Moyen-Orient : les piliers de sable de l’Occident

LONDRES – L’arrivée de Napoléon en Égypte il y a deux cents ans annonçait l’avènement du Moyen-Orient moderne. Aujourd’hui, près de 90 ans après l’effondrement de l’empire Ottoman, 50 ans après la fin du colonialisme et huit ans après le commencement de la guerre d’Irak, les manifestations révolutionnaires au Caire suggèrent qu’un autre changement pourrait bien être en voie de se produire.

Les trois piliers sur lesquels l’influence occidentale s’est forgée au Moyen-Orient – forte présence militaire, liens commerciaux, et chapelet de pays tributaires du dollar – sont en train de s’écrouler. En conséquence, l’influence de l’occident pourrait être plus délicate à assurer dans le Moyen-Orient qui va émerger dans les semaines et mois à venir.

Le premier pilier – la présence militaire -  remonte à l’occupation française et britannique d’une partie de l’empire ottoman après la première guerre mondiale, et fut renforcé par les liens militaires forgés par les Etats-Unis et l’Union Soviétique à l’époque de la guerre froide. En 1955, la présence occidentale était même suffisamment forte pour réunir dans une espèce d’OTAN asiatico-occidental la Turquie, l’Irak, l’Iran et le Pakistan, sous le nom de Pacte de Bagdad.

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