Retour des Guerres Justes?

SALZBURG – Lorsqu’il y a dix ans, la guerre se précisait au Kosovo, Joschka Fischer, le ministre des Affaires étrangères de l’époque en Allemagne, expliquait que son engagement politique se référait depuis toujours à deux impératifs: “Jamais plus la guerre! Jamais plus Auschwitz!” Le nettoyage ethnique et la violence au Kosovo n’ont pas tardé à mettre en évidence que l’on est obligé, parfois, de choisir l’un ou l’autre de ces deux impératifs: seule la guerre permet d’éviter qu’Auschwitz ne se répète, dans certains cas.

C’est ainsi que l’idée de “guerre juste,” légitimée par une justa causa (une cause juste), bien que longtemps discréditée, s’est imposée de nouveau. L’insuccès passé de ce concept venait de ce qu’en état de guerre, tout adversaire tend à considérer sa propre cause comme juste. Et sans l’impartialité d’un juge, les vainqueurs ont tout loisir de dicter aux vaincus leur “vérité,” comme ce fut le cas à l’issue de la Première Guerre mondiale, lors du Traité de Versailles.

Parallèlement à ce qu’il faut bien appeler un retour des “guerres justes”, le droit international a mis en vigueur la condamnation des guerres d’agression (“injustes”), en tant que crimes passibles de punitions, avec pour corollaire le fait que tout belligérant affirme maintenant que sa guerre est une défense contre une attaque étrangère, un peu comme Hitler en 1939. (Les ministères de la Guerre sont devenus des ministères de la Défense, et l’on se demande bien contre qui l’on doit se défendre, s’il n’y a plus d’attaquants.) Mais là aussi, c’est au vainqueur qu’il revient de décider qui est l’agresseur, et l’on peut dire qu’on l’a échappé belle avec la défaite de Hitler.

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