News Release

Terrorism and the “Series of Absurdities”

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JEAN BRICMONT, [in France] jean.bricmont[at]uclouvain.be,
@JeanBricmont
Bricmont is author of Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War. He is also a mathematical and statistical physicist at the University of Louvain, and the co-author of Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science [PDF].

“At this moment, we do not know what the motivations of the truck driver were. But, speaking of Islamic terrorism in general, one can at least ask what the root causes of that terrorism are.

“First of all, one must be clear about the difference between terrorism and armed struggle or resistance: the latter targets the army, the police, maybe state officials or even settlers, but the former targets totally innocent civilians, usually because they belong to the ‘wrong’ ethnic or religious group.

“Now, terrorism was used by the Saudi-U.S. alliance in Afghanistan during the communist regime (which was not very communist) even before the Soviet intervention. It then spread to other countries such as Bosnia and Algeria, where it was one of the roots of the conflicts during the 90’s.

“Terrorism was further enhanced by the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent U.S. policy of playing the Shiites against the Sunnis and vice-versa to maintain a semblance of control over that country.

“The final step was the support for Islamist rebellions in Libya and Syria, support which, it must be said, was approved often with enthusiasm by the ‘human rights’ left.

“Our policies are a veritable series of absurdities: we invent enemies like Putin and Assad who have done nothing to us, and we help our real enemies, like the Islamic terrorists, in order to fight our imaginary ones. On top of that, all our politicians are fighting each other to prove that they are more pro-Israel than the guy next to them, which would make us hated in the Muslim world if there were no other reasons.

“It seems to me that there are two options (none of which will be adopted): either withdraw entirely from the Middle East (including dropping support for Israel). Or join Syria and Russia in fighting ISIS (which is not what is being done when the fight against ISIS is ambiguous, because of the support for ‘moderate rebels,’ and [that it is not being] coordinated with troops on the ground). As long as ISIS appears successful, it will attract alienated Western youngsters. And terrorism will continue.”