Voltaire Network: Thierry Meyssan, your new book “Sous nos yeux” (Right Under Our Eyes) has just been released, 10 years after the previous one. What is the subject, and why have you waited so long?
Thierry Meyssan: Sixteen years ago, I denounced the September 11th coup d’état. What I was anticipating at the time did happen: those responsible for this operation established a permanent state of emergency in the United States and embarked on a series of imperialist wars. Many people have retained from this book only the short passage on the Pentagon bombing, but it is a book of political science that should have been taken more seriously.
I do not understand when I am asked if I still “believe” what I wrote in 2002: I see it, I see it every day. Political science is an empirical science; one can only distinguish between hypotheses, those which are true from those which are false, through their consequences. And time has proven me right.
France has been under a state of emergency for more than a year, while the wars have devastated the enlarged Middle East and already killed more than 3 million people. They are in the process of overflowing into Europe with migratory flows and terrorist attacks.
In “Sous nos yeux”, I wanted to revisit their planning. Explain who decided, why and how. Westerners approach this phenomenon sequentially. For them, in general, there would be no connection between what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria. All these peoples would have aspired to democracy, but none would be able to establish it.
Behind these discontinuous appearances, there is a general plan which first struck the enlarged Middle East and now extends to the West.
Voltaire Network: In fact, your book appears at the very moment when the expression “post-truth” is particularly in vogue in the mass media (to denounce exclusively the pseudo propaganda of Putin’s Russia and the supposed Trump lies). And where the “Atlantist Reverence Journal” is self-proclaimed as a sort of MiniVer (Ministry of Truth) with its ineffable Decodex … Your work shows how much the values are reversed and how we live more than ever in a world become really Orwellian. Is there still hope?
Thierry Meyssan: In the West, with the anti-Trump campaign, we are just entering the first phase of propaganda itself. Because this is the first time the system has attacked the Presidency which it claimed to be supreme. On this occasion, there is a contradiction between the techniques of “public relations” and those of “propaganda”. Indeed, Donald Trump is a specialist of the former and a victim of the latter.
One of the characteristics of propaganda is to replace the critical spirit. When we were at school, we did not think that a text had more value depending on its author, but according to its content. We learned to read it critically. Democracy is founded on this principle: we must pay the same attention to what each citizen says, while the Old Regime validated only the voice of the nobility and the clergy (today’s journalists and politicians).
The Decodex does exactly the opposite. It describes a priori an article as right or wrong depending on its author. It is intellectually stupid and profoundly anti-democratic.
It has not escaped you that the Decodex is at the same time linked to the Media Agreement created by a mysterious NGO, First Draft, and to the military headquarters of the European Union. In fact, Le Monde, taking this initiative as its own, is far from being able to claim to be a mere press organ. And to answer your question, as in the Second World War, there is no hope in the media in general, but there is hope as long as we are able to resist.
Voltaire Network: The intensive use of propaganda to sell a war is certainly not a novelty, but with Libya and Syria, one has the impression of having reached peaks, levels rarely before reached, if only at the height of the First World War, as Patrick Cockburn, among others, recently pointed out in CounterPunch.
Thierry Meyssan: Yes, but this comparison is valid only for the United Kingdom (or, more exactly, its metropolis) and the United States whose territory was not affected by the war and who had control over modern propaganda . At the time, neither Russia, nor Germany, nor France knew these techniques.
The first novelty is the place that today’s audiovisual sector holds and the use, more frequent than one thinks, of fictional images presented by the televised newscasts as authentic reports. I think for example of sequences on the pseudo “green revolution” in Iran or to others on the so-called arrival of the rebels on Tripoli’s Green Square in Libya. This blend of fiction and truth has triumphed with Hollywood’s award of a documentary prize to Al-Qaeda for its staging of White Helmets in Aleppo.
The second novelty is the creation of international coordination between Allied governments to credit their propaganda. This began with the Office of Global Communications of the White House and Downing Street. Today, it is the StratCom Task Force of the European Union and the NATO Strategic Communication Center.
Voltaire Network: Everyone knows that “in times of war, truth is the first casualty”, everyone has in memory at least some manipulations and lies relayed unanimously by the press in the past. And yet, everyone falls for it again and again! Sometimes you get the impression that “the bigger the lie, the more it is believed”: as long as most of the media are talking about it. But journalists (and politicians) are not all stupid or sold out: how to explain this collective blindness, this consensual trance of the media and the politicians?
Thierry Meyssan: The press has changed dramatically in recent years. The number of journalists in the United States has declined by two-thirds since 9/11. In fact, there are almost no journalists, but many editors who adapt agency dispatches of to different audiences. It is not at all the same.
Furthermore, commercialism has largely prevailed over the concern to inform. Violating the Munich Charter, which sets out the rights and duties of journalists, has become daily for most of them without provoking the least disapproval of either the profession or the public. For example, no one protests when the press releases the accounts of a bank or a law firm, apparently to flush out fraudsters. Or when a newspaper publishes a verbatim transcript covered by a judicial publication ban, supposedly revealing the turpitudes of the accused, but what about the confidentiality of these professions? Do you really want the press to disclose your bank interactions and divorce records? Do you wish to be designated as guilty after being questioned by a magistrate? So why do you accept it when it comes to known people?
Finally, the press and its readers in general no longer seek to understand the world and have become wicked. Twenty years ago, my readers wrote to me reproaching me for criticizing so and so without mentioning their merits. Today it is the opposite, they reproach for paying tribute to a person or another without mentioning their flaws.
It is because we have accepted this drift that we have become gullible and not the reverse. Politicians have adopted our collective behavior. For example, when President Hollande was asked why he had made a foreign policy decision, he said that he had to react well to the expectations of the press. That is, he does not set his policy after being informed by his administration and having discussed it with his advisers, but by reading the newspaper.
We have come to a circular system: journalists follow the policies that follow journalists. No one has any hold on reality.
Voltaire Network: Many works have dealt with the “Arab Spring”, almost all of them offering a simplistic reading of events as spontaneously unfolding (the famous “wind of freedom” sweeping dictators from power), reminiscent of romantic, even naive, parisian visions of the French Revolution. In this context, your book is surprising – to say the least! How is your analysis justified, or to put it another way, why is it not purely and simply “conspiracy theory”?
Thierry Meyssan: First, during the French Revolution, the king’s betrayal was in seeking foreign armies to suppress his people. He was therefore dismissed. But in none of the seven countries where the Arab Spring took place was the Head of State dismissed by his people. Strange isn’t it?
Secondly, we have many testimonials and several documents that attest to the preparation of these events by the Anglo-Saxons since 2004. Since there is always a discrepancy between the moment of decision-making, the deployment of the necessary teams and the materilisation of the project, and since we have no memory, we were surprised by what had been previously announced to us.
Do not misunderstand me: there were protest movements in each of these countries, but in no case was it a revolution aimed at overthrowing the head of state and democratizing society. We project our fantasies on events that are of a different nature.
The “Arab Spring” is only the re-edition of the “Great Arab Revolt of 1916”: a movement that at the time everyone believed spontaneous. Today, all historians agree that it was entirely conceived and manipulated by the British. Except that this time there is no romantic figure like Lawrence of Arabia believing in the promises of his superiors in London. All this was conducted with perfect cynicism.
Voltaire Network: Thierry Meyssan, those who follow you and read you regularly know that you are a man of peace. You have been present in the field of conflicts for more than 6 years, your eyes and your analysis are valuable and deserve at least to be listened to. However, you tell us how you have also been an actor in events (Syria, Libya, Iran and Russia), hence this question: without accusing you of being “the friend of the mullahs and worse dictators “- which would be simply stupid – can we not legitimately think that your struggle against imperialism blinds you? That you are not “objective”? Or that you are permeable to the propaganda of the other side? To wit that you’re a vector!
Thierry Meyssan: I ask myself this every day, and I hope that you too, who live across the border, are asking yourself. Wherever one lives, one is always influenced by one’s environment. Your situation in Europe is no better than mine here.
Each of us must make an effort to become objective. It’s not spontaneous. In a conflict, we must seek to understand how our adversaries analyze situations. Not to fight them better, but to eventually bring us closer to them.
Having said that, and knowing that political responsibility is always to choose the least bad solution, I do not claim to have served the saints, but the best. That’s why I did not serve George W. Bush or Barack Obama who destroyed the extended Middle East, nor Nicolas Sarkozy who destroyed Libya, nor Francois Hollande who destroyed Syria. On the contrary, I served Hugo Chávez who pulled out his people from illiteracy, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who industrialized Iran, Muammar Gaddafi who put an end to slavery in Libya and Bashar al-Assad who saved the Syrian Arab Republic from the jihadist hordes. I have never been asked to do something that would have embarrassed me and if I had been asked, I would not have done it.
Voltaire Network: To read you, one is really seized with vertigo. So much of what you write is radically different from the narration that is current in the West. How is it possible ?
Thierry Meyssan: There are no authoritarian regimes in the West, yet the propaganda is there on a daily basis. It is not imposed from above, but expected from below. It only triumphs because we do not want to know the truth; because we do not want to know the crimes that are committed on our behalf. We are like ostriches that bury their heads in the sand.
The best proof of what I say is the presidential election campaign in France. To date, virtually none of the major candidates has outlined what he would do as a president. They all explain what their prime minister should do on economic matters, but none dare to talk about the presidential responsibility they aspire to: foreign policy and the defense of the Motherland. In the era of globalization, it is simply impossible to achieve economic results without first repositioning the country on the international stage. But few dare to analyze international relations, it has become taboo.
Voltaire Network: The terrorist attacks of Daech and Al Qaeda in France over the last two years have changed the media discourse, especially after the carnage on November 13 in Paris. All of a sudden, the media here and there are giving a little echo to the dissonant voices – hitherto inaudible – that questioned the merits of French policy in Libya and Syria, and also the special and privileged relations that our Leaders have had with Qatar and Saudi Arabia. And then we quickly returned to the status quo ante, “Bashar” the executioner must leave …
Thierry Meyssan: Again, you take things upside down. The Director General of Homeland Security, Patrick Calvar, told a parliamentary committee that he knew who had sponsored these attacks, but that he would not say. It is in fact not his job to say, but is is the job of the President of the Republic, François Hollande.
As I explain in “Under Our Eyes”, Alain Juppé and François Hollande made secret international commitments that they could not keep. Duped, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sponsored this attack and that of Brussels for which he congratulated himself in advance. These two operations were conducted by separate commandos, with the exception of Mohamed Abrini of the British MI6 who participated in both.
Our successive governments have made such abject decisions that they do not dare admit them. I have addressed this situation in my articles, but only in covert terms. This situation can no longer hold. I can no longer bear to see our compatriots die at the Bataclan and on the terrace of the cafes. I wrote this book to unpack the dirty laundry, all the dirty laundry, and that we may change.
Voltaire Network: With this book, you will plunge us back into a past that is nevertheless close and which seems to be over: I am thinking in particular of the flamboyant speech of peace of Dominique de Villepin at the UN in 2003 and the illegal military intervention against Libya In 2011. How did France see in so short a time (8 years) the total triumph among our “elites” of the US neocon theses and their self-fulfilling prophecy of “clash of civilizations” and “war without end against terrorism”?
Thierry Meyssan: First of all, in my opinion, there is no prophecy: the “clash of civilizations” and the “war on terror” never existed. There is just a war of an Empire and its allies against the peoples of the broader Middle East and the Donbass. The novelty being that the Empire is no longer governed by the White House, but by the deep state, of which we have identified several of the leaders.
Then, the alignment of the European elites with the Obama administration is a classic phenomenon of collaboration with the strongest. It continues today against the Trump administration. So that the Europeans have gone into to the service of the US opposition.
Voltaire Network: On this subject, you make a noticeable difference between the Sarkozy and Holland presidencies, the latter having revived the war in Syria that the former had certainly begun but, through pragmatism, was preparing to withdraw …
Thierry Meyssan: Yes, although President Sarkozy wisely retired from the Syrian conflict, he had previously pursued the fight against Côte d’Ivoire and Libya to their limits. But the most important is elsewhere. The Sarkozy governments were divided regarding French participation in the British plan of the “Arab Spring”.
We should therefore pay tribute to those who convinced President Sarkozy to make peace. This is where things get complicated: they have almost all been punished by the System. While Alain Juppé is praised by the media, Préfet Édouard Lacroix was physically eliminated, Claude Guéant was sentenced to prison, Bernard Squarcini and François Fillon are prosecuted. Only Gérard Longuet has come out of it OK. Understand that this kind of example chilled all those who could today put an end to the war.
Voltaire Network: Your book opens with the following United Nations resolution: “All States must refrain from organizing, assisting, fomenting, financing, encouraging or tolerating subversive or terrorist armed activities intended to change by violence the regime of another State and to intervene in the internal struggles of another State “. This pertinent reminder of the foundation of International Law seems to be completely ignored by most of our political leaders and by journalists and the media who relay their words without questioning them.
Thierry Meyssan: This quotation is taken from the resolution which details the meaning of the UN Charter. This is a reference text that of course all diplomats and specialized journalists have studied.
To forget this indicates that there is no longer any intention of defending the principles of international law. We now live in a hypocritical world where political leaders and UN officials are claiming the Charter as their own, but are constantly violating it. As I show in detail in this book, the current wars in the Middle East and Donbass are run politically and logistically from the UN by the organization’s No. 2 man, Jeffrey Feltman.
Voltaire Network: In this book, unlike the previous ones, you decided not to reference your remarks, not to use notes. Why this choice, which exposes your flank to all the accusations of fabrication that will not fail to be made against you? Is it a gamble on the intelligence of readers?
Thierry Meyssan: In 2002, in The Big Lie (on September 11th), I quoted official sources on the Internet. That was not in vogue at the time. Moreover, few people already had access to the Internet. I was criticized for not relying on the only serious source: the paper. In 2007, in The Big Lie 2 (about the war that had just taken place against Lebanon), I quoted hundreds of agency dispatches and official reports. There, as no one could reproach me, the press ignored the book. This time I did not give any references. The people I am challenging will perhaps deny and accuse me of a making up the story. If they want to unpack in public, I am ready to answer them.
You know, between 2002, 2007 and 2017, I have lived a lot, learned a lot and matured a lot. Nobody in France took part in the events like I did.
Voltaire Network: 10 years ago, your book “The Big Lie 2: Manipulations and Misinformation” had not been the subject of any review in the media. In fact, your image had been so denigrated that the booksellers – also victims of propaganda – received it with reluctance, not placing it in a visible way on display (like any new work of a successful author) but generally sheltered from viewing in shelving, or even concealing it outright from the public in storerooms. It did, however, sell itself very well. Given the climate of near-hysteria that surrounds “Bashar”, Putin and Trump, it is obvious that this one will not be better received: can we be optimistic about the success of its disclosure?
Thierry Meyssan: We live in different times. A few years ago, almost all of us believed anything, provided it was covered by Le Monde. Today, the majority question the contradictions of righteous rhetoric.
For example, assuming that Al-Qaeda is a group of anti-Western militants who have committed the September 11 attacks, how is it that General Carter Ham (commander of AfriCom) was compelled to rely on al-Qaeda in Libya – which provoked his protest and the end of his mission? Why did Laurent Fabius support the Arab states according to whom Al-Qaeda “is doing a good job” in Syria? Why did France send ammunition to Al-Qaeda in Syria?
We can hope, then, that individually, one after the other, the French in general – and therefore the booksellers too – will reconsider what they thought they knew since the beginning of events. If, in appearance, the facts are inconsistent, at what level does their logic lie?
Voltaire Network: Thierry Meyssan, thank you for your time and more for this extraordinary book that I invite your readers to discover and share as widely as possible around them. A final word to conclude?
Thierry Meyssan: Everyone must now position themselves facing what began in the enlarged Middle East. It started in distant countries, but it’s happening at home now. The attacks on the one hand, and the war propaganda on the other, are already there. If we refuse to see the truth in the face, we will be crushed by the forces with which we continue to ally ourselves. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to defend our freedom, here at home