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Humanitarian Wars and Associated Delusions

Paul de Rooij writes in Counterpunch:

Most inhabitants of Western countries are afflicted by nefarious delusions about the nature of their societies and government policy; the public at large is led to believe that their societies are superior, and their governments’ policies are noble and generous. The illusions have to do with the dissonance between the fabricated image and the reality of state power, especially when it entails wars waged against third world countries. Awful wars are waged for crass motives, yet they are sold on the basis that they are driven by benevolent intent. Promotion of democracy, freedoms, human rights, women’s rights, and even religious tolerance are some of the purported motives for current interventions, subversion or wars. Since the 1990s, in the lead-up to the wars against former Yugoslavia, the primary justification offered to wage war was that it was necessary to safeguard human rights or to improve the humanitarian conditions of the target population. If the blatant hypocrisy wasn’t bad enough, the Left’s delusions regarding the stated humanitarian rationale for wars has had a distinctly deleterious effect on the Left as a movement and the organized opposition to the depredations of their states. Jean Bricmont’s Humanitarian Imperialism is an extensive analysis of the “humanitarian war” rationale, and how its twisted arguments should be countered and its rationale for war rejected. One of the defining aspects of the Left of yesteryear was an opposition to imperialism and its consequent wars; Bricmont’s important contribution aims to resurrect the principled opposition to the new imperial wars waged primarily by the United States and Britain.

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