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What's Up At the EU Top ∫ EU Elites Must Stop To Mumble Against Their "Citizens" (But Not Constituent In Fact) !

Article lié :

Stassen

  01/09/2004

Entretien avec Eric Dacheux : “pas de communication européenne sans projet politique”.

par Manfred Ertl
http://www.place-publique.fr

Eric Dacheux est chercheur au laboratoire CNRS “Communication et Politique” où il anime l’équipe “Espace public européen” et enseignant à l’université Jean Monnet (Roanne).
Il a publié, en janvier 2004, “L’impossible défi, la politique de communication de l’Union européenne”.

Place publique : Comment expliquez-vous le faible intérêt des médias et du grand public pour l’Europe ?

Eric Dacheux : Les médias s’intéressent à l’Europe lors des grands événements, par exemple, en France, le 1er mai dernier, lors de l’élargissement, ou à l’occasion des élections européennes, des crises, et, tous les six mois, au moment des grands sommets européens. L’intérêt des médias est donc partiel, partial et irrégulier. Les médias publics ne font pas assez leur travail et les médias privés rechignent à parler de l’Europe parce que cela ne se ” vend ” pas.

L’Europe est paradoxale. Sur le plan institutionnel, l’Europe avance, mais pour suivre cette avancée, il faut être très fortement motivé. Quant à la sociabilité européenne, qui émerge grâce aux échanges d’étudiants, des jumelages, du tourisme et du travail transfrontalier, elle n’est pas visible. Entre cette sphère très lointaine et visible et cette sphère très proche, mais invisible, l’Europe n’existe pas. Le citoyen ne voit pas ce que l’Europe peut lui apporter dans sa vie quotidienne et locale.

P.P. : Alors, sur quelles expériences les médias pourraient-ils s’appuyer pour intéresser les citoyens ?

E.D. : Pour moi, les médias, et en particulier la télévision, sont dans une logique de captation. Avec la ” spectacularisation ” et la simplification, les téléspectateurs restent derrière leur écran. Or, l’Europe n’est ni très spectaculaire ni très simple. Pour moi, les médias ne sont pas de bons vecteurs d’information sur l’Europe. Par contre, ce sont des vecteurs de symboles. Ils peuvent faire prendre conscience de l’importance de certains événements ou donner envie d’en savoir plus.

Lorsque j’interroge mes étudiants sur l’Europe qu’ils voient dans les médias, ils me parlent du sport (par exemple, le foot de haut niveau connaît beaucoup d’échanges de joueurs) et de l’émission de télévision “Union libre”. Celle-ci portait sur les stéréotypes comme la grande blonde allemande, le petit brun italien… La seule culture en commun, ce sont les stéréotypes des uns sur les autres, les Français avec la baguette, les Allemands avec la bière, l’Anglais avec son parapluie. Il ne faut pas les nier, mais il faut essayer d’aller plus loin. Prenons, par exemple, une émission sur la Grèce montrant le soleil, la mer bleue, le sable d’or, et qui, à la fin, nous apprend qu’Athènes est la ville la plus polluée d’Europe.

P.P. : Qu’en est-il de la communication des institutions européennes ou nationales ?

E.D. : La Commission et le Parlement possèdent leur propre service de communication. L’Europe bénéficie d’un serveur Internet, “Europa”, premier serveur en Europe.
La Commission européenne soutient aussi Euronews (chaîne du câble spécialisée dans l’information sur l’Europe) et, tous les jours à la Commission, une conférence de presse est organisée. L’UE édite environ 1 500 brochures d’informations par an, possède des bureaux dans chaque pays membre (“Sources d’Europe” en France), collabore étroitement avec les Maisons de l’Europe et certains réseaux associatifs, et finance des partenaires qui diffusent des informations au niveau local. Enfin, le service “l’Europe directe”, assez méconnu, répond à des questions de vie pratique via un numéro de téléphone (1).

P.P. : Pourriez-vous brièvement caractériser les grandes étapes de la politique de communication de l’UE ?

E.D. : Tout au début de l’Europe, les élites faisaient l’Europe sans communication, sans le citoyen. Parce que les citoyens au lendemain de la seconde guerre mondiale n’étaient pas capables de faire l’Europe, encore trop imprégnés de souvenirs douloureux.

Cela a changé en 1986, au moment où Jacques Delors a relancé le projet : il fallait informer le citoyen, et notamment les entreprises sur le grand marché unique. Lors du référendum sur Maastricht en 1993, on s’est aperçu que les opinions publiques étaient réticentes : il y a eu un premier “non” danois et, en France, Maastricht est passé de justesse… La stratégie adoptée préconisait alors de “vendre” l’Europe. Mais, le marketing n’a pas fonctionné non plus, car l’Europe n’est pas un produit comme une maison dont on connaît l’architecte et le plan.
Depuis la présidence de Romano Prodi, l’Union européenne poursuit un troisième objectif qui est de dialoguer avec les citoyens. Après le traité de Nice en 2003, il devait y avoir un dialogue public, chaque citoyen devait donner son avis avant de préparer la convention. En réalité, seules 10 000 à15 000 personnes se sont exprimées.

Comme je l’ai expliqué dans mon livre, rapprocher l’Europe du citoyen est un objectif impossible. Car, se rapprocher de quelque chose qui n’existe pas ne veut rien dire. En revanche, il faut, dans un premier temps, faire prendre conscience que l’Europe existe, et dans un deuxième temps, donner envie d’en débattre.

P.P. : Par quels moyens alors pourrait-on davantage donner envie aux Européens de s’intéresser à l’Europe et de s’y impliquer ?

E.D. : Il n’y aura pas de communication européenne sans projet politique. Ce qui fait défaut à l’Europe, c’est d’abord un espace public européen. La communication, en une image, c’est un peu comme les poissons. Il n’y a pas de poissons sans eau. Il faut un milieu pour avoir des poissons. Pour la communication, c’est pareil : il faut un milieu et c’est l’espace public. Il faut donc de la communication entendue comme débat, comme confrontation démocratique.

Or, premièrement, il n’y a pas d’espace public et, deuxièmement, les gens n’ont pas envie de débattre parce qu’il n’y a pas de projets à débattre.

Or, la démocratie suppose, comme le dit Paul Ricœur, une confrontation entre idéologie et utopie.
L’Europe a aussi été une utopie. Pendant des siècles, on s’est tapé dessus. L’Europe, c’est ce défi d’une utopie pacifiste. Mais, elle s’est faite uniquement par le marché ; nous n’avons pas pu nous mettre d’accord sur d’autres moyens de la construire.

Or, il faut se fixer un autre objectif qui ne peut être que politique. La communication ne peut qu’accompagner la création politique de l’Europe, elle ne peut pas créer une Europe politique.

P.P. : Pourquoi l’UE ne change-t-elle pas de stratégie après tant d’années de faible efficacité et d’échec pour légitimer le projet européen ?

E.D. : Le facteur fondamental est le facteur politique. Les élites européennes ne sont pas d’accord sur l’Europe qu’elles veulent construire. Il y a déjà un affrontement historique entre fédéralistes et confédéralistes, un affrontement entre Etats-Nations sur le choix d’une Europe “puissance”, d’une Europe “atlantiste”, d’une Europe “forteresse”, etc.

Au niveau de la société civile, pour l’instant, les éléments utopiques prédominent : les associations écologiques portent une Europe “verte”, les associations féministes une Europe “égalitaire”, etc. En l’absence de fusion entre ces visions, le projet institutionnel ne peut pas se confronter à un projet unique émanant de la société civile ; il n’y a pas un projet idéologique contre un projet utopique clairement identifié. On a, par défaut, un projet libéral qui s’identifie à la mondialisation. Et les anti-mondialisations combattent l’Europe comme si c’était la même chose.

Pourquoi ne change t-on pas de stratégie de communication ?

Premièrement, il n’y a pas de volonté politique de changer. Deuxièmement, il faut se mettre à la place des fonctionnaires européens ; ils sont très peu nombreux. Leur budget pour 4 ans est, par ailleurs, inférieur au budget d’une campagne de communication pour un an de n’importe quelle agence de pub. Troisièmement, ils ne sont pas formés à la communication. On rentre à la Commission par concours, mais il n’y a pas de spécialisation “communication”. Cependant, la stratégie de communication a quand même évolué et elle va dans le bon sens.

Propos recueillis par Manfred Ertl, du collectif “Europe citoyenne”.
(1) 0 0800 67 89 10 11, numéro gratuit
 
P.S. Eric Dacheux est chercheur au laboratoire CNRS “Communication et Politique” où il anime l’équipe “Espace public européen”

http://www.place-publique.fr/article701.html

http://www.place-publique.fr - Le site des initiatives citoyennes

L’Impossible défi La politique de communication de l’Union européenne Auteur : Dacheux Éric         Collection : CNRS Science politique ISBN :  2-271-06208-X Prix :  18 Euros, 22 $US (prix indicatif) 2004 - 17 x 24 - 136 p - br.

La démocratie européenne est malade. Les États se déchirent, les citoyens se méfient, les élites n’ont plus de projet. Pourtant l’Union européenne entre dans une phase cruciale : entrée de dix nouveaux pays, élection du Parlement européen et adoption prochaine d’une constitution. Comment faire en sorte que cette nouvelle étape ne soit pas la dernière ? Comment redynamiser la démocratie européenne ?
En animant un débat européen, répondent les
institutions européennes. Mais peut-on faire dialoguer des peuples n’ayant ni la même langue ni les mêmes partis politiques ni la même histoire ? De quelle manière développer une communication politique à l’échelle d’un continent ? Tel est le défi, impossible, que doit relever l’Union européenne.

La cause première de l’impossibilité actuelle d’une communication
politique européenne n’est ni stratégique ni technique, mais politique : c’est l’équilibre entre idéologie et utopie, intégration politique et critique politique, qui garantit l’équilibre démocratique. Or l’utopie pacifique européenne s’est résorbée dans le marché unique. Quand n’existe pas de projet politique alternatif à la société mondiale de l’information, quand le futur n’est plus riche de promesse, on se tourne vers le passé, et de vieux démons ressurgissent : en l’occurrence, une nostalgie xénophobe qui vient compenser l’insécurité économique par la sécurité identitaire.
Du coup, la démocratie est en danger, moins à cause de la domination d’une idéologie contestable qu’en raison de l’absence d’une utopie forte et formalisée. Notre avenir politique se joue dans les luttes quotidiennes des associations, derniers vecteurs d’utopie.

Politician Schwarzenegger Has Nothing To Do With EU (Last Voting Flop) : Except To Be Austrian-Born (And A Potential Next US Vice President)

Article lié :

Stassen

  01/09/2004


THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION
Schwarzenegger Wraps His Life Story Around GOP Themes
By Mark Z. Barabak
Times Staff Writer

September 1, 2004

NEW YORK — The Republican National Convention turned on Tuesday from accenting strength to emphasizing opportunity and compassion, as Arnold Schwarzenegger presented his improbable life story — the rise from immigrant bodybuilder to movie star to California governor — as an embodiment of the GOP and its ideals.

In an evening featuring a parade of minority speakers, as well as First Lady Laura Bush, it was the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger who offered one of the most crowd-pleasing testimonials to President Bush.

Borrowing the laconic tagline of the Terminator, perhaps his most famous cinematic character, Schwarzenegger declared: “America is back.”

“Back from the attack on our homeland, back from the attack on our economy, and back from the attack on our way of life,” Schwarzenegger said, standing before the image of a giant, billowing American flag.

“We are back because of the perseverance, character and leadership of the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush.”

The two men have not had the closest political relationship. Schwarzenegger has criticized Bush as not paying enough attention to Democratic-leaning California and has kept a studied distance from his reelection effort.

But that was not easy to tell Tuesday night as Schwarzenegger, making his national political debut, warmly praised the president. The closest he came to acknowledging their difference on touchy issues such as legalized abortion and gay rights — both of which the governor supports — was a passage observing that not everyone in the party agrees on everything.

“I believe that’s not only OK, that’s what’s great about this country,” Schwarzenegger said. “Here we can respectfully disagree and still be patriotic, still be American and still be good Republicans.”

Schwarzenegger’s remarks offered more sweep than substance and little partisan bite for such a setting. In a 23-minute speech, he mentioned America 47 times, used the word Republican 15 times and referred to Bush by name six times.

He never directly criticized Sen. John F. Kerry, a personal friend and the Democratic presidential nominee. But he took a few humorous jabs.

“To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: Don’t be economic girlie men,” Schwarzenegger quipped, drawing a roar with a line from a “Saturday Night Live” spoof that he directed against Democratic state legislators last month.

Laura Bush, who followed Schwarzenegger on the bill, sought to humanize her husband with a peek behind the curtains as he weighed going to war against Iraq.

Recalling “some very quiet nights at the dinner table” and tense times at the White House, Camp David and the couple’s Crawford, Texas, ranch, the first lady sought to refute the Democratic portrayal of a president eager to invade.

“No American president ever wants to go to war,” she said. “And my husband didn’t want to go to war. But he knew the safety and security of America and the world depended on it.”

She took up the same role — helpmate and character witness — that her counterpart, Teresa Heinz Kerry, played at the Democratic convention last month in Boston. Laura Bush did so, however, in far more self-effacing fashion, reflecting the more traditional and reticent role she has taken toward her husband’s reelection campaign.

In contrast to Heinz Kerry, who talked at length about her biography and views on empowering women, the first lady devoted almost her entire remarks to the president and his policies, including a defense of his decision to limit federal funding of stem cell research.

While critics said that had hampered the potential for medical breakthroughs, Laura Bush said her husband was the first president to provide such funding, which is controversial because the research involves destruction of human embryos.

“He did so in a principled way,” she said, “allowing science to explore its potential while respecting the dignity of human life.”

The first lady was introduced by the Bushes’ daughters, Jenna and Barbara, and the president, who spoke via satellite hook-up from a softball diamond in south-central Pennsylvania. As it happened, it was the Pennsylvania delegation that put Bush over the top during the nomination roll call Tuesday night, though his formal nomination will take place today.

Earlier Tuesday, campaigning in Nashville, Tenn., Bush sought to douse a controversy he created the day before by telling a veterans group he believed the war on terrorism was winnable. In an interview broadcast Monday on NBC, he expressed doubt that it was winnable.

“In this different kind of war, we may never sit down at a peace table. But make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win,” the president told more than 6,000 delegates to the American Legion Convention.

Bush arrives in New York today and plans to meet with a group of firefighters and supporters in Queens. Vice President Dick Cheney will address delegates tonight.

Outside the convention Tuesday, demonstrations peaked with more than 900 arrests. Inside, Republicans continued their efforts to paint Kerry as a candidate far outside the political mainstream.

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, the first black statewide elected official in state history, ticked off a number of votes on issues such as defense, tort reform and intelligence spending and noted that a majority of U.S. senators had voted in favor of the programs.

“But not John Kerry,” he said, over and over, in a taunt taken up by cheering delegates.

For the most part, however, Republicans turned away from military themes and harsh rhetoric to offer a softer message as the national TV networks tuned in for the first time.

Inside Madison Square Garden, banners reading “A Nation of Courage” were switched to ones that said, “People of Compassion.”

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, were mentioned, but not nearly as often as Monday, when the terrorist attacks and Bush’s response dominated the program. On Tuesday night, the theme was caring — for immigrants, minorities, women and others striving for a higher rung on America’s opportunity ladder.

Social issues that have split conservatives from the party’s shrinking moderate wing — and pushed some independents and swing voters away from the GOP — received fleeting mention.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) offered a nod to antiabortion activists by invoking “the sacred life of … those not yet born” and alluded to the roiling debate over gay marriage by defending traditional wedlock between a man and woman as “the cornerstone of civilization and the foundation of the family.”

“Marriage between a man and a woman isn’t something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend,” Dole said to a warm response from delegates who had approved a platform that called for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Education Secretary Rod Paige lauded Bush’s record on schools, saying his No Child Left Behind law had raised academic standards, imposed accountability and provided “resources to get the job done.”

“He promised results, he delivered results,” Paige said. “This election may be multiple choice, but there’s only one correct choice — to go forward, not back … to elect a true reformer with proven results, not a Johnny-come-lately with mere promises.”

Several Democrats, including Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, voted for the president’s education bill. But they now accuse Bush of breaking his promise to them by failing to couple the student testing requirements with more generous school funding.

The Tuesday night program featured a number of African American and Latino speakers, in contrast to the overwhelmingly white makeup of the audience listening from the convention floor. (Among the delegates, 16.4% are racial or ethnic minorities, the most ever at a Republican convention.)

But the choicest speaking spots — the ones reserved for the sole hour of prime-time national TV — were allotted to the first lady and Schwarzenegger, who had made only limited appearances onto the national political stage since winning office in October’s historic recall vote.

His speech offered his version of “an immigrant’s dream … the American dream.”

He recounted how he saw Soviet tanks growing up in Austria and lived in fear of “the Russian boot.” He recalled watching American movies, “transfixed by my heroes like John Wayne.”

He spoke of coming to America in his early 20s not knowing how to speak English and, as a champion bodybuilder, making his conversion to the Republican Party during the 1968 presidential race when he heard Richard Nixon talk of “free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military.”

Although immigration has been a controversial issue in the Republican Party — antagonizing some conservatives who believe Bush has been too eager to give legal status to those who have entered the country illegally — Schwarzenegger showed no such qualms, and made no distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.

“To my fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcome you are in this party,” he said. “We Republicans admire your ambition. We encourage your dreams. We believe in your future.”

Schwarzenegger’s speech went through 19 drafts, reflecting the care that went into his maiden national campaign appearance. Still, it contained a good deal that was familiar to California audiences, including a chunk lifted from the speech he gave at the state GOP convention at the height of the recall campaign.

*

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

The big donors

The largest industry contributions to President Bush, as of July 31, according to Dwight L. Morris & Associates:

Finance, insurance—$17.4 million

Real estate, development—$11.1 million

Legal, lobby services—$11.1 million

Healthcare, social assistance—$7.9 million

Professional, scientific, tech.—$4.9 million

Manufacturing—$4.4 million

Retail trade—$2.6 million

Energy, utilities, mining—$2.1 million

*

Skittish New Yorkers

With the streets of Midtown Manhattan filled with

protesters, GOP delegates and police, it’s no wonder New Yorkers have personal safety on the brain.

That means good business for Safer America, which specializes in security gear. This week, the firm sold out of “escape hoods,” which are used to protect against chemical and biological weapons.

*

Party tab

Private donors provided a larger chunk of money to pay for both parties’ conventions, compared to 20 years ago. An increase in this year’s spending is due to campaign finance reform in 2002, which limits special-interest donations to parties but not to conventions. The GOP convention’s share of private funding:

*

Raining Republicans

In addition to balloons and streamers that will deluge delegates during the close of the convention

Thursday night, there will be a convention first — hundreds of pounds of quarter-sized confetti with photos of the candidates and their wives.

Source: Republican National Committee

*

Popularity contest

A recent poll by New York magazine showed a marked political schism between 400 New Yorkers and 400 Republican primary voters. But asked to pick between former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, respondents overwhelmingly agreed: Giuliani, 4 to 1.

Times staff writers Nick Anderson, Edwin Chen, Michael Finnegan, James Gerstenzang, Josh Getlin, Joe Heitz, Joe Mathews and David Zucchino contributed to this report.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gop1sep01.story


THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION
Schwarzenegger’s Close-Up

September 1, 2004

Tony Quinn, a GOP political consultant in Sacramento, raised an intriguing possibility in a newsletter Tuesday, hours before California’s governor stepped onto the podium in New York: The U.S. Constitution doesn’t seem to bar Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger from becoming vice president.

But it’s hard to envision Schwarzenegger as No. 2 in anything, much less worry about how he could constitutionally serve if the presidency went vacant. For all the might-have-beens and could-bes, millions of Americans got a taste Tuesday night of what California knows, that Schwarzenegger is more than a caricature of his film self. He wove a compelling story of “a once-scrawny boy” coming to the United States from the stifling socialism of Austria, seeking opportunity and forging success for himself, from bodybuilder to actor to governor.

“To my fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcome you are in this party,” he said. “We Republicans admire your ambition. We encourage your dreams.”

Those words no doubt were sincere, but Schwarzenegger’s promise to veto a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses may dim the luster of his speech among Latinos. The governor does occasionally say things one way and do them another.

In his address Schwarzenegger played the loyal warrior, another thoroughgoing moderate finding a way to call unreservedly for President Bush’s reelection, praising the commander in chief in Terminator terms as “a leader who doesn’t flinch and who doesn’t waver.”

He painted a dazzling picture of a prosperous, diverse, strong and generous America under Republican leadership. He emphasized his own pro-business fiscal conservatism and left unmentioned his own awkward, to many Republican leaders, positions on abortion, stem-cell research, protection of the environment and gun control. He did say it was possible to disagree and “still be patriotic … still be good Republicans!”

Schwarzenegger’s in-laws are in the enemy camp, and he worked more closely with majority Democrats in the Legislature this year than with Republicans, who opposed his attempts to find a middle course in closing budget gaps. He infuriated both sides with his combination of full-bore cajoling and half-funny threats.

But the job of an action hero is to get things done. The nation on Tuesday night saw the charm, chutzpah, good humor and determination that Schwarzenegger mixes to move things along, including the president’s reelection bid. He even worked in a way to say “girlie men”—a line that brought delegates to their feet.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-arnold1sep01.story

—-
Europe, la grande hésitation, par Yves MényLE MONDE | 11.06.04 | 13h58

On peut se demander s’il sera possible de poursuivre l’intégration européenne en continuant la trajectoire héritée du passé.

Une fois de plus, l’Europe traverse une période d’inquiétudes, de tourments et d’interrogations. Le contexte bien entendu est là pour justifier et expliquer les états d’âme des Européens : conjoncture économique morose ; inquiétudes liées à l’émigration, à l’élargissement, au terrorisme international ; divisions profondes en matière de politique étrangère et de défense.

Et, se greffant sur cet éventail disparate de préoccupations économiques, politiques et sociales, la question de la Convention et de l’enfant qui en est né, le futur traité constitutionnel actuellement soumis aux chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement.

L’opinion publique n’a été mobilisée ni en faveur ni contre le projet de la Convention et la belle occasion des élections européennes a été perdue. Au mieux, le projet de Constitution ne sera adopté - s’il l’est - qu’après la consultation électorale.

Un ouvrage américain publié il y a quelques décennies avait parlé de l’élaboration de la Constitution américaine de 1787 (la fameuse Convention de Philadelphie) en la qualifiant de “moment constitutionnel” : un bref laps de temps durant lequel se crée l’histoire, se détermine l’évolution d’un pays ou d’une société pour les siècles à venir.

Cet instant est-il venu en Europe ? Rien n’est moins sûr. A ce jour, rien n’évoque l’agitation, le débat, les conflits qui agitent en général les périodes “constituantes”. Rares sont les Constitutions qui sont nées dans l’indifférence ou l’apathie. Au mieux, elles suscitent de forts conflits politiques ou idéologiques. Au pire - c’est l’hypothèse la plus fréquente - les Constitutions naissent aux fers, dans le trouble qui suit une révolution, la chute d’une dictature, la fin d’un conflit, l’achèvement d’une guerre civile, extérieure ou coloniale, l’effondrement d’une classe sociale.

La future et éventuelle Constitution européenne ne résulte donc pas d’une pression ou d’une obligation dramatique. Elle n’est pas le fruit d’une intense activité idéologique, politique ou émotionnelle. Bien au contraire, elle aurait pu être la victime d’un violent trauma externe survenu au milieu des paisibles délibérations conventionnelles, la guerre en Irak. Le monde est tragique, les défis globaux, mais la plupart des Européens ne relient pas ou pas encore ces secousses telluriques externes aux problèmes internes de l’Union européenne en tant que telle.

Le “moment constitutionnel” est resté une affaire de raison entre gens raisonnables, et il faudrait se réjouir de cette victoire conjuguée des Lumières et d’Habermas réunis si, malheureusement, cette situation ne manifestait la tragique absence ou indifférence du peuple, des peuples. Le “moment constitutionnel” ne sera atteint que lorsque la mobilisation politique - donc populaire - aura pleinement joué. Or cette mobilisation est difficile à mettre en œuvre pour plusieurs raisons :

- la première résulte de l’absence de perception d’un lien étroit entre les difficultés externes (économiques ou militaires) et la capacité interne à les résoudre. Non pas que l’opinion publique soit ignorante des faiblesses des Etats-nations dans ce domaine. Mais au constat des insuffisances ne vient pas s’opposer une solution alternative claire et crédible. Les institutions européennes, caractérisées par leur dépolitisation relative, leur consensus de bon ton, leur collégialité, ont une attractivité très faible, trop faible dans un univers marqué par le manichéisme, le leadership charismatique et la communication ;

- la deuxième réside dans l’apparente absence d’enjeux, matériels ou symboliques. Seuls les militants les plus mobilisés - pro ou antieuropéens - perçoivent le rejet ou l’approbation du futur traité comme un réel progrès (de l’intégration) ou comme la désolation des désolations (pour les souverainistes). Entre ces deux franges extrêmes, l’opinion publique se partage entre l’attente et l’indifférence, prête, le cas échéant, à se mobiliser si des enjeux précis lui sont offerts. Et là réside le problème : autant il est facile aux mouvements populistes et protestataires de détourner l’attention du pu- blic sur des problèmes symboles, autant il est difficile pour les gouvernements auteurs du traité d’en expliquer l’importance et la complexité.

Il est donc de première importance pour les promoteurs du projet de définir et proposer des enjeux compréhensibles et identifiables, en particulier en cas de ratification populaire. L’idéal eût été sans nul doute un référendum paneuropéen permettant d’indiquer clairement les conséquences d’un éventuel échec, soit pour l’Union dans son ensemble, soit pour tel ou tel Etat minoritaire. Mais ce ne sera pas le cas ;

- la troisième raison tient à la faiblesse ou à l’absence de courroies de transmission entre les élites européennes qui promeuvent le projet et l’électorat. Les partis européens n’existent pas. Il y a bien une transnationalité économique, une porosité des frontières, voire une “internationale” des mouvements sociaux, mais rien de tel au niveau politique en dépit de quelques efforts balbutiants.

On peut donc se demander s’il sera possible de poursuivre l’intégration européenne en continuant la trajectoire héritée du passé.

La constitutionnalisation de l’intégration est un processus qui, depuis le traité de Rome, s’est effectué par étapes et en combinant ensemble ou à tour de rôle la politique (les traités) et le juridique (la Cour de justice). C’est ce qui explique son caractère de chantier permanent mais inachevé et justifie frustrations et critiques qui préparent la vague de réformes successives.

En dépit de son caractère plus ambitieux et de la rationalisation qu’il introduit, le projet de Constitution confirme (pour la dernière fois ?) que le “code génétique” de l’UE reste déterminant. Elle s’est développée dans une grande mesure sous couvert d’un voile d’ignorance et cette stratégie l’a toujours contrainte à beaucoup d’ambiguïtés. Le projet en élimine un certain nombre mais en crée d’autres. Dans une Union à 25 où cohabitent les opinions les plus hétérogènes sur ce qu’est ou devrait être l’UE, la clarté des visions et des définitions est généralement réservée aux groupes les plus radicaux ou minoritaires quelles que soient leurs orientations ou préférences idéologiques.

Le premier élément de ce code est la quête constante du compromis sous peine de blocage et d’échec. Certes, ce choix est source de résultats heureux (une culture du consensus, le refus de passer en force par des mesures majoritaires non négociées préalablement, etc.). Mais la recherche du compromis systématique à travers des accords entre gouvernements ou des ententes parlementaires au sein d’une grande coalition centrale est lourde de périls potentiels. Les accords au sommet entre élites responsables sont une bonne chose à condition qu’elles ne finissent par être ou apparaître comme des cartels garantissant les princes contre le peuple. Les évolutions observables au sein des systèmes nationaux trop consensuels devraient inciter à la prudence : trop d’accords entre élites restreintes favorisent l’extrémisme radical ou le populisme. Il n’est pas surprenant que l’opposition la plus virulente à l’Europe épouse aujourd’hui avec quelque succès ces deux variantes du répertoire de l’action politique.

La seconde caractéristique stable du système communautaire - qui le différencie du mode de fonctionnement des systèmes politiques nationaux - est son “modus operandi” spécifique en matière de réformes. Dans les systèmes nationaux, le rythme et l’ampleur de la mise en œuvre des politiques sont en grande partie déterminés par la “respiration” du système démocratique : élections d’une part, mobilisations sociales d’autre part.

Rien de tel encore au niveau européen. Certes, l’élection du Parlement est censée proposer des perspectives européennes aux électeurs consultés nationalement. Mais dans la pratique, le découplage entre débats, programmes électoraux et politique européenne est presque total, à la fois en raison de la faiblesse - de l’inexistence, diraient certains - d’une opinion publique européenne, de la faiblesse du Parlement et de sa médiocre influence sur une partie de l’exécutif européen, de l’absence de lien entre l’organe conseil des ministres et l’électorat.

Quoi qu’on puisse dire de l’impact relatif des élections sur le gouvernement des démocraties, elles demeurent encore vitales tant d’un point de vue symbolique (légitimité) que substantiel (orientation des politiques). Faute de posséder cette ressource et ce moteur, la communauté européenne, puis l’Union se sont inventé une solution alternative fonctionnelle : la fixation de l’agenda politico-bureaucratique.

Puisque les élections ont un impact quasi nul sur les choix décisifs, puisque les mobilisations sont rares et principalement dirigées vers ou contre les gouvernements nationaux (à charge pour eux de faire pression sur Bruxelles), le moteur de l’action est à chercher ailleurs. Il résulte d’une complexe alchimie où interviennent le pouvoir de proposition de la Commission, les pressions plus ou moins articulées du Parlement et des groupes, les engagements ou paris pris par les présidences semestrielles des Etats membres, etc.

Ces différents facteurs qui mettent en jeu les bureaucraties, les groupes, les hommes politiques nationaux s’agrègent et s’articulent autour de la fixation de l’agenda. Le processus de décision, d’instance en instance, d’un semestre à l’autre se “durcit” peu à peu, passant de la déclaration à la résolution pour finir, au terme d’un processus lent et complexe, par une décision qui nécessitera encore beaucoup d’efforts pour être appliquée.

L’élargissement de l’Europe a suivi cette méthode. L’éventuelle adhésion de la Turquie prend le même chemin, au risque de prises des décisions souvent fondées sur le malentendu ou le quiproquo.

L’Union est plus que toute autre communauté politique dans une situation d’incertitude, d’inachèvement, d’interrogations sur son avenir et sur les formes de son organisation. En soi, cette situation n’a rien d’original sauf pour ceux - s’il en reste ! - qui croient encore en la fin de l’histoire. Mais cette angoisse constitutive de l’existence des individus et des institutions est sans doute encore plus grande quand il s’agit de créatures jeunes et fragiles. Les aléas de la Constitution (ou de la non-Constitution) européenne sont l’illustration de cette hésitation où la peur d’avancer est seulement neutralisée par la crainte encore plus grande de retomber dans l’abîme.

Yves Mény est président de l’Institut universitaire européen de Florence. • ARTICLE PARU DANS L’EDITION DU 12.06.04

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L’Europe apparaît menacée de paralysie après les élections du 13 juin

LE MONDE | 15.06.04 | 14h08 •  MIS A JOUR LE 15.06.04 | 17h17

Le désaveu massif infligé par les électeurs annonce de graves difficultés pour le fonctionnement de l’Union. Il rend plus hypothétique encore une possible ratification dans les vingt-cinq pays du projet de Constitution, sur lequel un accord est en voie d’être trouvé.

Peu de gouvernements ayant échappé, de quelque bord qu’ils soient, au vote-sanction de leurs électeurs lors des européennes qui se sont tenus du 10 au 13 juin, les dirigeants des vingt-cinq pays de l’Union comptent désormais sur un accord sur la Constitution européenne, lors du sommet qui les réunira les 17 et 18 juin à Bruxelles, pour tenter de repartir d’un nouveau pied.  “Il nous faut montrer que l’Europe fonctionne”, résumait le ministre irlandais des affaires étrangères, Brian Cowen, lors d’une réunion, lundi, à Luxembourg.

Le président français Jacques Chirac, allé rencontrer le chancelier Schröder à Aix-la-Chapelle, s’est inquiété de ce que les gouvernements n’aient pas été en mesure de “se mobiliser” pour mieux expliquer les enjeux de ces élections à leurs électorats. Cette autocritique revient à chaque scrutin sans qu’une réponse ait été trouvée.

Le chef de l’Etat a indiqué qu’il avait été particulièrement déçu par le taux d’abstention, qui bat tous ses records avec 56 % et des taux très élevés dans certains des nouveaux pays adhérents. Cela va poser dans les mois qui viennent des problèmes très difficiles à résoudre pour les dirigeants, qui vont avoir à faire accepter par leurs opinions réticentes une Constitution qui modifie profondément l’esprit dans lequel l’Union européenne doit fonctionner.“Si nous parvenons à une Constitution, ce que j’espère et ce que je crois, il faudra que nous ayons un débat à propos de l’Europe”, a curieusement déclaré le premier ministre britannique, vendredi 11 juin, au lendemain du vote en Grande-Bretagne, alors qu’il se trouvait aux obsèques de l’ancien président américain Ronald Reagan à Washington.

La montée des mouvements populistes et souverainistes antieuropéens dans une bonne partie des pays d’Europe, mais surtout en Grande-Bretagne et dans les pays d’Europe centrale, va poser un problème considérable pour la ratification du traité constitutionnel que les gouvernements auront approuvé à Bruxelles. Tony Blair a beau se dire confiant de gagner le référendum qu’il a promis à ses concitoyens sur la Constitution, les 21 % qu’ont obtenus à eux deux le Parti pour l’indépendance du Royaume-Uni (UKIP) et le parti d’extrême droite BNP, qui a frôlé son entrée au Parlement européen avec 4,91 % des voix, sont inquiétants pour la suite.

A l’est, le parti du président de la république tchèque, Vaclav Klaus, l’ODS, proche des conservateurs britanniques et grand vainqueur de l’élection avec 30 % des voix, a fait savoir, dès lundi, qu’il déniait au gouvernement la légitimité pour négocier la Constitution. “les citoyens ont retiré leur confiance au gouvernement Spidla, il a donc perdu le mandat de négocier quoique ce soit au nom de la République tchèque, particulièrement sur un sujet aussi sérieux que la Constitution européenne”, a déclaré la tête de liste aux européennes du principal parti de l’opposition, Jan Zahradil.

JEU DÉMOCRATIQUE

La situation va être encore plus compliquée en Pologne, où de probables élections législatives anticipées risquent fort, si l’on en croit le résultat de dimanche, d’amener au Parlement une majorité très eurosceptique qui posera de grands problèmes pour la ratification d’un accord. Deux partis violemment antieuropéen, la Ligue des familles polonaises, ultracatholique, et le parti populiste Samoobrona (Autodéfense), ont obtenu respectivement 15,9 et 10,7 % des voix. Le parti de droite eurosceptique PiS a obtenu 12,6 %. Même le parti actuellement donné favori en cas d’élections, la Plate-forme civique (PO), qui a obtenu 14 % le 13 juin, s’était opposé à ce que l’on revienne sur le traité de Nice.

“Les gens s’attendaient qu’après l’entrée dans l’UE, tout aille bien. C’était une illusion. Et il y a toujours un décalage entre les mentalités acquises sous quarante ans de communisme et l’économie de marché. Cela va prendre du temps”, estime Jan Kulakowski, qui a été un des principaux négociateurs de la Pologne dans la phase d’adhésion.

D’ici là, l’Union européenne doit se préparer à une phase très agitée, d’autant que d’autres problématiques très chargées politiquement vont être à l’agenda des prochains mois : la question de l’ouverture de négociations avec la Turquie sur son adhésion et surtout les négociations sur le financement de ses politiques.

Beaucoup de dirigeants se rendent compte qu’on ne remédiera au danger des populistes et de l’abstentionnisme qu’en renouvelant profondément le jeu démocratique dans l’Union. Tout le monde sent confusément, comme l’a exprimé Dominique Strauss Kahn, qu’il y a “une grande opacité de la mécanique démocratique de l’Union”. Les grandes formations politiques européennes, qui commencent tout juste à exister comme véritables partis politiques, vont devoir apprendre à mieux fonctionner entre le niveau européen et les niveaux nationaux.

Henri de Bresson
• ARTICLE PARU DANS L’EDITION DU 16.06.04

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Les Etats membres sont proches d’un accord sur la Constitution
LE MONDE | 15.06.04 | 14h08
Luxembourg de notre bureau européen

“S’il y a dans la salle des gens qui n’ont pas été battus hier, qu’ils lèvent la main.” C’est sur ce ton sarcastique que le ministre irlandais des affaires étrangères, Brian Cowen, a ouvert lundi 14 juin, à Luxembourg, l’ultime rencontre entre les chefs des diplomaties européennes avant le Conseil européen qui se tiendra à Bruxelles les 17 et 18 juin. 
Les ministres s’étaient réunis pour mettre la dernière main au projet de Constitution européenne avant de le soumettre à l’approbation des chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement. Mais au lendemain d’élections marquées par un fort taux d’abstention et la défaite de nombreux partis au pouvoir, ils ne pouvaient manquer de s’interroger sur la désaffection des citoyens, que la future Constitution a précisément pour ambition d’intéresser aux institutions communautaires.

“IMPLIQUER LES PEUPLES”

“Il y a de quoi être secoué par ces résultats”,a reconnu M. Cowen, qui s’est demandé “comment impliquer davantage les peuples”. Regrettant la prédominance des questions nationales sur les questions européennes dans l’esprit des électeurs, il a souligné que ce scrutin devait inciter les gouvernements à s’entendre sur le projet de Constitution pour “démontrer que l’Europe fonctionne”.

Dans le même esprit, le ministre français, Michel Barnier, a déclaré que “la nécessité politique d’un accord est peut-être plus affirmée” depuis le scrutin européen. Dans “le climat d’inquiétude” suscité par l’instabilité du monde, il faut, a-t-il ajouté, que “la maison européenne soit en ordre”. L’accord sur la Constitution sera “un signal” pour montrer que l’Europe est capable d’“affronter efficacement” les défis de la croissance et de la sécurité. Une des raisons du scepticisme des électeurs, a-t-il suggéré, est que l’“on n’a peut-être pas assez parlé de la Constitution”.

Plusieurs ministres - les représentants de l’Italie, du Portugal et des Pays-Bas - se sont également inquiétés du fossé qui s’est creusé entre l’Union et les citoyens. Ils ont invité les Etats à tenter de combler ce vide, notamment dans la perspective d’un référendum dans une partie de l’Europe sur la future Constitution.

Les discussions sur le texte de la Constitution ont porté presque exclusivement sur le champ du vote à la majorité qualifiée, qu’une partie des Etats veut étendre et qu’une autre partie souhaite restreindre. La présidence irlandaise avait remis, samedi soir, aux gouvernements des formules de compromis sur lesquelles le Conseil européen sera appelé à trancher. Les principales controverses portaient sur la fiscalité, la politique sociale, la coopération judiciaire en matière pénale, le budget, la politique étrangère.

Dans ces domaines, plusieurs pays, comme la Grande-Bretagne, veulent maintenir leur droit de veto, rendu possible par le système de vote à l’unanimité. D’autres, dont la France, l’Allemagne ou la Belgique, souhaitent que ces sujets puissent faire l’objet, dans certains cas, de votes à la majorité qualifiée. Pour tenter de concilier les points de vue, la présidence irlandaise suggère de mettre en place des mécanismes qui protègent les Etats les plus réticents sans bloquer la prise de décision. Des mesures d’harmonisation fiscale concernant la lutte contre la fraude et l’évasion pourraient ainsi être adoptées à la majorité qualifiée si elles n’affectent pas les régimes fiscaux des Etats.

De même, des lois sur la protection sociale des travailleurs migrants pourraient relever de la majorité qualifiée, mais les Etats disposeraient d’un droit d’appel devant le Conseil européen. Des procédures analogues seraient prévues en matière de coopération judiciaire et de politique étrangère.

Le cadre financier pluriannuel serait adopté à l’unanimité, à la demande expresse des Pays-Bas, mais une clause permettrait, si le Conseil européen en décide ainsi, de passer à la majorité qualifiée.

A la demande des Suédois, les accords commerciaux sur les services d’éducation et de santé devraient être adoptés à l’unanimité, comme c’est le cas, à la demande de la France, pour les services culturels et audiovisuels.

Selon plusieurs participants, le ton était plutôt à la conciliation. “Personne ne sortira de ces négociations avec le résultat qu’il aurait aimé obtenir”, a déclaré M. Cowen, qui s’est dit confiant dans l’efficacité de la méthode communautaire. Il appartient désormais aux chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement de régler les questions en suspens, en particulier les dernières questions institutionnelles (calcul de la double majorité, taille de la commission), que les ministres n’ont pas abordées. La question de la référence aux racines chrétiennes de l’Europe, que la Pologne a une nouvelle fois soulevée, sera également à l’ordre du jour.

En cas d’accord, il faudra ensuite mettre en route les procédures de ratification. “C’est en mettant en valeur le contenu de la Constitution qu’on pourra obtenir l’accord des peuples ou des Parlements”, a affirmé M. Barnier.
Thomas Ferenczi
• ARTICLE PARU DANS L’EDITION DU 16.06.04

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News Analysis: After EU election, ‘forget about reforms’
Katrin Bennhold/IHT IHT Wednesday, June 16, 2004

PARIS Two days after most European governments were dealt a stinging blow in elections for the European Parliament, France, one of the worst-hit countries, came face-to-face with one of the sources of its malaise.

The countrywide strikes Tuesday by workers of Electricité de France, to protest the utility’s planned privatization, are emblematic of widespread unease with economic reforms in the continent’s largest economies.

This unease may tempt the freshly bruised leaders in France, Germany and Italy who are preparing for the next round of national ballots to water down some key economic reform initiatives and to stall others, analysts said.

“Forget about reforms for the next few years,” said Lorenzo Codogno, economist at Bank of America in London. “After the elections, there is clearly a risk that the process is put on hold.”

One day before European leaders gather in Brussels in the hope of agreeing on a constitution for the European Union’s 25 members, much attention has focused on the political repercussions of Sunday’s record-low election turnout and humiliating defeat for ruling parties.

But the dismal outcome of the European ballot also holds a cautionary tale for the European economy.

Expansion has trailed that of the United States for the best part of the past decade as productivity growth fell behind. Unemployment on this side of the Atlantic remains almost twice as high as that in America.

Governments in Germany, France and Italy have all pledged to ease labor market restrictions and to lower taxes; they promised to overhaul their health and pension systems, which are under pressure from their aging populations, and all have said they would make the public sector more efficient to save taxpayers’ money.

To be sure, some measures already have already passed.

As part of its ambitious Agenda 2010 reform program, Germany has cut jobless benefits and introduced fees for doctor’s visits, while France last year pushed through a pension reform in spite of weeklong strikes. Both countries have cut income taxes in recent years. But while both Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany and President Jacques Chirac of France have publicly reaffirmed their commitment to continued reform since the election, plans to go further may simply lack credibility after Sunday, analysts said. In Italy, where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi still has not delivered on a 2001 promise to cut taxes, attempts to resurrect that pledge have not inspired confidence among voters.

Schröder’s Social Democrats won 22 percent of the national vote, the party’s worst postwar election result. Chirac’s center-right Union for a Popular Movement party garnered only 17 percent. In neighboring Italy, voters gave Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party 21 percent.

The obstacles to reform differ somewhat in the three countries. In Germany, it is a loaded electoral calendar; in France, emboldened labor unions, and in Italy, coalition partners unfriendly to reform that may stall further efforts to overhaul Europe’s three biggest economies.

Schröder, who faces several other local elections this year, has a major electoral contest ahead of him next spring. Elections in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, will be closely watched.

Some observers say that a resounding defeat in this Social Democrat heartland could force Schröder to step down. If the opposition Christian Democrats, who got 45 percent of the vote in Sunday’s European poll, win this state, they would hold a two-thirds majority in the upper house of Parliament. That majority would give them the power to block all prospective legislation. One government official said it would be very difficult to take any other unpopular measures before such a sensitive ballot. “It’s not just voters that would rebel, it’s the grass roots of the party itself,” said the official, who declined to be identified. In France, meanwhile, the Socialist Party’s triumph in the European elections may embolden the country’s already vocal labor unions and derail plans to overhaul the overburdened public health care system this summer.

Before last year’s pension reform, transport workers and other public sector employees repeatedly went on strike. “There is pressure to slow down with the reforms” after Sunday’s ballot, said Christian de Boissieu, president of the Council of Economic Analysis, which advises Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin of France on economic policy. “Maybe governments need to conduct the reforms more gradually - that would be a democratic response.”

Would it help if Chirac, Schröder and Berlusconi indeed backed off reform plans? According to Daniel Gros, director of the Center for European Policy Studies, being hesitant about reform does not necessarily win votes.

“Just look at Sunday’s results: In the countries where reforms are part of everyday life, governments were not punished,” he said, pointing to Spain and Belgium.

“Governments got punished in countries where they hesitated about reforms and only passed them half-heartedly,’ he said. “In a nutshell: They talked about reform all the time, but then didn’t do that much.” As far as electoral strategy is concerned, “that’s the worst of both worlds,” Gros said.

International Herald Tribune

Figaro Adler 01/09/2004

Article lié :

Flupke

  01/09/2004

Je vous convie à lire l’aricle très laudateur de Mr Adler dans le Figaro de ce 01042004 .
j’extrais : La possibilité qu’a laissée Bush aux membres de la famille royale saoudienne et à leurs proches, les Ben Laden, de quitter à la sauvette le territoire américain le 12 septembre 2001, apparaît avec le recul comme un ultime geste de politesse d’un vieil ami, présageant l’inévitable rupture bien davantage qu’une collusion impossible.

Il y a enfin chez George Bush les meilleures qualités d’un aristocrate de la Nouvelle-Angleterre : une courtoisie et une dignité sans failles, un respect de l’adversaire, un sens de l’humour et de l’autodérision que l’on semble ignorer en Europe, une tolérance pour les points de vue opposés aux siens propres, une grande loyauté envers tous les membres d’une équipe qui n’aura connu qu’une défection en quatre ans de crise – celle du premier ministre des Finances. Si Powell a perdu la bataille bureaucratique sur la question du Proche-Orient, il n’en a pas moins géré de main de maître les rapports avec l’Inde, le Pakistan, la Chine et le Japon.

Si Rumsfeld a fini par être coincé dans les cordes par une conspiration de généraux qu’il avait décidément trop humiliés et qui lui ont rendu la monnaie de sa pièce en dévoilant les tortures grand-guignolesques de la prison d’Abou Ghraïb, le président n’en a pas moins balayé d’un revers de main tous les conseils visant à le faire sauter tel un fusible avant l’élection présidentielle. Et le peu engageant Cheney, qui ne sera pas apparu comme un être humain aux Américains qu’à l’évocation des malheurs de sa fille lesbienne, aura, lui aussi, passé sans encombres la double barrière de son impopularité médiatique méritée et du scandale Enron. Ce sont là peut-être des décisions maladroites, elles n’en sont pas moins nobles et dénotent chez l’homme un mépris du quand dira-t-on et un courage moral vrai.

Alors me dira-t-on pourquoi une personne si admirable était-elle aujourd’hui menacée très sérieusement par la candidature de John Kerry ? Par une combinaison étonnante de ses meilleurs et de ses plus mauvais traits, tels qu’ils ont pu apparaître dans la politique intérieure. Mauvais traits, en effet, que l’obstination idéologique du président à refuser l’union nationale que lui offrait le Parti démocrate pour choisir la poursuite effrénée du reaganisme économique. Avec des crédits d’impôt que la situation économique ne justifiait pas tant que cela et une augmentation sans précédent des dépenses de sécurité de l’Etat, lesquelles s’ajoutent comme dans tout le monde développé au poids croissant des retraites et de la santé, Bush aura laissé à ses successeurs un déficit extrêmement préoccupant.

? Un aristocrate ?

Holywood condamné

Article lié : L’“histoire hollywoodienne” n’est plus au-dessus des lois

François

  01/09/2004

Bonjour,

Dans votre article vous parlez du film U-539. Il s’agit en fait du film U-571 (capture de la chiffreuse Enigma).

On pourrait aussi parler de la série “Band of brothers” (frères d’armes), où dans le dernier des dix épisodes, on voit la 101ème aéroportée américaine entrée la première dans le nid d’aigle d’Hitler.
Or, c’est la 2ème DB Française qui est entrée la première dans Berchtesgaden.

ESDI, EuroSeat near IGOs, UK in Euro : Unthinkable EU Key Succes Factors for US Supremacy ∫

Article lié :

Stassen

  31/08/2004

Does the United States Have a European Policy?

by Gerard Baker | déc. 01 ‘03

Since the earliest days of the European Union, at the outset of the Cold War, it has been an axiom of U.S. foreign policy that an integrated Europe is in America’s global strategic interest. The central theater of world war twice in a generation and the expected theater of a third conflict, fractious Europe cost the United States more in blood and treasure than any region on earth in the republic’s history. What could better fit U.S. national security goals than the prospect of an ever closer union of a growing number of European states in which ancient enmities, national rivalries and ideological conflicts were submerged in a pan-European identity based on the same principles of democracy and free markets that have animated America’s own success? There is too, in the American geopolitical psyche, something gloriously redolent about the spectacle of Europeans coming together to forge a common entity, just as Americans themselves coalesced from fissiparous states nearly two centuries earlier.


It was Dwight D. Eisenhower, the liberator of Europe, who articulated this spirit most emphatically more than half a century ago. In a July 1951 speech in London-five years before the founding of the European Economic Community, the forerunner of the European Union-the general told an audience of diplomats and politicians of his dream of a unified Europe. In a letter a few days later to his friend and adviser Averell Harriman, Eisenhower observed, “I most fervently urged the formation of the United States of Western Continental Europe.” Eisenhower’s presidential successors never went quite so far in their enthusiasm, and the U.S. commitment to the European project has seemed more rhetorical than practical at times.

But Washington repeatedly stated its belief in a united Europe-a Europe “whole and free”, as President George H. W. Bush put it in 1991. It publicly applauded each move toward deeper European integration, as western Europe moved from coal and steel community to common market to single market to single-currency area. As the union acquired increasing political saliency and began to find a voice in foreign and security policy, the United States continued to welcome its role in world affairs. There were disagreements aplenty-over Vietnam in the 1960s, intermediate nuclear forces in the 1980s and the Balkans in the 1990s, to name just a few. But Washington never actively sought to foment disagreements within Europe.

All that changed this year with the explosion of transatlantic tensions over Iraq. As European nations themselves split apart on whether to support the U.S.-led military action, the Bush Administration happily highlighted the differences and pointed up the distinctions between “Old” and “New” Europe. As the French government enunciated a Gaullist vision of Europe acting as an alternative pole to the American superpower, the United States urged other European nations to reject France’s agenda for Europe. When the initial hostilities were over, U.S. officials lavished praise and new responsibilities on loyal allies such as Britain and Poland and talked of a new strategy of “punishing France and ignoring Germany.”

In Europe, powerful bureaucratic and political forces are pressing hard for a much tighter alignment of the member-states’ foreign and security policies. As Europe debates its first ever draft constitution that aims, among other things, to institutionalize more effectively a common European foreign policy, it does so in an atmosphere tinged indelibly by the Iraq debacle. A number of European political leaders are increasingly convinced that the Bush Administration is actively seeking to divide Europe, to undermine the institutions and relationships that underpin European unity. U.S. officials from the president down insist that the United States remains a friend to the European project, but not on any specific terms. Many questions thus arise about the present state of U.S.-European relations. Has U.S. policy toward Europe really changed? With the end of the Cold War and the September 11 attacks, have U.S. priorities become so altered and divergent from European goals that the United States no longer sees a strong interest in working with a Europe on its march to an ever closer union? Did the United States ever truly believe in a fully united Europe? These questions boil down to one fundamental query: Does the United States have a European policy?

What the Iraq debacle clearly demonstrated for U.S. policymakers was a proposition that had been tested in theory many times before but never in such stark reality. This proposition was that it may sometimes be better to have a Europe divided on a crucial issue of America’s national interest than one in which a wholly united Europe takes a hostile or critical line against the United States.

During the Cold War, European unity and transatlantic cohesion was so self-evidently critical to defeating communism that the United States could not for long have pursued a policy that had the effectof dividing Europe. In the immediate post-Cold War world, dealing with a potentially unstable post-communist empire in the east, enlarging the communities of free nations-NATO as well as the European Union-became the central priority of U.S.-European policy. Indeed, there were early tensions with European allies over the EU’s apparent eagerness to place deeper integration above expansion in its post-Cold War agenda. It was at least in part aggressive U.S. promotion of the enlargement case that gave impetus to the process that will result next year in the admission of ten new members to the union, most from the former communist countries.

Continuing EU integration also seemed to hold new potential benefits for the United States. The most obvious advantage was in the field of defense capabilities. With the changing nature of threats in the post-Cold War era, familiar U.S. complaints about “burden-sharing” took on new urgency. Greater defense cooperation among the Europeans would lead to improved interoperability, economies of scale and a division of labor that would greatly enhance the effectiveness of NATO and reduce dependence on U.S. forces in the old European theater.

But there were potential benefits for the United States from economic integration too. American companies seemed to have much to gain from the consolidation of the single market. The advent of the euro in the late-1990s was also widely welcomed by U.S. corporations. It was seen as a spur to inward investment by Americans and an opportunity to create the kind of large single currency area that was so instrumental in the U.S. economy’s successful performance over two centuries.

Now, in the immediate post-Cold War years, there are signs that the salience of European integration for U.S. policy were overstated-even in the relatively halcyon days for transatlantic relations of the Bush 41 and Clinton administrations. In economic terms, the arrival of the single market was by no means seen as an undiluted good for the United States. The year before the market’s completion in 1992, there was much angst in the United States that a protectionist “Fortress Europe” was possibility emerging. When the single market itself appeared less threatening, new questions arose about the next phase of economic union. The Clinton Administration’s senior economic policymakers harbored deep doubts about the viability and sense of monetary union. Though public expression of these doubts was muted, U.S. and European officials acknowledged at the time that the United States was not persuaded the eurozone would be an effective single-currency area.

More visibly, it was in the Clinton Administration that the first real doubts about a separate European defense identity emerged in the United States. Tensions multiplied as the European Union embarked on its European Security and Defense Initiative (ESDI) after 1997. The United States was deeply troubled by the prospect that a caucus within NATO of increasingly independent-minded Europeans might emerge and undermine the institution’s ability and political willingness to operate as a full transatlantic alliance. Clinton Administration officials upbraided their British counterparts when Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac agreed at the 1998 Saint-Malo summit to push for a separate European military force.

Thus, by the final years of the Clinton Administration, the end of the Cold War was not only beginning to dissolve the glue of the transatlantic relationship but was also weakening the apparent advantages of European integration for the United States. It was no longer self-evidently in America’s national interest. Put simply, Europe was less central to U.S. national security. That meant inevitably that a single European voice was less important to U.S. policymakers. Then came George W. Bush.

Early expectations in Europe were edgy about what the new American president might make of the EU. Though not known to have any particularly strong views on the subject himself, Bush surrounded himself with advisers who were of a distinctly Euro-skeptic hue. At the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were on record criticizing some European governments that repeatedly acted as an impediment to the U.S. pursuit of its global priorities. At the State Department, Colin Powell was liked and admired in Brussels, but the appointment of John Bolton as an undersecretary alarmed European integrationists. Known for his trenchant views on the virtues of European cooperation, Bolton had written that ESDI was a “dagger at the heart of NATO.” Finally, Vice President Dick Cheney was not viewed as especially attached to the Atlanticist agenda.

Nonetheless, when confronted with the opportunity to reject a key part of Europe’s ambitions at the start of his administration, Bush chose not to. At his Camp David summit in February 2001 with Tony Blair, Bush agreed to drop U.S. objections to European defense plans (now called ESDP). On the understanding that ESDP was fully compatible with NATO’s existing structures, President Bush showed himself to be more Euro-friendly than the Clinton Administration in this regard.

Four months later, on his first presidential trip to Europe, Bush again struck a conciliatory tone. Though his early months in office had been marked by tensions with the Europeans over missile defense and the Kyoto global warming treaty, Bush seemed willing to reaffirm America’s commitment to the virtues of pan-European policies and cooperation. In a June 2001 speech in Warsaw, Bush repeated his father’s pledge to help build a Europe “whole and free:”

My nation welcomes the consolidation of European unity, and the stability it brings. We welcome a greater role for the EU in European security, properly integrated with NATO. We welcome the incentive for reform that the hope of EU membership creates. We welcome a Europe that is truly united, truly democratic and truly diverse-a collection of peoples and nations bound together in purpose and respect, and faithful to their own roots. Administration-watchers assumed from these early pronouncements that the administration’s Atlanticists, led by Colin Powell at the State Department, had won an important round in their continuous battle with the more unilateralist Pentagon.

But this assumption proved false. In those first six months of the administration, it was already apparent that U.S. policy toward Brussels was shifting. In fact, the deal with Blair at Camp David demonstrated that European policy had already been downgraded by the administration. Bush was essentially prepared to treat his concerns about European defense cooperation as a bargaining chip to be exchanged for Britain’s support of America’s much greater goal: creating a missile defense system to protect the United States from threats emerging outside Europe.

In the destinations for that first trip, there was an intriguing sign of the already shifting priorities in the Bush team’s approach to Europe. Bush chose not to go to France or Germany, the pillars of what would soon be derided as “Old Europe”, but to Spain, Sweden, Poland and Slovenia (with merely a day trip to Brussels for a NATO summit). This was the “New Europe” the administration would soon demonstrate it was eager to encourage. In short, long before the Iraq crisis and even before the September 11 attacks, there were clear signs that the U.S. commitment to a united Europe was already attenuated. In part, this stemmed from the Bush team’s ideological lack of sympathy for the reality of a single European political approach. Mainly, however, it was because, again, a united Europe had ceased to have the salience it held in the Cold War.

Iraq crystallized these trends. First, America’s determination to deal with global threats as it perceived them after the terrorist attacks of 2001 meant it would seek allies where it could find them. The United States, under assault from terrorists and under potential assault from rogue states, was not likely to allow European unity to become a constraint on its actions.

William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and a leading neo-conservative close to the Bush Administration, puts it as follows: Any serious policymaker cannot simply say “Well, as a matter of theology, we believe in a united Europe . . . and therefore that’s going to drive our policy.” It would be irresponsible.

This can be thought of as a kind of passive opposition to European integration. Insofar as the Europeans want to unite around a policy that supports us, it says, then we are happy to assist in the creation of a united Europe. But if the Europeans are divided, of course we will extend support to those who side with us and withhold it from those who do not. But this gives rise to a critical question: In addition to this passive opposition to European unity, does the United States now favor an active opposition? Does the United States now believe, after the experience of the last year, that a united Europe could actually not only cease to be a reliable source of assistance but might actually try to block the United States from achieving its goals? This was, after all, the more or less stated view of the Chirac government in France-to build an alternative source of global power. If that is how the United States sees the prospect of a united Europe, then the administration is likely to adopt a much more aggressive stance against European integration.

There are clearly those within the Bush Administration-John Bolton at the State Department, others at the Pentagon-for whom the events of the last year have confirmed all their suspicions that a unifying Europe is a menace to U.S. strategic objectives and should be blocked. But the drift of Bush Administration policy does not yet seem to be moving fully in this direction. Other senior policymakers at the fulcrum of the administration’s evolving debate insist that the Iraq experience does not necessarily suggest those who opposed the United States will prevail in an internal European debate and dictate the direction of a single European policy, should one ever emerge. These officials pin their faith in European virtue on a belief that a united Europe will adopt an approach to the United States that is closer to Tony Blair’s vision than Jacques Chirac’s. “It is no longer obvious that European policy is being driven by the historic engine of France and Germany”, a senior administration official told me in November. “Look at Britain, look at Spain, look at Italy, look at Poland, look at Denmark. France and Germany are not necessarily the future.” This same administration official adds that, in any case, America’s options are rather limited: “What am I going to do about [European integration] if I don’t like it? Scream and yell? That would have absolutely no effect. The chances are that efforts to undermine European unity would have the opposite effect.”

Neither of these assumptions seem watertight. Basing policy towards Europe on the hope that its steadily evolving foreign policy will be driven by a coalition of U.S.-friendly countries such as the UK, Poland and Spain looks like ahistorical, wishful thinking. The pattern of EU integration is that it is driven by the Franco-German alliance at its heart, aided and abetted by bureaucrats in Brussels. Nothing that has happened recently suggests this is changing.

Nor is it true that Washington lacks options-it need not passively stand by and watch this process unfold.2 After all, most ordinary Europeans are aghast at the sovereignty that has already been handed over to Brussels. European integration is being driven by political elites rather than popular pressure, and there is growing evidence pointing to the uneasiness among the general public.

So, what can the United States do?

First, it should temper its enthusiasm for the development of stronger European military capabilities. Americans may laugh at recently announced plans for a Franco-German-Belgian-Luxembourg core EU military alliance, but the United States should continue to oppose a separate European identity within NATO. This also means that the United States should strengthen its political and military ties with the new NATO members from central and eastern Europe,to offset any such developments.

Second, it should oppose any plans to permit a “single Europe” from taking the seats currently held in multilateral institutions by separate European countries. There should be no support for a UN Security Council seat for “Europe” or the creation of a United States-Japan-Europe Group of Three to replace the G-8.

Finally, Washington should refrain from doing anything that might help push Britain into the euro. Nothing would represent a more fateful step for European integration than Britain’s joining this ill-starred project. It seems that passive disengagement from the cause of European integration is now firmly established as the United States looks beyond Europe to the challenges of a dangerous world. In the absence of a pressing security threat in Europe, and in the presence of much more pressing security threats outside Europe, the United States will regard the possibility of a unified European policy distinctly on the merits of what it offers the United States. Is this anything new? Probably not. It is hard to imagine any administration shifting from its conception of its vital national security interests in an effort to assist in building unity in Europe.

What is different in the post-Cold War, post-9/11 world is that disagreements between the United States and Europe and among Europeans seems much more likely. So far, the United States does not seem to have concluded that European integration is inherently threatening to its interests. Despite the concerted efforts of some of its senior officials, the Bush Administration is not yet committed to destabilizing actively the process of European unification, in part because it believes the EU can still head in a broad direction beneficial to America’s national interests. But at the very least the last year should mean that we will hear far fewer encomiums from U.S. officials about the virtues of a United States of Europe.

Copyright © 2004 The National Interest All rights reserved.

Find this article at: http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/NationalInterest/2003/12/01/529065

Collective Defense, Peace Enforcement, Partnerships : Blissful Thinking for NATO

Article lié :

Stassen

  31/08/2004

Reorienting Transatlantic Defense

by Rep. Doug Bereuter and John Lis | juin 01 ‘04
NationalInterest

The future of NATO has been a subject of intense debate, including in the two most recent issues of The National Interest. In the Winter 2003/04 issue, E. Wayne Merry unveiled a picture of an Atlantic Alliance that is casting about in search of a mission, having outlived its usefulness with the demise of its original adversary. Indeed, he argued that NATO continues to keep Europe in a state of dependence, frustrating the rise of a European Union that can act as an equal partner to the United States. Yet even some of NATO’s defenders-such as John Hulsman, writing in the Spring 2004 issue-view NATO primarily as a useful toolbox from which the United States can draw as it undertakes military adventures far from Europe’s shores, cherry-picking allies on a case-by-case basis.


Yet these visions of the alliance are at odds with the view of those who work on transatlantic security policy on a daily basis. The reality is that NATO is not a Cold War institution in search of a mission to keep itself alive, but remains an indispensable tool for the democracies of the Euro-Atlantic region to ensure their security against common threats.

For a few heady years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it appeared that the long-held dream of a Europe at peace had become a reality. The newly freed nations of central and eastern Europe aligned themselves definitively with the West, and even Russia developed a peaceful, non-adversarial relationship with its former rivals. Today, there is no risk of an invasion of western Europe, and it is tempting to conclude that a united Europe is now secure. However, the terrorist bombings in Madrid on March 11 horribly demonstrated the error of that belief. Europe still faces threats to its territory and to its citizens from international terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, states that sponsor terrorism and proliferate WMD, and the conjunction of these challenges: the horrifying prospect of these states providing WMD to terrorist groups. These are the same threats confronting North America, and the defense of our two continents remains indivisible.

NATO’s Three Ongoing Missions

When thinking about NATO’s primary purpose, many commentators fall into a geographic trap. Because NATO was founded to defend against the Soviet threat that was directed at Western Europe, it follows for some that NATO exists for the defense of this specific geographic area.

Instead, it is more useful to view NATO in functional terms, with three main and currently ongoing missions. First and foremost, the Alliance enables its members to provide collectively for the defense of their states against external threats, a role it has played for 55 years. Its second mission consists of peace-enforcement operations. The Alliance assumed this function nine years ago, when it became clear that only NATO (and not the United Nations, the OSCE or any other international organization) could actually enforce the peace agreement ending the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The third mission is political: maintaining and enhancing the partnerships that NATO has developed since the end of the Cold War with non-members in Europe and Eurasia. These partnerships have promoted cooperation and permitted the Alliance to enlarge the Euro-Atlantic zone of stability beyond the core of its member-states.

No one would ever have predicted that NATO’s first collective-defense mission- more than five decades after the Alliance was created and ten years after the collapse of the Soviet Union-would be in response to an attack on the United States. But it is important to remember that collective defense applies not only to the European allies, but to the United States and Canada as well. After the September 11 attacks, the North Atlantic Council, comprised of representatives of the then-19 member countries, proclaimed that if those attacks were “directed from abroad”, they would be covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, NATO’s collective defense guarantee. The Council declared:

“The commitment to collective self-defense embodied in the Washington Treaty was first entered into in circumstances very different from those that exist now, but it remains no less valid and no less essential today, in a world subject to the scourge of international terrorism.”

The Alliance itself sent AWACs aircraft to patrol the skies over the United States, and several countries sent special operations forces to Afghanistan to fight alongside U.S. troops in Operation Enduring Freedom. Since September 11, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have again struck against NATO members in Istanbul and Madrid, as well as targeting the citizens of NATO states elsewhere in the world. The Soviet threat may have vanished, but not NATO’s reason for existence. Recognizing this fact, NATO’s Strategic Concept notes that

“Alliance security interests can be affected by other risks of a wider nature, including acts of terrorism, sabotage and organized crime, and by the disruption of the flow of vital resources.”

One cannot predict where NATO will need to act in the future, which is all the more reason to ensure that it is able to operate wherever needed. The War on Terror is a multi-faceted struggle, but ongoing operations in Afghanistan show that there is an important military component.

The decision by NATO to take command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is helping to stabilize the region around Kabul, is an example of NATO’s growing second mission: peace enforcement operations. NATO first assumed this role in 1995, when the first military action in NATO history was carried out, not to defend a member state but to guarantee the Dayton Peace Accords that halted the civil war in Bosnia. Since then, NATO has also undertaken peace enforcement missions in Kosovo and in Macedonia. These missions demonstrated that NATO is the only international organization with the experience, organization, military capabilities and robust rules of engagement needed to compel adversaries to accept, or at least conform to, a peace agreement.

NATO’s third mission-its partnerships with non-member nations in Europe and the former Soviet Union-has enabled the Alliance to bring ten new members into the fold. The decade-old Partnership for Peace (PFP) program facilitated political and military cooperation with the nations of central and eastern Europe and Eurasia and helped former Soviet-bloc countries begin needed political and military reforms. By holding out the promise of eventual membership, PFP kept NATO’s door open and assisted aspirant nations in meeting the criteria for membership. Now, with most central and eastern European candidate countries having joined NATO, the geographic focus of PFP must move to Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia. At the same time, its functional emphasis will shift in part from preparing countries for NATO membership to engaging with countries that may never join the Alliance but which may become key security partners. The success of PFP in extending a zone of security to the east also needs to be replicated to the south, as recent events have underscored the importance of the non-European countries of the Mediterranean as well as those of the Persian Gulf to the security of NATO members. Therefore, the Alliance should enhance and expand its Mediterranean Dialogue. It currently brings seven nations-Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia-together with the NATO nations to discuss regional security issues such as civil emergency planning, crisis management, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.

Capabilities, Capabilities, Capabilities

While NATO remains committed to collective defense, many of its members have been slow to develop the forces needed to carry out the pledges that they have made to defend one another. Former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson often said: “When I took up my post as Secretary General, I said that I had three priorities: capabilities, capabilities, capabilities.” Soon afterward, he noted that this became a mantra “which all of you will have heard-and some of you, in government, may have politely ignored.”

In order to fulfill their responsibility for carrying out collective defense, NATO members must continue to transform their forces to address today’s threats. No longer does NATO need heavy armored units with large numbers of conscripts arrayed in fixed sectors along the inter-German border. What is required today is a number of highly mobile professional units that can deploy quickly where they are needed in order to apply effective force to accomplish their mission. Allied countries have no shortage of military personnel, but NATO does lack units that can actually be used for the missions the Alliance now needs to conduct.

In November 2003 Robertson used his final address to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to cite the need “to increase substantially the usability of European armed forces.” Robertson noted that the 18 allies outside of the United States have 1.4 million active duty troops, plus another 1 million reserves. He said,

“Yet with only 55,000 soldiers currently deployed on multinational missions, most of your countries plead that they are overstretched and can do no more. That is quite simply unacceptable.”

The first step toward increasing the usability of European forces has been the creation of the NATO Response Force (NRF). This force has two tasks. First, the NRF is a vehicle to enable European and Canadian allies to join with the United States in developing forces that can rapidly deploy wherever they are needed and apply decisive power in combat or in less demanding missions. Second, the NRF can be an effective means to drive force transformation throughout the Alliance. Before national units are chosen to take part in the NRF, they will have to meet the tough standards of this elite NATO force. Then, when they train with other NRF units, they will be exposed to cutting-edge capabilities and procedures that they will take home and share with their nation’s armed forces, serving as a catalyst for change.

The NRF was set up in October 2003 as a small “prototype” intended to define requirements and to test procedures, doctrines and concepts. By October 2004 the NRF will have an “initial operational capability” that will allow it to carry out smaller-scale missions. It is to reach “full operational capability” by October 2006. At that time, it will consist of one enhanced combat brigade, roughly 5,000 ground troops. Maritime, air, command and support elements will bring the total strength to around 20,000 personnel. Some of those units will be kept at “very high readiness”, able to deploy within five days, with the rest of the force deployed within thirty days.

Unfortunately, the NRF has been plagued by the typical initial misunderstandings over what it is and what it is not, particularly by Europeans who fear that it is an American-led vehicle to undermine the European Union’s Rapid Reaction Force (RRF). It is important to put to rest this fallacy, which led one leading European defense analyst to conclude that “the creation of an NRF potentially holds devastating consequences for the further development of European capabilities” and “could effectively undermine the EU’s RRF. . . .”

In reality, the NRF is not designed to compete with, but rather to promote the further development of European capabilities. The NRF is designed for the full spectrum of missions, including combat operations; the RRF, to undertake the EU’s Petersberg tasks, which focus on crisis management and humanitarian operations. Nor is there any danger that the NRF would supplant the much larger RRF. The RRF is to facilitate the large-scale deployment of European forces to deal with crises and is expected to have a sixty-day deployment capability and to be comprised of roughly 15 small brigades, or 60,000 ground troops, with additional air and maritime components.

If the NRF is to succeed, the NATO allies must develop the capabilities that are necessary for effective combat operations. Unfortunately, NATO’s ability to compel its members’ actions has always been limited. While NATO does work with each member to set force goals, it is the responsibility of each state to fulfill those pledges. Often, a defense ministry’s good-faith promise to the Alliance is not fulfilled because that country’s defense budget request is later cut by the finance ministry in order to fund other government programs. A further difficulty arises because the NATO force goals are classified and not open to public scrutiny. In most countries, members of parliament-even those serving in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly-do not have either the required clearances or access through oversight; thus, they are often unaware of their government’s pledges to NATO, and they are unable to question whether defense budgets adequately fund their force goals and whether progress toward these goals is sufficient. While NATO force goals do contain some sensitive information and cannot be completely declassified, member states should strive to increase the transparency of the force planning process to the extent possible and to extend the required clearances to members of the parliaments responsible for defense oversight.

To ensure that NATO has the critical capabilities that it needs, its national leaders agreed in 2002 to the Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC). This initiative assigned lead nations for multinational working groups to rectify shortfalls in key areas like air-to-air refueling, strategic lift and precision- guided munitions. Despite some progress over the past year, the report card on this initiative continues to be mixed. Governments must fully fund the pledges that they have made under the PCC because a failure on this point will ensure that the PCC ends up on the trash heap with previous NATO capabilities initiatives.

More fundamentally, European forces must be streamlined to generate more deployable units. While several states, notably Britain and France, have an expeditionary capability, large numbers of European soldiers cannot be deployed on actual military missions. Given the absence of a massive land-invasion threat, this leaves them with little to contribute in the field to the Alliance. Reducing personnel levels in European militaries can free up money to develop more agile, more capable forces. For example, Germany has announced plans to reduce the size of the Bundeswehr from 285,000 to 250,000 personnel; Defense Minister Peter Struck said in mid-January 2004 that these cuts “will enable us to markedly reduce the amount of personnel costs in favour of new investments.” While the Bundeswehr today is strained by deploying 10,000 troops abroad, plans call for 105,000 troops to be available for intervention or stabilization operations.

While European armed forces must become more efficient, the two North American allies can also take steps to increase their defense cooperation. Since 1958 the air defense of North America has been a joint effort through the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), but maritime and land defenses have remained separate. The inauguration of U.S. Northern Command in 2002 provided an opportunity for closer defense integration between the United States and Canada. However, Canada declined an offer to include maritime and land defense in NORAD at that time. Instead, the two countries agreed to establish a Binational Planning Group (bpg), headed by the Canadian deputy commander of NORAD, to improve bilateral cooperation to defend against common maritime threats and to respond to land-based attacks or natural disasters.

The new Canadian government of Prime Minister Paul Martin has demonstrated greater receptivity to closer defense cooperation with the United States. Already, Canada is negotiating terms for participation in the U.S. missile defense program, which could be headquartered at NORAD. Other options for closer cooperation include a “naval NORAD” that would integrate the maritime defense of North America; in this area, the BPG already has developed a binational maritime awareness and warning capability. Some Canadian opponents of greater integration argue that naval and land defense are different from air defense because the response times are greater, which allows Canada to maintain exclusive control of its naval and land forces. Proponents of including naval and land cooperation in NORAD argue that weapons like sea-launched missiles mean that naval defense is subject to the same time pressures as air defense. Similarly, they argue that a terrorist attack on land could come without warning.

The conventional wisdom is that the Martin government is unlikely to move forward in this area before federal elections, which could come as late as autumn 2004. If the victorious party appears amenable, then American officials should again offer closer defense ties to Canada in order to better protect both North American allies on land, sea and air.

An Organizational Division of Labor

There are too many folks in the corridors of the EU institutions who view defense as just another area for demonstrating, as one European commissioner put it, “a deeper commitment to our common political project.” Further reflecting this attitude, he added,

“I sincerely believe that defense issues . . . are crucial for the Union’s future. The future and credibility of the European body politic will hinge on the decisions which we will take on them.”

However, defense is different from many other political issues. As we saw a decade ago in Bosnia, when mistakes are made or when there is a failure to act, people die. When mistakes are made in defending your own territory, it is your own people who die. For those EU “true believers”, however, defense policy is no different from agricultural policy or trade policy. Their main concern is, as they would say, “building Europe”-not the vital responsibility to protect European citizens.

In line with this thinking, Finnish General Gustav Hagglund, then-chairman of the EU Military Committee, proposed in January of this year a European security arrangement in which “The American and European pillars would be responsible for their respective territorial defenses . . . .” This ill-conceived idea would undermine the fundamental commitment that lies at the heart of the North Atlantic Alliance and would render the citizens of all the Alliance’s member states less secure. Shocking as it seems, the proposal was not inconsistent with a provision in the proposed EU Constitution to have the European Union take on a mutual defense role that duplicates the very reason for NATO’s creation and its primary mission. If Europe creates a competitor to NATO, it will risk undermining the rationale for the Alliance, and it will risk undermining the support of the governments and people of the United States and Canada for participating in NATO.

Rather than trying to create a mutual defense commitment, the EU should assume primary responsibility for what could be characterized as intra-European crisis management; that is, for undertaking military operations in Europe when the security of the continent is threatened by domestic instability or civil war. In other words, there should be an organizational division of labor: While NATO deals with external threats to Europe’s security, the EU should take the lead in keeping the peace within Europe.

The Balkan conflicts, of course, are the best example of such crises that need to be addressed in a timely and forceful fashion. Such an effective peacekeeping capability will complement other EU competencies, such as its work to build civil institutions, its economic and infrastructure assistance, and its deployable pool of civilian police officers. Included in this responsibility would be a commitment among the EU nations to assist one another in responding to terrorist attacks and natural or man-made disasters, as outlined in the “solidarity clause” of the draft constitution.4

Furthermore, the EU should assume command of the peacekeeping missions in Bosnia-perhaps at the beginning of 2005-and later in Kosovo. In fact, NATO leaders are expected to agree at Istanbul to end the Stabilization Force mission in Bosnia at the end of this year and turn over responsibility to the EU. The combination of improving EU capabilities and an improving security situation in Bosnia has created a situation in which NATO can withdraw without a large risk of an immediate return to violence. NATO should retain a small office in Sarajevo to work with the newly unified Bosnian military and to help track down indicted war criminals. In addition, the Alliance will maintain an “over the horizon” reinforcement capability in case the security environment should deteriorate.

To the south, Kosovo is a much more difficult case because it remains an integral part of Serbia, despite the desire of its ethnic Albanian majority for independence. The deplorable outbreak of ethnic violence in March 2004, much of it apparently orchestrated by ethnic-Albanian elements, underscored the instability in Kosovo. Therefore, NATO should retain command of the Kosovo Force (KFOR), at least until the final status of the entity is resolved. The acceptance of the decision on final status and its implementation could be a difficult and volatile process. Once that danger passes, the EU should succeed KFOR. Even before that happens, the EU should actively guide the development of the entity’s institutions in keeping with European standards, with an eye toward the possibility of Kosovo’s eventual membership in the EU.

The EU also aspires to play a role in operations outside of Europe, as demonstrated by the operation in 2003 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The EU should be encouraged to undertake crisis management and humanitarian tasks outside of Europe, provided that it has the necessary capabilities. Having the EU avoid duplicating NATO’s collective defense function in no way limits the geographic scope of EU operation. In fact, there are regions like Africa where European interests and historical relationships may lead to an EU operation. Given that 19 of the 26 NATO members are also EU members, the Berlin Plus agreements that are meant to facilitate NATO-EU military relations should be scrupulously followed. These seven agreements make NATO assets and capabilities, including operational planning, available to the EU, and they facilitate smooth coordination between NATO and EU missions. This allows two organizations to avoid conflicting calls on the same national assets.

That overlap in membership between the two organizations also means that the EU can take advantage of the interoperability that NATO has engendered among its member countries. By standardizing communication and doctrine among its 26 member states and by integrating officers from those nations in headquarters with a single operational language, NATO facilitates multinational operations. That cooperation has been extended to partner nations through the PFP and through on-the-ground collaboration in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Retooling NATO Partnerships

When NATO invited the seven newest members to join at the 2002 Prague Summit, it recognized that the emphasis of its PFP program would have to shift from helping candidate countries become members to cooperation between the Alliance and states that may never formally join the Alliance but may become close partners. The Alliance already has offered enhancements to PFP that range from improvements in interoperability and greater consultations with the twenty partner nations to individualized assistance with defense reforms. Russia is a special case, and the Alliance has already developed the NATO-Russia Council as a unique institution for a closer relationship.

At a minimum, NATO should engage in technical military cooperation with all nations of Europe and Eurasia which are at present members of the OSCE. Afghanistan should be included in the existing PFP programs, given its geographic proximity and cultural ties to the Central Asian members of PFP.

Several PFP nations are authoritarian dictatorships that are no closer to democracy than they were under Soviet rule. NATO must not lend such countries political legitimacy, but the realities of the international security environment mean that defense cooperation may advance the security of both Alliance members and a given partner nation. The most obvious example is Uzbekistan, a detestable dictatorship that nonetheless has offered invaluable assistance with military operations in Afghanistan. America and its allies should do nothing to sustain the oppressive rule of President Islam Karimov, but they should continue cooperation with Uzbekistan in counter-terrorism and at the Karshi-Khanabad Air Base. To the extent that NATO can enhance its ability to work with such countries through PFP, it should do so. It could also create benefits in the longer term, by exposing local officials to concepts like democratic control of the armed forces.

Beyond that, PFP assists nations that are moving toward democracy to reach Western norms, particularly in transforming their militaries from instruments of internal repression to guarantors of external security. Most notably, the Planning and Review Process enables the Alliance to help partners develop armed forces that can work alongside NATO forces. Some partners might never apply for NATO membership, but the Alliance nevertheless can assist them in developing the structures that are needed to ensure democratic civilian control over armed forces that are efficient, effective, and able to contribute to regional security alongside NATO forces.

Three aspirant countries-Albania, Croatia and Macedonia-currently remain in NATO’s Membership Action Plan, the process through which the Alliance helps countries prepare for full membership. At the Istanbul Summit this June, NATO leaders should act on the recommendation of the House of Representatives (H.Res. 558) and agree to hold a summit no later than 2007 to consider their applications and decide at that time whether they and perhaps others should be invited to begin accession negotiations. Already, these nations are acting as allies, with all three contributing to NATO’s ISAF operation, and Albania and Macedonia contributing troops to coalition forces in Iraq. Admitting these countries into NATO should cement their transformation from crisis zones to full membership in the Alliance’s zone of stability.

In addition, NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue should be both enhanced and enlarged. Given today’s security threats, deeper cooperation with the region is imperative. A new partnership that incorporates elements of PFP would enable cooperation in counter-terrorism operations and could allow the Alliance to work with regional actors to increase their ability to work alongside NATO. It could assist them in defense planning and reforms, along the lines outlined above, and facilitate their transition to more representative forms of government. Moreover, it could help promote understanding and perhaps build confidence between Israel and some of the more moderate countries in the region with regard to security concerns.

Likewise, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Mediterranean Special Group should intensify its activities, particularly in assisting the parliaments of the region develop effective defense oversight. The Assembly should also consider extending associate status, heretofore reserved for PFP nations, to the members of this new partnership. This would allow their parliaments to gain a deeper understanding of the role of an independent legislature in a democracy and to build ties to their counterparts across the Mediterranean.

At the same time, this new partnership should be broadened, for example, to the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates). These six U.S. allies have experience working cooperatively on defense matters. A broader partnership with the Mediterranean Dialogue countries could facilitate this defense cooperation under a NATO umbrella. A democratic, sovereign Iraq should also be offered membership in this partnership, which would enable the NATO nations to work directly with nations of the Middle East on security issues of mutual interest.

The Future of Cooperation

Secretary of State Colin Powell recently wrote, “NATO is transforming itself from an Alliance whose main task was the defense of common territory to an Alliance whose main task is the defense of common principles.“5 No longer are NATO troops stationed along the Fulda Gap, prepared to halt a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. The values that set the West apart have been embraced by former adversaries. Many of those states have become a part of NATO, and they have pledged their willingness to fight for our collective freedom. They recognize that there are those who seek to destroy democracies not because of what they may do, but because of what they are.

Collective defense has taken on a different manifestation, but at its heart, the principle remains the same: 26 democracies, standing together to defend one another against those who seek to do us harm. This mission requires new capabilities and new doctrines, but the same depth of commitment. Defending freedom requires more than military hardware; it requires keeping NATO’s door open to help bring freedom’s blessings to lands that have not known them. We must ensure security beyond our borders, and we must work alongside partners, some of whom may someday embrace our principles and become our allies.

Those who declare that NATO should be euthanized either misunderstand how the Alliance has transformed itself to confront today’s security threats or value institutional development above the safety of their citizens. Maintaining NATO’s primacy in transatlantic security is not a barrier to European integration. Rather, it is essential for the security of Europe and North America. No one nation alone can defend against today’s primary security threats: global terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the states that support them. The United States needs allies in this effort, and NATO must remain the cornerstone of our common defense.

Copyright © 2004 The National Interest All rights reserved.

Find this article at: http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/NationalInterest/2004/06/01/529118

George W. Bush’s Foreign Policies: Unbalanced Moralistic and Militaristic Options

Article lié :

Stassen

  31/08/2004

Think Again: Bush’s Foreign Policy
By Melvyn P. Leffler
September/October 2004 http://www.foreignpolicy.com
Not since Richard Nixon’s conduct of the war in Vietnam has a U.S. president’s foreign policy so polarized the country—and the world. Yet as controversial as George W. Bush’s policies have been, they are not as radical a departure from his predecessors as both critics and supporters proclaim. Instead, the real weaknesses of the president’s foreign policy lie in its contradictions: Blinded by moral clarity and hamstrung by its enormous military strength, the United States needs to rebalance means with ends if it wants to forge a truly effective grand strategy.

“George W. Bush’s Foreign Policy Is Revolutionary”
No. Bush’s goals of sustaining a democratic peace and disseminating America’s core values resonate with the most traditional themes in U.S. history. They hearken back to Puritan rhetoric of a city upon a hill. They rekindle Thomas Jefferson’s vision of an empire of liberty. They were integral to Woodrow Wilson’s missive that “the world must be made safe for democracy.” They flow from Franklin Roosevelt’s four freedoms. They echo the noble rhetoric of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, to “oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

Nor is unilateralism new. From America’s inception as a republic, the Founding Fathers forswore entangling alliances that might embroil the fragile country in dangerous Old World controversies and tarnish the United States’ identity as an exceptionalist nation. Acting unilaterally, the United States could prudently pursue its own interests, nurture its fundamental ideals, and define itself in opposition to its European forbears. This tradition is the one to which Bush returns.

Critics argue that Bush’s “revolutionary” foreign policy repudiates the multilateralism that flowered after World War II and that served the United States so well during the Cold War. These critics have a point, albeit one that should not be exaggerated. The wise men of the Cold War embraced collective security, forged NATO, created a host of other multilateral institutions, and grasped the interdependence of the modern global economy. Nonetheless, they never repudiated the right to act alone. Although they reserved the option to move unilaterally, they did not declare it as a doctrine. They did precisely the opposite. Publicly, they affirmed the U.S. commitment to collective security and multilateralism; privately, they acknowledged that the United States might have to act unilaterally, as it more or less did in Vietnam and elsewhere in the Third World.

The differences between Bush and his predecessors have more to do with style than substance, more to do with the balance between competing strategies than with goals, with the exercise of good judgment than with the definition of a worldview. The perception of great threat and the possession of unprecedented power have tipped the balance toward unilateralism, but there is nothing revolutionary in Bush’s goals or vision. The U.S. quest for an international order based on freedom, self-determination, and open markets has changed astonishingly little.

“The Bush Doctrine of Preemptive War Is Unprecedented”
Wrong. Preemptive strikes to eliminate threats are a strategy nearly as old as the United States. Securing the nation’s frontiers in its formative decades often required anticipatory action. When, for example, Gen. Andrew Jackson invaded Spanish Florida in 1818, attacked Indian tribes, executed two Englishmen, and ignited an international crisis, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams told the Spanish ambassador that Spain’s failure to preserve order along the borderlands justified preemptive American action.

More overtly, President Theodore Roosevelt announced in 1904 that the United States would intervene in the Western Hemisphere to uphold civilization. Otherwise, he warned, the Europeans would deploy their navies to the hemisphere, seize national customs houses, and endanger U.S. security. Decades later, another president named Roosevelt renounced his distant cousin’s corollary to the Monroe Doctrine and declared a Good Neighbor Policy. But Franklin Roosevelt did not eschew the preventive use of force. After war erupted in Europe, he deemed it essential to supply the European democracies with munitions and food. When Nazi submarines attacked the U.S. destroyer Greer in September 1941, Roosevelt distorted the circumstances surrounding the incident and declared, “This is the time for prevention of attack.” Thereafter, German and Italian vessels traversing waters in the North Atlantic would do so “at their own peril.” In one of his trademark fireside chats, Roosevelt explained his thinking: “[W]hen you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.”

During the Cold War, preventive action in the Third World was standard operating procedure. If the United States did not intervene, falling dominos would threaten U.S. security. In other words, containment and deterrence in Europe did not foreclose unilateral, preventive initiatives elsewhere. The United States took anticipatory action to deal with real and imagined threats from Central America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. In each case, policymakers employed the same rhetorical justification that Bush uses now: freedom.

Contrary to the public caricature, the Bush administration does not use preventive military action as its only—or even principal—tool. It has hesitated to act preventively in Iran and North Korea, calculating that the risks are too great. It acts selectively, much as its predecessors did. Vietnam, like Iraq, was a war of choice.

“Bush’s Policies Are a Radical Departure from Clinton’s”
Lovely nostalgia. What is striking about President Bill Clinton’s foreign policy is that it actually increased U.S. military preponderance vis-à-vis the rest of the world. During the late 1990s, U.S. defense spending was higher than that of the next dozen nations combined. The overall goal, according to Clinton’s joint chiefs of staff, was to create “a force that is dominant across the full spectrum of military operations—persuasive in peace, decisive in war, preeminent in any form of conflict.”

Neither liberals nor neoconservatives want to acknowledge it, but the Clinton administration also envisioned the use of unilateral, even preemptive, military power. Prior to the September 11 attacks, the last strategy paper of the Clinton administration spelled out the nation’s vital interests. “We will do what we must,” wrote the Clinton national security team, “to defend these interests. This may involve the use of military force, including unilateral action, where deemed necessary or appropriate.”

Clinton himself already had approved the use of preemptive force. In June 1995, he signed Presidential Decision Directive 39, regarding counterterrorism. Much of it remains classified, but the sanitized version is suggestive of a preemptive stance. The United States would seek to identify groups or states that “sponsor or support such terrorists, isolate them and extract a heavy price for their actions.” And responding to al Qaeda attacks against U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, Clinton authorized the bombing in Sudan of the al-Shifaa chemical plant, which was suspected of manufacturing weapons for Osama bin Laden. Some in the White House raised concerns about the legality of preemptive bombings against a civilian target in a nation that had never threatened the United States. But National Security Advisor Sandy Berger made a compelling case: “What if we do not hit it and then, after an attack, nerve gas is released in the New York City subway? What will we say then?”

President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talked nobly and worked tirelessly to preserve alliance cohesion and to enlarge NATO. Unlike Bush, they sought to contain and co-opt the mounting parochial nationalism in the United States, a nationalism that wavered between isolationism and unilateralism and that increasingly rejected international norms and conventions. But, notwithstanding these efforts, it was the Clinton administration, not Bush’s, that appointed the bipartisan U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century. This commission was chaired not by neoconservatives, but by former Democratic Sen. Gary Hart and by former Republican Sen. Warren Rudman (who is a moderate internationalist). The commission ruefully acknowledged that “the United States will increasingly find itself wishing to form coalitions but increasingly unable to find partners willing and able to carry out combined military operations.”

In short, the preemptive and unilateral use of U.S. military power was widely perceived as necessary prior to Bush’s election, even by those possessing internationalist inclinations. What Bush did after September 11 was translate an option into a national doctrine.

“September 11 Transformed the Bush Administration’s Foreign Policy”
Yes. More than that, it transformed the administration’s worldview. Prior to September 11, the Bush team prided itself on a foreign policy that embraced realism. American power, future National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice boldly declared during the 2000 presidential campaign, should not be employed for “second order” effects, such as the enhancement of humanity’s well-being. Bush argued that freedom, democracy, and peace would follow from the concerted pursuit of the United States’ “enduring national interests.” This foreign policy would reflect America’s character, “The modesty of true strength. The humility of real greatness.”

The changes in the Bush administration’s thinking and rhetoric after the terrorist attacks are therefore all the more striking. Heightened threat perception elevated the focus on ideals and submerged the careful calculation of interest. The overall goal of U.S. foreign policy, said the Bush strategy statement of September 2002, is to configure a balance of power favoring freedom. “Our principles,” says the strategy statement—not our interests—will “guide our government’s decisions…[T]he national security strategy of the United States must start from these core beliefs and look outward for possibilities to expand liberty.”

In times of crisis, U.S. political leaders have long asserted values and ideals to evoke public support for the mobilization of power. But this shift in language was more than mere rhetoric. The terrorist attacks against New York and Washington transformed the Bush administration’s sense of danger and impelled offensive strategies. Prior to September 11, the neocons in the administration paid scant attention to terrorism. The emphasis was on preventing the rise of peer competitors, such as China or a resurgent Russia, that could one day challenge U.S. dominance. And though the Bush team plotted regime change in Iraq, they had not committed to a full-scale invasion and nation-building project. September 11 “produced an acute sense of our vulnerability,” said Rice. “The coalition did not act in Iraq,” explained Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, “because we had discovered dramatic new evidence of Iraq’s pursuit of WMD [weapons of mass destruction]; we acted because we saw the existing evidence in a new light—through the prism of our experience on 9/11.” Having failed to foresee and prevent a terrorist attack prior to September 11, the administration’s threshold for risk was dramatically lowered, its temptation to use force considerably heightened.

“Bush’s Foreign Policy Has Inflamed Anti-Americanism Worldwide”
Definitely. To be sure, anti-Americanism has plagued previous administrations. Violent demonstrations greeted Vice President Richard Nixon in various Latin American cities in 1958; so much rioting was expected in Tokyo in 1960 that President Dwight Eisenhower canceled his visit. In the late 1960s, the war in Vietnam aroused passionate anti-Americanism in Europe; so did President Ronald Reagan’s decision more than a decade later to deploy a new generation of intermediate-range nuclear weapons.

But the breadth and depth of the current anti-Americanism are unprecedented. According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, favorable attitudes toward the United States in Europe plunged during the last two years, dropping from 75 percent to 58 percent in Britain, from 63 percent to 37 percent in France, and from 61 percent to 38 percent in Germany. It’s even worse in the Muslim world, where substantial majorities think the United States is overreacting to the terrorist threat and that Americans seek to dominate the world. Most worrisome of all is the reaction among “friendly” Muslim nations: 59 percent of Turks, 36 percent of Pakistanis, 27 percent of Moroccans, and 24 percent of Jordanians say that suicide bombings against Americans and Westerners are justified in Iraq.

In retrospect, these numbers are not surprising, given that heightened threat perception tempts U.S. officials to obfuscate interests and stake their policies on the universality and superiority of American values. Yet a careful calculation of interests is essential to discipline U.S. power and temper its ethnocentrism. There is no greater and sadder irony, perhaps even tragedy, that while Bush officials assert the superiority of American values, the overweening use of U.S. power breeds cynicism about its motives and distrust of its intentions. Indeed, preemption and unilateralism complicate the struggle against terrorism. Terrorism, at least in part, is spawned by feelings of revulsion against U.S. domination and by a sense of powerlessness and humiliation. Preventive wars and intrusive occupations intensify such sentiments and breed more terrorists. By elevating the hegemonic posture of the United States to official doctrine, these policies make the United States and its citizens even more attractive targets for terrorists. According to recent State Department data, terrorism is waxing, not waning.

“The Bush Administration Has the Right Strategy but Implements It Badly”
No. Strategy links means to ends, designing tactics capable of achieving goals. Bush’s foreign policy is vulnerable to criticism not because it departs radically from previous administrations, but because it cannot succeed. The goals are unachievable because the means and ends are out of sync.

Rice says the Bush administration’s strategy rests on three pillars: First, thwarting terrorists and rogue regimes; second, harmonizing relations among the great powers; third, nurturing prosperity and democracy across the globe. But the effort to crush terrorists and destroy rogue regimes through preemption, hegemony, and unilateralism shatters great power harmony and diverts resources and attention from the development agenda. An effective strategy cannot be sustained when the methods employed to erect one pillar drastically undermine the others.

Consider, for instance, Bush’s quest for a democratic peace. He says that peoples everywhere, including the Middle East, yearn for freedom and coexistence. The democratic peace theory, which postulates that democratic societies do not wage war against one another, is appealing. But the war on terrorism, as presently conceived, makes it more difficult to democratize the Arab world. Waging preventive wars requires basing rights throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. To satisfy its military needs, the United States must sign agreements with and support repressive, even heinous, regimes that despise democratic principles.

Democratizing the Middle East is a noble goal, but it is one unlikely to be achieved through unilateral initiatives and preventive war. Democratization requires far more resources, imagination, and patience than the Bush administration, or perhaps any U.S. administration, is willing to muster. The ends of Bush’s foreign policy cannot be reconciled with domestic priorities that call for lower taxes. A recent Rand Corporation study concludes that the most important determinants of a successful occupation are related to the “level of effort—measured in time, manpower, and money.” Bush’s domestic agenda simply does not allow for this level of effort, and he shows no inclination to alter his programs at home in order to effect his strategic vision abroad.

“Bush Is Reagan’s Heir”
Yes. But is that a good thing? Bush and his advisors love to identify themselves with Reagan. Bush, like Reagan, says Rumsfeld, “has not shied from calling evil by its name….” Nor has he been shy about “declaring his intention to defeat its latest incarnation—terrorism.” Moral clarity and military power, Bush believes, emboldened Reagan and enabled him to wrest the initiative from the Kremlin, liberate Eastern Europe, and win the Cold War.

Yet most scholars of that period interpret the past differently. They know that the most successful and far-reaching initiatives of the Cold War came in its early years, long before the Reagan military buildup. In 1947, President Harry Truman and his advisors grappled with agonizing trade-offs and chose to meet the Soviet threat in Europe with reconstruction rather than a massive arms buildup. They were initially guided by diplomat George F. Kennan, who warned against military thinking, overcommitments, and ideological rhetoric. He did not talk about remaking and refashioning other societies, but of containing and reducing Soviet power and invigorating U.S. domestic institutions.

In 1950, the national security document NSC-68 institutionalized the emphases on moral clarity and military prowess. Prompted by the Soviet acquisition of atomic capabilities, the onset of McCarthyism, and then the outbreak of the Korean war, NSC-68 accentuated the ideological war and accelerated the arms race. But moral clarity and ideological purity made it difficult to assess threats and understand the international environment. Blinded by ideology, U.S. officials found it difficult to discern the Sino-Soviet split and to grasp the roots of revolutionary nationalism in the Third World. In the early 1980s, moral clarity prompted Reagan to assist repressive rightist regimes in Central America. Cold War thinking encouraged him to support Saddam Hussein in Iraq. And subsequent triumphalism over the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan led Reagan’s heirs to ignore the ensuing turmoil and the emergence of a Taliban theocracy.

Nor do scholars readily agree that Reagan’s arms buildup and rhetorical pronouncements brought victory in the Cold War. In fact, the most thoughtful accounts of Reagan’s diplomacy stress that what really mattered was his surprising ability to change course, envision a world without nuclear arms, and deal realistically with a new Soviet leader. And most accounts of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s diplomacy suggest that he was motivated by a desire to reform Communism, reshape Soviet society, and revive its economy, rather than intimidated by U.S. military power. Gorbachev was inspired not by U.S. democratic capitalism but by European social democracy, not by the self-referential ideological fervor of U.S. neoconservatives, but by the careful, thoughtful, tedious work of human rights activists and other nongovernmental organizations.

Bush and his advisors seek to construct a narrative about the end of the Cold War that exalts moral clarity and glorifies the utility of military power. Moral clarity doubtless helps a democratic, pluralistic society like the United States reconcile its differences and conduct policy. Military power, properly configured and effectively deployed, chastens and deters adversaries. But this mindset can lead to arrogance and abuse of power. To be effective, moral clarity and military power must be harnessed to a careful calculation of interest and a shrewd understanding of the adversary. Only when ends are reconciled with means can moral clarity and military power add up to a winning strategy.

Melvyn P. Leffler is Edward Stettinius professor of American history at the University of Virginia. He is the author of the prizewinning history of the early Cold War A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992).

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/files/story2671.php

Karl Rove : Underground Mastermind for a New US Regime

Article lié :

Stassen

  30/08/2004

L’homme qui a inventé Bush
LE MONDE | 28.08.04 | 13h25 •  MIS A JOUR LE 28.08.04 | 14h45

Dans l’ombre de George Bush père, puis du fils, Karl Rove, redoutable stratège, a été l’artisan de plusieurs victoires électorales. A la Maison Blanche depuis 2001, il travaille sans relâche à celle du 2 novembre.

Personne ne croit que George Bush ait pu arriver à la Maison Blanche par ses propres moyens. C’est impossible. Il a fallu l’aider, le pousser, le tirer jusque-là. Quelqu’un a dû inventer ce président improbable.

Ce tireur de ficelles, ce montreur de marionnettes, tout le monde, à Washington, connaît son nom : Karl Rove.  On lui prête d’autant plus d’intelligence qu’on en dénie à celui dont il n’est, officiellement, que le conseiller.

A trois jours de la réunion, à New York, de la convention du Parti républicain, qui va désigner officiellement le président sortant comme candidat à un nouveau mandat, trois salles de la ville ont été parmi les premières des Etats-Unis à programmer, vendredi 27 août, un film intitulé Bush’s Brain (“Le Cerveau de Bush”), calqué sur celui d’un livre paru il y a un an. Les auteurs de cet ouvrage, James Moore et Wayne Slater, connaissent bien leur sujet. En particulier Slater, qui dirige le bureau du Dallas Morning News à Austin, capitale du Texas, l’Etat où tout a commencé, à la fin des années 1970, pour Rove et pour son poulain.

La thèse de Bush’s Brain est simple : Karl Rove est le “coprésident” des Etats-Unis. Avec lui, la stratégie électorale est aux commandes de la plus grande puissance de la planète. Politique commerciale, fiscalité, politique sociale, environnement, éducation, et, par-dessus tout, politique étrangère et guerre sont dictés par un impératif qui domine tous les autres : gagner l’élection suivante, c’est-à-dire remplir les coffres de la prochaine campagne, plaire aux fermiers de l’Iowa et aux sidérurgistes de Pennsylvanie, attirer aux urnes les baptistes du Sud et les émigrés cubains de Floride. “Karl Rove a une influence sur la politique et l’action publique que les Américains n’ont jamais connue auparavant et qu’ils ont du mal à admettre”, écrivent Moore et Slater.

L’intéressé ne nie pas cette influence, mais il n’a jamais été pris en défaut de respect pour son patron. Il est trop avisé pour cela.

Surtout, il admire sincèrement l’homme qu’il a aidé à devenir président des Etats-Unis et dont il veut faire, dans deux mois, un président réélu. A ses yeux, George Walker Bush est le seul politicien républicain qui puisse installer durablement son parti à la Maison Blanche.

“Quand avez-vous commencé à songer à une campagne présidentielle ?”, a-t-on demandé, un jour, à Karl Rove. “Le 25 décembre 1950”, a-t-il répondu. C’est la date de sa naissance, dans un milieu très modeste de l’Ouest des Etats-Unis. Il est le fils d’un prospecteur de minerai et d’une femme qui se consacrait à son foyer et à ses cinq enfants. Le jour où Karl a eu 19 ans, son père a décidé de quitter définitivement la maison. Peu de temps après, le jeune homme a appris que son frère aîné et lui-même n’étaient pas les enfants de cet homme. Il en a conçu beaucoup de reconnaissance pour le géologue, qui les avait élevés comme s’ils étaient ses fils. Sa mère s’est suicidée au début des années 1980.

Ce qui frappe, chez Karl Rove, c’est la précocité de son intérêt pour la politique et de son adhésion au conservatisme. A l’âge de 9 ans, quand John Kennedy séduit beaucoup de jeunes Américains, il est, lui, pour Richard Nixon, ce qui lui vaut une bagarre avec une voisine plus costaude qui l’envoie au tapis d’un coup de poing. La mésentente de ses parents et leur absence de vie religieuse l’ont-elles incliné vers l’ordre ? En tout cas, s’il a choisi la droite, il n’a pas rencontré Dieu. A la différence de George Bush, qui dit que “Jésus Christ a changé son cœur”, le conseiller, pourtant attentif aux réactions des électeurs protestants et catholiques, ne cache pas qu’il n’est pas croyant. “Je ne suis pas sûr -d’avoir- jamais trouvé la foi”, a-t-il répondu, prudemment, à une question du New York Times.

Au gré des pérégrinations de son beau-père, le jeune Rove, né dans le Colorado et poussé en herbe dans le Nevada, a mûri à Salt Lake City, la capitale de l’Utah et des mormons. Au lycée, c’est un parfait nerd, un fayot, mais sans les bonnes notes et cela ne l’empêche pas d’être élu président des élèves, la seule élection qu’il ait jamais gagnée pour lui-même. En 1969, il entre à l’université d’Etat de l’Utah. Des universités, il va en fréquenter plusieurs, sans jamais décrocher le moindre diplôme. C’est qu’il est occupé ailleurs. Il s’est engagé chez les College Republicans, l’organisation étudiante du Parti républicain, et il en devient, dès 1971, l’un des principaux “permanents”, avec le titre de directeur exécutif.

Expédié dans l’Illinois, en 1970, pour participer à une campagne électorale, il s’est introduit dans les bureaux d’un candidat démocrate en se présentant comme un supporter, et il a dérobé du papier à en-tête. Il en a fait des invitations promettant “de la bière gratuite” et “des filles”, lors d’une réception organisée quelques jours plus tard, et il les a distribuées dans les quartiers borgnes de la ville. Marginaux et clochards ont envahi la party. Deux ans plus tard, lors d’une session de formation de militants dans le Kentucky, Rove s’est vanté de cette mauvaise plaisanterie et a expliqué aux participants d’autres “trucs” du même genre.

En 1973, le directeur exécutif des College Republicans se porte candidat à la présidence de l’organisation. Flanqué d’un autre spadassin, Lee Atwater, qui deviendra le conseiller de Ronald Reagan et de Bush père, il sillonne les routes du Sud, dans une vieille Ford, pour aller à la pêche aux voix, d’université en université. Une convention, dans un hôtel de montagne du Missouri, doit départager Rove et son concurrent, Robert Edgeworth, situé nettement plus à droite dans le parti.

La réunion ressemble trait pour trait aux congrès que tient l’UNEF, à la même époque, en France : batailles de procédure, truandages sur les mandats, coups tordus en tous genres. Au bout du compte, Edgeworth et Rove sont proclamés élus par leurs partisans respectifs.

Le différend est porté devant le président du Comité national républicain, qui n’est autre que George Herbert Walker Bush. Un allié d’Edgeworth décide alors de communiquer au Washington Post un enregistrement des propos tenus par Rove, l’année précédente, devant les militants du Kentucky. En pleine affaire du Watergate, on imagine l’effet. Non seulement la Maison Blanche, sous Richard Nixon, a fait cambrioler les locaux de la campagne présidentielle démocrate, mais, au même moment, un permanent du Parti républicain expliquait aux jeunes comment espionner le parti adverse ! On s’attend à ce que Rove soit écarté au profit d’Edgeworth, mais c’est le contraire qui se produit. Bush père donne la présidence des College Republicans à Rove et chasse son rival du parti pour avoir dénoncé un camarade à la presse.

LE lien qui se noue, alors, entre Karl Rove et la famille Bush ne sera jamais rompu. Marié à une héritière texane, qui le quittera trois ans plus tard, Rove s’installe à Houston et dirige le PAC (comité d’action politique) créé par Bush père, en conformité avec la législation post-Watergate, pour financer la candidature présidentielle à laquelle il se prépare pour 1980. Le jeune collaborateur de George H.W. Bush et de James Baker devient un expert de la carte électorale texane et un prophète de la conquête du Texas par les républicains. Il a compris que l’hégémonie démocrate, héritage de la guerre de Sécession, prend fin, dans cet Etat, comme dans tout le Sud. Nombre d’électeurs votaient démocrate par attachement au particularisme du Sud, à commencer par la ségrégation raciale. Devenu le parti des droits civiques, le Parti démocrate perd, inévitablement, une partie de sa base. En outre, la prospérité du Texas attire une population de cadres et d’entrepreneurs, qui votent républicain.

Le métier de base de Karl Rove, c’est la propagande et la collecte de fonds par courrier. Par la suite, il a ajouté à cette compétence première celles de sondeur, de stratège des médias, de planificateur de campagne. Mais son approche des électeurs consiste d’abord à les identifier socialement, à les distinguer les uns des autres et à concevoir le discours auquel ils seront sensibles. La formule qu’il a mise au point pour enlever le Texas aux démocrates s’est révélée imparable : cultiver les riches donateurs (et les riches Texans sont très riches), choisir de bons candidats (y compris en recyclant des démocrates), employer l’argent à adresser des messages différenciés à chaque groupe d’électeurs. Aujourd’hui, les 29 mandats pourvus par l’ensemble des électeurs de l’Etat sont détenus par des républicains, majoritaires, aussi, dans les deux chambres, à Austin.

Travailleur acharné, transportant dans sa tête une encyclopédie politique et électorale, Rove est entouré d’une réputation de tricheur et de tueur. Il est soupçonné d’avoir placé lui-même, dans son bureau, en 1986, un micro-émetteur dont la découverte a provoqué une tempête médiatique, mis sur la défensive le gouverneur démocrate sortant et aidé le candidat républicain à le battre. Quatre ans plus tard, il a joué un rôle essentiel dans la diffusion d’informations selon lesquelles le commissaire sortant à l’agriculture aurait organisé un système de pression sur des exploitants afin qu’ils contribuent au financement de la campagne pour sa réélection.

En 1994, quand George Bush s’est porté candidat au poste de gouverneur du Texas, une vague de rumeurs, alimentée par de faux appels téléphoniques d’instituts de sondage, a été menée contre la titulaire du poste, Ann Richards, accusée, entre autres choses, d’être lesbienne.

Lors des primaires républicaines pour l’élection présidentielle de 2000, John McCain, vainqueur dans le New Hampshire, a été la cible de calomnies sur sa santé mentale et sur sa sexualité. Quand un groupe d’anciens combattants a commencé à diffuser, il y a trois semaines, une publicité télévisée accusant John Kerry de mentir sur son service militaire au Vietnam, les démocrates y ont vu un nouveau coup bas de Karl Rove.

Bush, qui aime distribuer des surnoms, en a deux pour son conseiller. C’est tantôt Boy Genius (“Gamin génial”), tantôt Turd Blossom (“Fleur de fumier”). Comme si le président voulait garder une distance avec les méthodes de celui auquel il a dédicacé sa photo avec ces mots : “A Karl Rove, l’homme qui a un plan.”

Un plan pour quoi faire ? Pour gagner, simplement ? Ou pour changer l’Amérique ? Le modèle de Rove, c’est le président William McKinley, élu, en 1896, avec l’aide de Mark Hanna, alors “boss” du Parti républicain. Hanna avait compris - et fait comprendre à McKinley - que l’ère d’après la guerre civile était terminée et qu’il fallait exprimer, dorénavant, les aspirations des couches sociales nouvelles, nées du développement de l’industrie. Au cours des trente-six années qui ont suivi, les républicains n’ont perdu que deux élections présidentielles.

Aujourd’hui, Karl Rove pense que l’opposition entre démocrates et républicains, telle qu’elle a pris forme à partir de la crise économique des années 1930 et de ses suites, est révolue. Réactionnaire plus encore que conservateur, il estime que l’on est arrivé au terme d’une longue époque marquée par le règne de majorités abusives, enfermant l’individu dans toutes sortes de contraintes - fiscales, pour commencer - contraires à sa liberté fondamentale.

Le conseiller, qui a baptisé Andrew Madison le fils qu’il a eu avec sa seconde épouse, est un disciple fervent du fédéralisme de James Madison, l’un des auteurs de la Constitution américaine, et de son interprétation par Alexis de Tocqueville, l’auteur de De la démocratie en Amérique. La démocratie, selon Rove, c’est l’autonomie des “petits bataillons”, libres de vivre à leur guise dans une société protégée de la dictature du plus grand nombre.

George W. Bush et celui que l’on présente parfois comme son “gourou” ont les mêmes convictions. Bush fils a toujours pensé que l’un des grands dangers dont l’Amérique doit se garder est celui du “socialisme à l’européenne”. Le président et son conseiller sont les parfaits interprètes de la révolution conservatrice, lancée timidement, il y a cinquante ans, par quelques intellectuels minoritaires, portée par Ronald Reagan dans les années 1980, et par la majorité républicaine du Congrès depuis 1994. La réélection de Bush assurerait son triomphe.

Karl Rove y travaille sans relâche depuis 2001.

Patrick Jarreau
• ARTICLE PARU DANS L’EDITION DU 29.08.04
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3230,36-377020,0.html

With Main Regional Governances At Turning Point, Chirac Reshuffles Key Items on World Agenda

Article lié :

Stassen

  30/08/2004

August 28, 2004
Chirac Avoids Criticizing U.S. on Iraq; Praises U.N. Role
By ELAINE SCIOLINO

PARIS, Aug. 27 - Clearly the American election is on the mind of the president of France.

When President Jacques Chirac stood before his ambassadorial corps on Friday, there was no hint that the relationship between France and the United States had suffered one bit because of his fierce opposition to the American-led war in Iraq.
“The U.S. presidential election is due to take place in a few weeks’ time,” Mr. Chirac said toward the beginning of his speech.

“As a friend and ally of the United States for over two centuries now,” he said, “France believes that, today and tomorrow, a balanced and dynamic trans-Atlantic partnership is essential to meet our common challenges.”

He made no mention of either candidate, although it is no secret that he and President Bush are not at all close.

Nor did he criticize the war that overthrew Saddam Hussein last year, lavishing praise on the United Nations for restoring sovereignty to Iraq and portraying France as a participant in the process.

“France, which supported the restoration of a sovereign Iraq, fully integrated into its regional environment, wants to accompany it on its road to recovery,” he said.
The Security Council resolution transferring authority to a new Iraqi government “commits us all to the same objective: namely the forming of a democratically elected government and return to civil peace in a unified Iraq,” he added.

Mr. Chirac said nothing about the violence and terror in Iraq, except to say that the restoration of sovereignty was “merely the start of a long and what is proving to be an arduous and hazardous process. But at least we have embarked on it.”

By contrast, at a news conference with Mr. Bush before their dinner at Élysée Palace to celebrate the 60th anniversary of D-Day in June, Mr. Chirac described Iraq as a place where “disorder prevails,’’ adding that he did not share Mr. Bush’s view that the liberation of Iraq from Mr. Hussein was comparable to the liberation of Europe from the Nazis.

“History does not repeat itself,” he sniffed.

But Mr. Chirac is a thoroughly practical leader, and France was once one of Iraq’s largest trading partners and arms suppliers.

So in his speech on Friday, Mr. Chirac said that “with a view to elections scheduled for early 2005,” France was “open to dialogue with the Iraqi authorities on all subjects: the training of security forces, the debt and any other issue related to the reconstruction and well-being of the Iraqi people.”

He added that to this end, he would hold talks in Paris early next month with his Iraqi counterpart, Ghazi al-Yawar.

Mr. Chirac has described Iraq as a “potentially rich country” despite its debt and said France would be willing to support what he called a substantial reduction in the Iraqi debt, but only about 50 percent. The United States, by contrast, has urged a 90 percent debt reduction for Iraq, while Japan and Britain favor about 80 percent.
Mr. Chirac has opposed giving NATO a meaningful role in training the country’s military and police on the ground in Iraq.

France is not eager to see NATO personnel - perhaps including French troops - coming under United States command, nor does it want to further internationalize the current force in Iraq.

At a news conference at the summit meeting of the Group of 8 major industrial nations at Sea Island, Ga., in June, Mr. Chirac warned against the risks of NATO “meddling” in Iraq.

In his speech on Friday, he had harsh words for Iran, which has said it will resume producing parts for centrifuges used to enrich uranium. The enriched uranium can be used in nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons.

“Iran must imperatively understand that it is responsible for creating the conditions for confidence on the part of the international community, in particular by respecting its commitment to suspend enrichment,” he said.

Still, Mr. Chirac is eager to salvage an agreement that France, Germany and Britain made with Iran last year in which Tehran pledged to allow stricter inspections of nuclear sites and to suspend production of enriched uranium.

But Iran has accused the trio of breaking its part of the bargain by failing to end the International Atomic Energy Agency’s investigations of its nuclear activities and not providing Iran with the advanced technology it said it had been promised.

Without mentioning the Bush administration, Mr. Chirac delivered a scathing criticism of the absence of a negotiating process to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians, saying, “It is essential that the international community assume its responsibilities, that it acknowledge the disastrous results of its inaction.”
And without mentioning Israel, he criticized its policies in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, saying, “Occupation and settlements are unacceptable and must stop.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/28/international/europe/28france.html?th
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Chirac sur tous les fronts planétaires

Le Président a égrené ses multiples priorités lors de la conférence des ambassadeurs.
Par Véronique SOULE
samedi 28 août 2004

De la crise du Darfour à celle du Proche-Orient, en passant par l’Afghanistan, l’Iran et le Maghreb, la France doit être sur tous les fronts. En clôturant vendredi la XIIe conférence annuelle des ambassadeurs, Jacques Chirac a égrené la longue liste des priorités diplomatiques. Le Président, qui affrontera l’an prochain un délicat référendum sur la Constitution européenne, s’est attardé sur sa vision d’une Europe puissance et sur l’urgence d’une solution au conflit israélo-palestinien.

«Combien de temps le monde acceptera-t-il cette tragédie ?» s’est-il exclamé, évoquant le Proche-Orient: «la paix est possible». Fustigeant «l’inaction» et les «fausses prudences» de la communauté internationale, le chef de l’Etat a de nouveau plaidé pour l’application de la feuille de route, ce plan de paix international aujourd’hui au point mort qui prévoit la création d’un Etat palestinien. Ces belles paroles risquent toutefois de résonner dans le désert alors que Washington est désormais obnubilé par la présidentielle de novembre.

Appelant les Français à «se rassembler» pour approuver la Constitution européenne, Chirac a défendu l’idée d’une «gouvernance économique» dans l’Union européenne afin de mieux affronter la concurrence internationale et a même appelé à s’inspirer des Etats-Unis. Sur la question sensible de l’entrée de la Turquie dans l’UE, il a réitéré sa position : «ce sera long et difficile» mais, «dans le monde de demain, l’intérêt de l’Union comme de la Turquie est d’emprunter un chemin commun».

Confirmant la réconciliation avec les Etats Unis «alliés et amis de toujours» , Chirac n’a tout de même pas renoncé à sa vision d’un monde «multipolaire» qui horripile Washington et Londres. Sur le développement mondial, autre thème cher au Président, il a annoncé qu’il se rendrait le 20 septembre à l’ONU à New York à l’invitation du président brésilien Lula pour chercher des réponses aux maux sociaux de la planète. La France devant vivre, le Président a aussi appelé les ambassadeurs à «s’engager totalement, pour favoriser le développement des exportations et des investissements français».
http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=234467

—-

Diplomatie : M.  Chirac fixe la ligne aux ambassadeurs

LE MONDE | 28.08.04 | 15h25

Le chef de l’Etat recevra dans quelques jours, à Paris, le président irakien Ghazi Al-Yaouar.

Comme tous les ans, la réunion des ambassadeurs de France à Paris, qui s’est achevée vendredi 27 août, a été l’occasion pour le président de la République d’une présentation générale de sa politique étrangère. Contrairement à ce qui s’était passé ces deux dernières années, l’Irak n’en a pas été le thème dominant.

Dans la phase précédente, la France était à la pointe de la contestation, et Jacques Chirac pouvait décliner l’ensemble de sa philosophie des relations internationales à partir de la critique de l’intervention américaine. Cette critique demeure, comme le président l’a signifié avec vigueur dans les rencontres internationales du mois de juin. Mais dans la phase intermédiaire actuelle, la France ne joue plus qu’à l’arrière-plan.

M. Chirac s’est borné à rappeler ce que sont ses disponibilités pour aider à la stabilisation de l’Irak : “La France est ouverte au dialogue avec les autorités irakiennes sur tous les sujets : sur la formation des forces de sécurité, sur la dette, comme sur tout autre sujet touchant à la reconstruction et au bien-être du peuple irakien.” Sur les deux premiers sujets cités, son approche entre en conflit avec celle des Etats-Unis. Il n’est pas surprenant que le président français souhaite s’en expliquer avec les autorités de Bagdad. M. Chirac a annoncé qu’il recevrait, dans quelques jours, le président irakien Ghazi Al-Yaouar, avec lequel il avait eu un contact, rapide mais bon, en marge du sommet de Sea Island, en juin.

L’expectative actuelle tient en partie à l’élection américaine. M. Chirac a évoqué cette échéance, avec la réserve obligée : “Alliée et amie de toujours des Etats-Unis, la France est convaincue que, demain comme aujourd’hui, un partenariat transatlantique dynamique et équilibré est indispensable pour répondre à nos défis communs”, a-t-il dit, ce qui doit se lire comme le souhait de voir rétabli un mode de relations disparu.

Discret sur l’Irak, le président s’est montré en revanche véhément à propos du Proche-Orient. “Il est indispensable que la communauté internationale -sous-entendu les Etats-Unis- assume ses responsabilités. Qu’elle constate les résultats désastreux de son inaction (...) Qu’elle dise enfin et sans ambages que le terrorisme et la négation de l’autre doivent être dénoncés et combattus sans faiblesse, mais que l’occupation, la colonisation, sont inacceptables et doivent cesser.”

A propos du Liban, Jacques Chirac a estimé que l’élection présidentielle devait avoir lieu “conformément à la Constitution actuelle”, désavouant ainsi le président Emile Lahoud, soutenu par la Syrie, qui cherche à se maintenir au pouvoir au moyen d’une révision de la Constitution.

Le chef de l’Etat a confirmé qu’il se rendrait à New York le 20 septembre pour animer avec le président brésilien Lula une réunion sur l’aide au développement. Cette question fait l’objet d’une “étroite collaboration” de la France et du Royaume-Uni, qui présidera en 2005 l’Union européenne et le G8.

M. Chirac a appelé les ambassadeurs à se mobiliser sur le plan économique, disant attendre d’eux “un engagement total” pour favoriser les exportations et les investissements français, notamment dans les pays émergents. Rappelant ses ambitions pour l’UE, il a annoncé qu’il appellerait en 2005 “tous les Français à se rassembler pour exprimer, à travers un référendum, leur adhésion à ce nouveau projet pour l’Europe” qu’est la Constitution.

Claire Tréan
• ARTICLE PARU DANS L’EDITION DU 29.08.04
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/recherche_articleweb/1,13-0,36-377033,0.html

Paris-Berlin-Moscou, une alliance introuvable∫

Article lié :

federico

  29/08/2004

Je Vous propose ce commentaire du “International Herald Tribune” du 29 aout

***
Unlikely alliance built on opposition to Iraq war raises questions
Katrin Bennhold/IHT IHT
Saturday, August 28, 2004

Almost two years after Russia, Germany and France forged an unlikely alliance around their opposition to the war in Iraq, the countries’ leaders are preparing for their second three-way summit meeting next week, even though the issue that drew them together no longer drives their agenda.

As with their first meeting - when President Vladimir Putin of Russia invited his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac, and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany in April last year to St. Petersburg - the Russian head of state is playing host to the talks Monday and Tuesday, this time at his summer residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

But unlike the last meeting, this one lacks a clear focus, and some political experts wonder about its usefulness. Others have expressed outright cynicism about the leaders’ motives.

Officials in Moscow, Berlin and Paris say the alliance has moved past the common front against the American-led invasion of Iraq, which they refused to legitimize with a United Nations resolution in early 2003. Russia and France are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, while Germany stood by them as a temporary member of the 15-member body.

“The relationship emerged out of a special situation, but the meeting next week shows that this relationship has gone beyond Iraq,” said a German official close to the chancellor.

The talks in Sochi, officials say, will center on Russia’s strategic partnership with the European Union in fields as diverse as education, energy supply and border restrictions.

While Putin is expected to press hard for visa-free travel into the European Union, German and French officials signaled Friday that in their opinion Russia was not yet ready.

Ahead of the UN General Assembly, the three leaders are likely to exchange views on tactics on a wide variety of international issues, including violence in Iraq and the nuclear ambitions of Iran.

While Germany may seek support for its effort to become a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia has said it wants to push for reform of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It could also delay its plans to join the World Trade Organization.

But according to experts like Katinka Barysch of the London-based Center for European Reform, none of those issues warrant a three-way summit.

“There is no real glue holding the three together – past opposition to a war that has long been over just isn’t enough,” she said.

At a time when Russia’s democratic structures are perceived to be weakening, the five-year-old war in Chechnya continues to rage and Moscow is supporting rebel governments in the Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, it may have been wiser for Germany and France to avoid talks with Russia and instead operate from a European Union platform, analysts say.

In addition, Western European efforts to rub shoulders with Russia may cause rifts with the EU’s new member states in Eastern Europe, whose past under Soviet rule makes them wary of Russian ambitions in Europe.

“If you sit in Warsaw or Prague the last thing you want to hear is that Russia, Germany and France are building a new power triangle,” said Dominique Moisi, a senior fellow at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris. In a sense, it is France that is the odd one out. Germany and Russia are drawn together by geography and significant commercial relations: Germany is Russia’s largest trading partner.

The two countries’ relationship intensified with the reportedly warm friendship between Putin, who speaks fluent German and was the only leader invited to Schrdöer’s 60th birthday in April, and Schröder, who this summer adopted a 3-year-old Russian orphan.

Meanwhile, as signs mount that France is losing authority in an enlarged EU with Germany at its geographical center, a senior German official said France was somewhat suspicious of close ties between Russia and Germany. Chirac had to push for an invitation to last year’s St. Petersburg summit meeting.

“France is trying to stick close to Germany’s side because it knows it is losing influence in Brussels,” Barysch said. Some say the talks in Sochi represent something that cannot last and that the real power-triangle in Europe is to be found elsewhere.

“It’s a pale imitation of a 19th-century type imperial club, devoid of political standards,” Moisi said. “The real, natural, logical club of three in Europe is Berlin, Paris, London. That is the future.”

International Herald Tribune

omission & amnesie generale..

Article lié : Message aux journalistes de référence

xox

  27/08/2004

mea culpa..
maintenant qu ils sont installes la bas, faire l autocritique c un peu facile..
qu elle soit de plus d une hypocrisie sans limite, n arrange pas l affaire..

malheureusement tous (meme vous, dedefensa? :D ) oublient de profiter de ces (faux) “mea culpa” qui fusent, pour faire le raprochement avec le traitement aussi peu professionel des evenements du 11 septembre en 2001 2002,  date du commencement de la fin des medias critiques a l echelle planetaire.
(l agenda irak si pratique pour ce genre d amnesie)..

French Minister Urges His Diplomats To Team Up With EU Partners

Article lié :

Stassen

  27/08/2004

La diplomatie française au diapason européen

Michel Barnier a donné le ton de sa politique étrangère aux ambassadeurs réunis hier à Paris.

Par Véronique SOULE vendredi 27 août 2004 (Liberation - 06:00)
Le discret Michel Barnier, qui a succédé au flamboyant Dominique de Villepin à la tête de la diplomatie, entend bien y laisser son empreinte et celle-ci sera européenne. Ouvrant hier à Paris la XIIe conférence annuelle des ambassadeurs, le ministre des Affaires étrangères, qui fut durant cinq ans commissaire à Bruxelles, a plaidé pour une diplomatie qui tienne davantage compte de la dimension européenne. «L’Union européenne est désormais le cadre naturel et le démultiplicateur de notre influence, a-t-il affirmé. En mutualisant leurs actions et leurs initiatives, les pays européens se donnent une capacité d’intervention bien supérieure à leurs contributions nationales isolées.»

«Collectif».

S’exprimant devant les ambassadeurs, qui deux jours durant vont plancher sur les «stratégies d’influence», le ministre a souhaité insuffler un nouvel état d’esprit. «Nous devons jouer collectif», a-t-il expliqué, reconnaissant que ce n’était guère dans la tradition française. «La France n’est pas grande quand elle est arrogante. Elle n’est pas forte si elle est solitaire, a-t-il lancé. Je vous engage à faire que notre pays, et d’abord notre diplomatie, ajoute à sa culture traditionnelle de souveraineté une culture d’influence et de partenariat.»

La diplomatie française est appelée à retrouver un peu de modestie là où souvent elle préférait de brillants solos. «Nous ne connaissons par toujours bien les moyens d’action européens alors que, si nous agissons ensemble, sur les sujets où nous arrivons à trouver un accord à vingt-cinq, il y a un formidable effet démultiplicateur», commentait un ambassadeur.

Barnier entend ainsi forcer une évolution tout en se situant dans la continuité. Malgré les critiques qui se multiplient à l’encontre du moteur franco-allemand dans l’Europe élargie, la France y reste attachée : «Que personne n’en doute. Nous continuerons à faire vivre la parole franco-allemande.» Mais ce dialogue doit s’élargir, au Royaume-Uni, à l’Espagne et à l’Italie, et aux nouveaux comme la Pologne. Barnier n’a par ailleurs pas caché son agacement devant «les campagnes de presse» sur le déclin de la France, cette «étrange psychanalyse collective», allusion aux récents articles sur la perte d’influence française à la Commission européenne.

Crédits. Dans son style mesuré et sans brio, aux antipodes des envolées lyriques de Villepin, Barnier a reconnu que le budget de son ministère, dont les amputations avaient provoqué une grève historique l’an dernier, restait encore insuffisant dans certains secteurs, notamment l’aide publique au développement. Mais il a assuré avoir l’engagement que les crédits manquants figureraient dans la loi de finance rectificative en 2005. Il a rassuré ses troupes sur un autre sujet d’angoisse : «Les indemnités de résidence [à l’étranger] ne seront pas taxées», a-t-il promis.
http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=234104


Michel Barnier : la diplomatie de la France passe par l’Europe
LE MONDE | 26.08.04 | 13h09

Selon le ministre des affaires étrangères, l’UE doit être “le démultiplicateur de notre influence”.

“Jouer collectif” : c’est l’invite de Michel Barnier, le ministre des affaires étrangères, pour contrer le sentiment d’inquiétude qui domine la rentrée politique hexagonale sur la perte d’influence française en Europe. Ouvrant sa première conférence annuelle des ambassadeurs de France, jeudi 26 août à Paris, le chef de la diplomatie a cherché à répondre aux critiques qui ont fusé cet été, de toutes parts, après la constitution du nouveau Parlement européen et l’annonce de la composition de la future Commission européenne dans laquelle le représentant français, Jacques Barrot, détiendra le portefeuille des transports.


Tout en regrettant “cette étrange psychanalyse collective” sur le thème du déclin et de la perte d’influence, Michel Barnier estime néanmoins que la France doit réagir au changement d’environnement européen et mondial en revoyant son mode d’action. “Je vous engage à faire que notre pays, et d’abord sa diplomatie, ajoute à sa culture traditionnelle de souveraineté une culture d’influence et de partenariat”, a-t-il déclaré, en appelant les ambassadeurs à se mobiliser. “La première réponse, je le dis sans détour, doit être européenne. Je sais que cette évolution n’est pas inscrite dans la longue et prestigieuse histoire de notre ministère. Mais il y va de l’influence de notre pays”, leur a-t-il dit.

Evoquant la ratification de la Constitution européenne, qui va être un des grands enjeux de l’année politique, le ministre souligne que l’Union européenne “est désormais le cadre naturel et le démultiplicateur de notre influence”. C’est “en mutualisant leurs actions et leurs initiatives” que les Européens, et donc les Français, seront “un acteur qui compte”. “Cette perspective, ajoute-t-il, ne rend que plus nécessaire la ratification de la nouvelle Constitution et justifie la campagne d’explication, pluraliste, démocratique et citoyenne, que le gouvernement entend mener au cours des prochains mois.”

La France entend peser dans le débat européen “pour rechercher l’équilibre entre la liberté et la régulation. Proposer un libéralisme sans entrave, c’est méconnaître le modèle économique et social européen”, estime M. Barnier.

BUDGET “INSUFFISANT”

Concernant les crédits du ministère, Michel Barnier a indiqué que, en dépit de certains aspects positifs, le budget alloué au Quai d’Orsay pour 2005 “ne sera pas suffisant”, notamment en matière d’aide publique au développement bilatérale et multilatérale et pour les contributions de la France aux organisations internationales. Il dit avoir obtenu des “assurances” pour “y revenir en loi de finances rectificative en 2005”.

Peu après son arrivée à la tête de la diplomatie française, M. Barnier avait fait connaître son projet de regrouper les différents locaux du ministère à Paris sur un site unique. “Rien n’est décidé à ce stade”, a-t-il affirmé jeudi, en annonçant le lancement d’études qui devraient permettre de prendre une décision au printemps.

En toute hypothèse, “le Palais des affaires étrangères reste au quai d’Orsay”, a déclaré le ministre, semblant indiquer que cet immeuble historique demeurerait le lieu d’une partie des activités du ministère.

Henri de Bresson
• ARTICLE PARU DANS L’EDITION DU 27.08.04

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3214,36-376747,0.html


Taking over in France: The anti-de Villepin

Elaine Sciolino/NYT NYT Friday, August 27, 2004
PARIS Everyone knew that Dominique de Villepin, the perma-tanned, America-obsessed poet-diplomat, would be a tough act to follow as foreign minister of France.

Certainly, Michel Barnier’s appearance on Thursday at the annual conference of French ambassadors left many of them perplexed.

In a speech intended to give his 150 footsoldiers their marching orders for the coming year, Barnier never once mentioned the United States.

Nor did the words Russia, NATO, Israel, Palestinan, the trans-Atlantic alliance or Sept. 11 emerge from his lips.

He said almost nothing about the crisis in Iraq, except to list the country as one of the “open conflicts” in the world and a target of terrorist acts. There was no discussion of how France should help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, which de Villepin often called the most urgent regional problem facing the world.

The fact is that Barnier was once the Quai d’Orsay’s point man on Europe and served for four years as the European Union’s commissioner for regional policy and institutional reform before becoming foreign minister. He tends to see the world through the lens, not of France, but of Europe.

He told his envoys that the only way to maximize their influence around the world was to think European. “The first reflex, I say bluntly, must be European,” he said. “I know that this evolution is not inscribed in the long and prestigious history of our ministry. But the influence of our country depends on it.”

In a tonal shift, Barnier called for a France that is humble. That adjective was not normally associated with de Villepin, who once was described in a profile in the French magazine Le Point as “a silver wolf with burning eyes” and who became Europe’s most vocal critic of the Bush administration’s march to war against Iraq.

“France is not great when it is arrogant,” said Barnier, a former deputy in parliament in the Savoy region. “France is not strong if it is alone.”

His performance, the first time a number of ambassadors have seen their minister in action, caught many unprepared. “He is at base a local politician coming from the Savoy, not a traditional Gaullist at all,” said one ambassador. “He came across as the anti-de Villepin.”

De Villepin, by contrast to his successor, seemed determined to revive the historic greatness of France. It was a romantic view articulated in his book on Napoleon, “The Hundred Days,” that described the emperor’s philosophy as “Victory or death, but glory whatever happens.

So the omission of a reference to the worlds only superpower by Barnier was striking.

“The minister is presenting his new ideas for diplomacy rather than covering old ground,” said one aide to Barnier, defending his world view. “There was no need to talk about the United States.”

A number of ambassadors described Barnier as an exceptionally cautious man who wanted to avoid making news and upstaging President Jacques Chirac, who will deliver his own state-of-the-world speech to French ambassadors on Friday.

Other ambassadors noted that when Barnier took over the Foreign Ministry portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle five months ago, part of his mandate was to repair France’s tattered relationship with the United States - but not to ignore it.

“Perhaps the minister went a bit far in not mentioning the United States,” one retired ambassador said drily.

Barnier’s presentation underscored just how much the Foreign Ministry has changed since the cabinet reshuffle last March that made de Villepin Minister of the Interior.

Last year, before the same audience, de Villepin spoke at length about Frances relationship with the United States, saying that it would be “useless” to deny the differences between the two countries and sharply criticizing Washington’s refusal to grant Iraq soverignty.

Barnier opened his speech by describing what he called the greatest diplomatic challenges facing France today: attacks on the global environment, health epidemics like AIDS and poverty.

A number of ambassadors who serve in countries where wars are waging or where French troops are deployed worry that diplomatic meat-and-potatoes issues like war and peace have been sidelined and time-sensitive decisions are not being made.

Some diplomats who just a few months ago were complaining about de Villepin’s impetuousness, quick temper and relentless demands are now saying they miss him.

De Villepin was said by friends to have resisted the move to the Ministry of the Interior, which is considered a more important post that Foreign Minister but deprives him of the world stage.

His political future is unclear. The low standing of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin in the polls and the political ascendancy of Nicolas Sarkozy, the Minister of the Economy and a fierce rival of Chirac, has fueled speculation that Chirac may name de Villepin, perhaps his closest confident in government, as Prime Minister.

Asked in an interview with the radio station RTL early this month whether he was preparing to move into the Prime Minister’s office, de Villepin replied, “Listen, that’s not an issue on the table.”

The New York Times

http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?file=535973.html

US Iraq War Planning Shortsighted at the Detainees' Expense

Article lié :

Stassen

  25/08/2004

washingtonpost.com
Rumsfeld’s War Plan Shares the Blame

By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 25, 2004; Page A01

Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s leadership of the Pentagon has been weighed by a jury of his peers and found somewhat wanting.

A report by a blue-ribbon panel he appointed to review the military establishment’s role in creating and handling detainee abuse problems at Abu Ghraib prison said that the Iraq war plan he played a key role in shaping helped create the conditions that led to the scandal.

In addition, the four-member panel, which was led by one former defense secretary, James R. Schlesinger, and included another, Harold Brown, found that Rumsfeld’s slow response when the Iraqi insurgency flared last summer worsened the situation.

But the report does not appear to threaten Rumsfeld’s position as defense secretary, especially because all four panel members emphatically rejected the idea of calling for his resignation yesterday at a Pentagon news conference to release their conclusions.

The panel’s findings do, however, provide new support for two central criticisms of the Rumsfeld team’s approach in Iraq last year: that the invasion plan called for too few troops, half as many as were used in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and that the Pentagon failed to plan smartly for occupying the country after the United States defeated the Iraqi military.

Before the war, the Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, said publicly that he thought the invasion plan lacked sufficient manpower, and he was slapped down by the Pentagon’s civilian leadership for saying so. After Baghdad fell, Rumsfeld dismissed reports of widespread looting and chaos as “untidy” signs of newfound freedom that were exaggerated by the media. And some State Department officials complained that their attempts to plan for postwar Iraq were largely disregarded by the Pentagon.

The concerns about troop strength expressed by retired generals during the war provoked angry denunciations by Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In April 2003, Rumsfeld, for example, commented that, “people were saying that the plan was terrible, and . . . there weren’t enough people, and . . . there were going to be, you know, tens of thousands of casualties, and it was going to take forever.”

Now a version of that criticism has been made by a panel appointed by Rumsfeld himself. One of the major factors leading to the detainee abuse, Brown said yesterday, was “the expectation by the Defense Department leadership, along with most of the rest of the administration, that following the collapse of the Iraqi regime through coalition military operations, there would be a stable successor regime that would soon emerge in Iraq.”

As Schlesinger, the panel’s chairman, tartly put it, the leaders of the military establishment “did look at history books. Unfortunately, it was the wrong history.” He said they tended to focus on the refugee problems that followed the 1991 war, rather, he implied, than on other conflicts in which internal turmoil has followed an invasion.

Strikingly, given that Rumsfeld has made agility, adaptability and speed his bywords in pushing the military to transform itself, the panel also faulted the Pentagon’s leadership for a flat-footed response to the outbreak of the anti-U.S. insurgency in Iraq last summer.

“Any defense establishment should adapt quickly to new conditions as they arise,” Schlesinger said. “And in this case, we were slow, at least in the judgment of the members of this panel, to adapt accordingly after the insurgency started in the summer of 2003.”

He added, “There was a failure to reallocate resources once it was seen that there were severe problems at Abu Ghraib.”

In delivering its mixed verdict, the Schlesinger panel endorsed Rumsfeld’s handling of the scandal once it broke. “If there’s something to be commended on this whole operation, it’s the way the secretary of defense has approached the investigations,” said retired Air Force Gen. Charles A. Horner, the third member of the panel.

“I think that overall, Secretary Rumsfeld has handled this extremely well,” Brown added. “If the head of a department had to resign every time anyone down below did something wrong, it would be a very empty Cabinet table.”

Indeed, although some members of Congress criticized Rumsfeld yesterday, there were no calls for him to step down. The harshest statement came from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who said, “Secretary Rumsfeld and other civilian leaders in the Pentagon bear significant responsibility for the fundamental failures that led to the torture and other abuse at Abu Ghraib. At a minimum, there was gross negligence at the highest levels in the Pentagon.”

The report showed Rumsfeld’s top uniformed brass did not help him out much in rapidly pivoting from the peacekeeping they expected to be conducting to fighting the guerrilla war that confronted them.

The panel repeatedly faulted the judgments and actions of the entire chain of senior generals involved: Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, who for most of the time was the top U.S. commander on the ground in Iraq; his two bosses, Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who stepped down as chief of the U.S. Central Command last summer as the insurgency was breaking out, and Franks’s successor, Army Gen. John P. Abizaid; and Myers, the nation’s top military officer.

“It would have been better had greater supervision been exercised . . . [and] there is failure at the senior levels of the Pentagon to exercise that supervision,” Schlesinger said. “I think that more of that falls upon the . . . uniformed military than on the Office of the Secretary of Defense.”

The report struck a tone of dismay in analyzing the sluggish response of the military bureaucracy to events in Iraq last summer and fall. It noted, for example, that a personnel plan for Sanchez’s headquarters “was not finally approved until December 2003, six months into the insurgency.” The result, the report concludes, was that Sanchez and his undermanned staff were overwhelmed and unable to take needed actions. In addition, the report blamed Sanchez for setting up a confused chain of command that made it difficult to determine the responsibilities of certain commanders.

The pervasive lack of troops, especially those with specialized skills, had a cascading effect that helped lead to the abuse, the report said. As the insurgency took off, frontline Army units, lacking interpreters, took to rounding up “any and all suspicious-looking persons—all too often including women and children,” it said. This indiscriminate approach resulted in a “flood” of detainees at Abu Ghraib that inundated demoralized and fatigued interrogators, it continued.

When asked whether anyone should resign over those findings, the panel members tended to sidestep the question, saying they were more interested in preventing the abuse from recurring than in fixing blame. But Brown made it clear that he expects some officers to suffer the consequences of their missteps. “At various levels, there was some dereliction of duty,” he said. “At other levels, there were mistakes.”

The bottom line, Brown said, is that, “A lot of careers are going to be ruined over this.”

Researcher Lucy Shackelford contributed to this report.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30099-2004Aug24.html?referrer=email

Knocking at the EU Front Door : Turkey's Views on ESDP

Article lié :

Stassen

  25/08/2004

L’intégration de la Turquie à la politique européenne de Défense

Les institutions turques sont partagées entre un pouvoir civil, détenu par un gouvernement musulman-démocrate, et un pouvoir militaire, laïque mais lié aux États-Unis et à Israël, qui font parfois douter de leur caractère réellement démocratique.
C’est pourquoi beaucoup craignent que l’adhésion de la Turquie à l’Union européenne ne soit une source de problèmes confessionnels et un cheval de Troie de Washington. Cependant, compte-tenu de l’importance que revêtent désormais les questions militaires face à l’OTAN, l’entrée de la Turquie dépendra de sa capacité à intégrer une Défense européenne indépendante. Vecdi Gönül, ministre turc de la Défense, présente ici le point de vue de son gouvernement.

—————————————-

La Turquie occupe une position unique dans la communauté européenne des nations. Mon pays est en effet le seul membre de l’OTAN qui soit candidat à l’adhésion à l’UE tout en étant membre de l’Organisation de la conférence islamique. Notre modèle démocratique séculaire est un défi à ce que l’on nomme le choc des civilisations.

La majorité écrasante de la population turque est de confession musulmane. Mais nous sommes étroitement imbriqués dans le tissu politique, économique et culturel de l’Europe occidentale. Mon pays a toujours fait partie de l’Europe sur les plans historique, géographique, politique et économique, et il continuera de le faire. C’est en tant que membre de l’Union européenne que la Turquie envisage son avenir. Nous partageons avec l’Union son système de valeurs. La société turque fait déjà partie intégrante du monde moderne et contribue à ses valeurs et à son fonctionnement.

Nous tenons à prouver et à confirmer qu’une société musulmane peut être démocratique, ouverte, transparente, pluraliste et contemporaine - en un mot européenne - tout en préservant son identité.

L’adhésion de la Turquie à l’UE empêchera l’apparition de nouvelles lignes de démarcation en Europe. Elle ancrera profondément la démocratie turque dans les normes européennes.

Cette adhésion procurera à l’UE des gains stratégiques indispensables pour son architecture de sécurité et son influence économique. Elle sera mieux à même de garantir la paix, la sécurité et la stabilité dans les zones toujours fragiles des Balkans et de la Méditerranée orientale, au Moyen-Orient, dans le Caucase et l’Asie centrale. Par sa politique étrangère et de sécurité multirégionale et multidimensionnelle, la Turquie contribuera à renforcer le rôle de l’UE sur la scène internationale, ce qui permettra l’exercice des relations transatlantiques.

Les élections de novembre dernier ont vu la victoire écrasante de mon parti. La politique du Parti Justice et Développement concernant l’intégration de la Turquie dans l’UE a été des plus limpides. Nous nous sommes engagés sans partage vis-à-vis de notre peuple et de l’opinion publique européenne à accélérer les réformes et leur mise en œuvre, ce que nous faisons donc avec détermination, constance et vigueur.

L’UE a tenu son sommet à Copenhague en décembre 2002, peu après l’accession au pouvoir de mon parti. Le Conseil européen de Copenhague a pris la décision suivante : ” Si, en décembre 2004, le Conseil européen décide, sur la base d’un rapport et d’une recommandation de la Commission, que la Turquie satisfait aux critères politiques de Copenhague, l’Union européenne ouvrira sans délai des négociations d’adhésion avec ce pays. ”

Mon gouvernement est pleinement conscient de ses responsabilités et obligations, des défis qu’elles représentent et des chances qui s’offrent à lui. Nous acceptons bien volontiers d’assumer cette tâche.

Les réformes politiques continuent d’occuper une place de choix dans notre ordre du jour. La priorité de notre gouvernement est de développer et d’approfondir la démocratie en Turquie. Nous nous sommes fixé deux objectifs majeurs à cet égard : premièrement, appliquer pleinement et de façon appropriée les dispositions juridiques existantes ; deuxièmement, prendre des mesures supplémentaires pour garantir un alignement total sur les critères politiques de Copenhague. J’espère que le sérieux de nos démarches engendrera des réactions positives de la part de l’Union et que les négociations d’adhésion s’ouvriront début 2005.

La paix et la stabilité apportées par les relations transatlantiques à l’Europe pendant la Guerre froide sont devenues encore plus importantes dans l’environnement sécuritaire incertain et instable de l’après-Guerre froide. C’est pourquoi nous pensons que la sécurité de l’Europe est indivisible et que les liens transatlantiques demeurent son pilier essentiel. Lorsque nous nous efforçons de contrecarrer ces risques et menaces qui pèsent sur notre sécurité et nos valeurs communes, nous devons éviter les doubles emplois. La Turquie soutient depuis le début les initiatives destinées à développer la sécurité et la défense européennes. L’offre significative que nous avons faite en novembre 2000, pendant la conférence d’engagement de capacités, de fournir des forces pour l’objectif global vaut toujours. De même, nous suivons de près les travaux menés au sein de l’UE sur l’amélioration des capacités européennes et étudions les possibilités de combler au mieux les déficits capacitaires existants.

Je pense à cet égard, compte tenu notamment de la nouvelle phase d’élargissement, qu’il vaudrait sans doute mieux que toutes les offres de contributions soient examinées dans le cadre du même groupe de forces et selon les mêmes critères.

Bien que d’importants progrès aient été faits grâce au document relatif à la mise en œuvre des décisions de Nice, qui définit le cadre qui nous permettra d’apporter des contributions significatives à la PESD, nous estimons qu’il y a toujours des lacunes dans trois domaines.
Premièrement, les arrangements en vue de la représentation permanente de nos officiers dans les structures militaires de l’UE n’ont pas encore été mis au point de façon satisfaisante.
Deuxièmement, c’est à titre d’observateurs que nous sommes invités aux réunions de planification internes de l’UE dans le cadre du premier exercice OTAN-UE, alors que d’autres alliés européens non-membres de l’UE - la Pologne, la Hongrie et la République tchèque - ont droit à la parole lors de ces réunions.
Enfin, nous attendons la mise en place des arrangements qui nous permettront de contribuer aux démarches de l’UE dans le domaine de l’amélioration des capacités et de participer aux travaux des groupes de projet institués à cette fin.

Nous suivons de près les répercussions de l’initiative prise par quatre pays de l’UE afin de renforcer et d’intensifier la coopération entre les membres de l’Union européenne sur la sécurité et la défense européennes, ainsi que les travaux en cours à la Convention sur l’avenir de l’Europe et les résultats du Conseil informel Affaires générales et relations extérieures tenu à Rhodes et Castellorizo. Nous pensons à cet égard que les implications de ces différentes démarches pour les relations transatlantiques et la sécurité européenne élargie doivent être examinées de près, et que les engagements et obligations dont nous nous sommes acquittés jusqu’ici doivent être compatibles entre eux.

La Turquie attache une grande importance à la préservation des arrangements conclus par l’UE sur la participation des alliés européens non-membres de l’UE à la PESD. Nous pensons qu’ils doivent être maintenus et respectés par la Convention. Nous nous réjouirions d’avoir un échange de vues régulier sur l’avenir de la PESD, conformément au caractère ouvert de cette politique telle qu’elle est définie dans les conclusions de la présidence du Conseil européen de Nice. Nous devrions aussi pouvoir faire entrer les nouveaux domaines d’intérêt commun tels que la planification civile d’urgence, la lutte contre le terrorisme et les projets concrets de collaboration sur les capacités militaires dans le cadre de la coopération stratégique entre l’OTAN et l’UE sur la sécurité européenne. La coopération fructueuse qui existe déjà entre l’OTAN et l’UE dans les Balkans constitue un terrain d’entente amplement suffisant pour une approche concertée dans la région. Les Balkans continueront à cet égard de servir de ballon d’essai.

Il faudra aussi une concertation entre nos partenaires européens, ainsi qu’entre l’OTAN et l’UE, pour reconstruire l’Irak. Nous saluons à ce propos l’adoption par le Conseil de sécurité de la Résolution 1483 sur l’Irak, que nous considérons comme un élément déterminant pour combler le fossé apparu dans les relations transatlantiques.

La mise en place au sein de l’UE d’une agence de développement et d’acquisition de capacités militaires, c’est-à-dire de l’Agence européenne de l’armement, ne peut que favoriser la coopération, et notamment la gestion de programmes en collaboration. La Turquie, qui participe déjà activement à la coopération européenne en matière d’armements et fait partie du Groupe Armement de l’Europe occidentale (GAEO) et de l’Organisation de l’armement de l’Europe occidentale (OAEO), est prête et disposée à s’impliquer également dans les activités de la nouvelle agence.

Nous pensons que toute coopération européenne en matière d’armements doit suivre la composition du GAEO, qui constitue le meilleur cadre puisqu’il regroupe tous les membres de l’UE et les alliés européens de l’OTAN non-membres de l’UE qui contribuent à l’objectif global dans le cadre de la PESD et au processus de développement des capacités de l’OTAN et de l’UE.

Nous saluons la conclusion fructueuse de la première phase du Plan d’action européen sur les capacités (ECAP), qui va maintenant aborder une deuxième phase plus dynamique, mettant l’accent sur la mise en œuvre de projets concrets confiés à des groupes de projet. Nous souhaitons vivement participer à ces travaux par le biais d’accords restant à élaborer, qui nous permettraient de mieux évaluer cette démarche et d’y apporter la contribution idoine.

Vecdi Gönül
Ministre turc de la Défense nationale

Ce texte est adapté d’une intervention prononcée devant l’Assemblée parlementaire de l’UEO, le 1er décembre 2003.

http://www.reseauvoltaire.net/article11382.html

Coup de chaud

Article lié :

JeFF

  23/08/2004

désolé ...

U.S. News & World Report
August 30, 2004

Washington Whispers

Baghdad Mutiny

There’s trouble in Baghdad. Seems the brass assigned to the headquarters
palace next to Baghdad’s airport like to take a break from the 120-degree
summer days with a few laps in Saddam Hussein ‘s old pool. But for the past
two weeks, the pool has been off limits even for generals. Reason: Somebody
gave all the lifeguards two weeks of R&R. Now, we won’t even ask how one
gets a job as a military lifeguard, but how could all of them be given leave
at once? We’re told several officers are very angry, so much so that one
colonel told our tipster he was going to swim despite the orders. “What are
they going to do,” he said. “Send me to Iraq?”