Antagoniste


2 février 2009

Mission accomplie En Citations États-Unis Hétu Watch Irak Terrorisme

Mission Accomplie

Sans tambour ni trompette, l’Irak a tenu des élections samedi dernier marquant ainsi un moment historique pour ce pays. Réaction de Jonathan Kay du National Post:

« George W. Bush made many mistakes during his presidency. But with Saturday’s peaceful, vigorously contested election in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces, his overarching ambition of a robust democracy taking root in the heart of the Middle East seems to have become a reality. Notwithstanding the ongoing fawn-fest over Barack Obama, is it too much to ask that Mr. Obama’s predecessor be given his due for accomplishing a task that, just a decade ago, during the dark days of Saddam’s sadistic rule, would have seemed other-worldly? »


24 janvier 2009

Pas si vite… Afghanistan États-Unis Hétu Watch Irak Moyen-Orient Terrorisme

"Don’t hold your breath waiting for Barack Obama to end the war on terror."

Foreign Policy
Think Again: Barack Obama and the War on Terror
By David M. Edelstein, Ronald R. Krebs 

"Obama Will End the War on Terror"

Barack ObamaDon't bet on it. A misconceived "war on terror" has stoked Americans' nightmares since Sept. 11, 2001, and that will in all likelihood continue. Despite having anointed himself the candidate of change, Barack Obama remained wedded to crucial elements of the war on terror throughout his campaign. Not only did he embrace the term, but, like the Bush administration, he portrayed the 9/11 attacks as a turning point in global politics, suggested that transnational terrorism threatened the United States' survival, depicted the tactic of terrorism as the enemy, and laid out an apocalyptic vision of "the next attack." The danger of terrorism was, he declared, "no less grave" than that posed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

This portrayal was more than campaign rhetoric. The war on terror has been the country's defining national security narrative since 9/11, and politicians across the political spectrum have paid obeisance to it. Indeed, shortly after the election, Obama portrayed the attacks in Mumbai as evidence of "the grave and urgent threat of terrorism" that the United States faces, as if the perpetrators of that tragedy were necessarily members of a global terrorist brotherhood. Introducing his national security team a few days later, he highlighted the threat posed by a poorly specified "terror" that "cannot be contained by borders," rather than by specific U.S. adversaries who would use terrorist tactics.

As president, Obama will be hard-pressed to jettison the war on terror. His administration's foreign policy will look different from that of its predecessor in many respects, but not this one. With Obama in the Oval Office, the United States seems likely to remain in the war on terror's thrall — to the detriment of the country's priorities, its foreign policy, the tenor of its discourse, and perhaps its people's liberties. Obama promised to lead America on a new path, but deviating from the course set in the past seven years will not be easy.

"Obama Will Wage the ‘Battle of Ideas' Better Than George W. Bush"

Doubtful. Yes, Obama, by his presence and personality, has changed the atmospherics of U.S. foreign relations. America's reputation around the world has for some time been at a nadir, so there is nowhere to go but up. But the United States' poor image abroad has not been the result of a marketing failure, and, thus, better public diplomacy will not lead to victory in the "Battle of Ideas." Anti-Americanism thrives, not because others misunderstand the United States, but because they perceive its aims and tactics all too well. The Bush administration's greatest perceived foreign-policy failures — Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo, unimpeded global warming — could not have been overcome with better public diplomacy, and recent improvements in trans-Atlantic relations cannot be credited to an improved sales pitch. The world is rightly waiting to see if Obama will match his words with actions. Public diplomacy can matter only at the margins.

As much as he might wish it, Obama does not enter the Oval Office with a clean slate. The sizable U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined with the aggressive hunt for al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan's tribal areas, will continue to rankle in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Elsewhere, criticism of U.S. foreign policy predated Bush — the French expressed alarm at American "hyperpower" during the "good old days" of Clintonian multilateralism — and will persist after he leaves office. Notwithstanding the financial meltdown and U.S. travails in Iraq, the United States remains the world's largest economic and military power by far. Its penchant for pursuing its global interests unilaterally lies at the root of many others' suspicions, and there will be times that even an Obama administration will chafe at and throw off any self-imposed shackles. When that happens, those high-flying expectations will come crashing back to earth.

"Withdrawing from Iraq Will Bring Victory Closer in Afghanistan"

Wishful thinking. Sure, getting out of Iraq will in principle make available U.S. soldiers and materiel, but don't expect these additional resources to pay large dividends in Afghanistan.

First, insurgent fighters enjoy a safe haven in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, and it is not for lack of U.S. firepower or troops in Afghanistan that they operate freely. The Pakistani government's reluctance and inability to bring the region to heel is the chief problem, and a reduced U.S. commitment to Iraq will not make that political nut easier to crack. Second, even if the security situation were to improve thanks to more U.S. troops and money, the challenge of governing Afghanistan's ethnically diverse and geographically challenging landscape will remain. Third, all this presumes that the United States has the political will to undertake and sustain a much more substantial long-term military presence in Afghanistan, and such political will — if it ever existed — is now at best a wasting asset.

Americans were ready to bring the troops home from Iraq even before the recession intensified the usual guns-versus-butter debates. The budget crunch has prompted calls for slashing military spending, and many will see in the troop drawdown in Iraq an opportunity to free funds to aid Americans at home — not an opportunity to redouble U.S. commitment to Afghanistan.

"Ending the War in Iraq Will Help the Fight Against Terrorism"

Not really. A U.S. pullout from Iraq would, on its face, redress a grievance held not only by al Qaeda, but by many Muslims. Al Qaeda, however, found reason to target the United States and its interests before Iraq, and many of those reasons remain — from U.S. support for Arab regimes perceived as illegitimate, to the U.S. role in the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the grand religiopolitical vision of reestablishing the caliphate. Iraq was an unusual recruiting boon, but al Qaeda and its affiliates have no shortage of justifications for continued violence, and some of these reasons remain highly resonant in the Muslim world.

Liberals sometimes argue that because the war in Iraq became a rallying cry for Islamist terrorist groups, drawing thousands into the fold, its end will dry up the pool of recruits. But the ardor of those converted by Iraq will not quickly cool, and the war's memory will continue to inspire would-be terrorists for the foreseeable future. Conservatives sometimes argue that the country's terrorist enemies will take heart at even a gradual U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and undertake a new wave of mass-casualty attacks. But it is hard to imagine that America's adversaries will be any more emboldened by the withdrawal from Iraq than they were by the United States' flailing and failures there.

Most fundamentally, the United States has found itself the victim of terrorism because it is so strong and its adversaries are so weak. That will not change soon, and terrorist tactics will continue to appeal to America's enemies — less because they are especially bloodthirsty or immoral (though they may be), than because, given the imbalance of power, more conventional tactics don't promise the same payoff.

"Capturing Osama bin Laden Should Be a Top Priority"

Not now. As a candidate, Obama pledged that he would capture or kill Osama bin Laden if he were elected president. This pledge was good politics, but it does not make for an effective counterterrorism strategy. Although the capture or death of bin Laden would be welcome, the U.S. military and intelligence community have better ways to spend their time and money.

Eliminating bin Laden would undoubtedly please Americans, boost Obama's ratings, and undermine morale within al Qaeda. But al Qaeda has recovered, perhaps substantially, from the beating it took immediately after 9/11, and the death of its leader is unlikely to be devastating. It is a resilient organization: Dozens of high-ranking al Qaeda officials have been killed or captured since 2001, but they were eventually, and often swiftly, replaced. And beware what one wishes for: A younger, more energetic, equally charismatic, and more organizationally skilled leader might take bin Laden's place.

The benefits of capturing or killing bin Laden are likely to be short-lived, and the intelligence and military assets diverted to the task could be better used elsewhere. Rather than devote resources to hunting bin Laden, the Obama administration should instead target both the instability off which violent Islamism feeds and the local organizations, usually affiliated only loosely with al Qaeda, that have more often been responsible than al Qaeda itself for the terrorist attacks carried out since 9/11.

Americans' ramped-up expectations about the war on terror are exceeded only by the challenges the Obama administration will face. The politics of the war on terror have the potential to upset the Obama administration's priorities, but the economic crisis offers an opportunity to right America's foreign policy and consign the war on terror to its proper place. In this sense, the economic crisis, as Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has suggested, would be a terrible thing to waste.

David M. Edelstein is assistant professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the department of government at Georgetown University, and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Ronald R. Krebs is associate professor in the political science department at the University of Minnesota.


15 décembre 2008

Liberté d’expression États-Unis Hétu Watch Irak Terrorisme

George Bush

De passage à Bagdad pour une conférence de presse, George Bush a été "attaqué" par un journaliste irakien qui lui a lancé ses souliers au visage. Richard Hétu et sa clique semblent avoir trouvé l'incident assez amusant.

Je me demande combien de journalistes ont pu lancer leurs chaussures au visage de Saddam Hussein et vivre assez longtemps pour raconter l'histoire.

Le geste de ce journaliste prouve une chose: la liberté en Irak est telle qu'on peut désormais lancer ses chaussures au visage d'un politicien sans risquer sa vie. Merci pour cette démonstration !


17 novembre 2008

Victoire En Vidéos États-Unis Hétu Watch Irak Terrorisme

Pour ceux qui doutent encore du succès du « surge » et de la victoire de la démocratie en Irak:

Dire que Barack Obama était contre le « surge »…


7 novembre 2008

Pas si vite ! États-Unis Hétu Watch Irak Terrorisme

Irak États-Unis Surge

Par l'intermédiaire de son ministre des affaires étrangères, Hoshiyar Zebari, l'Irak a exprimé le souhait que Barack Obama ne précipite pas le retrait des troupes américaines. Selon le gouvernement irakien, tout geste précipité pourrait compromettre les gains réalisés depuis le "surge".


2 novembre 2008

Le prix à payer Élection 2008 En Chiffres En Vidéos États-Unis Hétu Watch Irak Terrorisme

Avec plus de 12 millions de visionnements, voici quel a été le vidéo politique le plus populaire sur You Tube durant la campagne présidentielle:

Voici les pertes civiles et militaires en Irak depuis l'intervention américaine:

Irak

Irak

En 2002, sous Saddam Hussein, il y avait 0 télévision, 0 radio et 0 journal indépendant.  L'indice de liberté de la presse était de 79,00 (100 étant le pire) selon Reporters Sans Frontière.  Aujourd'hui, il y a en Irak 54 stations de télévision, 114 stations de radio et 268 journaux indépendants. L'indice de liberté de la presse est passé à 59,38.

Sous Saddam Hussein, il y avait 833 000 personnes disposant d'un téléphone.  Aujourd'hui, ils sont 13 360 000.

Sous Saddam Hussein, il y avait 4 500 personnes disposant d'une connexion internet.  Aujourd'hui, ils sont 261 000.

Sous Saddam Hussein, le pays produisait 95 000 mégawatts/heure d'électricité. Aujourd'hui, le pays produit 112 960 mégawatts/heure.

Source:
Brookings Institution
Iraq Index: Tracking Variables of Reconstruction & Security in Post-Saddam Iraq


24 octobre 2008

Occasion d’affaires Économie États-Unis Irak Mondialisation

Irak

Si depuis le début de l'année l'indice Dow Jones a chuté de 40%, la situation n'est pas noire partout sur la planète. En Irak, l'indice boursier a progressé de 40% depuis 1 mois !

En Irak, le "surge" est partout, même dans les marchés financiers !


21 août 2008

Légende urbaine Chine Coup de gueule États-Unis France Gauchistan Irak

Irak

Une idée reçue qui circule à gauche veut que les États-Unis aient armé Saddam Hussein…

De 1979 à 2002, période durant laquelle Saddam a été au pouvoir, seulement 0,6% de l'arsenal irakien provenait des États-Unis.

Les pays qui ont le plus vendu d'armes à l'Irak sont: l'URSS (60,6%), la Chine (14.7%) et… la France (14,5%).

Source:
SIPRI
Importer/Exporter TIV Tables


20 juillet 2008

Propagande Élection 2008 États-Unis Hétu Watch Irak Terrorisme

Hier matin, le magazine allemand "Der Speigel" a publié une bombe: selon l'hebdomadaire, le premier ministre irakien Nouri al-Maliki a donné son appui au plan de Barack Obama de retrait des troupes d'Irak.  Toute la journée, les médias ont abondamment commenté cette nouvelle, mon pote Richard Hétu a consacré non pas un, mais deux billets à l'affaire.

Immédiatement, j'ai trouvé cette histoire louche et j'avais raison !

CNN
Iraqi PM disputes report on withdrawal plan

A German magazine quoted Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as saying that he backed a proposal by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months.  […]

But a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately."

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the possibility of troop withdrawal was based on the continuance of security improvements, echoing statements that the White House made Friday after a meeting between al-Maliki and U.S. President Bush.

Coup de propagande du "Der Speigel" ?

Si les médias ont été très généreux dans leur couverture du supposé appui d'al-Maliki au "plan Obama", parions que la dénonciation du travail bâclé de "Der Speigel" par le gouvernement irakien aura un traitement beaucoup plus humble…