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Humanitarian wars ? Lies and brainwashing

Rony Brauman

Medical doctor, specialized in tropical medicine and epidemiology. Involved in humanitarian action since 1977, he has been on numerous missions, mainly in contexts of armed conflicts and IDP situations. President of Médecins sans Frontières from 1982 to1994, he also teaches at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) and is a regular contributor to Alternatives Economiques. He has published several books and articles, including "Guerre humanitaires ? Mensonges et Intox" (Textuel, 2018), "La Médecine Humanitaire" (PUF, 2010), "Penser dans l'urgence" (Editions du Seuil, 2006) and "Utopies Sanitaires" (Editions Le Pommier, 2000).


Régis Meyran is an anthropologist (Dr. at EHESS) and an associate researcher at the Laboratoire interdisciplinaire récits, cultures, sociétés (Lirces, University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis). He is in charge of the collection "Conversations pour demain" at Textuel and contributes to Sciences Humaines and Pour la Science magazines. 

In the eyes of Rony Brauman of Médecins sans Frontières, wars are always triggered in the name of morality.

Today’s “humanitarian” interventions are little more than new moral crusades – and their justifications are based on lies. There are plenty of examples of hawkish propaganda in recent years: Saddam Hussein’s mythical weapons of mass destruction; dubious predictions of genocide in Kosovo; doctored figures of famine in Somalia; and a fake massacre of protesters in Libya.

Without being militantly non-interventionist Rony Brauman is extremely suspicious of the thirst for war displayed by many of today’s world leaders, the consequences of which are devastating. He is critical of international peacekeeping bodies and tribunals: for him, the UN Security Council and the international criminal court represent the interest of the powerful above all else.

Basing his argument on the criteria for a “just war”, Rony Brauman criticizes the western obsession with imposing democratic values by force. In this book he thoroughly dismantles the notion of the justness of “humanitarian wars”.  

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To cite this content :
Rony Brauman, Régis Meyran, Humanitarian wars ? Lies and brainwashing , 18 avril 2019, URL :

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