Printemps Arabe, automne occidental

TEL AVIV – La vocation ancienne de ce que Rudyard Kipling appelait « le fardeau de l’homme blanc » – la force motrice dans la quête de l’Occident pour l’hégémonie mondiale depuis les débuts de l’expansion impérialiste au 19ème siècle jusqu’à l’actuelle  intervention libyenne, pathétiquement peu concluante – s’essouffle clairement. Epuisés politiquement et économiquement, et attentifs à la clameur de leurs électorats qui réclament que le sens des priorités soit recentré sur les difficultés intérieures, l’Europe et les États-Unis ne sont plus véritablement capables d’imposer leurs valeurs et leurs intérêts par de coûteuses interventions militaires sur des terres lointaines.

Le secrétaire à la Défense Robert Gates ne faisait qu’exprimer l’évidence lorsqu’il vilipendait récemment les membres européens de l’OTAN pour la tiédeur de leur réponse aux missions de l’alliance, et pour la faiblesse de leur capacité militaire. (Dix semaines dans le conflit libyen, les Européens étaient déjà à court de munitions.) Il a prévenu que si l’attitude de l’Europe vis-à-vis de l’OTAN ne changeait pas, l’Alliance dégénèrerait en une « incohérence militaire collective. »

La réticence de l’Europe à participer aux actions militaires n’est pas une surprise. Le vieux continent est muré depuis la deuxième guerre mondiale dans un discours « post-historique » qui élimine le recours à la force comme moyen de résolution des conflits, sans parler de son soutien pour faire aboutir les changements de régime. Et elle est désormais investie dans une lutte fatale pour préserver l’existence même et la viabilité de l’Union Européenne. L’Europe se cantonne donc à une vision régionale étroite – et estime que c’est à l’Amérique d’assumer le poids des problèmes globaux majeurs.

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