BHL looks with both eyes

Bernard-Henri Lévy spells out the perverse and tragic effect of three great ideas.

[W]e are here facing a sort of perverse effect of three great modern ideas. A sort of paradoxical and counter-effect of three great ideas, which are: anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and the fight against imperialism, three great ideas—among the best which have been produced in the 20th century…[Y]ou have a huge part of the population in America and in Europe, who believe, as a sort of Pavlovian reflex, that these sort of murders, these sort of genocides, can only be committed by ugly, stupid, white men…[W]hen a country of the third world which was colonized (as was Sudan), commits such bloodbaths, commits such crimes, to stop this, to try to prevent this, to intervene in order to make it stop, could be an act of colonialism. And in America and in France, you have a lot of people [of] the Left, to which I belong, [who believe that] we cannot interfere in the internal affairs of Sudan. Let’s be careful not to impose under the flag of human rights the old rule of Western superiority.

Let’s be careful not to say or do anything under the flag of human rights, or women’s rights either, especially when they seem to be in tension with that one religion whose name it is Forbidden to Utter unless something conciliatory or affectionate or admiring follows immediately. Let’s be so careful that we find ourselves with nothing left except our exquisite caution.

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