Humanitarian Imperialism: Sow Chaos, Then Force People to Reap Consequences
Humanitarian Imperialism: Sow Chaos, Then Force People to Reap Consequences © AP Photo/ Santi Palacios
13:13 28.02.2016(updated 15:14 28.02.2016) Get short URL
Jean Bricmont, the author of ‘Humanitarian Imperialism’, a study of how the idea of human rights has been used to justify Western imperialism, finds it troubling that the Western powers engaged in ‘humanitarian interventions’ abroad have the gall to tell their own populations to ‘welcome the refugees’ when things go awry.
Recently interviewed by independent journalist Maidhc O Cathail for CounterPunch Magazine, Bricmont explained that Europeans have every right to be angry about the influx of refugees from countries embroiled in war and unrest, but that it’s worth recalling the roots of the present crisis.
“The same people who encouraged ‘humanitarian’ interventions and ‘support’ for armed insurrections abroad, that have led to perpetual wars, generating a constant flow of refugees, are now demanding that the population of our countries ‘welcome the refugees’. They first generate chaos there, then they applaud chaos here. It cannot last forever,” Bricmont noted.
An activist known for his collaboration with progressives like MIT’s Noam Chomsky, Bricmont believes that the European left, to its detriment, has presented a moral discourse on the refugee crisis which ordinary Europeans cannot accept.
“What I call the moral left wants to force the population to be altruistic with respect to the refugees. But the population, who is never consulted on the issue of refugees and who is constantly asked to make sacrifices because ‘there is no money’ understandably does not accept this moral discourse,” the intellectual noted.
Furthermore, Bricmont argues, “one can see signs of widespread popular revolt” rising among the population over politicians’ policy of sowing chaos, then forcing Europeans to reap the consequences.
“Now, I am not optimistic about the way this revolt will go, because, since the left has been almost totally won over to the cause of humanitarian interventions and its corollary of welcoming the refugees, this revolt will almost certainly benefit mostly the (far) right.”
Asked by his interviewer whether the German decision to accept over a million refugees is tied to guilt over the Holocaust, Bricmont retorted that first off, “it was not ‘Germany’ that made that decision, but Mrs. Merkel, to the consternation of many and perhaps most Germans.”
“Her personal motives are unclear. For a minority of Germans who actively welcome the refugees, the Holocaust is no doubt a factor. But the younger generations, all over Europe, are fed up with this artificial guilt (how can anyone be guilty of events that occurred before their birth?). Also, in Germany, there is a lot of negative feeling with respect to the refugees.”
Asked whether one can be both against Western imperialism and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and simultaneously “have reservations about Muslim immigration to Europe,” Bricmont said that the answer, obviously, is “yes, of course.”
Noting that he personally doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories about an ‘Islamization’ of Europe, the academic noted that nevertheless, “one should be pragmatic about immigration. We will never have really open borders, unlike what some of the far left demands (otherwise we would really be quickly overwhelmed and a far right reaction would occur to stop that), nor will we have completely closed ones. It is a question of degree.”
“The problem is that our ‘elites’ live in a dream world where more globalization is always viewed as good and the wishes of the population are despised and ignored. That creates the risk of a dangerous backlash,” Bricmont concluded.