Justification de l'intervention humanitaire

J'ai visité les anciennes républiques soviétiques d'Asie Centrale en 1998 afin de prendre part aux pourparlers concernant le développement démocratique qui a eu lieu (ou qui aurait dû avoir lieu) dans ces pays nouvellement indépendants. Mes hôtes étaient d'anciens dirigeants communistes qui assumaient désormais le rôle de présidents élus plus ou moins démocratiquement. Chacun d'eux parlait sans contraintes des institutions, des procédures démocratiques et du respect de la loi. Mais les droits de l'homme constituaient un sujet entièrement à part.

J'ai présenté dans chaque pays une liste de prisonniers politiques, en demandant quel était leur sort. Dans un seul pays, le président a immédiatement décidé de libérer un homme accusé d'avoir fomenté un coup d'état. Mais même cette réussite apparente s'est révélée moralement ambiguë. Le président n'avait pas pris une décision politique : il avait accordé une faveur personnelle. J'avais reçu un cadeau, en lui-même simplement une autre démonstration de l'exercice arbitraire du pouvoir du président, et non une preuve de respect des principes moraux.

Dans un seul pays, j'ai discuté avec un dirigeant de l'opposition intégriste islamiste, qui s'était lancé dans une longue guerre civile contre le gouvernement. Cet homme se faisait appeler président du « Comité de la réconciliation nationale ». Des gardes armés jusqu'aux dents l'entouraient, alors qu'il soutenait fermement la notion de démocratisation. En effet, il considérait cette notion comme la voie la plus sûre vers le pouvoir car la vaste majorité de la population pensait exactement comme lui. La démocratie, insinuait-il de façon plus inquiétante, lui permettrait « d'éliminer » (il ne s'est pas attardé sur la signification exacte de ce terme) la population opposée à ses idées.

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