Jean Bricmont

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Person.png Jean Bricmont   Amazon SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(author, academic)
Jean Bricmont.png
Born12 April 1952
Uccle, Belgium
Alma materUniversité catholique de Louvain
Exposed • humanitarian imperialism
• R2P
Belgian physicist and essayist. Author of the book Humanitarian Imperialism, describing how United States and its Western allies are pursuing imperialist goals under the pretext of defending human rights.

Jean Bricmont is a Belgian theoretical physicist and philosopher of science. He is professor of theoretical physics at the University of Louvain, Belgium and is a member of the Brussels Tribunal.

He is the author of the book Humanitarian Imperialism, and has written forewords to the French editions of books by Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and Diana Johnstone.

Humanitarian Imperialism

In his book Humanitarian Imperialism, Bricmont describe how United States and its Western allies are pursuing imperialist goals under the pretext of defending human rights,such as in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Some people think there are good and bad interventions. But the main issue for me is: who intervenes? It is never really the "citizens" or the "civil society" of the West, or even the European countries on their own, meaning without U.S. support, it is always the U.S. military, mostly its Air Force.

Now, one may of course defend the idea that international law should be disregarded and that the defense of human rights should be left to the U.S. Air Force. But many people who support "good" interventions do not say that. They usually argue that "we" must do something to "save the victims" in a particular situation. What this viewpoint forgets is that the "we" who is supposed to intervene is not the people who actually speak, but the U.S. military.

Therefore, support for any intervention only strengthens the arbitrary power of the U.S., which, of course, uses it as it seems fit, and not, in general, according to the wishes of those who support "good" interventions.[1]

Israel lobby

In his foreword for Gilad Atzmon's book The Wandering Who?, he defended the latter against accusations of anti-Semitism and wrote that such accusations and, above all, the "incredible arrogance of Israeli politics" was responsible for the rising anti-Semitism.[citation needed]

In an essay from 2013, Bricmont and Johnstone see the representation of Israeli interests via an Israel lobby in the USA as the main reason behind demands for a possible US intervention in Syria for humanitarian reasons.[2]

In a 2006 article, Bricmont called for the "de-Zionization" of the American spirit, calling for the Left to treat Israel as it did South Africa and attack the Israel Lobby. supporting an academic and cultural boycott of Israel.[3]

In 2019, he was cancelled by he University of Nice. A conference he was supposed to speak at, on "Understanding quantum mechanics", was rescheduled after protests from student associations, which denounced his arrival and his supposed political positions.[4]

Left-right opposition has reversed itself

“We often hear that the left-right opposition is outdated or no longer makes sense. But the problem is worse: on many issues, the left-right opposition has reversed itself, the left adopting positions that were those of the right or the far-right in the past and part of the right doing the opposite. Let's start with the question of peace and war. Since the wars have become "humanitarian", it is the left, including the bulk of the "radical" left, which supports them. When a perfectly orchestrated coup takes place in Ukraine, we celebrate the victory of democracy. In Syria, until recently, support, at least verbal, for the "rebels" was not debated in the left. During the bombings on Libya, Mélenchon argued that it was necessary to prevent the "tyrant" Gaddafi from killing the revolution. We realized a little late that the opponents of the said tyrant, like the bulk of the rebels in Syria, were also our opponents, that is to say fanatical Islamists. But the classical left, at least in its radical part, but sometimes also in a certain part of social democracy, was opposed to imperial policies, interference and American hegemony, especially during the Vietnam War. Today, the simple fact of defending the principle of national sovereignty passes for being far-right.”
Jean Bricmont (January 2017)  [5]


A Document by Jean Bricmont

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)
Document:Libya and the Return of Humanitarian Imperialismarticle8 March 20112011 Attacks on Libya
"Humanitarian intervention"
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