Le futur de l'Irak: ondes Hershiennes*
Le New Yorker de la semaine du 5 décembre présentait un article de Seymour Hersh. On se rappelle de lui:
He said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, "You haven't begun to see evil..." then trailed off. He said, "horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run."
He looked frightened.
At an ACLU convention in July 2004, he further detailed information he had been given about sexual tortures in Abu Ghraib. He claims that there is video footage, being held by the Bush administration, of Iraqi guards raping young boys in the prison. "The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking. And this is your government at war."
While being interviewed by KQED host Michael Krasny on October 8, 2004, Hersh claims to have spoken with a first lieutenant in charge of a unit stationed halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border.
His group was bivouacking outside of town in an agricultural area, and had hired 30 or so Iraqis to guard a local granary. A few weeks passed. They got to know the men they hired, and to like them. Then orders came down from Baghdad that the village would be "cleared." Another platoon from the soldier's company came and executed the Iraqi granary guards. All of them. "He said they just shot them one by one. And his people, and he, and the villagers of course, went nuts," Hersh said quietly. "He was hysterical, totally hysterical. He went to the company captain, who said, 'No, you don't understand, that's a kill. We got 36 insurgents. Don't you read those stories when the Americans say we had a combat maneuver and 15 insurgents were killed?' "
de Wikipedia.On peut critiquer Hersh, comme Tom Scocca par exemple:"[He] appears to be running some sort of impromptu combination of a notebook dump and an assignment meeting, challenging other reporters to pick up his loose ends and surplus tips", cité dans le New York Magazine; mais toute personne ayant un minimum de décence et de sens de la réalité doit se demander ce qu'elle ferait avec de l'information de telle nature.
Le dernier article du Monsieur dans le New Yorker, donc, porte sur les changements de la forme d'occupation militaire de l'Irak. On connaissait déjà le retrait des forces U.S. des régions urbaines vers quelques bases géantes. Hersh ajoute que le type d'attaque changera lui aussi:
A key element of the drawdown plans, not mentioned in the President’s public statements, is that the departing American troops will be replaced by American airpower. Quick, deadly strikes by U.S. warplanes are seen as a way to improve dramatically the combat capability of even the weakest Iraqi combat units. The danger, military experts have told me, is that, while the number of American casualties would decrease as ground troops are withdrawn, the over-all level of violence and the number of Iraqi fatalities would increase unless there are stringent controls over who bombs what.
"We’re not planning to diminish the war", Patrick Clawson, the deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told me. Clawson’s views often mirror the thinking of the men and women around Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "We just want to change the mix of the forces doing the fighting—Iraqi infantry with American support and greater use of airpower. The rule now is to commit Iraqi forces into combat only in places where they are sure to win. The pace of commitment, and withdrawal, depends on their success in the battlefield."
Up In The Air: Where is the Iraq war headed next?, Seymour Hersh, 5 décembre 2005.
Tom Engelhardt reprend la balle en publiant, et commentant, bien sûr, un envoi du toujours aussi nécessaire Dahr Jamail, qui saisit fort bien lui aussi l'importance du travail de Seymour Hersh:
It is impossible, really, to miss the overt signs of the ongoing air war in Iraq when you are there, which makes the lack of coverage all the more startling. At night, while standing on the roof of my hotel in Baghdad during the November 2004 assault on Fallujah, a city some 40-odd miles away, I could see on the horizon the distant flashes of U.S. bombs that were searing that embattled city.
I often wondered how the scores of journalists in Baghdad working for major American papers and TV networks could continue to ignore the daily air campaign the U.S. military was waging right over their heads or within eyesight. Along with countless eyewitness interviews I did on the damage caused from the air, this is what prompted me to write Living Under the Bombs for Tomdispatch some ten months ago. But it has only been thanks to the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, a journalist who has never even been to Iraq, that the important subject of the air campaign there has finally been brought to public awareness on a wider scale. In a recent interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman about his latest piece in that magazine, aptly titled, Up in the Air: Where is the Iraq War Headed Next? he commented, "Clearly there's all sorts of anecdotal reason to believe that the bombing has gone up exponentially, certainly in the last four or five months in the Sunni Triangle, the four provinces around Baghdad." But he also pointed that, when it comes to the American air campaign, "There's no statistics... We don't know what's going on with the air war."
* Avis au Voir: je suis disponible comme pondeur de titres.