saw. If you gave them lie detector tests, they would swear they saw a meltdown, and the lie detector would say they were telling the truth. There are two clues that the Huffington Post is hallucinating and I’m not. The first clue is that they have a trigger and I don’t. Reality violated their egos, whereas I was predicting a Trump win all along. My world has been consistent with my ego. No trigger. All I have is a warm feeling of rightness. The second clue is that the Huffington Post is seeing something that half the country doesn’t see. As a general rule, the person who sees the elephant in the room is the one hallucinating, not the one who can’t see the elephant. The Huffington Post is literally seeing something that is invisible to me and other observers. We see a President Trump talking the way he normally talks. They see a 77-minute meltdown.  Scott Adams
Buried deep beneath the Michael Flynn hysteria this week was Judicial Watch’s release of newly obtained State Department documents related to the Benghazi terrorist attack on September 11, 2012. One email confirms—again—that the Obama administration knew the day after the attack it was not a random act of violence stemming from an anti-Muslim video. That was the excuse shamefully propagated by top Obama administration officials (including the president himself) and swallowed whole by a media establishment desperate to help Obama win re-election six weeks later. According to the summary of a call on September 12, 2012 between State Department Under-Secretary Patrick Kennedy and several congressional staffers, Kennedy was asked if the attack came under cover of protest: “No this was a direct breaching attack,” he answered. Kennedy also denied the attack was coordinated with the protests in Cairo over the video: “Attack in Cairo was a demonstration. There were no weapons shown or used. A few cans of spray paint.”It’s somewhat ironic—galling?—that this email was disclosed the same day the anti-Trump universe was spinning into the stratosphere over Flynn’s resignation as President Trump’s national security advisor. It begs for a little trip down memory lane, to a kinder, gentler time when the media gave a great big pass to another national security advisor in the days after four Americans, including an ambassador, were murdered in Libya by Islamic terrorists under her watch. Fun fact: While Trump press secretary Sean Spicer fielded 55 questions on February 14 related to the Flynn debacle, Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney received only 13 questions from reporters on September 12, 2012, three of which were set-ups to blast Mitt Romney’s criticism of the administration after the attack. 55 to 13. So as we now suffer through yet another patch of media mania, conspiracy theories, and unsubstantiated claims about how Trump hearts Russia, as well as the daily beatings endured by Spicer, let’s reminisce to when the media and Obama’s press flaks spun, deflected—even joked about golf and “Saturday Night Live!”—less than a week after Benghazi. (…) But of course nothing matches the audacity of trope by Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice on September 16, 2012. Rice went on several Sunday shows to peddle a story she knew was completely phony, one that was already quickly unraveling even as most in the media and administration tried to keep it intact. (…) In a press gaggle on Air Force One the next day, guess how many times Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about Rice’s comments? Ten? Five? One? Not once. Let me repeat that. The day after Obama’s national security advisor was on five news programs to blame a terrorist attack on a YouTube video, not one reporter asked the White House about it. I actually had to re-read the transcripts several times, even checking the date over and over, to make sure this was accurate. Her name did not even come up. (…) Sometimes the hypocrisy, double standard, and outright lies by the media under the Trump presidency is funny. Sometimes it is infuriating. But never was the media’s complicit sheep-like coverage more evident than in the days after Benghazi, behavior you can never imagine now. They have yet to admit their mistakes and failures, even as more evidence is revealed. Remember that the next time you want to worry about how Trump is responsible for undermining the media’s integrity and credibility. Julie Kelly
Trump thrives despite, not because of, his crudity, and largely because of anger at Barack Obama’s divisive and polarizing governance and sermonizing — and the Republican party’s habitual consideration of trade issues, debt, immigration, and education largely from the vantage point of either abstraction or privilege. Victor Davis Hanson
Democrats would seed the summer and autumn election battlefields with new and updated models of politically correct IEDs. They used this technique very effectively in 2012 to render a decent Mitt Romney as a tax-cheating, greedy Wall Street vulture, who ignored his regular garbageman, beat up kids in prep school, and strapped his terrified dog to his car top. Four years earlier the Democrats had blown John McCain to smithereens and left him little more than a closet racist and an adulterous and senile coot, who could not remember how many estates he owned nor the shenanigans of his pill-popping spouse. To avoid the rain of shrapnel, Romney had to battle both the moderator and his opponent in a presidential debate while contextualizing his own personal success and fortune. McCain, meanwhile, swore off referring to the racist personal pastor of Barack Obama and to Obama’s own litany of “typical white person” and “get in their face.” We forget that long before the wild man Trump, the most un-Trumpian, sober and judicious McCain and Romney were flattened by bogus charges against their spouses and false claims, respectively, of adultery and tax-cheating — and were completely unable to defend themselves from such smears and slanders. Instead of staying on a winning message and avoiding the subterranean traps, Trump on cue tramped right through this progressive minefield. The explosive result was predictable. He wasted precious hours rudely taking on a Mexican-American judge — who, to be fair, had foolishly joined a “La Raza” lawyers’ organization (imagine a white counterpart as a member of a local legal organization with “The Race” in its name) — or jousting with a Gold Star family, indifferent to the fact that the father was an immigration lawyer who logically would oppose Trump’s immigration moratoria. So when all these mines went off, Trump in theory always had some sort of legitimate counter-argument: Yes, Megyn Kelly was not commensurate in her sexism questions, in that she did not ask Hillary Clinton to account for her own sexist past, whether laughing over aspects of a case involving a rapist client, or demonizing Bill’s victims of coerced sex. And, yes, it was also a fact that bombastically inviting Putin to find Hillary’s missing 30,000 e-mails could not be a breach of security if they were truly about yoga and Chelsea’s wedding. Victor Davis Hanson
Any Republican has a difficult pathway to the presidency. On the electoral map, expanding blue blobs in coastal and big-city America swamp the conservative geographical sea of red. Big-electoral-vote states such as California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey are utterly lost before the campaign even begins. The media have devolved into a weird Ministry of Truth. News seems defined now as what information is necessary to release to arrive at correct views. In recent elections, centrists, like John McCain and Mitt Romney – once found useful by the media when running against more-conservative Republicans — were reinvented as caricatures of Potterville scoundrels right out of a Frank Capra movie. When the media got through with a good man like McCain, he was left an adulterous, confused septuagenarian, unsure of how many mansions he owned, and a likely closeted bigot. Another gentleman like Romney was reduced to a comic-book Ri¢hie Ri¢h, who owned an elevator, never talked to his garbage man, hazed innocents in prep school, and tortured his dog on the roof of his car. If it were a choice between shouting down debate moderator Candy Crowley and shaming her unprofessionalism, or allowing her to hijack the debate, Romney in Ajaxian style (“nobly live, or nobly die”) chose the decorous path of dignified abdication. In contrast, we were to believe Obama’s adolescent faux Greek columns, hokey “lowering the seas and cooling the planet,” vero possumus seal on his podium as president-elect, and 57 states were Lincolnesque. Why would 2016 not end up again in losing nobly? Would once again campaigning under the Marquess of Queensberry rules win Republicans a Munich reprieve? The Orangeman Cometh In such a hysterical landscape, it was possible that no traditional Republican in 2016 was likely to win, even against a flawed candidate like Hillary Clinton, who emerged wounded from a bruising primary win over aged socialist Bernie Sanders. Then came along the Trump, the seducer of the Right when the Republican establishment was busy early on coronating Jeb Bush. After the cuckolded front-runners imploded, we all assumed that Trump’s successful primary victories — oddly predicated on avoidance of a ground game, internal polling, ad campaigns, sophisticated fundraising, and a sea of consultants and handlers — were hardly applicable to Clinton, Inc. She surely would bury him under a sea of cash, consultants, and sheer manpower. That Trump was an amateur, a cad, his own worst enemy, cynically leveraging a new business or brand, and at any time could say anything was supposedly confirmation of Hillary’s inevitable victory. Her winning paradigm was seen as simply anti-Trump rather than pro-Hillary: light campaigning to conserve her disguised fragile health, while giving full media attention to allow Trump to elucidate his fully obnoxious self. Her campaign was to be a series of self-important selfies, each more flattering to the beholder but otherwise of no interest to her reluctant supporters. For insurance, Clinton would enlist the bipartisan highbrow Washington establishment to close ranks, with their habitual tsk-tsking of Trump in a nuanced historical context — “Hitler,” “Stalin,” “Mussolini,” “brown shirt,” etc. For all Hillary’s hundreds of millions of corporate dollars and legions of Clinton Foundation strategists, she could never quite shake Trump, who at 70 seemed more like a frenzied 55. Hillary would rely on the old Obama team of progressive hit men in the public-employee unions, the news ministries, the pajama-boy bloggers, the race industry, and the open-borders lobbies to brand Trump supporters as racist, sexist, misogynist, Islamophobic, nativist, homophobic. The shades of Obama’s old white reprehensible “Clingers” would spring back to life as “The Deplorables.” Yet for all Hillary’s hundreds of millions of corporate dollars and legions of Clinton Foundation strategists, she could never quite shake Trump, who at 70 seemed more like a frenzied 55. Trump at his worst was never put away by Hillary at her best, and he has stayed within six to eight points for most of his awful August and is now nipping her heels as October nears. Fracking Populist Fury Trump’s hare-and-tortoise strategy, his mishmash politics, reinventions, mastery of free publicity, and El Jefe celebrity had always offered him an outside chance of winning. (…) Trump’s electoral calculus was easy to fathom. He needed to win as many independents as Romney, enthuse some new Reagan Democrats to return to politics, keep steady the Republican establishment, and win at least as much of the Latino and black vote as had the underperforming McCain and Romney — all to win seven or eight swing states. He planned to do that, in addition to not stepping on IEDs, through the simple enough strategy of an outraged outsider not nibbling, but blasting away, at political correctness, reminding audiences that he was not a traditional conservative, but certainly more conservative than Hillary, and a roguish celebrity billionaire with a propensity to talk with, not down to, the lower middle classes. That the establishment was repulsed by his carroty look, his past scheming, his Queens-accented bombast, and his nationalist policies only made him seem more authentic to his supporters, old and possibly new as well. In sum, if Trump’s D-11 bulldozer blade did not exist, it would have to be invented. He is Obama’s nemesis, Hillary’s worst nightmare, and a vampire’s mirror of the Republican establishment. Before November’s election, his next outburst or reinvention will once again sorely embarrass his supporters, but perhaps not to the degree that Clinton’s erudite callousness should repel her own. Victor Davis Hanson
In his energetic harnessing of popular anger, Trump, my own least favorite in the field, was the more effective candidate in gauging the mood of the times. These are all valid rejoinders to those who say that recalcitrant conservatives, independents, and women should not hold their nose and vote for Trump. But they are not the chief considerations in his favor. Something has gone terribly wrong with the Republican party, and it has nothing to do with the flaws of Donald Trump. Something like his tone and message would have to be invented if he did not exist. None of the other 16 primary candidates — the great majority of whom had far greater political expertise, more even temperaments, and more knowledge of issues than did Trump — shared Trump’s sense of outrage — or his ability to convey it — over what was wrong: The lives and concerns of the Republican establishment in the media and government no longer resembled those of half their supporters. The Beltway establishment grew more concerned about their sinecures in government and the media than about showing urgency in stopping Obamaism. When the Voz de Aztlan and the Wall Street Journal often share the same position on illegal immigration, or when Republicans of the Gang of Eight are as likely as their left-wing associates to disparage those who want federal immigration law enforced, the proverbial conservative masses feel they have lost their representation. How, under a supposedly obstructive, conservative-controlled House and Senate, did we reach $20 trillion in debt, institutionalize sanctuary cities, and put ourselves on track to a Navy of World War I size? Compared with all that, “making Mexico pay” for the wall does not seem all that radical. Under a Trump presidency the owner of Univision would not be stealthily writing, as he did to Team Clinton, to press harder for open borders — and thus the continuance of a permanent and profitable viewership of non-English speakers. Trump’s outrageousness was not really new; it was more a 360-degree mirror of an already outrageous politics as usual. One does not need lectures about conservatism from Edmund Burke when, at the neighborhood school, English becomes a second language, or when one is rammed by a hit-and-run driver illegally in the United States who flees the scene of the accident. Do our elites ever enter their offices to find their opinion-journalism jobs outsourced at half the cost to writers in India? Are congressional staffers told to move to Alabama, where it is cheaper to telecommunicate their business? Trump’s outrageousness was not really new; it was more a 360-degree mirror of an already outrageous politics as usual. (…) The problem, however, is that a displaced real person, unemployed and living with his 80-year-old grandmother in a financially underwater and unsellable home, cannot easily move to the North Dakota fracking fields, any more than the destruction of an 80-acre small-farming operation owing to foreign agricultural subsidies is in any way “creative.” What we needed from our conservative elites and moderates was not necessarily less free-market economics, but fair in addition to free trade — and at least some compassion and sensitivity in recognizing that their bromides usually applied to others rather than to themselves and the political class of both parties. When Trump shoots off his blunderbuss, is it always proof of laziness and ignorance, or is it sometimes generally aimed in the right direction to prompt anxiety and eventual necessary reconsideration? Questioning NATO’s pro forma way of doing business led to furor, but also to renewed promises from NATO allies to fight terror, pony up defense funds, and coordinate more effectively. Deploring unfair trade deals suddenly made Hillary Clinton renounce her prior zealous support of the “gold standard” Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.(…) Many of us did not vote in the primaries for Trump, because we did not believe that he was sufficiently conservative or, given his polarizing demeanor, that he could win the presidency even if he were. The irony is now upon us that Trump may have been the most conservative Republican candidate who still could beat Hillary Clinton — and that if he were to win, he might usher in the most conservative Congress, presidency, and Supreme Court in nearly a century. Victor Davis Hanson
The United States (…) is one of the few successful multiracial societies in history. America has survived slavery, civil war, the Japanese-American internment, and Jim Crow—and largely because it has upheld three principles for unifying, rather than dividing, individuals. The first concerns the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, which were unique documents for their time and proved transcendent across time and space. Both documents enshrined the ideal that all people were created equal and were human first, with inalienable rights from God that were protected by government. These founding principles would eventually trump innate tribal biases and prejudices to grant all citizens their basic rights. Second, given America’s two-ocean buffer, the United States could control its own demographic destiny. Americans usually supported liberal immigration policies largely because of the country’s ability to monitor the numbers of new arrivals and the melting pot’s ability to assimilate, integrate, and intermarry immigrants, who would soon relegate their racial, religious, and ethnic affinities to secondary importance. Finally, the United States is the most individualistic and capitalistic of the Western democracies. The nation was blessed with robust economic growth, rich natural resources, and plenty of space. It assumed that its limited government and ethos of entrepreneurialism would create enough widespread prosperity and upward mobility that affluence—or at least the shared quest for it—would create a common bond superseding superficial Old World ties based on appearance or creed. In the late 1960s, however, these three principles took a hit. The federal government lost confidence in the notion that civil rights legislation, the melting pot, and a growing economy could unite Americans and move society in the direction of Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision (…) This shift from the ideal of the melting pot to the triumph of salad-bowl separatism occurred, in part, because the Democratic Party found electoral resonance in big government’s generous entitlements and social programs tailored to particular groups. By then, immigration into the United States had radically shifted and become less diverse. Rather than including states in Europe and the former British Commonwealth, most immigrants were poorer and almost exclusively hailed from the nations of Latin America, Asia, and Africa, resulting in poorer immigrants who, upon arrival, needed more government help. Another reason for the shift was the general protest culture of the Vietnam era, which led to radical changes in everything from environmental policy to sexual identity, and thus saw identity politics as another grievance against the status quo. A half-century later, affirmative action and identity politics have created a huge diversity industry, in which millions in government, universities, and the private sector are entrusted with teaching the values of the Other and administering de facto quotas in hiring and admissions. In 2016, Hillary Clinton ran a campaign on identity politics, banking on the notion that she could reassemble various slices of the American electorate, in the fashion that Barack Obama had in 2008 and 2012, to win a majority of voters. She succeeded, as did Obama, in winning the popular vote by appealing directly to the unique identities of gays, Muslims, feminists, blacks, Latinos, and an array of other groups, but misjudged the Electoral College and so learned that a numerical majority of disparate groups does not always translate into winning key swing states. At one point Clinton defined her notion of identity politics by describing Trump’s supporters: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up… Now, some of those folks—they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.” (…) but (…) ethnic solidarity can cut both ways. In the 2016 elections, Trump won an overwhelming and nearly unprecedented number of working class whites in critical swing states. Many either had not voted in prior elections or had voted Democratic. The culture’s obsession with tribalism and special ethnic interests—often couched in terms of opposing “white privilege”—had alienated millions of less well-off white voters. Quietly, many thought that if ethnic activists were right that the white majority was shrinking into irrelevance, and if it was acceptable for everyone to seek solidarity through their tribal affiliations, then poor whites could also rally under the banner of their own identity politics. If such trends were to continue in a nation that is still 70 percent white, it would prove disastrous for the Democratic Party in a way never envisioned during the era of Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton discovered that Obama’s identity politics constituencies were not transferrable to herself in the same exceptional numbers, and the effort to ensure that they were often created new tribal opponents. (…) it is not certain that immigration, both legal and illegal, will continue at its current near record rate, which has resulted in over 40 million immigrants now residing in America—constituting some 13 percent of the present population. Trump is likely not just to curtail illegal immigration, but also to return legal immigration to a more meritocratic, diverse, and individual basis. Were immigration to slow down and become more diverse, the formidable powers of integration and intermarriage would perhaps do to the La Raza community what it once did to the Italian-American minority after the cessation of mass immigration from Italy. There are currently no Italian-American quotas, no Italian university departments, and no predictable voting blocs. (…) class is finally reemerging as a better barometer of privilege than is race—a point that Republican populists are starting to hammer home. The children of Barack Obama, for example, have far more privilege than do the sons of Appalachian coal miners—and many Asian groups already exceed American per capita income averages. When activist Michael Eric Dyson calls for blanket reparations for slavery, his argument does not resonate with an unemployed working-class youth from Kentucky, who was born more than 30 years after the emergence of affirmative action—and enjoys a fraction of Dyson’s own income, net worth, and cultural opportunities. Finally, ideology is eroding the diversity industry. Conservative minorities and women are not considered genuine voices of the Other, given their incorrect politics. For all its emphasis on appearance, diversity is really an intolerant ideological movement that subordinates race and gender to progressive politics. It is not biology that gives authenticity to feminism, but leftwing assertions; African-American conservatives are often derided as inauthentic, not because of purported mixed racial pedigrees, but due to their unorthodox beliefs. The 2016 election marked an earthquake in the diversity industry. It is increasingly difficult to judge who we are merely by our appearances, which means that identity politics may lose its influence. These fissures probably explain some of the ferocity of the protests we’ve seen in recent weeks. A dying lobby is fighting to hold on to its power. Victor Davis Hanson
Struggling rural America proved disenchanted with the country’s trajectory into something like a continental version of Belgium or the Netherlands: borderless, with a global rather than national sense of self; identity politics in lieu of unity and assimilation; a statist and ossified economy with a few winners moralizing to lots of losers—perhaps as a way of alleviating transitory guilt over their own privilege. The full lessons of the 2016 election are still being digested (or indeed amplified), but one constant is emerging that the world outside our bi-coastal dynamic, hip, and affluent culture is not very well understood by those who lead the country. The Left feels that the interior is a veritable cultural wasteland of obesity, Christianists, nihilist self-destructive behavior, and evenings that shut down at dusk in desperate need of federal moral and regulatory oversight. The doctrinaire Right advises the interior losers of globalization to hit the road in search of good jobs and take a hard look in the mirror and cure their self-inflicted pathologies. Such stereotyped pessimism about rural America are no exaggeration. (…) The plight of the contemporary rural America in a word was not due to an epidemic of laziness or of innate genetic ineptness, but more likely the onslaught of globalism, a sort of Tolkien master ring that gave its coastal wearers enormous power to create and manage worldwide wealth, prosperity, and power, but by its very use proved corrupting to those in its midst. (…) But the rural shakedown did not mean that our red-state interior tuned out from politics, big business, universities, government, popular culture and mass entertainment. Far from it; cable TV, the Internet, and smart phones plugged rural America into coastal culture as never before. And what fly over country saw and heard each day, it often did not like. The first disconnect between coastal and interior America was the elevation of race over class—with a twist of scapegoating the losers of globalization as somehow culpable winners because of their supposed “white privilege.” Fairly or not, the lower middle classes heard a nonstop message from mostly affluent white liberals and well-off minority activists, virtue-signaling one another by blaming those far less well off as somehow beyond redemption. So-called middle and rural America—oddly people more likely to put their children in public schools and assimilate and integrate than was the elite—grew accustomed to being insulted by Barack Obama as clingers, or by Hillary Clinton as “irredeemables” and “deplorables,” as popular culture became fixated on privileged whiteness. And that tired message soon became surreal: coastal white people with the money were liberal and accusatory; interior white people without it were conservative and thus culpable. The villains of television and Hollywood, when not corporate conspiracists, Russian oligarchs, or South African residual Nazis, were often redneck Americans with southern drawls. The new minstrel shows were reality television’s ventures into the swamps, the seas, the forests, the Alaskan wilderness, and the empty and endless highways, where each week with condescension we saw smoking, overweight and gap-toothed fishermen, loggers, and truckers do funny and stupid things with boats, saws, and semis. The second unwelcome message was the politicization of almost everything. Beyoncé turned her 2016 Super Bowl show, traditionally non-political entertainment, into a peaen to Black Lives Matter and the old Black Panther party. Multimillionaire Colin Kaepernick deflected attention from his own poor play on the field for the San Francisco 49ers by scapegoating America for its supposed -ologies and –isms—but of course himself did not take the trouble to vote. Hollywood actors, who make more in an hour than most do in a year, periodically finger-pointed at Middle America for its ethical shortcomings. Turn on late night talk shows or early morning chat sessions to receive the monotonous message that entertainment is properly indoctrination. Even charity became progressive politics. The locus classicus of multimillionaire moralizing was the Clinton team: she selling influence at the State Department, he collecting the ensuing checks at the Foundation; both veneering the shake-down with left-wing moralistic preening. (…) Third, the gulf in America between concrete and abstract things widened. Banking, insurance, universities, government, social media, and programing were reflections of the work of the mind and well compensated; fabrication, construction, transportation, drilling, mining, logging and farming were still muscular, essential for the good modern life—and yet deprecated as ossified and passé. The ancient wisdom of the necessary balance between thought and deed, muscle and mind, was forgotten in the popular culture of the coasts. Yet rural America assumed it could still learn how to use iPhones, search the web, and write in Microsoft Word; but coastal America did not know a chainsaw from a snow blower. A tractor or semi might as well have been a spaceship. And those with expansive lawns soon had no idea how to mow them. That divide by 2016 posed a Euripidean question: What is wisdom and who were the real dullards, who were the real smart ones: the supposed idiots with Trump posters on their lawn who swore they were undercounted, or the sophisticated pollsters and pundits who wrote off their confidence as delusional if not pathetic? Finally, speech, dress, and comportment bifurcated in a way not seen since the 19th century. Ashley Judd and Madonna might have thought screaming obscenities, vulgarities, and threats established their progressive fides, but to half the country they only confirmed they were both crude and talentless. What do Ben Rhodes, Pajama Boy, and Lena Dunham have in common? They all appeared to the rest of the country as arrogant, young, hip, and worldly without knowing anything of the world beyond them. Some object that Trumpism is pure nihilism and a vandal act rather than a constructive recalibration. Perhaps. But red-state America shouted back that if those who demanded open borders never themselves lived the consequences of open borders, then there would be no open borders. If those who proposed absolute free transfers of capital and jobs always expected others to lose money and jobs as the cost of the bargain, then there would be no such unlimited free flows. If the media were continually to stereotype and condescend to others, then they themselves would be stereotyped and talked down to. For a brief moment in 2016, rural America shouted that the last shall be first, and first shall be last. Before we write off this retort that led to Trump as a mindless paroxysm, remember that it was not those in Toledo, Billings, Montgomery, or Red Bluff who piled up $20 trillion in collective debt, nearly destroyed the health care system, set the Middle East afire, turned the campus into Animal Farm, or transformed Hollywood into 1984-style widescreen indoctrination. Trump was rural America’s shout back. One way or another, he will be its last. Either Trump will fail to restore prosperity and influence to the hinterland and thus even as president go the way of a flash-in-the-pan, would-be president Ross Perot—or he will succeed and thus make a like-minded successor superfluous.  

Attention: un surréalisme peut en cacher un autre !

Surréaliste, hallucinant, déjanté

Au lendemain d’une première conférence de presse du président Trump …

Pour laquelle nos médias n’avaient à nouveau pas de mots assez durs …

Alors qu’entre vote populaire, piratage russe, taille de la foule ou boycotts de l’investiture, fuites des services secrets, prétendues analyses psychiatriques ou appels explicites à l’assassinat …

Tout est bon, du premier DJ venu aux prétendus historiens, pour remettre en question la légitimité du choix du peuple américain …

Pendant qu’à coups de fuites judiciaires désormais quotidiennes et au profit d’un énième démagogue du déni et du « hope and change »

L‘hallali continue en France contre le seul véritable candidat de l’alternance …

Comment ne pas voir …

Non seulement l’incroyable deux poids deux mesures comparé à l’élection d’un Barack Obama …

Présenté il y a huit ans  comme le nouveau messie …

Mais l’incapacité proprement surréaliste des médias, sauf rares exceptions, à prendre toute la mesure …

Non seulement de la dimension historique d’une victoire (Congrès et postes de gouverneurs compris) que tout le monde annonçait impossible …

Face à la machine infernale qui avait laminé avant lui les trop gentils McCain et Romney …

Mais aussi de la défiance et de la colère de toute une partie de l’électorat américain …

Que les interminables chipotages actuels ne peuvent que renforcer ?

Commentary: The unbearable smugness of the press

Bill Rahn

Nov 10, 2016

The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.

This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’d be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.

So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.

And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.

It’s a profound failure of empathy in the service of endless posturing. There’s been some sympathy from the press, sure: the dispatches from “heroin country” that read like reports from colonial administrators checking in on the natives. But much of that starts from the assumption that Trump voters are backward, and that it’s our duty to catalogue and ultimately reverse that backwardness. What can we do to get these people to stop worshiping their false god and accept our gospel?

We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.

You’d think that Trump’s victory – the one we all discounted too far in advance – would lead to a certain newfound humility in the political press. But of course that’s not how it works. To us, speaking broadly, our diagnosis was still basically correct. The demons were just stronger than we realized.

This is all a “whitelash,” you see. Trump voters are racist and sexist, so there must be more racists and sexists than we realized. Tuesday night’s outcome was not a logic-driven rejection of a deeply flawed candidate named Clinton; no, it was a primal scream against fairness, equality, and progress. Let the new tantrums commence!

That’s the fantasy, the idea that if we mock them enough, call them racist enough, they’ll eventually shut up and get in line. It’s similar to how media Twitter works, a system where people who dissent from the proper framing of a story are attacked by mobs of smugly incredulous pundits. Journalists exist primarily in a world where people can get shouted down and disappear, which informs our attitudes toward all disagreement.

Journalists increasingly don’t even believe in the possibility of reasoned disagreement, and as such ascribe cynical motives to those who think about things a different way. We see this in the ongoing veneration of “facts,” the ones peddled by explainer websites and data journalists who believe themselves to be curiously post-ideological.

That the explainers and data journalists so frequently get things hilariously wrong never invites the soul-searching you’d think it would. Instead, it all just somehow leads us to more smugness, more meanness, more certainty from the reporters and pundits. Faced with defeat, we retreat further into our bubble, assumptions left unchecked. No, it’s the voters who are wrong.

As a direct result, we get it wrong with greater frequency. Out on the road, we forget to ask the right questions. We can’t even imagine the right question. We go into assignments too certain that what we find will serve to justify our biases. The public’s estimation of the press declines even further — fewer than one-in-three Americans trust the press, per Gallup — which starts the cycle anew.

There’s a place for opinionated journalism; in fact, it’s vital. But our causal, profession-wide smugness and protestations of superiority are making us unable to do it well.

Our theme now should be humility. We must become more impartial, not less so. We have to abandon our easy culture of tantrums and recrimination. We have to stop writing these know-it-all, 140-character sermons on social media and admit that, as a class, journalists have a shamefully limited understanding of the country we cover.

What’s worse, we don’t make much of an effort to really understand, and with too few exceptions, treat the economic grievances of Middle America like they’re some sort of punchline. Sometimes quite literally so, such as when reporters tweet out a photo of racist-looking Trump supporters and jokingly suggest that they must be upset about free trade or low wages.

We have to fix this, and the broken reasoning behind it. There’s a fleeting fun to gang-ups and groupthink. But it’s not worth what we are losing in the process.

Voir aussi:

Commentary: Hot takes are written by the winners

Bill Rahn

June 29, 2016

Have you heard much recently about the white working class? If not, then you haven’t been paying attention to the pundits, a profession currently obsessed with divining their motives, parsing their logic, and blaming them for the sorry state of politics in the Western world.

And why not? The white working class is responsible for Donald Trump – just look at how he cleaned up in Appalachia during the primaries! They, or at least people like them, gave us Brexit, which caused even American media folk to convulse in despair, partly because this overseas event is somehow an indicator that Trump can win.

We think to ourselves: what will these idiots do next? What do they really want? How much of it is their fault? How much of it is ours?

Is drug addiction to blame? The decline of family and religion? Or what about neoliberalism, the retreat of the welfare state and the return of rapacious capitalism? Maybe they’re just racist. Maybe it’s a mix of all this, a bouillabaisse of grievances both real and imagined that just might spell the end of the global projects so beloved by elites.

Regardless, the white working class has captured the imagination of journalists, who have come to talk about them like colonial administrators would talk about a primitive inland tribe that interferes with the construction of a jungle railway: They must be pacified until history kills them off.

Just about all the mainstream punditry concerning the white working class, from the left and the right, fits this description. The elites (and if you write for a living, you’re a damn elite) all seem to be talking about a people who seem vaguely alien. There’s an anthropological quality to it, like when the New York Times’ David Brooks pledges to leave New York more often, living among the natives in order to better understand their dysfunction.

The reporters and pundits cloistered along the coasts look upon the white working class with a mix of fascination and disdain. The tribe’s beliefs, savage as they are, can be excused somewhat (« you know, free trade sure did kill a lot of their jobs ») or simply mocked (« these jerks don’t realize how good they’ve got it »). In either case, it’s easy to see we are all writing about people we can’t fully empathize with.

That’s the sort of statement that will rub a lot of journalists the wrong way, so let me explain. You don’t have to go far in Washington to hear an impressive, noteworthy person at this or that publication tell you about their hardscrabble upbringing on the mean streets of wherever, and that such meager beginnings don’t justify political radicalism.

Sure, OK. But every time you talk to someone who has a media job in New York or D.C., you’re probably talking about someone who has skills that our economy rewards, regardless of upbringing. They can write or speak or analyze something complex. They have abilities that haven’t yet been outsourced or automated. The people who report and talk about the news, for all their griping about low wages and the decline of print, tend to do quite well in our globalized economy.

The white working class is made up of people without such gifts. And moreover, because no set of policies can prioritize everyone, they were always designed to be the losers of our globalized economy. Their jobs would be taken away in the name of efficiency, with the marginal upside that the goods they purchase would be cheaper because they were now being made for less by people overseas.

So what we’re left with is a bunch of beneficiaries of the current economic order discussing the losers of the current economic order. And this raises the question of whether people who have a lot to gain from the status quo are well equipped to report accurately about how it’s cracked up.

Because that is what we’re seeing, a profound upending of the order of things. And predictably enough, journalists have been among the last people to realize this development, which makes more sense when you consider that the news is reported and analyzed by globalization’s winners, even as the subject increasingly becomes globalization’s losers.

The rise of Trump, a candidate tapping into a deep well of resentment that both conservatives and liberals were unwilling to touch, shouldn’t have come as such a surprise. Same with the Brexit vote — why are we so shocked that a multinational and barely democratic bureaucracy would be so unloved? Again, as reporters scramble to understand what in hell is going on with the world, we’ve seen a consensus develop that Britain surely must have left the EU by accident — a thesis that’s almost wholly dependent on a limited number of anecdotes about regretful voters.

Maybe. Or maybe the European project, like so many cosmopolitan initiatives, has just produced a lot more losers than the elites, including the press, ever accounted for.

Voir également:

A Message From Trump’s America

Working-class whites have been ignored by both parties, and they’re dying from despair.

Michael Cooper Jr. | Contributor

US News

March 9, 2016

Donald Trump received 70 percent of the primary vote in Buchanan County, Virginia, and 60 percent in Martin County, Kentucky. He is strongest in Appalachia because the biggest indicator of support for Trump, according to a survey by the RAND Corporation, is agreeing with the statement, « people like me don’t have any say. »

I live in Trump’s America, where working-class whites are dying from despair. They’re dying from alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide, trying to take away the pain of a half century’s economic and cultural decline. In the foothills of Appalachia, Wilkes County, North Carolina, is second in the nation in income lost this century, where the number of manufacturing jobs decreased from 8,548 in the year 2000 to about 4,000 today, according to Stateline.



On the losing side of automation, globalization and the « rural brain drain » our community was powerless to stop furniture factories from closing down or Wal-Mart from coming in. And after decades of decline folks were too beaten down and disorganized to fight back when pharmaceutical companies flooded the area with OxyContin. As a result, Wilkes had the third highest overdose rate in America in 2007 and busted 50 meth labs in 2013. [Overdose rates dropped 69 percent by 2011 after North Carolina responded to the crisis.]

Now, I walk into the courtroom every week and see the faces of childhood friends in a town where 23 percent of the population lives in poverty and 25 percent never finished high school.

So if there are winners and losers in America, I know the losers. They lost jobs to China and Vietnam. And they’re dying younger, caught in an endless cycle of jail, drug charges and applying for disability to pay the child support bill.

They lost their influence, their dignity and their shot at the American Dream, and now they’re angry. They’re angry at Washington and Wall Street, at big corporations and big government. And they’re voting now for Donald Trump

My Republican friends are for Trump. My state representative is for Trump. People who haven’t voted in years are for Trump. He’ll win the primary here on March 15 and he will carry this county in the general.

His supporters realize he’s a joke. They do not care. They know he’s authoritarian, nationalist, almost un-American, and they love him anyway, because he disrupts a broken political process and beats establishment candidates who’ve long ignored their interests.

When you’re earning $32,000 a year and haven’t had a decent vacation in over a decade, it doesn’t matter who Trump appoints to the U.N., or if he poisons America’s standing in the world, you just want to win again, whoever the victim, whatever the price.

Trump won’t win the presidency, of course. If he’s nominated conservatives will walk out of the Cleveland convention in July and run a third ticket candidate, and there are not enough disaffected white males in Pennsylvania or Ohio to make up for the independent women who would vote for Hillary Clinton in November. But the two parties can no longer afford to ignore Trump’s America.

To win again in the Deep South and Appalachia, the Democratic Party must recall the days of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Kennedy’s New Frontier by putting people to work rebuilding America, and making college free after two years of national service.

Trump’s appeal as a strongman reveals the desire in Middle America for public action. His supporters want healthcare, like Social Security and are frustrated by the gridlock on Capitol Hill, so they must return to the days of Eisenhower, standing for conservative principles but also compromising when possible.

As productivity climbed, working-class Americans wanted their wages to rise also. Instead, Republicans gave them tax cuts for the rich while liberal Democrats called them racists and bigots.

According to the Republican Party, the biggest threat to rural America was Islamic terrorism. According to the Democratic Party it was gun violence. In reality it was prescription drug abuse and neither party noticed until it was too late.

Unlike registered independents who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, America’s non-voters tended to be poorer, less educated citizens who are fiscally liberal and socially conservative. Neither party listened to them, let alone represented this populist center, until Trump gave them a voice.

America will survive Trump’s campaign, and the temptations of protectionism and xenophobia he offers. But in the aftermath that follows, both political parties must start prioritizing the working-class for a change. And that starts by listening to Trump’s forgotten America.

Voir encore:

The Deplorables Shout Back

Struggling rural America proved disenchanted with the country’s trajectory into something like a continental version of Belgium or the Netherlands: borderless, with a global rather than national sense of self; identity politics in lieu of unity and assimilation; a statist and ossified economy with a few winners moralizing to lots of losers—perhaps as a way of alleviating transitory guilt over their own privilege.

The full lessons of the 2016 election are still being digested (or indeed amplified), but one constant is emerging that the world outside our bi-coastal dynamic, hip, and affluent culture is not very well understood by those who lead the country.

 The Left feels that the interior is a veritable cultural wasteland of obesity, Christianists, nihilist self-destructive behavior, and evenings that shut down at dusk in desperate need of federal moral and regulatory oversight.

The doctrinaire Right advises the interior losers of globalization to hit the road in search of good jobs and take a hard look in the mirror and cure their self-inflicted pathologies. Such stereotyped pessimism about rural America are no exaggeration. Recently Bill Kristol, former editor of the Weekly Standard, seemed to dismiss the white working class as mostly played out—an apparent argument for generous immigration that was critical in replacing it: “Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white, working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in?” He went onto imply that poor whites were purported lazy and spoiled in comparison to immigrant groups—a fact not born out by comparative rates of reliance on government aid programs. PBS commentator and New York Times columnist David Brooks earlier had suggested the white working classes who were voting for Trump did not exercise independent judgement, but as the less educated were just “going with their gene pool.”

The plight of the contemporary rural America in a word was not due to an epidemic of laziness or of innate genetic ineptness, but more likely the onslaught of globalism, a sort of Tolkien master ring that gave its coastal wearers enormous power to create and manage worldwide wealth, prosperity, and power, but by its very use proved corrupting to those in its midst.

As I look outside the windows of my farmhouse this morning and scan a 360-degree panorama, I can absorb globalization, its success and failures. The countryside is now devoid of farmers who used to anchor small-town life—everything from the school board to the Masonic Lodge—of the San Joaquin Valley of California. In its place is a mosaic of huge vertically-integrated corporate farms that have swallowed up the tesserae of failed small acreages and turned the land into the most productive and profitable food production units in the history of agriculture.

But who am I to look out the window at others, when the story is my own as well? All my siblings went belly up in small farming. I held on to the old homestead and a remnant 40 acres only by renting out to a superb farming corporation while earning my living from the coast. Such a strange Faustian bargain globalization proved to be: unlimited affluence for some without shared prosperity, instant electronic social media and communications without much to communicate, and hip culture without much cultural transcendence. I could assure Bill Kristol that my siblings who could not make a living when peaches went from $9 a lug to $4 and raisins crashed from $1,400 a ton to $450 were not lazy. And I would say to David Brooks that their genetic material did not preclude rational judgment.

America’s rural class was gobbled up in a variety of ways. The consolidation of agriculture, the outsourcing and automation of manufacturing, and franchising of retailing created an underclass dependent on social services and low wages. A smaller and mostly younger group got with the plan, left rural America, fled to the coasts or regional big cities, obtained the proper credentials and became successful. Some in between stayed on and went about their old ways, often confused that the familiar but often empty landscapes and infrastructure might still mean that business could go on as usual.

But the rural shakedown did not mean that our red-state interior tuned out from politics, big business, universities, government, popular culture and mass entertainment. Far from it; cable TV, the Internet, and smart phones plugged rural America into coastal culture as never before. And what fly over country saw and heard each day, it often did not like.

The Great Divides(s)

The first disconnect between coastal and interior America was the elevation of race over class—with a twist of scapegoating the losers of globalization as somehow culpable winners because of their supposed “white privilege.” Fairly or not, the lower middle classes heard a nonstop message from mostly affluent white liberals and well-off minority activists, virtue-signaling one another by blaming those far less well off as somehow beyond redemption.

So-called middle and rural America—oddly people more likely to put their children in public schools and assimilate and integrate than was the elite—grew accustomed to being insulted by Barack Obama as clingers, or by Hillary Clinton as “irredeemables” and “deplorables,” as popular culture became fixated on privileged whiteness. And that tired message soon became surreal: coastal white people with the money were liberal and accusatory; interior white people without it were conservative and thus culpable.

The villains of television and Hollywood, when not corporate conspiracists, Russian oligarchs, or South African residual Nazis, were often redneck Americans with southern drawls. The new minstrel shows were reality television’s ventures into the swamps, the seas, the forests, the Alaskan wilderness, and the empty and endless highways, where each week with condescension we saw smoking, overweight and gap-toothed fishermen, loggers, and truckers do funny and stupid things with boats, saws, and semis.

The second unwelcome message was the politicization of almost everything. Beyoncé turned her 2016 Super Bowl show, traditionally non-political entertainment, into a peaen to Black Lives Matter and the old Black Panther party. Multimillionaire Colin Kaepernick deflected attention from his own poor play on the field for the San Francisco 49ers by scapegoating America for its supposed -ologies and –isms—but of course himself did not take the trouble to vote. Hollywood actors, who make more in an hour than most do in a year, periodically finger-pointed at Middle America for its ethical shortcomings. Turn on late night talk shows or early morning chat sessions to receive the monotonous message that entertainment is properly indoctrination.

Even charity became progressive politics. The locus classicus of multimillionaire moralizing was the Clinton team: she selling influence at the State Department, he collecting the ensuing checks at the Foundation; both veneering the shake-down with left-wing moralistic preening. When Hillary lost her reins of power; Bill had no more influence to sell; the Foundation lost its reason to be, and the entire criminal enterprise was exposed for what it always was: QED.

Third, the gulf in America between concrete and abstract things widened. Banking, insurance, universities, government, social media, and programing were reflections of the work of the mind and well compensated; fabrication, construction, transportation, drilling, mining, logging and farming were still muscular, essential for the good modern life—and yet deprecated as ossified and passé. The ancient wisdom of the necessary balance between thought and deed, muscle and mind, was forgotten in the popular culture of the coasts. Yet rural America assumed it could still learn how to use iPhones, search the web, and write in Microsoft Word; but coastal America did not know a chainsaw from a snow blower. A tractor or semi might as well have been a spaceship. And those with expansive lawns soon had no idea how to mow them. That divide by 2016 posed a Euripidean question: What is wisdom and who were the real dullards, who were the real smart ones: the supposed idiots with Trump posters on their lawn who swore they were undercounted, or the sophisticated pollsters and pundits who wrote off their confidence as delusional if not pathetic?

Finally, speech, dress, and comportment bifurcated in a way not seen since the 19th century. Ashley Judd and Madonna might have thought screaming obscenities, vulgarities, and threats established their progressive fides, but to half the country they only confirmed they were both crude and talentless. What do Ben Rhodes, Pajama Boy, and Lena Dunham have in common? They all appeared to the rest of the country as arrogant, young, hip, and worldly without knowing anything of the world beyond them.

‘The Last Shall be First, and First Shall be Last’

Some object that Trumpism is pure nihilism and a vandal act rather than a constructive recalibration. Perhaps. But red-state America shouted back that if those who demanded open borders never themselves lived the consequences of open borders, then there would be no open borders. If those who proposed absolute free transfers of capital and jobs always expected others to lose money and jobs as the cost of the bargain, then there would be no such unlimited free flows. If the media were continually to stereotype and condescend to others, then they themselves would be stereotyped and talked down to.

For a brief moment in 2016, rural America shouted that the last shall be first, and first shall be last. Before we write off this retort that led to Trump as a mindless paroxysm, remember that it was not those in Toledo, Billings, Montgomery, or Red Bluff who piled up $20 trillion in collective debt, nearly destroyed the health care system, set the Middle East afire, turned the campus into Animal Farm, or transformed Hollywood into 1984-style widescreen indoctrination.

Trump was rural America’s shout back. One way or another, he will be its last. Either Trump will fail to restore prosperity and influence to the hinterland and thus even as president go the way of a flash-in-the-pan, would-be president Ross Perot—or he will succeed and thus make a like-minded successor superfluous.

Voir de plus:

The End Of Identity Politics

Victor Davis Hanson
Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
 

Who are we? asked the liberal social scientist Samuel Huntington over a decade ago in a well-reasoned but controversial book. Huntington feared the institutionalization of what Theodore Roosevelt a century earlier had called “hyphenated Americans.” A “hyphenated American,” Roosevelt scoffed, “is not an American at all.” And 30 years ago, another progressive stalwart and American historian Arthur Schlesinger argued in his book The Disuniting of America that identity politics were tearing apart the cohesion of the United States.

What alarmed these liberals was the long and unhappy history of racial, religious, and ethnic chauvinism, and how such tribal ties could prove far stronger than shared class affinities. Most important, they were aware that identity politics had never proved to be a stabilizing influence on any past multiracial society. Indeed, most wars of the 20th century and associated genocides had originated over racial and ethnic triumphalism, often by breakaway movements that asserted tribal separateness. Examples include the Serbian and Slavic nationalist movements in 1914 against Austria-Hungary, Hitler’s rise to power on the promise of German ethno-superiority, the tribal bloodletting in Rwanda, and the Shiite/Sunni/Kurdish conflicts in Iraq.

The United States could have gone the way of these other nations. Yet, it is one of the few successful multiracial societies in history. America has survived slavery, civil war, the Japanese-American internment, and Jim Crow—and largely because it has upheld three principles for unifying, rather than dividing, individuals.

The first concerns the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, which were unique documents for their time and proved transcendent across time and space. Both documents enshrined the ideal that all people were created equal and were human first, with inalienable rights from God that were protected by government. These founding principles would eventually trump innate tribal biases and prejudices to grant all citizens their basic rights.

Second, given America’s two-ocean buffer, the United States could control its own demographic destiny. Americans usually supported liberal immigration policies largely because of the country’s ability to monitor the numbers of new arrivals and the melting pot’s ability to assimilate, integrate, and intermarry immigrants, who would soon relegate their racial, religious, and ethnic affinities to secondary importance.

Finally, the United States is the most individualistic and capitalistic of the Western democracies. The nation was blessed with robust economic growth, rich natural resources, and plenty of space. It assumed that its limited government and ethos of entrepreneurialism would create enough widespread prosperity and upward mobility that affluence—or at least the shared quest for it—would create a common bond superseding superficial Old World ties based on appearance or creed.

In the late 1960s, however, these three principles took a hit. The federal government lost confidence in the notion that civil rights legislation, the melting pot, and a growing economy could unite Americans and move society in the direction of Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision—“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

This shift from the ideal of the melting pot to the triumph of salad-bowl separatism occurred, in part, because the Democratic Party found electoral resonance in big government’s generous entitlements and social programs tailored to particular groups. By then, immigration into the United States had radically shifted and become less diverse. Rather than including states in Europe and the former British Commonwealth, most immigrants were poorer and almost exclusively hailed from the nations of Latin America, Asia, and Africa, resulting in poorer immigrants who, upon arrival, needed more government help. Another reason for the shift was the general protest culture of the Vietnam era, which led to radical changes in everything from environmental policy to sexual identity, and thus saw identity politics as another grievance against the status quo.

A half-century later, affirmative action and identity politics have created a huge diversity industry, in which millions in government, universities, and the private sector are entrusted with teaching the values of the Other and administering de facto quotas in hiring and admissions. In 2016, Hillary Clinton ran a campaign on identity politics, banking on the notion that she could reassemble various slices of the American electorate, in the fashion that Barack Obama had in 2008 and 2012, to win a majority of voters. She succeeded, as did Obama, in winning the popular vote by appealing directly to the unique identities of gays, Muslims, feminists, blacks, Latinos, and an array of other groups, but misjudged the Electoral College and so learned that a numerical majority of disparate groups does not always translate into winning key swing states.

At one point Clinton defined her notion of identity politics by describing Trump’s supporters: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up… Now, some of those folks—they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

***

What is the future of diversity politics after the 2016 election? Uncertain at best—and for a variety of reasons.

One, intermarriage and integration are still common. Overall, about 15 percent of all marriages each year are interracial, and the rates are highest for Asians and Latinos. Forty percent of Asian women marry men of another race—one quarter of African-American males do, as well—and over a quarter of all Latinos marry someone non-Latino.

Identity politics hinges on perceptible racial or ethnic solidarity, but citizens are increasingly a mixture of various races and do not always categorize themselves as “non-white.” Without DNA badges, it will be increasingly problematic to keep racial pedigrees straight. And sometimes the efforts to do so reach the point of caricature and inauthenticity, through exaggerated accent marks, verbal trills, voice modulations, and nomenclature hyphenation. One reason why diversity activists sound shrill is their fear that homogenization is unrelenting.

Second, the notion of even an identifiable and politically monolithic group of non-white minorities is also increasingly suspect. Cubans do not have enough in common with Mexicans to advance a united Latino front. African-Americans are suspicious of open borders that undercut entry-level job wages. Asians resent university quotas that often discount superb grades and test scores to ensure racial diversity. It is not clear that Hmong-Americans have much in common with Japanese-Americans, or that Punjabi immigrants see themselves politically akin to Chinese newcomers as fellow Asians.

Third, ethnic solidarity can cut both ways. In the 2016 elections, Trump won an overwhelming and nearly unprecedented number of working class whites in critical swing states. Many either had not voted in prior elections or had voted Democratic. The culture’s obsession with tribalism and special ethnic interests—often couched in terms of opposing “white privilege”—had alienated millions of less well-off white voters. Quietly, many thought that if ethnic activists were right that the white majority was shrinking into irrelevance, and if it was acceptable for everyone to seek solidarity through their tribal affiliations, then poor whites could also rally under the banner of their own identity politics. If such trends were to continue in a nation that is still 70 percent white, it would prove disastrous for the Democratic Party in a way never envisioned during the era of Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton discovered that Obama’s identity politics constituencies were not transferrable to herself in the same exceptional numbers, and the effort to ensure that they were often created new tribal opponents.

Fourth, it is not certain that immigration, both legal and illegal, will continue at its current near record rate, which has resulted in over 40 million immigrants now residing in America—constituting some 13 percent of the present population. Trump is likely not just to curtail illegal immigration, but also to return legal immigration to a more meritocratic, diverse, and individual basis. Were immigration to slow down and become more diverse, the formidable powers of integration and intermarriage would perhaps do to the La Raza community what it once did to the Italian-American minority after the cessation of mass immigration from Italy. There are currently no Italian-American quotas, no Italian university departments, and no predictable voting blocs.

Fifth, class is finally reemerging as a better barometer of privilege than is race—a point that Republican populists are starting to hammer home. The children of Barack Obama, for example, have far more privilege than do the sons of Appalachian coal miners—and many Asian groups already exceed American per capita income averages. When activist Michael Eric Dyson calls for blanket reparations for slavery, his argument does not resonate with an unemployed working-class youth from Kentucky, who was born more than 30 years after the emergence of affirmative action—and enjoys a fraction of Dyson’s own income, net worth, and cultural opportunities.

Finally, ideology is eroding the diversity industry. Conservative minorities and women are not considered genuine voices of the Other, given their incorrect politics. For all its emphasis on appearance, diversity is really an intolerant ideological movement that subordinates race and gender to progressive politics. It is not biology that gives authenticity to feminism, but leftwing assertions; African-American conservatives are often derided as inauthentic, not because of purported mixed racial pedigrees, but due to their unorthodox beliefs.

The 2016 election marked an earthquake in the diversity industry. It is increasingly difficult to judge who we are merely by our appearances, which means that identity politics may lose its influence. These fissures probably explain some of the ferocity of the protests we’ve seen in recent weeks. A dying lobby is fighting to hold on to its power.

Voir de même:

How Can We Get Rid of Trump?

We’re just a month into the Trump presidency, and already so many are wondering: How can we end it?

One poll from Public Policy Polling found that as many Americans — 46 percent — favor impeachment of President Trump as oppose it. Ladbrokes, the betting website, offers even odds that Trump will resign or leave office through impeachment before his term ends.

Sky Bet, another site, is taking wagers on whether Trump will be out of office by July.

There have been more than 1,000 references to “Watergate” in the news media in the last week, according to the Nexis archival site, with even some conservatives calling for Trump’s resignation or warning that he could be pushed out. Dan Rather, the former CBS News anchor who covered Watergate, says that Trump’s Russia scandal isn’t now at the level of Watergate but could become at least as big.

So let’s investigate: Is there any way out?

Trump still has significant political support, so the obstacles are gargantuan. But the cleanest and quickest way to remove a president involves Section 4 of the 25th Amendment and has never been attempted. It provides that the cabinet can, by a simple majority vote, strip the president of his powers and immediately hand power to the vice president. The catch is that the ousted president can object, and in that case Congress must approve the ouster by a two-thirds vote in each chamber, or the president regains office.

The 25th Amendment route is to be used when a president is “unable” to carry out his duties. I asked Laurence Tribe, the Harvard professor of constitutional law, whether that could mean not just physical incapacity, but also mental instability. Or, say, the taint of having secretly colluded with Russia to steal an election?

Tribe said that he believed Section 4 could be used in such a situation.

“In the unlikely event that Pence and a majority of Trump’s bizarre cabinet were to grow the spine needed to do the right thing with the process set up by that provision, we would surely be in a situation where a very large majority of the public, including a very substantial percentage of Trump’s supporters, would back if not insist upon such a move,” Tribe said. “In that circumstance, I can’t imagine Trump and his lawyers succeeding in getting the federal courts to interfere.”

The better known route is impeachment. But for now it’s hard to imagine a majority of the House voting to impeach, and even less conceivable that two-thirds of the Senate would vote to convict so that Trump would be removed. Moreover, impeachment and trial in the Senate would drag on for months, paralyzing America and leaving Trump in office with his finger on the nuclear trigger.

My take is that unless things get much worse, removal may be a liberal fantasy. Progressives thought that Trump would never win the nomination or the election. He survived the “Access Hollywood” tape and countless crises that pundits thought would doom him, so it’s not clear why Republicans would desert him now that he’s president.

Some people believe that the 2018 midterm elections will be so catastrophic for the G.O.P. that everyone will be ready to get rid of him. I’m skeptical. In the Senate, the map is disastrous for Democrats in 2018: The Republicans will be defending only eight Senate seats, while Democrats will in effect be defending 25.

So while Democrats can gnash their teeth, it’ll be up to Republicans to decide whether to force Trump out. And that won’t happen unless they see him as ruining their party as well as the nation.

“The only incentive for Republicans to act — with or without the cabinet — is the same incentive Republicans had in 1974 to insist on Nixon’s resignation,” Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia told me. “The incentive is survival.”

Trump does have one weakness, and it’s parallel to Nixon’s. Republicans in Congress were willing to oust Nixon partly because they vastly preferred his vice president, Gerald Ford — just as congressional Republicans prefer Mike Pence today.

If I were betting, I’d say we’re stuck with Trump for four years. But as Sabato says: “Lots of things about Donald Trump’s election and early presidency have been shocking. Why should it stop now?”

And what does it say about a presidency that, just one month into it, we’re already discussing whether it can be ended early?

Voir de plus:

When President Obama’s National Security Advisor Lied, The Media Laughed

It’s somewhat ironic that this email was disclosed the same day the anti-Trump universe was spinning into the stratosphere over Michael Flynn’s resignation as President Trump’s national security advisor.

 Julie Kelly

Buried deep beneath the Michael Flynn hysteria this week was Judicial Watch’s release of newly obtained State Department documents related to the Benghazi terrorist attack on September 11, 2012. One email confirms—again—that the Obama administration knew the day after the attack it was not a random act of violence stemming from an anti-Muslim video. That was the excuse shamefully propagated by top Obama administration officials (including the president himself) and swallowed whole by a media establishment desperate to help Obama win re-election six weeks later.

According to the summary of a call on September 12, 2012 between State Department Under-Secretary Patrick Kennedy and several congressional staffers, Kennedy was asked if the attack came under cover of protest: “No this was a direct breaching attack,” he answered. Kennedy also denied the attack was coordinated with the protests in Cairo over the video: “Attack in Cairo was a demonstration. There were no weapons shown or used. A few cans of spray paint.”

It’s somewhat ironic—galling?—that this email was disclosed the same day the anti-Trump universe was spinning into the stratosphere over Flynn’s resignation as President Trump’s national security advisor. It begs for a little trip down memory lane, to a kinder, gentler time when the media gave a great big pass to another national security advisor in the days after four Americans, including an ambassador, were murdered in Libya by Islamic terrorists under her watch.

Lying to Us Only Matters If We Dislike You

Fun fact: While Trump press secretary Sean Spicer fielded 55 questions on February 14 related to the Flynn debacle, Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney received only 13 questions from reporters on September 12, 2012, three of which were set-ups to blast Mitt Romney’s criticism of the administration after the attack. 55 to 13.

So as we now suffer through yet another patch of media mania, conspiracy theories, and unsubstantiated claims about how Trump hearts Russia, as well as the daily beatings endured by Spicer, let’s reminisce to when the media and Obama’s press flaks spun, deflected—even joked about golf and “Saturday Night Live!”—less than a week after Benghazi.

The day after Hillary Clinton’s deputy had that call with key Capitol Hill staffers, including advisors to senators Durbin, Feinstein, and McGaskill, to dispute the notion the attack was about an anti-Muslim video, here’s what Carney said: “I think it’s important to note with regards to that protest that there are protests taking place in different countries across the world that are responding to the movie that has circulated on the Internet. As Secretary Clinton said today, the United States government had nothing to do with this movie. We reject its message and its contents. We find it disgusting and reprehensible.”

On September 14, hours before the remains of the Benghazi victims would arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, Carney was still blaming the video. Just steps from the Oval Office, Carney opened his briefing with this: “First of all, we are obviously closely monitoring developments in the region today. You saw that following the incidents in response to this video, the president directed the administration to take a number of steps to prepare for continued unrest.”

Carney went on to mention the video/film/movie another 30 times during his briefing. He stuck with his story even after some reporters pushed back, citing other sources who said it was indeed a pre-mediated attack. One reporter said several senators admitted the “attack on Benghazi was a terrorist attack organized and carried out by terrorists, that it was premeditated, a calculated act of terror,” and asked Carney, “is there anything more you can — now that the administration is briefing senators on this, is there anything more you can tell us?”

Carney: “Again, it’s actively under investigation, both the Benghazi attack and incidents elsewhere. And my point was that we don’t have and did not have concrete evidence to suggest that this was not in reaction to the film. But we’re obviously investigating the matter…” Who cares, Sean Spicer called Justin Trudeau Joe, OMG!

Susan Rice’s Audacity of Trope

But of course nothing matches the audacity of trope by Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice on September 16, 2012. Rice went on several Sunday shows to peddle a story she knew was completely phony, one that was already quickly unraveling even as most in the media and administration tried to keep it intact.

You can read most of her comments here, but Rice repeats the line that Benghazi attack was not premediated and was connected to the demonstrations in Cairo over the video (a document obtained by Judicial Watch last year shows Hillary Clinton met with Rice a few days before her television appearances). Which presidential administration is fact-challenged, again?

In a press gaggle on Air Force One the next day, guess how many times Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about Rice’s comments? Ten? Five? One? Not once. Let me repeat that. The day after Obama’s national security advisor was on five news programs to blame a terrorist attack on a YouTube video, not one reporter asked the White House about it. I actually had to re-read the transcripts several times, even checking the date over and over, to make sure this was accurate. Her name did not even come up.

No discussion about the investigation. No discussion about emerging evidence from around the world that Benghazi was indeed a terrorist attack. (The only time it was mentioned was when Jen Psaki criticized Mitt Romney’s comments about how the administration handled Benghazi and questioned whether he was ready for “primetime.”)

Here’s what they did discuss: Debate prep, Occupy Wall Street, and the Chicago’s teachers strike. An actual human reporter asked this: “It was a beautiful weekend for golf and he wasn’t out on the course. Is it safe to assume maybe he was doing some preparation at the White House?” WHAT? Then they joked about football and “Saturday Night Live.”

Sometimes the hypocrisy, double standard, and outright lies by the media under the Trump presidency is funny. Sometimes it is infuriating. But never was the media’s complicit sheep-like coverage more evident than it the days after Benghazi, behavior you can never imagine now. They have yet to admit their mistakes and failures, even as more evidence is revealed.

Remember that the next time you want to worry about how Trump is responsible for undermining the media’s integrity and credibility.

Voir par ailleurs:

US Election 2008: The joke is finally on Barack Obama
Have you heard the one about the presidential candidate who was once so popular that comedians were frightened to make jokes about him?

Tim Shipman in Washington
The Telegraph

09 Aug 2008

The punchline is this: the more seriously he took himself, the more Barack Obama has become a laughing matter.

Only a month ago American comedians and satirists were complaining that they found it hard to get people to laugh at the first black presidential nominee. A New Yorker cover cartoon showing him as a Muslim extremist was roundly denounced.

But growing Obama fatigue among voters after his pseudo-presidential visit to Europe and the Middle East has unleashed a wave of satirical fire, mocking Mr Obama for his apparent belief that he has the election in the bag.

Last month Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news programme The Daily Show, had to tell his audience that they were allowed to laugh at Mr Obama after a joke fell flat.

But Mr Stewart made comedic hay during the Illinois Senator’s international trip, mocking his progress through the Holy Land, where he said the candidate stopped « in Bethlehem to see the manger where he was born. »

Late night comic Jimmy Kimmel also cracked a joke at Mr Obama’s expense: « They really love Barack Obama in Germany. He’s like a rock star over there. Impressive until you realise that David Hasselhoff is also like a rock star over there. »

The jokes are important because they increasingly draw on evidence that voters are tiring of Mr Obama’s elevated opinion of himself, the wall to wall coverage of his pronouncements, and the feeling that he should concentrate on voters back home.

A writer with one of the leading comedy shows in the US, who preferred not to be named because of continuing sensitivities about how far comedians should go from some network executives, said: « We had a hard time convincing people that Obama is funny for a long time. Our audiences seemed unsure whether to laugh at him. The first black president is not a gag. But that’s changing because he’s doing more stuff that’s easy to mock and people are more familiar with him. »

Too familiar, some say. A poll last week by Pew research found 48 percent of those questioned said they had been hearing too much about the Democratic presidential candidate recently, nearly double the figure for his Republican rival John McCain.

Mr Obama has provided rich fodder for comedians looking to prick his pomposity, predicting that people would look back at his nomination as the moment « when the rise of the oceans began to slow ».

He also told Congressmen that his campaign was « the moment . . . that the world is waiting for ».

The attitude was summed up by Dana Milbank, the Washington Post’s resident political humourist, who declared: « Barack Obama has long been his party’s presumptive nominee. Now he’s becoming its presumptuous nominee. »

Mr Letterman listed top ten signs that Barack Obama is overconfident, which included « Offered Bush 20 bucks for the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner » and « Having head measured for Mount Rushmore. »

Mr Obama is also under fire for moving politically towards the centre ground, moderating positions he had once boasted were evidence of his unique appeal.

Jay Leno, of the long-running Tonight Show, said: « Barack Obama now says he’s open to offshore oil drilling. So, apparently, when he promised change, he was talking about his mind. »

BEST OBAMA JOKES

Craig Ferguson: « Barack Obama was in Germany » today, and « he did this speech and 100,000 people showed up. There were so many Germans shouting and screaming that France…surrendered just in case. »

Jimmy Kimmel: « They really love Barack Obama in Germany. He’s like a rock star over there. Impressive until you realize that David Hasselhoff is also like a rock star over there. »

David Letterman: Signs Barack Obama Is Overconfident.

Proposed bill to change Oklahoma to ‘Oklabama.’

Offered Bush 20 bucks for the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner.

Asked guy at Staples, ‘Which chair will work best in an oval-shaped office?’

Having head measured for Mount Rushmore.

Offered McCain a job in gift shop at Obama Presidential Library.

Jay Leno: « Of course, Obama’s supporters got him his usual birthday gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. »

Jay Leno: « Obama’s people are trying to portray McCain as cranky, and McCain is trying to portray Obama as arrogant, you see. And when Obama was asked what he thought about being called arrogant, well, he said he was ‘above having to answer that question.' »

Jay Leno: « See Barack Obama on the news? He’s becoming a workout fanatic. He’s at the gym, like, twice a day, sometimes three times a day at the gym, yeah, according to his staff. Well, he has to stay in shape to do those flip-flops. »

Jay Leno: « Barack Obama back from his big European tour. Did you see him in Europe? People were cheering him, holding up signs, blowing him kisses. And that was just the American media covering the story. »

Voir par ailleurs:
Une semaine à la Maison Blanche

Première démission, rupture diplomatique, conférence de presse surréaliste : Trump en roue libre

Frédéric Autran, correspondant à New York
Libération
18 février 2017

Le président américain, visiblement éprouvé, a traversé cette semaine la première crise majeure de son mandat. Et elle vient de l’intérieur de son administration.

Samedi 11 février – Secret défense à la bougie

Tout le week-end, Donald Trump recevait le premier ministre japonais Shinzo Abe dans son club privé de Mar-a-Lago, en Floride. Samedi soir, les entrées du dîner, une salade arrosée de sauce au bleu, venaient d’être servies quand le président américain a reçu un appel : la Corée du nord venait de lancer un missile balistique de moyenne portée. La suite est stupéfiante. Plutôt que de se retirer dans une salle sécurisée, Trump et Abe ont évoqué le sujet à leur table, sur la terrasse. Faute d’éclairage suffisant, des conseillers des deux dirigeants ont éclairé des documents avec leur téléphone portable. Le tout à quelques mètres de richissimes membres du club venus, eux aussi, dîner à la bougie. Officiellement, le président américain avait été informé plus tôt, et dans une salle sécurisée, de la provocation de Pyongyang. Et les documents étalés sur la table n’étaient pas confidentiels. Les observateurs ne sont guère convaincus. Et soulignent l’hypocrisie de Donald Trump qui, tout au long de la campagne, n’a eu de cesse d’attaquer Hillary Clinton sur sa gestion chaotique des informations confidentielles.

Dimanche 12 février – «Abus de pouvoir judiciaire»

ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News : le benjamin des hommes clés du président, Stephen Miller, a fait le tour des émissions politiques dominicales. A 31 ans, le conseiller politique de Donald Trump – dont il est aussi la «plume» – a défendu avec véhémence le décret anti-immigration du président, suspendu par la justice. «Les pouvoirs du président en ce domaine ne peuvent pas être contestés. Ce pays ne vit pas dans un régime de suprématie judiciaire», a-t-il martelé sur Fox News, criant à l’«abus de pouvoir judiciaire». Il faut dire que pour le très droitier Miller, l’échec du décret controversé est personnel. Selon plusieurs sources, il a fait partie du cercle restreint de conseillers chargés de sa rédaction. Après quelques jours de réflexion, la Maison Blanche a finalement décidé de ne pas poursuivre la bataille en justice. Au lieu de ça, un nouveau décret devrait être signé en début de semaine prochaine par Donald Trump. Un texte préparé, cette fois, par des experts et des juristes.

Lundi 13 février – Trump est-il malade ?

Le débat avait déjà fait rage lors de la campagne, poussant l’Association américaine de psychiatrie à rappeler à l’ordre ses membres. Pas question, prévenait-elle dans un communiqué, de se livrer à une quelconque analyse mentale du patient Trump. Les débuts chaotiques du nouveau président ont relancé les discussions. Lundi, une trentaine de professionnels de la santé mentale ont adressé une lettre ouverte au New York Times. «L’enjeu est trop important pour demeurer silencieux», écrivent-t-ils, dénonçant notamment «l’incapacité» du président «à tolérer des opinions différentes des siennes» et «sa profonde incapacité à faire preuve d’empathie». En conclusion, les auteurs de la lettre disent croire que «la grave instabilité émotionnelle indiquée par les discours et les actions de M. Trump le rendent incapable de servir sans risque comme président».

Mardi 14 février – La Maison Blanche en crise

Donald Trump avait sans doute rêvé d’une autre Saint-Valentin. Ce mardi, on est loin de l’ambiance mots d’amour et bouquets de fleur. C’est la crise, la grosse, à la Maison Blanche. La veille au soir, le conseiller à la sécurité nationale, Michael Flynn, a démissionné à la demande de Donald Trump. Une première aussi tôt dans une présidence américaine. Ancien général, Flynn paie officiellement le prix de ses mensonges au vice-président Mike Pence, à qui il aurait assuré n’avoir jamais parlé des sanctions contre la Russie lors de ses conversations téléphoniques avec l’ambassadeur russe à Washington. La presse, alimentées par des fuites massives au sein des services de renseignement, révèle que cela a pourtant été le cas. Au-delà du cas Flynn, l’épineux dossier des relations troubles entre l’équipe Trump et le Kremlin refait surface. Il n’est sans doute pas prêt de disparaître.

Mercredi 15 février – Négociateur en chef

Après Theresa May, Shinzo Abe et Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump reçoit à la Maison Blanche le Premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Netanyahu. Dans les heures précédant la rencontre, l’administration américaine fait planer le doute sur l’appui à la «solution à deux Etats» au Proche-Orient. Avec son sens du détail et son éloquence habituels, Donald Trump résume ainsi sa position : «Je regarde deux Etats ou un Etat, et j’aime la solution que les deux parties aiment. Les deux me conviennent». En une petite phrase digne d’un élève de CM1, Donald Trump balaie plusieurs décennies de diplomatie américaine. Le négociateur-en-chef est déjà au travail.

Jeudi 16 février – 77 minutes de folie

Attendue fébrilement chaque samedi soir, l’imitation de Donald Trump par Alec Baldwin au Saturday Night Live vaut son pesant de cacahuètes. Mais l’acteur américain, salué à chacun de ses performances, arrivera-t-il seulement un jour à la hauteur de l’original ? Le Donald n’est jamais aussi bon que lorsqu’il fait le show. Et jeudi après-midi, sous les dorures de la East Room de la Maison Blanche, il avait décidé de descendre dans l’arène pour se payer son ennemi favori : les médias. Pendant les 77 minutes d’une conférence de presse extrêmement tendue, débutée par un long monologue de doléances et d’auto-satisfaction, Donald Trump a rendu coup pour coup. Il a critiqué les médias «très très malhonnêtes», n’hésitant pas à demander à un journaliste de se taire, à un autre de s’asseoir. Il a promis de pourchasser les auteurs des «fuites criminelles» d’informations confidentielles et nié toute collusion avec la Russie. Au jour 28 de sa présidence (sur 1460), Donald Trump a dégoupillé. Le ton de la campagne est de retour : taper fort, mentir souvent, détourner l’attention à tout prix. Décidément, le milliardaire a bien du mal à abandonner le costume de candidat pour endosser celui de président.

A suivre Trump au jour le jour

Vendredi 17 février – Obama dans le haut du panier

En août dernier, Donald Trump avait qualifié Barack Obama de «pire président» de l’histoire américaine. Avide consommateur de médias (même s’il les déteste), Donald Trump a sans doute vu passer l’enquête réalisée par la chaîne parlementaire C-SPAN. Et il n’a sans doute pas apprécié les résultats. Selon cette étude, publiée vendredi, les historiens classent Barack Obama au douzième rang des présidents américains, la meilleure performance depuis la neuvième place de Ronald Reagan en 1988. Dans trois catégories, Obama entre dans le top 10 : «quête d’une justice égale pour tous» (3e), «autorité morale» (7e) et «gestion économique» (8e). En revanche, il se classe parmi les derniers (39e sur 44) en matière de relations avec le Congrès et termine à une très moyenne 24e place en relations internationales. A en croire cette étude, les trois meilleurs présidents de l’histoire se nomment Abraham Lincoln, George Washington et Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Vivement 2020 que Donald Trump fasse son entrée dans le classement.

Voir aussi:

Pour sa première conférence de presse, Trump fait du Trump !

VIDÉO. Le président élu, qui sera investi le 20 janvier, a répondu aux questions des journalistes. Et, comme souvent avec Donald Trump, c’était surréaliste.

Le Point.fr (avec AFP)

 11/01/2017

Présidence Trump: Attention, un fascisme peut en cacher un autre (Behind the Left’s constant crying wolf, Trump’s actions are largely an extension of prior temporary policies and a long-overdue return to sanity)

14 février, 2017
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Les fascistes de demain s’appelleront eux-mêmes antifascistes. Churchill
Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. (…) Flynn was a fat target for the national security state. He has cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. Flynn was working to reform the intelligence-industrial complex, something that threatened the bureaucratic prerogatives of his rivals. He was also a fat target for Democrats. Remember Flynn’s breakout national moment last summer was when he joined the crowd at the Republican National Convention from the dais calling for Hillary Clinton to be jailed. In normal times, the idea that U.S. officials entrusted with our most sensitive secrets would selectively disclose them to undermine the White House would alarm those worried about creeping authoritarianism. Imagine if intercepts of a call between Obama’s incoming national security adviser and Iran’s foreign minister leaked to the press before the nuclear negotiations began? The howls of indignation would be deafening. In the end, it was Trump’s decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. Nunes told me Monday night that this will not end well. « First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus, » he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree. Eli Lake
There does appear to be a well orchestrated effort to attack Flynn and others in the administration. From the leaking of phone calls between the president and foreign leaders to what appears to be high-level FISA Court information, to the leaking of American citizens being denied security clearances, it looks like a pattern. Devin Nunes (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence)
The United States is much better off without Michael Flynn serving as national security adviser. But no one should be cheering the way he was brought down. The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America’s democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn’s ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn’t the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function. Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. « Finally, » they say, « someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president! » It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously. President Trump was roundly mocked among liberals for that tweet. But he is, in many ways, correct. These leaks are an enormous problem. And in a less polarized context, they would be recognized immediately for what they clearly are: an effort to manipulate public opinion for the sake of achieving a desired political outcome. It’s weaponized spin. But no matter what Flynn did, it is simply not the role of the deep state to target a man working in one of the political branches of the government by dishing to reporters about information it has gathered clandestinely. It is the role of elected members of Congress to conduct public investigations of alleged wrongdoing by public officials. In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state. Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump. It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government’s feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy. Sitting back and letting shadowy, unaccountable agents of espionage do the job for us simply isn’t an acceptable alternative. Down that path lies the end of democracy in America. Damon Linker
The model of the imperial Obama presidency is the greater fear. Over the last eight years, Obama has transformed the powers of presidency in a way not seen in decades. Obama, as he promised with his pen and phone, bypassed the House and Senate to virtually open the border with Mexico. He largely ceased deportations of undocumented immigrants. He issued executive-order amnesties. And he allowed entire cities to be exempt from federal immigration law. The press said nothing about this extraordinary overreach of presidential power, mainly because these largely illegal means were used to achieve the progressive ends favored by many journalists. The Senate used to ratify treaties. In the past, a president could not unilaterally approve the Treaty of Versailles, enroll the United States in the League of Nations, fight in Vietnam or Iraq without congressional authorization, change existing laws by non-enforcement, or rewrite bankruptcy laws. Not now. Obama set a precedent that he did not need Senate ratification to make a landmark treaty with Iran on nuclear enrichment. He picked and chose which elements of the Affordable Care Act would be enforced — predicated on his 2012 reelection efforts. Rebuffed by Congress, Obama is now slowly shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention center by insidiously having inmates sent to other countries (…) One reason Americans are scared about the next president is that they should be. In 2017, a President Trump or a President Clinton will be able to do almost anything he or she wishes without much oversight — thanks to the precedent of Obama’s overreach, abetted by a lapdog press that forgot that the ends never justify the means. Victor Davis Hanson
Key to the strategy of change is to remind citizens that the present action is a corrective of past extremism, a move to the center not to the opposite pole, and must be understood as reluctantly reactive, not gratuitously revolutionary. Such forethought is not a sign of timidity or backtracking, but rather the catalyst necessary to make change even more rapid and effective. Take Trump’s immigration stay. In large part, it was an extension of prior temporary policies enacted by both Presidents Bush and Obama. It was also a proper correction of Trump’s own unwise and ill-fated campaign pledge to temporarily ban Muslims rather than take a pause to vet all immigrants from war-torn nations in the Middle East. Who would oppose such a temporary halt? Obviously Democrats, on the principle that the issue might gain political traction so that they could tar Trump as an uncouth racist and xenophobe, and in general as reckless, incompetent, and confused. Obviously, the Left in general sees almost any restriction on immigration as antithetical to its larger project of a borderless society run by elites such as themselves. Obviously Republican establishmentarians fear any media meme suggesting that they are complicit in an illiberal enterprise. Perhaps the Trump plan was, first, to ensure that radical Islamist terrorists and their sympathizers do not enter the U.S., as they so often enter Europe; second, to send a message to the international community that entry into the country is a privilege not an entitlement; and, third, symbolically to reassert the powers of assimilation, integration, and intermarriage as we slow and refine legal immigration. (The U.S. currently has about 40 million foreign-born residents, or a near record 14 percent of the population; one in four Californians was not born in the United States.) (…) Take the wall with Mexico and the campaign promise to make “Mexico pay.” (…) The aim again is to remind the country that the action is a reaction to past excess and extremism. To take another example, if we are going to get into a minor tiff with Australia over its refugee problem, then it might be wise to explain that Australia’s own refugee policies are among the most restrictive in the world, and that, on principle, the United States cannot involve itself in the internal immigration affairs of other nations and therefore must allow Australia free rein to determine its own immigration future. And we carefully would explain the consequences of that decision of non-interference. In truth, Australia, not Trump, was the more culpable. (Immigrants, many from the Middle East, heading toward Australia will undergo vetting that permits them entry into the U.S. but not into Australia — in a deal that was understandably not much publicized by the lame-duck Obama administration?) In terms of strategy, the Trump people surely grasp the rationale of their opponents: to react hysterically to every presidential act, raising the volume and chaos of dissent to such a level that moderate Republicans go into a fetal position and sigh, “Please just make all this go away” — and thus turn their animus upon their own. Trump may think that the Left’s crying wolf constantly will imperil their authenticity and turn their shrieks into mere background noise Or he may wager that the protesters will raise the temperature so high they themselves will melt down before the administration does. Perhaps. But just as likely, the Left is gambling that each outrage is a small nick to the capillaries of the Trump administration — after a few months the total blood loss will match the fatal damage of an aneurysm. The result will then be such a loss of public credibility that the Trump administration will become paralyzed (think Watergate, Iran-Contra, or the furor over Iraq), or so deterred that it will shift course and fall into line. Trump needs to carefully consider the full effect of executive orders and the certain reactions against them to the second and third degree — not because he should cease issuing them (so far the orders have almost all been inspired), but to ensure that they are effective and understood. In this way, they may win rather than lose public support, especially if the relevant cabinet secretaries are on board and out front with the media. In other words, only by taking actions deliberately and with forethought can he bring about not so much change as a long-overdue return to sanity. Victor Davis Hanson
La chancelière allemande Angela Merkel et les Premiers ministres des 16 Landers allemands ont conclu jeudi un accord visant à faciliter les expulsions de réfugiés dont la demande d’asile a été rejetée. Les expulsions sont normalement du ressort des landers, mais Merkel souhaite coordonner un certain nombre de choses au niveau fédéral pour accélérer les procédures. Le gouvernement fédéral veut s’accaparer plus de pouvoirs pour refuser des permis de séjour et effectuer lui-même les expulsions. L’un des objectifs centraux du plan en 16 points est de construire un centre de rapatriement à Potsdam (Berlin) qui comptera un représentant pour chaque lander. En outre, il prévoit la création de centres d’expulsion à proximité des aéroports pour faciliter les expulsions collectives. Un autre objectif est de faciliter l’expulsion des immigrants qui présentent un danger pour la sécurité du pays et de favoriser les «retours volontaires» d’autres migrants par le biais d’incitations financières s’ils acceptent de quitter le pays avant qu’une décision ait été prise au regard de leur demande d’asile. Une somme de 40 millions d’euros est consacrée à ce projet. Selon le ministère allemand de l’Intérieur, 280.000 migrants ont sollicité l’asile en Allemagne en 2016. C’est trois fois moins que les 890.000 de l’année précédente, au plus fort de la crise des réfugiés en Europe. Près de 430 000 demandes d’asile sont encore en cours d’instruction. L’Express
Jamais les Etats-Unis n’ont expulsé autant d’immigrés clandestins. Au point où « The Economist  » n’hésite pas à qualifier Barack Obama de « deporter-in-chief » (le chef des expulseurs). Depuis son arrivée à la Maison-Blanche, quelque 2 millions de clandestins ont été expulsés, soit à un rythme neuf fois plus élevé qu’il y a vingt ans et un record pour un président américain. Et la « machine infernale à expulser  » coûte cher aux Etats-Unis, plus que tout autre budget fédéral destiné à la lutte contre la criminalité. La conséquence de ces expulsions est lourde. Non seulement elles conduisent à des séparations familiales déchirantes, mais elles appauvrissent l’Amérique, affirme l’hebdomadaire. Le nouveau patron de Microsoft, Satya Nadella, né en Inde, est évidemment l’exemple des bienfaits de l’immigration pour l’économie. La moitié en outre des doctorats universitaires sont obtenus par des immigrés, ainsi que quatre cinquièmes des brevets dans le domaine pharmaceutique. Les refus de plus en plus fréquents d’accorder des permis de séjour à des étudiants réduisent les chances de former de nouveaux Nadella. Sans oublier les clandestins non qualifiés qui acceptent des emplois dont les Américains ne veulent pas… et qui paient leurs impôts. Pour Obama, il s’agit d’un paradoxe qui s’explique peut-être par sa volonté de faire porter le chapeau à son opposition républicaine hostile à son projet de réforme visant à légaliser 12 millions d’immigrés illégaux. Mais le président ne devrait pas utiliser une telle stratégie et plutôt s’employer à enrayer la machine infernale des expulsions. Les Echos (10/02/2014)
Washington s’inquiète de voir la violence liée à la guerre contre les narcotrafiquants empiéter sur les États-Unis (…) La guerre contre le narcotrafic menée par le président Felipe Calderon a provoqué une explosion de violence (plus de 7 200 morts officiellement en 2008). Barack Obama s’est dit mardi «préoccupé par le niveau accru de la violence (…) et son impact sur les communautés vivant de part et d’autre de la frontière.» Dans la foulée, la Maison-Blanche a dévoilé une nouvelle stratégie pour endiguer la montée en puissance des gangs mexicains, qui gagnent des milliards de dollars en exportant la drogue vers les États-Unis, où ils se fournissent en armes et en argent liquide. Washington prévoit d’augmenter les effectifs des agents des ministères de la Justice, du Trésor et de la Sécurité intérieure et ­d’installer de nouveaux outils de surveillance aux postes frontières. L’Administration Obama compte aussi s’appuyer sur les 700 millions de dollars d’aide aux forces de sé­curité mexicaines alloués pour 2008 et 2009. Parallèlement, les États-Unis en­visagent de placer des troupes en état d’alerte, probablement des réservistes de la Garde nationale, qui seraient envoyés à la frontière en cas d’urgence. Ils souhaitent aussi imposer un nouvel accord militaire au Mexique. Le Figaro (25/03/2009)
Newly obtained congressional data shows hundreds of terror plots have been stopped in the U.S. since 9/11 – mostly involving foreign-born suspects, including dozens of refugees. The files (…) give fresh insight into the true scope of the terror threat and cover a wide range of cases, including: A Seattle man plotting to attack a U.S. military facility An Atlantic City man using his “Revolution Muslim” site to encourage confrontations with U.S. Jewish leaders “at their home An Iraq refugee arrested in January, accused of traveling to Syria to “take up arms” with terror groups While the June 12 massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub marked the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since 2001, the data shows America has been facing a steady stream of plots. For the period September 2001 through 2014, data shows the U.S. successfully prosecuted 580 individuals for terrorism and terror-related cases. Further, since early 2014, at least 131 individuals were identified as being implicated in terror. Across both those groups, the senators reported that at least 40 people initially admitted to the U.S. as refugees later were convicted or implicated in terror cases. Among the 580 convicted, they said, at least 380 were foreign-born. The top countries of origin were Pakistan, Lebanon and Somalia, as well as the Palestinian territories. (…) Specifically, they show a sharp spike in cases in 2015, largely stemming from the arrest of suspects claiming allegiance to the Islamic State. (…) The allegations detailed in the subcommittee’s research pertain to a range of cases, involving suspects caught traveling or trying to travel overseas to fight, as well as suspects ensnared in controversial sting operations which civil-liberties groups including the ACLU have criticized. In a 2014 report, Human Rights Watch said nearly half of the federal counterterror convictions at the time came from “informant-based cases,” many of them sting operations where the informants played a role in the plot. (…) But even in some of those cases, federal agents got involved after learning of a serious suspected plot. In the case of the Seattle suspect, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, authorities said he approached someone in 2011 about attacking a military installation. That citizen alerted law enforcement and worked with them to capture Latif and an accomplice. Fox news (June 2016)
A review of information compiled by a Senate committee in 2016 reveals that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s vetting executive order have been convicted in terror cases since the 9/11 attacks. These facts stand in stark contrast to the assertions by the Ninth Circuit judges who have blocked the president’s order on the basis that there is no evidence showing a risk to the United States in allowing aliens from these seven terror-associated countries to come in. In June 2016 the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a report on individuals convicted in terror cases since 9/11. Using open sources (because the Obama administration refused to provide government records), the report found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born. (…) The Center has extracted information on 72 individuals named in the Senate report whose country of origin is one of the seven terror-associated countries included in the vetting executive order: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. (…) According to the report, at least 17 individuals entered as refugees from these terror-prone countries. Three came in on student visas and one arrived on a diplomatic visa. At least 25 of these immigrants eventually became citizens. Ten were lawful permanent residents, and four were illegal aliens. These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order. Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun. Some opponents of the travel suspension have tried to claim that the Senate report was flawed because it included individuals who were not necessarily terrorists because they were convicted of crimes such as identity fraud and false statements. About a dozen individuals in the group from the seven terror-associated countries are in this category. Some are individuals who were arrested and convicted in the months following 9/11 for involvement in a fraudulent hazardous materials and commercial driver’s license scheme that was extremely worrisome to law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, although a direct link to the 9/11 plot was never claimed. The information in this report was compiled by Senate staff from open sources, and certainly could have been found by the judges if they or their clerks had looked for it. Another example that should have come to mind is that of Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who attacked and wounded 11 people on the campus of Ohio State University in November 2016. Artan was a Somalian who arrived in 2007 as a refugee. Center for immigration studies

Attention: un fascisme peut en cacher un autre !

Gouvernement par décrets, ouverture virtuellement complète des vannes de l’immigration mexicaine, amnisties par fait du prince, villes-refuges quasiment soustraites à la loi fédérale, court-circuitage du Congrès accordant l’accès à l’arme nucléaire à un pays appelant à l’annihilation d’un de ses voisins, explosion complètement inouïe du budget fédéral, loi calamiteuse sur la sécurité sociale, élargissement non maitrisé et caché de terroristes notoires, record largement secret d’exécutions parajudiciaires, dénonciation systématique du prétendu racisme policier privant de fait les plus démunis de leur droit à la sécurité la plus élémentaire  …

A l’heure où, quand ce n’est pas l’ancien président lui-même, nos beaux esprits et nos belles âmes des médias et du monde du spectacle (ou même apparemment de la fonction publique ou des services secrets ?)

Multiplient, entre révélations d’écoutes secrètes ou analyses de poignées de mains, les fuites, obstructions et  dénigrements pour saboter les premières semaines, certes quelque peu cahotiques, de l’Administration Trump …

(Contrairement à ce que nos médias paresseux et partiaux nous rabâchent, ce n’est pas pour « contacts inappropriés » avec l’ambassadeur russe mais pour mensonge à ses chefs – du moins officiellement – que Flynn démissionne et que – vendetta personnelle ? – le FBI n’a pas hésité à confirmer, pour ceux qui ne le savaient pas encore, la mise sur écoute systématique de tous les contacts des citoyens américains avec l’étranger, hauts fonctionnaires et ambassadeurs compris) …

Pendant que se confirme l’origine majoritairement musulmane des auteurs d’attentats sur le sol américain depuis ou avant le 11 septembre …

Et qu’alors que la fameuse générosité européenne semble se heurter elle aussi au dur mur de la réalité de ce côté-ci de l’Atlantique, se poursuit l’hallali contre la seule véritable alternance aux cinq années de gâchis socialiste …

Comment ne pas voir …

En creux pour ceux qui ont encore un peu de mémoire …

Et au-delà de l’évident correctif face à la véritable radicalité d’une administration ayant battu tous les records, si l’on ajoute les « memorandums », de décrets présidentiels …

L’incroyable indulgence complice qui avait suivi l’élection de Barack Obama il y a huit ans …

Mais aussi la non moins incroyable amnésie …

Pour une administration qui non seulement appliqua plusieurs moratoires sur l’immigration de certains pays musulmans  …

Mais poursuivit, au moins jusqu’en 2010 et sur fond d’intensification du trafic de drogue, la construction d’un des pas moins de douze murs que compte la planète

Et, entre deux promesses d’amnistie, battit en son temps le record toutes catégories d’expulsions de clandestins ?

Entre les États-Unis et le Mexique, un mur très politique
Philippe Gélie

Le Figaro

02/10/2006

LES ÉTATS-UNIS vont ériger une barrière de 1 120 kilomètres de long sur leur frontière avec le Mexique. La loi adoptée en ce sens par le Sénat vendredi soir, juste avant la fin de la session parlementaire, ignore la volonté du président d’introduire une réforme globale de l’immigration, dans laquelle le volet répressif aurait été complété par un programme d’accueil des travailleurs étrangers. Mais, à cinq semaines des élections de mi-mandat, George W. Bush a annoncé son intention de ratifier la loi telle qu’elle est, plutôt que d’offrir un spectacle de division dans son propre parti.

Le texte prévoit l’érection d’au moins deux rangées de palissades et de grillages sur un peu plus de la moitié des 3 200 kilomètres de frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique, principal point d’entrée des immigrants clandestins. Il donne 18 mois au département de la Sécurité du territoire pour prendre «le contrôle opérationnel» de la frontière, notion définie par l’arrêt de «tous» les passages illégaux. En moyenne, 1,2 million de clandestins sont arrêtés chaque année du côté américain, un chiffre constant depuis dix ans malgré le renforcement incessant des contrôles.

Des obstacles juridiques

Cent vingt kilomètres de palissades existent déjà, le nombre de gardes-frontière a été triplé et 6 000 soldats de la Garde nationale ont été déployés en renfort l’été dernier. Le seul résultat visible jusqu’ici a été de repousser les candidats à l’immigration toujours plus loin dans des zones désertiques, faisant passer le nombre de morts d’une douzaine à 400 par an. Selon les autorités d’Arizona, la fortification de la frontière a donné le jour à une nouvelle criminalité organisée, plus sophistiquée que les passeurs d’autrefois. À raison de 1 600 dollars par immigrant, son chiffre d’affaires atteindrait 2,5 milliards de dollars par an.

La réponse du Congrès a été de budgéter 1,2 milliard de dollars pour lancer un projet qui devrait en coûter au total 7 milliards d’ici à son achèvement fin 2008. Il prévoit la multiplication des drones, des radars, des caméras de surveillance et des plaques sensibles enfouies dans le sol. Les zones concernées par ce «mur» de haute technologie s’étendent sur une partie de la Californie, la quasi-totalité de la frontière sud de l’Arizona et du Nouveau-Mexique, ainsi que deux tronçons le long du Rio Grande au Texas. Le terrain, extrêmement difficile par endroits, jette le doute sur la faisabilité de l’opération : il faudra gravir des sommets escarpés, plonger au fond de canyons ou traverser des rivières rapides.

Des obstacles juridiques sont également prévisibles, la barrière étant censée traverser plusieurs réserves indiennes dont les tribus sont opposées à sa construction. Des associations de protection de la nature prévoient d’introduire des recours en justice au nom du respect de la vie sauvage. Même les ranchers du Texas s’inquiètent de l’impact sur leur main-d’oeuvre de travailleurs frontaliers. «Ce n’est pas réalisable, estime le sénateur de l’Arizona Jim Kolbe, c’est juste une déclaration politique avant les élections.»

Voir aussi:

Barack Obama veut sécuriser la frontière avec le Mexique

Lamia Oualalou, à Rio de Janeiro
Le Figaro

25/03/2009

Washington s’inquiète de voir la violence liée à la guerre contre les narcotrafiquants empiéter sur les États-Unis, alors que Hillary Clinton est attendue mercredi à Mexico.

La secrétaire d’État Hillary Clinton doit s’attendre à un accueil plutôt froid en arrivant au Mexique mercredi. Sa visite, la première d’une série de visites de hauts fonctionnaires avant le voyage du président Barack Obama, prévu à la mi-avril, a pour objectif de panser les plaies alors que les relations entre les deux pays, qui partagent une frontière de 3 000 kilomètres, traversent une phase délicate.

La guerre contre le narcotrafic menée par le président Felipe Calderon a provoqué une explosion de violence (plus de 7 200 morts officiellement en 2008). Barack Obama s’est dit mardi «préoccupé par le niveau accru de la violence (…) et son impact sur les communautés vivant de part et d’autre de la frontière.» Dans la foulée, la Maison-Blanche a dévoilé une nouvelle stratégie pour endiguer la montée en puissance des gangs mexicains, qui gagnent des milliards de dollars en exportant la drogue vers les États-Unis, où ils se fournissent en armes et en argent liquide.

Washington prévoit d’augmenter les effectifs des agents des ministères de la Justice, du Trésor et de la Sécurité intérieure et ­d’installer de nouveaux outils de surveillance aux postes frontières. L’Administration Obama compte aussi s’appuyer sur les 700 millions de dollars d’aide aux forces de sé­curité mexicaines alloués pour 2008 et 2009.

Parallèlement, les États-Unis en­visagent de placer des troupes en état d’alerte, probablement des réservistes de la Garde nationale, qui seraient envoyés à la frontière en cas d’urgence. Ils souhaitent aussi imposer un nouvel accord militaire au Mexique. «La question de la sécurité a pris une place excessive et exclusive, il faut que les États-Unis se recentrent sur la relation commerciale, qui est fondamentale», dit Laura Carlsen, directrice des Amérique au Centre de politique internationale – CIP, basé à Washington.

Représailles commerciales
La semaine dernière, le gouvernement de Felipe Calderon a établi une liste de 90 produits américains qui seront surtaxés à l’entrée du territoire mexicain. Une décision prise en représailles à une mesure du Congrès américain mettant fin à la circulation de camions mexicains au-delà du Rio Grande, comme le prévoyait l’accord de libre-échange nord-américain (Alena), qui unit les États-Unis, le Canada et le Mexique. Le Congrès estime que les véhicules mexicains ne répondent pas aux normes de sécurité américaines. «C’est une mesure protectionniste, dictée par le puissant syndicat de camionneurs Teamsters», tranche Leo Zuckermann, analyste au Cide, un centre d’études politiques et économiques à Mexico.

«En ces moments de crise économique, alors qu’il faut éviter le protectionnisme, les États-Unis envoient un signal négatif au Mexique et au reste du monde», estime le ministre de l’Économie Gerardo Ruiz Mateos. La liste des produits frappés de surtaxe – fruits, légumes, shampoings – exclut les denrées de première nécessité afin de ne pas pénaliser le consommateur. Mexico a également tenu à ce qu’ils proviennent de 40 États américains. «Le but est de montrer à la Maison-Blanche que la relation commerciale pèse dans les deux sens, et qu’elle est fondamentale pour certains États», explique Laura Carlsen.

Pour Barack Obama, la crise avec le Mexique vire au casse-tête. «Il a promis pendant sa campagne de renégocier l’Alena à l’avantage des travailleurs américains, une proposition rejetée par Mexico, rappelle Tomas Ayuso, chercheur au Coha (Conseil sur les affaires hémisphériques) de Washington. Mais il est dangereux de froisser le Mexique, qui est son troisième partenaire commercial.»

Obama semble l’avoir compris. Il a changé de discours, substituant aux critiques des éloges sur «l’ex­tra­ordinaire travail» de Felipe Calderon.

Voir également:

Le mur États-Unis-Mexique en 15 images

Le reportage de Christian Latreille

Radio Canada

7 juin 2016

L’immigration est un sujet controversé de la campagne présidentielle américaine. Le candidat républicain Donald Trump promet notamment de bâtir un mur plus haut et plus long entre les États-Unis et le Mexique. Nous sommes allés voir ce fameux mur.

Le mur entre les deux pays se construit par étapes. Le fondateur de l’association des Anges de la frontière, Enrique Morones, montre deux générations de murs. La première atteint trois mètres et a été fabriquée sous Bill Clinton avec de la tôle recyclée de la guerre du Vietnam. La deuxième, d’environ cinq mètres de hauteur, a été construite sous George W. Bush.

Derrière Enrique Morones, une brèche dans le mur. En fait, le mur n’est pas uniforme et ne s’étend que sur 1120 km des 3200 km de la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique. Plus souvent une montagne, une rivière ou un désert séparent les deux pays.

Après le mur, le désert. Les bénévoles des Anges de la frontière, un groupe né en 1986, déposent des bouteilles d’eau pour aider ceux qui doivent survivre dans le désert aride après avoir franchi le mur.

Les clandestins attachent des morceaux d’étoffe sous leurs souliers pour éviter de laisser des traces de pas facilement détectables par les gardes-frontières.

La zone de San Diego-Tijuana comprend un des systèmes de sécurité les plus sophistiqués le long de la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique.

Mur, clôture, caméras, détecteurs et barbelés. Il y a aussi les patrouilleurs qui surveillent continuellement le mur. Malgré tout cet arsenal, de nombreux immigrants réussissent à passer illégalement chaque semaine.

Les clandestins parviennent à percer le mur avec des scies mécaniques. Selon les gardes-frontières, seulement 30 % des clandestins qui tentent d’entrer illégalement au pays se font prendre. « On fait du mieux qu’on peut, avec ce qu’on nous donne », dira l’un d’eux.

Le syndicat des gardes-frontières a appuyé le candidat Donald Trump. Le vice-président, Terence Shigg, apporte des nuances à la position de Trump sur l’immigration. Le candidat républicain propose notamment de déporter les quelque 11 millions de sans-papiers qui se trouvent aux États-Unis. Selon Terence Shigg, la déportation massive n’est pas la solution; il faut plus de gens pour traiter les demandes d’asile, plus de juges en immigration, plus de centres de détention.

Christopher Harris, du syndicat des gardes-frontières, se tient du côté américain de la frontière. À quelques pas de là, il a tué un clandestin; un douloureux souvenir qui le hante encore. Il aime citer une ancienne patronne : « Montrez-moi un mur de 15 pieds, et je vous montrerai une échelle de 16 pieds ».

On estime à près de 11 000 le nombre de personnes mortes depuis 1994 en tentant d’entrer illégalement aux États-Unis. Plusieurs centaines d’entre elles sont enterrées ici, dans ce cimetière de fortune.

Les corps de nombreuses personnes n’ont pas été réclamés. Elles restent donc anonymes. Des « John Doe », comme l’indique l’inscription sur la pierre. C’est pour éviter que les victimes ne tombent dans l’oubli que les Anges de la frontière entretiennent régulièrement le cimetière.

Jeune enfant, Walfred a été abandonné au Guatemala par sa mère, qui a tenté sa chance aux États-Unis. Après quatre ans d’attente, il a réussi à franchir la frontière illégalement pour la rejoindre. Pour le moment, il est protégé par un décret présidentiel signé par Barack Obama en 2012.

Walfred et sa mère connaissent des jours plus heureux. Elle gère une petite entreprise d’entretien ménager, tout en vivant dans la clandestinité. Un sacrifice qu’elle accepte volontiers pour être avec son seul enfant.

Voir encore:

The Obama Administration Stopped Processing Iraq Refugee Requests For 6 Months In 2011

Although the Obama administration currently refuses to temporarily pause its Syrian refugee resettlement program in the United States, the State Department in 2011 stopped processing Iraq refugee requests for six months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered evidence that several dozen terrorists from Iraq had infiltrated the United States via the refugee program.

After two terrorists were discovered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 2009, the FBI began reviewing reams of evidence taken from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that had been used against American troops in Iraq. Federal investigators then tried to match fingerprints from those bombs to the fingerprints of individuals who had recently entered the United States as refugees:

An intelligence tip initially led the FBI to Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, in 2009. The Iraqi had claimed to be a refugee who faced persecution back home — a story that shattered when the FBI found his fingerprints on a cordless phone base that U.S. soldiers dug up in a gravel pile south of Bayji, Iraq on Sept. 1, 2005. The phone base had been wired to unexploded bombs buried in a nearby road.

An ABC News investigation of the flawed U.S. refugee screening system, which was overhauled two years ago, showed that Alwan was mistakenly allowed into the U.S. and resettled in the leafy southern town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city of 60,000 which is home to Western Kentucky University and near the Army’s Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Alwan and another Iraqi refugee, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26, were resettled in Bowling Green even though both had been detained during the war by Iraqi authorities, according to federal prosecutors.

The terrorists were not taken into custody until 2011. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. State Department stopped processing refugee requests from Iraqis for six months in order to review and revamp security screening procedures:

As a result of the Kentucky case, the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets. One Iraqi who had aided American troops was assassinated before his refugee application could be processed, because of the immigration delays, two U.S. officials said. In 2011, fewer than 10,000 Iraqis were resettled as refugees in the U.S., half the number from the year before, State Department statistics show.

According to a 2013 report from ABC News, at least one of the Kentucky terrorists passed background and fingerprint checks conducted by the Department of Homeland Security prior to being allowed to enter the United States. Without the fingerprint evidence taken from roadside bombs, which one federal forensic scientist referred to as “a needle in the haystack,” it is unlikely that the two terrorists would ever have been identified and apprehended.

“How did a person who we detained in Iraq — linked to an IED attack, we had his fingerprints in our government system — how did he walk into America in 2009?” asked one former Army general who previously oversaw the U.S. military’s anti-IED efforts.

President Barack Obama has thus far refused bipartisan calls to pause his administration’s Syrian refugee program, which many believe is likely to be exploited by terrorists seeking entry into the United States. The president has not explained how his administration can guarantee that no terrorists will be able to slip into the country by pretending to be refugees, as the Iraqi terrorists captured in Kentucky did in 2009. One of those terrorists, Waad Ramadan Alwan, even came into the United States by way of Syria, where his fingerprints were taken and given to U.S. military intelligence officials.

Obama has also refused to explain how his administration’s security-related pause on processing Iraq refugee requests in 2011 did not “betray our deepest values.”

Voir de même:

Study Reveals 72 Terrorists Came From Countries Covered by Trump Vetting Order

Jessica Vaughan
Center for immigration studies
February 11, 2017

A review of information compiled by a Senate committee in 2016 reveals that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s vetting executive order have been convicted in terror cases since the 9/11 attacks. These facts stand in stark contrast to the assertions by the Ninth Circuit judges who have blocked the president’s order on the basis that there is no evidence showing a risk to the United States in allowing aliens from these seven terror-associated countries to come in.

In June 2016 the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a report on individuals convicted in terror cases since 9/11. Using open sources (because the Obama administration refused to provide government records), the report found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born. The report is no longer available on the Senate website, but a summary published by Fox News is available here.

The Center has obtained a copy of the information compiled by the subcommittee. The information compiled includes names of offenders, dates of conviction, terror group affiliation, federal criminal charges, sentence imposed, state of residence, and immigration history.

The Center has extracted information on 72 individuals named in the Senate report whose country of origin is one of the seven terror-associated countries included in the vetting executive order: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Senate researchers were not able to obtain complete information on each convicted terrorist, so it is possible that more of the convicted terrorists are from these countries.

The United States has admitted terrorists from all of the seven dangerous countries:

  • Somalia: 20
  • Yemen: 19
  • Iraq: 19
  • Syria: 7
  • Iran: 4
  • Libya: 2
  • Sudan: 1
  • Total: 72

According to the report, at least 17 individuals entered as refugees from these terror-prone countries. Three came in on student visas and one arrived on a diplomatic visa.

At least 25 of these immigrants eventually became citizens. Ten were lawful permanent residents, and four were illegal aliens.

These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.

Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Some opponents of the travel suspension have tried to claim that the Senate report was flawed because it included individuals who were not necessarily terrorists because they were convicted of crimes such as identity fraud and false statements. About a dozen individuals in the group from the seven terror-associated countries are in this category. Some are individuals who were arrested and convicted in the months following 9/11 for involvement in a fraudulent hazardous materials and commercial driver’s license scheme that was extremely worrisome to law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, although a direct link to the 9/11 plot was never claimed.

The information in this report was compiled by Senate staff from open sources, and certainly could have been found by the judges if they or their clerks had looked for it. Another example that should have come to mind is that of Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who attacked and wounded 11 people on the campus of Ohio State University in November 2016. Artan was a Somalian who arrived in 2007 as a refugee.

President Trump’s vetting order is clearly legal under the provisions of section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which says that the president can suspend the entry of any alien or group of aliens if he finds it to be detrimental to the national interest. He should not have to provide any more justification than was already presented in the order, but if judges demand more reasons, here are 72.

Voir aussi:

Homeland Security

Anatomy of the terror threat: Files show hundreds of US plots, refugee connection

Now PlayingWhy are Democrat women so rattled by Trump?

Newly obtained congressional data shows hundreds of terror plots have been stopped in the U.S. since 9/11 – mostly involving foreign-born suspects, including dozens of refugees.

The files are sure to inflame the debate over the Obama administration’s push to admit thousands more refugees from Syria and elsewhere, a proposal Donald Trump has vehemently opposed on the 2016 campaign trail.

“[T]hese data make clear that the United States not only lacks the ability to properly screen individuals prior to their arrival, but also that our nation has an unprecedented assimilation problem,” Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told President Obama in a June 14 letter, obtained by FoxNews.com.

The files also give fresh insight into the true scope of the terror threat and cover a wide range of cases, including:

  • A Seattle man plotting to attack a U.S. military facility
  • An Atlantic City man using his “Revolution Muslim” site to encourage confrontations with U.S. Jewish leaders “at their homes”
  • An Iraq refugee arrested in January, accused of traveling to Syria to “take up arms” with terror groups

While the June 12 massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub marked the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since 2001, the data shows America has been facing a steady stream of plots. For the period September 2001 through 2014, data shows the U.S. successfully prosecuted 580 individuals for terrorism and terror-related cases. Further, since early 2014, at least 131 individuals were identified as being implicated in terror.

Across both those groups, the senators reported that at least 40 people initially admitted to the U.S. as refugees later were convicted or implicated in terror cases.

Among the 580 convicted, they said, at least 380 were foreign-born. The top countries of origin were Pakistan, Lebanon and Somalia, as well as the Palestinian territories.

Both Sessions and Cruz sit on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, which compiled the terror-case information based on data from the Justice Department, news reports and other open-source information. The files were shared with FoxNews.com.

The files include dates, states of residence, countries of origin for foreign-born suspects, and reams of other details.

Specifically, they show a sharp spike in cases in 2015, largely stemming from the arrest of suspects claiming allegiance to the Islamic State. They also show a heavy concentration of cases involving suspects from California, Texas, New York and Minnesota, among other states.

The senators say the terror-case repository still is missing critical details on suspects’ immigration history, which they say the Department of Homeland Security has “failed to provide.” Immigration data the senators compiled came from other sources.

Sessions and Cruz asked the president in their letter to order the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and State to « update » and provide more detailed information. The senators have sent several letters to those departments since last year requesting immigration histories of those tied to terror.

“The administration refuses to give out the information necessary to establish a sound policy that protects Americans from terrorists,” Sessions said in a statement to Fox News.

Asked about the complaints, DHS spokeswoman Gillian M. Christensen told FoxNews.com the department “will respond to the senators’ request directly and not through the press.”

“More than 100 Congressional committees, subcommittees, caucuses, commissions and groups exercise oversight and ensure accountability of DHS and we work closely with them on a daily basis. We’ve received unprecedented requests from a number of senators and representatives for physical paper files for more than 700 aliens,” she said, adding that officials have to review each page manually for privacy and other issues.

Cruz ran unsuccessfully this year for the Republican presidential nomination. Sessions, an ardent critic of the administration’s immigration policies, is supporting presumptive GOP nominee Trump.

The allegations detailed in the subcommittee’s research pertain to a range of cases, involving suspects caught traveling or trying to travel overseas to fight, as well as suspects ensnared in controversial sting operations which civil-liberties groups including the ACLU have criticized.

In a 2014 report, Human Rights Watch said nearly half of the federal counterterror convictions at the time came from “informant-based cases,” many of them sting operations where the informants played a role in the plot.

The report said: “In some cases the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by conducting sting operations that facilitated or invented the target’s willingness to act.”

But even in some of those cases, federal agents got involved after learning of a serious suspected plot. In the case of the Seattle suspect, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, authorities said he approached someone in 2011 about attacking a military installation. That citizen alerted law enforcement and worked with them to capture Latif and an accomplice.

FoxNews.com’s Liz Torrey contributed to this report. 

Voir par ailleurs:

La guerre des cartels mexicains franchit la frontière des Etats-Unis

Déjà, l’Arizona subit une hausse alarmante de la criminalité. Selon différentes sources, l’Etat frontalier serait devenu la principale plaque tournante nord-américaine de l’immigration illégale et du narcotrafic. Ailleurs, sur l’ensemble du territoire, les cartels mexicains contrôleraient la plupart du marché, d’après un rapport du Centre national de renseignement des drogues. Liés aux gangs américains, ils seraient parvenus à s’implanter dans 230 villes des Etats-Unis.

Nicolas Bourcier

EL PASO (TEXAS) ENVOYÉ SPÉCIAL

Le Monde

24.03.2009

« N ‘y allez pas. » D’emblée, l’injonction de Ramon Bracamontes prend des allures de mise en garde. Les mots, le ton de ce journaliste texan d’El Paso, enquêteur reconnu, calme et d’habitude souriant, en disent long sur le degré d’inquiétude qui prévaut de ce côté-ci de la frontière.

Evoquer le Mexique et la ville d’en face, Ciudad Juarez, située juste de l’autre côté du Rio Grande et de son « rideau de fer », c’est prendre le risque de subir une logorrhée interminable de crimes et d’horreurs liés à la guerre des narcotrafiquants et leurs sicaires. « Moi-même, j’ai peur, insiste-t-il. Les autorités américaines au Mexique m’ont affirmé qu’elles ne pouvaient plus assurer la protection des ressortissants des Etats-Unis. Et de ce côté-ci, nous assistons, chaque jour un peu plus, au débordement de cette violence. »

C’est dire l’importance de la première visite, prévue les mercredi 25 et jeudi 26 mars, de la secrétaire d’Etat Hillary Clinton au Mexique. Sa venue a été placée sous le signe de la lutte contre la drogue. Plus de 800 policiers et militaires y ont été tués depuis décembre 2006. Quelque 6 000 assassinats y ont été recensés l’année dernière (le double de 2007). Avant Noël, les autorités ont découvert dans la petite ville de Chilpancingo, enveloppées dans des sacs en plastique, huit têtes décapitées de soldats puis trois autres dans une glacière à Ciudad Juarez en janvier. Quelques jours plus tard, c’était au tour du responsable de la police locale de démissionner sous la pression des cartels de la drogue. Le maire de la ville frontière, lui, a fini par s’installer avec sa famille en face, à El Paso.

Déjà, en décembre 2006, lors de son élection, le président mexicain, Felipe Calderon, avait admis que « le crime organisé était devenu hors de contrôle ». Depuis, le chef de l’Etat, conservateur et partisan d’une stratégie musclée contre le crime organisé, a déployé sur le territoire 45 000 soldats contre les gangs des narcotrafiquants, dont près de 5 000, cagoulés de noir et lourdement armés, pour la seule ville de Ciudad Juarez.

Les arrestations se sont multipliées – souvent de façon arbitraire, d’après les organisations de défense des droits de l’homme. Les règlements de compte dans les prisons ont atteint de nouveaux sommets. Tout comme les attaques contre des domiciles, les extorsions, les saisies de cocaïne, les prises d’otages et les meurtres avec plus de 1 100 homicides pour les seules huit premières semaines de l’année.

Les autorités mexicaines assurent que le pouvoir central est en train de gagner. A les en croire, l’explosion de violence serait paradoxalement le fruit des efforts de l’Etat pour désorganiser le trafic de drogue. En novembre 2008, Noe Ramirez, le procureur en charge de l’unité spécialisée dans le crime organisé, n’a-t-il pas été inculpé pour avoir fourni des informations au cartel de Sinaloa contre un demi-million de dollars par mois ? Et Francisco Velasco Delgado, le chef de la police de Cancun, arrêté pour avoir protégé le cartel dit du Golfe, commanditaire présumé de l’assassinat en janvier d’un général ?

Pour Washington, l’effort reste insuffisant. Rendu public il y a quelques semaines, un document du Pentagone concluait que deux grands pays pouvaient connaître un effondrement rapide de l’Etat : le Pakistan et, précisément, le voisin mexicain. Un avis rejeté fermement par Mexico, mais alimenté depuis par de nombreuses voix. Barry McCaffrey, général à la retraite et « M. Drogue » de Bill Clinton, affirme que les Etats-Unis ne peuvent pas se permettre d’avoir « un narco-Etat à leur porte« , ajoutant que « les dangers et les problèmes croissants du Mexique menacent la sécurité nationale de notre pays ».

Déjà, l’Arizona subit une hausse alarmante de la criminalité. Selon différentes sources, l’Etat frontalier serait devenu la principale plaque tournante nord-américaine de l’immigration illégale et du narcotrafic. Ailleurs, sur l’ensemble du territoire, les cartels mexicains contrôleraient la plupart du marché, d’après un rapport du Centre national de renseignement des drogues. Liés aux gangs américains, ils seraient parvenus à s’implanter dans 230 villes des Etats-Unis.

C’est dans ce contexte que le général Victor Renuart, le chef du commandement de la zone Amérique du Nord, a expliqué, lors d’une audition au Sénat, le 17 mars, que Washington envisageait d’envoyer plus de troupes ou d’agents spécialisés à la frontière. Selon lui, toutes les composantes des forces de l’ordre et de l’armée seront probablement concernées dans ce combat sans pour autant donner une estimation chiffrée des besoins.

Deux semaines auparavant, Rick Perry, le gouverneur républicain du Texas, avait exigé l’envoi de 1 000 hommes supplémentaires. « Je me fiche de savoir s’il s’agit de militaires, de gardes nationaux ou d’agents des douanes, a-t-il lâché. Nous sommes très préoccupés par le fait que le gouvernement fédéral ne s’occupe pas de la sécurité à la frontière de façon adéquate. »

Une équipe formée de représentants de plusieurs agences gouvernementales s’est réunie la semaine dernière afin d’épauler Mexico. Une initiative qui fait suite au déjeuner, le 12 janvier à Washington, entre Barack Obama et le président mexicain. D’après l’hebdomadaire The Economist, citant des sources mexicaines, M. Calderon aurait proposé un « partenariat stratégique » et la mise en place rapide d’un groupe binational d’experts afin d’améliorer la coopération entre les deux pays.

Devant l’éventualité d’une nouvelle militarisation de la frontière, le président mexicain a exhorté, il y a quelques jours, Washington à surveiller, de son côté, plus étroitement ses importations d’armes et leur vente aux particuliers. Il a demandé des contrôles plus stricts à la frontière d’où les cartels reçoivent leur arsenal et des millions de dollars en espèces en provenance des Etats-Unis.

Après Hillary Clinton, le président américain effectuera à son tour une visite officielle, les 16 et 17 avril, au Mexique. La première en Amérique latine depuis son accession à la Maison Blanche.

Nicolas Bourcier – EL PASO (TEXAS) ENVOYÉ SPÉCIAL

En savoir plus sur http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2009/03/24/la-guerre-des-cartels-mexicains-franchit-la-frontiere-des-etats-unis_1171893_3222.html#Z3v6zkJA11su7rMg.99

Ce que peut (encore) faire Barack Obama avant la fin de son mandat

Le président sortant a jusqu’au 20 janvier 2017, date de l’investiture de Donald Trump, pour prendre ses dernières mesures.

Lucas Wicky

Le Monde

28.12.2016

Barack Obama entre dans la dernière ligne droite de son mandat présidentiel. Le 20 janvier 2017, Donald Trump, dont l’élection a été confirmée le 19 décembre par le vote des grands électeurs, prêtera serment et s’installera à la Maison Blanche. Le président sortant se trouve ainsi placé dans la position inconfortable du « lame duck » (canard boiteux), selon l’expression consacrée outre-Atlantique : celle d’un élu dont le mandat arrive à terme et qui est toujours en poste, alors que son successeur est déjà élu mais n’occupe pas encore le poste.

Pour autant, M. Obama ne semble pas disposé à faire « profil bas » durant cette période de transition officielle, qui limite, théoriquement, ses marges de manœuvre. Pour preuve, le 20 décembre, il a décrété l’interdiction des forages gaziers et pétroliers dans de vastes zones de l’Arctique et de l’Atlantique. Les observateurs y ont vu une sorte de coup de force avant l’arrivée de M. Trump, tant cette disposition s’inscrit à rebours des orientations de ce dernier, qui, au contraire, a promis de déréguler l’extraction pétrolière pendant son mandat.

Barack Obama va-t-il profiter des prochaines semaines pour faire passer d’autres mesures avant de quitter la fonction présidentielle ? En a-t-il les moyens ? Voici un tour d’horizon des leviers dont il dispose encore, ou pas, et de la pérennité des mesures qu’il pourrait prendre.

Peut-il faire voter de nouvelles réformes ?

Non

En tout cas, pas en passant par le Congrès (pouvoir législatif). Depuis deux ans, M. Obama n’y dispose pas d’une majorité. C’est pourquoi toutes les réformes d’ampleur du président sortant ont été bloquées. Les élections de mi-mandat avaient en effet permis aux républicains d’obtenir la majorité au Sénat, tandis qu’ils contrôlaient la Chambre des représentants depuis 2010. Les démocrates n’ont pas réussi à renverser ce rapport de force lors des dernières élections, en novembre.

Peut-il « contourner » les parlementaires ?

Oui, dans certains cas

Des leviers ont notamment permis à M. Obama d’agir sur la question des armes, de promouvoir la diversité au sein de la Sécurité nationale ou de protéger une partie de la mer de Bering. Il s’agit des executive actions, en l’occurence des décrets présidentiels (executive orders) ou des mémorandums, qui viennent préciser la manière dont une loi existante doit s’appliquer (les décrets doivent nécessairement mentionner la loi concernée, à la différence des mémorandums).

Le président dispose d’un troisième outil afin de se passer de la validation du Sénat : les accords exécutifs. M. Obama y a eu recours en politique étrangère. Par exemple pour « signer l’accord de Paris sur le changement climatique et conclure l’accord controversé sur le programme nucléaire iranien », note John Copeland Nagle, professeur de droit à l’université Notre Dame law school.

M. Obama a toutefois eu moins recours aux décrets présidentiels que ses prédécesseurs républicains, Ronald Reagan et George W. Bush, mais à plus de mémorandums, selon USA Today.

Les décisions prises à travers des « actes exécutifs » sont-elles irréversibles ?

Non

L’utilisation de ces executive actions n’est pas explicitement prévue par la Constitution des Etats-Unis. Leur utilisation a plusieurs fois été jugée abusive ou « anticonstitutionnelle » par les républicains. En réalité, il revient aux tribunaux fédéraux (s’ils sont saisis par un plaignant) ou à la Cour suprême (en cas d’appel) de juger si ces actes exécutifs respectent ou non la Constitution.

Quoi qu’il en soit, la plupart de ces actes exécutifs peuvent être « instantanément défaits par Donald Trump », prévient Vincent Michelot, professeur de civilisation américaine à Sciences Po Lyon.

C’est d’ailleurs ce que promet le futur locataire de la Maison Blanche, qui a l’intention de revenir sur plusieurs réformes de son prédécesseur. Dans son contrat présidentiel, on peut lire ce qu’il compte faire dès son premier jour de mandat :

« Premièrement, abroger toutes les actions exécutives inconstitutionnelles, mémorandums et décrets mis en place par le président Obama. »

Certains actes présidentiels pris par M. Obama peuvent-ils contraindre son successeur ?

Oui

Face au risque de détricotage par son successeur, M. Obama possède une marge de manœuvre : appliquer, à travers des executive actions, des lois n’étant pas prévues pour être réversibles. C’est ce qu’il a fait pour interdire les forages offshore en Arctique et Atlantique : il s’est appuyé sur l’Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, loi sur les terres du plateau continental, qui donne au président le pouvoir de protéger les eaux fédérales et rend cette protection permanente dans le temps.

Le texte actuel ne permet pas d’autoriser à nouveau l’exploitation d’hydrocarbures une fois qu’une zone a été sanctuarisée. Et Vincent Michelot de préciser :

« Certaines règles édictées ces derniers jours seront très difficiles à abroger […] et consommatrices de temps parlementaire. Elles donnent aussi la possibilité aux associations de défense de l’environnement de porter le débat devant le judiciaire, ce qui signifie des procédures d’une durée de deux à quatre ans. »

Ce type de mesure pourrait-il être multiplié dans les prochains jours ? Vincent Michelot n’exclut pas cette possibilité :

« Si d’autres décisions similaires sont dans les tuyaux, notamment en matière d’environnement, M. Obama a tout intérêt à ne pas les annoncer à l’avance, pour bénéficier de l’effet de surprise et surtout mettre l’administration Trump au pied du mur. »

Le président sortant dispose-t-il d’autres pouvoirs en cette fin de mandat ?

Oui

Barack Obama a par exemple la possibilité de suspendre des dirigeants de l’administration ou de l’armée et de rendre publics des programmes confidentiels. L’hebdomadaire de gauche The Nation l’a appelé, début décembre, à utiliser une partie de ces pouvoirs. Notamment pour « déclassifier des documents secrets, gracier des lanceurs d’alertes [comme Chelsea Manning ou Edward Snowden] et punir des hauts responsables ayant abusé de leur pouvoir ». Pour l’heure, le président démocrate n’a pas donné suite à leur demande.

Par ailleurs, l’article II de la Constitution des Etats-Unis confère au président le pouvoir « d’accorder […] des grâces pour crimes contre les Etats-Unis ». Il s’agit d’une prérogative que M. Obama a largement utilisée au cours des derniers jours.

Pour la seule journée du 19 décembre, il a accordé 153 « commutations » (réduction ou suppression de peine) et 78 « pardons » (oubli de la condamnation après que celle-ci a été effectuée et plein rétablissement des droits civils – le vote par exemple). Il a d’ores et déjà battu le record historique du nombre de grâces accordées par un président en exercice.

« Il y aura d’autres grâces présidentielles pour certains condamnés », pronostique Vincent Michelot. L’administration Obama redoute un tournant sécuritaire avec M. Trump. Ce mouvement de grâces est donc également un message politique. Le dernier communiqué de la Maison Blanche sur le sujet est explicite :

« Nous devons rappeler que la grâce est un outil de dernier ressort et que seul le Congrès peut mettre en place les réformes plus larges nécessaires pour assurer à long terme que notre système de justice pénale fonctionne plus équitablement et plus efficacement au service de la sécurité publique. »


Présidence Trump: Attention: une ignorance peut en cacher une autre ! (Don’t know much about history: Our geographically and historically challenged leaders are emblematic of disturbing trends in American education)

8 février, 2017
superhackDon’t know much about history … Sam Cooke
Barack is one of the smartest people you will ever encounter who will deign to enter this messy thing called politics. Michelle Obama
Féru d’histoire, je sais aussi la dette que la civilisation doit à l’islam. Barack Hussein Obama
Le Saint Coran nous enseigne que quiconque tue un innocent tue l’humanité tout entière, et que quiconque sauve quelqu’un, sauve l’humanité tout entière. Barack Hussein Obama
Nous cherchons à ouvrir un nouveau chemin en direction du monde musulman, fondé sur l’intérêt mutuel et le respect mutuel. (…) Nous sommes une nation de chrétiens, de musulmans, de juifs, d’hindous et de non croyants. Barack Hussein Obama (discours d’investiture, le 20 janvier 2009)
Une nation de musulmans, de chrétiens et de juifs … Barack Hussein Obama (Entretien à la télévision saoudienne Al-Arabiya, 27 janvier, 2009)
Nous exprimerons notre appréciation profonde de la foi musulmane qui a tant fait au long des siècles pour améliorer le monde, y compris mon propre pays. Barack Hussein Obama (Ankara, avril 2009)
Les Etats-Unis et le monde occidental doivent apprendre à mieux connaître l’islam. D’ailleurs, si l’on compte le nombre d’Américains musulmans, on voit que les Etats-Unis sont l’un des plus grands pays musulmans de la planète. Barack Hussein Obama (entretien pour Canal +, le 2 juin 2009)
Salamm aleïkoum (…) Comme le dit le Saint Coran, « Crains Dieu et dis toujours la vérité ». (…) Je suis chrétien, mais mon père était issu d’une famille kényane qui compte des générations de musulmans. Enfant, j’ai passé plusieurs années en Indonésie où j’ai entendu l’appel à la prière (azan) à l’aube et au crépuscule. Jeune homme, j’ai travaillé dans des quartiers de Chicago où j’ai côtoyé beaucoup de gens qui trouvaient la dignité et la paix dans leur foi musulmane. Barack Hussein Obama (Prêche du Caire)
If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina; or Savannah, Georgia; or Jacksonville, Florida . . .  Barack Hussein Obama
It is just wonderful to be back in Oregon, and over the last 15 months we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in fifty …. seven states? I think one left to go. One left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit but my staff would not justify it. Barack Hussein Obama
The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing. (…) We created an echo chamber. They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say. Ben Rhodes (conseiller-adjoint à la sécurité extérieure d’Obama)
It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror. Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent. In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world. Donald Trump
Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered. Spokesperson Hope Hicks
 I mean, everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust including obviously all of the Jewish people affected, and the miserable genocide that occurred is something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad and something that can never be forgotten. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
There were indeed millions of innocent people whom the Nazis killed in many horrific ways, some in the course of the war and some because the Germans perceived them—however deluded their perception—to pose a threat to their rule. They suffered terribly. But that was not the Holocaust. Deborah Lipstadt
After the Holocaust took away so much from the Jews, we must not take the Holocaust itself away from the Jews. Those victims were murdered not merely because they were different. They were murdered not merely because they were an ‘other.’ They were murdered because they were Jews. Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States
Je le respecte, mais «ça ne veut pas dire que je vais m’entendre avec lui.  C’est un leader dans son pays, et je pense qu’il vaut mieux s’entendre avec la Russie que l’inverse. (…) Beaucoup de tueurs, beaucoup de tueurs. Pensez-vous que notre pays soit si innocent? Donald Trump
Je ne pense pas qu’il y ait aucune équivalence entre la manière dont les Russes se comportent et la manière dont les États-Unis se comportent. C’est un ancien du KGB, un voyou, élu d’une manière que beaucoup de gens ne trouvent pas crédible.  Mitch McConnell (chef de file des républicains au Sénat)
Quand est-ce qu’un activiste démocrate a été empoisonné par le parti Républicain, ou vice-versa? Nous ne sommes pas comme Poutine. Marc Rubio (sénateur républicain de Floride)
Dans son « parler vrai » à l’adresse du monde arabe, après avoir commencé par prétendre mensongèrement que, comme l’Amérique, l’islam cultivait « la justice et le progrès, la tolérance et la dignité de tout être humain », Obama a été sciemment et fondamentalement malhonnête. Par cette malhonnêteté, il a entrepris de placer le monde musulman sur un pied d’égalité morale avec le monde libre. (…) Malheureusement, une analyse attentive de ses déclarations montre qu’Obama adopte bel et bien le point de vue des Arabes, selon lequel Israël serait un élément étranger – et donc injustifiable – dans le monde arabe. En réalité, loin de dénoncer leur refus d’accepter Israël, Obama le légitime. L’argument fondamental que les Arabes utilisent contre Israël est que la seule raison de sa création aurait été d’apaiser la mauvaise conscience des Européens après la Shoah. Selon leurs dires, les Juifs n’auraient aucun droit sur la Terre d’Israël du point de vue légal, historique et moral. Or, cet argument est complètement faux ». (…) « La communauté internationale a reconnu les droits légaux, historiques et moraux du peuple juif sur la Terre d’Israël bien avant que quiconque ait jamais entendu parler d’Adolf Hitler. En 1922, la Société des Nations avait mandaté la « reconstitution » – et non la création – du foyer national juif sur la Terre d’Israël dans ses frontières historiques sur les deux rives du Jourdain. Cependant, dans ce qu’il présentait lui-même comme un exemple de parler-vrai, Obama a ignoré cette vérité fondamentale au profit du mensonge arabe. Il a donné du crédit à son mensonge en déclarant, hors de propos, que « l’aspiration à un territoire juif est ancrée dans un passé tragique ». Il a ensuite lié de façon explicite la création de l’État d’Israël à la Shoah, en formulant une leçon d’histoire intéressée sur le génocide des Juifs d’Europe. Pire encore que son aveuglement délibéré vis-à-vis des justifications historiques, légales et morales de la renaissance d’Israël, il y a la manière dont Obama a évoqué Israël même. De façon odieuse et mensongère, Obama a allègrement comparé la manière dont Israël traite les Palestiniens à celle dont les esclavagistes blancs, en Amérique, traitaient leurs esclaves noirs. De même, il a assimilé les terroristes palestiniens à la catégorie, moralement pure, des esclaves. De façon plus ignoble encore, en utilisant le terme de « résistance », euphémisme arabe pour désigner le terrorisme palestinien, Obama a conféré à celui-ci la grandeur morale des révoltes des esclaves et du mouvement des droits civiques. Caroline Glick (Haaretz)
Les squelettes qui encombrent tous les placards d’Obama n’ont jamais été dérangés ni examinés par la presse dite Mainstream, c’est-à-dire la presse « honorable ». Alors qu’un comportement systématique et permanent de coopération avec l’extrême-gauche raciste, violente et fraudeuse, avec les plus extrêmes représentants du Black Power, apôtres d’un fascisme noir, a été démontré par des enquêtes répétées, la grande presse, les networks de télévision sont restés d’un silence de plomb. Sa carrière politique a-t-elle été lancée par le terroriste non repenti Bill Ayers, du Weather Underground, équivalent américain d’Action directe ? Obama ment sans vergogne. A propos d’Ayers : « c’est un type qui habite dans ma rue », alors que l’autre l’a fait entrer au conseil d’une fondation où il siège, et qui finance toutes sortes d’organisations louches mais situées à l’extrême-gauche, dont ACORN, aujourd’hui inculpée de fraude électorale dans dix Etats de l’Union. La presse ne pipe mot. Alors que sa carrière politique a été couvée et promue par la sordide organisation démocrate de Chicago, machine à tricher et à voler, qui fait pâlir la Corse, Marseille et Naples réunies, qu’il y a été financé par l’escroc syrien Antoine Rezko, actuellement pensionnaire des prisons fédérales, on n’en trouve pas un mot dans les media. (…) De même, les networks de télévision procèdent par montage pour présenter un Obama clair, clairvoyant, décidé, alors qu’il bafouille et hésite quand le téléprompteur lui manque, ou qu’il n’est pas en situation de réciter les talking points (les paragraphes pondus par son équipe). Ce qui donne des discours et des réponses pleins de « mots codes » et vides de contenu ; comme il a remarquablement assimilé l’art tout washingtonien de réciter les dossiers, un peu à la façon énarque, il peut prétendre savoir de quoi il parle, alors qu’en matière de politique étrangère, il a l’ignorance crasse du novice. On me dira : vous exagérez ! Il est brillant diplômé de Harvard ! A quoi je ferai remarquer qu’un universitaire décrit comme de grande classe devrait avoir écrit quelques articles de grande revue de droit qui auront fait date. Ici, rien, le désert. Qu’on se souvienne des présidentielles de 2000 – Bush avait été un étudiant pas très assidu, quoique diplômé de la prestigieuse université de Yale ; mais il avait été bambocheur et buveur – la grande presse faisait florès du moindre verre de whisky jamais avalé. Aujourd’hui, elle passe au microscope le moindre pas de la famille Palin, et s’acharne à trouver tous les poux du monde dans la tête du gouverneur de l’Alaska. Les media se sont transformées en une machine à faire élire Obama, qui est donc à la fois le candidat du Parti Démocrate et du Parti de la presse. Laurent Murawiec
Obama demande pardon pour les faits et gestes de l’Amérique, son passé, son présent et le reste, il s’excuse de tout. Les relations dégradées avec la Russie, le manque de respect pour l’Islam, les mauvais rapports avec l’Iran, les bisbilles avec l’Europe, le manque d’adulation pour Fidel Castro, tout lui est bon pour battre la coulpe de l’Amérique. Plus encore, il célèbre la contribution (totalement inexistante) de l’Islam à l’essor de l’Amérique, et il se fend d’une révérence au sanglant et sectaire roi d’Arabie, l’Abdullah de la haine. Il annule la ceinture anti-missiles sise en Alaska et propose un désarmement nucléaire inutile. (…) Plus encore, cette déplorable Amérique a semé le désordre et le mal partout dans le monde. Au lieu de collaborer multilatéralement avec tous, d’œuvrer au bien commun avec Poutine, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Saddam Hussein, Bachir al-Assad, et Cie, l’insupportable Bush en a fait des ennemis. (…) Il n’y a pas d’ennemis, il n’y a que des malentendus. Il ne peut y avoir d’affrontements, seulement des clarifications. Laurent Murawiec
Si vous êtes Israéliens, Obama vous laisse le choix du costume : si l’uniforme SS vous déplait, vous avez celui d’esclavagiste faisant claquer son fouet dans une plantation de la banlieue d’Atlanta en 1850, ou celui de policier au service de la discrimination du côté de Soweto. Joli choix, non? Guy Millière
Obama (…) dit que Thomas Jefferson était un lecteur du Coran, mais omet de rappeler, ce que tout lecteur de la correspondance de Jefferson sait, que si celui qui fut le troisième Président des Etats-Unis a lu le Coran, c’était pour comprendre la mentalité de gens qui exerçaient des actes de prédation violente contre des navires marchands américains. Obama cite par ailleurs une phrase de John Adams disant que ‘les Etats-Unis sont en paix’ avec le monde musulman, mais il omet de signaler que la phrase de John Adams figure dans un accord de paix qui suit une action de guerre menée par les Etats-Unis aux fins que les actes de prédation susdits cessent. (…) Et je passe sur les propos concernant l’invention de l’algèbre, du compas, de la boussole, de l’imprimerie de la médecine moderne, par des musulmans. Obama, ou son téléprompteur, n’ont jamais dû ouvrir un livre d’histoire des sciences et des techniques. (..) Je garde le meilleur pour la fin: ‘tout au long de l’histoire, l’islam a démontré, par les paroles et par les actes, les possibilités de la tolérance religieuse et de l’égalité raciale’. (…) Dire une telle phrase en gardant son sérieux implique un talent certain dans l’aptitude à dire n’importe quoi en gardant son sérieux. Enfin, et c’est le plus grave, c’est même si grave que là, on n’est plus dans le douteux, mais dans le répugnant, Obama pousse le relativisme moral et les comparaisons bancales jusqu’à un degré où il frôle le révisionnisme qu’il dénonce par ailleurs. Oser comparer la destruction des Juifs d’Europe par le régime nazi et ses complices au sort subi par le ‘peuple palestinien’ depuis soixante années montre, qu’à force d’écouter des gens comme Jeremiah Wright, il reste des salissures dans les neurones ». Guy Millière
Le réel, c’est un pays en proie à la plus grave menace d’éclatement social et culturel depuis les années 30. Le réel, c’est une explosion sans précédent des inégalités. Le réel, c’est l’abîme qui sépare les privilégiés et les élites mondialisées. Le réel, ce sont des usines fermées, des entreprises délocalisées, des emplois raréfiés, des salariés déprimés, et des électeurs frustrés. Le réel, c’est une immigration massive (11 millions de clandestins sans doits et sous-payés !) encouragée par le patronat pour accentuer le dumping social et la guerre des pauvres contre les pauvres. Le réel, c’est le bide de l’ère Obama à l’exception de l’Obamacare, qui a joué de son image pour faire oublier un bilan se ramenant à un grand vide. Le réel, c’est le rejet de la famille Clinton, considérée à tort ou à raison comme le symbole de l’entre-soi, de l’arrivisme et du copinage. Le réel, enfin, c’est un candidat qui a surfé sur toute ces frustrations pour l’emporter alors qu’il est lui-même le représentant type de l’Amérique du fric. Clinton, un discours convenu et rejeté. Le réel, c’est un Donald Trump que l’on a réduit à ses propres outrances – ce qui n’est guère compliqué – en oubliant que sur nombre de sujets (la folie du libre-échange, les délocalisations, la misère ouvrière, le rejet de l’élite), il a su développer une démagogie d’autant plus efficace qu’en face, Hillary Clinton s’est contentée de reprendre un discours convenu, attendu et rejeté. Cette dernière est même allée jusqu’à traiter les électeurs de Trump de personnes « pitoyables », étalant ainsi un mépris de classe qui n’a sans doute pas été pour rien dans sa déroute. Et voilà comment on en est arrivé à un résultat que les experts en tout et en rien n’ont pas vu venir, car eux-mêmes vivent dans une bulle. Tout comme ils ont été incapables de prévoir le Brexit, ou quelques années plus tôt la victoire du non au traité constitutionnel européen en 2005, il était inconcevable à leurs yeux qu’un homme aussi détestable que Donald Trump puisse l’emporter. Toutes proportions gardées, c’est la même cécité qui les conduit à ne rien comprendre au phénomène Le Pen en France, lequel n’est pas sans analogie avec l’effet Trump. Face à la colère qui conduit nombre de citoyens déboussolés à se tourner vers le FN, ils se contentent encore trop souvent de condamnations morales, sans prendre en compte un mouvement de fond qui se joue des barrières de la diabolisation. Mieux vaudrait s’en apercevoir avant qu’il ne soit trop tard. Marianne
Donald Trump, éreinté par les prêcheurs d’amour, en devient estimable. La gauche morale, qui refuse de se dire vaincue, dévoile l’intolérance qu’elle dissimulait du temps de sa domination. Cette semaine, les manifestations anti-Trump se succèdent à Washington, où le président prête serment ce vendredi. La presse ne cache rien de la répulsion que lui inspire celui qui a gagné en lui tournant le dos. Les artistes de variétés se glorifient de ne vouloir chanter pour lui. Des stylistes de mode font savoir qu’ils n’habilleront pas la First Lady, Melania. Des peintres demandent à Ivanka, la fille, de décrocher leurs œuvres de son appartement. Au pays de la démocratie, le choix du peuple et des grands électeurs est refusé par une caste convaincue de sa supériorité. (…) Le sectarisme des prétendus bienveillants montre leur pharisaïsme. Les masques n’ont pas fini de tomber. C’est un monde ancien qu’enterre Trump à la Maison-Blanche : celui des bons sentiments étalés et des larmes furtives, alibis des lâchetés. La vulgarité du cow-boy mégalomane et son expression brutale ne suffisent pas à le disqualifier. D’autant que ses procureurs se ridiculisent. Le mondialiste George Soros, qui avait parié sur la frayeur des marchés, aurait perdu près d’un milliard de dollars. En quelques tweets, Trump a obtenu que Ford annule un projet d’usine au Mexique au profit d’un investissement dans le Michigan. Fiat-Chrystler va également rapatrier une production de véhicules. General Motors promet d’investir un milliard de dollars. Carrier (climatiseurs) va sauver 1 000 postes. Amazon annonce 100 000 emplois et Walmart 10 000. L’effet Trump s’est déjà mis en branle. L’éléphant va casser de la porcelaine. Mais la révolution des œillères, ôtées grâce à lui, est à ce prix. Il va être difficile, pour les orphelins de l’obamania et les pandores du bien-pensisme, de faire barrage à l’insurrection populaire qui s’exprime, faute de mieux, derrière ce personnage instinctif. Ivan Rioufol
Iran now stands at the apex of an arc of influence stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean, from the borders of NATO to the borders of Israel and along the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It commands the loyalties of tens of thousands in allied militias and proxy armies that are fighting on the front lines in Syria, Iraq and Yemen with armored vehicles, tanks and heavy weapons. They have been joined by thousands of members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s most prestigious military wing, who have acquired meaningful battlefield experience in the process. For the first time in its history, the Institute for the Study of War noted in a report last week, Iran has developed the capacity to project conventional military force for hundreds of miles beyond its borders. “This capability, which very few states in the world have, will fundamentally alter the strategic calculus and balance of power within the Middle East,” the institute said. America’s Sunni Arab allies, who blame the Obama administration’s hesitancy for Iran’s expanded powers, are relishing the prospect of a more confrontational U.S. approach. Any misgivings they may have had about Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric have been dwarfed by their enthusiasm for an American president they believe will push back against Iran. The Washington Post
Now that Obama is out of office, the Washington Post is beginning to look at the consequences of his policies. One of the biggest: Iran is now a regional superpower, but still as hostile to the U.S. and its allies as ever…. The American interest
Donald Trump was not my favorite in the primaries; but once he was likely to win the nomination (April 2016), I simply went to his website and collated his positions with Hillary Clinton’s on sanctuary cities, illegal immigration, defense, foreign policy, taxes, regulation, energy development, the EPA, the 2nd Amendment, the wall, school choice, and a host of other issues. The comparison supported my suspicions that he was more conservative and would not lose the Supreme Court for a generation to progressive massaging of the law, which was inevitable under Hillary Clinton. I think his appointments, Supreme Court pick, and executive orders have supported that belief that he is far more conservative than Hillary Clinton’s agendas. Oh, I came to another conclusion: I initially thought Trump might be the only nominee who would lose to Hillary Clinton; soon, however, I began to believe that he might be the only one who could beat her, given he was the first Republican to campaign in the Lee Atwater-style of 1988 and actually fought back against the WikiLeaks nexus of the media and Democratic Party. As for his sometimes reckless tweets and outbursts, I calibrated three variables: 1) Were they any different from past presidents’? In fact, they were—but not to a degree that I thought his behavior endangered the republic. For all his antics at rallies, he did not yet say “punish our enemies” or urge his supporters to take a gun to a knife fight or to get in “their faces.” His silliness was similar to Joe Biden’s (“put you all in chains,” or his belief that FDR went on TV to the nation in 1929). Yes, I wish Trump was more sober and judicious, but then again we have had very unsober presidents and vice presidents in the past (LBJ showed the nation his surgery scars and reportedly exposed himself during a meeting). FDR carried on an affair while president. No need to mention JFK’s nocturnal romps. So far Trump is not using the Oval Office bathroom for trysts with subordinate interns. Much of Trump’s oafishness is media created and reflects a bit of class disdain. We all need, however, to watch every president and call out crudity when it occurs. (I am still not happy with the strained explanations of his jerky movements as not an affront to a disabled person.) 2) Did the media play a role in the demonization of Trump? I think it did. In the last few weeks we were told falsely that his lawyer went to Prague to cut a deal with the Russians, that he removed the bust of Martin Luther King from the Oval Office, and that he engaged in sexual debaucheries in Moscow—all absolutely not true. Who would trust the media after all that? So much of the hysteria is driven by a furious media that was not so furious when Obama signed executive orders circumventing the law or the Clintons ran a veritable shake-down operation (where is it now?) at the Clinton Foundation. Not wanting to take refugees from Australia that had sent back to sea arriving migrants and had them deposited them in camps in nearby islands is not exactly an extreme position (by liberal standards, Australia is the illiberal actor, not Trump). 3) Do Trump’s episodic outbursts threaten his agendas? I don’t know, but the media will ensure that they will, if he is not more circumspect. So far he is by design creating chaos and has befuddled his opponents, but I think in the long run he must limit his exposure to gratuitous attacks by curbing his tweets—and I have written just that in the past. Trump’s agenda is fine; his pushback against an unhinged Left and biased media is healthy, but he must economize his outbursts given that the strategy of his opponents is to nick him daily in hopes of an aggregate bleed. We have four more years and he needs to conserve his strength and stamina and not get sidelined with spats with Merle Streep or Arnold at the Apprentice. Remember, Obama was the revolution that sought to remake the country; the reaction to it is pushing the country back to the center—which appears now revolutionary. Trump’s stances on energy development, immigration, and foreign policy are not that much different from Bill Clinton’s or George H.W. Bush’s. They seem revolutionary because again he is correcting a revolution. Who had ever dreamed in 1995 of a sanctuary city, emulating the nullification policies of the Old Confederacy? Victor Davis Hanson
President Obama has a habit of asserting strategic nonsense with such certainty that it is at times embarrassing and frightening. Nowhere is that more evident than in his rhetoric about the Middle East. (…) in July 2015, Obama claimed that the now growing ISIS threat could not be addressed through force of arms, assuring the world that “Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas.” Such a generic assertion seems historically preposterous. The defeat of German Nazism, Italian fascism, and Japanese militarism was not accomplished by Anglo-American rhetoric on freedom. What stopped the growth of Soviet-style global communism during the Cold War were both armed interventions such as the Korean War and real threats to use force such as during the Berlin Airlift and Cuban Missile Crisis— along with Ronald Reagan’s resoluteness backed by a military buildup that restored credible Western military deterrence. In contrast, Obama apparently believes that strategic threats are not checked with tough diplomacy backed by military alliances, balances of power, and military deterrence, much less by speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Rather, crises are resolved by ironing out mostly Western-inspired misunderstandings and going back on heat-of-the moment, ad hoc issued deadlines, red lines, and step-over lines, whether to the Iranian theocracy, Vladimir Putin, or Bashar Assad. Sometimes the administration’s faith in Western social progressivism is offered to persuade an Iran or Cuba that they have missed the arc of Westernized history—and must get back on the right side of the past by loosening the reins of their respective police states. Obama believes that engagement with Iran in non-proliferation talks—which have so far given up on prior Western insistences on third-party, out of the country enrichment, on-site inspections, and kick-back sanctions—will inevitably ensure that Iran becomes “a successful regional power.” That higher profile of the theocracy apparently is a good thing for the Middle East and our allies like Israel and the Gulf states.  (…) In his February 2, 2015 outline of anti-ISIS strategy—itself an update of an earlier September 2014 strategic précis—Obama again insisted that “one of the best antidotes to the hateful ideologies that try to recruit and radicalize people to violent extremism is our own example as diverse and tolerant societies that welcome the contributions of all people, including people of all faiths.” The idea, a naïve one, is that because we welcome mosques on our diverse and tolerant soil, ISIS will take note and welcome Christian churches. One of Obama’s former State Department advisors, Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks, recently amplified that reductionist confidence in the curative power of Western progressivism. She urged Americans to tweet ISIS, which, like Iran, habitually executes homosexuals. Brooks hoped that Americans would pass on stories about and photos of the Supreme Court’s recent embrace of gay marriage: “Do you want to fight the Islamic State and the forces of Islamic extremist terrorism? I’ll tell you the best way to send a message to those masked gunmen in Iraq and Syria and to everyone else who gains power by sowing violence and fear. Just keep posting that second set of images [photos of American gays and their supporters celebrating the Supreme Court decision]. Post them on Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and in comments all over the Internet. Send them to your friends and your family. Send them to your pen pal in France and your old roommate in Tunisia. Send them to strangers.” Such zesty confidence in the redemptive power of Western moral superiority recalls First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to persusade the murderous Boko Haram to return kidnapped Nigerian preteen girls. Ms. Obama appealed to Boko Haram on the basis of shared empathy and universal parental instincts. (“In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”) Ms. Obama then fortified her message with a photo of her holding up a sign with the hash-tag #BringBackOurGirls. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has added Crimea and Eastern Ukraine to his earlier acquisitions in Georgia. He is most likely eyeing the Baltic States next. China is creating new strategic realities in the Pacific, in which Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines will eventually either be forced to acquiesce or to seek their own nuclear deterrent. The Middle East has imploded. Much of North Africa is becoming a Mogadishu-like wasteland. The assorted theocrats, terrorists, dictators, and tribalists express little fear of or respect for the U.S. They believe that the Obama administration does not know much nor cares about foreign affairs. They may be right in their cynicism. A president who does not consider chlorine gas a chemical weapon could conceivably believe that the Americans once liberated Auschwitz, that the Austrians speak an Austrian language, and that the Falklands are known in Latin America as the Maldives. Both friends and enemies assume that what Obama or his administration says today will be either rendered irrelevant or denied tomorrow. Iraq at one point was trumpeted by Vice President Joe Biden as the administration’s probable “greatest achievement.” Obama declared that Iraq was a “stable and self-reliant” country in no need of American peacekeepers after 2011. Yanking all Americans out of Iraq in 2011 was solely a short-term political decision designed as a 2012 reelection talking point. The American departure had nothing to do with a disinterested assessment of the long-term security of the still shaky Iraqi consensual government. When Senator Obama damned the invasion of Iraq in 2003; when he claimed in 2004 that he had no policy differences with the Bush administration on Iraq; when he declared in 2007 that the surge would fail; when he said in 2008 as a presidential candidate that he wanted all U.S. troops brought home; when he opined as President in 2011 that the country was stable and self-reliant; when he assured the world in 2014 that it was not threatened by ISIS; and when in 2015 he sent troops back into an imploding Iraq—all of these decisions hinged on perceived public opinion, not empirical assessments of the state of Iraq itself. The near destruction of Iraq and the rise of ISIS were the logical dividends of a decade of politicized ambiguity. After six years, even non-Americans have caught on that the more Obama flip-flops on Iraq, deprecates an enemy, or ignores Syrian redlines, the less likely American arms will ever be used and assurances honored. The world is going to become an even scarier place in the next two years. The problem is not just that our enemies do not believe our President, but rather that they no longer even listen to him. Victor Davis Hanson
President Obama (…) believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the “right side of history.” He also chastises others for being on the “wrong side of history” — as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot. When in 2009 millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the thuggish theocracy, they wanted immediate U.S. support. Instead, Obama belatedly offered them banalities suggesting that in the end, they would end up “on the right side of history.” Iranian reformers may indeed end up there, but it will not be because of some righteous inanimate force of history, or the prognostications of Barack Obama. Obama often parrots Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase about the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice. But King used that metaphor as an incentive to act, not as reassurance that matters will follow an inevitably positive course. Another of Obama’s historical refrains is his frequent sermon about behavior that doesn’t belong in the 21st century. At various times he has lectured that the barbarous aggression of Vladimir Putin or the Islamic State has no place in our century and will “ultimately fail” — as if we are all now sophisticates of an age that has at last transcended retrograde brutality and savagery. In Obama’s hazy sense of the end of history, things always must get better in the manner that updated models of iPhones and iPads are glitzier than the last. In fact, history is morally cyclical. Even technological progress is ethically neutral. It is a way either to bring more good things to more people or to facilitate evil all that much more quickly and effectively. In the viciously modern 20th century — when more lives may have been lost to war than in all prior centuries combined — some 6 million Jews were put to death through high technology in a way well beyond the savagery of Attila the Hun or Tamerlane. Beheading in the Islamic world is as common in the 21st century as it was in the eighth century — and as it will probably be in the 22nd. The carnage of the Somme and Dresden trumped anything that the Greeks, Romans, Franks, Turks, or Venetians could have imagined. (…) What explains Obama’s confusion? A lack of knowledge of basic history explains a lot. (…) Obama once praised the city of Cordoba as part of a proud Islamic tradition of tolerance during the brutal Spanish Inquisition — forgetting that by the beginning of the Inquisition an almost exclusively Christian Cordoba had few Muslims left. (…) A Pollyannaish belief in historical predetermination seems to substitute for action. If Obama believes that evil should be absent in the 21st century, or that the arc of the moral universe must always bend toward justice, or that being on the wrong side of history has consequences, then he may think inanimate forces can take care of things as we need merely watch. In truth, history is messier. Unfortunately, only force will stop seventh-century monsters like the Islamic State from killing thousands more innocents. Obama may think that reminding Putin that he is now in the 21st century will so embarrass the dictator that he will back off from Ukraine. But the brutish Putin may think that not being labeled a 21st-century civilized sophisticate is a compliment. In 1935, French foreign minister Pierre Laval warned Joseph Stalin that the Pope would admonish him to go easy on Catholics — as if such moral lectures worked in the supposedly civilized 20th century. Stalin quickly disabused Laval of that naiveté. “The Pope?” Stalin asked, “How many divisions has he got?” There is little evidence that human nature has changed over the centuries, despite massive government efforts to make us think and act nicer. What drives Putin, Boko Haram, or ISIS are the same age-old passions, fears, and sense of honor that over the centuries also moved Genghis Khan, the Sudanese Mahdists, and the Barbary pirates. Obama’s naive belief in predetermined history — especially when his facts are often wrong — is a poor substitute for concrete moral action. Victor Davis Hanson
Let’s hope that the era of ‘lead from behind’ and violated red lines is over. For eight years, the Obama administration misjudged Vladimir Putin’s Russia, as it misjudged most of the Middle East, China, and the rest of the world as well. Obama got wise to Russia only when Putin imperiled not just U.S. strategic interests and government records but also supposedly went so far as to tamper with sacrosanct Democratic-party secrets, thereby endangering the legacy of Barack Obama. Putin was probably bewildered by Obama’s media-driven and belated concern, given that the Russians, like the Chinese, had in the past hacked U.S. government documents that were far more sensitive than the information it may have mined and leaked in 2016 — and they received nothing but an occasional Obama “cut it out” whine. Neurotic passive-aggression doesn’t merely bother the Russians; it apparently incites and emboldens them. (…) Russia had once lost a million civilians at the siege of Leningrad when Hitler’s Army Group North raced through the Baltic States (picking up volunteers as it went) and met up with the Finns. At Sevastopol, General Erich von Manstein’s Eleventh Army may well have inflicted 100,000 Russian Crimean casualties in a successful but nihilistic effort to take and nearly destroy the fortress. The Kiev Pocket and destruction of the Southwestern Front of the Red Army in the Ukraine in September 1941 (700,000 Russians killed, captured, or missing) may have been the largest encirclement and mass destruction of an army in military history. For Putin, these are not ancient events but rather proof of why former Soviet bloodlands were as much Russian as Puerto Rico was considered American. We find such reasoning tortured, given Ukrainian and Crimean desires to be free; Putin insists that Russian ghosts still flitter over such hallowed ground. Reconstruction of Putin’s mindset is not justification for his domestic thuggery or foreign expansionism at the expense of free peoples. But it does remind us that he is particularly ill-suited to listen to pat lectures from American sermonizers whose unwillingness to rely on force to back up their sanctimony is as extreme as their military assets are overwhelming. Putin would probably be less provoked by a warning from someone deemed strong than he would be by obsequious outreach from someone considered weak. There were areas where Obama might have sought out Putin in ways advantageous to the U.S., such as wooing him away from Iran or playing him off against China or lining him up against North Korea. But ironically, Obama was probably more interested in inflating the Persian and Shiite regional profile than was Putin himself. Putin would probably be less provoked by a warning from someone deemed strong than he would be by obsequious outreach from someone considered weak. If Obama wished to invite Putin into the Middle East, then at least he might have made an effort to align him with Israel, the Gulf States, Egypt, and Jordan, in pursuit of their shared goal of wiping out radical Islamic terrorism. In the process, these powers might have grown increasingly hostile to Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran. But Obama was probably more anti-Israeli than Putin, and he also disliked the moderate Sunni autocracies more than Putin himself did. As far as China, Putin was delighted that Obama treated Chinese aggression in the Spratly Islands as Obama had treated his own in Ukraine: creased-brow angst about bad behavior followed by indifference. The irony of the failed reset was that in comparative terms the U.S. — given its newfound fossil-fuel wealth and energy independence, the rapid implosion of the European Union, and its continuing technological superiority — should have been in an unusually strong position as the leader of the West. Unhinged nuclear proliferation, such as in Pakistan and North Korea and soon in Iran, is always more of a long-term threat to a proximate Russia than to a distant America. And Russia’s unassimilated and much larger Muslim population is always a far more existential threat to Moscow than even radical Islamic terrorism is at home to the U.S. In other words, there were realist avenues for cooperation that hinged on a strong and nationalist U.S. clearly delineating areas where cooperation benefitted both countries (and the world). Other spheres in which there could be no American–Russian consensus could by default have been left to sort themselves out in a may-the-best-man-win fashion, hopefully peaceably. Such détente would have worked only if Obama had forgone all the arc-of-history speechifying and the adolescent putdowns, meant to project strength in the absence of quiet toughness. Let us hope that Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson, and Jim Mattis know this and thus keep mostly silent, remind Putin privately (without trashing a former president) that the aberrant age of Obama is over, carry huge sticks, work with Putin where and when it is in our interest, acknowledge his help, seek to thwart common enemies — and quietly find ways to utilize overwhelming American military and economic strength to discourage him from doing something unwise for both countries. Victor Davis Hanson
In reference to the Falkland Islands, President Obama called them the Maldives — islands southwest of India — apparently in a botched effort to use the Argentine-preferred “Malvinas.” The two island groups may sound somewhat alike, but they are continents apart. Again, without basic geographical knowledge, the president’s commentary on the Falklands is rendered superficial. When in the state of Hawaii, Obama announced that he was in “Asia.” He lamented that the U.S. Army’s Arabic-language translators assigned to Iraq could better be used in Afghanistan, failing to recognize that Arabic isn’t the language of Afghanistan. And he also apparently thought Austrians speak a language other than German. The president’s geographical illiteracy is a symptom of the nation’s growing ignorance of once-essential subjects such as geography and history. The former is not taught any more as a required subject in many of our schools and colleges. The latter has often been redefined as race, class, and gender oppression so as to score melodramatic points in the present rather than to learn from the tragedy of the past. The president in his 2009 Cairo speech credited the European Renaissance and Enlightenment to Islam’s “light of learning” — an exaggeration if not an outright untruth on both counts. Closer to home, the president claimed in 2011 that Texas had historically been Republican — while in reality it was a mostly Jim Crow Democratic state for over a century. Republicans started consistently carrying Texas only after 1980. Recently, Obama claimed that 20th-century Communist strongman Ho Chi Minh “was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.” That pop assertion is improbable, given that Ho systematically liquidated his opponents, slaughtered thousands in land-redistribution schemes, and brooked no dissent. Even more ahistorical was Vice President Joe Biden’s suggestion that George W. Bush should have gone on television in 2008 to address the nation as President Roosevelt had done in 1929 — a time when there was neither a President Roosevelt nor televisions available for purchase. In 2011, a White House press kit confused Wyoming with Colorado — apparently because they’re both rectangular-shaped states out West. Our geographically and historically challenged leaders are emblematic of disturbing trends in American education that include a similar erosion in grammar, English composition, and basic math skills. The controversial Lois Lerner, a senior official at the IRS — an agency whose stock in trade is numbers — claimed that she was “not good at math” when she admitted that she did not know that one-fourth of 300 is 75.  In the zero-sum game of the education curriculum, each newly added therapeutic discipline eliminated an old classical one. The result is that if Americans emote more and have more politically correct thoughts on the environment, race, class, and gender, they are less able to advance their beliefs through fact-based knowledge. Despite supposedly tough new standards and vast investments, about 56 percent of students in recent California public-school tests did not perform up to their grade levels in English. Only about half met their grade levels in math. A degree from our most prestigious American university is no guarantee a graduate holding such a credential will know the number of states or the location of Savannah. If we wonder why the Ivy League–trained Obama seems confused about where cities, countries, and continents are, we might remember that all but one Ivy League university eliminated their geography departments years ago. As a rule now, when our leaders allude to a place or an event in the past, just assume their references are dead wrong. Victor Davis Hanson
Attention: une ignorance peut en cacher une autre !
Oubli des juifs dans son discours sur la Journée de l’Holocauste, résurrection involontaire de l’abolitionniste noir Frederick Douglass mort en 1895, défense de Poutine et appel obamien à l’examen de conscience de son propre pays …
A l’heure où en une Amérique plus que jamais divisée …
La bienpensance des mauvais perdants multiplie déclarations, manifestations ou obstructions à la politique et à la personne du nouveau président que s’est choisi le peuple américain …
Et que refusant de reconnaitre ses réels faux pas face à tant de mauvaise foi, l’Administration Trump s’enferre dans les explications les plus farfelues …
Pendant qu’avec les nouvelles provocations du régime voyou iranien, une presse jusqu’ici aux ordres commence à peine à découvrir l’état du désastre laissé par l’ancien locataire de la Maison Blanche …
Comment ne pas y voir aussi avec l’historien américain Victor Davis Hanson …

Le symptôme d’un système éducatif ayant sacrifié au nom de la pensée politiquement correcte sur l’environment, la race, la classe ou le genre …

Les connaissances les plus basiques sur l’histoire ou la géographie ?

Mais ne pas repenser également à l’ignorance dans les mêmes domaines de base …

D’un certain Lecteur de téléprompteur en chef …

 A qui tant l’exotisme de sa couleur que la prétendue coolitude de son âge …

Avait si longtemps valu l’indulgence complice de nos mêmes censeurs des médias aujourd’hui ?

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
August 15, 2013
Today’s leaders are totally ignorant of what used to be the building blocks of learning. In Sam Cooke’s classic 1959 hit “Wonderful World,” the lyrics downplayed formal learning with lines like, “Don’t know much about history . . . Don’t know much about geography.”
Over a half-century after Cooke wrote that lighthearted song, such ignorance is now all too real. Even our best and brightest — or rather our elites especially — are not too familiar with history or geography.
Both disciplines are the building blocks of learning. Without awareness of natural and human geography, we are reduced to a self-contained void without accurate awareness of the space around us. An ignorance of history creates the same sort of self-imposed exile, leaving us ignorant of both what came before us and what is likely to follow.
In the case of geography, Harvard Law School graduate Barack Obama recently lectured, “If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina; or Savannah, Georgia; or Jacksonville, Florida . . . ” The problem is that all the examples he cited are cities on the East Coast, not the Gulf of Mexico. If Obama does not know where these ports are, how can he deepen them?
Obama’s geographical confusion has become habitual. He once claimed that he had been to all “57 states.” He also assumed that Kentucky was closer to Arkansas than it was to his adjacent home state of Illinois.
In reference to the Falkland Islands, President Obama called them the Maldives — islands southwest of India — apparently in a botched effort to use the Argentine-preferred “Malvinas.” The two island groups may sound somewhat alike, but they are continents apart. Again, without basic geographical knowledge, the president’s commentary on the Falklands is rendered superficial.
When in the state of Hawaii, Obama announced that he was in “Asia.” He lamented that the U.S. Army’s Arabic-language translators assigned to Iraq could better be used in Afghanistan, failing to recognize that Arabic isn’t the language of Afghanistan. And he also apparently thought Austrians speak a language other than German.
The president’s geographical illiteracy is a symptom of the nation’s growing ignorance of once-essential subjects such as geography and history. The former is not taught any more as a required subject in many of our schools and colleges. The latter has often been redefined as race, class, and gender oppression so as to score melodramatic points in the present rather than to learn from the tragedy of the past.
The president in his 2009 Cairo speech credited the European Renaissance and Enlightenment to Islam’s “light of learning” — an exaggeration if not an outright untruth on both counts.
Closer to home, the president claimed in 2011 that Texas had historically been Republican — while in reality it was a mostly Jim Crow Democratic state for over a century. Republicans started consistently carrying Texas only after 1980.
Recently, Obama claimed that 20th-century Communist strongman Ho Chi Minh “was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.” That pop assertion is improbable, given that Ho systematically liquidated his opponents, slaughtered thousands in land-redistribution schemes, and brooked no dissent.
Even more ahistorical was Vice President Joe Biden’s suggestion that George W. Bush should have gone on television in 2008 to address the nation as President Roosevelt had done in 1929 — a time when there was neither a President Roosevelt nor televisions available for purchase. In 2011, a White House press kit confused Wyoming with Colorado — apparently because they’re both rectangular-shaped states out West.
Our geographically and historically challenged leaders are emblematic of disturbing trends in American education that include a similar erosion in grammar, English composition, and basic math skills.
The controversial Lois Lerner, a senior official at the IRS — an agency whose stock in trade is numbers — claimed that she was “not good at math” when she admitted that she did not know that one-fourth of 300 is 75.
In the zero-sum game of the education curriculum, each newly added therapeutic discipline eliminated an old classical one. The result is that if Americans emote more and have more politically correct thoughts on the environment, race, class, and gender, they are less able to advance their beliefs through fact-based knowledge.
Despite supposedly tough new standards and vast investments, about 56 percent of students in recent California public-school tests did not perform up to their grade levels in English. Only about half met their grade levels in math.

A degree from our most prestigious American university is no guarantee a graduate holding such a credential will know the number of states or the location of Savannah. If we wonder why the Ivy League–trained Obama seems confused about where cities, countries, and continents are, we might remember that all but one Ivy League university eliminated their geography departments years ago. As a rule now, when our leaders allude to a place or an event in the past, just assume their references are dead wrong.

 Voir aussi:
For the president, belief in historical predetermination substitutes for action.
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review On line
August 28, 2014
President Obama doesn’t know much about history.
In his therapeutic 2009 Cairo speech, Obama outlined all sorts of Islamic intellectual and technological pedigrees, several of which were undeserved. He exaggerated Muslim contributions to printing and medicine, for example, and was flat-out wrong about the catalysts for the European Renaissance and Enlightenment.
He also believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the “right side of history.” He also chastises others for being on the “wrong side of history” — as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot.
When in 2009 millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the thuggish theocracy, they wanted immediate U.S. support. Instead, Obama belatedly offered them banalities suggesting that in the end, they would end up “on the right side of history.” Iranian reformers may indeed end up there, but it will not be because of some righteous inanimate force of history, or the prognostications of Barack Obama.
Obama often parrots Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase about the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice. But King used that metaphor as an incentive to act, not as reassurance that matters will follow an inevitably positive course.
Another of Obama’s historical refrains is his frequent sermon about behavior that doesn’t belong in the 21st century. At various times he has lectured that the barbarous aggression of Vladimir Putin or the Islamic State has no place in our century and will “ultimately fail” — as if we are all now sophisticates of an age that has at last transcended retrograde brutality and savagery.
In Obama’s hazy sense of the end of history, things always must get better in the manner that updated models of iPhones and iPads are glitzier than the last. In fact, history is morally cyclical. Even technological progress is ethically neutral. It is a way either to bring more good things to more people or to facilitate evil all that much more quickly and effectively.
In the viciously modern 20th century — when more lives may have been lost to war than in all prior centuries combined — some 6 million Jews were put to death through high technology in a way well beyond the savagery of Attila the Hun or Tamerlane. Beheading in the Islamic world is as common in the 21st century as it was in the eighth century — and as it will probably be in the 22nd. The carnage of the Somme and Dresden trumped anything that the Greeks, Romans, Franks, Turks, or Venetians could have imagined.
What explains Obama’s confusion?
A lack of knowledge of basic history explains a lot. Obama or his speechwriters have often seemed confused about the liberation of Auschwitz, “Polish death camps,” the political history of Texas, or the linguistic relationship between Austria and Germany. Obama reassured us during the Bowe Bergdahl affair that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt all similarly got American prisoners back when their wars ended — except that none of them were in office when the Revolutionary War, Civil War, or World War II officially ended.
Contrary to Obama’s assertion, President Rutherford B. Hayes never dismissed the potential of the telephone. Obama once praised the city of Cordoba as part of a proud Islamic tradition of tolerance during the brutal Spanish Inquisition — forgetting that by the beginning of the Inquisition an almost exclusively Christian Cordoba had few Muslims left.
A Pollyannaish belief in historical predetermination seems to substitute for action. If Obama believes that evil should be absent in the 21st century, or that the arc of the moral universe must always bend toward justice, or that being on the wrong side of history has consequences, then he may think inanimate forces can take care of things as we need merely watch. In truth, history is messier. Unfortunately, only force will stop seventh-century monsters like the Islamic State from killing thousands more innocents. Obama may think that reminding Putin that he is now in the 21st century will so embarrass the dictator that he will back off from Ukraine. But the brutish Putin may think that not being labeled a 21st-century civilized sophisticate is a compliment.
In 1935, French foreign minister Pierre Laval warned Joseph Stalin that the Pope would admonish him to go easy on Catholics — as if such moral lectures worked in the supposedly civilized 20th century. Stalin quickly disabused Laval of that naiveté. “The Pope?” Stalin asked, “How many divisions has he got?”
There is little evidence that human nature has changed over the centuries, despite massive government efforts to make us think and act nicer. What drives Putin, Boko Haram, or ISIS are the same age-old passions, fears, and sense of honor that over the centuries also moved Genghis Khan, the Sudanese Mahdists, and the Barbary pirates. Obama’s naive belief in predetermined history — especially when his facts are often wrong — is a poor substitute for concrete moral action.
Voir encore:

Top 10 Lists

Top 10 Obama Gaffes

The Left had a grand old time with President George W. Bush’s mangling of the English language, and let Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann make a slip of the tongue and the mainstream media will turn it into a major news story.   Not so with President Obama’s verbal missteps.   Here, to bring balance to the ridicule, are the Top 10 Obama Gaffes:

1.   How many states?   Vice President Dan Quayle was virtually laughed out of Washington for misspelling potato back in 1992, yet Barack Obama made a more elementary flub when, during the 2008 campaign, he said: “I’ve now been in 57 states-I think one left to go.”

2.   Hero soldier mix-up:   While commending troops at Fort Drum, N.Y., for their completed deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama said, “A comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.”   Wrong hero.   Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti was killed in action, another soldier, Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta, was the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor that fought in Afghanistan.

3.   What year is it?   During a trip to London’s Westminster Abbey, President Obama signed the guest book and dated it 24 May 2008.   Oops.   It was 2011.   (Maybe he was wistfully dreaming about his 2008 election campaign at the time.)

4.   Look at the map:   Not only does Obama not know how many states there are, he also doesn’t know where they are.   During the 2008 primary campaign, he explained why he was trailing Hillary Clinton in Kentucky: “Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas.   So it’s not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle.”   Obama’s home state of Illinois, and not Arkansas, shares a border with Kentucky.

5.   What language is that?   In April 2009, on one of his many foreign trips, President Obama mused, “I don’t know what the term is in Austrian” for “wheeling and dealing.”   Oops, Mr. President.   There is no Austrian language.

6.   Twister casualties:   After a devastating tornado hit Kansas, Obama discussed the tragedy without help from a teleprompter, saying, ”In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas.   Ten thousand people died-an entire town destroyed.”   He was only off by 9,988 as the twister killed 12 people.

7.   How old is Malia?   The President last month thought he was so clever, unfavorably comparing Republican procrastination on the debt limit to his daughters finishing their homework early.   In his remarks, Obama made a reference to daughter Malia, saying she was 13 years old, when at the time she was 12.   Imagine the press reaction if Michele Bachmann made a misstatement about any of her five children or 23 foster kids.

8.   Special Olympics insensitivity:   The President called and apologized to the head of the Special Olympics, after making this insensitive comment following a game of bowling:   “No, no.   I have been practicing.   … I bowled a 129.   It’s like-it was like Special Olympics, or something.”   Maybe he should have also apologized to bowlers for his feeble effort.

9.   Faith confusion:   No wonder so many Americans are unsure of the President’s faith, as he seems to be confused himself.   During the 2008 campaign, during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Obama said, “What I was suggesting-you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith,” before Stephanopoulos jumped in to help, saying ”your Christian faith.”

10.   Health care inefficiencies:   During the health care debate, President Obama explained all the benefits of ObamaCare, saying, “The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system.”   Mr. President, we already have enough inefficiency in health care and, yes, your “reforms” will only make it worse.

Voir de plus:

The Thomas Hobbes Presidency
Conservatives were outraged by Obama’s apologies. What about Trump’s slander?
Bret Stephens
The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 6, 2017

First, the obvious: Had it been Barack Obama, rather than Donald Trump, who suggested a moral equivalency between the United States and Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Republican politicians would not now be rushing through their objections to the comparison in TV interviews while hoping to pivot to tax reform.

Had it been the president of three weeks ago who had answered Bill O’Reilly’s comment that Mr. Putin “is a killer” by saying, “We’ve got a lot of killers,” and “What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” conservative pundits wouldn’t rest with calling the remark “inexplicable” or “troubling.” They would call it moral treason and spend the next four years playing the same clip on repeat, right through the next election.

In 2009, Mr. Obama gave a series of speeches containing passing expressions of regret for vaguely specified blemishes from the American past. Examples: “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in history.” And “we’ve made some mistakes.” This was the so-called Apology Tour, in which the word “apologize” was never uttered. Even so, conservatives still fume about it.

This time, Mr. Trump didn’t apologize for America. He indicted it. He did so in language unprecedented for any sitting or former president. He did it in a manner guaranteed, and perhaps calculated, to vindicate every hard-left slander of “Amerika.” If you are the sort who believes the CIA assassinated JFK, masterminded the crack-cocaine epidemic, and deliberately lied us into the war in Iraq—conspiracy theories on a moral par with the way the Putin regime behaves in actual fact—then this president is for you.

Only he’s worse.

For the most part, the left’s various indictments of the U.S., whether well- or ill-grounded, have had a moral purpose: to shame Americans into better behavior. We are reminded of the evils of slavery and Jim Crow in order not to be racist. We dilate on the failure in Vietnam to guard against the arrogance of power. We recall the abuses of McCarthyism in order to underscore the importance of civil liberties.

Mr. Trump’s purpose, by contrast, isn’t to prevent a recurrence of bad behavior. It’s to permit it. In this reading, Mr. Putin’s behavior isn’t so different from ours. It’s largely the same, except more honest and effective. The U.S. could surely defeat ISIS—if only it weren’t hampered by the kind of scruples that keep us from carpet bombing Mosul in the way the Russians obliterated Aleppo. The U.S. could have come out ahead in Iraq—if only we’d behaved like unapologetic conquerors, not do-gooder liberators, and taken their oil.

This also explains why Mr. Trump doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, calling the idea “insulting [to] the world” and seeing it as an undue burden on our rights and opportunities as a nation. Magnanimity, fair dealing, example setting, win-win solutions, a city set upon a hill: All this, in the president’s mind, is a sucker’s game, obscuring the dog-eat-dog realities of life. Among other distinctions, Mr. Trump may be our first Hobbesian president.

It would be a mistake to underestimate the political potency of this outlook, with its left-right mix of relativism and jingoism. If we’re no better than anyone else, why not act like everyone else? If phrases such as “the free world” or the “liberal international order” are ideological ploys by which the Davos elite swindle the proletarians of Detroit, why sacrifice blood and treasure on their behalf? Nationalism is usually a form of moral earnestness. Mr. Trump’s genius has been to transform it into an expression of cynicism.

That cynicism won’t be easy to defeat. Right now, a courageous Russian opposition activist named Vladimir Kara-Murza is fighting for his life in a Moscow hospital, having been poisoned for a second time by you-can-easily-guess-who. Assuming Mr. Trump is even aware of the case, would he be wrong in betting that most Americans are as indifferent to his fate as he is?

The larger question for conservatives is how Mr. Trump’s dim view of the world will serve them over time. Honorable Republicans such as Nebraska’s Sen. Ben Sasse have been unequivocal in their outrage, which will surely cost them politically. Others have hit the mute button, on the theory that it’s foolish to be baited by the president’s every crass utterance. The risk is that silence quickly becomes a form of acquiescence. Besides, since when did conservatives reared to their convictions by the rhetoric of Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan hold words so cheap?

Speaking of Reagan, Feb. 6 would have been his 106th birthday. Perhaps because he had been an actor, the 40th president knew that Americans preferred stories in which good guys triumphed over bad ones, not the ones in which they were pretty much all alike. Conservatives should beware the president’s invitation to a political film noir in which the outcome is invariably bleak.

Voir de même:

WH: No mention of Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day because others were killed too
Jake Tapper, Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent

CNN
February 3, 2017

Washington (CNN)The White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day didn’t mention Jews or anti-Semitism because « despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered, » administration spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN on Saturday.

Hicks provided a link to a Huffington Post UK story noting that while 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis, 5 million others were also slaughtered during Adolf Hitler’s genocide, including « priests, gypsies, people with mental or physical disabilities, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic peoples, and resistance fighters. »

Asked if the White House was suggesting President Donald Trump didn’t mention Jews as victims of the Holocaust because he didn’t want to offend the other people the Nazis targeted and killed, Hicks replied, « it was our honor to issue a statement in remembrance of this important day. »

The presidential reference to the « innocent people » victimized by the Nazis without a mention of Jews or anti-Semitism by the White House on International Holocaust Remembrance Day was a stark contrast to statements by former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Anti-Defamation League Director Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that the « @WhiteHouse statement on #HolocaustMemorialDay, misses that it was six million Jews who perished, not just ‘innocent people' » and « Puzzling and troubling @WhiteHouse #HolocaustMemorialDay stmt has no mention of Jews. GOP and Dem. presidents have done so in the past. »
Asked about the White House explanation that the President didn’t want to exclude any of the other groups Nazis killed by specifically mentioning Jews, Greenblatt told CNN that the United Nations established International Holocaust Remembrance Day not only because of Holocaust denial but also because so many countries — Iran, Russia and Hungary, for example — specifically refuse to acknowledge Hitler’s attempt to exterminate Jews, « opting instead to talk about generic suffering rather than recognizing this catastrophic incident for what is was: the intended genocide of the Jewish people. »
Downplaying or disregarding the degree to which Jews were targeted for elimination during the Holocaust is a common theme of nationalist movements like those seen in Russia and Eastern Europe, Greenblatt said.
Initially, after being asked about the ADL criticism and the omission of any mention of Jews or anti-Semitism, Hicks provided a statement from Ronald Lauder of the World Jewish Congress that seemed to criticize Greenblatt and the ADL.
« It does no honor to the millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust to play politics with their memory, » the Lauder statement read in part. « Any fair reading of the White House statement today on the International Holocaust Memorial Day will see it appropriately commemorates the suffering and the heroism that mark that dark chapter in modern history. »
Editor’s note February 2, 2017: This article has been updated to correct an erroneous statement by ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt about Poland’s recognition of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The ADL has retracted that comment and apologized. « I made a mistake by including Poland as one of the countries which does not always recognize the Jewish people as the intended target of the Nazi genocide, » Greenblatt said in a letter to the Polish ambassador. « I regret this mistake, and want to assure you that it was not intended as an affront to your government or the people of Poland
Voir pareillement:

The White House Holocaust Horror

Taking the Jews out of the Holocaust

So much for giving people the benefit of the doubt who offer no sign they deserve it. The Trump White House issued a statement on Friday commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the statement didn’t make specific mention of the Jewish people—who were the target of the Holocaust, or Shoah, which is a term devised after World War II to describe the effort by Nazi Germany to eradicate Jews from the face of the earth. After reading it, I thought to myself, “The Trump White House is an amateur operation, understaffed and without much executive-branch experience, and whoever wrote the statement and issued it blew it out of ignorance and sloppiness.”

I won’t be making that mistake again.

Jake Tapper of CNN reported Saturday night that Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks defended and even celebrated the White House statement. The decision not to mention the Jews was deliberate, Hicks said, a way of demonstrating the inclusive approach of the Trump administration: “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered…it was our honor to issue a statement in remembrance of this important day.”

No, Hope Hicks, and no to whomever you are serving as a mouthpiece. The Nazis killed an astonishing number of people in monstrous ways and targeted certain groups—Gypsies, the mentally challenged, and open homosexuals, among others. But the Final Solution was aimed solely at the Jews. The Holocaust was about the Jews. There is no “proud” way to offer a remembrance of the Holocaust that does not reflect that simple, awful, world-historical fact. To universalize it to “all those who suffered” is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning.

Given Hicks’s abominable statement, one cannot simply write this off. For there is a body of opinion in this country, and in certain precincts of the Trump coalition, who have long made it clear they are tired of what they consider a self-centered Jewish claim to being the great victims of the Nazis. Case in point: In 1988, as a speechwriter in the Reagan Administration, I drafted the president’s remarks at the laying of the cornerstone of the Holocaust Museum in Washington. As was the practice, the speech was sent around to 14 White House offices, including an office called Public Liaison staffed by conservatives whose job it was to do outreach to ethnic and religious groups. The official at Public Liaison who supported anti-Communist groups in Eastern Europe was tasked with the job of reviewing it. She sent the speech back marked up almost sentence by sentence. At the top, she wrote something like, “This must be redone. What about the suffering of the Poles and the Slovaks? The president should not be taking sides here.”

I was astonished, and horrified, and took the document to my superior, who told me to ignore it. “She has a bee in her bonnet about this,” he said of the Public Liaison official.

On another occasion, in an article commissioned by a conservative magazine, I wrote a sentence in which I called the Jews “the most beleaguered people in history.” An editor there objected, and insisted we add the word “uniquely” between “most” and “beleaguered” because there was an element, he said, of “special pleading.”

I bring these anecdotes up to say that the Hope Hicks statement does not arrive without precedent. It is, rather, the culmination of something—the culmination of decades of ill feeling that seems to center on the idea that the Jews have somehow made unfair “use” of the Holocaust and it should not “belong” to them. Someone in that nascent White House thought it was time to reflect that view through the omission of the specifically Jewish quality of the Holocaust.

Now the question is: Who was it?

In those remarks at the cornerstone laying, President Reagan said this: “I think all of us here are aware of those, even among our own countrymen, who have dedicated themselves to the disgusting task of minimizing or even denying the truth of the Holocaust. This act of intellectual genocide must not go unchallenged, and those who advance these views must be held up to the scorn and wrath of all good and thinking people in this nation and across the world.” This was in reference to the new and horrifying field of Holocaust denial. It is heartbreaking to think these are words that can now be applied to the White House in which a Republican successor to Reagan is now resident, only 28 years after he departed it for the last time. Heartbreaking and enraging.

Voir aussi:
The Trump Administration’s Flirtation With Holocaust Denial
The White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance day did not mention Jews or antisemitism.
Deborah Lipstadt
The Atlantic
Jan 30, 2017
Holocaust denial is alive and well in the highest offices of the United States. It is being spread by those in President Trump’s innermost circle. It may have all started as a mistake by a new administration that is loath to admit it’s wrong. Conversely, it may be a conscious attempt by people with anti-Semitic sympathies to rewrite history. Either way it is deeply disturbing.For me these developments are intensely personal—not because I have immediate family members who died in the Holocaust. I don’t. But I have spent a good number of years fighting something which the White House now seems to be fostering.Last Friday, I was in Amsterdam attending a screening of the movie Denial. It’s a film about the libel suit David Irving, once arguably the world’s most influential Holocaust denier, brought against me for having called him a denier. The trial, held in 2000, lasted 10 weeks. Because of the nature of British libel laws which placed the burden of proof on me, I had no choice but to fight. Had I not fought he would have won by default and his denial version of the Holocaust—no gas chambers, no mass killings, no Hitler involvement, and that this is all a myth concocted by Jews—would have been enshrined in British law.
After an intense day of press interviews and screenings, I had gone for a short walk. Intent on enjoying my surroundings, I ignored the pinging of my phone. Ironically, I had just reached the Anne Frank House, the place where Anne wrote her diary, when the pinging became so incessant that I checked to see what was happening.I quickly learned that the White House had released a statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day that did not mention Jews or anti-Semitism. Instead it bemoaned the “innocent victims.” The internet was buzzing and many people were fuming. Though no fan of Trump, I chalked it up as a rookie mistake by a new administration busy issuing a slew of executive orders. Someone had screwed up. I refused to get agitated, and counseled my growing number of correspondents to hold their fire. A clarification would certainly soon follow. I was wrong.In a clumsy defense Hope Hicks, the White House director of strategic communications, insisted that, the White House, by not referring to Jews, was acting in an “inclusive” manner. It deserved praise not condemnation. Hicks pointed those who inquired to an article which bemoaned the fact that, too often the “other” victims of the Holocaust were forgotten. Underlying this claim is the contention that the Jews are “stealing” the Holocaust for themselves. It is a calumny founded in anti-Semitism.

There were indeed millions of innocent people whom the Nazis killed in many horrific ways, some in the course of the war and some because the Germans perceived them—however deluded their perception—to pose a threat to their rule. They suffered terribly. But that was not the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was something entirely different. It was an organized program with the goal of wiping out a specific people. Jews did not have to do anything to be perceived as worthy of being murdered. Old people who had to be wheeled to the deportation trains and babies who had to be carried were all to be killed. The point was not, as in occupied countries, to get rid of people because they might mount a resistance to Nazism, but to get rid of Jews because they were Jews. Roma (Gypsies) were also targeted. Many were murdered. But the Nazi anti-Roma policy was inconsistent. Some could live in peace and even serve in the German army.
German homosexuals were horribly abused by the Third Reich. Some were given the chance of “reforming” themselves and then going to serve on the eastern front, where many of them became cannon fodder. Would I have wanted to be a homosexual in the Reich, or in the rest of Nazi occupied Europe? Absolutely not. But they were not systematically wiped out.This is a matter of historical accuracy and not of comparative pain. If my family members had been killed by the Germans for resisting or for some other perceived wrong I would not be—nor should I be—comforted by the fact that they were not killed as part of the Holocaust.Had the Germans won, they probably would have eliminated millions of other peoples, including the Roma, homosexuals, dissidents of any kind, and other “useless eaters.” But it was only the Jews whose destruction could not wait until after the war. Only in the case of the Jews could war priorities be overridden. Germany was fighting two wars in tandem, a conventional war and a war against the Jews. It lost the first and, for all intents and purposes, nearly won the second.
The de-Judaization of the Holocaust, as exemplified by the White House statement, is what I term softcore Holocaust denial. Hardcore denial is the kind of thing I encountered in the courtroom. In an outright and forceful fashion, Irving denied the facts of the Holocaust. In his decision, Judge Charles Grey called Irving a liar and a manipulator of history. He did so, the judge ruled, deliberately and not as the result of mistakes.
Softcore denial uses different tactics but has the same end-goal. (I use hardcore and softcore deliberately because I see denial as a form of historiographic pornography.) It does not deny the facts, but it minimizes them, arguing that Jews use the Holocaust to draw attention away from criticism of Israel. Softcore denial also makes all sorts of false comparisons to the Holocaust. In certain Eastern European countries today, those who fought the Nazis may be lauded, but if they did so with a communist resistance group they may be prosecuted. Softcore denial also includes Holocaust minimization, as when someone suggests it was not so bad. “Why are we hearing about that again?”What we saw from the White House was classic softcore denial. The Holocaust was de-Judaized. It is possible that it all began with a mistake. Someone simply did not realize what they were doing. It is also possible that someone did this deliberately. The White House’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, boasted that while at Breitbart he created a platform for alt-right. Richard Spencer, the self-proclaimed leader of the alt-right, has invited overt Holocaust deniers to alt-right conferences, and his followers have engaged in outright denial. During the campaign, he was reportedly responsible for speeches and ads that many observers concluded trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes.After Hicks’s defense of the statement, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus doubled down, insisting that they made no mistake. On Meet the Press Chuck Todd gave Priebus repeated chances to retract or rephrase the statement. Priebus refused and dug in deeper, declaring “everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust, including obviously, all of the Jewish people… [was] extraordinarily sad.”In the penultimate sentence of the president’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the White House promised to ensure that “the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good.” But the statement was issued on the same day as the order banning refugees. It is hard not to conclude that this is precisely what happened at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Voir également:

Trump implied Frederick Douglass was alive. The abolitionist’s family offered a ‘history lesson.’

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

Washington Post

Feb. 7, 2017

The world may never know whether President Donald Trump just got a little sloppy with his verb tenses on Wednesday morning or simply had no idea that the famous black abolitionist Frederick Douglass was, in fact, dead.

« Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice, » the president said.

Critics seized on Trump’s comments at a Black History Month event, mercilessly attacking him for statements that spoke of Douglass in the present tense.

The Atlantic asked, simply: « Does Donald Trump actually know who Frederick Douglass was? » and said that Trump’s remarks were « transparently empty. »
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank joked that Trump « raised the dead. »

And someone started a Frederick Douglass Twitter account that trolled the president before it was deleted (although some of the tweets have been saved).

« In surprise move @PressSec announces @realDonaldTrump has named Frederick Douglass to National Security Council. »

Even White House press secretary Sean Spicer struggled to clarify Douglass-gate when asked at a briefing later on Wednesday. « I think there’s contributions – I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made, » Spicer said of Trump’s reference to Douglass. « And I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he’s going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more. »

Trump criticizes media as he marks African American History Month
But the descendants of the revered abolitionist – who, just to be clear, died in 1895 after becoming a powerful voice against slavery and then Jim Crow – responded on Wednesday.

« My first instinct was to go on the attack, » said Kenneth B. Morris Jr., Douglass’ great-great-great grandson. « I think it was obvious to anyone that heard [Trump’s] comments or read his comments that he was not up to speed on who Frederick Douglass was. We just thought that was an opportunity to do a history lesson and to make some points about what we’re currently working on. »

The family released a statement on the Huffington Post on Wednesday.

« Like the President, we use the present tense when referencing Douglass’s accomplishments because his spirit and legacy are still very much alive, not just during Black History Month, but every month, » the family wrote.

« . . . We believe, if he had more time to elaborate, the President would have mentioned the following: Frederick Douglas has done an amazing job . . . »

Then the family mic-dropped several things Douglass has done a great job at:

« Enduring the inhumanity of slavery after being born heir to anguish and exploitation but still managing to become a force for solace and liberty when America needed it most. »

« Teaching himself to read and write and becoming one of the country’s most eloquent spokespersons. »

« Composing the Narrative of his life and helping to expose slavery for the crime against humankind that it is. »

« Risking life and limb by escaping the abhorrent institution »

« Arguing against unfair U.S. immigration restrictions. »

If Douglass were still alive, he’d celebrate his 200th birthday next year.

The family’s statement said they were involved in several initiatives that highlight their ancestor’s legacy.

« We look forward to helping re-animate Douglass’ passion for equality and justice over the coming year leading up to his Bicentennial in 2018, » the statement said. « We encourage the President to join in that effort. »

Voir encore:

A Lesson in Black History
Charles M. Blow
The New York Times
Feb. 6, 2017

Last week at a supposed Black History Month “listening session” at the White House, Donald Trump made this baffling statement: “I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job that is being recognized more and more, I notice.”

It sounded a bit like he thought the inimitable Douglass, who died in 1895, was some lesser-known black leader who was still alive.

When Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked what Trump meant by his Douglass comments, Spicer responded:

“I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made. And I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he’s going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.”

Assuming that the “he” in that sentence refers to Douglass, these numbskulls are actually referring to him as a living person and have absolutely no clue who Douglass is and what he means to America.

Social media had a field day with this, relentlessly mocking the team, but for me the emotion was overwhelming sadness: How could the American “president” or a White House press secretary, or any American citizen for that matter, not know who Douglass is?

Let’s be absolutely clear here: Frederick Douglass is a singular, towering figure of American history. The entire legacy of black intellectual thought and civil rights activism flows in some way through Douglass, from W.E.B. DuBois to Booker T. Washington, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to President Barack Obama himself.

Douglass was one of the most brilliant thinkers, writers and orators America has ever produced. Furthermore, he harnessed and mastered the media of his day: Writing an acclaimed autobiography, establishing his own newspaper and becoming the most photographed American of the 19th century.

Put another way: If modern social media existed during Douglass’s time, he would have been one of its kings.

Douglass also was a friend of Susan B. Anthony and an advocate for women’s civil rights as well as the civil rights of black people, understanding even then the intersectionality of oppressions. In fact, the motto of his newspaper, The North Star, was “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color — God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”

But perhaps one of the best reasons Trump and Spicer need to bone up on Douglass is to understand his relationship with Abraham Lincoln and to get a better sense of what true leadership looks like.

Douglass was a blistering critic of Lincoln from the beginning. In Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address, he quoted from one of his previous speeches in which he had said “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists,” and he went on to defend the Fugitive Slave Act, promising the slave states full enforcement of it as long as it was on the books.

This incensed Douglass, who said of the remarks: “Not content with the broadest recognition of the right of property in the souls and bodies of men in the slave states, Mr. Lincoln next proceeds, with nerves of steel, to tell the slaveholders what an excellent slave hound he is.”

Although Douglass’s cutting critique of Lincoln began to soften after Lincoln announced the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Douglass continued to be unhappy throughout the Civil War about the unequal treatment of black soldiers in the Union Army. But even in the midst of this criticism, Lincoln entertained Douglass at the White House.

Although Douglass wasn’t fully satisfied with Lincoln’s positions, Douglass remarked of the meeting: “Mr. Lincoln listened with earnest attention and with very apparent sympathy, and replied to each point in his own peculiar, forcible way.”

This stands in stark contrast to Trump’s avoidance of black intellectuals and even any real critics. Trump’s “listening session” seemed to be populated only by his black appointees and supporters.

Lincoln and Douglass would go on to develop a genuine friendship and Douglass would become something of Lincoln’s conscience on the slave issue. In fact, Lincoln called Douglass “one of the most meritorious men, if not the most meritorious man, in the United States.”

That is what leadership and growth look like. Lincoln grew from the association with and counsel from his onetime critic, to become one of the greatest presidents America has ever known.

Indeed Black History Month began not as a month but a week: Negro History week, the second week of February. It was established in 1926 by noted black historian Carter G. Woodson, and choosing February was no coincidence: It honored the birthdays of Lincoln, who freed the slaves, and Douglass, who helped direct his conscience.

Trump would do well to study this history; he has much to learn from it. As the historian Woodson’s personal motto went: “It’s never too late to learn.”

Voir également:

Donald Trump’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Marking Black History Month, the president made some strange observations about Douglass and Martin Luther King, but mostly talked about himself.
David A. Graham
The Atlantic
Feb 1, 2017

Does Donald Trump actually know who Frederick Douglass was? The president mentioned the great abolitionist, former slave, and suffrage campaigner during a Black History Month event Wednesday morning, but there’s little to indicate that Trump knows anything about his subject, based on the rambling, vacuous commentary he offered:

“I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things, Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact.” Within moments, he was off-topic, talking about some of his favorite subjects: CNN, himself, and his feud with CNN.

Trump’s comments about King were less transparently empty but maybe even stranger. “Last month we celebrated the life Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history,” Trump said, employing a favorite meaningless adjective. But this wasn’t really about King. It was about Trump: “You read all about Martin Luther King when somebody said I took a statue out of my office. And it turned out that that was fake news. The statue is cherished. It’s one of the favorite things—and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln, and we have Jefferson, and we have Dr. Martin Luther King.”

Even beyond the strange aside about Douglass and the digression from King, Trump’s comments point to the superficiality of his engagement with African American culture. He named perhaps the four most famous figures in black history with no meaningful elaboration. (Trump was reading from a sheet, but at least he was able to name Tubman, unlike his vanquished rival Gary Johnson.)
In a way, Trump isn’t totally wrong about Douglass “getting recognized more and more,” though one is left to scratch one’s head at where precisely he noticed that. Douglass’s heyday of influence was in the mid to late 19th century—when he was also among The Atlantic’s biggest-name writers—but he may be better known than ever among the broadest swath of the American public thanks to his ascension into the Pantheon of black history figures taught in schools since the United States established Black History Month in 1976.

It is a real and praiseworthy accomplishment for Douglass’s name to keep spreading. But the frequent, and often valid, critique of Black History Month is that it encourages a tokenist approach to African American culture, leading everyone from national leaders to elementary-school teachers to recite a catechism of well-known figures, producing both shallow engagement and privileging a passé Great Man (and Woman) theory of history. Hardly any politician is immune to this; faced with the necessity of holding an event to mark the month, they too recite the list. But even by that standard, Trump’s comments are laughably vacuous.

George W. Bush, for example, recalled in 2002 how February was “the month in which Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were born, two men, very different, who together ended slavery.” Bill Clinton exhorted audiences to visit Douglass’s home in Washington’s Anacostia neighborhood, at a time when that was well-off the beaten tourist path. George H.W. Bush admired Jacob Lawrence’s depiction of Douglass. Ronald Reagan repeatedly quoted Douglass in his own remarks, and was fond of boasting that Douglass was a fellow Republican.

The gulf between Trump and his predecessors is particularly poignant, of course, in the wake of the presidency of Barack Obama, a man who by virtue of his own skin color never had to resort to the detached tributes of white presidents. When the museum Trump cited opened, Obama spoke, saying as only he could have:

Yes, African Americans have felt the cold weight of shackles and the stinging lash of the field whip. But we’ve also dared to run north and sing songs from Harriet Tubman’s hymnal. We’ve buttoned up our Union Blues to join the fight for our freedom. We’ve railed against injustice for decade upon decade, a lifetime of struggle and progress and enlightenment that we see etched in Frederick Douglass’s mighty, leonine gaze.
Trump, by contrast, has long spoken of the black community in fundamentally instrumental terms, from his business career to his political one. African Americans were a monolithic demographic to be won or lost, depending on the occasion. The young real-estate developer first made headlines when the Trump Organization was accused of working to keep blacks out of its real-estate developments; the company eventually settled with the Justice Department without admitting guilt. The question in that case was not the personal prejudices (absent or present) of Trump and his father Fred. Instead, the company appeared to have decided that blacks were bad for business and would drive out white tenants, so the Trumps allegedly opted to keep them out.
During the campaign, Trump viewed black voters with similarly cool detachment. He spoke about blacks and other minorities in conspicuously distancing terms, as “they” and “them.” His leading black surrogates included Omarosa, most famous for appearing on The Apprentice with Trump, and Don King, a clownish and past-his-prime boxing promoter notable for killing two men; Hillary Clinton’s campaign, meanwhile, called on LeBron James, Beyonce, and Obama. When Trump spotted a black man at a rally in California, he called out, “Oh, look at my African American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?”

When Trump announced a black-voter outreach operation, he mostly delivered his message to overwhelmingly white audiences in overwhelmingly white locales, and employed a series of racist and outdated stereotypes about inner-city crime, poverty, and lack of education, in what he appeared to believe represented benign patronization. Meanwhile, his own aides told reporters their political goal was to suppress black votes by encouraging African Americans to sit the election out.

In the end, Trump won 8 percent of the black vote, according to exit polling, besting Mitt Romney’s showing against Barack Obama but falling well short of the recent GOP high-water mark of 17 percent in 1976 (to say nothing of his prediction that he’d win 95 percent of African Americans in his 2020 campaign).

Trump continues to indicate he holds a view of black Americans that is instrumental, as he showed on Wednesday at his Black History Month event. “If you remember, I wasn’t going to do well with the African American community, and after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner city and lots of other things, we ended up getting, I won’t get into details, but we ended up getting substantially more than other candidates who have run in the past years,” he said, somewhat misleadingly. “And now we’re going to take that to new levels.” February might be Black History Month, but every month is Trump History Month.

Voir enfin:

Putin, Obama — and Trump

Victor Davis Hanson

National Review

January 17, 2017

Let’s hope that the era of ‘lead from behind’ and violated red lines is over. For eight years, the Obama administration misjudged Vladimir Putin’s Russia, as it misjudged most of the Middle East, China, and the rest of the world as well. Obama got wise to Russia only when Putin imperiled not just U.S. strategic interests and government records but also supposedly went so far as to tamper with sacrosanct Democratic-party secrets, thereby endangering the legacy of Barack Obama.

Putin was probably bewildered by Obama’s media-driven and belated concern, given that the Russians, like the Chinese, had in the past hacked U.S. government documents that were far more sensitive than the information it may have mined and leaked in 2016 — and they received nothing but an occasional Obama “cut it out” whine. Neurotic passive-aggression doesn’t merely bother the Russians; it apparently incites and emboldens them.

Obama’s strange approach to Putin since 2009 apparently has run something like the following. Putin surely was understandably angry with the U.S. under the cowboy imperialist George W. Bush, according to the logic of the “reset.” After all, Obama by 2009 was criticizing Bush more than he was Putin for the supposed ills of the world. But Barack Obama was not quite an American nationalist who sought to advance U.S. interests.

Instead, he posed as a new sort of soft-power moralistic politician — not seen since Jimmy Carter — far more interested in rectifying the supposed damage rather than the continuing good that his country has done. If Putin by 2008 was angry at Bush for his belated pushback over Georgia, at least he was not as miffed at Bush as Obama himself was.

Reset-button policy then started with the implicit agreement that Russia and the Obama administration both had legitimate grievances against a prior U.S. president — a bizarre experience for even an old hand like Putin. (Putin probably thought that the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq were a disaster not on ethical or even strategic grounds but because the U.S. had purportedly let the country devolve into something like what Chechnya was before Putin’s iron grip.)

In theory, Obama would captivate Putin with his nontraditional background and soaring rhetoric, the same way he had charmed urban progressive elites at home and Western European socialists abroad. One or two more Cairo speeches would assure Putin that a new America was more interested in confessing its past sins to the Islamic world than confronting its terrorism. And Obama would continue to show his bona fides by cancelling out Bush initiatives such as missile defense in Eastern Europe, muting criticism of Russian territorial expansionism, and tabling the updating and expansion of the American nuclear arsenal. All the while, Obama would serve occasional verbal cocktails for Putin’s delight — such as the hot-mic promise to be even “more flexible” after his 2012 reelection, the invitation of Russia into the Middle East to get the Obama administration off the hook from enforcing red lines over Syrian WMD use, and the theatrical scorn for Mitt Romney’s supposedly ossified Cold War–era worries about Russian aggression.

As Putin was charmed, appeased, and supposedly brought on board, Obama increasingly felt free to enlighten him (as he does almost everyone) about how his new America envisioned a Westernized politically correct world. Russians naturally would not object to U.S. influence if it was reformist and cultural rather than nationalist, economic, and political — and if it sought to advance universal progressive ideals rather than strictly American agendas. Then, in its own self-interest, a grateful Russia would begin to enact at home something akin to Obama’s helpful initiatives: open up its society, with reforms modeled after those of the liberal Western states in Europe. Putin quickly sized up this naïf. His cynicism and cunning told him that Obama was superficially magnanimous mostly out of a desire to avoid confrontations. And as a Russian, he was revolted by the otherworldly and unsolicited advice from a pampered former American academic. Putin continued to crack down at home and soon dressed up his oppression with a propagandistic anti-American worldview: America’s liberal culture reflected not freedom but license; its global capitalism promoted cultural decadence and should not serve as anyone’s blueprint. Putin’s cynicism and cunning told him that Obama was superficially magnanimous mostly out of a desire to avoid confrontations.

As the West would pursue atheism, indulgence, and globalism, Putin would return Russia to Orthodoxy, toughness, and fervent nationalism — a czarist appeal that would resonate with other autocracies abroad and mask his own oppressions, crony profiteering, and economic mismanagement at home. Note that despite crashing oil prices and Russian economic crises, Putin believed (much as Mussolini did) that at least for a time, a strong leader in a weak country can exercise more global clout than a weak leader in a strong country — and that Russians could for a while longer put up with poverty and lack of freedom if they were at least feared or respected abroad. He also guessed that just as the world was finally nauseated by Woodrow Wilson’s six months of moralistic preening at Versailles, so too it would tire of the smug homilies of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry.

Putin grew even more surprised at Obama’s periodic red lines, deadlines, and step-over lines, whose easy violations might unite global aggressors in the shared belief that America was hopelessly adrift, easy to manipulate, obnoxious in its platitudinous sermonizing, and certainly not the sort of strong-horse power that any aggressors should fear.

Perhaps initially Putin assumed that Obama’s lead-from-behind redistributionist foreign policy (the bookend to his “you didn’t build that” domestic recalibration) was some sort of clever plot to suggest that a weak United States could be taken advantage of — and then Obama would strike hard when Putin fell for the bait and overreached. But once Putin realized that Obama was serious in his fantasies, he lost all respect for his benefactor, especially as an increasingly petulant and politically enfeebled Obama compensated by teasing Putin as a macho class cut-up — just as he had often caricatured domestic critics who failed to appreciate his godhead.

Putin offered America’s enemies and fence-sitting opportunists a worldview that was antithetical to Obama’s. Lead-from-behind foreign policy was just provocative enough to discombobulate a few things overseas but never strong or confident enough to stay on to fix them. When China, Iran, North Korea, ISIS, or other provocateurs challenged the U.S., Putin was at best either indifferent and at worst supportive of our enemies, on the general theory that anything the U.S. sought to achieve, Russia would be wise to oppose.

Putin soon seemed to argue that the former Soviet Republics had approximately the same relation to Russia as the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have to the United States. Russia was simply defining and protecting its legitimate sphere of influence, as the post-colonial U.S. had done (albeit without the historic costs in blood and treasure).

Russia had once lost a million civilians at the siege of Leningrad when Hitler’s Army Group North raced through the Baltic States (picking up volunteers as it went) and met up with the Finns. At Sevastopol, General Erich von Manstein’s Eleventh Army may well have inflicted 100,000 Russian Crimean casualties in a successful but nihilistic effort to take and nearly destroy the fortress. The Kiev Pocket and destruction of the Southwestern Front of the Red Army in the Ukraine in September 1941 (700,000 Russians killed, captured, or missing) may have been the largest encirclement and mass destruction of an army in military history.

For Putin, these are not ancient events but rather proof of why former Soviet bloodlands were as much Russian as Puerto Rico was considered American. We find such reasoning tortured, given Ukrainian and Crimean desires to be free; Putin insists that Russian ghosts still flitter over such hallowed ground.

Reconstruction of Putin’s mindset is not justification for his domestic thuggery or foreign expansionism at the expense of free peoples. But it does remind us that he is particularly ill-suited to listen to pat lectures from American sermonizers whose unwillingness to rely on force to back up their sanctimony is as extreme as their military assets are overwhelming. Putin would probably be less provoked by a warning from someone deemed strong than he would be by obsequious outreach from someone considered weak.

There were areas where Obama might have sought out Putin in ways advantageous to the U.S., such as wooing him away from Iran or playing him off against China or lining him up against North Korea. But ironically, Obama was probably more interested in inflating the Persian and Shiite regional profile than was Putin himself. Putin would probably be less provoked by a warning from someone deemed strong than he would be by obsequious outreach from someone considered weak.

If Obama wished to invite Putin into the Middle East, then at least he might have made an effort to align him with Israel, the Gulf States, Egypt, and Jordan, in pursuit of their shared goal of wiping out radical Islamic terrorism. In the process, these powers might have grown increasingly hostile to Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran. But Obama was probably more anti-Israeli than Putin, and he also disliked the moderate Sunni autocracies more than Putin himself did. As far as China, Putin was delighted that Obama treated Chinese aggression in the Spratly Islands as Obama had treated his own in Ukraine: creased-brow angst about bad behavior followed by indifference.

The irony of the failed reset was that in comparative terms the U.S. — given its newfound fossil-fuel wealth and energy independence, the rapid implosion of the European Union, and its continuing technological superiority — should have been in an unusually strong position as the leader of the West. Unhinged nuclear proliferation, such as in Pakistan and North Korea and soon in Iran, is always more of a long-term threat to a proximate Russia than to a distant America. And Russia’s unassimilated and much larger Muslim population is always a far more existential threat to Moscow than even radical Islamic terrorism is at home to the U.S.

In other words, there were realist avenues for cooperation that hinged on a strong and nationalist U.S. clearly delineating areas where cooperation benefitted both countries (and the world). Other spheres in which there could be no American–Russian consensus could by default have been left to sort themselves out in a may-the-best-man-win fashion, hopefully peaceably.

Such détente would have worked only if Obama had forgone all the arc-of-history speechifying and the adolescent putdowns, meant to project strength in the absence of quiet toughness.

Let us hope that Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson, and Jim Mattis know this and thus keep mostly silent, remind Putin privately (without trashing a former president) that the aberrant age of Obama is over, carry huge sticks, work with Putin where and when it is in our interest, acknowledge his help, seek to thwart common enemies — and quietly find ways to utilize overwhelming American military and economic strength to discourage him from doing something unwise for both countries.

Voir par ailleurs:

Trump défend à nouveau Poutine, au désespoir des Républicains
Le Figaro AFP, AP, Reuters Agences
06/02/2017

VIDÉO – «Pensez-vous que notre pays soit si innocent?», a répondu le président américain au sujet des crimes supposés du président russe, dans une interview à la chaîne Fox News, suscitant la colère de son propre camp.

Le président américain Donald Trump a défendu une nouvelle fois Vladimir Poutine devant l’opinion publique américaine, montrant qu’il ne renonçait pas à trouver des accords avec le président russe sur les affaires de la planète. Une nouvelle flambée des combats entre forces ukrainiennes et séparatistes pro-russes dans l’est de l’Ukraine a contraint la semaine dernière l’administration américaine à critiquer Moscou et à promettre le maintien des sanctions internationales qui visent la Russie.

Mais dimanche, dans une interview diffusée sur Fox News avant le démarrage du très populaire Super Bowl, le président américain a défendu une nouvelle fois sa volonté de chercher à réchauffer les relations avec son homologue russe.

«Je le respecte», mais «ça ne veut pas dire que je vais m’entendre avec lui», a-t-il dit.» C’est un leader dans son pays, et je pense qu’il vaut mieux s’entendre avec la Russie que l’inverse», a-t-il ajouté.

Et au journaliste qui lui objectait que Vladimir Poutine était un «tueur», Donald Trump a invité de manière surprenante l’Amérique à un examen de conscience. «Beaucoup de tueurs, beaucoup de tueurs. Pensez-vous que notre pays soit si innocent?», a-t-il demandé, sans expliciter sa pensée. Cette dernière réflexion a immédiatement suscité une salve de critiques, y compris dans son propre camp où Vladimir Poutine fait souvent figure de repoussoir. «Je ne pense pas qu’il y ait aucune équivalence entre la manière dont les Russes se comportent et la manière dont les États-Unis se comportent», a déclaré Mitch McConnell, le chef de file des républicains au Sénat. «C’est un ancien du KGB, un voyou, élu d’une manière que beaucoup de gens ne trouvent pas crédible», a-t-il renchéri.

Quant au néoconservateur Marc Rubio, sénateur républicain de Floride, et rival de Donald Trump lors de la primaire du Grand Old Party, il a tweeté: «Quand est-ce qu’un activiste démocrate a été empoisonné par le parti Républicain, ou vice-versa? Nous ne sommes pas comme Poutine».

L’électorat républicain préoccupé par Daech plutôt que par Poutine

Dans son interview à Fox News, le président américain a aussi expliqué dans quel domaine il aimerait particulièrement se mettre d’accord avec Moscou: «Si la Russie nous aide dans le combat contre (le groupe) État islamique (…) et contre le terrorisme islamique à travers le monde, c’est une bonne chose».

Donald Trump a demandé au Pentagone de lui fournir, d’ici la fin février, un plan pour accélérer la campagne contre l’EI, qui n’a que trop traîné en longueur selon lui. Or, les militaires américains ne cachent pas que l’attitude de Moscou sera déterminante pour préparer l’ultime bataille contre le groupe terroriste, la conquête de sa capitale autoproclamée Raqqa. La coalition ne peut pas par exemple lancer l’offensive sur la ville sans avoir une idée de ce que sera le statut de la ville libérée – un débat dans lequel la Russie joue un rôle clef.

En cherchant un rapprochement avec le maître du Kremlin, Donald Trump est en décalage, voire en opposition avec nombre de caciques républicains, comme John McCain, l’ancien candidat républicain à la présidentielle de 2008, qui ne perd pas une occasion de dénoncer la menace russe.

Toutefois, une enquête publiée vendredi par le New York Times montre bien qu’il n’est peut-être pas tant que ça en décalage avec l’électorat républicain, pour qui la menace islamique radicale éclipse la menace russe. Interrogé sur l’endroit du monde qui représente pour lui la principale menace pour les États-Unis, l’électorat démocrate place à l’inverse la Corée du Nord en tête, suivie immédiatement par la Russie. Mais l’électorat républicain mentionne après la Corée du Nord une longue liste de pays musulmans, avant de citer la Russie, selon cette enquête.

Voir aussi:

MSM watch

Washington Post Wakes Up to the Fact That Iran Is Stronger Than Ever

Now that Obama is out of office, the Washington Post is beginning to look at the consequences of his policies. One of the biggest: Iran is now a regional superpower, but still as hostile to the U.S. and its allies as ever.

Oops:

Iran now stands at the apex of an arc of influence stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean, from the borders of NATO to the borders of Israel and along the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It commands the loyalties of tens of thousands in allied militias and proxy armies that are fighting on the front lines in Syria, Iraq and Yemen with armored vehicles, tanks and heavy weapons. They have been joined by thousands of members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s most prestigious military wing, who have acquired meaningful battlefield experience in the process.

For the first time in its history, the Institute for the Study of War noted in a report last week, Iran has developed the capacity to project conventional military force for hundreds of miles beyond its borders. “This capability, which very few states in the world have, will fundamentally alter the strategic calculus and balance of power within the Middle East,” the institute said.

America’s Sunni Arab allies, who blame the Obama administration’s hesitancy for Iran’s expanded powers, are relishing the prospect of a more confrontational U.S. approach. Any misgivings they may have had about Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric have been dwarfed by their enthusiasm for an American president they believe will push back against Iran.

If only someone had warned that appeasing Iran was a dangerous policy that could backfire horribly…

When Walter Russell Mead testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015, he argued that the Iran Deal shouldn’t be analyzed merely as an arms control agreement or even on its own terms. It needed (and still needs) to be assessed in the context of a broader strategic framework for the Middle East. At that point, it was already clear the Obama Administration’s entire Middle East policy pivoted on the deal. Other American interests (in Syria and Yemen, for instance) were secondary to getting an arms control agreement in place with Iran. The mistake wasn’t so much the narrow deal itself as the fact that the deal was promoted not as part of a strategy, but rather in lieu of one.

The consequences of not paying attention to the big picture are now obvious to all. We’re glad the Washington Post is finally getting it. We just wish they’d done so sooner.

Voir enfin:

 


Présidence Trump: Attention, une révolution peut en cacher une autre (Revolutionary normalcy: Trump seems a revolutionary only because he is loudly undoing a revolution)

4 février, 2017
byanymeansopen-borderstrump-targettrum-meltdown-time-coverspiegel-trump3spiegel-trump
death-prez
churchill_bust_trump
trumpmlkbust
mlk_bust_whitehouseGeorge Orwell disait,  je crois dans 1984, que dans les temps de tromperie généralisée, dire la vérité est un acte révolutionnaire. David Hoffmann
Le langage politique est destiné à rendre vraisemblables les mensonges, respectables les meurtres,
et à donner l’apparence de la solidité à ce qui n’est que vent;
George Orwell
Ce n’est pas en refusant de mentir que nous abolirons le mensonge : c’est en usant de tous les moyens pour supprimer les classes. (…) Tous les moyens sont bons lorsqu’ils sont efficaces. Jean-Paul Sartre (Les mains sales, II, 5, 1948)
Ce que nous voulons, c’est la liberté par tous les moyens, la justice par tous les moyens et  l’égalité par tous les moyens. Malcom X (1964)
The Martin Luther King jr. Bust has been moved out of the Oval Office according The People Magazine DC Bureau Chief who was in there this pm. April Ryan
Correction: An earlier version of the story said that a bust of Martin Luther King had been moved. It is still in the Oval Office. Time
Now, when I was elected as President of the United States, my predecessor had kept a Churchill bust in the Oval Office. There are only so many tables where you can put busts — otherwise it starts looking a little cluttered. (Laughter.) And I thought it was appropriate, and I suspect most people here in the United Kingdom might agree, that as the first African American President, it might be appropriate to have a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King in my office to remind me of all the hard work of a lot of people who would somehow allow me to have the privilege of holding this office. Barack Hussein Obama
Il est temps de tuer le président. Monisha Rajesh
Trump c’est le candidat qui redonne aux Américains l’espoir, l’espoir qu’il soit assassiné avant son investiture. Pablo Mira (France Inter)
Ils ont été horriblement traités. Savez-vous que si vous étiez chrétien en Syrie, il était impossible, ou du moins très difficile d’entrer aux États-Unis ? Si vous étiez un musulman, vous pouviez entrer, mais si vous étiez chrétien, c’était presque impossible et la raison était si injuste, tout le monde était persécuté… Ils ont coupé les têtes de tout le monde, mais plus encore des chrétiens. Et je pensais que c’était très, très injuste. Nous allons donc les aider. Donald Trump
L’amour du prochain est une valeur chrétienne et cela implique de venir en aide aux autres. Je crois que c’est ce qui unit les pays occidentaux. Sigmar Gabriel (ministre allemand des Affaires étrangères)
Obama, franchement il fait partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique. Il a servi son idéologie mais pas l’Amérique. Je remets en cause son patriotisme et sa dévotion à l’église qu’il fréquentait. Je pense qu’il était en désaccord avec lui-même sur beaucoup de choses. Je pense qu’il était plus musulman dans son cœur que chrétien. Il n’a pas voulu prononcer le terme d’islamisme radical, ça lui écorchait les lèvres. Je pense que dans son cœur, il est musulman, mais on en a terminé avec lui, Dieu merci. Evelyne Joslain
Mais pourquoi n’appelle-t-on pas ce mur, qui sépare les Gazaouites de leurs frères égyptiens « mur de la honte » ou « de l’apartheid »? Liliane Messika
Trump’s executive order is so modest that the foundation of it is essentially existing law. That law was passed unanimously by both bodies of Congress in 2002. In fact, it garnered the support of 16 Democrat senators and 57 Democrat House members who are still serving in their respective bodies! Following 9/11, Congress passed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, which addressed many of the insecurities in our visa tracking system. The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously. The bill was originally sponsored by a group of bipartisan senators, including Ted Kennedy and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (F, 0%). Among other provisions, it restricted non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror (….) The directive to cut off non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror is still current law on the books [8 U.S. Code § 1735]. Presidents Bush and Obama later used their discretion to waive the ban, but Trump is actually following the letter of the law — the very law sponsored and passed by Democrats — more closely than Obama did. Trump used his 212(f) authority to add immigrant visas, but that doesn’t take away the fact that every Democrat in the 2002 Senate supported the banning of non-immigrant visas.At present, only three of the countries —  Sudan, Syria, and Iran —  are designated as state sponsors by the State Department. At the time Democrats agreed to the ban in 2002, the State Department also included Libya and Iraq in that list. Although Libya and Iraq were on the list due to the presence of Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein as sponsors of terror, there is actually more of a reason to cut off visas now. Both are completely failed states with no reliable data to vet travelers. Both are more saturated with Islamist groups now than they were in 2002. The same goes for Yemen and Somalia. Neither country is a state sponsor of terror because neither has a functioning governments. They are terrorist havens. Thus, the letter of the law already applies to three of the countries, and the spirit of the law applies to all of them. Plus, the State Department could add any new country to the list, thereby making any future suspension of visas from those specific countries covered under §1735, in addition to the broad general power (INA 212(f)) to shut off any form of immigration. Given that Trump has backed down on green card holders, his executive order on “Muslim countries” is essentially current law, albeit only guaranteed for 90 days! Conservative review
From my perspective in Iraq, I wonder why all of these protesters were not protesting in the streets when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups. They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N. There were no protests when Syrian Christians were only let in at a rate that was 20 times less than the percentage of their population in Syria. I do not understand why some Americans are now upset that the many minority communities that faced a horrible genocide will finally get a degree of priority in some manner. I would also say this, all those who cry out that this is a “Muslim Ban” – especially now that it has been clarified that it is not – should understand clearly that when they do this, they are hurting we Christians specifically and putting us at greater risk. (…) Here in Iraq we Christians cannot afford to throw out words carelessly as the media in the West can do. I would ask those in the media who use every issue to stir up division to think about this. For the media these things become an issue of ratings, but for us the danger is real. Archévêque irakien
Notre pays a encore bénéficié, ces dernières heures, des atouts de la diversité et de l’apport des disciples d’Allah. Ce matin, à 10 heures, un musulman, armé d’une machette, a attaqué, près du Louvre, une patrouille de soldats, aux cris d’Allah akbar. Abdallah E-H, selon les premières informations, aurait 29 ans, serait égyptien, et travaillerait à Dubaï. Remarquons que si on appliquait le décret Trump en France, en l’élargissant, sans doute ce sympathique touriste n’aurait-il jamais mis les pieds en France, ni n’aurait blessé un militaire avec sa machette. Riposte laïque
La portée dissuasive de l’opération Sentinelle n’était pas à la hauteur des attentes, puisque des militaires se trouvaient non loin du Bataclan et des terrasses et n’ont rien pu faire (…) Elles souhaitaient engager le feu mais on leur a donné l’ordre de ne pas faire usage de leurs armes. L’action des militaires est extrêmement réduite et leur chaîne de commandement est très complexe. (…) Rien ne prouve aujourd’hui que la présence d’une patrouille Sentinelle a permis d’éviter un attentat. Il y a bien eu au départ un rôle psychologique : voir des militaires en kaki partout, dans les rues, dans les transports, rassure la population car la menace est bien réelle. 93% des Français font confiance à l’armée pour lutter contre le terrorisme, tandis que l’antimilitarisme n’est que résiduel en France : il tourne autour de 10%. Mais on peut aussi ajouter qu’en décembre 2015, si 70% des Français approuvaient l’opération Sentinelle, ils n’étaient que 50% à la juger efficace, selon un sondage Ifop pour le ministère de la Défense. Il y a également une part importante de communication politique. Les militaires bénéficient d’une bonne image dans l’opinion publique, le gouvernement joue donc cette carte. L’opération Sentinelle fonctionne en réalité selon le principe du trompe-l’œil : elle diffuse une image de puissance dans les rues mais on ne peut que constater son impuissance effective. (…) Les militaires de Sentinelle ne sont en tout cas pas mis en avant dans le cadre de ce qui devrait être le coeur de leur action : la lutte contre le terrorisme. Un militaire, c’est fait pour faire la guerre. Les militaires de Sentinelle endossent davantage le rôle d’auxiliaires de police de proximité. par leurs présence dans les transports et dans les rues. Une étude réalisée par Elie Tenenbaum, chercheur à l’Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri), souligne que les patrouilles Sentinelle d’Ile-de-France ont été victimes de 1.300 « actions contre la force » entre janvier et septembre 2015, dont 70% d’actes malveillants. Parmi les auteurs de ces violences, certains étaient peut-être des fanatiques, mais ça, rien ne permet de l’affirmer…Et il est évidemment compliqué de faire le tri parmi les personnes qui ont commis ces actes. (…) Comme l’a récemment rappelé le général Sainte-Claire Deville, commandant des forces terrestres, avant 2015, les militaires passaient 5% de leur temps en opération intérieure (principalement dans le cadre du plan Vigipirate) et 15% en opération extérieure. Le reste du temps, ils s’entrainaient et se reposaient. Depuis le début de Sentinelle, ils sont mobilisés 50% de leur temps en opération intérieure et 15% en opération intérieure. Leurs temps de repos et de formation sont donc considérablement entamés. Des troupes fatiguées et peu entraînées sont sans aucun doute bien moins efficaces. (…) C’est d’abord une question pratique et économique. Les militaires sont rapidement mobilisables, efficaces, fiables. Si l’on raisonne à court terme il est également moins onéreux de les utiliser massivement que de recruter et mobiliser à niveau équivalent les forces de l’ordre. (…) De plus en plus de spécialistes, comme Michel Goya [spécialiste des armées, NDLR], plaident pour sa suppression ou, tout du moins, pour un réaménagement drastique, qui permettrait de mobiliser un nombre beaucoup plus faible de militaires, dans des dispositifs plus souples et moins statiques. Mais l’opération Sentinelle ne peut de toute façon pas être pensée isolément : la question de la lutte contre le terrorisme est surtout celle des services de renseignement et de police. Bénédicte Chéron (historienne)
The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It’s a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it’s been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it’s that Fox is very successful. Obama

Fox is not a news organization.

Rahm Emanuel (White House Chief of Staff, October 2009)

Fox operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.

Anita Dunn (White House Communications Director)

When we see a pattern of distortion, we’re going to be honest about that pattern of distortion.

Valerie Jarrett (Obama senior advisor)

As John Podhoretz wrote, these are days of promise and opportunity for America’s political media professionals. So far, they’re squandering their shot. By indulging in ill-considered hysteria and posturing before like-minded colleagues, they sacrifice the credibility they’ll need to expose President Donald Trump’s mendacities. To repair some of the strained bonds between audience and journalist, media professionals must display some restraint when reacting to the latest alleged assault on freedom and decency. That is most easily achieved by recognizing that many of the unprecedented developments of the Trump era aren’t unprecedented at all. (…) The Obama administration was calling Fox “fake news” before “fake news” was a phenomenon. (…) The Obama administration’s “blog” content (now maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration), which includes former Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s “Regional Roundup: What America’s Newspapers are Saying About the Iran Deal.” The blog consisted entirely of favorable headlines from around the country reciting verbatim (and false) administration claims about the nuclear accord. “The Iran Deal” even had its own Twitter account which disseminated not only favorable press mentions but also crafted insipid pop culture memes to get the millennial generation jazzed about nuclear non-proliferation. Imagine the anxiety among journalists when the Trump White House mirrors this tactic. John Podhoretz’s admonition is particularly relevant because so many of these Obama-era precedents did not get the left’s “creeping fascism” sense tingling at the time. To rend garments over these actions now only because the Trump White House is undertaking them is not just unwise; it’s insulting.

Noah Rothman

The Trump administration’s flurry of reversing the earlier flurry of Obama executive orders and the Left’s hysterical response is proving a sort of strategic Game of Thrones. (…) The model is Watergate, Iran-Contra, or the summer of 2006, when the furious rhetoric almost made and in one case did make presidential governance impossible. Given the current role of a biased media (it acted quite differently during the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, the flagrant lying about its impact, and the imploding AFC website), they hope to so increase the temperature that everyone melts down, with the goal of the in-power people liquefying first. They assume their blanket obstructionism will not suffer the public-relations boomerang that damaged the Republicans during shutdowns of the Clinton administration and slowdowns to stop Obama, given the media megaphone broadcasting their cause. In contrast, the Trump people may believe that the Left is becoming so unhinged that their inflated rhetoric has lost all credibility and eventually becomes counter-productive. In Napoleonic terms by attacking everything, the Left is attacking nothing. Second, by raising the stakes, they bring out of the woodwork the true malevolence of the Left such as the adolescent boycott of the inauguration by many in the Congress, the unprofessionalism of the media typified by the Martin Luther King bust fiasco or Michael Cohen’s nonexistent Prague meetings, the unhinged behavior of the acting attorney general, the repulsive rhetoric of a Madonna or Ashley Judd, and the creepy talk of journalists abroad of assassination. In that sense, the executive orders are pheromones that draw out and expose unattractive predators. (…) Where does this stand-off lead and how does it end? Who knows, but the Trump people, in strategic terms, need in advance to configure the third- and fourth-order effects of their executive orders to ensure: that they are seen as reactive to preexisting extremism (…), that (…) that their policies are understood as focused and sober (e.g., the travel ban affects a minuscule number of would-be entrants in an otherwise generous policy of accepting up to 50,000 newcomers; the wall is normal practice in much of the world (Israel, the Gulf States, increasingly in Europe), and we are trying not to react in kind to Mexico, given that Mexico’s own immigration practices, both in terms of punishment and questions of race and ethnicity, are in some sense racist and draconian). The loser, as in all strategic collisions, is he who more slowly misreads constantly shifting public opinion and is more guided by ideological zeal rather than empiricism and so doubles down on rather than modifies a failing strategy. The best indices of who seems to be getting the upper-hand are of course polls on particular issues and on Trump’s favorability — and the unity or lack of among congressional Republicans.

Victor Davis Hanson
Securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution. Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive. Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged. Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality. Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be. Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Obama was elected. (…) Expecting the media to report the news rather than massage it to fit progressive agendas makes sense. In the past, proclaiming Obama a “sort of god” or the smartest man ever to enter the presidency was not normal journalistic practice. (…) Half the country is having a hard time adjusting to Trumpism, confusing Trump’s often unorthodox and grating style with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda. In sum, Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution. Victor Davis Hanson

Attention: une révolution peut en cacher une autre !

Restauration des frontières nationales,  moratoire et meilleur contrôle de l’immigration issue de zones sensibles face à une menace terroriste croissante, refus de la continuation de l’épuration  religieuse du Monde dit « arabe », rappel de la loi nationale et remise en cause des « villes sanctuaires »,  explicitation de la menace terroriste islamique, rappel des membres de l’OTAN à leurs obligations de défense, dénonciation de l’incurie de l’ONU et du fiasco de l’UE, remise en question d’accords secrets accordant l’accès à l’arme nucléaire à un pays appelant ouvertement à l’annihilation d’un de ses voisins, retour à la politique d’alliance avec  le seul pays libre et démocratique du Moyen-Orient, dénonciation des manipulations d’une presse systématiquement partisane …

A l’heure où un nouvel attentat terroriste en plein coeur de la capitale française …

Confirme à la fois l’intuition trumpienne et l’efficacité israélienne

Mais aussi la mauvaise foi de nos médias se plaignant en fait que le décret Trump ne va pas assez loin …

Alors qu’après les faux dossiers des services secrets, la taille comparée des foules d’investiture présidentielle ou la bataille des bustes du Bureau ovale …

Ces derniers en sont quasiment, comme pour précédemment avec le président Bush, à l’appel à l’assassinat politique

Comment ne pas voir avec l’historien américain Victor Davis Hanson …

Et derrière la flamboyance et les mauvaises manières du tribun Trump …

La véritable radicalité de l’Administration Obama …

Et partant la normalité proprement révolutionnaire de son successeur ?

When Normalcy Is Revolution

Trump’s often unorthodox style shouldn’t be confused with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda.

Victor Davis Hanson

National Review

February 2, 2017

By 2008, America was politically split nearly 50/50 as it had been in 2000 and 2004. The Democrats took a gamble and nominated Barack Obama, who became the first young, Northern, liberal president since John F. Kennedy narrowly won in 1960.

Democrats had believed that the unique racial heritage, youth, and rhetorical skills of Obama would help him avoid the fate of previous failed Northern liberal candidates Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry. Given 21st-century demography, Democrats rejected the conventional wisdom that only a conservative Democrat with a Southern accent could win the popular vote (e.g., Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore).

Moreover, Obama mostly ran on pretty normal Democratic policies rather than a hard-left agenda. His platform included opposition to gay marriage, promises to balance the budget, and a bipartisan foreign policy.

Instead, what followed was a veritable “hope and change” revolution not seen since the 1930s. Obama pursued a staunchly progressive agenda — one that went well beyond the relatively centrist policies upon which he had campaigned. The media cheered and signed on.

Soon, the border effectively was left open. Pen-and-phone executive orders offered immigrant amnesties. The Senate was bypassed on a treaty with Iran and an intervention in Libya.

Political correctness under the Obama administration led to euphemisms that no longer reflected reality.

Poorly conceived reset policy with Russia and a pivot to Asia both failed. The Middle East was aflame.

The Iran deal was sold through an echo chamber of deliberate misrepresentations.

The national debt nearly doubled during Obama’s two terms. Overregulation, higher taxes, near-zero interest rates, and the scapegoating of big businesses slowed economic recovery. Economic growth never reached 3 percent in any year of the Obama presidency — the first time that had happened since Herbert Hoover’s presidency.

A revolutionary federal absorption of health care failed to fulfill Obama’s promises and soon proved unviable.

Culturally, the iconic symbols of the Obama revolution were the “you didn’t build that” approach to businesses and an assumption that race/class/gender would forever drive American politics, favorably so for the Democrats.

Then, Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat and the election of outsider Donald Trump sealed the fate of the Obama Revolution.

For all the hysteria over the bluntness of the mercurial Trump, his agenda marks a return to what used to be seen as fairly normal, as the U.S. goes from hard left back to the populist center.

Trump promises not just to reverse almost immediately all of Obama’s policies, but to do so in a pragmatic fashion that does not seem to be guided by any orthodox or consistently conservative ideology.

Trade deals and jobs are Trump’s obsessions — mostly for the benefit of blue-collar America.

He calls for full-bore gas and oil development, a common culture in lieu of identity politics, secure borders, deregulation, tax reform, a Jacksonian foreign policy, nationalist trade deals in places of globalization, and traditionalist values.

In normal times, Trumpism — again, the agenda as opposed to Trump the person — might be old hat. But after the last eight years, his correction has enraged millions.

Yet securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution.

Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive.

Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged.

Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality. Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be.

Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Obama was elected.

Issuing executive orders has not been seen as revolutionary for the past few years — until now.

Expecting the media to report the news rather than massage it to fit progressive agendas makes sense. In the past, proclaiming Obama a “sort of god” or the smartest man ever to enter the presidency was not normal journalistic practice.

Freezing federal hiring, clamping down on lobbyists, and auditing big bureaucracies — after the Obama-era IRS, VA, GSA, EPA, State Department, and Secret Service scandals — are overdue. Half the country is having a hard time adjusting to Trumpism, confusing Trump’s often unorthodox and grating style with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda.
In sum, Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution.

Voir aussi:

Our Game of Thrones
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
January 31, 2017
The Trump administration’s flurry of reversing the earlier flurry of Obama executive orders and the Left’s hysterical response is proving a sort of strategic Game of Thrones.
Trump’s opponents believe that they are bleeding him from a thousand nicks. Without the requisite political clout, their ultimate goal is to drive crazy uncomfortable Republican establishmentarians and force them into a fetal position where they beg for it all to just go away, turning on their own first rather than their adversaries. Or they wish to create such universal chaos that bend-with-the-wind federal judges go with the flow and start issuing endless injunctions in a way they rarely did with Obama’s executive orders.
The model is Watergate, Iran-Contra, or the summer of 2006, when the furious rhetoric almost made and in one case did make presidential governance impossible. Given the current role of a biased media (it acted quite differently during the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, the flagrant lying about its impact, and the imploding AFC website), they hope to so increase the temperature that everyone melts down, with the goal of the in-power people liquefying first. They assume their blanket obstructionism will not suffer the public-relations boomerang that damaged the Republicans during shutdowns of the Clinton administration and slowdowns to stop Obama, given the media megaphone broadcasting their cause.
*** In contrast, the Trump people may believe that the Left is becoming so unhinged that their inflated rhetoric has lost all credibility and eventually becomes counter-productive. In Napoleonic terms by attacking everything, the Left is attacking nothing. Second, by raising the stakes, they bring out of the woodwork the true malevolence of the Left such as the adolescent boycott of the inauguration by many in the Congress, the unprofessionalism of the media typified by the Martin Luther King bust fiasco or Michael Cohen’s nonexistent Prague meetings, the unhinged behavior of the acting attorney general, the repulsive rhetoric of a Madonna or Ashley Judd, and the creepy talk of journalists abroad of assassination. In that sense, the executive orders are pheromones that draw out and expose unattractive predators.
*** Where does this stand-off lead and how does it end? Who knows, but the Trump people, in strategic terms, need in advance to configure the third- and fourth-order effects of their executive orders to ensure: that they are seen as reactive to preexisting extremism (e.g., sanctuary-city policies are subversive and reactionary Confederate/states’-rights acts that lead to George Wallace–like nihilism), that they are seen as refining prior presidential precedents (e.g., Obama gave them the example of temporary suspending visas to Middle Easterners and identifying particular countries that posed increased risks), that they are anticipating criticism (e.g., they might have exempted green-card holders and helpers of the U.S. military abroad from their temporary halt in immigration from areas of the Middle East), that they are putting the onus on their opponents (e.g., placing temporary and small — and therefore likely to be paid rather than circumvented — duties on remittances instead of a trade tariff-like fee would remind the American taxpayer that he should not, even indirectly, have to pay for building the wall, and reassure Mexico the U.S. is not leveling fees on those Mexican citizens who did not come into the United States illegally, given at present U.S. social services often subsidize the freeing-up of cash for remittances, a great majority of which come from those residing in the U.S. illegally),
And, finally, that their policies are understood as focused and sober (e.g., the travel ban affects a minuscule number of would-be entrants in an otherwise generous policy of accepting up to 50,000 newcomers; the wall is normal practice in much of the world (Israel, the Gulf States, increasingly in Europe), and we are trying not to react in kind to Mexico, given that Mexico’s own immigration practices, both in terms of punishment and questions of race and ethnicity, are in some sense racist and draconian). The loser, as in all strategic collisions, is he who more slowly misreads constantly shifting public opinion and is more guided by ideological zeal rather than empiricism and so doubles down on rather than modifies a failing strategy.

The best indices of who seems to be getting the upper-hand are of course polls on particular issues and on Trump’s favorability — and the unity or lack of among congressional Republicans.

Voir encore:

The Democrat Patient
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review

January 31, 2017

Ignoring the symptoms, misdiagnosing the malady, skipping the treatment

If progressives were to become empiricists, they would look at the symptoms of the last election and come up with disinterested diagnoses, therapies, and prognoses.

Although their hard-left candidate won the popular vote, even that benchmark was somewhat deceiving — given the outlier role of California and the overwhelming odds in their favor. The Republicans ran a candidate who caused a veritable civil war in their ranks and who was condemned by many of the flagship conservative media outlets. Trump essentially ran against a united Democratic party, the Republican establishment, the mainstream media (both liberal and conservative) — and won.

He was outspent. He was out-organized. He was outpolled and demonized daily as much by Republicans as Democrats. Yet he not only destroyed three political dynasties (the Clintons, Bushes, and Obamas) but also has seemingly rendered the Obama election matrix nontransferable to anyone other than Obama himself.

Not that Hillary did not try to copy Obama’s formula. She brought on Obama politicos to staff her campaign. She supported all the Obama initiatives, from Obamacare and record debt to a collapsed foreign policy. She spoke in a faux-inner city accent the same way Obama had to get out the African-American vote. She outdid Obama’s clinger speech by her own twist of “deplorables” and “irredeemables.” She returned to her own hard-left phase of the 1990s. Yet she was trounced in the electoral college and saw the fabled “blue wall” crumble.

DIAGNOSIS
Any reasonable post-election autopsy for a party would identify certain inconvenient truths.

1) The African-American vote is vital to the Democratic party, but it is dubious to suppose that blacks will register, turn out, and vote in a bloc (as they did in 2008 and 2012) for a Democratic candidate other than Barack Obama. The very efforts to ensure that 95 percent of blacks will vote for other Democratic nominees might only polarize other groups in an increasingly multiracial and multiethnic America. Trump, of course, knows all this and will make the necessary adjustments.

2) Asians and Hispanics are less a monolithic voting bloc. Supposedly discredited melting-pot assimilation, integration, and intermarriage are still the norm and can temper tribal solidarities and peel away from Democrats a third of their assumed constituents — in an electoral landscape where there is already only a thin margin of error, given that Democrats have written off the white working classes. In the case of Latinos, red states such as Texas and Arizona are unlikely to be flipped soon by Latino bloc voting, especially if Trump closes down the border and ends illegal immigration as a demographic electoral tool of the Democratic party. And Latino electoral-college strength is dissipated in states that are likely to be blue anyway (California, Nevada, New Mexico).

3) The race/class/gender agenda so favored by coastal elites and promulgated by media, Hollywood, and popular culture is an anathema to Middle America, especially its strange disconnect between affluence and the mandate for purportedly progressive equality. Moralistic lectures from wealthy people are not a way to win over the working classes. Rants by Hollywood celebrities and racialist sermons by would-be DNC chairs will not win over 51 percent of the voters in swing states. The twin agents of progressive dogma, the media and the university, are themselves under financial duress, must recalibrate, and have lost support from half the country.

4) Fairly or not, the entire environmental movement, as represented by Al Gore’s campaign against global warming, has become elitist and often hypocritical, and is evident in the lifestyles of wealthy utopians who have the capital and influence to navigate around the irritating results of their nostrums. Building Keystone is a better issue than the Paris Climate Change protocols. There is little support for Bay Area environmentalism among blue-collar building trades and unions — largely because radical climate change is now a religion and skeptics are hounded as heretics.

5) For the foreseeable future, the blue wall of the Midwest seems more vulnerable than the red wall in the South. The small towns and cities in swing states are as electorally powerful as the large, blue cities.

6) What the media and Democrats see as Trump’s outrageous extremism now looks, to more than half the country, like a tardy return to normalcy: employing the words “radical Islamic terror,” or asking cities to follow federal law rather than go full Confederate, or deporting illegal aliens who have committed crimes, or building a wall to stop easy illegal entry across the U.S. border, or putting a temporary hold on unvetted refugees from war-torn states in the Middle East. In the eyes of many Middle Americans, all these measures, even if sometimes hastily and sloppily embraced, are not acts of revolution; they are common-sense corrections of what were themselves extremist acts, or they are simply continuances of presidential executive-order power as enshrined by Obama and sanctified by the media.

TREATMENT
As a result, one might have thought that Democrats would look in 2017 to bread-and-butter economic issues and try to find candidates who are 21st-century updates of Hubert Humphrey or Harry Truman, or perhaps populist minority nominees or a younger version of Joe Biden. Or is it even worse? The Democratic party of 2017 is nothing like the party of 2008, when Hillary Clinton in the primaries ran as a guns-rights Annie Oakley, with a boilermaker in one hand and a bowling ball in the other, and Barack Obama kept assuring the nation that gay marriage was contrary to his religious principles.

Instead of seeing Barack Obama (both his successful two elections and his failed two terms) as the wave of the future, Democrats would be wise to reassess his electoral legacy as a unique phenomenon. In truth, Obama’s legacy is twofold: He took the party hard left, and he downsized it to a minority party of the two coasts and big cities. And then he faded off into the sunset to a multimillionaire retirement of golf and homilies.

The progressive movement, the Democratic party and its cultural appendages in entertainment and the media seem to be doubling down on a failed electoral strategy. Instead, they all hope that either Donald Trump will crack and spontaneously implode after some new sort of Access Hollywood disclosure, or that their own unrelenting invective will eventually grind him down, as it did with Richard Nixon.

Consider a potpourri of left-wing reactions to Trump. Would-be Democratic National Committee chairwoman Sally Boynton Brown pontificated: “I’m a white woman. I don’t get it. . . . My job is to listen and be a voice and shut other white people down when they want to interrupt.” Ashley Judd gave an incoherent rant at the Inauguration Day protest marches. In reading a bizarre poem, she variously compared Trump to Hitler, alleged that he had incestuous desires for his own daughter. and then indulged in rank vulgarity.

Another Hillary Clinton bedrock supporter, Madonna, told the assembled thousands, “I’m angry. Yes, I’m outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”

Secret Service agent and loud Hillary Clinton supporter Kerry O’Grady wrote on her Facebook page that she would “take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be a disaster to this the country.” Making her presidential preference clear, she ended her post with “I am with Her.”

BuzzFeed’s rumor mongering about Trump did not meet National Enquirer standards. Time magazine’s Zeke Miller decided, on no evidence whatsoever, that Trump had suddenly removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. Miller reported the scoop as breaking news — after all, it would confirm Trump’s alleged racism — before retracting the story.

None of these reactions will convince those in the swing states that they erred in voting for Donald Trump.

PROGNOSIS

In sum, the architects of Democratic-party reform are themselves the problem, not the solution. On key issues, they represent a minority opinion, one confined to the entertainment industry, academia, race/class/gender elite activists, and the wealthy scions of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Wall Street. In addition, minority activists themselves do not get out in the heartland and mistakenly believe that the demeanor, mindset, and, yes, guilt of white urban liberal elites in their midst characterize the white working and middle classes in general. And they mistakenly assume they themselves cannot be out-of-touch elites, given their ethnic and racial heritage, when in fact many most certainly are. Do Eric Holder and Colin Kaepernick know more about poverty and hardship than a West Virginian miner or an out-of-work fabricator in southern Ohio? Does an affluent Van Jones visit depressed rural Michigan to lecture out-of-work plant workers and welders about their endemic white privilege?

The current Democratic reset plan certainly does not resemble the 1976 strategy of nominating a governor from the South in order to avoid another 1972 McGovern catastrophe; nor does it share the 1992 wisdom of nominating Bill Clinton to fend off a second Dukakis disaster.

For now, the Democratic-party strategists are doubling down on boutique environmentalism and race/gender victimhood, while hoping that Donald Trump implodes in scandal, war, or depression. They are clueless that their present rabid frenzy is doing as much political damage to their cause as is the object of their outrage.

Voir encore:

Mourad B. était très gentil : il a juste tué son docteur de 48 coups de couteau

Paul Le Poulpe

Riposte laïque

3 février 2017

Notre pays a encore bénéficié, ces dernières heurs, des atouts de la diversité et de l’apport des disciples d’Allah.

Ce matin, à 10 heures, un musulman, armé d’une machette, a attaqué, près du Louvre, une patrouille de soldats, aux cris d’Allah akbar. Abdallah E-H, selon les premières informations, aurait 29 ans, serait égyptien, et travaillerait à Dubaï. Remarquons que si on appliquait le décret Trump en France, en l’élargissant, sans doute ce sympathique touriste n’aurait-il jamais mis les pieds en France, ni n’aurait blessé un militaire avec sa machette. Francis Gruzelle, de manière très réactive, nous avait résumé l’événement.

http://ripostelaique.com/louvre-face-a-une-attaque-djihadiste-nos-militaires-ripostent-enfin-a-lisraelienne.html

Quelques heures avant, à Nogent-le-Rotrou, le docteur Rousseaux n’a pas eu la chance des militaires. Ce médecin de 64 ans, apprécié par l’ensemble de ses patients, a été sauvagement assassiné dans son cabinet par un homme de 42 ans, Mourad B. On ne sait pas pourquoi on n’a pas le droit d’avoir son nom de famille. Les conditions du meurtre sont abominables. 48 coups de couteau, rien de moins, sur l’ensemble du corps et au visage. Donc probablement à la gorge…

Qui est donc ce Mourad B ? Comme toujours quand l’assassin est musulman, personne ne comprend. Il était le plus gentil du quartier. Il causait avec tout le monde. Il faisait du vélo. Il interpellait tout le temps tout le monde, et il était jovial. Ah ! Petit détail, il avait viré d’un emploi de voisinage pour vol. Mais on ne va pas salir une image aussi séduisante du musulman modéré, de l’homme de paix, de la chance pour la France. Bref, comme d’habitude, personne ne comprend.

Donc, il va avoir eu une crise de « déséquilibré », et on s’attend à entendre le procureur Tarrare du coin nous faire le coup d’une crise inexplicable, même si l’individu, arrêté aux Mureaux, a agressé le personnel soignant à Limay.

En attendant, ce fait divers, que les autorités vont tout faire pour occulter, et nous raconter qu’il n’a rien à voir avec l’islam, pose un ensemble de questions politiques que nous n’allons pas occulter.

http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/medecin-de-l-eure-et-loir-tue-de-48-coups-de-couteau-un-patient-en-garde-a-vue-03-02-2017-6650613.php#xtor=AD-1481423553

Nous avons en France dix millions de musulmans. Si un Mourad B, ou bien un Abdallah E-H, qui ne sont pas recensés par les autorités françaises comme particulièrement dangereux, peuvent massacrer un paisible médecin pour l’un, et attaquer à la machette des militaires pour l’autre, faut-il d’abord continuer à faire entrer des musulmans en France, ou bien leur fermer la frontière ? Donald Trump a partiellement répondu à la question, en interdisant, pour trois mois, l’entrée de son pays à sept nationalités.

Toute la caste politico-médiatique pleurniche, mais la cote du nouveau président des Etats-Unis n’a jamais été aussi haute.

Supposons que Marine Le Pen ou Nicolas Dupont-Aignan annoncent qu’ils arrêteront les visas des pays musulmans, Algérie, Tunisie et Maroc d’abord, quelles seraient les réactions en France ? Je leur pronostique un bond spectaculaire dans les sondages.

Au-delà de cela, peut-on garder en France des gens qui se réclament musulmans, dont adeptes de l’islam ? Notre ami Maxime Lepante, pour avoir affirmé le contraire, est victime de deux plaintes du Parquet de Paris.

http://ripostelaique.com/eviter-genocide-faut-expulser-musulmans.html

http://ripostelaique.com/attentat-a-hache-train-allemand-musulmans.html

Et celui-ci, faisant d’une pierre deux coups, entend faire assumer la responsabilité de ces propos à Pierre Cassen, puisque, de manière obsessionnelle, des juges ont décidé que notre fondateur était toujours le vrai directeur de publication de Riposte Laïque. Ils vont même jusqu’à contredire des décisions de justice pour prouver cela, c’est dire pour eux l’importance de faire tomber notre fondateur.

Qu’est qu’un musulman ? C’est quelqu’un qui se réclame de l’islam. Qu’est-ce que l’islam ? C’est un dogme qui demande