country:iraq

  • Sahel, les militaires évincent le Quai d’Orsay, par Rémi Carayol (Le Monde diplomatique, juillet 2019)
    https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2019/07/CARAYOL/60053

    Lorsque, en février dernier, l’aviation française bombarde une colonne de chars de l’Union des forces de la résistance (UFR), un mouvement de l’opposition armée tchadienne, les commentateurs ne manquent pas de rappeler la longue histoire des ingérences de l’ancien colonisateur au Tchad (1). Cette opération, au cours de laquelle plusieurs membres de l’UFR auraient été tués, se singularise sur un point : pour la première fois depuis très longtemps, Paris assume pleinement l’utilisation de la force dans une affaire de politique intérieure mettant à mal son allié, le pourtant peu démocrate président Idriss Déby Itno (2).

    La France « ne se contente plus de créer les conditions favorables à une victoire de l’armée tchadienne : elle bombarde elle-même les rebelles », note ainsi la politiste Marielle Debos. Reprenant la propagande du régime autocratique tchadien, pour qui les rebelles ne sont que des « terroristes », le ministre des affaires étrangères, M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, compare même l’intervention de l’aviation française au déclenchement de l’opération « Serval » au Mali. En janvier 2013, celle-ci avait stoppé l’offensive d’une colonne de djihadistes qui menaçaient Bamako.

    Élu en 2011, puis réélu en 2016, le président nigérien Mahamadou Issoufou paraît aussi intouchable que son homologue tchadien, en dépit des nombreuses atteintes à la liberté d’expression dans son pays. M. Issoufou donne carte blanche à l’armée française, laquelle dispose d’une base à Niamey, d’où décollent ses drones pour, officiellement, surveiller les mouvements terroristes dans le Sahel (3). « Parce que c’est ancré dans leur culture, les militaires pensent que, pour faire face à la menace terroriste, il faut un homme fort à la tête du pays, nous explique un diplomate français en poste dans cette zone et ayant requis l’anonymat. Ils ne veulent pas comprendre que le soutien apporté à des autocrates peut aussi pousser des personnes à rejoindre les groupes terroristes, ou du moins à en devenir des sympathisants. »

    Or l’influence politique et diplomatique de l’état-major français ne cesse de grandir avec l’intensification de l’engagement militaire de Paris dans la zone saharo-sahélienne depuis 2013. « Aujourd’hui, au Sahel, l’aspect sécuritaire l’emporte sur tout, constate, amer, le même diplomate. Par conséquent, les militaires sont devenus des interlocuteurs jugés essentiels par les responsables politiques. Leurs analyses priment sur les nôtres. »

    Dans certains pays sahéliens, les officiers français sont les premiers interlocuteurs des chefs d’État, avant même les ambassadeurs. Ambassadrice à N’Djamena de 2013 à 2016 puis à Bamako de 2016 à 2018, Mme Évelyne Decorps ne manquait pas de s’irriter ouvertement de cette « concurrence ».

    Des officiers désinhibés
    Rappelée prématurément à Paris en 2018, elle a été nommée administratrice supérieure des Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (TAAF) — un poste considéré comme un placard. Le Quai d’Orsay bruisse de rumeurs selon lesquelles les militaires auraient obtenu sa tête. Sa mésaventure illustre la dérive d’une diplomatie réduite à accompagner les choix des militaires — et parfois à en assurer le service après-vente : collaboration sur le terrain avec des milices armées, voire des groupes rebelles (au Niger et au Mali notamment), refus catégorique d’entamer des négociations avec l’ennemi, etc.

    Cette évolution est le fruit de deux tendances lourdes et d’un concours de circonstances qui a accéléré le processus à partir de 2013. La première tendance tient à l’affaiblissement du ministère des affaires étrangères. « Les militaires ne font qu’occuper la place laissée vacante par les diplomates », souligne ainsi M. Laurent Bigot, ancien sous-directeur chargé de l’Afrique de l’Ouest au Quai d’Orsay, limogé en 2013 à la suite d’un différend avec le ministre de l’époque, M. Laurent Fabius. En trois décennies, le ministère a perdu 53 % de ses effectifs, dont une grande partie sur le continent africain. En 2017, un avis parlementaire évaluait à 40 % la réduction des effectifs sur la zone Afrique et océan Indien durant les dix dernières années (4). Pour expliquer cette amputation spécifique, les diplomates affirment que l’Afrique n’est pas considérée comme une destination noble au Quai d’Orsay. « Au contraire, soulignent les chercheuses Aline Leboeuf et Hélène Quénot-Suarez, l’Afrique est une marque d’expérience — voire de fierté — dans un parcours militaire », ce qui explique que « les militaires ont sans doute eu moins de difficultés à investir ce champ et à “remplacer” parfois les diplomates » (5).

    Parallèlement à la perte d’influence du Quai d’Orsay, une deuxième tendance peut être observée depuis trente ans : le retour en force des militaires dans la vie publique et même dans les choix politiques et diplomatiques — ce que Grégory Daho nomme la « revanche des généraux (6) ».

    Selon ce maître de conférences à l’université Paris-I, les officiers, longtemps réduits au silence après la guerre d’Algérie, sont de plus en plus désinhibés face aux politiques. Depuis les années 1990, explique-t-il, « la technicisation des opérations extérieures et la bureaucratisation des procédures (...) ont favorisé la réintégration partielle des officiers généraux au cœur des circuits décisionnels relevant de la politique étrangère ». Leur expertise s’impose de plus en plus. Or, poursuit Daho, s’il existe un terrain avec lequel l’armée a gardé le contact, c’est bien l’Afrique, où la France entretient une présence technique et militaire depuis les indépendances. Selon lui, « les professionnels des interventions en Afrique constituent désormais le réservoir de compétences disponibles ». Partisans d’une stratégie offensive et non plus attentiste comme ce fut le cas durant la guerre froide, ils en maîtrisent la tactique et les manœuvres. Ils ont ainsi bénéficié du « rééquilibrage entre dissuasion et projection » observé ces vingt dernières années, notamment au sein de l’Alliance atlantique, et du retour en force des doctrines contre-insurrectionnelles promues par les « glorieux anciens de la pacification coloniale », les maréchaux Joseph Gallieni et Thomas Bugeaud, pour imposer leurs vues.

    La marginalisation des diplomates aboutirait « à une perte de qualité dans les analyses, notamment en raison de l’éloignement avec le terrain, mais aussi d’erreurs en matière de recrutement, s’inquiète encore M. Bigot. Le Quai n’est plus une source de propositions. Les militaires, eux, occupent le terrain. Ils produisent beaucoup plus d’idées que les diplomates. Des idées de militaires... ». Le soutien aveugle de la France au falot président du Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta pourrait ainsi s’expliquer par sa complaisance envers l’armée française, à laquelle il accorde toute latitude sur son territoire (7).

    L’influence des militaires grandit également à l’Élysée. Chef des armées, le président donne l’ordre d’engagement pour les opérations extérieures (OPEX) (8). « L’état-major particulier du président de la République, souligne un rapport parlementaire, occupe aussi un espace sans cesse croissant, et beaucoup de décisions sont prises par des acteurs hors la sphère diplomatique (9). » Chef d’état-major particulier des présidents Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012) puis François Hollande (2012-2017), le général Benoît Puga a ainsi joué un rôle majeur dans le déclenchement de l’opération « Serval » en 2013 : il a convaincu M. Hollande d’ordonner dans l’urgence l’engagement des forces spéciales. Parfois surnommé le « M. Afrique » de la France, cet officier est issu des troupes de marine, dont l’histoire est intimement liée à celle de la colonisation. L’implication de M. Le Drian, alors ministre de la défense, a également été décisive. « À l’époque, rappelle un diplomate, Fabius était le ministre des affaires étrangères, mais il ne s’intéressait pas beaucoup à l’Afrique. Et il n’avait pas l’oreille du président. Au contraire de Le Drian, qui était un proche de Hollande, et qui est devenu incontournable après les déclenchements coup sur coup de l’opération “Serval”, puis de l’opération “Sangaris” en Centrafrique en 2013. »

    M. Le Drian, devenu ministre des affaires étrangères de M. Emmanuel Macron en 2017, pose dorénavant en principal interlocuteur des chefs d’État du pré carré africain ; son cabinet a pris le dessus sur la cellule Afrique de l’Élysée ainsi que sur l’administration du Quai d’Orsay. Manifestant peu d’intérêt pour le respect des droits humains, le ministre a tissé des relations personnelles avec M. Déby, mais aussi avec le président du Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso, ou encore avec le chef de l’État égyptien Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi.

    Face à l’essor des mouvements djihadistes, le prisme sécuritaire produit une vision binaire, selon laquelle il s’agirait d’un combat entre le « Bien » et le « Mal ». Or certains groupes armés s’apparentent plus à des mouvements très localisés, guidés par des revendications sociales et économiques, qu’à des terroristes « fous de Dieu ». Une fois cette réalité balayée, il est inenvisageable de négocier avec eux, comme l’avait suggéré la conférence d’entente nationale organisée par les autorités maliennes en avril 2017. « Nous sommes engagés dans un combat sans ambiguïtés contre ceux qui se revendiquent du terrorisme. Et donc il n’y a qu’un moyen, il n’y en a pas deux », avait alors déclaré le ministre des affaires étrangères de l’époque de M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, enterrant l’initiative.

    Depuis quelques années, l’Agence française de développement (AFD) subit elle aussi l’influence de l’armée. Interrogé par les députés le 22 mai dernier, le directeur général de l’AFD Rémy Rioux confirme avoir « souhaité dès [son] arrivée à la tête de l’AFD aller beaucoup plus loin sur le thème sécurité et développement avec l’état-major des armées ». Cette collaboration s’est concrétisée par l’échange d’agents de liaison : un officier est détaché au sein de l’AFD tandis qu’un fonctionnaire de l’AFD est en poste au quartier général de « Barkhane » à N’Djamena. Chaque mois se réunissent diplomates, acteurs du développement et militaires au Quai d’Orsay. Même les instituts de recherche associent les mondes de l’université et de l’armée.

    Du côté des militaires, on se frotte les mains. De leur point de vue, la coopération civilo-militaire (Cimic), qui désigne l’ensemble des activités visant à coordonner les relations entre les organisations militaires et les acteurs civils sur une zone d’intervention, « permet de faciliter l’acceptation de la présence des forces auprès des populations locales », note encore Daho. Pour eux, les intérêts militaires l’emportent sur toute autre considération. Il est ainsi de plus en plus souvent demandé à l’AFD de financer des projets dans les zones où intervient l’armée. En revanche, chez les chercheurs et agents des politiques de développement, cette étroite collaboration fait grincer des dents. « Ce n’est pas simple, note sobrement un cadre de l’AFD. Ces deux milieux n’ont pas la même culture. Les acteurs du développement doivent penser au temps long, quand les militaires pensent au temps court. »

    Creuser un puits, construire un dispensaire ou un marché, distribuer de la nourriture : les militaires veulent des projets visibles dans le but de gagner le plus rapidement possible « les cœurs et les esprits » des habitants des zones dans lesquelles ils opèrent. Mais, pour les « développeurs », cette stratégie menée indépendamment des autorités nationales est à double tranchant : elle risque de délégitimer un État déjà mis à mal dans ces régions isolées et ainsi d’accentuer la méfiance des populations locales envers l’autorité publique.

    Cette conception, dite des « 3 D » (diplomatie, défense, développement), longtemps négligée en France, a été érigée en priorité par M. Macron. Les partisans de cette approche intégrée prennent soin de la différencier de l’approche globale adoptée par les États-Unis en Irak et en Afghanistan, qui fait interagir les stratégies militaires, économiques, sociales et diplomatiques, notamment en mettant en place des équipes civilo-militaires chargées de soutenir les autorités locales reconnues. Selon M. Jean-Marc Châtaigner, envoyé spécial de la France pour le Sahel, qui ne dédaigne pas la langue de bois, la méthode américaine vise en premier lieu à faire accepter la présence militaire, tandis que « l’approche intégrée [à la française] n’induit aucune hiérarchie des objectifs recherchés, mais la recherche de leur combinaison optimale en vue du retour à une paix durable ».

    L’efficacité d’une telle vision reste pourtant à démontrer. Depuis que la France est intervenue au Mali en 2013, l’armée a tué plusieurs centaines de djihadistes présumés, dont certains chefs ; elle a détruit des dizaines de caches dissimulant des véhicules et des armes, et a creusé un grand nombre de puits pour les civils. Pourtant, les violences se sont multipliées dans l’ensemble de la zone saharo-sahélienne, et le nombre de morts parmi les populations n’a cessé d’augmenter, particulièrement ces deux dernières années. Débordant très largement de leurs fiefs situés dans le nord du Mali et dans le Sud libyen, les groupes « terroristes » ont étendu leur mainmise dans le centre du Mali, dans le nord et l’est du Burkina Faso et dans le nord-ouest du Niger. Ils menacent désormais les pays côtiers de l’Afrique occidentale, comme la Côte d’Ivoire ou le Bénin.

    Des groupes d’autodéfense communautaires ont émergé, se livrant à des massacres réciproques de civils. Au Mali, les attaques de village se sont multipliées ces dix-huit derniers mois. Selon le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies aux droits de l’homme, elles ont fait plus de 600 morts entre mars 2018 et mars 2019 et ont provoqué le déplacement de plus de 66 000 personnes. Le 23 mars 2019, une milice dogon, Dan Na Ambassagou, a ainsi assassiné 157 habitants du village peul d’Ogossagou, situé dans le centre du Mali ; elle a incendié une partie du village. Des tueries ont également été signalées au Burkina Faso et au Tchad. Les armées nationales sont accusées d’avoir elles-mêmes exécuté des civils au cours d’opérations de « pacification ». « Malgré la généralisation de forces locales ou étrangères, le renforcement des contingents, les réponses globales combinant subtilement les impératifs de sécurité et de développement, les engagements financiers colossaux, on s’enfonce », constatait récemment le général Bruno Clément-Bollée, ancien directeur de la coopération de sécurité et de défense au ministère des affaires étrangères (10).

    La « spirale négative » du « tout sécuritaire » a montré ses limites, estime ce dernier. La présence de plus de 13 000 casques bleus de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (dont 122 militaires ont été tués depuis six ans) et de près de 4 500 soldats français, auxquels s’ajoutent les armées nationales et quelques centaines de militaires américains, italiens et allemands positionnés un peu partout dans la région, principalement au Niger, n’a pas permis d’inverser la tendance. Loin de là.

    Rémi Carayol

    Journaliste.
    (1) Marielle Debos, « Que fait l’armée française au Tchad ? », Libération, Paris, 8 février 2019.

    (2) Lire Delphine Lecoutre, « Le Tchad, un ami indispensable mais encombrant », Manière de voir, n° 165, « France-Afrique, domination et émancipation », juin-juillet 2019.

    (3) Lire « Les migrants dans la nasse d’Agadez », Le Monde diplomatique, juin 2019.

    (4) Ladislas Poniatowski et Bernard Cazeau, « Action extérieure de l’État : action de la France en Europe et dans le monde », avis n° 110, t. 1, commission des affaires étrangères, de la défense et des forces armées du Sénat, Paris, 23 novembre 2017.

    (5) Aline Leboeuf et Hélène Quénot-Suarez, « La politique africaine de la France sous François Hollande », Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI), Paris, 2014.

    (6) Grégory Daho, « L’érosion des tabous algériens, une autre explication de la transformation des organisations militaires en France », Revue française de science politique, Paris, vol. 64, no 1, février 2014.

    (7) Lire « Au Mali, la guerre n’a rien réglé », Le Monde diplomatique, juillet 2018.

    (8) Lire Philippe Leymarie, « De N’Djamena à Kaboul, opérations françaises secrètes », Le Monde diplomatique, mars 2008.

    (9) Jean-Claude Guibal et Philippe Baumel, « La stabilité et le développement de l’Afrique francophone », rapport d’information n° 2746, commission des affaires étrangères de l’Assemblée nationale, Paris, 6 mai 2015.

    (10) Bruno Clément-Bollée, « Au Sahel, arrêtons le(s) massacre(s) ! », Jeune Afrique, Paris, 6 juin 2019.

    #Afrique #Sahel #Sécurité #Armée_française #Aide_française

  • View from Nowhere. Is it the press’s job to create a community that transcends borders?

    A few years ago, on a plane somewhere between Singapore and Dubai, I read Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities (1983). I was traveling to report on the global market for passports—how the ultrawealthy can legally buy citizenship or residence virtually anywhere they like, even as 10 million stateless people languish, unrecognized by any country. In the process, I was trying to wrap my head around why national identity meant so much to so many, yet so little to my passport-peddling sources. Their world was the very image of Steve Bannon’s globalist nightmare: where you can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many passports.

    Anderson didn’t address the sale of citizenship, which only took off in earnest in the past decade; he did argue that nations, nationalism, and nationality are about as organic as Cheez Whiz. The idea of a nation, he writes, is a capitalist chimera. It is a collective sense of identity processed, shelf-stabilized, and packaged before being disseminated, for a considerable profit, to a mass audience in the form of printed books, news, and stories. He calls this “print-capitalism.”

    Per Anderson, after the printing press was invented, nearly 600 years ago, enterprising booksellers began publishing the Bible in local vernacular languages (as opposed to the elitist Latin), “set[ting] the stage for the modern nation” by allowing ordinary citizens to participate in the same conversations as the upper classes. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the proliferation (and popularity) of daily newspapers further collapsed time and space, creating an “extraordinary mass ceremony” of reading the same things at the same moment.

    “An American will never meet, or even know the names of more than a handful of his 240,000,000–odd fellow Americans,” Anderson wrote. “He has no idea of what they are up to at any one time.” But with the knowledge that others are reading the same news, “he has complete confidence in their steady, anonymous, simultaneous activity.”

    Should the press be playing a role in shaping not national identities, but transnational ones—a sense that we’re all in it together?

    Of course, national presses enabled more explicit efforts by the state itself to shape identity. After the US entered World War I, for instance, President Woodrow Wilson set out to make Americans more patriotic through his US Committee on Public Information. Its efforts included roping influential mainstream journalists into advocating American-style democracy by presenting US involvement in the war in a positive light, or simply by referring to Germans as “Huns.” The committee also monitored papers produced by minorities to make sure they supported the war effort not as Indians, Italians, or Greeks, but as Americans. Five Irish-American papers were banned, and the German-American press, reacting to negative stereotypes, encouraged readers to buy US bonds to support the war effort.

    The US media played an analogous role in selling the public on the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But ever since then, in the digital economy, its influence on the national consciousness has waned. Imagined Communities was published seven years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, twenty-two years before Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat, and a couple of decades before the internet upended print-capitalism as the world knew it (one of Anderson’s footnotes is telling, if quaint: “We still have no giant multinationals in the world of publishing”).

    Since Trump—a self-described nationalist—became a real contender for the US presidency, many news organizations have taken to looking inward: consider the running obsession with the president’s tweets, for instance, or the nonstop White House palace intrigue (which the president invites readily).

    Meanwhile, the unprofitability of local and regional papers has contributed to the erosion of civics, which, down the line, makes it easier for billionaires to opt out of old “imagined communities” and join new ones based on class and wealth, not citizenship. And given the challenges humanity faces—climate change, mass migration, corporate hegemony, and our relationships to new technologies—even if national papers did make everyone feel like they shared the same narrative, a renewed sense of national pride would prove impotent in fighting world-historic threats that know no borders.

    Should the press, then, be playing an analogous role in shaping not national identities, but transnational ones—a sense that we’re all in it together? If it was so important in shaping national identity, can it do so on a global scale?

    Like my passport-buying subjects, I am what Theresa May, the former British prime minister, might call a “citizen of nowhere.” I was born in one place to parents from another, grew up in a third, and have lived and traveled all over. That informs my perspective: I want deeply for there to be a truly cosmopolitan press corps, untethered from national allegiances, regional biases, class divisions, and the remnants of colonial exploitation. I know that’s utopian; the international working class is hardly a lucrative demographic against which publishers can sell ads. But we seem to be living in a time of considerable upheaval and opportunity. Just as the decline of religiously and imperially organized societies paved the way for national alternatives, then perhaps today there is a chance to transcend countries’ boundaries, too.

    Does the US media help create a sense of national identity? If nationalism means putting the interests of one nation—and what its citizens are interested in—before more universal concerns, then yes. Most journalists working for American papers, websites, and TV write in English with a national audience (or regional time zone) in mind, which affects how we pitch, source, frame, and illustrate a story—which, in turn, influences our readers, their country’s politics, and, down the line, the world. But a news peg isn’t an ideological form of nationalism so much as a practical or methodological one. The US press feeds off of more pernicious nationalisms, too: Donald Trump’s false theory about Barack Obama being “secretly” Kenyan, disseminated by the likes of Fox and The Daily Caller, comes to mind.

    That isn’t to say that global news outlets don’t exist in the US. When coaxing subscribers, the Financial Times, whose front page often includes references to a dozen different countries, openly appeals to their cosmopolitanism. “Be a global citizen. Become an FT Subscriber,” read a recent banner ad, alongside a collage featuring the American, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, and European Union flags (though stories like the recent “beginner’s guide to buying a private island” might tell us something about what kind of global citizen they’re appealing to).

    “I don’t think we try to shape anyone’s identity at all,” Gillian Tett, the paper’s managing editor for the US, says. “We recognize two things: that the world is more interconnected today than it’s ever been, and that these connections are complex and quite opaque. We think it’s critical to try to illuminate them.”

    For Tett, who has a PhD in social anthropology, money serves as a “neutral, technocratic” starting point through which to understand—and tie together—the world. “Most newspapers today tend to start with an interest in politics or events, and that inevitably leads you to succumb to tribalism, however hard you try [not to],” Tett explains. “If you look at the world through money—how is money going around the world, who’s making and losing it and why?—out of that you lead to political, cultural, foreign-policy stories.”

    Tett’s comments again brought to mind Imagined Communities: Anderson notes that, in 18th-century Caracas, newspapers “began essentially as appendages of the market,” providing commercial news about ships coming in, commodity prices, and colonial appointments, as well as a proto–Vows section for the upper crust to hate-read in their carriages. “The newspaper of Caracas quite naturally, and even apolitically, created an imagined community among a specific assemblage of fellow-readers, to whom these ships, brides, bishops, and prices belonged,” he wrote. “In time, of course, it was only to be expected that political elements would enter in.”

    Yesterday’s aristocracy is today’s passport-buying, globe-trotting one percent. The passport brokers I got to know also pitched clients with the very same promise of “global citizenship” (it sounds less louche than “buy a new passport”)—by taking out ads in the Financial Times. Theirs is exactly the kind of neoliberal “globalism” that nationalist politicians like Trump have won elections denouncing (often hypocritically) as wanting “the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much.” Isn’t upper-crust glibness about borders, boundaries, and the value of national citizenship part of what helped give us this reactionary nativism in the first place?

    “I suspect what’s been going on with Brexit and maybe Trump and other populist movements [is that] people. . . see ‘global’ as a threat to local communities and businesses rather than something to be welcomed,” Tett says. “But if you’re an FT reader, you see it as benign or descriptive.”

    Among the largest news organizations in the world is Reuters, with more than 3,000 journalists and photographers in 120 countries. It is part of Thomson Reuters, a truly global firm. Reuters does not take its mandate lightly: a friend who works there recently sent me a job posting for an editor in Gdynia, which, Google clarified for me, is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland.

    Reuters journalists cover everything from club sports to international tax evasion. They’re outsourcing quick hits about corporate earnings to Bangalore, assembling teams on multiple continents to tackle a big investigation, shedding or shuffling staff under corporate reorganizations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, “more than half our business is serving financial customers,” Stephen Adler, the editor in chief, tells me. “That has little to do with what country you’re from. It’s about information: a central-bank action in Europe or Japan may be just as important as everything else.”

    Institutionally, “it’s really important and useful that we don’t have one national HQ,” Adler adds. “That’s the difference between a global news organization and one with a foreign desk. For us, nothing is foreign.” That approach won Reuters this year’s international Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the mass murder of the Rohingya in Myanmar (two of the reporters were imprisoned as a result, and since freed); it also comes through especially sharply in daily financial stories: comprehensive, if dry, compendiums of who-what-where-when-why that recognize the global impact of national stories, and vice versa. A recent roundup of stock movements included references to the US Fed, China trade talks, Brexit, monetary policy around the world, and the price of gold.

    Adler has led the newsroom since 2011, and a lot has changed in the world. (I worked at Reuters between 2011 and 2013, first as Adler’s researcher and later as a reporter; Adler is the chair of CJR’s board.) Shortly after Trump’s election, Adler wrote a memo affirming the organization’s commitment to being fair, honest, and resourceful. He now feels more strongly than ever about judiciously avoiding biases—including national ones. “Our ideology and discipline around putting personal feelings and nationality aside has been really helpful, because when you think about how powerful local feelings are—revolutions, the Arab Spring—we want you writing objectively and dispassionately.”

    The delivery of stories in a casual, illustrated, highly readable form is in some ways more crucial to developing an audience than subject matter.

    Whether global stories can push communities to develop transnationally in a meaningful way is a harder question to answer; it seems to impugn our collective aptitude for reacting to problems of a global nature in a rational way. Reuters’s decision not to fetishize Trump hasn’t led to a drop-off in US coverage—its reporters have been especially strong on immigration and trade policy, not to mention the effects of the new administration on the global economy—but its stories aren’t exactly clickbait, which means ordinary Americans might not encounter them at the top of their feed. In other words, having a global perspective doesn’t necessarily translate to more eyeballs.

    What’s more, Reuters doesn’t solve the audience-class problem: whether readers are getting dispatches in partner newspapers like The New York Times or through the organization’s Eikon terminal, they tend to be the sort of person “who does transnational business, travels a good deal, is connected through work and media, has friends in different places, cares about what’s going on in different places,” Adler says. “That’s a pretty large cohort of people who have reason to care what’s going on in other places.”

    There are ways to unite readers without centering coverage on money or the markets. For a generation of readers around the world, the common ground is technology: the internet. “We didn’t pick our audience,” Ben Smith, the editor in chief of BuzzFeed, tells me over the phone. “Our audience picked us.” He defines his readers as a cohort aged 18–35 “who are on the internet and who broadly care about human rights, global politics, and feminism and gay rights in particular.”

    To serve them, BuzzFeed recently published a damning investigative report into the World Wildlife Fund’s arming of militias in natural reserves; a (not uncontroversial) series on Trump’s business dealings abroad; early exposés of China’s detention of Uighur citizens; and reports on child abuse in Australia. Climate—“the central challenge for every newsroom in the world”—has been harder to pin down. “We don’t feel anyone has cracked it. But the shift from abstract scientific [stories] to coverage of fires in California, it’s a huge change—it makes it more concrete,” Smith says. (My husband is a reporter for BuzzFeed.)

    The delivery of these stories in a casual, illustrated, highly readable form is in some ways more crucial to developing an audience than subject matter. “The global political financial elites have had a common language ever since it was French,” Smith says. “There is now a universal language of internet culture, [and] that. . . is how our stuff translates so well between cultures and audiences.” This isn’t a form of digital Esperanto, Smith insists; the point isn’t to flatten the differences between countries or regions so much as to serve as a “container” in which people from different regions, interest groups, and cultures can consume media through references they all understand.

    BuzzFeed might not be setting out to shape its readers’ identities (I certainly can’t claim to feel a special bond with other people who found out they were Phoebes from the quiz “Your Sushi Order Will Reveal Which ‘Friends’ Character You’re Most Like”). An audience defined by its youth and its media consumption habits can be difficult to keep up with: platforms come and go, and young people don’t stay young forever. But if Anderson’s thesis still carries water, there must be something to speaking this language across cultures, space, and time. Call it “Web vernacular.”

    In 2013, during one of the many recent and lengthy US government shutdowns, Joshua Keating, a journalist at Slate, began a series, “If It Happened There,” that imagined how the American media would view the shutdown if it were occurring in another country. “The typical signs of state failure aren’t evident on the streets of this sleepy capital city,” Keating opens. “Beret-wearing colonels have not yet taken to the airwaves to declare martial law. . . .But the pleasant autumn weather disguises a government teetering on the brink.”

    It goes on; you get the idea. Keating’s series, which was inspired by his having to read “many, many headlines from around the world” while working at Foreign Policy, is a clever journalistic illustration of what sociologists call “methodological nationalism”: the bias that gets inadvertently baked into work and words. In the Middle East, it’s sectarian or ethnic strife; in the Midwest, it’s a trigger-happy cop and a kid in a hoodie.

    His send-ups hit a nerve. “It was huge—it was by far the most popular thing I’ve done at Slate,” Keating says. “I don’t think that it was a shocking realization to anyone that this kind of language can be a problem, but sometimes pointing it out can be helpful. If the series did anything, it made people stop and be conscious of how. . . our inherent biases and perspectives will inform how we cover the world.”

    Curiously, living under an openly nationalist administration has changed the way America—or at the very least, a significant part of the American press corps—sees itself. The press is a de facto opposition party, not because it tries to be, but because the administration paints it that way. And that gives reporters the experience of working in a place much more hostile than the US without setting foot outside the country.

    Keating has “semi-retired” the series as a result of the broad awareness among American reporters that it is, in fact, happening here. “It didn’t feel too novel to say [Trump was] acting like a foreign dictator,” he says. “That was what the real news coverage was doing.”

    Keating, who traveled to Somaliland, Kurdistan, and Abkhazia to report his book Invisible Countries (2018), still thinks the fastest and most effective way to form an international perspective is to live abroad. At the same time, not being bound to a strong national identity “can make it hard to understand particular concerns of the people you’re writing about,” he says. It might be obvious, but there is no one perfect way to be internationally minded.

    Alan Rusbridger—the former editor of The Guardian who oversaw the paper’s Edward Snowden coverage and is now the principal at Lady Margaret Hall, a college at Oxford University—recognizes the journalistic and even moral merits of approaching news in a non-national way: “I think of journalism as a public service, and I do think there’s a link between journalism at its best and the betterment of individual lives and societies,” he says. But he doesn’t have an easy formula for how to do that, because truly cosmopolitan journalism requires both top-down editorial philosophies—not using certain phrasings or framings that position foreigners as “others”—and bottom-up efforts by individual writers to read widely and be continuously aware of how their work might be read by people thousands of miles away.

    Yes, the starting point is a nationally defined press, not a decentralized network, but working jointly helps pool scarce resources and challenge national or local biases.

    Rusbridger sees potential in collaborations across newsrooms, countries, and continents. Yes, the starting point is a nationally defined press, not a decentralized network; but working jointly helps pool scarce resources and challenge national or local biases. It also wields power. “One of the reasons we reported Snowden with the Times in New York was to use global protections of human rights and free speech and be able to appeal to a global audience of readers and lawyers,” Rusbridger recalls. “We thought, ‘We’re pretty sure nation-states will come at us over this, and the only way to do it is harness ourselves to the US First Amendment not available to us anywhere else.’”

    In employing these tactics, the press positions itself in opposition to the nation-state. The same strategy could be seen behind the rollout of the Panama and Paradise Papers (not to mention the aggressive tax dodging detailed therein). “I think journalists and activists and citizens on the progressive wing of politics are thinking creatively about how global forces can work to their advantage,” Rusbridger says.

    But he thinks it all starts locally, with correspondents who have fluency in the language, culture, and politics of the places they cover, people who are members of the communities they write about. That isn’t a traditional foreign-correspondent experience (nor indeed that of UN employees, NGO workers, or other expats). The silver lining of publishing companies’ shrinking budgets might be that cost cutting pushes newsrooms to draw from local talent, rather than send established writers around. What you gain—a cosmopolitanism that works from the bottom up—can help dispel accusations of media elitism. That’s the first step to creating new imagined communities.

    Anderson’s work has inspired many an academic, but media executives? Not so much. Rob Wijnberg is an exception: he founded the (now beleaguered) Correspondent in the Netherlands in 2013 with Anderson’s ideas in mind. In fact, when we speak, he brings the name up unprompted.

    “You have to transcend this notion that you can understand the world through the national point of view,” he says. “The question is, What replacement do we have for it? Simply saying we have to transcend borders or have an international view isn’t enough, because you have to replace the imagined community you’re leaving behind with another one.”

    For Wijnberg, who was a philosophy student before he became a journalist, this meant radically reinventing the very structures of the news business: avoiding covering “current events” just because they happened, and thinking instead of what we might call eventful currents—the political, social, and economic developments that affect us all. It meant decoupling reporting from national news cycles, and getting readers to become paying “members” instead of relying on advertisements.

    This, he hoped, would help create a readership not based on wealth, class, nationality, or location, but on borderless, universal concerns. “We try to see our members. . . as part of a group or knowledge community, where the thing they share is the knowledge they have about a specific structural subject matter,” be it climate, inequality, or migration, Wijnberg says. “I think democracy and politics answers more to media than the other way around, so if you change the way media covers the world you change a lot.”

    That approach worked well in the Netherlands: his team raised 1.7 million euros in 2013, and grew to include 60,000 members. A few years later, Wijnberg and his colleagues decided to expand into the US, and with the help of NYU’s Jay Rosen, an early supporter, they made it onto Trevor Noah’s Daily Show to pitch their idea.

    The Correspondent raised more than $2.5 million from nearly 50,000 members—a great success, by any measure. But in March, things started to get hairy, with the publication abruptly pulling the plug on opening a US newsroom and announcing that staff would edit stories reported from the US from the original Amsterdam office instead. Many of the reasons behind this are mundane: visas, high rent, relocation costs. And reporters would still be reporting from, and on, the States. But supporters felt blindsided, calling the operation a scam.

    Today, Wijnberg reflects that he should have controlled the messaging better, and not promised to hire and operate from New York until he was certain that he could. He also wonders why it matters.

    “It’s not saying people who think it matters are wrong,” he explains. “But if the whole idea of this kind of geography and why it’s there is a construct, and you’re trying to think about transcending it, the very notion of Where are you based? is secondary. The whole point is not to be based anywhere.”

    Still: “The view from everywhere—the natural opposite—is just as real,” Wijnberg concedes. “You can’t be everywhere. You have to be somewhere.”

    And that’s the rub: for all of nationalism’s ills, it does instill in its subjects what Anderson calls a “deep, horizontal comradeship” that, while imagined, blossoms thanks to a confluence of forces. It can’t be replicated supranationally overnight. The challenge for a cosmopolitan journalism, then, is to dream up new forms of belonging that look forward, not backward—without discarding the imagined communities we have.

    That’s hard; so hard that it more frequently provokes a retrenchment, not an expansion, of solidarity. But it’s not impossible. And our collective futures almost certainly depend on it.

    https://www.cjr.org/special_report/view-from-nowhere.php
    #journalisme #nationalisme #Etat-nation #communauté_nationale #communauté_internationale #frontières #presse #médias

  • Portrait d’un imposteur, charlatan, facho, stipendié par la CIA, belliciste et misogyne (j’en oublie). Théophraste R. - 30 Juin 2019 - LGS
    https://www.legrandsoir.info/portrait-d-un-imposteur-charlatan-facho-stipendie-par-la-cia-bellicist

    Eduqué par un précepteur nazi envoyé au Tibet par Hitler, il a été jusqu’en 1959 le chef d’une théocratie si féroce que « son peuple » martyr, avec une espérance de vie de 37,5 ans, était en danger de disparition.

    En avril 1999, il a lancé un appel au gouvernement britannique afin qu’il libère l’ex-dictateur fasciste chilien Augusto Pinochet, arrêté au cours d’une visite en Angleterre (1).

    Il était l’ami du gourou japonais https://www.legrandsoir.info/le-dalai-lama-vient-de-perdre-un-ami.html de la secte Aum, Shoko Asahara qui le sponsorisait et qui a défrayé la chronique de l’horreur en faisant gazer au sarin des passagers du métro de Tokyo le 20 mars 1995.

    Il est subventionné depuis 1959 par la CIA. En 1998, son représentant à Washington a avoué : «  C’est un secret dévoilé, nous ne le contestons pas.  »

    Le 27 juin 2019, il s’est exprimé à la BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48772175 sur l’immigration en Europe, qu’il souhaite limitée, faute de quoi «  l’Europe pourrait devenir « musulmane ou africaine  ». Elargissant le slogan de nos fascistes («  La France au Français !  ») il a déclaré «  Europe is for Europeans  ».
    Le « chef » si peu spirituel d’une frange minoritaire des bouddhistes envisage de se réincarner en femme, mais «  il faudra qu’elle soit attirante  ». Il n’a pas dit : «  je ne me vois pas en boudin  », mais on l’a entendu.

    Despote, #charlatan, #facho, stipendié par la CIA, belliciste (partisan de la guerre en Irak et en Afghanistan), misogyne, tel est l’individu que notre site dénonce depuis des années dans de nombreux articles (2) quand la classe politico-médiatique se prosterne devant lui.

    Théophraste R. Auteur du pamphlet (que j’hésite à publier) : «  Le dalaï lama est un sale con  ».

    Notes. 
(1) Pendant les 25 années d’emprisonnement de Nelson Mandela, il s’est tu. C’est pourquoi, malgré ses efforts, et contrairement à Raul Castro, il n’a pas été autorisé à assister aux funérailles du leader Sud-Africain en décembre 2013.

    (2) Voir aussi le livre : « Dalaï lama pas si zen », de Maxime Vivas (Editions Max Milo, 2011).

    #dalaï_lama #misogynie #tibet #chine #religion #bouddhisme #femmes #politique #histoire #censure #manipulation #asile #asie #Nelson_Mandela #théocratie #augusto_pinochet #europe #migrations #emmanuel_macron #macron Curieux que #brigitte_macron, ne figure pas sur la photographie, ce devait être une demande de sa #sainteté pour qui les #femmes sont des . . . .

    • J’ai aucune raison de défendre un dirigeant religieux hein, mais on peut pas appeler ça du journalisme quoi. Article débile sans aucune source, qui mélange des trucs vrais et faux exorès (moi j’arrive jamais à avoir confiance à chaque fois que je lis le Grand soir, je pige jamais si c’est un contenu copié d’autre part, un article écrit exprès, et d’où sortent les infos, etc).

      Rien que la première phrase « putaclic » n’a aucun sens « Eduqué par un précepteur nazi envoyé au Tibet par Hitler » : il a jamais été éduqué par un précepteur étranger… il a juste croisé la route de l’alpiniste https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Harrer pendant un moment, aucun rapport avec son éducation.

      Enfin bref, super le journalisme quoi… Si c’est pour critiquer une religion, ou des personnes de pouvoir (très bien !), j’attends plus que ce genre de merde, personnellement…

  • Iraq′s drought unveils 3,400-year-old palace of mysterious empire | News | DW | 28.06.2019
    https://www.dw.com/en/iraqs-drought-unveils-3400-year-old-palace-of-mysterious-empire/a-49384876

    A team of researchers in Germany will now try to interpret the cuneiform tablets. They hope that the clay tablets will reveal more about the Mittani Empire, which once dominated life in parts of Syria and northern Mesopotamia.

    Irak : un palais ancien émerge d’un réservoir à sec | www.cnews.fr
    https://www.cnews.fr/monde/2019-06-29/irak-un-palais-ancien-emerge-dun-reservoir-sec-855806

    Un palais datant de 3.400 ans a émergé d’un réservoir dans la région du Kurdistan en #Irak, suite à une baisse du niveau de l’eau causée par les fortes chaleurs et la sécheresse qui frappent le pays.

    Relevée par CNN, la découverte de ce bâtiment a mobilisé une équipe d’archéologues kurdes et allemands. Situé sur le site de « Kemune », dans le nord de l’Irak, le palais avait été inondé en raison de la construction du barrage de Mossoul et se trouvait sous le fleuve du Tigre. Déjà partiellement découvert pour la première fois en 2010, le site n’avait pas pu être exploré car le niveau de l’eau était encore trop élevé.

    Ce vestige de l’âge de bronze est « l’une des découvertes archéologiques les plus importantes dans la région au cours des dernières années », selon l’archéologue kurde Hasan Ahmed Qasim. Il remonte à l’époque où l’empire Mittani dominait la région et pourrait, selon la chaîne américaine, permettre d’en apprendre d’avantage sur ce royaume qui figure parmi les plus méconnus du #Proche-Orient.

    Dans ce palais, certains éléments ont été remarquablement préservés. Notamment des peintures murales dans les tons rouge et bleu, caractéristiques des palais de l’époque, ainsi que dix tablettes d’argile gravées d’écritures cunéiformes. À l’aide de ces textes, les chercheurs espèrent « obtenir des informations sur la structure interne de l’empire #Mittani, son organisation économique et les relations entre sa capitale et les centres administratifs des régions voisines ».

    #archéologie #climat

  • Rapatriement des familles de djihadistes : le rappel à l’ordre de Michelle Bachelet
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/290619/rapatriement-des-familles-de-djihadistes-le-rappel-l-ordre-de-michelle-bac

    La haute-commissaire aux droits de l’homme de l’ONU appelle les États à prendre « " leurs responsabilités " » en rapatriant leurs ressortissants détenus en Syrie ou en Irak. Elle s’inquiète notamment du sort des enfants qui « ont subi de graves violations de leurs droits ». Pointée du doigt, la France se réfugie derrière la « théorie de l’acte de gouvernement » qui lui permet d’échapper à tout recours devant une juridiction française.

    #LIBERTÉS_PUBLIQUES #CNCDH,_Etat_islamique,_ONU,_djihadistes,_droits_de_l’enfant,_Michelle_Bachelet,_Défenseur_des_droits

  • The New York Times and its Uyghur “activist” - World Socialist Web Site
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/09/uygh-m09.html

    9 May 2019 - The New York Times has furnished a case study of the way in which it functions as the conduit for the utterly hypocritical “human rights” campaigns fashioned by the CIA and the State Department to prosecute the predatory interests of US imperialism.

    While turning a blind eye to the gross abuses of democratic rights by allies such as Saudi Arabia, the US has brazenly used “human rights” for decades as the pretext for wars, diplomatic intrigues and regime-change. The media is completely integrated into these operations.

    Another “human rights” campaign is now underway. The New York Times is part of the mounting chorus of condemnation of China over its treatment of the Turkic-speaking, Muslim Uyghur minority in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang.

    In an article on May 4 entitled “In push for trade deal, Trump administration shelves sanctions over China’s crackdown on Uyghurs,” the New York Times joined in criticism of the White House, particularly by the Democrats, for failing to impose punitive measures on Beijing.

    The strident denunciations of China involve unsubstantiated allegations that it is detaining millions of Uyghurs without charge or trial in what Beijing terms vocational training camps.

    The New York Times reported, without qualification, the lurid claims of US officials, such as Assistant Secretary of Defence Randall Schriver, who last Friday condemned “the mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps” and boosted the commonly cited figure of up to a million to “up to three million” in detention. No evidence has been presented for either claim.

    The repression of the Uyghurs is completely bound up with the far broader oppression of the working class by the Chinese capitalist elites and the Chinese Communist Party regime that defends their interests. The US campaign on the Uyghurs, however, has nothing to do with securing the democratic rights of workers, but is aimed at stirring up reactionary separatist sentiment.

    The US has longstanding ties to right-wing separatist organisations based on Chinese minorities—Tibetans as well as the Uyghurs—that it helped create, fund and in some cases arm. As the US, first under President Obama and now Trump, has escalated its diplomatic, economic and military confrontation with China, the “human rights” of Uyghurs has been increasingly brought to the fore.

    Washington’s aim, at the very least, is to foment separatist opposition in Xinjiang, which is a crucial source of Chinese energy and raw materials as well as being pivotal to its key Belt and Road Initiative to integrate China more closely with Eurasia. Such unrest would not only weaken China but could lead to a bloody war and the fracturing of the country. Uyghur separatists, who trained in the US network of Islamist terrorist groups in Syria, openly told Radio Free Asia last year of their intention to return to China to wage an armed insurgency.

    The New York Times is completely in tune with the aims behind these intrigues—a fact that is confirmed by its promotion of Uyghur “activist” Rushan Abbas.

    Last weekend’s article highlighted Abbas as the organiser of a tiny demonstration in Washington to “pressure Treasury Department officials to take action against Chinese officials involved in the Xinjiang abuses.” She told the newspaper that the Uyghur issue should be included as part of the current US-China trade talks, and declared: “They are facing indoctrination, brainwashing and the elimination of their values as Muslims.”

    An article “Uyghur Americans speak against China’s internment camps” on October 18 last year cited her remarks at the right-wing think tank, the Hudson Institute, where she “spoke out” about the detention of her aunt and sister. As reported in the article: “I hope the Chinese ambassador here reads this,” she said, wiping away tears. “I will not stop. I will be everywhere and speak on this at every event from now on.”

    Presented with a tearful woman speaking about her family members, very few readers would have the slightest inkling of Abbas’s background, about which the New York Times quite deliberately says nothing. Abbas is a highly connected political operator with long standing ties to the Pentagon, the State Department and US intelligence agencies at the highest level as well as top Republican Party politicians. She is a key figure in the Uyghur organisations that the US has supported and funded.

    Currently, Abbas is Director of Business Development in ISI Consultants, which offers to assist “US companies to grow their businesses in Middle East and African markets.” Her credentials, according to the company website, include “over 15 years of experience in global business development, strategic business analysis, business consultancy and government affairs throughout the Middle East, Africa, CIS regions, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and Latin America.”

    The website also notes: “She also has extensive experience working with US government agencies, including Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, and various US intelligence agencies.” As “an active campaigner for human rights,” she “works closely with members of the US Senate, Congressional Committees, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the US Department of State and several other US government departments and agencies.”

    This brief summary makes clear that Abbas is well connected in the highest levels of the state apparatus and in political circles. It also underscores the very close ties between the Uyghur organisations, in which she and her family members are prominent, and the US intelligence and security agencies.

    A more extensive article and interview with Abbas appeared in the May 2019 edition of the magazine Bitter Winter, which is published by the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions. The magazine focuses on “religious liberty and human rights in China” and is part of a conservative, right-wing network in Europe and the United States. The journalist who interviewed Abbas, Marco Respinti, is a senior fellow at the Russell Kirk Centre for Cultural Renewal, and a board member of the Centre for European Renewal—both conservative think tanks.

    The article explains that Abbas was a student activist at Xinjiang University during the 1989 protests by students and workers against the oppressive Beijing regime, but left China prior to the brutal June 4 military crackdown that killed thousands in the capital and throughout the country. At the university, she collaborated with Dolkun Isa and “has worked closely with him ever since.”

    Dolkun Isa is currently president of the World Uyghur Congress, established in 2004 as an umbrella group for a plethora of Uyghur organisations. It receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy—which is one of the fronts used by the CIA and the US State Department for fomenting opposition to Washington’s rivals, including so-called colour revolutions, around the world.

    Isa was the subject of an Interpol red notice after China accused him of having connections to the armed separatist group, the East Turkestan Liberation Organisation, a claim he denied. East Turkestan is the name given to Xinjiang by Uyghur separatists to denote its historic connections to Turkey. None of the Western countries in which he traveled moved to detain him and the red notice was subsequently removed, no doubt under pressure from Washington.

    Bitter Winter explained that after moving to the US, Abbas cofounded the first Uyghur organisation in the United States in 1993—the California-based Tengritagh Overseas Students and Scholars Association. She also played a key role in the formation of the Uyghur American Association in 1998, which receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Last year its Uyghur Human Rights Project was awarded two NED grants totaling $320,000. Her brother Rishat Abbas was the association’s first vice-chairman and is currently the honorary chairman of the Uyghur Academy based in Turkey.

    When the US Congress funded a Uyghur language service for the Washington-based Radio Free Asia, Abbas became its first reporter and news anchor, broadcasting daily to China. Radio Free Asia, like its counterpart Radio Free Europe, began its existence in the 1950s as a CIA conduit for anti-communist propaganda. It was later transferred to the US Information Agency, then the US State Department and before being incorporated as an “independent,” government-funded body. Its essential purpose as a vehicle for US disinformation and lies has not changed, however.

    In a particularly revealing passage, Bitter Winter explained: “From 2002–2003, Ms. Abbas supported Operation Enduring Freedom as a language specialist at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” In the course of the interview with the magazine, Abbas attempted to explain away her involvement with the notorious prison camp by saying that she was simply acting on behalf of 22 Uyghurs who were wrongfully detained and ultimately released—after being imprisoned for between four to 11 years!

    Given the denunciations of Chinese detention camps, one might expect that Abbas would have something critical to say about Guantanamo Bay, where inmates are held indefinitely without charge or trial and in many cases tortured. However, she makes no criticism of the prison or its procedures, nor for that matter of Operation Enduring Freedom—the illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq that resulted in the deaths of a million civilians.

    It is clear why. Abbas is plugged into to the very top levels of the US state apparatus and political establishment in Washington. Her stints with Radio Free Asia and at Guantanamo Bay are undoubtedly not the only times that she has been directly on the payroll.

    As Bitter Winter continued: “She has frequently briefed members of the US Congress and officials at the State Department on the human rights situation of the Uyghur people, and their history and culture, and arranged testimonies before Congressional committees and Human Rights Commissions.

    “She provided her expertise to other federal and military agencies as well, and in 2007 she assisted during a meeting between then-President George W. Bush and Rebiya Kadeer, the world-famous moral leader of the Uyghurs, in Prague. Later that year she also briefed then First Lady Laura Bush in the White House on the Human Rights situation in Xinjiang.”

    It should be noted, Rebiya Kadeer is the “the world-famous moral leader of the Uyghurs,” only in the eyes of the CIA and the US State Department who have assiduously promoted her, and of the US-funded Uyghur organisations. She was one of the wealthiest businesswomen in China who attended the National People’s Congress before her husband left for the US and began broadcasting for Radio Free Asia and Voice of America. She subsequently fled China to the US and has served as president both of the World Uyghur Congress and the American Uyghur Association.

    The fact that Russan Abbas is repeatedly being featured in the New York Times is an indication that she is also being groomed to play a leading role in the mounting US propaganda offensive against China over the persecution of the Uyghurs. It is also a telling indictment of the New York Times which opens its pages to her without informing its readers of her background. Like Abbas, the paper of record is also plugged into the state apparatus and its intelligence agencies.

    #Chine #Xinjiang_Weiwuer_zizhiqu #USA #impérialisme #services_secretes

    新疆維吾爾自治區 / 新疆维吾尔自治区, Xīnjiāng Wéiwú’ěr zìzhìqū, englisch Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

  • John Bolton, l’homme qui pousse Trump à faire la guerre
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/250619/john-bolton-l-homme-qui-pousse-trump-faire-la-guerre

    Le conseiller à la sécurité nationale John Bolton fut un partisan enthousiaste de la guerre en Irak. Le voilà qui cherche désormais à convaincre Trump de l’opportunité d’une guerre avec le régime de Téhéran.

    #Analyse #Iran,_John_Bolton,_Etats-Unis,_Donald_Trump,_A_la_Une

  • The Iraqi and Syrian refugees using body-mapping to share their stories

    What does it mean to flee one’s country and undertake the dangerous journey to Europe? What does it mean to suddenly lose everything and be forced to live in a different country? A new home, new school, new friends and a totally new life? To what extent does it influence family lives and the family unit as such? These are questions that a new research project, based at the University of Birmingham and funded by the British Academy, is tackling. The focus is not only on the changes occurring within refugee families, but equally on the impact of the influx of refugees on the host society.

    We use art as a research method to allow Iraqi and Syrian women and men to express their thoughts and feelings, on both their refugee journey and their new lives in their host countries. Fleeing one’s country puts enormous pressure and stress on an individual, both emotionally and physically. Using the artistic technique of body mapping proved to be very useful in this project, as it allowed participants to embody the emotional and psychological pain caused by their refugee experiences through art. Holding a paint brush, painting and being taught by a renowned artist, in this instance Rachel Gadsden, were for the majority of the participants a new experience. It provided them with a feeling of pride, achievement and self-fulfilment, at a time when they needed it the most. But what are they painting? How are they expressing their experiences? How do they portray themselves? What do they say about their new lives? Do their own narratives confirm widespread notions of their ‘vulnerability’?

    Decades of displacement

    Saddam Hussein’s decades of authoritarian rule in Iraq, the continuous political instability caused by his fall in 2003 and the rise of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014 has forced over three million Iraqis to flee their country since the 1980s. Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Syrians have become one of the largest groups of refugees, with more than five million civilians forced to flee to neighbouring Middle Eastern countries and to Europe. Many Iraqi and Syrian refugees have headed to Europe directly and settled in countries such as Germany or the UK, others went through multi-local trajectories of displacement in so-called ‘transit countries’ such as Jordan.

    Syrian and Iraqi societies are to a significant extent tribal and patriarchal in nature, with familial or community-based social networks often serving to protect their members. However, these networks may be disrupted or disappear entirely during a migration process, leaving women and children in particular in extremely vulnerable situations, unprotected by their family networks. Women, as well as children, very often find themselves in the most subservient and marginal positions, making them vulnerable to abuse and violence, inflicted either by social and religious communities or the state. Human trafficking operations have played a central role in facilitating immigration. In such circumstances, human traffickers who bring migrants across borders abuse women and children and force them into sexually exploitive occupations, or subject them to physical and sexual abuse themselves. Tackling violence against women and girls is one of the UK government’s most important goals. The UK’s aid report in 2015 highlights explicitly the challenges the UK faces regarding the conflict in Iraq and Syria and the need to support peace and stability abroad, in order to secure social and political stability in the UK. The UK government is working extensively towards implementing the ‘No One Behind Promise’, which strives to achieve gender equality, prioritise the empowerment of girls and women and end violence against them, within war zones, such as in Syria and Iraq, and during migration processes in particular.

    Women are often limited to gender-specific narratives of female vulnerability within patriarchal social structures. Without neglecting the fact that women are more affected by and subject to sexual and gender-based violence, the over 150 women we talked and worked with in our projects so far have another story to tell. In our art workshops, these women used art and body-mapping to express their powerful stories of resilience, endurance and survival.

    Gender roles in a time of war and instability

    “I never worked with fabric, but I learnt how to produce the most amazing clothes for women’s engagement and wedding parties. I go around clothing shops in the city and try to sell them. Now I have my own network of buyers. I earn more money now than my husband used to earn. He passed away five years ago and left me with three children to feed. Yes, they call me sharmuta – a slut – because I go around male merchants in town to see whether they would buy my products. I don’t sleep with them. I only sell them my dresses. I don’t do anything wrong. Therefore, I will not stop. I cannot stop. I have children to feed. The problem is not me – the problem is their dirty thinking, only because I am a woman and a good-looking one too [laughing].”

    The young Iraqi widow above was not the only female refugee in Jordan, the UK or in Germany who struggles with social stigmatisations and sexual harassment, on the way to and from work as well as in the workplace. Women’s independence is very often violently attacked, verbally and physically, in order to control women’s lives, bodies and sexuality. Refugee women’s pending legal status, their socio-economic integration and the degree of their security within the host environment change long-held values on family structures and socio-cultural expectations on gender roles. They also influence women and men’s own understanding of their roles which, in most cases, represents a shift from their traditional gender roles within their families. Women and men’s roles in family and society inevitably change in time of war and forced migration and society needs to adapt to this development. In order to achieve sustainable change in society’s perception, both men and women need to be socialised and equipped to understand these societal changes. This does not solely apply to the refugee communities, but also to the host communities, who are also influenced by the presence of these newcomers.

    Through stitching fabric onto their body map paintings or adding pictures of the food they cook to sell on the canvases, women express their attempts to survive. Through art, women can portray how they see themselves: strong in enduring the hardship, without neglecting the challenges they face. “I want to show the world out there that we are not poor victims. One woman like us is better and stronger than 100 men,” as one Iraqi in Germany explains. Another Syrian in the UK emphasised women’s resilience, saying “wherever we fall we will land straight. I want to paint my head up for these politicians to know that nothing will bend us”.

    Women in our art workshops see the production of their artwork and the planned art exhibitions as an opportunity to provide a different narrative on Muslim refugee women. It provided them with a space to articulate the challenges they faced, during and after their refugee journey, but also to create a bridge between the refugee communities and the host community. The artwork produced in the workshops helped to facilitate community bonding, integration and above all, as one Syrian in Jordan explains, “a better understanding of what we really are”.
    https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/blog/summer-showcase-2019-iraqi-syrian-refugees-body-mapping
    #corps #cartographie #cartoexperiment #réfugiés #réfugiés_syriens #réfugiés_irakiens #asile #migrations #couture #femmes #genre #dessin
    ping @reka

    • Negotiating Relationships and Redefining Traditions: Syrian and Iraqi Women Refugees in Jordan
      Art workshops in Jordan April 2019

      Narratives of displacement is a research-based project of the University of Birmingham and funded by the British Academy, documenting the effects of the long and extensive conflict in Syria and the consequent process of significant temporary and permanent displacement of families, upon the marriages and the family-units of the many thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women affected, and now living as refugees, and as asylum-seekers, within several host nations, namely: Germany, UK and Jordan.

      The project is devised and directed by Dr Yafa Shanneik, and comprises at its core the collecting and collating of data, in several locations, in this instance within Jordan, by Shanneik, by means of a comprehensive and broad-reaching programme of interviews with women affected, personal testimony, that considers the sustainment of the marriage and the family unit, and those topics directly related to this, ranging from, the physical, and frequently arduous and perilous, journey from home to host country, to the shifting balance as to the family provider – affected in turn by, for example, skills and the availability of opportunity, psychological changes within individual family members, cultural differences within those host nations.

      Dr Shanneik is acutely conscious of the forced upheaval, the diaspora of no choosing, and the desire therefore, the longing, of those affected, to give voice to the emotional impact, simply to tell their own stories. And, for this reason she has enlisted the services of artist Dr Rachel Gadsden, who will, over an extended period, work with the interviewees, together with family members, mothers, sisters, children, to create mural-style artwork, using the body-mapping process as a starting-point, to depict not only the destruction they may have left behind, the harrowing passages and the significant demands imposed by the process of integration, but also, perhaps, the opportunities, both foreseen and unforeseen, of the new circumstances that they find themselves in.

      The artwork will serve an additional purpose: the opportunity for the testimony, the stories, to be presented to the outside world, a public voice in the form of an exhibition; and therefore, as a means of enhancing this experience, composer and musician Freddie Meyers has been commissioned to compose an original score integrates the Syrian and Iraqi narratives as part of a live art performance, that will sit alongside the exhibition of artworks, to provide an additional layer in terms of expressing the emotional response.

      The starting-point for this particular leg of the project is the one-time fortified town of Karak. Historically, Karak was always of importance, in its strategic location overlooking the easy trading route formed by the valley and the escarpment that is now the Kings Highway, running from north to south through the centre of the country. There will always have been a ‘stop-over’ here, and certainly in the time of the Nabateans, it would have been both a military base and one of many toll-gates, alongside of course Petra in the south, used to control the movement of frankincense, in particular, shipped and sold to Rome, that made the Nabateans so wealthy and enduring. Later, it was held by the Romans themselves, and later again the, Frankish, Crusaders, who used it as a means of protecting Jerusalem, until finally it was laid siege to and liberated by Saladin.

      This fascinating and colourful history is of great significance in terms of Narratives of Displacement, exemplifying as it does the history of the different forms of migration, movement, cross-cultural trade and interface that has been instrumental in forging the tolerant and diverse nature of modern Jordan.

      Since the conflict in Syria began it is understood that there are, conservatively, over a million Syrians currently taking refuge in Jordan, and the country therefore actively engages in seeking to understand the many and continuing pressures consequent to this, borne not only by the refugees themselves but by their hosts, and impinging upon the infrastructure and social and work environment, the better to accommodate the enormous influx.

      The project for five days has based itself at the Al Hassan Cultural Community centre, interestingly on the other side of the valley from, and having spectacular views of, the liberated fortress. Strategically this location is still of importance. Under the inspirational guidance of its director, Ouruba al Shamayle, the community centre houses an extensive library, research and study rooms, and also a brilliant 800 seat theatre and, used in conjunction with Karak University, attracts students hailing from every other part of the country, north and south.

      The immediate vicinity of the centre alone plays host to many hundreds of refugee families, and so over the juration of our stay the centre has witnessed a continuous visitation of the women and their families, attending for interview with Shanneik, and subsequently to interact in creating body-mapping paintings. The interviewing process has been successful and revealing in documenting individual narratives, and the participants have rendered their often-harrowing stories within a total so far of 7 narrative canvases.

      The venue has proved wholly appropriate for additional reasons. The centre plays host to the regular round-table forum of local community leaders, and consequently on Wednesday, Shanneik was given the opportunity to present to a near full complement of forum members including influential local tribal and community leaders. The talk generated considerable interest and discussion amongst the forum, who voiced their appreciation of the objectives, and offered continuing support.

      Subsequently the governor of Karak, Dr. Jamal Al Fayez, visited the centre to familiarize himself with the research, taking a short break for coffee and relaxed discussion about the project’s aims and objectives, and additionally contributing to the artwork underway, completing a part of the painted surface of one of the artworks, and also superimposing in charcoal some of the written word to be contained in the finished pieces.

      From Karak we journeyed north to Irbid where the weather took a turn for the worse. With the rain and the cold, we were conscious of how such conditions might affect our ability to link up with prospective artistic collaborators. The first workshop in Irbid brought together a group of both Syrian and Iraqi women and was hosted in a private home. A red plastic swing swaying in the sitting room, caught our attention. Our Iraqi host has 2 young children, a daughter, and a son who is autistic. The swing allows the son to continue to enjoy physical activity throughout the winter months – this winter, apparently, having been one of the longest. We painted two canvases; one that accommodated two Syrian sisters and our Iraqi host, and one created on traditional dark canvas and telling the stories of displacement of the four Iraqi women, designed in a circular pattern and evoking journeys and life’s force. After the women drew and painted, music filled the air as all the Iraqi women danced and sang traditional songs together. It was a joy for Yafa and Rachel to witness: art and music transports the mood, and the women let their feelings go, laughed, sang and danced together. Rachel recorded their ululation; to incorporate in the music and performance Freddie Meyers is composing.

      That night there was crashing thunder and flashes of lightning, so no surprise that our trip to Mafraq, further north, had to be postponed – flooding can be a hazard on these occasions as rainwater pours down from the mountains and fills up the dry wadis. So instead the project headed to a Palestinian refugee camp, to a society that supports orphaned children.

      Freddie and Tim were not able to join the workshop and so went off to film the surrounding area. Hearing the stories of migration is always a challenge, but as Yafa interviews the women a clear narrative emerges to guide the piecing together of the artwork. This time there were two Iraqi women and also two Syrian women. Despite living in the same building, the two Syrians had never before spoken to one another. One of the Iraqi women has been fantastically creative in her efforts to secure the lives of her children, taking whatever work she can to support her family, having been widowed five years ago. Adoption is rare in these communities so it was heartening to hear about the work of the society as it goes about raising funds to educate and support the young orphans. The psychological impact upon the women is invariably, but perhaps not always addressed or discussed, and the process of art and the interviews can be cathartic, allowing the women to be open and perhaps emotionally truthful about their predicament.

      The weather turned the following day, so Mafraq was back on the schedule. The project visited a centre that teaches basic skills to support and enable refugees to seek work. A group of five women who all had direct contact with the centre joined the workshop. The women were all from Homs, and its environs. One of the canvases tells of the many ways the refugees fled their homeland and made their way to Jordan, both north and south. The key factor that emerged was that all of the women wanted to hold hands in the painting. It is clear that they support one another. Yafa and Rachel had the opportunity to visit the temporary homes of three of the women. As is to be expected, living conditions can sometimes be difficult, with problems related to dampness, for example, lack of adequate heating, and overcrowding. Despite the challenges the women were making traditional food to sell in the market and doing whatever they could to make the daily conditions and circumstances for their families better.

      The final destination for the project was Amman, where the project was hosted at the Baqa’a Palestinian refugee camp. It was market day in Baqa’a so our journey into the camp was more a case of maneuvering around stallholders than following the road. Al Baqa’a camp was one of six “emergency” camps set up in 1968 to accommodate Palestine refugees and displaced people who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Over 200,000 people live in the camp now; the community has welcomed recently many Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

      We were hosted by an organisation that also supports orphans, and they had brought together the group of Syrian women refugees and their children for our art workshop. 
Their husbands and fathers are all missing as a direct result of the Syrian conflict. We hear this narrative often, the bravery of each of the women as they share their stories and continue to support their families in the best possible way they can, is humbling. 
We will be creating a full narrative artwork, but these images say so much already.

      14-sketches13-blue-muralWe were additional joined in this workshop by Nicola Hope and Laura Hope, friends of Rachel’s. Nicola is at University studying Arabic and is currently attending Arabic classes as part of her degree process in Amman, and Laura, an Italian literature teacher was visiting her daughter. Additionally so as not to let the men miss out of the experience of the centre and the Baqa’a hospitality, the hosts took all of us on a tour of the camp after the workshop.

      Having listened to many harrowing and challenging stories of displacement during their time in Jordan, told by the Syrian and Iraqi refugee artistic collaborators, at the forefront of Yafa’s and Rachel’s mind is the fact that displacement is never a temporary predicament, it is a continuing one. The emotional scars are life long, and they have yet to meet a single refugee whose greatest hope is anything other than to safely return home.

      This was even more evident at Baqa’a Refugee Camp. Vulnerable individuals have a remarkable ability to survive, and ultimately they have no other choice other than to do just that.

      https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/ptr/departments/theologyandreligion/research/projects/narratives-of-displacement/blog.aspx
      #art

  • Pour ses djihadistes et leur famille, la France veut un tribunal pénal international
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/200619/pour-ses-djihadistes-et-leur-famille-la-france-veut-un-tribunal-penal-inte

    Après qu’Emmanuel Macron a refusé de rapatrier les familles de djihadistes français de Syrie, le Quai d’Orsay réfléchit à la création d’un tribunal pénal international basé en Irak. Il y a urgence : les Kurdes ont la plus grande difficulté à assurer la garde des détenus djihadistes tandis que la situation sanitaire se dégrade dans les camps où, selon nos informations, sont retenus plus de 300 enfants.

    #Terrorisme #Etat_islamique,_Emmanuel_Macron,_Jean-Yves_Le_Drian,_Florence_Parly,_A_la_Une

  • No Palestinians, no Israelis, maybe even no journalists: What’s left of Kushner’s Bahrain summit - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    The White House’s initial sense of euphoria about Arab participation at its economic workshop on June 25 has eroded, much to the (unspoken) relief of Jerusalem
    Amir Tibon and Noa Landau (Washington) Jun 18, 2019

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-no-palestinians-no-israelis-no-journalists-what-s-left-of-kushner-

    WASHINGTON - With just a week to go before the Bahrain conference convenes to discuss the economic chapter of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, things are looking increasingly gloomy for the U.S. team led by Jared Kushner.

    The White House had surprised journalists in Washington and Israel on an otherwise boring Sunday last month when it announced that the workshop would take place in the Gulf state on June 25-26. That announcement created a temporary sense of momentum behind the so-called deal of the century, and the small team working on the plan viewed Bahrain’s sponsorship of the event as a major achievement.

    But there have been a series of setbacks since then. The Palestinian Authority is boycotting the conference and has succeeded in convincing Palestinian business leaders not to attend as well. Russia and China — two of the most important economic players in the new Middle East — aren’t expected to attend, while Arab countries such as Iraq and Lebanon have also announced they won’t be participating.

  • Au sujet de la « guerre contre les pétroliers » dans le Golfe, il est intéressant de noter que deux commentateurs peu suspects d’alignement sur les États-Unis voient considèrent comme très crédible la responsabilité de l’Iran, acculée par les sanctions contre ses exportations de pétrole.

    Le Golfe est confronté à un scénario de guerre à petite échelle : pas de solution évidente – Elijah J. Magnier
    https://ejmagnier.com/2019/06/16/le-golfe-est-confronte-a-un-scenario-de-guerre-a-petite-echelle-pas-de-so

    Mais la “guerre contre les pétroliers” n’a certainement pas pris fin avec cette dernière attaque dans le Golfe d’Oman.

    L’Iran est bien sûr le principal suspect derrière ces attentats, mais aucune preuve tangible n’en a été apportée à ce jour. Enlever si rapidement et si facilement une mine ventouse inconnue, comme le montre la vidéo étatsunienne – est tout à fait extraordinaire, même pour des experts en explosifs. Aucun expert – même s’il connaît très bien ces mines – ne toucherait à des munitions non explosées sans prendre la précaution de déjouer lentement et attentivement tous les éventuels pièges et de se prémunir contre un éventuel déclenchement à distance. On a besoin de preuves solides, et non pas d’une analyse simpliste, car les implications de cette attaque sont très graves. 

    Alors, y a-t-il un moyen de sortir de ce cycle d’escalade ? L’Iran ne fait pas confiance aux Nations Unies parce que l’administration américaine a réduit le rôle et l’efficacité de cette organisation. Il ne fait pas confiance à l’Europe, qui a choisi de rester les bras croisés, divisée et soumise aux sanctions et aux brimades américaines. L’Iran ne fait pas confiance à Trump qui a révoqué l’accord nucléaire et est accusé dans son pays de ne pas “respecter le droit ou les institutions démocratiques “.

    Trump ne peut pas se coordonner avec la Russie parce que cela serait utilisé contre lui pendant sa campagne électorale. Il ne peut pas non plus laisser la main à la Chine, c’est le plus important concurrent économique, l’un des plus grands pays du monde et le cauchemar des Etatsuniens. La seule porte de sortie pourrait se trouver dans le Golfe. Tous les pays Arabes ne sont pas des ennemis et certains entretiennent de bonnes relations avec l’Iran et les États-Unis : L’Irak, le Qatar, le Koweït et Oman, par exemple. Si les États-Unis refusent de s’appuyer l’un de ces pays pour entamer des négociations sérieuses en vue d’alléger les sanctions contre l’Iran, la petite guerre actuelle pourrait bien prendre des dimensions plus importantes dans les semaines à venir.

    How Trump’s "Maximum Pressure" Campaign Against Iran Now Works Against Him
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/06/how-trumps-maximum-pressure-campaign-now-works-against-him.html

    Iran calculates that Trump will see the danger and recognize that such a conflict would ruin his presidency. That he will accept that he has to revoke the sanctions and rejoin the nuclear deal to avoid to be blamed for unprecedented oil prices and catastrophic consequences for the global economy.

    We can expect that the cat and mouse game will continue throughout the next twelve month. Trump will be under pressure from both sides. Next spring or summer is the latest point for him to decide either way. Until then we will see more casualties of this new tanker war.

    Iran’s enemies as well as Iran itself now have an interest that more attacks on tankers happen. But unless there is very convincing independent evidence we will never know who will have committed these. There are simply too many players who have motives and the capabilities to make such attacks happen. All of them have plausible reasons to damage more ships. All of them have plausible deniability. It is this what makes the current situation so dangerous. Luckily the problem can be easily solved.

    The one who caused this conflict is Donald Trump. He is also the one who can immediately end it.

  • Attaques de pétroliers en mer d’Oman : une dangereuse escalade
    https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2019/06/15/attaques-de-petroliers-en-mer-d-oman-une-dangereuse-escalade_5476709_3232.ht

    Editorial. Le sabotage de tankers, jeudi 13 juin, accroît la tension autour du golfe Persique. La diplomatie doit continuer à œuvrer pour que les Etats-Unis et l’Iran évitent une rupture définitive et dramatique.

    Editorial du « Monde ». L’attaque de deux pétroliers en mer d’Oman, jeudi 13 juin, un mois après le sabotage de quatre navires dans les mêmes eaux, représente une escalade dangereuse. Elle accroît la tension autour du golfe Persique, par où transite un cinquième de la production mondiale de pétrole. Elle annonce un déploiement militaire accru des Etats-Unis dans la région, sur fond de bras de fer entre l’Iran d’un côté et Washington et ses alliés régionaux, l’Arabie saoudite, les Emirats arabes unis et Israël, de l’autre.

    Ces attaques n’ont pas fait de victimes et n’ont pas bouleversé le marché pétrolier, mais elles rappellent les prémices de la guerre des tankers, qui a fait rage durant le conflit entre l’Iran et l’Irak (1980-1988). Washington s’est empressé d’attribuer l’opération de jeudi à Téhéran, en publiant une vidéo censée montrer l’équipage d’une vedette iranienne en train de retirer une mine ventouse non explosée du flanc de l’un des pétroliers attaqués. L’ONU a prudemment réclamé une enquête indépendante.

    Si la nature et l’origine de ces nouvelles attaques demeurent sujettes à caution, la logique d’escalade à l’œuvre est claire. L’Iran fait face, de fait, à une guerre économique de la part des Etats-Unis, qui soumettent le pays à des sanctions d’une violence inédite, depuis leur retrait de l’accord international sur le nucléaire iranien, en mai 2018. Cette stratégie de « pression maximale » est censée forcer Téhéran à réduire drastiquement ses ambitions nucléaires, son programme balistique et son jeu d’influence régional. En réalité, elle vise à provoquer l’écroulement du régime, qui lutte pour sa survie.

    Pour les dirigeants iraniens, l’urgence consiste à montrer à Washington que cette pression, ainsi qu’une éventuelle intervention militaire, a un coût. C’est pourquoi les points de friction se multiplient dans la région. C’est aussi pour cela que l’Iran a annoncé qu’il commencerait à rompre ses engagements nucléaires le 7 juillet, si les autres signataires de l’accord (Chine, Russie, France, Royaume-Uni et Allemagne) ne trouvaient pas le moyen d’atténuer le poids des sanctions américaines.

    Téhéran sera alors assuré de subir de nouveau des sanctions des Nations unies et de ses partenaires économiques européens. Mais il estime n’avoir pas d’autre choix. En retour, les Etats-Unis paraissent aussi se contraindre à l’escalade. Le Pentagone envisage un déploiement accru de ses forces dans la région. A la suite des précédentes attaques en mer d’Oman, à la mi-mai, Washington avait déjà étudié un tel envoi, selon la presse américaine. Une décision restée en débat, puisqu’elle contredit la volonté exprimée par Donald Trump de se retirer autant que possible du Proche-Orient.

    L’ironie est que cet épisode intervient alors que des efforts diplomatiques multiples sont menés pour prévenir de telles dérives. L’attaque de jeudi a eu lieu durant une visite à Téhéran du premier ministre japonais, Shinzo Abe, intermédiaire désigné par M. Trump. Quelques jours plus tôt, le ministre des affaires étrangères allemand, Heiko Maas, était venu encourager Téhéran à la patience. L’Europe et la France n’ont cessé de porter ce message à l’Iran depuis deux ans. Si un dialogue entre Téhéran et Washington n’est pas à l’ordre du jour, il faut poursuivre ces contacts. C’est la seule voie possible pour préserver ce qui peut l’être de l’accord nucléaire de juillet 2015, gage d’un désarmement durable de la région.

  • Des ronds dans l’eau du Golfe
    https://www.dedefensa.org/article/des-ronds-dans-leau-du-golfe

    Des ronds dans l’eau du Golfe

    Depuis que tout ce qui concerne l’Iran et ses alentours est l’objet de tensions diverses, depuis que l’équipe de super-faucons Bolton-Pompeo est à la manœuvre, on évoque par périodes le précédent de l’Irak et le phénomène d’une “préparation à la guerre” par les moyens de communication massifs habituels, les déclarations belliqueuses, des mouvements de forces (d’ailleurs assez réduites par rapport à l’enjeu militaire, aussi bien que par rapport au précédent de la préparation à la guerre contre l’Irak).

    Le dernier incident, avec des pétroliers ou autres navires brûlant dans le Golfe à partir d’attaques mystérieuses, avec on ne sait quels moyens, a montré combien cette comparaison est inadéquate, complètement déplacée, etc. La vérité-de-situation est que le désordre règne, aussi bien au (...)

  • Oman attack: Iran is the immediate, but unlikely, suspect - Iran - Haaretz.com

    Oman attack: Iran is the immediate, but unlikely, suspect
    U.S. officials rushed to point to Tehran, but somehow the world’s leading intelligence services failed to discover who is actually behind the strike. And even if they knew, what could be done without risking all-out war?
    Zvi Bar’el | Jun. 14, 2019 | 8:36 AM | 3
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/iran/.premium-oman-attack-iran-is-the-immediate-but-unlikely-suspect-1.7368134


    A unnamed senior U.S. Defense Department official was quick to tell CBS that Iran was “apparently” behind the Thursday attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, followed by State Secretary Mike Pompeo who later told reported that it was his government’s assessment. There’s nothing new about that, but neither is it a decisive proof.

    Who, then, struck the tankers? Whom does this strike serve and what can be done against such attacks?

    In all previous attacks in the Gulf in recent weeks Iran was naturally taken to be the immediate suspect. After all, Iran had threatened that if it could now sell its oil in the Gulf, other countries would not be able to ship oil through it; Tehran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, and in any case it’s in the sights of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel. But this explanation is too easy.

    The Iranian regime is in the thrones of a major diplomatic struggle to persuade Europe and its allies, Russia and China, not to take the path of pulling out of the 2015 nuclear agreement. At the same time, Iran is sure that the United States is only looking for an excuse to attack it. Any violent initiative on Tehran’s part could only make things worse and bring it close to a military conflict, which it must avoid.

    Iran has announced it would scale back its commitments under the nuclear deal by expanding its low-level uranium enrichment and not transferring the remainder of its enriched uranium and heavy water to another country, as the agreement requires. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s reports reveal that it has indeed stepped up enrichment, but not in a way that could support a military nuclear program.

    It seems that alongside its diplomatic efforts, Iran prefers to threaten to harm the nuclear deal itself, responding to Washington with the same token, rather than escalate the situation to a military clash.

    Other possible suspects are the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who continue to pound Saudi targets with medium-range missiles, as was the case last week with strikes on the Abha and Jizan airports, near the Yemeni border, which wounded 26 people. The Houthis have also fired missiles at Riyadh and hit targets in the Gulf. In response, Saudi Arabia launched a massive missile strike on Houthi-controlled areas in northern Yemen.

    The strike on the oil tankers may have been a response to the response, but if this is the case, it goes against Iran’s policy, which seeks to neutralize any pretexts for a military clash in the Gulf. The question, therefore, is whether Iran has full control over all the actions the Houthis take, and whether the aid it gives them commits them fully to its policies, or whether they see assaults on Saudi targets as a separate, local battle, cut off from Iran’s considerations.

    The Houthis have claimed responsibility for some of their actions in Saudi territory in the past, and at times even took the trouble of explaining the reasons behind this assault or the other. But not this time.

    Yemen also hosts large Al-Qaida cells and Islamic State outposts, with both groups having a running account with Saudi Arabia and apparently the capabilities to carry out strikes on vessels moving through the Gulf.

    In the absence of confirmed and reliable information on the source of the fire, we may meanwhile discount the possibility of a Saudi or American provocation at which Iran has hinted, but such things have happened before. However, we may also wonder why some of the most sophisticated intelligence services in the world are having so much trouble discovering who actually carried out these attacks.

    Thwarting such attacks with no precise intelligence is an almost impossible task, but even if the identity of those responsible for it is known, the question of how to respond to the threat would still arise.

    If it turns out that Iran initiated or even carried out these attacks, American and Saudi military forces could attack its Revolutionary Guards’ marine bases along the Gulf coast, block Iranian shipping in the Gulf and persuade European countries to withdraw from the nuclear deal, claiming that continuing relations with Iran would mean supporting terrorism in general, and maritime terrorism in particular.

    The concern is that such a military response would lead Iran to escalate its own and openly strike American and Saudi targets in the name of self-defense and protecting its sovereignty. In that case, a large-scale war would be inevitable. But there’s no certainty that U.S. President Donald Trump, who wants to extricate his forces from military involvement in the Middle East, truly seeks such a conflict, which could suck more and more American forces into this sensitive arena.

    An escape route from this scenario would require intensive mediation efforts between Iran and the United States, but therein lies one major difficulty – finding an authoritative mediator that could pressure both parties. Russia or China are not suitable candidates, and ties between Washington and the European Union are acrimonious.

    It seems that all sides would be satisfied if they could place responsibility for the attacks on the Houthis or other terror groups. That is not to say that the United States or Saudi Arabia have any magic solutions when it comes to the Houthis; far from it. The war in Yemen has been going on for five years now with no military resolution, and increased bombardment of concentrations of Houthi forces could only expand their efforts to show their strength. But the United States would pay none of the diplomatic or military price for assaults on the Houthis it would for a forceful violent response against Iran itself.

    If sporadic, small-scale attacks raise such complex dilemmas, one can perhaps dream of an all-out war with Iran, but it is enough to look at the chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan to grow extremely cautious of the trajectory in which such dreams become a nightmare that lasts for decades.❞
    #Oman #Iran
    https://seenthis.net/messages/786937

    • UPDATE 1-"Flying objects" damaged Japanese tanker during attack in Gulf of Oman
      Junko Fujita – June 14, 2019
      (Adds comments from company president)
      By Junko Fujita
      https://www.reuters.com/article/mideast-tanker-japan-damage/update-1-flying-objects-damaged-japanese-tanker-during-attack-in-gulf-of-om

      TOKYO, June 14 (Reuters) - Two “flying objects” damaged a Japanese tanker owned by Kokuka Sangyo Co in an attack on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, but there was no damage to the cargo of methanol, the company president said on Friday.

      The Kokuka Courageous is now sailing toward the port of Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates, with the crew having returned to the ship after evacuating because of the incident, Kokuka President Yutaka Katada told a press conference. It was being escorted by the U.S. Navy, he said.

      “The crew told us something came flying at the ship, and they found a hole,” Katada said. “Then some crew witnessed the second shot.”

      Katada said there was no possibility that the ship, carrying 25,000 tons of methanol, was hit by a torpedo.

      The United States has blamed Iran for attacking the Kokuka Courageous and another tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, on Thursday, but Tehran has denied the allegations.

      The ship’s crew saw an Iranian military ship in the vicinity on Thursday night Japan time, Katada said.

      Katada said he did not believe Kokuka Courageous was targetted because it was owned by a Japanese firm. The tanker is registered in Panama and was flying a Panamanian flag, he said.

      “Unless very carefully examined, it would be hard to tell the tanker was operated or owned by Japanese,” he said. (...)

  • Condamnés à mort | Sarah Benhaida
    https://making-of.afp.com/condamnes-mort

    Bagdad — L’un jure qu’il était « vendeur de poulets » en Syrie, l’autre qu’il était médecin et « pas tueur », un troisième assure avoir été « radié » de l’EI pour fainéantise tandis qu’un autre encore affirme avoir activé un piston pour toucher un salaire de combattant sans rien avoir à faire... Dans leurs uniformes jaunes en mauvais tissu, claquettes de contrefaçon en plastique aux pieds, les Français du groupe Etat islamique (EI) font bien piètre figure devant le juge irakien qui les condamne l’un après l’autre à la mort. Source : Making-of

    • « Je pensais entendre de nouveau tous ces récits en me rendant au tribunal anti-terroriste de Bagdad. Mais dans les procès de jihadistes présumés en Irak, les juges ne cherchent à établir qu’une seule chose : l’appartenance à l’EI, car selon la loi irakienne, c’est elle qui est passible de la peine capitale.
      Pour les crimes et leurs victimes, l’établissement de bilans ou les dommages et autres réparations, il faudra repasser. »

  • Immigration : le vrai #coût des expulsions

    Les expulsions d’étrangers en situation irrégulière ont coûté 500 millions d’euros à l’Etat en 2018. Selon un rapport parlementaire, inciter un immigré au retour grâce à une aide financière coûte près de six fois moins cher qu’un retour par la force.

    Le dossier est ultrasensible. La question des étrangers en situation irrégulière en France, et surtout le coût de leur reconduite à la frontière, peut rapidement enflammer les débats. D’autant que le nombre d’expulsions forcées n’a jamais été aussi élevé depuis dix ans. Et leur coût pour les finances publiques a représenté la bagatelle d’un demi-milliard d’euros l’an dernier. De quoi aiguiser l’intérêt des députés en charge de la mission Asile-Immigration-Intégration, dont l’enveloppe globale annuelle pour l’Etat est d’1,7 milliard d’euros.

    Dans le cadre du Printemps de l’évaluation, ces élus ont décidé de passer au peigne fin la politique d’expulsion. Avec un double objectif : contrôler l’action du gouvernement et identifier des leviers d’économie.

    Jean-Noël Barrot (MoDem) et Alexandre Holroyd (LREM) ont donc toqué à la porte des ministères concernés - Intérieur, Justice, Quai d’Orsay, etc. - pour récolter des chiffres précis. Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui en France dévoile en exclusivité leur rapport, présenté jeudi en commission des finances. Il livre un bilan rigoureux des expulsions en France, qu’il s’agisse de retours aidés, c’est-à-dire consentis et accompagnés d’une aide financière, ou d’éloignements forcés, quand la personne est reconduite par des policiers ou des gendarmes.
    Augmenter le montant de l’aide ?

    Contraires aux idées reçues, ses conclusions sont sans appel : les expulsions forcées, très majoritaires (entre 70 et 80 % des raccompagnements), coûtent plus de six fois plus cher qu’un retour aidé dans le pays d’origine. En moyenne, 13 800 euros contre 2 500 euros. Nos voisins européens sont nombreux à favoriser les retours aidés.

    Mais ces derniers sont-ils efficaces ? Dans son rapport de 2016, la Cour des comptes relevait qu’avec « l’adhésion de la Roumanie et de la Bulgarie le 1er juin 2007, de nombreux Roms repartis dans ces deux pays avec une aide au retour humanitaire (revenaient) en France et (faisaient) parfois des allers-retours pour percevoir plusieurs fois l’allocation de 300 euros ».

    Aujourd’hui, ce scénario n’est plus possible. Car depuis 2018, les ressortissants des pays membres de l’Union européenne n’ont plus accès à l’aide au retour. Et ce pécule ne peut être perçu qu’une seule fois. De quoi peser en faveur des retours aidés ? « Ce dispositif fonctionne de manière satisfaisante », observe Jean-Noël Barrot. « Et pour certaines destinations, si l’on augmente l’enveloppe, les retours dans les pays d’origine sont en hausse ». L’Afghanistan, le Pakistan, la Chine, l’Irak et le Soudan pourraient faire partie de ces pays à cibler.

    Faut-il donc multiplier les retours aidés, quitte à augmenter le montant de l’aide ? « Notre travail était de fournir une estimation précise, répond prudemment Alexandre Holroyd. Désormais, c’est une décision politique. » Les deux députés envisagent de déposer une proposition de résolution dans les jours qui viennent pour inviter le gouvernement à statuer.


    http://www.leparisien.fr/societe/immigration-le-vrai-cout-des-expulsions-05-06-2019-8086461.php
    #France #expulsions #renvois #asile #migrations #réfugiés #business
    ping @isskein @karine4 @daphne @marty

  • L’aboutissement du « droit pénal de l’ennemi »
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/040619/l-aboutissement-du-droit-penal-de-l-ennemi

    Face à ses ressortissants condamnés à la pendaison en Irak ou retenus dans des camps en Syrie, avec femme et enfants, la France a décidé d’appliquer la théorie du « droit pénal de l’ennemi » selon laquelle certains justiciables, de par l’horreur des crimes qu’ils ont commis, seraient exclus des libertés fondamentales garanties par un État de droit.

    #LIBERTÉS_PUBLIQUES #peine_de_mort,_CNCDH,_Droits_de_l’homme,_terrorisme,_droit_pénal_de_l’ennemi,_A_la_Une

  • Une justice irakienne aux ordres de l’Etat français
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/040619/une-justice-irakienne-aux-ordres-de-l-etat-francais

    Parmi les onze Français, et un Tunisien, condamnés à mort en neuf jours, certains djihadistes ont été impliqués dans les attentats et des projets d’attentats prévus dans l’Hexagone. Mais quelle que soit la réalité des charges qui peut être reconnue à leur encontre, la manière dont s’applique la justice irakienne suscite la polémique. En réalité, comme le révèle Mediapart, l’opération consistant à faire juger ces ressortissants encombrants en Irak a été pensée depuis Paris et réalisée « sans l’intervention visible de la France ».

    #Terrorisme #Karam_El_Harchaoui,_Fodil_Tahar_Aouidate,_Salim_Machou,_Brahim_Nejara,_Emmanuel_Macron,_Léonard_Lopez,_Etat_islamique,_Mohamed_Berriri,_Yassine_Sakkam,_Mustapha_Merzoughi,_Kévin_Gonot,_Bilel_Kabaoui

  • Le numéro 1, un très beau numéro de la revue
    #Nunatak , Revue d’histoires, cultures et #luttes des #montagnes...

    Sommaire :

    Une sensation d’étouffement/Aux frontières de l’Iran et de l’Irak/Pâturages et Uniformes/La Banda Baudissard/
    À ceux qui ne sont responsables de rien/Des plantes dans l’illégalité/Conga no va !/Mundatur culpa labore

    La revue est disponible en pdf en ligne (https://revuenunatak.noblogs.org/numeros), voici l’adresse URL pour télécharger le numéro 1 :
    https://revuenunatak.noblogs.org/files/2017/03/Nunatak1HiverPrintemps2017.pdf

    Je mettrai ci-dessous des mots-clés et citations des articles...

  • IS fight: US-led coalition says it killed 1,300 civilians in Syria and Iraq - BBC News
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48473979

    Depuis 2014,

    A UK-based monitoring group says the true toll is much higher, estimating up to nearly 13,000 civilian fatalities.

    [...]

    Last month, an investigation by activists concluded that more than 1,600 civilians were killed in coalition attacks on the Syrian city of Raqqa alone during a five-month campaign to oust IS in 2017.

    #Etats-unis #crimes #mensonges #fake_news #civils #victimes_civiles #Irak #Syrie

  • Mission Creep : How the NSA’s Game-Changing Targeting System Built for Iraq and Afghanistan Ended Up on the Mexican Border
    https://theintercept.com/2019/05/29/nsa-data-afghanistan-iraq-mexico-border

    In November 2005, two terminals for a new secure communications platform arrived at the U.S. military base at Bagram Airfield, outside Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. The first of its kind, the system would enable the U.S.’s electronic eavesdropping organization, the National Security Agency, to instantaneously share select classified information with America’s closest allies in the fight against the Taliban, speeding the delivery of critical information to soldiers. Previously, the only way to (...)

    #NSA #migration #écoutes #surveillance #frontières

  • "L’acte d’accusation d’Assange est un projet visant à transformer les journalistes en criminels " par Glenn Greenwald
    http://enuncombatdouteux.blogspot.com/2019/05/lacte-daccusation-dassange-est-un.html

    Justifier les poursuites contre Assange au motif qu’il n’est « pas un journaliste » révèle une grande et sombre ironie : déclarer que publier des documents pertinents sur des acteurs puissants est un droit que seuls ceux qui sont désignés par le gouvernement comme de « vrais journalistes » constituent en soi un droit. C’est une menace évidente pour la liberté de la presse. C’est le danger historique que le premier amendement cherchait à éviter.

    Le premier amendement n’a pas de sens s’il ne protège que les personnes que le gouvernement reconnaît en tant que journalistes.

     Le gouvernement américain a dévoilé jeudi un acte d’accusation portant sur 18 chefs d’accusation contre le fondateur de WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, le mettant en accusation en vertu de la loi de 1917 sur l’espionnage pour son rôle dans la publication en 2010 d’une multitude de documents secrets relatifs aux guerres en Irak et en Afghanistan et de communications diplomatiques concernant des dizaines de personnes. nations. Les théories juridiques et les conséquences probables de l’acte d’accusation sont si extrêmes et sans précédent qu’il a choqué et alarmé même nombre des critiques les plus virulents d’Assange.

  • Opinion | America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals. - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/opinion/california-housing-nimby.html

    To live in California at this time is to experience every day the cryptic phrase that George W. Bush once used to describe the invasion of Iraq: “Catastrophic success.” The economy here is booming, but no one feels especially good about it. When the cost of living is taken into account, billionaire-brimming California ranks as the most poverty-stricken state, with a fifth of the population struggling to get by. Since 2010, migration out of California has surged.

    The basic problem is the steady collapse of livability. Across my home state, traffic and transportation is a developing-world nightmare. Child care and education seem impossible for all but the wealthiest. The problems of affordable housing and homelessness have surpassed all superlatives — what was a crisis is now an emergency that feels like a dystopian showcase of American inequality.

    #états-unis #Californie #succès_catastrophique #pauvreté #inégalité #dystopie

  • Iran building new crossing on Syria border that would let it smuggle weapons, oil, experts say | Fox News
    https://www.foxnews.com/world/iran-border-crossing-syria-smuggle-weapons-oil-experts

    La contribution de Fox à l’effort de guerre US contre l’Iran....

    The images, obtained exclusively by Fox News and captured earlier this week, show a new construction in the Albukamal Al-Qaim crossing.
    A new construction in the Albukamal Al-Qaim crossing was seen via satellite.
    The area is under the control of Pro-Iranian Shiite militias. Last summer, Iran increased its presence in the area.

    According to analysts for ISI, which captures satellite data, the existing border crossing is still closed and destroyed, and the Iranians have put a lot of effort and resources into building the new one.
    Iran has put significant effort into building the new crossing, analysts said.

    Photos obtained by Fox News showed an Iraqi army base near the deserted post.
    The existing border crossing remained closed, analysts said.

    The border crossing would enable Iran to maintain land access in Syria, Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea. Regional and western sources said the Iranians are planning to use this new route for smuggling operations, including trafficking weapons and oil, to avoid the looming U.S. sanctions. Without Syrian or Iraqi supervision, Iran and its allies would have an unprecedented advantage in transferring whatever they wish, experts say.
    An Iraqi army base seen near the deserted crossing.

    This development sheds new light on the rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which escalated after President Trump canceled the temporary waivers permitting countries, including Iraq, Turkey, Japan and China, to purchase Iranian oil without violating U.S. sanctions.

    #iran #puissance_du_mal

  • Le Pentagone demande a Trump d’envoyer des milliers de soldats américains au Moyen-Orient alors que les tensions avec l’Iran continuent de s’exacerber
    https://www.crashdebug.fr/international/16055-le-pentagone-demande-a-trump-d-envoyer-des-milliers-de-soldats-amer

    Plus nous prenons de mesures en vue d’une guerre avec l’Iran, plus il est probable que quelqu’un fera quelque chose de vraiment stupide qui en déclenchera une. En coupant les exportations pétrolières de l’Iran, nous menaçons de ruiner complètement son économie et, à ce stade, elle se sent acculé au pied du mur. Et les Iraniens ont déjà vu les États-Unis envahir deux pays avec lesquels ils partagent une frontière (l’Afghanistan et l’Irak), et il est donc compréhensible qu’ils soient un peu paranoïaques que cela puisse leur arriver aussi. Le président Trump ne cesse de dire qu’il ne veut pas d’une guerre avec l’Iran, mais les Iraniens ne croient pas un seul mot de ce que dit un politicien américain. Au lieu de cela, ils surveillent de très près ce que nous (...)

    #En_vedette #Actualités_internationales #Actualités_Internationales