Comment les choses vont mieux en Irak (suite)

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Effectivement, nous pourrions ouvrir une rubrique sous ce titre de “ Comment les choses vont mieux en Irak”, puisque les témoignages s’accumulent après l’annonce, suggérée par le Pentagone et répercutée un peu partout qu’effectivement “En Irak, tout va mieux, badaboum tsoin tsoin” et que “Le Potemkin’s show must go on”.

Cette fois, c’est Patrick Cockburn qui, de Mosoul, ce 17 avril dans The Independent, nous explique de quelle façon et par quels moyens l’on peut répandre l’idée que tout va mieux. La recette, qui n’est après tout que le produit d’une réalité depuis qu’il apparaît, depuis les élections du 30 janvier, que la consigne virtualiste générale est que tout est fini en Irak, — la recette est simplement que plus grand monde ne va voir ce qui s’y passe et que tout le monde dit que tout va mieux.

Cockburn :

« Ironically, one reason why Washington can persuade the outside world that its venture in Iraq is finally coming right is that it is too dangerous for reporters to travel outside Baghdad or stray far from their hotels in the capital. The threat to all foreigners was underlined last week when an American contractor was snatched by kidnappers.

» When I was travelling in the northern city of Mosul this week, my guards ­ Kurdish members of the Iraqi National Guard — said it was too dangerous for them to travel with me in uniform in official vehicles. They donned Arab gowns, hid their weapons and drove through the city in a civilian car.

» Most violent incidents in Iraq go unreported. We saw one suicide bomb explosion, clouds of smoke and dust erupting into the air, and heard another in the space of an hour. Neither was mentioned in official reports. Last year US soldiers told the IoS that they do not tell their superiors about attacks on them unless they suffer casualties. This avoids bureaucratic hassle and “our generals want to hear about the number of attacks going down not up”. This makes the official Pentagon claim that the number of insurgent attacks is down from 140 a day in January to 40 a day this month dubious.

» US casualties have fallen to about one dead a day in March compared with four a day in January and five a day in November. But this is the result of a switch in American strategy rather than a sign of a collapse in the insurgency. US military spokesmen make plain that America's military priority has changed from offensive operations to training Iraqi troops and police. More than 2,000 US military advisers are working with Iraqi forces.

» With US networks largely confined to their hotels in Baghdad by fear of kidnapping, it is possible to sell the American public the idea that no news is good news. General George Casey, the top US commander in Iraq, said recently that if all goes well "we shall make fairly substantial reductions in the size of our forces". Other senior US officers say this will be of the order of four brigades, from 17 to 13, or a fall in the number of US troops in Iraq from 142,000 to 105,000 by next year.

» The real change leading to the US troop reduction is probably more in the US than in Iraq. The White House finds its military commitment in Iraq politically damaging at home. The easiest way to bring the troops home is, as in Vietnam, to declare a victory and full confidence in US-trained Iraqi forces to win the war. These soldiers and police supposedly number 152,000, but it is not clear who is being counted. »


Mis en ligne le 17 avril 2005 à 11H50

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