FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

How Humanitarian Imperialism Led to Europe’s Refugee Crisis

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.

March 20, 2019
T.J. Coles
Countdown to “Full Spectrum Dominance”
W. T. Whitney
Re-Targeting Cuba: Why Title III of U.S. Helms-Burton Act will be a Horror Show
Kenneth Surin
Ukania’s Great Privatization Heist
Howard Lisnoff
“Say It Ain’t So, Joe:” the Latest Neoliberal from the War and Wall Street Party
Walter Clemens
Jailed Birds of a Feather May Sing Together
George Ochenski
Failing Students on Climate Change
Cesar Chelala
The Sweet Smell of Madeleine
Binoy Kampmark
Global Kids Strike
Nicky Reid
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: Requiem for a Fictional Party
Elliot Sperber
Empedocles and You and Me 
March 19, 2019
Paul Street
Socialism Curiously Trumps Fascism in U.S. Political Threat Reporting
Jonah Raskin
Guy Standing on Anxiety, Anger and Alienation: an Interview About “The Precariat”
Patrick Cockburn
The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save Brexit
Robert Fisk
Turning Algeria Into a Necrocracy
John Steppling
Day of Wrath
Robin Philpot
Truth, Freedom and Peace Will Prevail in Rwanda
Victor Grossman
Women Marchers and Absentees
Binoy Kampmark
The Dangers of Values: Brenton Tarrant, Fraser Anning and the Christchurch Shootings
Jeff Sher
Let Big Pharma Build the Wall
Jimmy Centeno
Venezuela Beneath the Skin of Imperialism
Jeffrey Sommers – Christopher Fons
Scott Walker’s Failure, Progressive Wisconsin’s Win: Milwaukee’s 2020 Democratic Party Convention
Steve Early
Time for Change at NewsGuild?
March 18, 2019
Scott Poynting
Terrorism Has No Religion
Ipek S. Burnett
Black Lives on Trial
John Feffer
The World’s Most Dangerous Divide
Paul Cochrane
On the Ground in Venezuela vs. the Media Spectacle
Dean Baker
The Fed and the 3.8 Percent Unemployment Rate
Thomas Knapp
Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark
Binoy Kampmark
Death in New Zealand: The Christchurch Shootings
Mark Weisbrot
The Reality Behind Trump’s Venezuela Regime Change Coalition
Weekend Edition
March 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Is Ilhan Omar Wrong…About Anything?
Kenn Orphan
Grieving in the Anthropocene
Jeffrey Kaye
On the Death of Guantanamo Detainee 10028
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
In Salinas, Puerto Rico, Vulnerable Americans Are Still Trapped in the Ruins Left by Hurricane Maria
Ben Debney
Christchurch, the White Victim Complex and Savage Capitalism
Eric Draitser
Did Dallas Police and Local Media Collude to Cover Up Terrorist Threats against Journalist Barrett Brown?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Straighten Up and Fly Right
Jack Rasmus
Trump’s $34 Trillion Deficit and Debt Bomb
David Rosen
America’s Puppet: Meet Juan Guaidó
Jason Hirthler
Annexing the Stars: Walcott, Rhodes, and Venezuela
Samantha M. - Angelica Perkins
Our Green New Deal
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s Nightmare Budget
Steven Colatrella
The 18th Brumaire of Just About Everybody: the Rise of Authoritarian Strongmen and How to Prevent and Reverse It
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Riding the Wild Bull of Nuclear Power
Michael K. Smith
Thirty Years Gone: Remembering “Cactus Ed”
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail