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Aljazeera.net reprend, le 21 février 2011, un débat réalisé par Democracy Now ! le 17 février. Amy Goodman et Juan Gonzales recevaient Marwan Bishara, un des analystes vedettes de le chaîne TV Aljazeera, et Noam Chomsky, linguidste, professeur du MIT et opposant célèbre à la politique interventionniste de Washington,.
Nous donnons ici un passage qui nous semble significatif sur l’attitude de l’establishment US (qui peut être aisément étendue à l’ensemble de l’establishment américaniste-occidentaliste) face aux événements en cours au Moyen-Orient. Bishara et Chomsky décrivent un véritable refus de la réalité, nullement du au manque d’information ou à l’absence d’intérêt, mais plutôt à l’impuissance de percevoir cette réalité renforcée, sinon expliquée en bonne part, par une volonté qui est presque un réflexe conditionné de refuser de la percevoir pour ce qu’elle est.
Amy Goodman: «Marwan Bishara, you just came back from Washington, D.C., where you were meeting with think tanks. What is your sense of the Washington consensus understanding versus what you are experiencing in the Middle East?»
Marwan Bishara: «You know, sometimes I forget exactly what are the concepts that are allowed on television or not, but let me just put it this way: they were caught with their pants down, completely. I mean, people in Washington, until today, have not realized exactly what is going on. They're still trying to play catch-up with what's going on in the Arab world.
»So, for example, I was in one of those brainstorming sessions that tried to talk about what’s next for Palestine and Israel. And what amazes me is that everything that they speak about has an Israel reference to it, because that’s where the correspondents for their main networks are, that’s where their people are, and that’s how they've seen the region – Egypt, Palestine and so on – from Israel's prisms. So, every point of reference is, what did Netanyahu say, or what does Israel think, what would the Israeli lobby consider. Would now, for example, President Obama do this and that, and will the Israeli lobby allow him? What does that mean for our strategic interests in the Middle East? Not understanding that there is a complete sweep that requires not only a change of mindset and, if you allow me here, a change of decision makers, perhaps, or a change of aides in Washington. There's a complete class of bureaucrats in Washington that are not only not in touch with what's going on in America, they certainly are not in touch with what’s going on in the Arab world.»
Juan Gonzales: «Well, Noam Chomsky, I’d like you to follow up on that. The Times had an interesting article today, apparently an Obama administration leak, that the administration had – the President, for more than a year, had requested this study that predicted the possible outbreak of popular movements throughout the region – Samantha Power was involved in preparing this report – as if to say, “Well, we were on top of the situation, even though we weren't. We knew that this was coming.” And your sense of to what degree Washington is able to respond or even is really aware of what's going on in the region?»
Noam Chomsky: «It’s hard to believe that they're not aware of it. I mean, you can read it in the newspapers. There have been demonstrations and protests going on for years. A big protest in 2005, you know, they keep being repressed, then there are more. In fact, the current wave of protests actually began last November in Western Sahara, which is under Moroccan rule after a brutal invasion and occupation. The Moroccan forces came in, carried out – destroyed tent cities, a lot of killed and wounded and so on. And then it spread. You have to be pretty – all the…»
Amy Goodman: «Western Sahara is hardly known about, the rebellion there and the occupation there.»
Noam Chomsky: «It’s hardly known about, but that's – I mean, it’s a major atrocity. It's kind of like East Timor — in fact, pretty much the same, even the same time. But it's blowing up. And also, they must read the studies of Arab public opinion. I mean, you can't imagine an intelligence service that doesn't read the regular studies by Western polling agencies of Arab public opinion. And if you look at them, you can see why democracy is such a frightening concept. The latest major study last August released by the Brookings Institute, so not very obscure, showed that almost nobody in the Arab world regards Iran as a threat – 10 percent. What they regard as a threat is the United States and Israel, like 80 and 90 per cent. In fact, a majority even favor Iran having nuclear weapons, to balance US-Israeli power, which is the real threat in the Arab world. You take a look at when they list people who are respected, Erdogan in Turkey is way up on top. Obama isn't even listed. You know, you get down to Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, no Obama. Now, these are the opinions of people in the Arab world. What you said about the bureaucrats and the aides is absolutely correct. I mean, after all, there have been 60 years in which explicit policy, you know, in writing, has been – internal records – has been to disregard the Arab population, as long as they can be kept under control.»
Juan Gonzales: «So, is, perhaps, the reticence of the administration in the case of Egypt, let's say, or right now in Bahrain, more geared to the fact that they know that public opinion and they understand that real democracy in the region would mean another Latin America, another region totally out of US ability to dominate?»
Noam Chomsky: «I don't talk to anybody in Washington, so I can only guess, but it is simply inconceivable that at least the intelligence services don't go as far as reading polls that I can read…»