Coward Old Universe…

by Jeremy G.

Posts Tagged ‘911’

Obama l’Européen

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on July 27, 2008

On peut tirer une leçon fondamentale du récent voyage d’Obama en Europe qui vient de s’achever: le candidat démocrate aurait représenté la figure idéale que le vieux Continent aurait choisi sans hésiter comme leader.  En effet, l’Europe aime cette grandiloquence, cette logique selon laquelle il suffirait de s’unir et s’embrasser pour résoudre le problème israélo-palestinien, pour contrer les ambitions nucléaires iraniennes, …

Mais un gros problème risque de se poser à l’Europe en cas de victoire d’Obama.  L’opinion publique dans le continent est restée sourde aux autres aspects, plus concrets, du discours de leur candidat préféré.  Qui a entendu Obama réclamer plus d’efforts de la part des Européens en Afghanistan?  On semble aussi ignorer les différences prononcées entre Obama et les positions traditionnelles de la diplomatie européenne au sujet de la question palestinienne.

 

 

Même si les Etats-Unis changeront de président en Novembre, leurs intérêts et leur détermination à agir n’évolueront pas.  En 1998, Bill Clinton n’avait pas hésité à bombarder l’Irak de Saddam Hussein qui refusait les visites des inspecteurs de l’ONU.  Mieux (ou pire) encore, c’est sous l’administration Clinton que Iraq Liberation Act, qui visait explicitement au changement de régime en Irak, a été voté.  Personne, en Europe, ne semble s’en souvenir.  On préfère opposer la présidence Clinton à la présidence Bush, alors que dans les faits, ce n’est que le contexte extérieur qui était diffèrent – du moins en apparence.  D’ailleurs, peu importe, après tout, si l’aveuglement de Clinton a permis à Al-Qaïda de se développer pour attaquer l’Amérique: les attentats du 11 septembre ont frappés les Etats-Unis suffisamment tard pour que l’Europe puisse détester Bush plutôt que Clinton.  Le Vieux Continent a décidément la mémoire très courte.  Mais il risque d’être déçu si Obama est élu.

Les dirigeants européens ne semblent pas dupes.  La prudence d’Hubert Védrine, invité de RTL vendredi matin, et celle de Robert Ménard, à l’émission On Refait le Monde vendredi soir, confirment qu’encore une fois, l’opinion publique européenne semble prendre ses souhaits pour des réalités.

 

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Torturing Debate

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on December 11, 2007

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The admission by the CIA that interrogation tapes were destroyed has sparked – again – the debate on torture and on the Bush Administration’s competence. 

To be sure, the Bush Administration has fumbled the ball yet again.   This is not a black and white issue – although promoting other ways to fight terror would certainly be strategically efficient in the Global War on Terror.  It is not a matter of free barbarity or violence for the sake of violence.  It is not as if our opponents are angels from Heaven.  But because of this Administration’s inability to communicate or to elaborate a viable strategy that offers and spreads hope at least as much as it generates fear, there will only be one side to the story, once again.

Just like in the cases of Guantanamo and Abu Grahib, what strikes me most is the speed at which the information was revealed – in this case, the tapes were destroyed in 2005, meaning less than two years ago.  Beyond this new controversy – or scandal, depending on where you place yourself – we have additional proof of how efficient our democracy is in bringing the information that matters to the public in a reasonable amount of time.  This is not true for all Western countries.  The U.S. should seek to draw all benefits from that democratic vitality.

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2008: Two Americas at War

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on July 9, 2007

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Should Clinton and Giuliani face off in the coming 2008 presidential elections, American politics would take an interesting turn of events.  It would be the confrontation between two visions, two histories and two futures for America: Clinton‘s is the story of prosperous America of the 1990’s, those Roaring 90’s.  Giuliani‘s would be the story of heroism in the wake of terror and fear.  The former mayor of New York summed up the choice – his own way, of course – in an interview to the Wall Street Journal a few days ago:

“I think that the president we elect in 2008 will determine how long it takes to prevail against the terrorists,” Mr. Giuliani says. “If you select somebody that is going to go back on defense, it’s going to take a much longer time and there are going to be more casualties. If you select a president that’s going to remain on offense, and even improve on it, it isn’t going to be easy, but it’s going to mean less casualties, faster.” It’s not an easy or comforting message, but Mr. Giuliani is not in the comforting business. Whether it’s a message the country wants to hear is something the voters will let us know.

What do Americans want?  One can be sure that the first vision is more attractive, but the second more realistic.  Current polls indicate that the Republicans are trailing in most configurations, including the one that would oppose Clinton to Giuliani

If both Clinton and Giuliani get the nomination, America’s 2008 choice will be all the more so revealing that Giuliani is actually a very moderate Republican on most other issues, most notably on abortion and gay rights.  Polls will or won’t confirm this, but it seems that such election would be a solid test of America’s willingness to go forward with its war on terror. 

Most commentators are saying today that a withdrawal from Iraq is now more than plausible, as even Republicans are not willing to risk their own elections – especially for an issue that is not a defining aspect of party lines or loyal voter support.  It will be interesting to hear what alternatives are offered, and how these will be received by the American public, which will not be able to ignore, though, the history between these two names.

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