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04/nov/2009 Cea mai mare greşeală a lui Barack Obama

Cea mai mare greşeală a lui Barack Obama

Zidul Berlinului & Războiul Rece ca fapte diverse?

Adrian Cioroianu

(acest text are un update în 13 noiembrie a.c.)

Ştiri de ultimă oră spun că este foarte posibil ca preşedintele Barack Obama să nu poată vizita Europa în cursul săptămînii viitoare: invitat fiind de cancelarul german Angela Merkel pentru a asista la ceremoniile de la Berlin legate de împlinirea a 20 de ani de la căderea Zidului Berlinului, Casa Albă a răspuns că această vizită este imposibilă, dată fiind agenda foarte ocupată a preşedintelui SUA.

Fără îndoială că argumentul este credibil. Barack Obama nu are motive de a se plictisi în Biroul Oval. Prins acasă în meandrele şi capcanele reformei sistemului de sănătate federal american iar în exterior între riscurile campaniei din Afganistan, declaraţiile ireverenţioase ale preşedinţilor „rebeli” din America Latină şi provocarea crescîndă (în sens de challenge) a Chinei, Obama are nevoie de nervi de fier pentru a-şi păstra coerenţa şi impulsul iniţial, atît de promiţător în prima parte a acestui an. Nici măcar surprinzătorul premiul Nobel primit recent nu-l poate ajuta în acest sens – ba, dimpotrivă, presimt că se va transforma într-o povară suplimentară!

Şi totuşi, cred că absenţa preşedintelui Obama de la celebrarea a 20 de ani de la căderea Zidului este una dintre marile greşeli pe care el le putea face. Ea depăşeşte cu mult totala lipsă de inspiraţie (şi de expertiză?) care a dus la anunţul suspendării scutului anti-rachetă varianta Bush Jr. tocmai în ziua de 17 septembrie a.c. – cînd polonezii comemorau 70 de ani de la invadarea Poloniei de către armata sovietică.

Absenţa preşedintelui Obama de la Berlin poate fi penalizată din cel puţin cinci perspective diferite:

i) în primul rînd că B.O. este cel mai „mobil” preşedinte american în primul an de mandat: el a vizitat pînă acum mai multe state (16) decît oricare dintre predecesorii săi (în primul an de mandat Bill Clinton a vizitat 3 state, iar G. W. Bush 11). Evident că destinaţiile vizitelor sale sînt gîndite şi reprezintă ele însele un mesaj implicit. Dar, dacă acceptăm aceasta, atunci tot un mesaj implicit reprezintă şi refuzul unor invitaţii – precum cea de acum.

ii) Multe dintre ecourile vizitelor lui Obama au fost net pozitive – vezi discursurile ţinute la Praga, Cairo, la Moscova, în faţa parlamentului din Ghana sau la tribuna Naţiunilor Unite. Aşadar, B. Obama nu este un preşedinte „sedentar” şi nici unul care să nu creadă în puterea politică a discursurilor bine ţintite. Doar că nu toate audienţele i se par egale în importanţă.

iii) Şi totuşi, el nu va avea un astfel de discurs la 20 de ani de la căderea Zidului – dar poate invoca alibiul că a fost la Berlin în 2008!  Doar că anul trecut el nu era preşedintele SUA, ci era un candidat aflat în campanie, care venea într-un tour de charme european (ceea ce i-a şi reuşit). Absenţa din acest an îi va dezamăgi pe cei care l-au ovaţionat atunci, ca şi pe cei care n-au făcut-o – şi se întrebau dacă ar trebui să o facă vreodată.

iv) Înaintea preşedintelui Obama, alţi preşedinţi americani (democraţi sau republicani deopotrivă) au fost cu mult mai sensibili la ideea (şi concreteţea) Zidului berlinez. Cu ocazia unei vizite celebre la Berlin, din iunie 1963, J.F. Kennedy declara „Ich bin ein Berliner”; două decenii şi jumătate mai tîrziu, în iunie 1987, tot acolo, Ronald Reagan îi striga peste zid lui M. Gorbaciov „Mr. president, tear down this wall!”. În ciuda acestei istorii reale, preşedintele Obama nu pare a dori să se înscrie pe această linie.

v) Întrebarea fundamentală, pînă la urmă, este dacă preşedintelui Obama (& echipei sale) îi lipseşte doar empatia faţă de memoria istorică a Europei (vezi greşeala vizavi de polonezi) sau dacă este vorba despre o înţelegere diferită a Războiului rece, a locului SUA în acest conflict şi a importanţei pe care sprijinul american l-a avut în rezistenţa Europei în faţa acestei „ofense aduse umanităţii” (cum spunea JFK) reprezentate de comunismul de tip sovietic.

Pe scurt, un preşedinte american aflat altfel foarte des în avion, în genere atent la ceea ce înţeleg musulmanii, africanii, ruşii, chinezii sau latino-americanii din spusele & actele sale, decide, totuşi, să lipsească de la o aniversare care era a Europei libere şi unite, dar şi a ţării lui, ca stat învingător în ultima (pînă acum) mare bătălie dintre tiranie şi democraţie.

4 noiembrie 2009 Posted by | Geopolitica, Intelo, Istorie | , , , , , , , , , | Un comentariu

04/nov/2009 EURAST recomandă: M. Gorbaciov despre căderea Zidului berlinez

Now Clear Away the Rubble of the Wall

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV

(text publicat de ultimul lider sovietic în ediţia din 3 noiembrie a.c. a cotidianului The New York TimesEURAST)
 
 
The year 1989 was a turning point for Europe and for the world, a time when history went into high gear. This acceleration was symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the velvet revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe. Totalitarian and authoritarian regimes were exiting the stage of history.

Those events, and their peaceful unfolding, were made possible by changes that began in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s. We initiated them because they were overdue. We were responding to the demands of the people, who resented living without freedom, isolated from the rest of the world.

In just a few years — a very short time in history’s span — the main pillars of the totalitarian system in the Soviet Union were dismantled and the ground was readied for a democratic transition and economic reforms. Having done that in our own country, we could not deny the same to our neighbors.

We did not force changes upon them. From the outset of perestroika, I told the leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries that the Soviet Union was embarking upon major reforms but that they had to decide what they would do. You are responsible to your people, I said; we will not interfere.

In effect it was a repudiation of the so-called Brezhnev Doctrine, based on the concept of “limited sovereignty.” Initially, my words were met with skepticism, seen as yet another purely formal statement by a new general secretary of the Communist Party. But we never wavered, and that is why the developments in Europe in 1989-1990 were peaceful, without bloodshed.

The biggest challenge was the unification of Germany. As late as the summer of 1989, during my visit to West Germany, journalists asked me and Chancellor Helmut Kohl whether we had discussed the possibility of German unification. I replied that we had inherited that problem from history and that it would be addressed as history evolved. “When?” journalists asked. The chancellor and I both pointed to the 21st century.

Some might say we were poor prophets. Fair enough: German unification occurred much earlier — by the will of the German people, not because Gorbachev or Kohl wanted it. (text integral)

4 noiembrie 2009 Posted by | Istorie | , , , | Lasă un comentariu

04/nov/2009 Vladimir Socor despre contractul de armanent dintre Franţa şi Rusia

Allons Enfants de la Russie in the Black Sea ?
FRANCE READY TO SELL OFFENSIVE HELICOPTER-CARRYING SHIPS TO RUSSIA

Vladimir Socor

 

(Recomandăm acest text scris de Vl. Socor – pentru Jamestown Foundation – despre un recent contract între Franţa şi Rusia şi posibilele sale consecinţe în aria Mării Negre – Adrian Cioroianu)

The French government and, apparently, the Élysée Palace are moving fast to sell at least one Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Russsia–along with a license to build several such ships–possibly for deployment in the Black Sea. Such a sale would endow Russia with a modern naval and amphibious warfare capability that Russia currently lacks. The Mistral is by definition a power-projection capability and it can be deployed for intimidating effect on Russia’s maritime neighbors.
Less than two months ago the Russian Navy’s Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Vladimir Vysotskiy, had announced Moscow’s intention to buy a Mistral-class helicopter carrier from France and the license to build several ships of this class in Russia. He also hinted at possible Russian deployment of this capability to meet contingencies in the Black Sea: “In the conflict in August last year [against Georgia], a ship like that would have allowed [Russia’s] Black Sea Fleet to accomplish its mission in 40 minutes, not 26 hours which is how long it took us [to land the troops ashore]” (Interfax, September 11, 15).
The Mistral is a state-of-the-art class in the French naval inventory, with only two vessels of this type on active duty thus far and a third under construction. It carries 16 attack and landing helicopters (while allowing the operation of up to 30 on both decks), 900 troops, four conventional landing craft (also allowing the operation of two hovercraft), and 40 Leclerc tanks, or alternatively 13 tanks and 40 other vehicles (http://www.netmarine.net/bat/tcd/mistral/histoire01.htm). These are the figures for short-term operations, which are mainly relevant to Russia for possible actions in theaters nearby.
According to West European observers (Financial Times, October 13), Russian deployment of a helicopter-carrying ship in the Black Sea would not necessarily violate the 1936 Montreux Convention. While that convention bans aircraft carriers from passing through Turkey’s Dardanelles and Bosporus Straits, Russia could argue that a helicopter carrier does not qualify as an aircraft carrier. The interpretation might then depend on Turkey, Russia’s latest “strategic partner” in the Black Sea.
With Russia’s other strategic partner, France, negotiations are proceeding apace over the technical and financial terms of the Mistral sale. As currently envisaged, the first ship and, possibly, a second one would be built in France, to be sold without sophisticated electronics. Two or three additional ships would then be built jointly, under French license in Russia. The French decision is expected to be finalized during the first half of November.
Selling the Mistral without sophisticated electronics would not reassure Russia’s maritime neighbors. Russia would even in that case acquire a potentially threatening capability for power projection vis-à-vis most of its European maritime neighbors. The Russian military intends to put Russian Ka-27 and Ka-29 helicopters on the Mistral, if the sale goes ahead (Interfax, October 23; RIA Novosti, October 31).
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has declared in a speech at the École Militaire that partnership with Russia “can take several forms in the defense sphere, from military cooperation to close industrial partnership,” alluding to the Mistral deal (Agence France Presse, October 9). Last year at the NATO summit in Bucharest, Fillon had voiced concerns that membership action plans for Georgia and Ukraine would upset the “balance of power” to the detriment of Russia. Whether delivery of the Mistral would upset the balance of power to the detriment of France’s NATO allies and partners in the Black Sea or other theaters, however, does not seem to be very important to official Paris.
The French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Defense Minister Hervé Morin, discussed the Mistral sale during their latest visit to Moscow, where Russian President Dmitry Medvedev received them. Kouchner and Morin joined their Russian counterparts, Sergei Lavrov and Anatoly Serdyukov, in the regular Franco-Russian 2+2 ministerial consultations on foreign and defense policies. At the joint news conference, Morin welcomed Russia’s intention to purchase the Mistral; while Kouchner voiced hope that Russia would soon acquire this “great,” “wonderful” class of ships, once the technical and political procedures are completed (Interfax, Ekho Moskvy, October 1).
From the official French standpoint, the Mistral sale to Russia would both express the “strategic partnership” and provide an economic stimulus for the crisis-hit STX France shipyard. The latter would team up with the French DCNS naval shipyard to build the Mistral for Russia. The STX, traditionally known as Chantiers de l’Atlantique, currently two-thirds South Korean-owned and one-third French state owned, badly needs shipbuilding orders to save the threatened French jobs. President Nicolas Sarkozy promised this when visiting the shipyard almost one year ago. Apparently, he wants the government to secure the Mistral contract for Russia (Les Echos, October 7).
Meanwhile, Moscow is alluding to possible deals with the Netherlands or with Spain for helicopter carriers made in those countries. Such hints serve to goad Paris into rushing the sale of the Mistral.
Russia’s naval command is now equivocating about the number, possible missions, and basing for the Mistral in Russia. According to Vice-Admiral Oleg Burtsev, First Deputy Chief of the Russian Navy’s Main Staff, Russia may acquire, and build under French license, up to five ships of this class for possible deployment anywhere, from the Northern or Pacific Fleets to Somalia. The Russian shipyards in Severodvinsk or in St. Petersburg could build these ships, he told Russian media (RIA Novosti, Ekho Moskvy, Zvezda TV, October 31).
French authorities ignore warnings such as that of Sorbonne professor Francoise Thom: “Is it wise to arm a country that has just dismembered a neighboring state, Georgia, and no longer conceals its intentions to restore, by force if necessary, its hegemony in the ex-Soviet space? Is France, in the name of its ‘strategic partnership’ with Russia, closing its eyes to Russian preparations for future wars of aggression, which will become possible once Russia’s military reform, launched in September 2008, will have borne fruit? We must not be deluded into selling offensive armaments to Russia” (Le Monde, October 7).
In Brussels, however, an unidentified “senior figure at NATO Headquarters” sees no problem there: “This is a legal and bilateral issue between France and Russia and there has been no discussion about it at NATO” (Financial Times, October 13). If this is indeed an official position, it would only reflect the deterioration in the quality of consultation processes there since August. Candid discussion of this issue among NATO Allies could be one way toward restoring that quality.

4 noiembrie 2009 Posted by | Geopolitica | , , , , , | 3 comentarii