Anti-américanisme et identité européenne

La question de savoir comment la communauté internationale doit traiter Saddam Hussein, l'impitoyable dictateur irakien, est à juste propos le thème dominant de l'année. En un sens, la réponse est là : les Nations Unies sont partie prenante et continueront à l'être et les États-Unis ont joué et continueront à jouer le rôle principal. La politique de limitation de l'expansion de l'Irak par une intervention militaire est la méthode qui semble aujourd'hui la plus probable. Dans le processus de cette prise de décision, toutefois, plusieurs questions anciennes et latentes ont été ramenées au premier plan.

L'une d'entre elles concerne bien sûr le soi-disant « choc des civilisations » : comment faire la nette distinction entre un conflit centré et limité entre l'Irak et les Nations Unies et la nécessité de garder vivant le dialogue entre les religions du monde ? Une autre question qui semblera relever des querelles de clocher mais dont l'importance est aussi significative globalement : que doit-on penser des différences entre l'Europe et l'Amérique qui se sont manifestées dans le débat sur l'Irak ? Serait-ce là sa propre forme de « choc des civilisations » ?

Bien sûr, ces différences qui existent maintenant entre l'Amérique et l'Europe sont profondes et ne se limitent pas au refroidissement des relations germano-américaines ou à l'échange mi-figue mi raisin d'invectives sur « l'Amérique brandissant ses armes » et « la vieille Europe ». De fait, même les intellectuels se laissent embobiner dans des réflexions passionnelles.

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