FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How Humanitarian Imperialism Led to Europe’s Refugee Crisis

by

shutterstock_320055356

Maidhc Ó Cathail: Do you see Cologne, 2015 as a turning point or the beginning of the end for European civilization? 

Jean Bricmont: I am not sure what European civilization means, but if it survived the two World Wars, it will survive Cologne 2015. One should not exaggerate what happens with the refugees. I am of two minds about that. On the one hand, I don’t think it is such a big deal; what are a few million refugees among 500 million Europeans? On the other hand, polls show that a majority of people in European countries do not want to “welcome” more refugees and I think it is their right to do so (even if personally I don’t think it is such a big deal).

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.

Maidhc Ó Cathail: How is what you wrote in Humanitarian Imperialism related to the current refugee crisis?

Jean Bricmont: Well, 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. One can see signs of widespread popular revolt against that. 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.

Maidhc Ó Cathail: Do you believe that guilt over the Holocaust is the driving force behind Germany’s decision to accept over a million refugees?

Jean Bricmont: 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?). So, also in Germany, there is a lot of negative feelings with respect to the refugees.

Maidhc Ó Cathail: Do you think that one can be against US wars and Israeli occupation and at the same time have reservations about Muslim immigration to Europe?

Jean Bricmont: Yes, of course. But I am very reluctant to see this immigration (as several people do) as a “plot” from the US and Israel to “Islamize” Europe. For one thing, the Zionists here are divided: it is true that some of them are for more open borders, but others are afraid of the “Islamisation” of Europe, since they know that Muslims are not exactly fond of the “Jewish state”. I don’t believe such Islamisation takes place, but I think 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 be have completely closed ones. It is only a question of degree. The problem is that some of 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.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.18.51 AM

JEAN BRICMONT teaches physics at the University of Louvain in Belgium. He is author of Humanitarian Imperialism. He can be reached at Jean.Bricmont@uclouvain.be MAIDHC Ó CATHAIL is a widely published writer and political analyst. In addition to having written a monthly column for Beo!, his work has been published by Antiwar.com, Arab News (Saudi Arabia), Consortium News, Forward Magazine (Syria), Journal of Turkish Weekly, Khaleej Times (UAE), Ma’an News Agency (Palestine), Middle East Monitor, Palestine Chronicle, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, RT, Tehran Times, The Nation (Pakistan), The Unz Review, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and many more.

Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
Charles R. Larson
A Review of Mary Roach’s “Grunt”
David Yearsley
Stuck in Houston on the Cusp of the Apocalypse
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail