Archives de novembre 10th, 2015

Ils sont revenus !

Quel plaisir de retrouver hier nos amis Marc et Fairouz au Riad de l’Olivier ! IMG_2506Ils sont rentrés dimanche, un peu fatigués mais en bonne forme, heureux de retrouver le Riad.
Voilà un sale épisode de terminé pour eux deux, qu’il faudra vite oublier et ce sera vite fait quand on voit leur grand sourire ! Fairouz n’a rien changé (sinon quelques kilos en moins) et on a retrouvé Marc amaigri lui aussi mais toujours autant prêt à plaisanter. Camille et Mehdi qui ont assuré l’intérim avec beaucoup de métier malgré leur jeunesse, étaient là bien sûr et avaient préparé les entrées :   IMG_2505La viande cuisinée par Fairouz : un vrai régal ! IMG_2507 Et le temps superbe !

de gauche à droite : Colette, Christian, moi, Camille, Marc, Fairouz et Nicole.

de gauche à droite : Colette, Christian, moi, Camille, Marc, Fairouz et Nicole.

Championnat arabe de golf : Le Maroc confirme sa suprématie

MAP – lematin.ma – 09/11/2015

Avec des scores cumulés de 885 coups, l’équipe nationale a largement devancé celles de l’Egypte (928) et de Bahreïn (930), qui a damé le pion à la sélection tunisienne désireuse de monter sur le podium chez elle.

En réalisant la passe de cinq en individuel comme par équipes, le Maroc a confirmé sa suprématie sur le Championnat arabe de golf amateurs, dont la 35e édition s’est terminée dimanche, après quatre jours de compétition à Sousse (Tunisie).

Sur le magnifique mais difficile parcours de la fameuse station balnéaire d’El Kantaoui, les golfeurs marocains, incarnation d’une jeune génération décontractée et conquérante, se sont élevés au-dessus de la mêlée pour étaler un grand potentiel, aiguisé par la répétition des stages et des participations tant dans le Royaume qu’à l’étranger.

Venant directement de Dubaï où ils ont pris part à une série de tournois, ils ont vite forcé le respect des concurrents et arraché l’admiration des connaisseurs, qui n’avaient pas le moindre doute sur l’identité de celui qui allait monter sur la première marche du podium.

Au terme de la deuxième journée du Championnat, vendredi, les écarts ont commencé à se creuser et on pouvait déterminer avec aisance la direction des vents, aussi bien sur le green que sur le tableau d’affichage.

Pour sa première participation au tournoi seniors, le talentueux Yassine Touhami, à peine 19 ans, s’est illustré en rendant des cartes plus qu’honorables. Transcendé décidément par son éclatant succès, en octobre dernier, au Grand Prix de Chamonix Mont-Blanc (France), le jeune du Royal Golf d’Agadir avait le vent en poupe, laissant derrière lui tous les autres concurrents. Durant les trois premiers jours (-3, -5 et -4), il terminait toujours sous le par, qui était de 75 coups en fonction des handicaps du parcours.

Yassine Touhami

Yassine Touhami

Le seul à avoir réussi à maintenir la cadence n’est autre que son camarade Ayoub Lguirati, champion arabe en 2012 à Manama. Avec un retard de 7 coups sur le leader à la fin de samedi, qui a connu des chutes de pluie ayant contrarié la concentration des joueurs, Lguirati devait réaliser un véritable exploit pour renverser son compatriote.

Je voulais absolument gagner, mais au dernier jour (dimanche), j’étais vraiment fatigué, parce qu’on vient de boucler une tournée de deux mois aux Emirats», a reconnu Lguirati, 21 ans, qui a tenu à féliciter son coéquipier en club et en équipe nationale.

Yassine Touhami, qui a réussi le par pour le green de clôture, a rendu une carte finale de 288 coups, devant Lguirati (296) et le Qatari Saleh Ali Al-Kaabi (300), qui ferme le podium à la troisième marche.

«Je suis très content de ce succès», a laconiquement lancé Yassine qui, porté par la fougue et l’insouciance de la jeunesse, rêve déjà de participer aux grands tournois professionnels en Amérique et en Europe.

La recette réside dans «le travail et le sérieux», selon le jeune talent, qui sans fausse modestie, croit sincèrement qu’il en a «le potentiel». De l’avis des observateurs aguerris, il n’a pas tout à fait tort.

En compagnie des champion et vice-champion de l’édition, qui s’est déroulée dans de bonnes conditions grâce à une organisation sans faille de la Fédération tunisienne, Karim El Hali et Amine El Malki ont formé le quatuor marocain victorieux, sous la houlette du capitaine Mohamed Klawa, qui n’a pas tari d’éloges sur la discipline et la performance de ses protégés.

Avec des scores cumulés de 885 coups, l’équipe nationale a largement devancé celles de l’Egypte (928) et de Bahreïn (930), qui a damé le pion à la sélection tunisienne désireuse de monter sur le podium chez elle.

Auteurs d’une bonne entame, les Tunisiens ont lâché du leste samedi, se consolant par le succès organisationnel de ce tournoi, qu’ils souhaitent en faire le point de départ d’un retour sur la scène golfique.

Le président délégué de la Fédération royale marocaine de golf (FRMG), Mustapah Zine, n’a pas dissimulé son grand bonheur pour cette cinquième consécration de rang, résultat de la stratégie menée par la FRMG au cours des dernières années, ave la sollicitude et le soutien de SAR le Prince Moulay Rachid, président de l’Association du Trophée Hassan II.

Mustapah Zine s’est réjoui «des progrès accomplis d’année en année», dont la parfaite illustration est la présence des golfeurs marocains dans les tournois internationaux, rappelant la dernière victoire du jeune Touhami à Chamonix.

Les résultats obtenus, a-t-il dit, prouvent qu’on est «sur la bonne voie» et qu’il faut maintenir le cap en encourageant le travail effectué par les écoles et les académies dans toutes les régions, auxquelles la fédération apporte un intérêt particulier.

77 milliards de dirhams d’investissement, 120.000 emplois créés, des centaines de kilomètres d’autoroute… Le nouveau visage des provinces du sud

huffpostmaghreb.com – 09/11/2015

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Les chiffres donnent le tournis. 77 milliards de dirhams pour financer de nouveaux projets de développement dans les provinces du sud, 120.000 emplois créés, plusieurs centaines de kilomètres d’autoroute…au lendemain du discours du roi pour le 40e anniversaire de la marche verte, le ministre de l’Economie et des finances, Mohamed Boussaid, a présenté samedi à Laâyoune les grandes lignes du nouveau programme de développement des provinces du sud. De l’industrie à l’agriculture en passant par le tourisme et la santé, plusieurs secteurs sont concernés.

A commencer par l’industrie, à travers la réalisation par Phosboucraâ, filiale de l’OCP, d’un nouveau complexe industriel pour la production d’engrais ainsi qu’une technopole pour un investissement total de 19 milliards de dirhams.

Au programme aussi, le développement du secteur agricole. Ainsi, des projets de valorisation agricole sont prévus dans la région de Dakhla, avec à la clé la création de 11.000 emplois. Budget consacré à cette opération ? 1,3 milliard de dirhams. La province de Boujdour bénéficiera, elle, de projets d’aménagement (dessalement des eaux de la mer) sur une superficie de 100 ha pour un coût de 465 millions dirhams.

Pour promouvoir l’agriculture solidaire, il est prévu la réalisation de 50 projets pour un coût de 1,5 milliard dirhams. Ces projets profiteront à une population estimée à 16.800 personnes.

Afin de valoriser les produits de mer et de la pisciculture, il sera procédé à la réalisation de projets dans la région Dakhla-Oued Eddahab permettant la création de 8.000 postes d’emploi pour un investissement global de 4,9 milliards de dirhams.

Sur le front du tourisme (écologique), le ministre a mis en lumière la création d’un nouveau pôle touristique et le lancement d’une offre touristique alliant mer, Sahara, culture et dimension écologique. Ce programme touristique prévoit la création de 84 projets pour des investissements estimés à 2,1 milliards dirhams.

Au menu également, la construction d’un Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) à Laâyoune pour un coût de 1,2 milliard dirhams, ce qui portera le nombre de CHU que compte le Maroc à huit (Cinq sont opérationnels, deux en chantier à Agadir et Tanger).

Un Technopole sera également lancé dans la région de Foum El Oued pour une enveloppe de 2 milliards de dirhams, et sera voué à la formation, et le développement de l’innovation technologique et culturelle.

Un barrage sera réalisé à Oued Noun, province de Guelmim, pour faire face au déficit en matière d’approvisionnement en eau potable, mobiliser les ressources hydriques nécessaires pour l’irrigation des terres agricoles et contribuer à la protection de la région d’éventuelles inondations.

Concernant les nouvelles technologies, la couverture de la téléphonie mobile (deuxième, troisième et quatrième générations) sera renforcée et étendue pour un coût de près de 1 milliard dirhams. De nouvelles connexions via fibres optiques sont notamment prévues.

Une route atlantique rapide Tiznit-Laâyoune-Dakhla sera construite afin de relier les provinces du sud aux autres régions du Maroc. Ce projet sera réalisé en deux tranches, la première nécessitant des investissements de l’ordre de 8,5 milliards dirhams.

Il est enfin prévu la construction du port sur la façade atlantique pour un coût de 6 milliards dirhams.

Le « Coup d’Agadir » du 21ème siècle – The 21st-Century Agadir Crisis

BY ABRAHAM BLONDEAU – thetrumpet.com – 09/11/2015

L’histoire diplomatique classique jette la lumière sur l’avenir des relations sino-américaines

USS Lassen

USS Lassen

Last week the United States Navy sailed the USS Lassen, a guided-missile destroyer, within 12 miles of the Chinese-claimed Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands. The destroyer was shadowed by Chinese warships during the operation. This incident has caused sharp rebukes from Beijing, which claims the American vessel violated “sovereign Chinese waters.” The United States replied by stating that the U.S. freedom of navigation operations intends to “protect the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations under international law.”

The South China Sea has been the center of controversy since China aggressively asserted its claim over the area. Subi Reef is just one of several artificial islands China has created to increase its operational capacity and make its claims more valid. This claim overlaps with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. Under international law the area in contention is recognized as international waters. With $5 trillion in trade passing through annually, this seaway is one of the busiest trade lanes in the world and a vital strategic choke point in the world economy.

The freedom of navigation (FON) operations are intended to challenge maritime claims that the United States considers excessive under international law. These have been conducted by the U.S. military since 1979. The last times these operations were conducted in the South China Sea was in 2012. China refuses to accept the authority of international law over its sovereign claims.

On October 30, the Chinese Navy released a statement escalating the tensions, as paraphrased by Reuters: “If the United States continues with these kinds of dangerous, provocative acts, there could well be a seriously pressing situation between front-line forces from both sides on the sea and in the air, or even a minor incident that sparks war.”

The statement reveals the future strategic problems for the United States in the Pacific Theater. The United States seeks to uphold international law and the freedom of trade and transport through an important choke point, while China seeks to solidify its own national security and influence in the region. There is no opposition to Chinese aggression in the region from its smaller Southeast Asian neighbors besides the security guarantees of the United States. While both sides are seeking a diplomatic solution to the issue, at this juncture neither side seems determined to use hard power to force one party to fold. Either the international community will have to recognize Chinese claims, or the Chinese will have to retreat from the area.

The Chinese are a rising power seeking to increase their prestige and strategic influence in the region. The United States seeks to uphold the accepted status quo and fulfill its role as the enforcer of international law. These colliding interests are not only the theme of the current Chinese-American relationship, they are also the theme of history. The world has seen this scenario play out again and again. While this particular incident will most likely not cause a war between the U.S. and China, it is a precursor to further clashes that could have foreboding consequences.

This situation has a dangerous parallel with a specific historical incident that was one of the first omens of world war. The Agadir Crisis of 1911 presents a mirror image of what is occurring in the South China Sea. This historical incident saw a rising, aggressive power challenge the status quo upheld by a long standing world superpower. The event was solved diplomatically, but three years later these two nations clashed in the most violent and destructive conflict ever seen to that time.

The Agadir Crisis in Europe illustrates why this event in the South China Sea signals a dangerous future for American-Chinese relations. A brief case study of this incident will give more clarity in an increasingly volatile world order.

The Crisis

In the spring of 1911, Europe basked in the warm glow of peace. Britain was approaching the apex of its empire, Russia seemed stable in the east, and France was busy solidifying North Africa. However, another nation was not satisfied with its place in the world order.

It was actually Napoleon Bonaparte who made the earliest moves toward uniting the German-speaking peoples into one nation. In the early 1800s, his Confederation of the Rhine united 16 smaller German states into one government, and that government allied itself with Napoleon’s France. After that, the Prussian-led government sought to solidify and complete the unification of the German-speaking peoples. Their vision was to have one German nation, reclaiming all the traditional lands of their forefathers, and uniting all German speakers.

By the turn of the century, Germany was a major European power, beginning to challenge the status quo that had existed since Napoleon’s defeat. Germany was late to the race for overseas colonies, and had little room to expand further in Europe peacefully. In 1911, it became clear that the ambitions of Germany could not be contained by the present balance of power.

At that time, the French occupied Fez, a city on the Moroccan coast. This was expected since the French had vast possessions in northwest Africa. However, this claim hindered German economic interests in Agadir, a port city in Morocco. Britain and France primarily had been deciding the borders and claims of colonies for the past 50 years, but Germany decided to state its opinion in forceful terms.

On July 1, the German emperor ordered the gunboat Panther to steam to Agadir to protect German interests. This caught the French off guard and alarmed Europe. Germany had begun a war against France only 40 years earlier, and this gunboat gesture had no clear intentions. Why would Germany send a warship when this was clearly a diplomatic issue? What made more tense was the silence from the German government. For days it did not clearly state its intentions nor if the Panther had orders to intervene if necessary.

Le croiseur allemand "Berlin" qui remplaça rapidement le "Panther" dans la baie d'Agadir Journal "L'ILLUSTRATION" du 16 septembre 1911

Le croiseur allemand « Berlin » qui remplaça rapidement le « Panther » dans la baie d’Agadir
Journal « L’ILLUSTRATION » du 16 septembre 1911 – doc. M. Terrier

Both the British and French pursued diplomatic channels with the Germans to diffuse the situation. Winston Churchill wrote about this incident in his history of World WarI, The World Crisis. Pondering if clashes between the two powers were imminent or not, Churchill wrote:

The task of diplomacy was to prevent such disasters; and as long as there was no conscious or subconscious purpose of war in the mind of any power or race, diplomacy would probably succeed. But in the grave and delicate conjunctions, one violent move by any party would rupture and derange the restraints upon all and plunge the cosmos into chaos.

This seems to summarize the current situation in the South China Sea. Diplomacy is being used to diffuse the situation. Although many authorities claim war between the U.S. and China is unlikely at this time, it only takes one violent move. Churchill adds some further insight to the German intentions in 1911:

It seems probable now that the Germans did not mean war on this occasion. But they meant to test the ground; and in so doing, they were prepared to go to the very edge of the precipice. It is so easy to lose one’s balance there: a touch, a gust of wind, a momentary dizziness, and all is precipitated into the abyss.

Germany intended to gauge how Britain and France would react if it challenged the status quo. This has been the reason for China’s aggressive behavior in the Pacific. France engaged in vehement protest, trying to gain international support. Britain’s position became clear to Germany by a speech made by then Chancellor of the Exchequer Lloyd George:

If a situation were to be forced upon us in which peace could only be preserved by the surrender of the great and beneficent position Britain has won by centuries of heroism and achievement, by allowing Britain to be treated where her interests were vitally affected as if she were of no account in the cabinet of nations, then I say emphatically that peace at that price would be a humiliation intolerable for a great country like ours to endure.

This statement made it clear to Germany that if it did wish to start a war, it would be opposing Britain. The U.S. finds itself in a similar position today as it faces a rising China. Will it allow over a century of economic and strategic dominance to pass and surrender to Chinese demands? Or will it uphold international law and the rights of smaller nations? This situation is similar to what Britain faced at the start of the 20th century as a rising Germany challenged its century of dominance.

The Agadir Crisis was solved diplomatically, but only after the British Navy was nearly sent to battle stations and after many sleepless nights in Europe. It was clear that Germany did not intend to challenge the British Navy at that time, and that the port of Agadir was not its true prize. However, it soon became clear that Germany was a major threat to British power, and the great Edwardian arms race began with capital ships, the weapons of mass destruction in 1911. A world war began only three years later.

The Future

When we consider the crisis of Agadir and apply the lessons from history to the present situation in the South China Sea, we find a number of important trends to watch for.

First, the row over the Spratly Islands will find a diplomatic solution in the short term. Neither side is willing to engage in a full-out war over the dispute, despite any rhetoric from a Chinese naval officer. The U.S. Navy is still superior to the Chinese in terms of overall numbers, but the Chinese hold local superiority and are within closer proximity to supplies. For example, the U.S. Navy has 10 carriers to each one of China’s (and it still does not have an aircraft wing). However, the 2014 U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission predicted that the Chinese Navy will surpass the U.S. Navy in the Pacific by 2020.

In addition to a robust shipbuilding program, the Chinese are developing a ballistic missile called the DF-21D, the “Carrier Killer.” This is a long-range ballistic missile that is highly maneuverable, moves at high speeds, and is meant to disable capital ships. The Chinese began developing these after the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995-96. The U.S. Carrier Battle Groups (CBGs) had no match, but this is their best attempt to even the battlefield. The accuracy of these are doubtful, but this is only one threat to the U.S. Navy. China also possesses submarines and sea mines, which are a threat to any navy.

The German challenge of naval supremacy, which really began in 1911 with the Agadir Crisis, galvanized Britain to build more capital ships to stay ahead of Germany. It seems the Chinese threat is also causing the U.S. to plan on increasing its presence in the Pacific.

However, there is one clear difference between the British leadership in 1911 and those in power now: The British still had the will to use the tremendous armaments at their disposal. It is doubtful that any challenging power today would be met with such a stiff response as Lloyd George delivered in 1911.

Second, look for China to continue challenging the status quo. Even though Germany acquiesced to the French and British in 1911, it was merely testing the resistance against its actions. Germany’s goals were incompatible with the world it existed in. Its ambitions were beyond the accepted borders and outside the peaceful imaginations of diplomats. Germany wanted an imperial future, and when it felt that it had the advantage, it eventually was willing to start a war to achieve those ends.

While America still holds the advantage now, it seems that China will one day have the upper hand economically and militarily. At that point, there could be justification in pursuing an aggressive policy against the U.S. Navy. While this does not seem imminent, the trend of China pushing at American dominance will be unrelenting in the days ahead.

The main principle to learn from Agadir is that these events are almost always a precursor to much larger conflicts. This conflict may not even be between the U.S. and China but from any rising power that senses American weakness and indecision. Perhaps it seems far-fetched that we would have a world war in the 21st century. Many shared that sentiment in 1911 and dismissed the chance of war. Churchill’s words seem especially prescient for us today:

No, it is nothing. No one would do such things. Civilization has climbed above such perils. The interdependence of nations in trade and traffic, the sense of public law, the Hague Convention, Liberal principles, the Labour Party, high finance, Christian charity, common sense have rendered such nightmares impossible. Are you quite sure? It would be a pity to be wrong. Such a mistake could only be made once—once for all.

History seems to be repeating itself in the Pacific Ocean. However, this is the first time China has had a lead role in the theater of events. The miraculous rise of China coincides with a sudden resurgence of a Russia led by Vladimir Putin. Both seem to be challenging U.S. power, but what will be the result? Will they descend into bitter war? Read our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy to know what the Bible has foretold about the fate of these two nations.

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