Paul Lachine

L’Amérique a la trouille

NEW YORK – L’intellectuel excentrique bengali Nirad C. Chaudhuri a un jour expliqué que le Raj britannique en Inde était tombé parce qu’il avait eu la trouille, ou qu’il avait perdu son courage. Les Anglais avaient cessé de croire en leur propre empire. Ils avaient tout simplement perdu l’envie de combattre, dans le phrasé célèbre de Rudyard Kipling, « les sauvages guerres de la paix ».

En fait, le poème de Kipling, « Le Fardeau de l’Homme Blanc », qui exhortait la race blanche à étendre ses valeurs aux « peuples maussades nouvellement conquis, mi-démons, mi-enfants », ne parlait pas du tout de l’Empire britannique, mais bien des Etats-Unis. Il fut publié en 1899 avec le sous-titre « Les Etats-Unis et les Iles philippines », juste au moment où les USA étaient en train de mener leur propre « sauvage guerre de la paix ».

D’un côté, Chaudhuri a raison. Il est difficile de maintenir un empire si l’on refuse de recourir à la force lorsque nécessaire. Une bonne part de la rhétorique politique actuelle, ainsi qu’une vague de nouveaux livres, nous donneraient à penser que les USA connaissent actuellement pareille situation de trouille dangereuse.

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