Musharraf, comme le Shah? – c'est si tentant

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C’est à nouveau, c’est toujours le temps des analogies, comme si l’Histoire recommençait sans que nous en ayons rien appris après tout. Aux premières lueurs de la crise pakistanaise entrée dans son paroxysme, nous nous sommes rappelés de l’“arc de crise” cher à Brzezinski dans les années 1978-1980. Une nouvelle analogie fait florès, de la même époque, subsidiaire à la précédente mais bien plus précise, et bien peu encourageante pour le brav’ général Musharraf et pour la politique occidentale/américaniste: l’analogie du Shah.

Deux auteurs choisissent cette analogie, pour commenter la situation pakistanaise et, surtout, pour caractériser l’aveuglement extraordinairement persistant de la politique extérieure US.

• Le 13 novembre, Claude Salhani, rédacteur-en-chef de Middle East Times, analyse pour UPI et Spacewar.com les développements de la situation pakistanaise. Il constate une analogie entre la situation du Shah et la situation iranienne de 1978, et la situation de Musharraf avec la situation pakistanaise de 2007. Parmi les quatre points d’analogie de ces deux situations, on retiendra bien sûr celui qui nous intéresse ici, qui est l’attitude US.

«In analyzing what is happening in Pakistan today, one cannot help but draw similarities with the events that unfolded in the streets of Tehran, Abadan and other Iranian cities prior to the Islamic revolution. The shah in Iran in 1979, much as Musharraf in Pakistan today, refused to come to face with the political realities taking place under his very nose. The shah, it can be said in his defense, was kept secluded behind his palace gates by close advisers who lied to him, telling him only what they thought he wanted to hear.

»Musharraf, on the other hand, has the advantage of knowing what is going on outside his palace gates, yet refuses to recognize it. The real danger is that the ingredients for an Islamic revolution, similar to the one that occurred in Iran, are all there. […]

(…)

»Fourth: The largely negative role seen being played by the United States in Washington's unwavering support of a leadership that no longer fully represents the people. As with the shah in Iran then and the Pakistani president now, Washington is perceived as closing its eyes on human-rights abuses, ignoring what it preaches regarding basic democratic principles.

»Once again, Washington is seen as adopting double standards – saying one thing but doing another. Seen from the streets of Tehran then and Islamabad now, the general feeling among the people is that Washington will continue to back Musharraf, as it backed the shah, until it is too late.

»Indeed, one wonders if Washington will recognize the symptoms of another Islamic revolt in the making.»

• Gary Sick, actuellement professeur à l’université de Columbia, fut pendant trois administrations (Ford, Carter, Reagan) expert au NSC. Durant la crise iranienne (de la chute de Shah en 1978 jusqu’à la crise des otages de Téhéran en 1979-1981), il fut le conseiller spécial de Jimmy Carter pour les affaires iraniennes. Dans l’International Herald Tribune du 15 novembre, il dessine la même analogie des situations et se désole de la similitude des erreurs américanistes.

«The U.S. response to Iranian instability, endlessly mulled over, was that we had no choice except to support the shah. This was fortified by the belief (or wishful thinking) that the shah would pull himself together and deal with the growing crisis before it was too late. By the time it became inescapably obvious that this was not going to happen, the situation was too far gone for anything to stop it.

»This is a gross simplification, of course, but in retrospect, this was the essence of the problem. We had placed all of our eggs in the shah's basket; we had no visible alternative. So policy always tended to settle on More of the Same and Fear of Rocking the Boat, combined with much Wringing of Hands.

»Those policies were so unsuccessful that they gave rise to conspiracy theories among the Iranian elite that the Carter administration was in fact determined to replace the shah with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Absurd as that appeared to those of us on the inside, it was an all-too-human attempt to square what they regarded as an omnipotent United States with a policy of neglect and error.

»All of this comes to mind as I watch the situation in Pakistan. I am no expert on that country, but I see the United States locked in much the same kind of policy vise that bedeviled the U.S. in Iran. We have bet the farm on one man – Pervez Musharraf – and have no fallback position, no alternative strategy in the event that does not work.

»Pakistan is far more dangerous than Iran was; it is a nuclear state. If it should be taken over by Sunni radicals, I suppose it would be seen as an imminent threat by nuclear India. I know it would be by Iran, and Iran might well be persuaded to abandon its present slow-motion nuclear development and go for a bomb in the shortest time possible. That would set off other ripples of proliferation and possibly military reaction.

»Pakistan is already a training center for international terrorism. That would only increase. Certainly a radical Islamist Pakistan would give al Qaeda and the Taliban an enormous boost in their operations in Afghanistan and beyond. Pakistan would constitute the kind of imminent terrorist/nuclear threat that we falsely ascribed to Saddam Hussein.»

Bien sûr, l’Histoire ne repasse pas les plats, mais lorsque le cuisinier est aussi médiocre elle laisse aller les mêmes recettes, par lassitude disons, – puisque, décidément, ils n’apprendront jamais rien, les petits hommes pleins de $milliards. Que reste-t-il à faire sinon à suivre les péripéties de l’inéluctable catastrophe?


Mis en ligne le 16 novembre 2007 à 14H56

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