Poutine d’Arabie

BEYROUTH – Sans en avoir l’air, la Russie est en train de regagner presque toute l’influence qu’elle avait perdue au Moyen-orient après l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique. Depuis qu’elle a envahi la Géorgie en août dernier, la télévision satellite et les sites Internet arabes n’ont cessé de parler du rôle de la région dans la naissance d’une “nouvelle Guerre froide.” Le parrain du monde arabe du temps de la guerre froide est-il vraiment de retour, et si tel est le cas, quelle conséquence pour la paix dans la région ?

Avec la mort de l’URSS, l’idéologie communiste, qui, pour les musulmans, est en contradiction avec leur foi, a également disparu. Le communisme n’a jamais empêché les régimes arabes opposés aux États-Unis d’accepter des armes des Soviétiques, mais il a en revanche empêché la Russie de recourir au genre d’étroite influence que l’Amérique exerçait sur ses alliés régionaux. Aujourd’hui, même les islamistes considèrent de nouveau la Russie comme un acteur régional pour donner plus de force à leur lutte contre l’hégémonie américaine, oubliant fort à propos la répression brutale par les Russes des musulmans tchétchènes pendant les années 1990.

C’est un retournement complet du schéma des années 1950. À l’époque, les États-Unis encourageaient l’islam dont ils se servaient comme rempart contre le communisme. Leurs alliés au Moyen-orient, notamment l’Arabie saoudite, justifiaient l’influence américaine en arguant que les Américains étaient des chrétiens, et par conséquent faisaient parti du Ahl el-Kitab (le peuple du Livre). Les Soviétiques étaient régulièrement attaqués en tant que dangereux ennemis de Dieu.

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