Saturday 26th of September 2020

understanding andré...

vitchek

How I became a revolutionary and internationalist: André Vltchek. 

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel "Aurora" and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: "Exposing Lies Of The Empire". View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky "On Western Terrorism". Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

 

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My mother was a baby when the WW II erupted. Half of my family died during the siege of Leningrad, starved and bombed by German Nazis.


Binu Mathew, Editor of Countercurrents.org interviews Andre Vltchek


BM: You are one of the foremost critics of imperialism. Can you tell us

how you came to be who you are? Can you tell us about your formative years?


AV: Formative years... There were many of them, and actually, I feel that I am still evolving, until now. People always do, I believe and hope.


I was born in the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, in an unbelievably beautiful city of Leningrad, built by insane Peter the Great and by a few no less insane Italian and French architects, on the shores of wide and powerful river Neva, right near the mosquito-infested swamps.


I did not live there long, just three years or so, but the city always stayed inside me.


My mother is half Russian, half Chinese, while my father is Czech, a scientist. At the age of three I was taken to a boring, industrial city of Pilsen (Plzen) in what was then Czechoslovakia; a city also known for its beer and proximity to Bavaria.

My father belongs to that old generation of scientists who believed that they could change and improve the world. He loved classical music, philosophy, literature and good wine - to him, all this was inseparable from the scientific concepts, from dreaming and imagining. He explained Theory of Relativity of Einstein to me, when I was 8, and he taught me how to play chess and think logically.

My mother was just a baby when the WW II erupted. Half of my family died during the siege of Leningrad, starved and bombed by German Nazis. She actually almost died from starvation. My grandma fought Germans, was decorated for bravery: she helped to defend and then to rebuild her beloved city. Her husband, my grandfather, was a Communist, a Soviet cabinet minister, and an ethnic Chinese from Kazakhstan. He held ministerial posts for medical care and for food supply. He was denounced as a Japanese spy before the war (during the time when German spy network managed to infiltrate Soviet intelligence communication network and literally fed fake information to  the Soviet leadership, significantly weakening it before that war). My grandfather was executed. Then, 'rehabilitated' posthumously, when the truth surfaced, finally. He was the love of my grandma's life; she never remarried again.

Why am I telling you this, Binu? Because my formative years began when I was 3. My family was pulling me apart. My grandmother and my mother educated me as a Soviet boy, on great Russian literature, music, poetry. Every year I was sent for 2-3 months to Leningrad, to my grandma, and she would spoil me silly, dragging me to the opera houses, to concerts, museums. I loved and missed Russia enormously, while living most of the year in emotionally cold and pragmatic Czechoslovakia.

Both women - mother and grandmother: never tried to spare me of all those horrors they survived during the war. I lived through their stories they had to go through during the Siege of the city. My mother would often read me Russian poetry, and she cried. She missed her country and her city, tremendously. She was terrified by the war, even so many years after it ended. I was missing Leningrad, too. I still do.

Then the 1968 came, and I was barely 5. Since then, there was no childhood. Since the first grade of elementary school, my life was one huge battle for survival. Between each class, several boys would come and unceremoniously beat me up, just for having Russian mother. First, I suffered in silence. Then I began fighting back. You know how racist Europeans are. I was constantly attacked not only because my mother was "Russian"; it was mainly because she had Asian features. I still remember that talk: "Look at your disgusting Asian ears, you shit". When I played badminton in a gym, kids were pissing into my shoes during winter, and urine would turn to ice.

My parents divorced. Their marriage collapsed. But also, their political ideas were different. My father left Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. I was getting two totally different interpretations of the political events, since I was 5. From several highly intellectual and bright individuals in my family. I had to decide what was right and wrong.

They destroyed my childhood, but made a tough writer out of me, at a very early age.

I have never forgiven them. In the same time, I am very grateful to them. But above all, to my grandmother, who departed some 20 years ago. I miss her, and I admire her, more and more.

BM: You became a U.S citizen as a teenager.  Can you tell us about the
politics behind it?

AV: To be precise, I became a US citizen when I was in my 20's. But I left Czechoslovakia, with the Soviet passport, when I was very young.

Look, this is a very long story, and I often tell it, in abbreviated forms, but let me try, here, to explain in more detail:

In my late teens, I finally 'cracked'. It was somehow 'too much': my family background, my messed-up childhood, and all that filth and lack of sincerity all around me. Czechs were determined to hate Russians/Soviets, but in the same time, they were shamelessly collaborating with the system. They always were: with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with the Nazis, and now, with the West. They have been bitching throughout their modern history, but they were serving everyone who was in power. And they were always living extremely well. Under "Communism" they had their comfortable flats, summer houses, cars.

When I grew up, nothing was 'sacred'. People were poking very vulgar jokes about everything, no woman was 'out of reach', drinking orgies were excessive. I guess, as a young writer, I was longing for at least some purity.

I hit the bottle, too. I smoked two packs a day. Being in an elite secondary school, my 'being different' was suddenly an asset. I could have almost any girl I desired. But it was all going, somehow, in a wrong direction.

I began listening to the Western propaganda outlets. In Pilsen, they were everywhere: on the radio short waves, on the television shows coming from West Germany, and from samizdat ('forbidden' literature, mainly Western propaganda, copied predominantly on the copying machines in the government offices, after hours). I began listening to the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, BBC in English, Russian and Czech. I was thoroughly brainwashed into accepting official Western narrative regarding the "1968 events". I was brainwashed into seeing the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan as a 'crime'.

 

Divorce of my parents meant that I was, since early age, free to do basically what I desired. I travelled, on shoestrings, by train, all over Eastern Europe, from Balkans to Poland, alone. I think I began when I was 15.

I got myself a girlfriend in Poland, who was a member of student "Solidarity". We took couple of trips to Gdansk, during protests. I began feeling like a big young dissident, writing erotic/revolutionary poetry, corresponding with the BBC. I did not care much about grades. When I needed money, I did some translations, as I spoke fluently in several languages.

Looking back, I was too young for all this; of course, I was.But again, as I said before, I had no childhood, and no sense of belonging; no patria. My life had no structure. I did not try to be different; I was different, mainly because of the circumstances. In those days, I thought I was a Communist, but a 'reformist' one. In fact, I was deeper and deeper influenced by the Western propaganda, and losing my marbles.

To fast-forward, I sent my first book of poetry to the West, and at somepoint,was ordered to leave the country. After all, I had Soviet citizenship, and Czechoslovak authorities saw me as an embarrassment - they had no idea what to do with me.

After dramatic hitchhiking through half of Europe, I spent some time in Italy, and then, very quickly, got political asylum and moved to New York.

I studied film. I worked simultaneously as an interpreter. My first wife was extremely talented concert pianist from Houston.

Right from the beginning, I realized that I had been indoctrinated, and that the reality of the West was totally different from what I heard from its propaganda media outlets.

I was surrounded by fellow students at Film School of Colombia University, when the first attack against Libya took place. I was promptly explained what was going on. While from the East Campus of Columbia University, I could see, at night, fires burning all over Harlem. It was before Harlem was turned into a middle-class neighborhood - before the poor people were forced to move out. It was real Harlem. I used to go there all the time, to an old jazz club called Baby Grand, to drink with the local people, learning about their life.

 BM: What prompted you to come out of the devil's den, the USA and take the
side of the people? Why did you choose the hard path?

AV: During those years I saw real America. I travelled a lot, but above all, I was allowed to see what this 'marvelous' capitalism was all about. My first wife was from very rich family. They were in oil business. Had I chosen to, I could have had anything I could ask for. I never did. But I saw clearly, how that world functioned. You know, few years earlier, their neighbors had Lady D as an au pair. Stuff like that...

I was not ready to make films, yet. I wrote my first novel, in Czech, and began 'making money' as an interpreter too. And that is when I 'saw it all'. You know, these were years when Soviet Union was falling apart, and the West basically tried to loot everything. I was present at negotiations, when entire telephone exchanges of major Soviet cities were being 'privatized', or when the proud Soviet scientific vessels were sold for a scrap to multi-national food companies, so they could help fishing for deep water lobsters somewhere off the shore of Chile and Peru. I interpreted, and therefore I was present at close-door meetings. I never imagined that such cynicism, and such moral degeneracy could exist. It was capitalism at its naked self. Former Soviet republics, but also the former Czechoslovakia, were being stripped naked. And I saw what no one was supposed to see.

They paid well for the 'high-level interpreting'. In those days, the going rate was between 500 and 1,000 dollars per day, plus expenses. But even 'just' interpreting, I felt filthy, disgusted with myself and with the world.

I felt depressed, suicidal. I saw no meaning in continuing this kind of existence. I wanted to run. I needed to run.

At the end, I did run. I separated from my wife. I dropped everything. And I left, with almost nothing (there is no way to save anything in New York, no matter what is your income), to Peru.

And Peru, in those days, during the so-called 'Dirty War', was described by many as 'the saddest place on Earth'. It was truly destroyed, hopeless, dangerous and extremely tough place.

I burned all bridges behind me. I needed new start.

I always claimed that despite everything, I was a Communist. This was the time to prove it. This was the time to prove that I still had spine and balls and some heart where it was supposed to be - on the left.

BM: How did you cope with after rejecting USA and its politics? How did
you survive? It must be a struggle!

AV: First it was tough; very tough. But I always believed that I can write, and make films, and that I can do it well.

But you see, my decisions were made on 'moral grounds'. I did not reject Western system and its imperialism, because 'I could not make it there'. On the contrary: I 'made it there', I made it there 'too much; too big'. I had all that most of immigrants are only dreaming about, and much, much more. But precisely, what others have been desiring, made me sick, and disgusted with the life itself.

It was not just rejecting USA; I was rejecting entire West, mainly Europe. I see and always saw Europe as the root of all problems (and horrors), which the world is facing. USA is just an offspring of Europe. A vulgar, muscular version of it. But true evil essence behind this global Western colonialist project, comes from Europe. Even the most terrible crimes committed on the US territory were committed by the first and second generation of Europeans: holocaust against the indigenous people, and the introduction of slavery.

You can clearly see the pattern even today: almost entire anti-Russian propaganda is defined and produced in the UK. The same goes for the entire neo-colonialist narrative.

But back to your question and to my hardship while fighting against the Western imperialism:I never saw my choice as some sacrifice. It is great privilege, an honor, to fight colonialist West. I confront it, particularly its brainwashing narrative, on all continents, and in all corners of the world. It is great fight and I love fighting it.

I often feel betrayed, even abandoned, by some of my comrades (although never by people like you, Binu), I sometimes fall from exhaustion, or injury. But I never regret embarking on this path. It is my obligation to fight for better, socialist world. I never see it as a sacrifice.

BM: What was your first anti-imperialist project after coming out of the
'empire'?

AV: As I mentioned earlier: Peru. But Peru was not just Peru. I worked in the 'neighborhood', too, intensively: in Bolivia, Ecuador and post-Pinochet Chile. I quickly understood and began describing, what was done to native people of Latin America. I saw and understood that wealth of the West is based on plunder of others. I understood how tremendous are 'pre-Colombian' cultures of the Americas.

BM: You worked long years in Latin America. Can you tell us about the
work you did?

AV: I did quite a lot there, basically in all Spanish speaking countries, plus Brazil and Caribbean. Among other issues, I covered wars in Peru and Colombia, but especially great revolutionary struggles in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. I always go to Cuba, periodically, as it is my intellectual and emotional home. I wrote a lot about Brazil under Lula and Dilma, crisscrossing entire huge country. I covered "Archives of Horror" left by Strossner's dictatorship in Paraguay. I worked with great Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, author of "Open Veins of Latin America", and in Chile, exposing German Nazi colony "Colonia Dignidad". I wrote about horrific gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, and I wrote about aftermath of the US attack against Panama, particularly in the city of Colon. And I spend long time in Mexico... My last visit was in September, 2018, after AMLO won elections and Mexicans had chosen their first left-wing government in decades. For three weeks I filmed all over the country, from Tijuana to Merida, Yucatan.

Accumulatively, I spent around 5 years in Latin America.

BM: You also worked hard in Africa. Can you tell us about the work you did?

AV: That is the most scarred continent on Earth.

Entire world suffered from the Western imperialism and plunder, but Africa is 'unique', because nowhere else in a modern history, brutality of Westerners reached such climax. Well, with the exception of Southeast Asia, perhaps.

I was filming for a Latin America television channel Telesur in the toughest slums in Kenya and Uganda. I produced documentary film about monstrous Dadaab camp, constructed for mainly Somali refugees in the middle of a dessert. And I produced and directed my big, 90-minutes documentary "Rwanda Gambit", about how the West created absolutely false narrative about Rwanda genocide, and how it keeps silent about one of the most monstrous genocides of all times - that in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where Rwanda and Uganda, on behalf of the West, have been totally stripping off this mineral rich nation. The DRC has everything - from coltan to uranium, from gold to diamonds. Some 9 million Congolese people already died, since the invasion of Rwanda.

BM: I think you have a love affair with Asia. Living long years in Asia and working for Asia, especially on Indonesia. How did this come about?

AV: Asia is my home. I am Asian culturally, and some of my blood is from here.

I love China, but I also feel very comfortable in Japan and in other countries.

Indonesia is definitely not one of them. I do not live there, I never could; I'd rather die. I am so horrified by it, that I write about it often, and make films. I do it as a warning to the world. I am in Indonesia for totally opposite reasons than 'love': after 1965, this 4th most populous country on earth, was turned into one huge laboratory, by the West. Indonesia is not a country, it is a 'concept'.

Before 1965, under left-wing, anti-imperialist President Sukarno, Indonesia was a progressive country, a cradle of Non-Aligned Movement. All the natural resources were nationalized.

The West overthrew Sukarno in the bloodiest coup of the 20th century. Between 1-3 million people were butchered, and rivers were clogged with corpses: members of the Communist Party (PKI), intellectuals, teachers, unionists.

I call it 'intellectual Hiroshima'. The West suggested that all theatres and film studios get shut down, that Chinese and Russian languages are banned, together with the Communist ideology. Almost all writers and painters were imprisoned in Buru concentration camp.

Mass rapes took place all over the archipelago.

Thinking people were either murdered or forever silenced. Instead, cheap pop, Hollywood films and junk food were injected and promoted. In many ways, Indonesian culture ceased to exist, and its diversity was killed.

Indonesia committed, with great help from the West, three genocides in just over half of century: genocide of 1965, then in East Timor, and now an on-going genocide in West Papua.

Nation became extremely religious, oppressive and dogmatic. In the same time, this nation of well over 300 million (official statistics lie, putting the number of people at somewhere around 250 million) counts with no great writers, filmmakers, thinkers or scientists.

Everybody there thinks the same - the way 'they suppose to think': they love capitalism, hate Communists, they see destruction of their own natural resources as 'progress', they all listen to the same outdated Western pop music, watching the lowest Hollywood productions as well as tacky local horror films, and have the lowest number of books read per capita.

I try to explain, to analyze what happened there. I am simultaneously filming two big documentaries: one on the total destruction of the nature in the third biggest islands on earth - Borneo (known in Indonesia as Kalimantan) - and about the collapse of Jakarta, which is now the most polluted and perhaps one of the most 'unlivable' major cities on earth. Of course, I do it without any funding, as in the West and in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is 'untouchable'. It does precisely what the West wants it to do: it sacrifices hundreds of millions of its people, as well as its nature, so the Western population can prosper. Therefore, it is almost never criticized.

So that's about Indonesia.

I love Asia, overall, and it is my home; particularly north Asia. China, Japan, Korea(s) and Russian 'Far East'.

Southeast Asia is totally different story. It is mightily 'dark story' which I keep documenting. It suffered monstrously in the past 60 years: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, East Timor, West Papua, Indonesia, even Thailand. It has been suffering precisely because of the Western imperialism. But people were conditioned not to see, not to understand what was done to them. Therefore, I work there, writing books and making films. Somebody has to...

BM: You are also a war correspondent. You must have had many memorable
events as a war correspondent. Anything particular you would like to
share with us?

AV: Yes. But war is everywhere, not just in those few places where it is officially recognized.

Of course, I work in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq.

But I also work in Kashmir, or in the toughest slums in Africa, in gang lands of Central America, or in Gaza. These are war zones, too. War is where justice, including social justice, collapsed; was destroyed.

I fully agree with what Hemingway once wrote: "There are two types of writers: those who went to war, and those who are envious of them."

Since war exists almost everywhere, a writer who is not touching it, is a liar.

War is reality. It is terrible, but when it is fought for justice and freedom, it is much better than some fake peace which is created by the Western colonialists. In this type of 'peace', all health and life-expectancy indicators of a war zone are present. Rape, injuries... all like in a war zone.

The Western propagandists created very dangerous 'cult of peace'. To the West, peace is when the country fully sacrifices its natural resources and its people, for the profits of Western corporations and citizens, but the population is submissive, resigned.

They often and very correctly say in Latin America: no justice, no peace!

BM: You worked with Noam Chomsky on a book and a documentary. Can you
tell something about this legendary man? Some secret about Chomsky the
person?

AV: Noam loves roses. And a good wine. And he is, in essence, a very kind man, with great sense of humor.

It is pity that we lately disagree: on Russia, Syria and China, for instance.

But I respect most of his work, and I have to say that he did a lot, really a lot, for our humanity and for this planet.

BM: Noam Chomsky said about your book Oceania, it evoked "the reality
of the contemporary world. He has also not failed to trace the painful -
and particularly for the West, shameful realities to their historical
roots". Any comments?

AV: Noam kindly endorsed several of my book, and even wrote Prefaces.

When it comes to Noam's own writing related to what you call 'shameful realities to their historical roots', he is particularly powerful when describing the conquest of the "New World", especially what is now called Latin America, but also the United States and Canada. I believe that his writing on these subject opened eyes of millions of people in all parts of the world.

BM: You write a lot of books on history, cotemporary politics,philosophy, fiction etc. Which is your most well received book?

AV: Critically most acclaimed book is my revolutionary novel Point of No Return. It even got super positive reviews from the most feared critics of Le Monde, Le Figaro and Paris Match.

But also, great success has been my 840-page Exposing Lies of the Empire - a book which compiles my investigative work from all continents, where imperialism is robbing, destroying and manipulating people. It is written in totally new, experimental but very well received by readers style: between novel and political fiction, between philosophy and journalism.

Of course, my book with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism, has been doing very well, and translated to some 35 languages (I actually lost count).

BM: You are also a documentary film maker. How do you switch from being
an author and as a film maker so easily?

AV: I actually don't. It is all one huge struggle against Western imperialism, and for the bright days of the global Communism, no?

My work is like one tremendous mosaic, and as one big battle. I use different weapons, as I use various ways to express myself. It can be through novels, investigative journalism, philosophy, through non-fiction books, films, photographs, but also interviews that I constantly give, or through speaking in public, or at the major universities.

BM: You have traveled in 160 countries around the world. Which country
will you prefer to reside post retirement? I of course know that you are the
kind of fighter who won't even think of retirement.

AV: You are correct: I will never retire - that would be my end.

My story is my life; and my journey is my story.

Revolution is called 'the process', in many countries of Latin America. It is one continuous journey: it can never end. If one is tired of this journey, he or she is tired of this world, and of life itself.

About where to live, if I could choose? You would be surprised, as it would have nothing to do with my revolutionary struggle:

Well, not necessarily, because one of the countries would be my beloved Cuba.

Another is Japan. But I do live there, for many, many years. Or more precisely, it is one of the countries where I have been living, one of my 'bases' until now. Of course, Japan has absolutely appalling foreign policy, but I admire its culture, its nature, poetry, literature, cinema, food. I travel to all of its corners, I feel safe, and I write well when there.

And Chile. I have lived there, on different occasions, some 4 years in total. And again - Chile has stunning nature, deep culture, tremendous poetry, literature, excellent food and wine.

BM: As you have traveled all around the world, which country do you
think is doing the best for its citizens?

AV: There are actually two questions hiding inside your question:

First: Which country is doing the best for its citizens, at the expense of plundered and colonized countries? Answer to this would be: definitely almost entire Europe

Second: Which country is doing the best for its citizens without plundering the world? The answer is: Bolivia, Cuba, China, Russia, Iran, North Korea (to the extend possible), Venezuela (to the extend possible under the terror implanted from abroad.)

BM: What is your insight to break the strangle hold of imperialism?

AV: One cannot negotiate with fascism and imperialism.

Oppressed, plundered countries, have to unite and fight.

The first round of struggle was already won, in the past. For instance, heroic Vietnamese nation defeated both the French colonialists, and the US imperialists, militarily.

But then, the Western imperialists regrouped. Emboldened first by successfully dividing China and Soviet Union, and then by ruing Soviet Union under that nitwit Gorbachev and criminal alcoholic Yeltsin, they grabbed again what they lost, shouting "Peace, Peace!", meaning "do not dare to fight us, just accept and submit!"

Imperialists can be defeated. It was clearly demonstrated in Syria, and now both China and Russia are standing firm, confronting Western threats, provocations, sanctions and intimidation.

One should never show the weakness, when faced by Western terror.

Look at the planet; look what happened to the countries that surrendered, knelt: look at that horror in Indonesia, in East Africa, in the Middle East, Southeast Asia. Look at India after it began to worship market fundamentalism. Is this the world that we want? If not, all anti-imperialist forces should unite and fight.

And we should never expect that the Western public joins us. Western public is spoiled by privileges, and it does not have any left wing, anymore, only self-promoting, weeping discussion clubs. Countries truly fighting against Western imperialism have almost no allies in the West.

BM: What is your insight about the rise of autocratic leaders like Trump n USA, Modi in India, Bolsonaro in Brazil? Do you think there is a pattern? Some underlying current?

AV: Yes. In confused nations, where Western masters, right-wing mass media and education systems successfully manufactured obedient and self-centered, spineless band of so-called 'elites', what can be expected? They smeared the left, put left-wing parties and movements under the microscope, and brainwasher or at least confused the voters

Believe it or not, great majority of people even in the countries that were governed by left-wing governments, like Brazil or Ecuador, had almost no access to left-wing media. Horrible propaganda outlets like CNN in Spanish or FOX in Spanish, are 'informing' the citizens. In Brazil, the situation was very similar, or worse.

For years, I was warning about this. The left has to 'invest' into its media, education, even counter-propaganda outlets.

I talked with Chomsky a lot about this. He actually understands very well what is going on. In our book, I told my story, about how brainwashed I was, as a child, by pro-Western, pro-imperialist radio and television stations. And of course, not only me: everyone is in danger, in Syria and Iran, in China and Russia, all over Latin America.

Therefore, we have to unite, we have to double our efforts and do all we can to tell our side of the story.

And we have to intertwine our efforts. Like this interview: I love it. My Indian brother and I, a Soviet internationalist educated on Cuban thoughts, exchanging ideas! Publicly and frankly.

BM: Climate Change and Resource Crisis are driving the world towards collapse. Do you think that the world can still be saved? What're your suggestions?

AV: It can be saved, but again, only if imperialism and neo-colonialism are destroyed.

The best example is Indonesia and the film that I am making, about destruction of Borneo Island. In the West, people in order to feel good, turn off every light when they leave the room, they turn off water. But their companies are plundering what is left of the native tropical forest, they are flattening entire mountains.

Because of Western over-production and over-consumption, entire island-nations in Oceania are becoming uninhabitable.

What is needed is to re-think entire 'world order'. Do we really need economic growth? Or should it all be about re-distribution.

Comes China! Despite what people are told to believe, (again, by the Western propaganda outlets), China is at the forefront of struggle for so-called "Ecological Civilization". I know a lot about it, because I am working with a great philosopher John Cobb Jr., who has enormous influence on the Chinese leadership, including their landmark decision to engrave ecological civilization into the constitution. We are currently writing a book on the subject, together. China is intentionally slowing down its economic growth, it is returning back to its traditional wisdom, and it has also managed to reverse migration from the countryside to the cities, by greatly improving the rural life. The book will be available in less than one month.

BM: Are you happy?

AV: Yes. Insanely. Even when I am fxxxxd and hardly able to move.

I am a fighter. I am an internationalist, a Communist. We are winning. Slowly, very slowly, but winning.

The journey is tough, it is dangerous. But I don't want any other journey, or any other fate.

My life is not perfect, but I would never trade. I do my best. And I love it the way it is.

And I love stories. Without good stories, there is no life. Along the journey, the road, there are millions of stories. They define and illustrate our human kind. Based on these stories, there is great revolutionary struggle, igniting our planet once again.

Imperialists want us to forget about the stories. They want us to live on pre-fabricated junk stories of Hollywood and Disney. It is our duty to tell the real stories, because they are much more beautiful than computer-generated ones, and they are true.

That's why I create, write, and film. No stories, no revolution!

And more I hear and see and create, the happier I get.

*


See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/world/ussr/06-12-2018/142085-andre_vltchek-0...

when elizabeth writes bullshit...


By Elizabeth Farrelly

8 December 2018

We don’t like Julian Assange. That much is clear. Back in 2010, after the original Iraq leak, he seemed a reasonable imitation of a public-spirited whistleblower. By the time I met him in 2012 he was already obsessed by how the leftist media had abandoned him, blaming a conspiracy among Oxbridge PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) graduates. That struck me as narcissistic paranoia although it is, I suppose, remotely possible that such a cabal existed. Now, the question of why the left “hates” Assange occupies his few remaining supporters almost exclusively.

Personally I think hate is too strong. Most people just consider Assange a spoilt-brat egomaniac with murky motives, a limelight habit and some profoundly questionable political affiliations. As further allegations emerge (from Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigations) as to his working with Russia to destabilise Clinton, perhaps in return for being rescued from London (allegations which Assange denies), many hold Assange responsible for Trump.

 

Read more:

 

https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-column-i-didn-t-want-to-write-about-...

 

 

 

What a pissy nasty rubbish article!

 

The royal "we" at the top of these lines is only shared by the deluded turncoats in the "lefty" hypocritical media who see their bourgeois bread buttered by a deceitful butler who actually owns the joint — often called George, George Soros... 

 

Assange has had nothing much to do with Trump triumphalism. By the time Assange's revelations came about the DNC dirty tricks and her emails, Hillary, the darling of the "lefty" media, "The First Woman President", had already been exposed has having made some real bad blunders in the past — including being the instigator of the NATO war on Libya — her fate was already sealed.

 

The fiction of Madam Secretary is just this — fiction, but the series was designed to give a warm human dimension to what Hillary was doing when she was in the job. She really killed that illusion when she laughed about gaddafi's fate...

 

By the time Rupert Murdoch announced his support for Trump, about a year before the elections, Hillary's fate was to loose. With Rupert and the evangelicals, Hillary's destiny was to be crap. Someone in her party forgot to tell her to court the states with important colleges as well...

 

The Mueller Russian probe in the US has so far not revealed an ounce of "Russian interference" in the election of Donald Trump. All it has done is catch a couple of nags who lied here and there about their tax return — which is a pass-time in the USA — and lied about having talked to a few Russians legally.

 

Assange is actually far cleverer than the media of spoiled brats and bitches that Farrelly seems to be joining with some "regret"... Assange has denied that he got his information from the Russians and it's most likely he got a USB stick from someone at the DNC who was pissed off with the DNC. On this one we'll never know because a) Assange does not reveal his sources and b) the DNC did not want its computers examined for leaks by the FBI — examination which could have revealed traces of illegal downloads.

 

It's quite telling that a lot of the political moire in the world is in the hand of one man, Assange, not because he is narcissistic paranoid — but because having had access to really hot/secret information, he knows that some people will do the dirty on him — especially those of the left who used him when it suited then and dumped on him when the information he released was annoying to the Oxbridge PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) lefty graduates and to the lefty "journalism" as well.

 

What Assange has done is show how our governments have lied, lie and will lie to keep us into our comfortable corner, eating our bourgeois buttered toast.

 

It is likely that beyond the information he has released, he has far more incriminating documented truths about Hillary and Trump. This is why "they" are trying to "flush" him out one way or another, this is why they have cut his communications with the outside world.

 

He had no choice but to get refuge in an embassy when he did. He should be freed today. It is embarrassing that he is the victim of a MASSIVE CONSPIRACY beyond belief (imagine being stuck in one room for more than six years, worse than torture) — a conspiracy that shows he has been abandoned by those who profited from him — especially the hypocritical Western "lefty" media — which, apart from a very few website around the world, are a joke...

 

Shame, Farrelly, shame...

 

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TIME TO LET HIM FREE...

the destruction lies on the shoulders of the invaders (the USA).

 

By Andre Vltchek

Yes, there is rubble, in fact total destruction, in some of the neighborhoods of Homs, Aleppo, in the outskirts of Damascus, and elsewhere.

Yes, there are terrorists and ‘foreign forces’ in Idlib and in several smaller pockets in some parts of the country.

Yes, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives and millions are either in exile, or internally displaced.

But the country of Syria is standing tall. It did not crumble like Libya or Iraq did. It never surrendered. It never even considered surrender as an option. It went through total agony, through fire and unimaginable pain, but in the end, it won. It almost won. And the victory will, most likely, be final in 2019.

Despite its relatively small size, it did not win like a ‘small nation’, fighting guerilla warfare. It is winning like a big, strong state: it fought proudly, frontally, openly, against all odds. It confronted the invaders with tremendous courage and strength, in the name of justice and freedom.

Syria is winning, because the only alternative would be slavery and subservience, and that is not in the lexicon of the people here. The Syrian people won because they had to win, or face the inevitable demise of their country and collapse of their dream of a Pan-Arab homeland.

Syria is winning, and hopefully, nothing here, in the Middle East, will be the same again. The long decades of humiliation of the Arabs are over. Now everyone ‘in the neighborhood’ is watching. Now everybody knows: The West and its allies can be fought and stopped; they are not invincible. Tremendously brutal and ruthless they are, yes, but not invincible. The most vicious, fundamentalist religious implants can be smashed, too. I said it before, and I repeat it here again: Aleppo has been the Stalingrad of the Middle East. Aleppo and Homs, and other great courageous Syrian cities. Here, fascism was confronted, fought with all might and with great sacrifice, and finally deterred.

I sit in the office of a Syrian General, Akhtan Ahmad. We speak Russian. I ask him about the security situation in Damascus, although I already know. For several evenings and nights, I have been walking through the narrow winding roads of the old city; one of the cradles of human race. Women, even young girls, were walking as well. The city is safe.

“It is safe,” smiles General Akhtan Ahmad, proudly. “You know it is safe, don’t you?”

I nod. He is a top Syrian intelligence commander. I should have asked more, much more. Details, details. But I don’t want to know details; not right now. I want to hear again and again that Damascus is safe, from him, from my friends, from the passers-by.

“Situation is now very good. Go out at night…”

I tell him that I have. That I have been doing it since I arrived.

“No one is afraid, anymore”, he continues. “Even in the places where terrorist groups used to operate, life is returning to normal… The Syrian government is now providing water, electricity. People are returning to the liberated areas. East Ghouta was liberated only 5 months ago, and now you can see shops opening there, one after another.”

I get several permits signed. I take the General’s photo. I get photographed with him. He has nothing to hide. He is not afraid.

I tell him that at the end of January of 2019, or in February at the latest, I want to travel to Idlib, or at least to the suburbs of that city. That’s fine; I just have to let them know a few days in advance. Palmyra, fine. Aleppo, no problem.

We shake hands. They trust me. I trust them. That’s the only way forward – this is still a war. A terrible, brutal war. Despite the fact that Damascus is now free and safe.

 

After I leave General’s office, we drive to Jobar, on the outskirts of Damascus. Then to Ein-Tarma.

There, it is total madness.

Jobar used to be a predominantly industrial area, Ein-Tarma a residential neighborhood. Both places had been reduced almost entirely to rubble. In Jobar I am allowed to film inside the tunnels, which used to be used by the terrorists; by the Rahman Brigades and by the other groups with direct connection to Al-Nusrah Front.

The scene is eerie. Formerly these factories offered tens of thousands of jobs to the people of the capital city. Now, nothing moves here. Dead silence, just dust and wreckage.

Lieutenant Ali accompanies me, as I climb over debris. I asked him what took place here. He replies, through my interpreter:

This place was only liberated in April 2018. It was one of the last places that was taken from the terrorists. For 6 years, one part was controlled by the ‘rebels’, while another by the army. The enemies dug tunnels, and it was very difficult to defeat them. They used every structure they could get their hands on, including schools. From here, most of the civilians managed to escape.”

I asked him about the destruction, although I knew the answer, as my Syrian friends used to live in this area, and told me their detailed stories. Lieutenant Ali confirmed:

The West was feeding the world with propaganda, saying that this was destruction caused by the army. In fact, the Syrian army was engaging the rebels only when they were attacking Damascus. Eventually, the rebels retreated from here, after the Russian-sponsored talks with the government.”

*

A Few kilometers further east, in Ein-Tarma, things are very different. Before the war, this used to be a residential neighborhood. People used to live here, mostly in the multi-story buildings. Here, the terrorists hit hard at the civilians. For months or even years, families had to live in terrible fear and deprivation.

We stopped at the humble shop selling vegetables. Here, I approached an elderly lady, and after she agreed to it, I began filming.

She spoke, and then she shouted, straight into the camera, waving her hands:

“We lived here like cattle. The terrorists treated us like animals. We were scared, hungry, humiliated. Women: terrorists would take 4-5 wives, forcing young girls and mature women into so-called marriages. We had nothing; nothing left!”

“And now?” I asked.

“Now? Look! We live again. We have a future. Thank you; thank you, Bashir!”

She calls her president by his first name. She points palms at her heart, and after kissing them, she waves her hands again.

There is nothing to ask, really. I just film. She says it all, in two minutes.

As we are leaving, I realize that she is most likely not old; not old at all. But what has happened here broke her in half. Now she is living; she is living and hoping again.

I ask my driver to move slowly, and I begin filming the road, broken and dusty, but full of traffic: people walking, bicycles and cars passing by, negotiating potholes. In the side streets, people are hard at work, rebuilding, cleaning rubble, cutting fallen beams. Electricity is getting restored. Glass panels fitted into the scratched wooden frames. Life. Victory; all this is bittersweet, because so many people died; because so much has been destroyed. But life it is, despite everything; life again. And hope; so much hope.

 

I sit with my friends, Yamen and Fida, in a classic, old Damascus café, called Havana. It is a real institution; a place where Ba’ath Party members used to meet, during the old and turbulent days. Photographs of President Bashir al-Assad are displayed, prominently.

Yamen, an educator, recalls how he had to move from one apartment to another, on several occasions during the recent years:

 

“My family used to live right next to Jobar. Everything around there was getting destroyed. We had to move. Then, at a new location, I was walking with my little son, and a mortar had landed near us. Once I saw building in flames. My son was crying in horror. A woman next to us was howling, trying to throw herself into flames: ‘My son is inside, I need my son, give me my son!’ In the past, we couldn’t predict from where the danger would arrive, and when. I lost several relatives; family members. We all did.”


Fida, Yamen’s colleague, is taking care of her ageing mother, every day, when she gets back from work. Life is still tough, but my friends are true patriots, and this helps them to cope with the daily challenges.

Over a cup of strong Arabic coffee, Fida explains:

 

“You see us laughing and joking, but deep inside, almost all of us are suffering from deep psychological trauma. What took place here was tough; we all saw terrible things, and we lost our loved ones. All this will stay with us, for many years to come. Syria does not have enough professional psychologists and psychiatrists to cope with the situation. So many lives have been damaged. I am still scared. Every day. Many people have been terribly shaken.”

“I feel sorry for my brother’s children. They were born into this crisis. My tiny nephew… Once we were under a mortar attack. He was so scared. Children are really badly affected! Personally, I am not afraid of getting killed. I am frightened of losing my arm, or leg, or not being able to take my mom to the hospital, if she was to be feeling sick. At least my ancestral city, Safita, has always been safe, even during the worst days of the conflict.”


“Not my Salamiyah,” laments Yamen:

 

“Salamiyah used to be just terrible. Many villages had to be evacuated… Many people died there. To the East of the city were the positions of Al-Nusrah, while the west was held by the ISIS”.

 

Yes, hundreds of thousands of the Syrian people were killed. Millions forced to leave the country, escaping both the terrorists and the conflict as well as poverty that rode on the tail of the fighting. Millions have been internally displaced; the entire nation in motion.

The previous day, after leaving Ein-Tarma, we drove near Zamalka and Harasta. Entire huge neighborhoods were either flattened, or at least terribly damaged.

When you see the Eastern suburbs of Damascus, when you see the ghost buildings without walls and windows, with bullet holes dotting the pillars, you think that you have seen it all. The destruction is so huge; it looks like an entire big city was just blown up to pieces. They say this eerie landscape doesn’t change for at least 15 kilometers. The nightmare goes on and on, without any interruption.

So yes, you tend to think that you have seen it all, but actually you haven’t. It is because you have not visited Aleppo, nor visited Homs, yet.

*

For several years, I have been fighting for Syria. I was doing it from the peripheries.

I managed to enter the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and to file reports about the brutality and cynicism of the occupation.

For years, I covered life in the refugee camps, and ‘around them’. Some camps were real, but others were actually used as training fortresses for the terrorist, who were later injected into Syrian territory, by NATO. Once I almost disappeared while filming Apayadin, one of such ‘institutions’, erected not far from the Turkish city of Hattay (Atakya).

I ‘almost’ disappeared, but others actually did die. Covering what the West and its allies have been doing to Syria is as dangerous as covering the war inside Syria itself.

I worked in Jordan, writing about the refugees, but also about the cynicism of the Jordanian collaboration with the West. I worked in Iraq where, in a camp near Erbil, the Syrian people were forced by both the NGO and the UN staff, to denounce President Assad, if they wanted to receive at least some basic services. And of course, I worked in Lebanon, where more than one million Syrian people have been staying; often facing unimaginably terrible conditions as well as discrimination (many are now going back).

And now that I was finally inside, it all felt somehow surreal, but it felt right.

Syria appeared to be as I expected it to be: heroic, brave, determined, and unmistakably socialist.

 

Homs. Before I went there, I thought that nothing could surprise me, anymore. I have worked all over Afghanistan, in Iraq, Sri Lanka, East Timor. But soon I realized that I had seen nothing, before I visited Homs.

The destruction of several parts of the city is so severe that it resembles the surface of another planet, or a fragment from some apocalyptic horror film.

People climbing through the ruins, an elderly couple visiting what once used to be their apartment, a girl’s shoe that I find in the middle of the road, covered by dust. A chair standing in the middle of an intersection, from which all four roads lead towards the horrid ruins.

Homs is where the conflict began.

My friend Yamen explained to me, as we were driving towards the center:

 

“Here, the media ignited hatred; mostly the Western mass media. But also, there were the channels from the Gulf: Al-Jazeera, as well as television and radio stations from Saudi Arabia. Sheik Adnan Mohammed al-Aroor was appearing, twice a week, on a television program which was telling people to hit the streets, banging on pots and pans; to fight against the government.”


Homs is where the anti-government rebellion began, in 2011. The anti-Assad propaganda from abroad soon reached a crescendo. The opposition was ideologically supported by the West and by its allies. Rapidly, the support became tangible, and included weapons, ammunition, as well as thousands of jihadi fighters.

A once tolerant and modern city (in a secular country), Homs began changing, getting divided between the religious groups. Division was followed by radicalization.

My good friend, a Syrian who now lives in both Syria and Lebanon, told me his story:

 

“I was very young when the uprising began. Some of us had certain legitimate grievances, and we began protesting, hoping that things could change for better. But many of us soon realized that our protests were literally kidnapped from abroad. We wanted a set of positive changes, while some leaders outside Syria wanted to overthrow our government. Consequently, I left the movement.”


He then shared with me his most painful secret:

 

“In the past, Homs was an extremely tolerant city. I am a moderate Muslim, and my fiancé was a moderate Christian. We were very close. But the situation in the city was changing rapidly, after 2011. Radicalism was on the raise. I repeatedly asked her to cover her hair when she was passing through the Muslim neighborhoods. It was out of concern, because I was beginning to clearly see what was happening around us. She refused. One day, she was shot, in the middle of the street. They killed her. Life was never the same again.”


In the West, they often say that the Syrian government was at least partially responsible for destruction of the city. But the logic of such accusations is absolutely perverse. Imagine Stalingrad. Imagine foreign invasion; an invasion supported by several hostile fascist powers. The city fights back, the government tries to stop the advancement of the troops of the enemy. The fight, terrible, an epic fight for the survival of the nation goes on. Who is to blame? The invaders or the government forces who are defending their own fatherland? Can anyone accuse the Soviet troops for fighting in the streets of their own cities that were attacked by the German Nazis?

Perhaps the Western propaganda is capable of such ‘analyses’, but definitely no rational human being.

The same logic as to Stalingrad, should also apply to Homs, to Aleppo, and to several other Syrian cities. Covering literally dozens of conflicts ignited by the West all over the world (and described in detail in my 840-page long book “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”), I have no doubts: the full responsibility for the destruction lies on the shoulders of the invaders.

 

I face Mrs. Hayat Awad in an ancient restaurant called Julia Palace. This used to be the stronghold of the terrorists. They occupied this beautiful place, located in the heart of the old city of Homs. Now, things are slowly coming back to life here, at least in several areas of the city. The old market is functioning, the university is open, and so are several government buildings and hotels. But Mrs. Hayat lives in both past and the future.

Mrs. Hayat lost her son, Mahmood, during the war. His portrait is always with her, engraved into a pentel she is wearing on her chest.

 

“He was only 21 years old, still a student, when he decided to join the Syrian army. He told me that Syria is like his mother. He loves her, as he loves me. He was fighting against the Al-Nusrah Front, and the battle was very tough. At the end of the day he called me, just to say that the situation was not good. In his last call he just asked me to forgive him. He said: ‘Maybe I am not going to come back. Please forgive me. I love you!’”

 

Are there many mothers like her, here in Homs, those who lost their sons?

 

“Yes, I know many women who lost their sons; and not just one, sometimes two or three. I know a lady who lost her two only sons. This war took everything from us. Not only our children. I blame the countries which supported the extreme ideologies injected into Syria; countries like the United States and those in Europe.”

 

After I am done filming, she thanks Russia for their support. She thanks all the countries that have stood by Syria, during those difficult years.

Not far from Julia Palace, reconstruction work is in full swing. And just a few steps away, a renovated mosque is re-opening. People are dancing, celebrating. It is Prophet Mohammed’s birthday. The Governor of Homs marches towards the festivities, with the members of his government. There is almost no security around them.

If the West does not unleash yet another wave of terror against its people, Homs should be just fine. Not right away, perhaps not soon, but it will be, with the resolute help of the Russians, Chinese, Iranian and other comrades. Syria itself is strong and determined. Its allies are mighty.

I want to believe that the most terrible years are over. I want to believe that Syria has already won.

But I know that there is still Idlib, there are also pockets occupied by Turkish and Western forces. It is not over, yet. The terrorists have not been fully defeated. The West will be shooting its missiles. Israel will be sending its air force to brutalize the country. And the mass media outlets from the West and the Gulf, will continue fighting the media war, agitating and confusing certain segments of the Syrian people.

Still, as I leave Homs, I see shops and even boutiques opening in the midst of the rubble. Some people are dressing up, elegantly again, in order to show their strength; their determination to put the past behind them and to live, once again, their normal lives.

 

Read plenty more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/12/19/in-syria-the-entire-nation-mobilized...

 

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Thank you, André...

gone bananas...

Regime Change is Urgently Needed… in Washington

Andre Vltchek


I am surprised that no one else is saying it, writing it, shouting it at each and every corner: It is not Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Iran that are in dire and crucial need of ‘regime change’. It is the United States of America, it is the entire European Union; in fact, the entire West.


And the situation is urgent.


The West has gone mad; it has gone so to speak, bananas; mental. And people there are too scared to even say it, to write about it.


One country after another is falling, being destroyed, antagonized, humiliated, impoverished. Entire continents are treated as if they were inhabited by irresponsible toddlers, who are being chased and disciplined by sadistic adults, with rulers and belts in their hands yelling with maniacal expressions on their faces: “Behave, do as we say, or else!”


It all would be truly comical, if it weren’t so depressing. But… nobody is laughing. People are shaking, sweating, crying, begging, puking, but they are not chuckling.


I see it everywhere where I work: in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.


But why?


It is because North American and European countries are actually seriously delivering their ultimatum: you either obey us, and prostrate yourself in front of us, or we will break you, violate you, and if everything else fails, we will kill your leaders and all of those who are standing in our way.


This is not really funny, is it? Especially considering that it is being done to almost all the countries in what is called Latin America, to many African and Middle Eastern nations, and to various states on the Asian continent.


And it is all done ‘professionally’, with great sadistic craftsmanship and rituals. No one has yet withstood ‘regime change’ tactics, not even the once mighty Soviet Union, nor tremendous China, or proud and determined Afghanistan.


Cuba, Venezuela, DPRK and Syria may be the only countries that are still standing. They resisted and mobilized all their resources in order to survive; and they have survived, but at a tremendous price.


*


The victims keep crying. A few independent countries keep expressing their outrage. But so far, there is no grand coalition, which would be ready to fight and defend each other: “one for all, all for one”.


Until the recent ‘rebellion’ at the UN, no one has been openly and seriously suggesting that international law should apply to all nations of the world, equally.


People talk about ‘peace’. Many are begging the brigands to ‘to stop’, to ‘have mercy’, to show some compassion. But, neither Europe nor North America has ever shown any compassion, for long, terrible centuries. Look at the map of the beginning of the 20th century, for instance: the entire world was colonized, plundered and subjugated.


Now it is all moving in the same direction. If the West is not stopped, our planet may not survive at all. And let us be realistic: begging, logical arguments and goodwill will not stop Washington, Paris or London from plundering and enslaving.


Anyone who has at least some basic knowledge of world history knows that.


So why is the world still not forging some true resistance?


*


Is Venezuela going to be the last straw? And if not Venezuela, that is if Venezuela is allowed to fall, is it going to be Nicaragua, Cuba or Iran next? Is anything going to propel people into action?


Are we all just going to look passively how, the socialist Venezuela, a country which has already given so much to the world, Venezuela which managed to create beautiful visions and concepts for our humanity, is going to be burned to ashes, and then robbed of all of its dreams, its resources and of its freedom?


Are we all such cowards? Is this what we – human beings – have actually become; been reduced to? Cowards and cattle, selfish and submissive beings; slaves?


All this, simply because people are too scared to confront the empire? Because they prefer to hide and to pretend that what is so obvious, is actually not taking place?


Therefore, let me pronounce it, so at least my readers do not have that ‘luxury’ of claiming that they were not told:


This world is being brutalized and controlled by the fascist clique of Western nations. There is no ‘democracy’ left in this world, as there is near zero respect for international law in North American and European capitals. Colonialism has returned in full force. Western imperialism is now almost fully controlling the world.


And begging, trust me – begging and talking of peace is not going to help.


During WWII, fascism had to be stopped. If not, it was going to devour the entire planet. In the past, tens of millions have already died fighting for freedom and for our mankind. Yes, some nations tried to compromise and negotiate with Nazi Germany, but we all know where it all ended.


Now, the situation is the same. Or worse, perhaps much worse, because the West has nukes and a tremendous propaganda apparatus: it controls human brains all over the world with ‘mass media’, and ‘education’.


And because the citizens of the West are now much more brainwashed than the Germans and Italians were in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s; more brainwashed, more scared, submissive and more ‘disciplined’.


*


Look, seriously: are the people who are now writing those “peace essays”, in which they argue with the Western regime about who is right and who is wrong, seriously thinking that they are going to move people like Donald Trump, or Pompeo, or Abrams, or Rubio?


Do they believe that Washington is going to stop murdering millions of people all over the world? Or that the neo-colonialist plunder would stop, after the US Congress and Senate suddenly understands that it has been at the wrong side of history?


This is not some rhetorical question. I am serious: I demand answers!


Does ‘peace movement’ thinks that by amassing arguments it could stop Western expansionism? Yes or no?


Do they believe that Pompeo or Trump will suddenly hit their foreheads and exclaim: “You people are correct! We did not see this!” And call their troops, their thugs and mercenaries back?


If not, if this is not what peace movements believe would be done by North American and European leaders, then why all those thousands of wasted pages?


Would you go near a crocodile that is ready to devour an innocent child, and try to reason with it? Would you, seriously? Do you think it would stop, drop a few tears, wag its tail and leave?


*


Sometimes I tend to believe that ‘peace movements’ in the West are making things worse. They create false hopes, and they behave as if the empire is some entity that has a soul, and understands logic. They grossly underestimate the threat; the danger.


And they tend to analyze the Western threat from a Western perspective, using Western logic.


It somehow gets lost in interpretation that fascism, terror, and bestiality have to be confronted and fought.


One cannot negotiate with a group of countries which are already bathed in the blood of some 80% of the planet. If it was to happen, it would just be a mockery and it would simply humiliate everyone that is sincerely trying to stop the assassins.


*


Right now, Venezuela needs solidarity. It requires direct help, actions; not words. And so do many other countries.


Instead, it gets an endless avalanche of best wishes, as well as premature obituaries.


The Bolivarian Revolution has gotten plenty of colorful words. But what it urgently needs is volunteers, money, and internationalist brigades!


I know that billions of people all over the world are now cheering from their armchairs; in fact, doing absolutely nothing, while also spending zero. Their love for Venezuela is ‘platonic’.


I have just left Syria, where I was covering the Idlib war zone. There was not one single foreigner near me, during those days. Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley usually work all over the toughest areas in Syria, but how many others do? And most of the time we work with near zero backing, just because we feel that it is our moral obligation to inform humanity.


I am wondering, how many foreigners are fighting for Venezuela, right now?


Who is going to face the Western spooks implanted into the Caracas and the Venezuelan borders with Colombia and Brazil? A few RT and TeleSur reporters, those true heroes, yes, but who else?


Only direct action can save Venezuela, and the world.


This is no time for debates.


This is worse, much worse than the late 1930’s.


The proverbial crocodile is here; its enormous ugly mouth open, ready to devour yet one more brilliant, proud country.


It is time to stick a big metal rod into its mouth. Now, immediately; before it gets too late.


Let us shout LONG LIVE VENEZUELA! But with our hands, muscles and purses, not just with our mouths.


And let us not be scared to declare: if anywhere, it is Washington where regime change is truly and urgently needed!

 

Read more

https://off-guardian.org/2019/02/27/regime-change-is-urgently-needed-in-...

 

 

On ths site, YD, we have been on the case for a long time now... 

presidents

 

 

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the water of the well does not intrude on river water...

 

By André Vitchek

 

Does it pay ‘to be good’? Is it still possible to play by the rules in this mad world, governed by brigands?

What if the rules are defined and ratified by all countries of the world, but a small group of the strongest (militarily) nations totally ignores them, while using its professional propagandists to reinterpret them in the most bizarre ways?

Describing the world, I often feel that I am back in my primary school.

When I was a child, I had the misfortune of growing up in a racist Czechoslovakia. Being born in the Soviet Union, and having an half Russian and half Asian mother, I was brutally beaten up between classes, from the age of seven. I was systematically attacked by a gang of boys, and humiliated and hit for having ‘Asian ears’, for having an ‘Asian mother’, for being Russian.

During winters, my shoes were taken out into the bitter cold and pissed into. The urine turned into ice. The only consolation was that ‘at least’ I was Russian and Chinese. If I was a Gypsy (Roma) boy, I would most likely not have made it, at least without losing an eye, or without having my hands broken.

I tried to be polite. I did my best to ‘play by the rules’. I fought back, first only half-heartedly.

Until one day, when a kid who lived next door, fired his air gun and barely missed my eye. Just like that, simply because I was Russian… and Asian, just because he had nothing better to do, at that particular moment. And because he felt so proud to be Czech and European. Also, because I refused to eat their shit, to accept their ‘superiority’, and humiliate myself in front of them. Both mother and I were miserable in Czechoslovakia, both of us dreamt about our Leningrad. But she made a personal mistake and we were stuck in a hostile, provincial and bombastic society which wanted to “go back to Europe”, and once again be part of the bloc of countries, which has been ruling and oppressing the world, for centuries.

The air gun and almost losing my eye turned out to be the last straw. I teamed up with my friend, Karel, whose only ‘guilt’ was that at 10, he weighed almost 100 kilograms. It was not his fault, it was a genetic issue, but the kids also ridiculed him, eventually turning him into a punching bag. He was a gentle, good-natured kid who loved music and science-fiction novels. We were friends. We used to plan our space travels towards the distant galaxies, together. But at that point, we said ‘enough’! We hit back, terribly. After two or three years of suffering, we began fighting the gang, with the same force and brutality that they had applied towards us and in fact towards all those around us who were ‘different’, or at least weak and defenseless.

And we won. Not by reason, but by courage and strength. I wish we did not have to fight, but we had no choice. We soon discovered, how strong we were. And once we began, the only way to survive was to win the battle. And we did win. The kids, who used to torment us, were actually cowards. Once we won and secured some respect, we also began sheltering and protecting the ‘others’, mainly weak boys and girls from our school, who were also suffering attacks from the gang of those ‘normal’, white, and mainstream Czechs.

*

There are self-proclaimed rulers of the world: Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. And there are two other groups: the nations which are fully cooperating with the West (such as Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, South Korea, Colombia or Uganda), and those that are decisively refusing to accept Western dictates, such as Russia, China, DPRK, Syria, Eritrea, Iran, South Africa, Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia.

The first group does almost nothing to change the world. It goes with the flow. It accepts the rule of the bullies. It collaborates, and while it is at it, tries to at least gain some privileges, most of the time unsuccessfully.

The second group is well aware of the dismal state of the world. It maneuvers, resists, and sometimes fights for its survival, or for the survival of others. It tries to stick to its principles, or to what used to be called ‘universal values’.

But can it really survive without confrontation?

The West does not tolerate any dissent. Its culture has been, for centuries, exceedingly aggressive, bellicose, and extremist: “You are with us, that is ‘under us’, or you are against us. If against us, you will be crushed and shackled, robbed, raped, beaten and in the end, forced to do what we order, anyway.”

Russia is perhaps the only nation which has survived, unconquered and for centuries, but at the unimaginable price of tens of millions of its people. It has been invaded, again and again, by the Scandinavians, French, Brits, Germans, and even Czechs. The attacks occurred regularly, justified by bizarre rhetoric: ‘Russia was strong’, or ‘it was weak’. It was attacked ‘because of its Great October Socialist Revolution’, or simply because it was Communist. Any grotesque ‘justification’ was just fine, as far as the West was concerned. Russia had to be invaded, plundered and terribly injured just because it was resisting, because it stood on its feet, and free.

Even the great China could not withstand Western assaults. It was broken, divided, humiliated; its capital city ransacked by the French and Brits.

Nothing and no one could survive the Western assaults: in the end, not even the proud and determined Afghanistan.

*

A Chinese scholar Li Gang wrote in his The Way We Think: Chinese View of Life Philosophy:

 

“Harmony” is an important category of thought in traditional Chinese culture. Although the concept initially comes from philosophy, it stands for a stable and integrated social life. It directly influences Chinese people’s way of thinking and dealing with the world… In the ancient classic works of China, “harmony” can, in essence, be understood as being harmonious. Ancient people stressed the harmony of the universe and the natural environment, the harmony between humans and nature, and what is more, the harmony between people… Traditional Chinese people take the principle as a way of life and they try their best to have friendly and harmonious relations. In order to reach “harmony”, people treat each other with sincerity, tolerance and love, and do not interfere in other people’s business. As the saying goes, “Well water does not intrude into river water”

 

Could anything be further from the philosophy of Western culture, which is based on the constant need to interfere, conquer and control?

Can countries like China, or Iran, or Russia, really survive in a world that is being controlled by aggressive European and North American dogmas?

Or more precisely: could they survive peacefully, without being dragged into bloodstained confrontations?

*

The onset of the 21st Century is clearly indicating that ‘peaceful resistance’ to brutal Western attacks is counter-productive.

Begging for peace, at forums such as the United Nations, has been leading absolutely nowhere. One country after another has collapsed, and had no chance to be treated justly and to be protected by international law: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya.

The West and its allies like Saudi Arabia or Israel are always above the law. Or more precisely, they are the law. They twist and modify the law however it suits them; their political or business interests.

Harmony? No, they are absolutely not interested in things like harmony. And even if a huge country like China is, then it is seen as weak, and immediately taken advantage of.

Can the world survive if a group of countries plays totally against all the rules, while most of the planet tries to stick, meticulously, to international laws and regulations?

It can, but it would create a totally twisted, totally perverse world, as ours actually already is. It would be a world of impunity on one end, and of fear, slavery and servility at the other.

And it is not going to be a ‘peaceful world’, anyway, because the oppressor will always want more and more; it will not be satisfied until it is in total, absolute control of the planet.

Accepting tyranny is not an option.

So then, what is? Are we too scared to pronounce it?

If a country is attacked, it should defend itself, and fight.

As Russia did on so many occasions. As Syria is doing, at great sacrifice, but proudly. As Venezuela will and should do, if assaulted.

China and Russia are two great cultures, which were to some extent influenced by the West. When I say ‘influenced’, I mean forcefully ‘penetrated’, broken into, brutally violated. During that violent interaction, some positive elements of Western culture assimilated in the brains of its victims: music, food, even city planning. But the overall impact was extremely negative, and both China and Russia suffered, and have been suffering, greatly.

For decades, the West has been unleashing its propaganda and destructive forces, to ‘contain’ and devastate both countries at their core. The Soviet Union was tricked into Afghanistan and into a financially unsustainable arms race, and literally broken into pieces. For several dark years, Russia was facing confusion, intellectual, moral and social chaos, as well as humiliation. China got penetrated with extreme ‘market forces’, its academic institutions were infiltrated by armies of anti-Communist ‘intellectual’ warriors from Europe and North America.

The results were devastating. Both countries – China and Russia – were practically under attack, and forced to fight for their survival.

Both countries managed to identify the treat. They fought back, regrouped, and endured. Their cultures and their identities survived.

China is now a confident and powerful nation, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. Present-day Russia under the presidency of Vladimir Putin is one of the mightiest nations on earth, not only militarily, but also morally, intellectually and scientifically.

This is precisely what the West cannot ‘forgive’. With each new brilliant electric vehicle China produces, with each village embracing the so-called “Ecological Civilization”, the West panics, smears China, portrays it as an evil state. The more internationalist Russia becomes, the more it protects nations ruined by the West – be it Syria or Venezuela – more relentless are West’s attacks against its President, and its people.

Both China and Russia are using diplomacy for as long as it is constructive, but this time, when confronted with force, they indicate their willingness to use strength to defend themselves.

They are well aware of the fact that this is the only way to survive.

For China, harmony is essential. Russia also has developed its own concept of global harmony based on internationalist principles. There is hardly any doubt that under the leadership of China and Russia, our world would be able to tackle the most profound problems that it has been facing.

But harmony can only be implemented when there is global concept of goodwill, or at least a decisive dedication to save the world.

If a group of powerful nations is only obsessed with profits, control and plunder, and if it behaves like a thug for several long centuries, one has to act, and to defend the world; if there is no alternative, by force!

Only after victory, can true harmony be aimed at.

At the beginning of this essay, I told a story from my childhood, which I find symbolic.

One can compromise, one can be diplomatic, but never if one’s dignity and freedom was at risk. One can never negotiate indefinitely with those who are starving and enslaving billions of human beings, all over the world.

Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan and so many countries are now bleeding. Soon, Iran could be confronted. And Nicaragua. And DPRK. And perhaps China and Russia themselves could face yet another Western invasion.

A ‘harmonious world’ may have to be built later; definitely one day, but a little bit later.

First, we have to make sure that our humanity survives and that Western fascism cannot consume further millions of innocent human lives.

Like me and my big childhood friend Karel at an elementary school in former Czechoslovakia; Russia and China may have to once again stand up and confront ‘unharmonious barbarity’; they may have to fight, in order to prevent an even greater disaster.

They do not want to; they will do everything possible to prevent war. But the war is already raging. Western colonialism is back. The brutal gang of North American and European countries is blocking the road, clenching fists, shooting at everyone who dares to look up, and to meet their gaze: “Would you dare?” their eyes are saying.

“Yes, we would!” is the only correct answer.

First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook

 

https://off-guardian.org/2019/03/16/can-russia-and-china-survive-this-un...

guo wengui and steve bannon...

 

 

By André Vitchek

 


In some very rare cases, it is better to read British conservative, right-wing press, like The Economist or the Telegraph, instead of the mainstream liberal sheets like The Independent or The Guardian. That is if one wants to come somehow closer to the truth.

The Economist is extremely biased; it is pre-historically conservative, anti-Russian, anti-Chinese, and laughably cold-war-style – anti-Communist. But it has some breaks and limits, which the liberal mainstream media already lost many years ago. And it does not forgive what it considers ‘bad manners’ and ‘bad taste.’

Recently, an on-going saga which involves a notorious right-wing ‘couple’ – Guo Wengui and Steve Bannon – received unusually harsh but frank analyses from The Economist, while all big British liberal newspapers have been busy trashing, fanatically, everything Chinese and Russian.

In its recent edition [August 29 – September 4, 2020], The Economist pitilessly attacked Steve Bannon’s close ally and an arch-anti-Beijing ‘gladiator,’ Guo Wengui:


“From his 152-foot yacht and his $67.5m penthouse overlooking Central Park, he spins tales of Chinese elite corruption and purges, styling himself a “CCP terminator.” (Mr. Bannon is given the same nickname). On June 4, Messrs. Guo and Bannon announced, aboard the yacht in New York harbor, the founding of “The New Federal State of China,” meant to supplant the People’s Republic.”


Needless to say, no one in the PRC seemed to be impressed or inspired, especially considering the fact that Mr. Guo is wanted in China on various unsavory charges, ranging from sexual assault to bribery. China is doing extremely well, economically, socially, and even environmentally, and the majority of its people are content with the political system. But “The New Federal State of China” catchphrase is not for the Chinese citizens to admire; it is for the Western consumption, and especially for the Guo’s fundraising campaigns in the US and Europe.

Before escaping from China, Mr. Guo rode high, many say, using corruption and extortion to amass his billion-plus dollars fortune. But ‘good times’ ended when President Xi came to power and began cracking on corruption. Mr. Guo escaped, shut the door behind him, and cursed CCP for spoiling his dark machinations. Since then, he has been involved in each and every attempt to attack and discredit Beijing and Chinese leadership.

For a long time, US intelligence and diplomatic community had a great kick out of Mr. Guo and of his friend Mr. Ma Jian, who some time ago got also hit by a determined anti-corruption campaign in the PRC. But Guo and Ma were never fully trusted even in the West, when both of them used to live in China, or, especially, after Mr. Guo’s escape to the United States, where he asked for political asylum. Many have thought that Guo went grotesquely hyperbolic, in order to please his masters in Washington and secure favors.

On August 26, 2020, Foreign Policy warned against Mr. Guo and people of his type:


“Western policymakers should be wary of figures like Guo. Take Ahmed Chalabi, the Baghdad multimillionaire who fled Iraq after becoming wrapped up in a Jordanian financial scandal. Chalabi played a malignant role in the US drive to the Iraq War, making a series of exaggerated claims that were taken seriously by political and military leaders. As US relations degenerate with China, the space for those like Guo to operate will grow.”

 

Mr. Guo teamed up with Steve Bannon. Soon after, these two right-wing extremists unleashed the most aggressive and ridiculous anti-Beijing and anti-CCP campaigns in modern history. They began dropping names to openly insult the most populous nation on earth, twisting history, and smear what even the deeply anti-Chinese Trump administration wouldn’t dare to touch. The problem for them was that they became too extreme even for some “respectful” right-wing politicians and the mass media outlets. In brief: they began behaving like two adolescent fools and in the most embarrassing manner.

Despite all that, the couple has not been without influence on the US administration; it has been extremely active in Washington’s power annals. But those whom it has been persuading have been chiefly the individuals who already reached the point of no return, who would not stop at anything. They simply wanted a war, a military conflict with China. Full stop.

***

Others are reluctant to take renegade billionaire seriously. Guo’s style, or more precisely his lack of style, is not only embarrassing, but it is also extremely dangerous. China may be a patient nation, but now it is also indignant when facing insults from one of its citizens who should most likely be in jail for serious crimes, but who is instead sheltered by the United States system.

The Economist concluded, in its article about Mr. Guo:


“…American intelligence is said to listen to his insights – but also to keep him at arm’s length… That may be wise. The day before Mr. Bannon’s arrest the ‘Journal’ had reported that a company he and Mr. Guo are involved in, GTV Media Group, was the subject of a federal investigation into its fundraising. Mr. Guo called the report a fabrication, part of the CCP’s plot to take Mr. Bannon down. But his antics have worn thin on his hosts. “There would be a lot of groans when his name came up,” says a former Trump administration official. In both Beijing and Washington, it seems.”

 

For some time, it was taught that the anti-Chinese hysteria was supposed to help Mr. Trump to get reelected. That is when Messrs. Guo and Bannon were used. This cynical strategy failed to deliver results. Most American voters are scared. They are losing jobs, and many are now losing roofs over their heads. They know almost nothing about China, and they have very little time for leaning.

President Trump is a pragmatic, and some would say, brutal businessman. He may now have very little use for Mr. Guo and Mr. Bannon. They may soon, literally, end up on the street. That would be good for both China and the world.

The luxury yacht of Mr. Guo, on which Steve Bannon was recently arrested, is already for sale. And so is the Manhattan apartment.

 


Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s the creator of Vltchek’s World in Word and Images, and a writer that has penned a number of books, including China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting Countries Saving Millions of Lives. He writes especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

 

 

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Please note that Ahmed Challabi was paid by the CIA (US$300,000 a month) to groom "defectors" who would tell "Saddam has weapons of Mass destruction" and present fake documents, plans etc. You know the routine... Bush, Blair and Howard should be in prison.

 

 


vale andré

OffG is shocked to hear that Andre Vltchek, a long-time contributing author and friend of the site, died yesterday in Istanbul.

He died suddenly whilst travelling in Turkey with his wife. Turkish officials are treating the death as “suspicious”, but as yet no details have been released. He was 57 years old.

Whatever the circumstances surrounding his death may be, there is no denying the loss will be felt – not just by his friends and family – but by the alternate media in general.

He wrote hundreds of articles – many of them for OffGuardian – published several books, and produced many feature-length documentaries. He was an anti-Imperialist, a humanitarian, and an unrepentant socialist. 

While we may not always have agreed with each other, there was no doubting his sincerity or his work ethic. He was, until the end, a fierce warrior on behalf of the working class – especially in the developing world. 

He was a powerful voice in the alternate media, and he will be sorely missed.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2020/09/23/in-memoriam-andre-vltchek/

 

 

Vale andré. Read from top.