mardi 13 octobre 2009

Religious threats

I often think that the US and some other politicians have made a big mistake in using religious movements to combat communists and leftists, specifically, of course, the Soviet Union. SU was a power one could deal with, and was evolving toward becoming more liberal and pragmatic. In fact, the distance from Stalin to Gorbachev is as big as the distance from Robespierre to Clémenceau. It is hard to say how much this fast evolution was influenced and accelerated by the pressure put upon the Soviets by the US. I suppose that in the mid-forties it helped Stalin to become more Stalinist, and to relaunch fierce repressions, but after the death of the dictator, the leaders in Moscow were determined to find a modus vivendi with the West. It was a view shared by Khrushchev as well as by his arch-rival Beria. To a great extent, the necessity to reform and to liberalize was dictated by the situation in the country itself, the fast evolution was dictated by the weaknesses of the system. A state of emergency cannot last forever, people must either be given a chance to live a normal life, or to give a motivation, an ideal in the name of which to suffer. Communism was not such an ideal, it was losing its appeal in one or at best in two generations. With religious ideals its different: here, people can be motivated and manipulated to suffer endlessly in the name of some holy virtues or an afterlife in paradise. Religious fanaticism can be, and often is, much more tenacious than communist or fascist one. Communism is dead in the SU, in Afghanistan, in South Yemen, but the islamic extremism is there, and shows little signs of becoming more moderate. Partly, it is the creation of the Americans, as Al-Qa'ida. In the Near East, HAMAS has been nurtured by the Israelis for whom the OLP seemed extremist and impossible to negotiate with. History proved that Arafat was more flexible than the HAMAS, although the Israelis realized it too late. Now, both the Americans and the Israelis have enemies they don't know well how to deal with. The wait-and-see tactic of containment partly unwillingly adopted during the confrontation with the USSR has no guarantees of success: enemies motivated by Islam are much more tenacious than the Communists. And making serious war to them cannot be very successful because it threatens both the Western standard of life and the Western values. Neither the Americans nor Europeans are ready for an armed conflict lasting for several generations. The Islamists are. And the Islamists are not as much restricted by rules and regulations adopted by the Western world. There has been a big outcry about the Guantanamo prison, but we must remember that in Guantanamo prisoners' throats were not cut...

Aucun commentaire: