Le choc émotionnel des civilisations

Pendant toute la soi-disant “guerre contre le terrorisme,” la notion de “choc de civilisation” entre l'Islam et l'Occident a généralement été exclue car politiquement incorrecte et intellectuellement obtuse. L'interprétation la plus courante à la place est que le monde est entré dans une nouvelle ère caractérisée par un conflit “à l'intérieur” d'une civilisation particulière, c'est-à-dire l'Islam, avec des musulmans fondamentalistes autant en guerre contre les modérés que contre l'Occident.

La conclusion stratégique dérivant d'une telle analyse était claire, ambitieuse et facilement résumée : la démocratisation. Si l'absence de démocratie dans le monde islamique était le problème, apporter la démocratie au “Grand” Moyen-Orient serait la solution, et c'était le devoir historique des États-Unis, en tant que nation la plus puissante et morale, d'apporter ce changement nécessaire. Le status quo était intenable. Mettre la démocratie en place, avec ou sans changement de régime, était la seule alternative au chaos et à la montée du fondamentalisme.

Aujourd'hui l'Irak est peut-être au bord de la guerre civile entre chiites et sunnites. L'Iran, gouverné par un président nouveau et plus radical, se dirige irrésistiblement vers l'obtention d'une capacité nucléaire. Une procédure électorale libre a porté le Hamas au pouvoir en Palestine, et le malheureux épisode des dessins humoristiques des journaux danois a illustré la nature quasiment combustible des relations entre l'Islam et l'Occident.

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