L’Irak change, et la Russie n’est pas loin

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L’Irak change, et la Russie n’est pas loin

L’interview du Premier Ministre irakien Nouri Al-Maliki qu’a publié Russia Today, le 5 octobre 2012, est d’un particulier intérêt. Il y a une importante partie qui est consacrée à la crise syrienne, bien entendu, et l’on constate que l’Irak se trouve sur la même ligne que la Russie, peut-être plus qu’aucun autre pays de la région, peut-être plus qu’aucun autre pays tout court. Voici les questions et les réponses concernant la crise syrienne, spécifiquement.

Russia Today: «What do Iraq and Russia have in common in terms of their approach to the Syrian crisis; and do you think the two countries can come up with a joint proposal on how to settle it?»

Nouri Al-Maliki: «Of course, the crisis is a matter of serious concern both for the countries in the region and for the world’s major powers. And it’s not only countries – this issue has been on the agenda of many international organizations. We have repeatedly said that we take the Syrian crisis as our own problem. It is a very important country, with its own political position. We did warn everyone earlier – and keep reminding – that the fire that started in Syria will spill over the borders to engulf other countries of the region and, in the end, it will have a global impact. The Middle East is one of the major energy producers of the world.

»Just like Russia, we believe that the use of force cannot be a solution to the crisis. Many other countries now share this approach, even those that used to think that supplying arms to the opposition would be sufficient to generate regime change. They now recognize that it is impossible to settle the Syrian crisis through the use of force. This is also Russia’s position.

»Russia, Iraq and many other countries are united in their conviction that force will not end the crisis in Syria – we need to look for a peaceful solution through political dialogue. It is our joint task – I mean Iraq, Russia and the whole international community – to help both sides find common ground, to agree on a mutually-acceptable form of government.

»This new government must be based on the principles of freedom and democracy. The Syrians must have the right to vote, they must have a Constitution. These are the things that the Syrian people demanded when they started the revolution. But of course, not everybody in Syria agrees with these demands, some groups don’t think that reforms are needed. We’ve heard different statements and demands. Of course dialogue will continue, because we are very much concerned about what’s going on in Syria. We have been seriously affected by the situation in Syria. We have experienced some spillover effects of the Syrian crisis here in Iraq.

»We will discuss this issue with our Russian counterparts; we will talk about possible ways to make existing initiatives effective, including the original peace plan put forward by the Arab League, as opposed to the flawed proposals made during the sessions of the ministerial committee and the Geneva agreements. According to them, there is no military solution to the conflict. The agreements call for an end to arms supplies both to the opposition and the regime. Unfortunately, a number of states ignore these initiatives and continue to send arms to Syria, which only makes the situation worse.

»This is where Russia, Iraq, China, and many Muslim and Arab countries in the region agree. It is our duty to address this issue and try to find ways out of this turmoil which, we are afraid, might turn into a fully-fledged regional war.»

Russia Today: «How would you assess the calls by some countries, especially Arab countries that have the support of the West, for military intervention in order to resolve the crisis in Syria?»

Nouri Al-Maliki: «I’d give them a piece of brotherly advice: “Forget it! He who starts a fire will be destroyed by fire in the end.” Those who want Syria to follow this path have to understand that it will destroy the Syrian people. This is what’s happening in Syria right now. Cities lie in ruins, the war rages on and is likely to spill over involving new actors – international, regional, religious and political ones. If they care about themselves and their people, if they seek stability and security, if they care about Syria and its people, they have to stop sowing the seeds of discord by supplying arms. They also have to stop thinking it will be them who will shape Syria’s future.

»I met with several representatives of the Syrian opposition and I felt they understand the threat that is coming from the Arab forces that provide them with weapons. These forces openly declare that they want to interfere in Syria’s affairs. But the Syrian nation is against it.»

Russia Today: «Do you share the view that it’s foreign interference in Syria’s affairs that’s made the situation in the country so dangerous?»

Nouri Al-Maliki: «Absolutely. And they will keep driving it to an even more dangerous degree until eventually it will backfire on the states that are now sponsoring the Syrian opposition. All these states will face upheavals and unrest due to sectarian violence, foreign interference, the spillover effect and expansion. They’re already feeling it. If these countries keep sending arms and using force for a regime change, their stability will be in jeopardy, and the situation inside these countries will be no better than in Syria.»

Il y a d’autres questions dans l’interview, qui concernent l’Irak lui-même, sa situation actuelle, sa position dans la région, ses relations avec ses voisins. Un aspect de ces questions concerne l’armement de l’Irak, des forces irakienne, avec une allusion précise faite à une commande de F-16 US par l’Irak, qui semblerait pour l’instant, selon des sources politiques US et irakiennes, dans un statut incertain quant à son exécution et évoluant d’une façon plutôt défavorable. La question de Russia Today fait explicitement allusion à des pressions d’autres pays (voisins de l’Irak), voire des Kurdes d’Irak, auprès des USA et contre l’exécution de cette commande. Cette partie de l’interview a un réel intérêt, dans le sens où elle doit être lue d’un point de vue politique, en complément avec la partie sur la Syrie, et bien entendu avec l’arrière-plan des relations de l’Irak avec la Russie qui sous-tend cette interview. Il faut évidemment noter que, dans la dernière question, Al-Maliki confirme officiellement que la Russie est sur la liste des possibles fournisseurs d’armes à l’Irak, et éventuellement comme un nouveau fournisseur qui s’ajouteraient aux fournitures US et aussi aux fournitures d’armes de pays de l’ancienne URSS. (Dans ces deux derniers cas, USA et pays de l’ancienne URSS, il semble qu’il s’agit en général de systèmes de seconde main, tandis que les éventuels marchés russes porteraient sur des armements neufs.)

Russia Today: «Mr. Maliki, when Iraq was about to buy F-16 fighter jets, Iraqi Kurds, along with some neighboring states, including the Gulf countries voiced their concerns over the future deal. Are these concerns justified? And can they be allayed?

Nouri Al-Maliki: «They are totally unsubstantiated. These people might still have old stereotypes of Iraq that go back to the times of dictatorship that were characterized by reckless operations, wars and invasions. Some regimes, both big and small, still have expansionist ambitions. Sadly, they have learned no lessons from Saddam Hussein’s experience. He had it all: troops and offensive capabilities, but the end of his career was a disaster. These people still believe that just like in the past, Iraq is still capable of invading its neighbors, concocting conspiracies, attacking other countries like Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia or slaughtering people in its southern or northern regions.

»But today Iraq is a different country. It does not wage war on its own people. The Kurds who believe that Iraq is taking up arms to fight them are seriously deluded.

»These talks are no more than political maneuvering used to make up for the mistakes and failures of the past. These countries are aware that present-day Iraq has nothing in common with the dictatorship of the past. It is a democratic country which is against the use of force, as set forth in the laws adopted by its parliament. Generally speaking, our main principle is non-interference in the affairs of other states. But we would like this to be a two-way street.

»But the reality is that Iraq is located in an arms-infested region. All the neighboring states have impressive arsenals of modern weapons. Even the smaller states in the region have more weapons than Iraq, a large state with a rich history. Iraq is entitled to self-defense, so it has the right to use different armaments to protect its sovereignty. And so it can have the same weapons as other countries who claim they need the same weapons as Iraq to defend their sovereignty.

»I would like to allay their concerns by saying that Iraq is not interested in offensive weapons, only defensive ones. Indeed, we would like to have very strong defensive weapons to repel any attack on Iraq’s sovereignty. But primitive weapons won’t be enough. What we need is something very strong and absolutely sophisticated to counter any possible aggression. This would make anyone who plans to breach our sovereignty to think twice before attacking Iraq.

Russia Today: «Mr Prime Minister, as commander-in-chief, when do you expect Iraq’s armed forces to reach combat readiness in terms of the size of personnel and materials?»

Nouri Al-Maliki: «We already have the number of troops that we need, but we are still working on the list of weapons and hardware. We are receiving weapons supplies from the US, former Soviet nations and possibly from Russia, too, in line with the contracts that we signed earlier. However, we expect to ensure maximum defensive capabilities by 2020, according to the plans we have at the moment. By that time we expect to re-equip the armed forces with powerful weapons to protect Iraq on land and in the air. So currently we would still be able to defend the nation but our capabilities need to be maintained and further improved.»

Il n’est guère utile de s’étendre sur le constat ironique que l’Irak, “conquis” par les USA on sait comment, en 2003 puis en 2003-2008, devait être un État-satellite des USA dirigé par une “marionnette” du type dont les USA ont le secret, et absolument acquis aux intérêts américanistes. L’Irak est aujourd’hui un État quasiment hostile aux USA, complètement adversaire des USA dans la crise syrienne, et dont l’interview de Maliki confirme qu’il n’est pas loin de l’être d’une façon générale. L’interview ne laisse aucun doute sur ce fait, qui s’enchaîne quasiment sur le précédent comme une conséquence logique : l’Irak est bien plus proche de la Russie que des USA, et cette interview de RT a pour conséquence, volontaire ou non, de bien le faire comprendre. La crise syrienne, qui a ses caractères propres, sert aussi, dans ce cas des relations entre l’Irak et la Russie, de détonateur et de révélateur de la proximité nouvelle des relations entre les deux pays, qui se forme selon la logique générale en marche dans la région. Dans cette perspective, le jeu de l’Irak serait sans aucun doute de s’appuyer sur une telle proximité pour assurer sa position dans la région, y compris pour équilibrer ses relations avec l’Iran dont l’Irak est aujourd’hui très proche mais dont la puissance naturelle constitue un facteur important qui invite l’Irak à rechercher des assurances.

Il est acquis que les pays qui sont intervenus contre le marché de F-16 avec l’Irak sont les pays du Golfe dont la politique est basée sur une crainte paranoïaque pour leur sécurité. Ces pays retrouvent vis-à-vis de l’Irak la méfiance active qu’ils entretenaient du temps de Saddam et font pression sur les USA pour contrecarrer son réarmement. Ces pressions ont leurs effets, tant les USA sont contraints d’accorder toute leur attention aux pays du Golfe, et tant eux-mêmes hésitent de plus en plus à réarmer un Irak qui leur échappe. Pour cette raison, des accords d’armement entre la Russie et l’Irak sont une très sérieuse possibilité, et cela concrétiserait un rapprochement entre la Russie et l’Irak, faisant renaître un rapport qui existait entre Saddam et l’URSS du temps de la guerre froide, et peut-être même un rapport encore plus serré à cause de l’absence des pays du bloc BAO dans l’éventail des “amis de l’Irak” puisque ces pays sont complètement phagocytés dans la politique-Système (actuellement dans leur hostilité aveugle à la Syrie d’Assad) que repousse l’Irak. L’Irak se place, notamment avec l’Égypte, dans le flux des pays dont la position et la politique générales dans la région sont en train d’évoluer fondamentalement, pour briser le carcan que les USA, les pays du bloc BAO et les pays du Golfe ont imposé depuis la première guerre du Golfe (1991).


Mis en ligne le 6 octobre 2012 à 06H32

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