Un ancien diplomate étatsunien à Gaza confirme: les Etats-Unis ont financé et armé le Fatah contre le Hamas

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Norman H. Olsen, ancien diplomate étatsunien en poste à Gaza, confirme ce que l’on savait déjà:

Hamas never called for the elections that put them in power. That was the brainstorm of Secretary Rice and her staff, who had apparently decided they could steer Palestinians into supporting the more-compliant Mahmoud Abbas (the current president of the Palestinian authority) and his Fatah Party through a marketing campaign that was to counter Hamas’s growing popularity – all while ignoring continued Israeli settlement construction, land confiscation, and cantonization of the West Bank.

State Department staffers helped finance and supervise the Fatah campaign, down to the choice of backdrop color for the podium where Mr. Abbas was to proclaim victory. An adviser working for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) explained to incredulous staffers at the Embassy in Tel Aviv how he would finance and direct elements of the campaign, leaving no US fingerprints. USAID teams, meanwhile, struggled to implement projects for which Abbas could claim credit. Once the covert political program cemented Fatah in place, the militia Washington was building for Fatah warlord-wannabee Mohammed Dahlan would destroy Hamas militarily.

Malheureusement pour les Etats-Unis, Israël et leurs alliés arabes, les électeurs palestiniens en ont voulu autrement:

Their collective confidence was unbounded. But the Palestinians didn’t get the memo. Rice was reportedly blindsided when she heard the news of Hamas’s victory during her 5 a.m. treadmill workout. But that did not prevent a swift response.

She immediately insisted that the Quartet (the US, European Union, United Nations, and Russia) ban all contact with Hamas and support Israel’s economic blockade of Gaza. The results of her request were mixed, but Palestinian suffering manifestly intensified. The isolation was supposed to turn angry Palestinians against an ineffective Hamas. As if such blockades had not been tried before.

Simultaneously, the US military team expanded its efforts to build the Mohammed Dahlan-led militia. President Bush considered Dahlan « our guy. » But Dahlan’s thugs moved too soon. They roamed Gaza, demanding protection money from businesses and individuals, erecting checkpoints to extort bribes, terrorizing Dahlan’s opponents within Fatah, and attacking Hamas members.

Finally, in mid-2007, faced with increasing chaos and the widely known implementation of a US-backed militia, Hamas – the lawfully elected government – struck first. They routed the Fatah gangs, securing control of the entire Gaza Strip, and established civil order.

Its efforts stymied, the US has for more than a year inflexibly backed Israel’s embargo of Gaza and its collective punishment of the Strip’s 1.5 million residents. The recent six-month cease-fire saw a near cessation of rocket fire into Israel and calm along the border, yet the economic siege was further tightened.

Conclusion:

Our « good, » US-supported Palestinians did not vanquish the « bad » Palestinians any more than Washington’s Lebanese clients turned on Hezbollah, despite the suffering and death of the 2006 war with Israel. Abbas sits emasculated in Ramallah. The Israelis continue to build settlements while blaming Iran for their troubles, as though the Palestinians have no grievances of their own. And we are further than ever from peace.

Ses recommandations à Obama:

That’s why President-elect Obama must reconsider his plan to appoint a traditional Washington-based Middle East envoy, reportedly former envoy Dennis Ross, and instead pursue a course that signals change. He should:

Declare his determination to pursue from his first day in office, not the final six months, full peace between Israel and all its neighbors. Only by doing so can he win support among Israelis, Palestinians, the Congress, and the international partners we’ll need to support this historic effort.

Name an outstanding peace envoy to be resident full time in the region with authority over our missions in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He or she must have the presidential backing and stamina to withstand the pressures and pitfalls of a comprehensive peace process over the long haul. In addition, this envoy must have authority over all US interactions with the Palestinians and Israelis and later, with other parties, reporting directly to the president in collaboration with the National Security Adviser and secretary of State. Assisted with staff comprising the US government’s foremost experts, this envoy would be the single US voice on this issue.

Empower the envoy to engage with all parties to the conflict, regardless of current prohibitions, on all issues, overturning long-established policy.

Fund a political and economic development process second only to those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sur le soutien étatsunien au Fatah et surtout à Mohamed Dahlan, l’Oufkir palestinien, voir l’article-révélation de Vanity Fair d’avril 2008.

« El Himma is relying on the three parties most known for lacking a clear message and being nothing more than a collection of pro-palace elites »

Tiré de l’Arab Reform Bulletin du Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – bulletin qui n’est pas trop ma tasse de thé – plus spécifiquement d’un article d’un chercheur – James Liddell – du Project on Middle East Democracy, un think-tank très mainstream de Washington tout dévoué à la « démocratisation » du Moyen-Orient par la bonne fée étatsunienne, cet article sur Fouad Ali el Himma et son PAM (programme alimentaire marocain Parti authenticité et modernité):

While it is too early to predict the PAM’s long-term impact on the dynamics of Moroccan politics, its initial maneuvers reveal a reinforcement of embedded elite structures rather than any sort of renewal or change. From the outset, El Himma aggressively pursued alliances with the Popular Movement (MP), Constitutional Union (UC), and National Rally of Independents (RNI). The PAM merged recently with RNI to form the largest coalition in Parliament—“Rally and Modernity”—and the MP and UC are expected to follow suit. El Himma is relying on the three parties most known for lacking a clear message and being nothing more than a collection of pro-palace elites. Representatives from these parties are primarily rural notables and urban elites who gain parliamentary seats due to their patronage networks. They have little to no contact with their constituents and typically move from party to party.

power and personality—and not formal institutions—remain the most effective means of accomplishing things in Morocco.

In his efforts to build support for the PAM, El Himma routinely invokes the discourse of modernity; time after time, however, he resorts to practices of clientelism that contradict such language.

The irony, of course, is that the PJD is—by any definition—the most modern political party in Morocco. It is the most internally democratic party, the only one with a constituent relations program, and the only one that draws votes based on the party’s message and not the candidates’ family names. While most representatives view parliament as an old boys’ club for renewing personal contacts, the PJD has enacted a parliamentary code of ethics to discipline its representatives. This requires them to draft amendments, propose new legislation, and ask oral questions. While many parliamentarians from other parties do not bother to show up most of the time, the PJD requires attendance at plenary and committee sessions.

Intéressant de relever que même un think-thank washingtonien, par définition plutôt prédisposé à voir d’un bon oeil une initiative d’un proche du palais – fidèle allié étatsunien – pour contrer l’islamisme politique et « moderniser » la vie politique, ne soit pas dupe de la modernité authentique. La lune de miel aura été courte.

Addendum: Je ne croyais pas si bien dire dans ma dernière phrase – il y a six mois, un autre chercheur – Andrew Ng – du même think-tank était d’un optimisme béat au sujet de l’aventure du programme alimentaire marocain Parti authenticité et modernité, comparant même – merci de contrôler votre vessie en lisant ce qui suit – moul traktor à Barack Obama (yes, they did!):

While little noted outside of Morocco, the emergence of the movement carries notable implications for reform in the kingdom. As with presidential candidate Barack Obama’s rhetoric of “post-partisan politics” in the United States, the movement begs the immediate question of what a broad-based call to transcend the current political system can actually amount to.

Ironically, the movement may well absorb some of the anger and alienation that expressed itself in the 37 percent voter turnout and alarmingly high rate of ballot spoilage in the 2007 elections. Himma’s castigation of national elites and parliament resonates with public opinion, while his association with the king actually works in the movement’s favor on balance by lending it credibility.

That the movement will simply renew the political system and not reform it is not necessarily a foregone conclusion, depending upon the movement’s vision for parliament. The more the MAD behaves like a royally-blessed association dismissive of parliament, the more it will reinforce the political status quo. The more, however, the movement builds up a grassroots network that puts the parliament to work and creates pressure among existing traditional political parties to step up—especially as it transitions from a movement into a political party—the less ironic its name will sound.

I’ve never heard anything funnier in the field of political satire since Tina Fey’s impersonification of Sarah Palin.

Obama, Newsweek et le « président d’Espagne »

On a reproché à Bush 43 ses « bushisms« , et à Sarah Palin ses « palinisms » et son inculture encyclopédique. On a guère lu ou entendu parler de gaffes à mettre au débit d’Obama.

En lisant l’excellente série de Newsweek sur la campagne présidentielle, je suis tombé, au chapitre 6 consacré aux débats présidentiels, sur un passage intéressant, relatif à la préparation par Obama de ces débats:

Obama was instructed to point out that McCain was so averse to personal diplomacy that he had declined to meet with the president of Spain. Obama can be a little bloodless and dull in his preternatural calm, but his goofy side showed up at debate prep. He would appear very somber and emphatic when he accosted Craig/McCain for refusing to speak to the president of Spain. « You wouldn’t even talk to the president of Spain! » he would intone with mock gravity. Then he would begin to giggle.

Président d’Espagne? Je sais que Mc Cain est âgé, mais last time I checked, le dernier président espagnol avait cessé d’exercer ses fonctions en 1939… Et ni Obama, ni ses conseillers, ni Newsweek ne l’ont relevé…

Réponse du berger à la bergère, ou le modèle français d’intégration relève le défi Obama

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Alors que ces yanquis nous rabattent les oreilles aves l’élection minable d’un demi-kényan au poste honorifique de président des Etats-Unis, le modèle français d’intégration ne s’en laisse pas compter, et trace la voie républicaine à suivre pour l’humanité, ou du moins la part éclairée parmi elle. Vive la France, vive la République, amine!

Brigitte Bardot obtient l’interdiction d’une formation aux sacrifices rituels

RELIGION (mise à jour samedi 17h15) – La Fondation Brigitte Bardot a obtenu gain de cause. Jeudi, elle s’était émue d’une formation prévue ce dimanche à Grenoble, dans une salle municipale, pour expliquer à des « pères de famille » les sacrifices rituels en vigueur au moment de l’Aïd (en décembre). Un tel intitulé pouvait, selon la fondation, « encourager l’abattage clandestin ». Le ministère de l’Intérieur a suivi cet argumentaire et fait pression sur la mairie pour qu’elle n’accorde pas la salle. A la demande de la place Beauvau, le préfet de l’Isère a transmis ce samedi un courrier à Michel Destod, député-maire (PS) de Grenoble. Il lui demandait « de ne pas mettre à disposition la salle municipale afin de ne pas permettre le déroulement de cette formation ». L’association a décidé de jeter l’éponge

« On regrette que l’Etat se mette à genoux devant la fondation Brigitte Bardot et on dénonce les pressions exercées sur des élus locaux pour interdire une initiative citoyenne », a déclaré à l’AFP le président de l’Asidcom, Hadj Abdel Aziz Di Spigno.

L’intervention du préfet a été demandée par le ministère de l’Intérieur, qui avait menacé vendredi soir d’interdire la formation, pour laquelle laquelle la mairie de Grenoble avait donné son feu vert. Selon le ministère, l’abattage est « réglementé » et, si cette réunion avait lieu, il y aurait un délit de complicité d’abattage illégal. « Le ministère est ferme sur le respect de la loi en la matière », indiquait vendredi Gérard Gachet, porte-parole du ministère. De son côté, la mairie de Grenoble avait prévenu qu’elle respecterait « la décision prise par l’Etat ».

L’Association de sensibilisation d’information et de défense du consommateur musulman (ASIDCOM) et l’Institut de formation Vioscope présentaient cette formation, organisée gratuitement mais réservée aux membres de l’ASIDCOM, comme « une première en France ». Elle visait à informer les musulmans sur la réglementation européenne de l’abattage, selon Hadj Abdel Aziz Di Spigno, président de l’association.

(avec AFP)

Obamania: no disrespect, but some people really need to get a grip

Inoubliable! Extraordinaire! Fantastique! Historique! Inouï! Irréel! Génial! Super! Flippant! Renversant! Kennedy! Martin Luther King! Roosevelt! Brad Pitt! George Clooney! Angelina Jolie! Eva Longoria! Broadway! Hollywood! Starbucks! Apple! Desperate Housewives! Prison Break! Tommy Hilfiger! Nike! Don de Lillo! Richard Brautigan! Kurt Vonnegut! Martin Scorcese! The Coen brothers! Woody Allen! Tim Robbins! Susan Sarandon! Jon Stewart! David Letterman! Edward Hopper! Norman Rockwell! The Doors! Velvet Underground! Andy Warhol! Bill of Rights! Jim Crow! Barack Obama!

C’est fascinant comment l’image parvient à balayer la substance.
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En attendant, en quittant Disneyland on peut lire ceci:

Premièrement, le futur chief of staff d’Obama à la Maison Blanche sera probablement Rahm Emanuel, membre de la Chambre des représentants et fils d’un terroriste israëlien:

All are the sons of an Israeli father, now a 70-year-old Chicago pediatrician, who passed secret codes for Menachem Begin’s underground, Iregun

Le même, surnommé Rahm-bo, et qui a la nationalité israëlienne, a servi dans l’armée israëlienne en tant que volontaire, lors de la deuxième guerre du Golfe (1991):

Emanuel’s father, Benjamin, is an Israeli-born doctor. His mother, Martha, is an American Jew who works for a Chicago civil rights organization. As a child, Emanuel received a Jewish education at a conservative school and spoke Hebrew with his father at home.

When Bill Clinton began his campaign for presidency, he appointed Rahm Emanuel to direct the campaign’s finance committee. But Emanuel left when the Gulf War broke out, in order to volunteer in the IDF.

He served in one of Israel’s northern bases until the war ended, and upon his return to the US became Clinton’s advisor in the White House for almost eight years.

Même un bloggeur démocrate aussi modéré que Steve Clemons (son blog est l’excellent The Washington Note) s’inquiète, faisant – déjà! – un parallèle avec la désastreuse politique cubaine de celui qu’on présente comme le modèle historique d’Obama, JFK:

My greatest fear about Emanuel is that he might perpetuate a « false choice » orientation towards Israel in Middle East affairs that he’s going to have to compensate for and get under control. There are no rational alternatives in the Middle East than actually delivering on a Palestinian state and finally putting the Middle East peace business out of business.

Emanuel needs to prove his judiciousness by not preempting serious progress in Israel/Palestine affairs and not encouraging Barack Obama to make the mistake of trying to define his presidency by exploiting some national security conflict. There are downsides to the JFK comparison.

Ne croyez pas que ce sont là les peurs irraisonnées d’islamo-gauchiste-antisioniste-donc-antisémite (attention, ironie) – ce que je crains, le National Jewish Democratic Council l’espère:

President-elect Barack Obama made an outstanding selection in choosing Representative Rahm Emanuel to serve as his Chief of Staff. Emanuel has been a forceful and effective leader within the Democratic Party. His voting record and leadership in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship are outstanding.

Emanuel has deep Jewish roots and strong ties to the Jewish community. Emanuel, the son of an Israeli immigrant, has a proven commitment to Israel’s security and served as civilian volunteer on an Israeli military base during the Persian Gulf War of 1991.

We congratulate Emanuel and look forward to continuing to work with Emanuel in his new role in the Obama administration.

Pour couronner le tout, citons la délicate déclaration de son père au journal israëlien Maariv, au sujet de la nomination de son fils:

In an interview with Ma’ariv, Emanuel’s father, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, said he was convinced that his son’s appointment would be good for Israel. « Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel, » he was quoted as saying. « Why wouldn’t he be? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House. »

Deuxièmement, jetons un coup d’oeil aux arguments de certains de ceux ayant fait campagne pour lui – lisez par exemple un article dans lequel Obama est présenté comme « le meilleur choix pour Israël« :

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Even if the candidates’ positions on Israel were my sole criteria for voting, however, I would still vote for Obama. Here’s why. (…)

Obama’s team of Mideast advisers includes former Mideast peace coordinator Dennis Ross, former Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer (1), and Dan Shapiro, a former National Security Council official. These individuals have impeccable pro-Israel credentials, are longtime supporters of US engagement in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, and will likely have important roles in an Obama administration. (…)

While McCain undoubtedly views himself as a stalwart supporter of Israel, Obama’s stated agenda is likely to yield better results for the Jewish state.

Parmi les autres supporters d’Israël, on trouve le primus inter pares des lobbyistes pro-israëliens de Washington, Martin Indyk, ancien responsable d’AIPAC et fondateur de WINEP, et – quel indice sur le poids politique d’AIPAC… – ancien ambassadeur des Etats-Unis à Tel Aviv, avec les opinions qui vont avec. De passage en Israël avant les élections, il a déclaré (voir ce clip) de manière assez maladroite que « the Jews will be important to his victory » – Shmuel Rosner, le bloggeur caricaturalement sectaire de Haaretz, est allé plus loin encore:

I asked about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention in March and was told that he will speak there too, but wants to have another speech sooner. Obama doesn’t want to wait such a long time – not when he is running a campaign in which he will need the support of many people who care deeply about Israel. (Oh, let’s just say it: Jewish voters are major donors to the Democratic Party and its nominees).

Ces espoirs, quoique maladroitement formulés, se sont apparemment réalisés, les électeurs juifs ayant massivement voté pour Obama, comme ils le font pour tout candidat démocrate à la présidence.

Par ailleurs, le Parti républicain et plus particulièrement le Republican Jewish Coalition avait dénoncé Obama comme entouré de conseillers « pro-palestiniens, anti-Israël et même anti-américains« , attirant la réponse suivante d’un porte-parole du National Jewish Democratic Council:

At last week’s National Jewish Democratic Council Washington Conference, former congressman and Obama campaign adviser Mel Levine charged that the RJC is « weakening Israel » and damaging the tradition of bipartisan support for the Jewish state with such advertisements.

« They are denigrating strong friends of Israel, starting with Barack Obama, » said Levine. « They are interested in tearing apart someone for purely partisan reasons. It is very harmful to Israel. »

On retrouve également Edgar Bronfman Sr, ancien président du World Jewish Congress, qu’il quitta en 2007 après des affaires de sous et de népotisme, et qui appella à voter pour Obama au nom d’Israël:

Among Jewish voters, some feel the basic question is which candidate will act in the best interest of Israel. The answer is Barack Obama. As an American Jew who loves Israel, I cannot support John McCain.

La presse israëlienne ne s’inquiète pas outre mesure du nouveau président, par exemple Haaretz:

Barak Obama’s welfare should be particularly important to Israel and not just because of the special relations between the two countries.

If we go by the unwritten rule that says that a president’s choice of advisers define his policies, it’s safe to assume that Obama will not abandon Israel.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting two of his senior advisors: former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer and his strategic advisor Dan Shapiro. Both of these men are Jewish supporters of Israel and promoters of peace, and they believe that the future of Israel depends on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

With a second term already in focus, the new Democrat president does not want to disappoint the small but active Jewish-American community that has given him such comprehensive support throughout his entire campaign.

Troisièmement, Dennis Ross, sioniste sans concession et quelque peu exalté, « viscéralement anti-Iran« , est présenté comme un possible ministre –voire vice-ministre – des affaires étrangères (Secretary of State) d’Obama, ou envoyé spécial d’Obama au Moyen-Orient. Il est en tout cas le principal conseiller d’Obama sur le Moyen-Orient et tout particulièrement sur l’Iran, et il est un membre du think-tank néo-con et pro-israëlien WINEP et ancien protégé de Paul Wolfowitz – il commenca sa carrière dans l’administration Reagan. Il ne déclenche pas l’enthousiasme des foules en dehors de la cabale à laquelle il appartient – Clinton dût l’écarter lors des désastreuses négociations de Camp David entre Barak et Arafat, tant sa passion pro-israëlienne entravait les négociations:

But Ross’s record as a Mideast peacemaker during the Clinton years, longtime association with hawkish political factions, and track record promoting a hard line vis-à-vis Israel’s Arab neighbours have spurred concern that he would be a less-than-ideal pick for a Middle East portfolio in an Obama administration, which many presume he will be offered.

Même des commentateurs favorables à Israël s’en rendent compte:

For when you get down to it, the peace-process team under two US presidents was composed of three talented individuals, all Jews, and all liberal Zionists.

Now we know — from Kurtzer and from Miller, two-thirds of the trio — that America, Israel, and the Palestinians would have been better served by a more diverse team.

Apparently, Dennis Ross, whose failure was spectacular, still doesn’t get it.

Pour l’instant, il semble s’intéresser moins à la question israëlo-palestinienne qu’à l’Iran, conformément à la priorité de ses amis du gouvernement israëlien – encore que ces derniers semblent avoir un accès subit de réalisme ces derniers temps: il a ainsi co-signé un rapport récent du WINEP sur la prétendue menace nucléaire iranienne:

Ross’s close association with neoconservatives has deepened over the years, becoming especially pronounced in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Ross served as the co-convenor of WINEP’s Presidential Task Force on the Future of US-Israel Relations, which issued the June 2008 report “Strengthening the Partnership: How to Deepen US-Israel Cooperation on the Iranian Nuclear Challenge”.

The report was signed by a number of former Democratic and Republican policy-makers, as well as by several neoconservatives, including former CIA director James Woolsey and Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman who co-founded the rightist pressure group Empower America.

Interestingly, several other advisers to the Obama campaign added their names to the document — Anthony Lake, Susan Rice, and Richard Clarke. Ross also helped produce the 2008 report “Meeting the Challenge: US Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development”, which was published by a study group convened by the Bipartisan Policy Centre, a group led by several former legislators.

The lead drafter of the report was AEI’s Michael Rubin, an outspoken proponent of US military intervention in the Middle East. Other participants included hawkish arms control analyst Henry Sokolski; Michael Makovsky, a former aide to Douglas Feith; Stephen Rademaker, who worked under former UN Ambassador John Bolton in the State Department; and the neoconservative Hudson Institute director, Kenneth Weinstein.

The report argues that despite Iran’s assurances to the contrary, its nuclear programme aims to develop nuclear weapons and is thus a threat to “US and global security, regional stability, and the international nonproliferation regime,” a conclusion that stands in contrast to the CIA’s November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Iran had ceased its nuclear weapons programme.

(…) Calling the report a “roadmap to war”, Inter Press Service’s Jim Lobe writes, “In other words, if Tehran is not eventually prepared to permanently abandon its enrichment of uranium on its own soil —a position that is certain to be rejected by Iran ab initio — war becomes inevitable, and all intermediate steps, even including direct talks if the new president chooses to pursue them, will amount to going through the motions…What is a top Obama adviser [Dennis Ross] doing signing on to it?”

Dennis Ross était favorable à la guerre en Irak, et aurait envisagé un moment de travailler pour le président Bush par ressentiment envers Arafat:

After he left government, the 59-year-old diplomat headed up a hawkish pro-Israel think tank in Washington, and signed on as a Fox News foreign affairs analyst. A former colleague, Dan Kurtzer (an Orthodox Jew and former U.S. ambassador to Israel who also supports Obama), published a think-tank monograph containing anonymous complaints from Arab and American negotiators saying Ross was seen as biased towards Israel and not « an honest broker ». Ross has been hawkish on Iran, but he agrees with Obama’s pledge to start talks. « We need to work hard to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear state, » Ross says, « but the Bush approach isn’t working. »

Still, it is somewhat surprising to see Ross emerge as an official member of Obama’s team. (Neither Ross nor the campaign would comment on his role in the still-unannounced trip, but several sources in the campaign confirmed details for TIME.). When Ross left the State department in 2000, he was so critical of Yasser Arafat that some friends thought he was considering working for George W. Bush, who cut ties with the late Palestinian leader. « At the beginning of the Administration he hadn’t excluded the possibility of working for a Republican again, » says one. Ross supported the Iraq war, though he opposed some of the Bush Administration’s policies for post-war reconstruction.

Quatrièmement, les groupies d’Obama peuvent également méditer la position de ce dernier sur le dossier palestinien, et plus particulièrement sur le statut de Jérusalem/Al Qods – en clair, Jérusalem-Est, la partie de la ville occupée par Israël en 1967. Pour ceux qui l’ignorent, Jérusalem-Est a été annexé par israël, contrairement au reste des territoires occupés en 1967, qui a fait de la Jérusalem réunifiée la capitale ‘éternelle » d’Israël. A ma connaissance, plus aucun pays n’a son ambassade en Israël à Jérusalem, depuis le retour à Tel-Aviv des ambassades du Costa Rica et de l’El Salvador en 2006. Aux Etats-Unis, la position officielle, au-delà des discours de circonstance, est également que Jérusalem-Est constitue un territoire occupé, d’où le refus présidentiel sous tous les récents présidents étatsuniens, Bush jr. compris, de mettre en oeuvre la loi de 1995 passée par le Congrès et ordonnant le déménagement de l’ambassade des Etats-Unis en Israël de Tel Aviv à Jérusalem – cette possibilité laissée au président est prévue par la loi.

Récemment, lors de l’obligatoire séjour en Israël de tout candidat sérieux à la présidentielle, Obama avait causé un certain fracas en se déclarant sans ambages pour l’unité de Jérusalem – sous occupation israëlienne, il va sans dire – adoptant là une position débordant Bush sur sa droite. Il avait par la suite dû tenter de revenir en arrière assez maladroitement, disant qu’il voulait simplement dire que Jérusalem ne devrait pas être divisée par des barbelés et des checkpoints comme entre 1948 et 1967, et reconnaissant que la question devrait de toute façon être tranchée par les négociations finales israëlo-palestiniennes. La question a continué à le hanter, puisqu’un article récent, paru quelques jours avant ce mardi 4 novembre dans la presse libanaise, avait fait état d’assurances d’Obama à Abou Mazen sur la reconnaissance d’un Etat palestinien souverain, y compris sur Jérusalem-Est – mais Dennis Ross a très fermement nié tant la promesse relative à un Etat palestinien souverain, ce qui est en retrait avec la position officielle étatsunienne depuis Bush (eh oui, c’est le premier président étatsunien en exercice à se prononcer pour un Etat palestinien souverain, même si personne n’a autant que lui empêché cette politique officielle de se réaliser), que celle relative à Jérusalem-Est: 

Obama camp denies Jerusalem promised to Abbas

Dennis Ross vehemently denies report by Lebanese newspaper saying Democratic presidential hopeful told Abbas, Fayyad he would support their right to stable sovereign state. Senior Abbas aide also says report ‘completely unfounded’
Roee Nahmias Published: 11.04.08, 11:59

The Palestinian Authority has refrained from officially declaring its support for one of the US presidential hopefuls, claiming this was an « internal American issue », but a Lebanese newspaper reported Tuesday that Palestinian leaders in the West Bank are hoping for Democrat Barack Obama’s victory.

Sources in Ramallah told the al-Akhbar daily that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are expecting Obama to win, « despite his leaning towards Israel, » which they said was aimed at gaining the support of the Israel and the Jewish lobby in the United States.

The sources said that during a recent meeting with Obama, the two Palestinian leaders « heard the best things they ever heard from an American president. »

According to the report, the Democratic senator told Abbas and Fayyad that he « supports the rights of the Palestinians to east Jerusalem, as well as their right to a stable, sovereign state », but asked them to keep the remarks a secret.

Dennis Ross, a key advisor to Obama on foreign policy, denied the report outright. « As someone who was present in Senator Obama’s meeting with the Palestinian leadership, I can state definitively that there were no secret commitments made, and no discussion of Jerusalem whatsoever. This report is false,” his statement said.

Cinquièmement: quant à Barack Obama lui-même, la campagne arabophobe lancée par Mc Cain au sujet de son amitié relative avec le professeur étatsuno-palestinien Rashid Khalidi, lui fera passer l’envie d’organiser des soirées thématiques sur la poésie palestinienne une fois installé à la Maison Blanche, comme l’écrit joliment un reporter de Time:

Will Palestinians have a « friend » in the White House if Barack Obama is elected president on Tuesday? Many supporters of the Palestinians think so or at least hope so. My advice to them: Don’t hold your breath. Get too close to a Palestinian, or voice too much sympathy for his cause, it seems, and you’re apt to be smeared as someone who is little better than a terrorist yourself. If you’re an American politician whose middle name is Hussein, you really could be in for a hard time. (…)

But don’t expect Barack and Michelle to host any Palestinian poetry readings at the White House. If they do, I doubt they’ll let anybody videotape it. I hope the Khalidis at least get a dinner invitation from the First Family out of it. Obama’s been freeloading off Rashid and Mona long enough now.

Et pour casser définitivement l’ambiance, je vous propose quelques extraits des discours prononcés par Barack Obama devant AIPAC en 2007 et 2008:

That effort begins with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel, our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That has been my starting point and that always will be my starting point. (…) At the same time, we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs.
(…) We should all be concerned about the agreement negotiated among the Palestinians in Mecca last month. All of us are glad that the shootings have lessened. On the other hand, the reports of this agreement suggest that Hamas, Fatah, and independent ministers would sit in a government together, under a Hamas prime minister, without any recognition of Israel, without any renunciation of violence, and with only an ambiguous promise to respect previous agreements is not good enough.
It should concern — It should concern us because it suggests that Mahmoud Abbas, who is a Palestinian leader who I have met with and who I believe is committed to peace, continues to feel forced to compromise with Hamas. If we are serious about the Quartet’s conditions, we must tell the Palestinians and Mr. Abbas that he has to do better.(2007)

I want you to know that today I’ll be speaking from my heart, and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow, and forever. (…)
Our alliance is based on shared interests and shared values. Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.
That starts with ensuring Israel’s qualitative military advantage. I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat – from Gaza to Tehran. Defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a model of success, and must be deepened. As President, I will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade – investments to Israel’s security that will not be tied to any other nation. (…)
Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable.
(2008)

Quelques infos supplémentaires sur Obama et les élections:
– on le savait, notamment via Chomsky, mais l’opinion étatsunienne est plus à gauche que ne l’est sa caste politico-médiatique – « The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth« , une étude chez Media Matters, sondages d’opinion à l’appui, le confirme;
– The New Republic cite la liste des trente collaborateurs d’Obama qui devraient avoir le plus grand rôle -on y relevera notamment le général Petraeus et l’absence de Dennis Ross…
– Newsweek consacre une série de longs articles sur les coulisses de la campagne – passionnant!
– Bakchich, via son correspondant Doug Ireland, souligne le centrisme d’Obama et son inféodation – « obscène » – aux intérêts économiques qui ont si généreusement financé sa campagne électorale;

D’autres réactions à l’élection de Barack Hussein Obama me paraissent pertinentes:

– Nidal (Loubnan ya Loubnan) relève la lettre ouverte du candidat malheureux Ralph Nader au nouveau président, qui est très dure – j’y reviendrai;

– ainsi Lalla Fatma M’msemer, chez les Indigènes de la République:

Pourquoi, alors que nous savons qu’Obama prendra soin de défendre le système américain, construit sur la destruction des Indiens, l’esclavage des Noirs, le pillage incessant de l’Afrique, avons-nous pourtant le sentiment qu’il représente cette même Afrique dévastée par les impérialismes ? Qu’est-ce qui nous brûle la bouche au point de détourner pudiquement nos regards de ce champ de bataille que ne cesse d’être l’Afrique où s’affrontent les puissances américaines, européennes et chinoises ? Comment notre cerveau peut-il faire abstraction de ces fleuves de sang qui vont continuer de couler chez nous en Amérique latine, chez nous dans le monde arabo-musulman, chez nous dans notre terre ancestrale, de l’autre côté de la Méditerranée ?

La réponse est douloureuse : nous sommes fascinés par cette puissance même qui nous a soumis et nous réclamons notre part de cette puissance. Nous sommes fascinés par le G8, nous sommes fascinés par le Conseil de sécurité, par leur modernité et donc par celui qui va l’incarner pour nous. Obama président des States, c’est moi, c’est toi qui dirige le monde. Désormais, on fait partie de la race des seigneurs. Cet état de fait est au cœur de notre impuissance à nous libérer de la suprématie occidentale. Elle est constitutive de ce que nous sommes, nous la protégeons. Nous sommes ses sentinelles.
(…)
Une à qui on ne la fait pas, c’est Angela Davis : « Quand l’intégration de personnes noires dans l’appareil d’oppression a pour but de rendre cette oppression plus efficace, cela ne représente en aucune façon un progrès. Nous avons plus de Noirs dans des postes de pouvoirs prestigieux. Mais du même coup nous avons plus de Noirs qui se sont retrouvés poussés tout en bas de l’échelle. Quand la population demande que la justice et l’égalité passent par la diversité ethnique, c’est bien. Mais il y a une façon d’envisager la diversité qui rappelle l’adage selon lequel « pour que rien ne change, il faut accepter que tout change ». »

– le Bougnoulosophe – son billet, « De quoi Obama est-il le nom?« , doit être lu dans son intégralité, mais vvoici quand même quelques extraits:

D’un millénarisme européen aussi tartuffe que superficielle, car en Europe Mamadou ne pourrait pas même devenir le chef de service de tous ces obomaniaques hystériques, pas même au cinéma… D’un millénarisme qui se fonde sur l’espoir, alors que l’espoir n’est pas une catégorie politique… De la nouvelle ère et des lendemains qui chantent qui ne passeront pas l’hiver… D’une communion universelle et d’une parousie sous les auspices de Benetton… Du constat que l’homo democaticus est un être qui veut croire…

– As’ad Abu Khalil, a.k.a. The Angry Arab, ne déçoit pas:

Remember me: Obama bashing begins here. (…) Those who supported Obama: you will be disappointed and you will remember my caution. Remember me when Obama will endorse an Israeli war on a refugee camp and on a Lebanese village, and he will call that justified self-defense. Remember me when Obama will mourn the deaths of Israelis and will celebrate the deaths of Arabs and Muslims. Remember me when he orders his first bombing campaign on some remote area of Pakistan. Remember me when he betrays the poor in favor of Wall Street. Remember me when he will betray the aspirations of black people in favor of the white middle class that is now the headline of the Democratic Party. Remember me when Obama will not fight for his health reform plan, and will he not deliver on many of his promises. Remember me when Obama will stick to his campaign promise of opposing gay marriage. Remember me when when Obama will continue to blame the failure of the American occupation of Iraq on the Iraqi people themselves. On Angry Arab: the Obama bashing has just begun and will continue unabated.

– Mike Davis, historien et militant socialiste, via Lenin’s Tomb (sa conclusion, par contre, sur la nécessité du socialisme, pfff…):

The Republicans now know what 1968 was like for the Democrats. Blue victories in formerly bedrock Red suburbs are stunning invasions of the enemy’s electoral heartland, comparable to George Wallace’s and Richard Nixon’s victories more than a generation ago in Northern ethnic-white, CIO neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the desperate marriage-in-hell of Palin and McCain warns of the imminent divorce of mega-church faithful and the country-club sinners. The Bush coalition built by Karl Rove’s thuggish genius is breaking up.

More importantly, tens of millions of voters have reversed the verdict of 1968: this time choosing economic solidarity over racial division. Indeed, this election has been a virtual plebiscite on the future of class-consciousness in the United States, and the vote–thanks especially to working women–is an extraordinary vindication of progressive hopes.

But not the Democratic candidate, about whom we should not harbor any illusions. Although the economic crisis as well as the particular dynamics of campaigning in industrial swing states finally drove Obama to emphasize jobs, his « socialism » has been far too polite to acknowledge vast public anger about the criminal bailout or even to criticize big oil (as has off-and-on populist McCain).

– Alexander Cockburn, de Counterpunch, interviewe Ralph Nader qui souligne que la nomination de Rahm Emanuel est un retour aux plus mauvais côtés des années Clinton – le virage néo-libéral des Démocrates, et rappelle quelques vérités sur Obama:

He is less vulnerable to criticism and harder to criticize because of his race. When I said he was talking White Man’s talk, the PC people got really upset.
It doesn’t matter that he sides with destruction of the Palestinians, and sides with the embargo. It doesn’t matter that he turns his back on 100 million people and won’t even campaign in minority areas. It doesn’t matter than he wants a bigger military budget, and an imperial foreign policy supporting various adventures of the Bush administration. It doesn’t matter that he’s for the death penalty ,which is targeted at minorities. But if you say one thing that isn’t PC, you get their attention. I tell college audiences, a gender, racial or ethnic slur gets you upset, reality doesn’t get you upset.
Can Obama speak truth to the white power structure? There’s every indication he doesn’t want to. For example, in February he stiffed the State of the Black Union annual meeting in New Orleans. He’s a very accommodating personality.

– toujours chez Counterpunch (au fait, ceux d’entre vous qui le peuvent et le veulent, n’oubliez pas de donner un coup de main à la collecte annuelle de ce site indispensable), l’avocat John Whitbeck, qui a conseillé les Palestiniens dans les négociations avec Israël, tient un langage sans illusion:

For decades, the Palestinian leadership has been « waiting for Godot » — waiting for the U.S. Government to finally do the right thing (if only in its own obvious self-interest) and to force Israel to comply with international law and UN Resolutions and permit them to have a decent mini-state on a tiny portion of the land that once was theirs.

This was never a realistic hope. It has not happened, and it will never happen. So it may well be salutary not to waste eight more days (let alone eight more years) playing along and playing the fool while more Palestinian lands are confiscated and more Jewish colonies and Jews-only bypass roads are built on them, clinging to the delusion that the charming Mr. Obama, admirable though he may be in so many other respects, will eventually (if only in a second term, when he no longer has to worry about reelection) see the light and do the right thing. It is long overdue for the Palestinians themselves to seize the initiative, to reset the agenda and to declare a new « only game in town ».

Je m’en voudrais cependant de ne pas citer deux voix plus optimistes – j’espère qu’elles ont raison et que je me trompe, car enfin, comment rester insensible à cette splendide revanche sur l’esclavage, aboli en 1865, et l’apartheid, aboli aux Etats-Unis en 1965, quarante-trois ans après l’assassinat de Malcolm X et quarante après celui de Martin Luther King:
Philip Weiss, de l’excellent blog Mondoweiss – tous ses billets depuis l’élection d’Obama méritent d’être lus: « Let’s Don’t Be Naive (About Obama and the Jewish Establishment) » mais surtout « On Israel/Palestine, We’ve Convinced Obama, Now We Must Pressure Him« :

Take heart. My friend James North says Obama is not about to become a Palestinian nationalist–he’s way too careful– he knows the centrality of the issue, and he is basically on our side. Never forget: This man was friends with Rashid Khalidi. That friendship justly gave the Israel lobby the willies.

In North’s capacity as Beschloss, he offered the following Vivid Presidential Anecdotes:

LBJ: « You want me to be a statesman. First you have to get me elected. »

And, brilliantly, FDR to activists who were belaboring a point: « OK, you’ve convinced me. Now go out and put pressure on me. »

At the risk of gilding the lily, James North explains FDR’s calculation: « I’m on your side. But I’m a politician. I can’t expend political capital unless you show the world that I was pressured to do so. »

We will pressure Obama!

– le dissident pacifiste israëlien Uri Avnery, de Gush Shalom, écrit une belle chronique, « Turning the page« , dans laquelle il exprime de l’espoir, lui qui avait si durement critiqué Obama pour sa soumission à Aipac:

Today, it seems at the moment, the incredible will happen: the most important “white” country in the world will elect a black president.

143 years after the assassination of Abe Lincoln, the man who freed the slaves, and 40 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, the dreamer of the Dream, a black family will occupy the White House.

This will have huge implications in many directions. One of them is an electrifying message to a worldwide order to which I belong: the Order of the Optimists.

How does an optimist differ from a realist? My definition is: a realist sees reality as it is. An optimist sees reality as it could be.

Enfin, Israël mis à part, une bonne chose avec la victoire d’Obama est qu’elle déplairait à l’Arabie séoudite:

Based on all the above, I would guess that the Saudis would prefer if McCain were to win. Furthermore, there are indications that they have a strong dislike to Senator Biden, primarily because of his public criticism of the Saudi royal family, its religious policies, and the very form of rule it represents. The Saudis have been relatively discreet about this animus towards Biden, and when it has surfaced, as in an editorial article by Jamal Khashogi in Al-Watan newspaper earlier this year, it has criticized Biden for his plan to divide Iraq into three parts. I believe the Saudis feel that they can proceed with business-as-usual with McCain but not with Biden, who is, paradoxically perhaps, more ideological when it comes to reforming Saudi Arabia’s regime.

(1) Ce diplomate étatsunien, juif orthodoxe, fût ambassadeur étatsunien au Caire puis tout récemment à Tel Aviv. Pour une idée de ses positions (voir aussi un chat sur le site de Haaretz):

« The policy is exactly what the president said, » Kurtzer said in the prerecorded interview. « In the context of a final status agreement, the United States will support the retention by Israel of areas with a high concentration of Israeli population. »

Kurtzer’s language went slightly further than the original Bush letter, which did not speak of Israel retaining territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war but said only that a return to the prewar borders of 1949 was unlikely.

Mais l’honnêteté m’oblige à constater qu’il a également critiqué la politique de Clinton dans les négociations israëlo-palestiniennes comme étant celle d’un avocat d’Israël et pas d’un honnête intermédiaire: « The Clinton policy team is accused by Kurtzer and Lasensky of being « dysfunctional, » without any knowledge in Arab culture, a serious drawback especially at Camp David II« .

US presidential elections are vastly overrated

Well, not as such, of course: I strongly believe in elections, and have always voted when it was physically possible for me to do so. But I’m not American, and couldn’t be bothered about whether the Supreme Court would have a more conservative outlook under Mc Cain or whether Obama would repel some of the Cheney/Bush administration’s labor-law reforms. I have very firm beliefs on these issues, and favor a more progressive Supreme Court and labor laws more in line with European decency standards. However, I’m not personally affected by these purely domestic matters.

I am of course more affected by the economic, foreign and environmental policies that would be pursued by the next US president. It can probably be blamed on my disinterest in such matters, but I have failed to notice any substantial difference between both major candidate’s economic policies – both appeared to favor the 700 billion USD Wall Street bail-out. I suppose that fiscal reality sets a firewall against any future president’s ambitions to implement further tax cuts, although even Obama voiced his intention to cut at least some taxes, although not the overall tax level.

As regards foreign policy, both major candidates are intercheangable – although Obama would appear to be more hawkish on Israel and Afghanistan, whereas Mc Cain would be fiercer on Iraq, and both seem about as terrible on Iran. As for Israel, Obama’s top foreign policy adviser would seem to be Dennis Ross, who distinguished himself during the 2000 Camp David negotiation round between Arafat and Barak as a lopsided and dishonest broker who was eventually cut out from the negotiations by Clinton – « it became evident to everyone that his more pro-Israeli feelings were coming out » (Clayton E. Swisher, « The truth about Camp David« , Nation Books, New York, 2004, p. 186). He has now set his sights on Iran, in line with Israeli priorities.

As for Morocco, it is of course impossible to tell, as Morocco is too far from the Washington radar to be addressed, even obliquely, in a presidential campaign – a good thing, as Arab or Muslim countries only seem to be of interest when they provide for a credible invasion target… The cabal of neo-con Polisario supporters around John Bolton and Suzanne Scholte will however probably not have the same access under Obama, but on the other hand pro-Moroccan neo-con Elliot Abrams will no longer be around to save the Kingdom from its abysmal diplomacy – I don’t know whether he’d be kept in place were Mc Cain to win. As Morocco is largely irrelevent nowadays on the Middle Eastern scene, I do not expect any major change to take place in either case.

As for the Great War on Terror, both candidates would of course shut down Guantanamo as a detention centre for suspected terrorists – a symbolic gesture, as none of them opposed the US Patriot Act and its sequels, although both agree to discard Bush’s torture policies. With his perceived Muslim background, it is even possible that Obama might feel the need – with a view to his re-election – to show very little courage on these issues. As for the rhetoric, Obama’s vow to increase troop numbers in Afghanistan and to take on Pakistan if need be gives very little room left for any optimism.

Does all of this mean that I wouldn’t vote, if I were entitled to? Certainly not: I’d vote for Ralph Nader, of course, provided that I lived in a state having him on the ballot. Otherwise, I’d vote Obama, extremely reluctantly – the fact that Al Gore would probably act as his adviser on global warming issues would convince me that there is a small difference – although one should remember that the Kyoto protocol on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was ditched by the Clinton administration, with Gore serving as vice-president.

Oh and yes: of course, it’d be a nice symbol to have an Afro-American president, but the only thing he has in common with Martin Luther King or Malcolm X is the colour of his skin. And I must say that I am afraid that his honeymoon with foreign media and countries could undeservedly deflect much of the criticism that his policies would otherwise warrant.

By the way, I found these pro-vote video clips – excellent, and I’d only wish similar stuff had been floated around in Morocco last September

PS: Désolé pour les lecteurs francophones, je passerai à une langue plus civilisée au prochain billet.

Colin Powell and the « f*** crazies »

Pour vous dire à quel point Barack Obama est un candidat révolutionnaire (McCain le traite de socialiste, ce qui aux Etats-Unis est l’équivalent ailleurs dans le monde d’un sataniste cannibale pédophile): Colin Powell, l’ex-chef d’état-major de Bush père lors de la deuxième guerre du Golfe (1) et ex-secrétaire d’Etat de Bush fils lors de la troisième guerre du Golfe (celle qui a commencé en 2003 avec l’invasion illégale de l’Irak) lui a déclaré sa flamme, maintenant que son élection semble être plus que probable (même si elle n’est pas acquise – remember Florida 2000 et Dallas 1963). Si les larmes ne vous viennent pas encore aux yeux, il suffira peut-être de préciser que Barack Obama souhaite le voir dans son staff pour son boulot de dans trois mois, pour paraphraser les Guignols.

Car il faut dire que Colin Powell est un homme d’un courage politique extrême: ayant servi Bush père et fils dans deux guerres contre l’Irak (certes, seule la seconde était illégale), ayant contribué par son image de modéré – je ne sais pas trop ce que ça veut dire: probablement que Powell n’est ni Cheney ni Rumsfeld – à l’élection puis la réélection de Bush fils, et ayant défendu, devant le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU, le 5 février 2003, l’existence de fantomatiques armes de destruction massive (2), le voilà qui accourt au secours de la victoire annoncée du candidat Obama. N’égorgez donc pas vos moutons tout de suite, et ne baptisez pas tous vos fils présents et à venir Colin: ni Guantanamo, ni Bagram, ni Abou Ghraïb n’avaient fait démissioner notre héros, qui fût lourdé comme un chaouch une fois la réélection de Bush acquise.

Le commentateur David Corn de Mother Jones a bien noté que ce choix n’avait rien de téméraire:

By Wilkerson’s explanation, the circumstances are indeed in place for a Powell endorsement this weekend. At this stage–with Obama opening a lead, McCain failing to win the last debate, the economic crisis continuing to dominate the news, and not much time left for a major change of direction in the campaign–such an endorsement would be rather significant but it would also be only 60-percent gutsy.

Granted, les adversaires d’Obama ne sont pas très sympas: comme le résume Kevin Drum, également chez Mother Jones, « Obama is a Black Muslim, Anti-Christian Socialist Plotting with an Evil Jewish Billionaire« . Il ne manque plus qu’une mention de Bob Ménard, Moulay Hicham, Ali Lmrabet et le réseau Belliraj pour qu’un Marocain ne se sente pas dépaysé.

Pas besoin d’être paranoïaque pour craindre le pire – et se rappeler du beau palmarès des années 60: JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King et RFK. Pour être certain que c’est pire de l’autre côté, en dépit des jambes de Sarah Palin, il suffit de voir cet extrait d’Al Jazeera English repris par Lenin’s Tomb:

Pour en revenir à Powell, il ressort d’un livre que je suis en train de terminer – « The accidental American: Blair and the presidency » de James Naughtie – que Powell a fait son sale boulot de secrétaire d’Etat – c’est-à-dire ministre des affaires étrangères – de Bush sans conviction, conformément à la tradition du mercenariat militaire:

Referring to the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz group, Powell did not find it necessary to conceal his irritation and feeling of alienation from their view. He told Straw in one of their conversations that they were « fucking crazies ». (James Naughtie, « The accidental American« , Pan Books, London, 2005, p. 127).

Ce bouquin, consacré à la « special relationship » censée lier le Royaume-Uni aux Etats-Unis, contient une autre citation intéressante, faite par un intime de Blair profondément impliqué dans la formulation de la politique étrangère à 10, Downing Street à l’époque (3):

People speak of the special relationship with the United States. Not only is it misleading as far as Britain is concerned, it misses the truth. There is only one special relationship in Washington. That is with Israel, because it is the only foreign country that can affect domestic politics in America. (id., p. 207)

(1) Nonobstant le nombrilisme étatsunien, la première guerre du Golfe fût celle entre l’Iran et l’Irak entre 1980 et 1988.

(2) Soit dit en passant, pour le volet nucléaire de ces armes de destruction massive, les Etats-Unis sont le seul Etat au monde à en avoir fait usage.

(3) Cette description, donnée par l’auteur, semble correspondre à Sir David Manning.

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