Paul Lachine

Une zone d’exclusion aérienne pour la Libye

WASHINGTON – Les dirigeants à travers le monde discutent avec force de l’opportunité d’établir une zone d’exclusion aérienne pour mettre fin à la violence qui se déroule en Libye.  Certains rappellent le cas de la Bosnie, où l’OTAN avait tardé à protéger les populations dans les années 90, pour motiver une action. D’autres se souviennent du Rwanda, pour lequel le président Bill Clinton avait ultérieurement exprimé ses regrets de ne pas avoir fait le nécessaire pour sauver des vies innocentes. Mais c’est plutôt à la lumière de la tragédie au sud de l’Irak dans les premiers jours de la guerre du golfe il y a vingt ans que les enjeux en Libye aujourd’hui doivent être envisagés.

Alors que les forces de coalition aiguillaient l’armée irakienne en février 1991, le président H.W. Bush avait encouragé le peuple irakien à « prendre les affaires en main pour obliger Saddam Hussein le dictateur à se retirer. » Lorsque les Irakiens shiites, les Kurdes et les Arabes des marais se sont rebellés contre Hussein, ils ont pensé que les forces américaines les protégeraient contre la force de frappe supérieure du dictateur brutal.

Mais en fait, lorsque les hélicoptères de combat et les forces d’élite de l’Irak ont commencé à massacrer le peuple, les forces de coalition ont reçu l’ordre de ne pas intervenir. Le monde a alors regardé des milliers d’Irakiens se faire massacrer.

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