Le discours de Bush aux anciens combattants américains
Il mérite la lecture intégrale, une fois de plus! Surtout en ce moment où, même si une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps, la visite de Bernard Kouchner à Bagdad semble annoncer que la France est prête à cesser de punir les Irakiens pour avoir été libérés malgré elle.
Il n’y a pas que le retournement dialectique de la comparaison entre l’Irak et le Vietnam invoquée par ses adversaires depuis des années, mais sous l’angle embarrassant des conséquences funestes sur le plan humain et sur le plan stratégique lorsque l’Amérique abandonne la partie comme certains proposent de le faire à nouveau. Bush rappelle combien le Japon aujourd’hui démocratique, prospère et allié a été un ennemi impitoyable qui paraissait à beaucoup sans espoir:
There are other critics, believe it or not, that argue that democracy could not succeed in Japan because the national religion — Shinto — was too fanatical and rooted in the Emperor. Senator Richard Russell denounced the Japanese faith, and said that if we did not put the Emperor on trial, « any steps we may take to create democracy are doomed to failure. » The State Department’s man in Tokyo put it bluntly: « The Emperor system must disappear if Japan is ever really to be democratic. »
Those who said Shinto was incompatible with democracy were mistaken, and fortunately, Americans and Japanese leaders recognized it at the time, because instead of suppressing the Shinto faith, American authorities worked with the Japanese to institute religious freedom for all faiths. Instead of abolishing the imperial throne, Americans and Japanese worked together to find a place for the Emperor in the democratic political system.
And the result of all these steps was that every Japanese citizen gained freedom of religion, and the Emperor remained on his throne and Japanese democracy grew stronger because it embraced a cherished part of Japanese culture. And today, in defiance of the critics and the doubters and the skeptics, Japan retains its religions and cultural traditions, and stands as one of the world’s great free societies.
Pour ceux qui persistent à sous-estimer Bush, il y a ce passage dans lequel il se paie le luxe du parallèle entre l’attitude républicaine sous un président démocrate, Harry Truman, à propos de la guerre de Corée, et les démocrates aujourd’hui:
After the North Koreans crossed the 38th Parallel in 1950, President Harry Truman came to the defense of the South — and found himself attacked from all sides. From the left, I.F. Stone wrote a book suggesting that the South Koreans were the real aggressors and that we had entered the war on a false pretext. From the right, Republicans vacillated. Initially, the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate endorsed Harry Truman’s action, saying, « I welcome the indication of a more definite policy » — he went on to say, « I strongly hope that having adopted it, the President may maintain it intact, » then later said « it was a mistake originally to go into Korea because it meant a land war. »
Throughout the war, the Republicans really never had a clear position. They never could decide whether they wanted the United States to withdraw from the war in Korea, or expand the war to the Chinese mainland. Others complained that our troops weren’t getting the support from the government. One Republican senator said, the effort was just « bluff and bluster. » He rejected calls to come together in a time of war, on the grounds that « we will not allow the cloak of national unity to be wrapped around horrible blunders. »
Many in the press agreed. One columnist in The Washington Post said, « The fact is that the conduct of the Korean War has been shot through with errors great and small. » A colleague wrote that « Korea is an open wound. It’s bleeding and there’s no cure for it in sight. » He said that the American people could not understand « why Americans are doing about 95 percent of the fighting in Korea. »
Many of these criticisms were offered as reasons for abandoning our commitments in Korea. And while it’s true the Korean War had its share of challenges, the United States never broke its word.
Today, we see the result of a sacrifice of people in this room in the stark contrast of life on the Korean Peninsula. Without Americans’ intervention during the war and our willingness to stick with the South Koreans after the war, millions of South Koreans would now be living under a brutal and repressive regime. The Soviets and Chinese communists would have learned the lesson that aggression pays. The world would be facing a more dangerous situation. The world would be less peaceful.
Instead, South Korea is a strong, democratic ally of the United States of America. South Korean troops are serving side-by-side with American forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq. And America can count on the free people of South Korea to be lasting partners in the ideological struggle we’re facing in the beginning of the 21st century.
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