CM/P Interviews Pierre Péan on 'Secret Wars' -- 5 July 2011, Paris
[In Chapter 6 of his latest book—and our latest translation project—“Carnages: Les guerres secrètes des grandes puissances en Afrique” or, as we would call it, “Carnage: The Secret Wars of the Great Powers in Africa,” Pierre Péan, one of France’s preeminent investigative journalists and a born Africa-hand, states that North Africa (the Maghreb) and the Middle East have, since the 1950s, been Israel’s “deep security zone.”* This is the sort of incontrovertible geopolitical detail (even [or especially] the most fervent military Zionist or IDF apologist would accept this as obvious), that makes Péan’s work so richly informative, while allowing him to avoid involvement in popular ‘conspiracy theories’, the best and most consistent of which always seem to be rendered scientifically and politically moot by the myriad holes in logic and the leaps of rhetorical (bad) faith that are needed to tie them together.
In this interview, which he granted CM/P on 5 July 2011, at the Publicis Drugstore café on the Champs Élysées at Étoile, Péan discusses in some detail his methodology and those spectacular forces that strive to present such a deformed picture of History as might occult, in the minds of the great general audience, the true level of moral misery and wasted human energy to which they have been descended. And though the idea is never bludgeoned into his reader’s mind or sky-rocketed across the vista of his work, the presence of Israel, however lightly touched, seems to be the key to understanding the real History of this long suffering part of the world.
It may seem like mere coincidence that the 2011 Arab Spring developed into a full-bloodied military campaign to destroy those regimes in North Africa and the Middle East that have been the staunchest and most out-spoken supporters of the Palestinians’ right to national sovereignty (e.g., Sudan, Libya, Syria, Iran and Iraq); and that this all went down as the world prepared for the September UN vote on a Resolution recommending statehood for Palestine: but when viewed through the lens of Péan’s posited detail that the region is Israel’s “deep security zone,” and the desperate need of the Hebrew State and its Western allies for total domination of that vast repository of strategic natural resources (and, for Israel, the most important seems to be water) that these regions represent, one can more clearly see through racist notions that these conflicts stem from ‘Arab immaturity’ or ‘Tribalism’ or ‘ethnic primitivism’, and that all this ‘anti-Democracy’ has supposedly caused such violent reactions among certain African and Middle Eastern governments that they actually set about “murdering their own people” (and to such an extend that it became necessary for NATO, through the good offices of the UN, to exercise its R2P [Right to Protect] and, in so doing, to, itself, take the lives of thousands of these very same peoples with the West’s, by now routine, gangster subversion with close air support).
From what before had seemed like the sort of murderous irrationality with which it is impossible to negotiate, Péan reveals a sort of historical logic, a Reason that is solidly grounded and detailed with facts, that verifies the cynical degradation into which the world is being led by those whose avowed purpose is, at whatever the cost, to preserve, protect and defend the toxic existence of Advanced Waste Capital. What was once thought to be progress in the development of Human Imagination, Pierre Péan shows us is now only the purposeless descent into the airless world of torment and death. And one can only pity these fateful monsters, who, like so many Americans and Europeans, would sit by and with their silence endorse this malignant indecency.
At CM/P, we believe the work of Pierre Péan might be a remedy, however small and ineffectual, for this moribund condition. But until his work is widely available in English, this hope can only be false hope.—mc
* “From its inception, Israel has been keenly interested in Africa. The narrowness of its own territory within hostile surroundings has driven its leaders, since the early 1950s, to seek some compensation for this existential weakness by creating a military alliance with France, already an African power, while at the same time searching out political alliances within Africa, with an eye toward artificially creating a “strategic depth”, the absence of which had proven elsewhere to be such a cruel weakness, and to render aid in its struggles against the Arab enemy.”]
Paris, 5 July 2011
CirqueMinime/Paris: When you speak of ‘Secret Wars’, as in the subtitle of your new book, ‘Carnage: the Secret Wars of the Great Powers in Africa’—or in your ‘African Manipulations: Who Was Really Behind the Attack on UTA flight 772?’—you speak of a French and American ‘Secret War’ against Libya. But what is the ‘Secret’ that is hidden within these ‘Wars’?
Pierre Péan: First off, it is not presented to the public as a ‘War.’ So, they never talk about these actions in that way.
When Reagan decided to blow Ghaddafi away, he justified his actions—as was later done with Iraq—by creating false pretexts. So the US could play the Cop’s role.
But a cop never goes to war. A cop punishes violators of the local civil or criminal codes. He hands out tickets and fines. But he doesn’t wage war.
In the newspapers, they talked about certain plans that the Big Powers had, but they didn’t talk about ‘War.’ That’s really all I mean here.
But it’s obvious that in 50 or 100 years, it will be shown that, for Libya or for Congo, the exact plans found in the White House files will be all about—and the same is true with France—how the things that were planned all amounted to one thing: War—though it may take another 40 or 50 years for that precise word to be used.
So, in the case of these ‘Secret Wars’: they are always decided by the Great Powers; the word ‘War’ is never pronounced; and they are often small.
CM/P: I know you are familiar with the term ‘October Surprise’.
PP: Yes. I know it very well. . . . I wrote about the ‘October Surprise.’
CM/P: As far as you know, what is the nature of this stratagem, and who were the originators of the term?
PP: I knew very well, at the time . . . If I can’t think of it right now it’s just a lapse in memory. . . . I wrote about that phenomenon . . . even included it in a book of mine . . . it’s an attempt to use hostages to affect domestic politics in France. It occurred in France over the liberation of Lebanese hostages in 1985 or 1987—over those hostages, like (Jean Paul) Kaufman, (Michel) Seurat, etc.—over attempts to liberate them made by both the Right and Left in the hope that setting them free would give extra points to the liberating side in the elections. And I also used the term in describing events that transpired at the end of the 1970s in the US.
CM/P: William Safire, a NYTs columnist and Nixon speechwriter, attributed the term to—though like so many other phenomena, it may have a distinct French origin, as well—Safire credited it to CIA Chief and Reagan campaign manager, William Casey. The first time Casey, who started out as a financial lawyer, used it was in regard to the 1968 Humphrey/Nixon presidential race. He was then a young campaign adviser to Richard Nixon. He managed to get word to Le Duc Tho, the representative of the North Vietnamese/NLF in the Paris Peace Talks, that if they would hold off on signing any deal offered them by the Johnson administration until after the elections, a future President Nixon would give them a much better terms, conditions and compensation than the Democratic Party candidate, Hubert Horatio Humphrey.
PP: Yes, yes. There was the exact same situation in France. The Right told the Iranians that if they waited until after the 1988 elections, the Conservative government would give them a better deal than Mitterand’s putative Leftists.
CM/P: Right. In fact, Casey did that same thing with the Iranians when he was Reagan’s campaign manager in the 1980 elections against the incumbent Jimmy Carter. And that’s why I was asking myself what you meant when you referred to the war the Iranians waged against France in the 1980s as a ‘Secret War’. Because you talked about France furnishing arms to Iraq in the war that country started against its neighbor, Iran—
PP: No, that’s just a facile linguistic shortcut, that use of ‘Secret War’. Coming up with a word where, before, there was none. But it’s true . . . when I wrote the book that addresses this issue most pointedly, La Menace (The Threat), and, honestly, it’s difficult for a citizen to understand what actually happened. But what I tried to do in this book was to reestablish the logic of what went on. I believe it’s important to create a chronology of relations between the two sides. In the cooperation between the friends of Iran—Syria and Hezbollah—there’s a logic that is always on the verge of exploding. And I like to say that such explosions give off light to better arrange events according to this logic, to bring into reasonable relation certain events that otherwise made no sense. We give this the title ‘Secret War’. Without this kind of understanding, the Hostages made no sense. And the Hostage situation certainly did make sense. I’m not saying I’ve succeeded in making complete sense of all this, but these events, which are usually described as coming out of nowhere, really do have a logic hidden behind them. And this hidden logic is what I have called the ‘Secret War.’
CM/P: In Chapter 6 of ‘Carnage’, you talk about this region, North Africa and the Middle East, as being a ‘deep security zone’ for the nation of Israel. Yet nowhere in your discussion of the war against Libya—be it in the 80s or today—do you mention Israel. After all, Reagan’s bombing of Libya in 1986 was in retaliation for the terrorist attack on La Belle disco in Berlin, a false-flag action the Mossad (Israeli intelligence) still brags about—
PP: Now you’re getting into an essential theme. Today, there is almost an ‘omerta’ on the subject of Israel. And that poses, in my opinion, a great problem for describing certain situations—and I’m not talking here about any kind of ‘militant’ descriptions, but merely of seeking to understand a situation—if you take out one of the main players, it gives a feeling of chaos. I mean, when you introduce the players—and maybe not all the players—but when you introduce Israel to try and understand the events in Africa since, say, WWII, that allows you to clarify—maybe not everything—but it certainly clarifies a great deal.
So, why don’t we do that? Because in France there is such a big problem—I think it’s less so in the US—but in France there is such a great fear of being labeled an ‘Anti-Semite’—the term is a veritable ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’—that most people just won’t talk about anything that is closely—or remotely—related to Israel.
And for me, it is something so difficult—I talk of Israel in many of my books, but it still poses a great problem.
CM/P: The ‘logic of the situations’ that you just talked about—it’s impossible to get to that logic without discussing Israel.
PP: And I always try in my writing not to make judgments, and try to make my descriptions as ‘matter-of-fact’ as I can, so as not to find myself under attack from that terrible weapon, the charge of ‘Anti-Semitism.’
CM/P: But, as you said, this charge is truly a WMD (a ‘Weapon of Mass Deception’, as I like to call it). Yet all terrorist attacks—even those that took place before the disappearance of the Soviet Union—were blamed on little groups or on little countries—
PP: —But one never talks about ‘State Terrorism’.
CM/P: No. Absolutely not. But why are groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and the PFLP-GC [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command]—groups that were formed in reaction to the Israeli occupation of certain countries, like Syria and Lebanon—why are these Resistance groups usually blamed? —In the US, many are familiar with an operation called COINTELPRO. Do you know this operation? Created by J. Edgar Hoover . . .
PP: Yes, yes, of course. Against . . .—
CM/P: —The Black Panther Party was infiltrated. The Nation of Islam. And SDS and the PLP. The infiltrators moved into the leadership of these targeted organizations. And the organizations began to propose and carry out actions that more and more doomed them to self-destruction. . . . Now, with the Palestinians, many were dissatisfied with the leadership, and there was a growing movement—and this was not something that happened overnight, but it was over a long period—a movement against Yasser Arafat. These groups that were formed were always expressly against the Zionist State of Israel, but, more importantly, they were also against Arafat and his wing of the PLO, Fatah.
PP: Yes. And, objectively, the most important thing for them is to be against the PLO. And, so, they then find themselves, objectively, working as allies of Israel.
CM/P: Yes. I lost communications with several friends when I said that the 2006 Hamas election victory over Fatah in The Occupied Territories would prove to be more of an advantage for Israel than for the Palestinians, themselves.
PP: Often. . . . That’s what’s happened in the past.
CM/P: Yes, but when someone like the PFLP takes credit for carrying out a terrorist attack against . . . say, OPEC, or some target far from Israel’s vital domestic or military interests, I have to wonder if, maybe, this terrorism isn’t being directed by, say—well, ok, maybe it’s not the US or Israel managing this terrorism, outright!—but maybe it’s some kind of Third Force that lives—that depends for its very existence on the perpetuation of these wars, this destruction and waste. Because, if these wars weren’t taking place, certain rich people today would become very, very poor.
PP: It’s true that in my investigations—though I have not gotten to that point—it’s true that we have to ask certain questions. I’ve tried to reestablish the chronologies, reintroduce all that, but you have to have more sources, more information, to do the sort of intensive analysis that would lead to an understanding of these kinds of movements, this kind of overriding subject matter, because this is very, very sensitive stuff. I am not far from the analysis you described, but I have a certain number of questions, and, basically, what I’m trying to do is to take some very small steps. But I have neither the means nor the intellectual capacity to really get off into things like this.
And I am especially—and sometimes excessively—distrustful of ‘conspiracy theories’. You have to be careful with them. They can often throw you. They are very seductive, intellectually. And sometimes, when I read things, I find that often there are links—connections that are quite true, but, then, there connections that are often false. . . . Often.
So, I always distrust them. And with my limited means, I try to set small tasks for myself. And though sometimes I exceed my goals—if my goals and my achievements are small, then I never get it too wrong. It is always a small failure.
CM/P: Well, to you, your achievements may seem small, but to me they are huge.
PP: No, but if I set grand tasks for myself, and I get them just a little wrong: Then that’s a Grand Error!
CM/P: What really astonishes me, in this whole history, are the parallels between the US and France. For example:
The bombing of the US Marine barracks, on 23 October 1983, in Beirut, is always brought up as one of the costliest terrorist strikes against America. Yet, few in the US know about the truck-bombing of the French barracks, the eight-story 'Drakkar' building, just two minutes after the US Marines were hit. Both attacks were claimed by Islamic Jihad.
PP: But what seems hardest for people to understand—and what I talk about in La Menace—is how we supported Iraq in its war against Iran, and how, thus, we were at war with Iran. And the way that a smaller power responds to a greater one is always through terrorism.
And the little guy is at a disadvantage on two levels: First, he doesn’t have the means to fight against the big guy. Then, there are words, expressions, that put him at a further disadvantage: If the little guy reacts to an aggression, it’s always called ‘terrorism’; but the big guy never commits ‘terrorism.’ And to be called ‘a terrorist’ invalidates any cause: The word, itself—the title, itself—invalidates.
CM/P: Yes, ‘terrorism’ is certainly seen as the weapon-of-last-resort for the politically and militarily powerless. But often these terrorist acts don’t really seem to serve any of the interests of the little people who supposedly perpetrated them.
Do you reject the idea—often associated with the term ‘conspiracy theory’—of ‘false flag terrorism’? Terrorist acts that are carried out to look like—the blame for which—
PP: You mean the manipulation of the facts of a terrorist act to make it appear to be the work of someone other than the actual perpetrators? Yes. That exists.
CM/P: Yeah. Absolutely.
PP: But, when something like that happens, it is done by the greatest professionals, and with such professionalism that it is very complicated—very difficult to demonstrate who is really responsible—because, in the West, we believe that Truth only exists if it can be PROVED—but it is not because we have no PROOF of them that things don’t exist.
CM/P: Right. As Donald Rumsfeld famously said: ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’—or something like that.
But, for instance: The attack on La Belle Disco in Berlin, which was blamed on Libya, is often bragged about by the Mossad. This is plainly dealt with by Victor Ostrovski in his book ‘By Way of Deception . . .’ And then, later that year , the Reagan administration bombs Libya in retaliation for the killing of its soldier in the La Belle attack.
So, Libya is singled out from the countries of the Maghreb for especially hostile treatment.—
And—before that: you know John Stockwell, the apostate CIA agent?
PP: Sure. John Stockwell. I read his book on Angola. It’s that John Stockwell?
CM/P: Right. And Stockwell talks about how the US furnished explosives, and training on their use, to certain Libyans. In your books—which I find very cinematic; but that may be just because that’s where most of my experience lies: in films—but especially in your ‘African Manipulations’, you talk of two ‘Palestinians’ who travel with a Caucasian. But they might not really have been Palestinians; they may be Africans, and . . .—what I’m trying to say here is that there is always a great deal of secrecy as to the real origins—or affiliations of these characters: A lot of Secrecy. What or whom is all this Secrecy intended to hide?
Because with Terrorist acts: it’s always very important to ‘claim’ them for your side, for your group or nation. To say, “See? See what we can do? That was us!”
But these people, the ‘Real Terrorists’ always seem to remain in the shadows. Usually, two or three little nerdy groups weight-in with similarly vague claims of authorship; but they are seldom the perpetrators that would serve the Great Powers’ narrative.
Take September 11th: No one has stepped up to own that mega-masterpiece of Terrorism. The Americans want to believe it was engineered by their favorite Terrorist-and-chief, the now-late Osama bin Laden, but he never actually—or clearly or directly—claimed responsibility for 911!
PP: I’m always afraid of making generalizations. I’m careful not to let them lead me on—because I have this tendency—and generalizations are always very enticing. In a certain way, they satisfy your mind’s curiosity.
Let me go back to another attack that was never claimed and that I did some work on: the bombing of the UTA DC10. And I’ll respond to something you said earlier.
François Mitterand asked me to come see him to talk about this attack. He listened to me—and he was in no way antithetical to anything I said—but he just listened to me, that’s all. In the end, he said to me that he’d always been astonished by the fact that, for this attack, they had never found a motive. No motive at all.
And to get back to September 11th: I have always been very suspicious of conspiracy theories, and I have never worked on this question. I tend, in very complicated cases like this one, to trust only myself. And since I have not worked on it—on September 11th—I just don’t want to go there; I don’t talk about it. I think I understand that it is all very unclear—but that’s it.
I don’t want anyone to hang a ‘conspirationniste’ jacket on me!
CM/P: When you were speaking of the ‘Secret War’ between France and Iran earlier, I got the impression that France furnished arms only to Iraq. But we all know, thanks to ‘Iran-Contragate’, that the US supplied arms to both sides—to Iraq, admittedly and even openly; but also, by way of Israel, to Iran. But are you saying that France didn’t give any weaponry to Iran?
PP: Yes, there were arms exchanged—but I have to refresh my memory on the details of this old story. In reality, I conducted an investigation, but then I closed it out. I’ve always wanted to have a connection, to have a thread—not a huge one, but a thread, nonetheless—that runs through all my writing. The primary engagement for France was with Iraq in that war. And this was for very simple reasons—not at all ‘Secret’—because France had a problem with regard to the US about energy resources.
So to try and compensate for US control over oil—to create a French oil company and then find a source of oil that was outside the American supply system—when Iraq nationalized its oil reserves—and France did not oppose this nationalization—it broke the old pact with the Western powers—particularly, with the US and UK, with Exxon and BP. In breaking this pact at this time, France took a position against the arrangement that had existed since the end of the First World War. And if you look at this situation, it was quite understandable for France to reposition itself, to make certain bi-lateral agreements, and to take over a few oil fields and make pacts on nuclear technology with Iraq. One can only tie these activities together until 1990, if one recognizes that Gaullist France wanted to take a position that was different from (if not totally opposed to) that of the US. This is clear.
And the first break with this Gaullist policy came when, in 1990, France joined the alliance against Saddam Hussien. The government’s divorce from Gaullism was extended by Jacques Chirac, who pursued a reconciliation between France and NATO, even though, in 2003, France did not want to join Bush in his invasion of Iraq. Nicolas Sarkozy made this total separation from the old Gaullist policies official by reintegrating France into the Atlantic Alliance.
In other words, what I’m trying to show here—without doing too much reflecting on it—is that once we’ve put all our questions into a geopolitical and historical context, a general understanding of things does not require any particular knowledge. You can pretty much guess what is really happening at any given moment by looking at this historical context.
Today it’s a little more complicated, maybe, because France is totally assimilated into NATO. So, that specific French character within international politics is much weaker than it used to be. You can see this quite easily.
And what also interests me is to see—a little bit more each day in Africa—just how fundamentally France took advantage of the Cold War in Africa. Without the Cold War, it would have been—as Roosevelt had planned it well before—the US pitting France against Great Britain, the two great imperial powers in Africa. These empires had long ago come apart and left Africa as a huge marketplace open to everyone, with its many sources of wealth quickly coming under the domination and control of the US.
CM/P: What the US and most of the countries of the West refuse to accept is that WWII was not just an ideological or territorial war between the German and Italian Fascists and the rest of bourgeois Europe—with the Soviet Union a sort of silent partner to both sides and, in fact, as villainous as its sworn enemy, Nazi Germany. This revision stems from the US and its allies’ refusal to be the customers of certain countries, like Russia or many African states, which possess a quite natural monopoly of primary resources like oil and natural gas.
This denial of a natural reality has led to the West’s striving to be, at once, the consumer and the producer of these primary, especially energy, resources, or, at least, to dominate militarily the producing nations—or, at least, to impose itself as a broker in these energy transactions.
So, while WWII, and the so-called Cold War that issued from it, can be seen as wars for control of the natural resources of the USSR, Central and Southeast Asia, and Africa; about the time the Vietnam debacle began to wind down, around the turn of 60s-70s, war no longer was an issue of one side versus another, but more of an economic motive, in and of itself.
PP: What is today most difficult about the conflicts of the last 15 or 20 years is that these are wars that are complicated, difficult to explain. They are complicated because there are multiple actors and multiple motives. WWII is simple. Oh, you can get into it—but, essentially, it was Hitler against the rest of the world. It was a war of fronts. No great problems in explaining it.
Today, describing events in Central Africa is different. There are many different players. There are local players, who are driven simply by the desire for power. But when we try to explain why—as we have seen so often in the past—why, for instance, the Tutsis wanted to retake power in Rwanda, it’s really just a matter of local actors with local interests. But when we pull back, we see that there are people working behind them, working for their own, very different interests: people like the Secret Services of the Great Powers.
And that’s not all. There are also, in a parallel fashion—or an independent fashion—there are large companies that are simply working to increase their profits. So those powerful agents who work with the Africans can also aid the little players. These games become terribly complicated. And today we live in an age where communication is extremely important in all these conflicts over power, in these wars, in all of that. But to communicate about these wars is ultra-complicated. So complicated that it is very easy to manipulate the information the public receives.
One of the things that has fascinated me from the very beginning of my work on Africa—I started with Rwanda—and ‘Carnage’ is just an extension of that work to gain a better understanding of the subject—what fascinated me about Rwanda was that the people of the RPF—should I say the people of the RPF? Or should I say the Ugandans of the RPF? Or the Secret Services, of this country or that, behind the RPF?—at any rate, what is certain is that, even before they started the war—that is, even before the RPF came across the border from Uganda into Rwanda on 1 October 1990—even before that, the war of communications had begun. And it was so well launched that it wound up creating the entire vision of what was happening there.
I mean, that’s really fascinating. Because, through the skillful manipulation of information, the aggressors were able to cast themselves in the role of the victims. That shows real power. Really, that’s very powerful.
And this was done with a deep understanding of the evolution of our social and political culture, where the state has become less and less important in relation to our civil society. And civil society is susceptible to being radically manipulated. This is done through the use of surveys and polls and the shaping of public opinion.
So to get back to the war in Rwanda: those who were responsible for transmitting information did not use traditional means of communications. They didn’t call press conferences for all the traditionally accredited newspapers. No. They addressed themselves to the community of NGOs, whose purpose was the defense of Victims in the drive and the struggle against the power of State Governments, and who had more and more influence over journalists. Quickly, especially for TV viewers, who had no time or means for reflection on the information they were receiving, and who were always on the side of the victims, it was enough just to present the aggressors as victims. So, what happened was that in a war—because what went on in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 was just that, a war, to seize state power—everything that the RPF did wound up feeding into the ‘Victims’ file. We saw only the victims of one side; we only saw the Tutsi victims. And this stratagem really won my admiration.
There was something else missing: These movements—especially in African countries—there are movements that are very complicated and hard to analyze. And there is always the problem of the West’s Guilty Conscience. So it was enough to play on that guilt—even with most of the people of good faith who saw the past in Africa and did not want to end up, once again, on the side of the villains—enough to get the public to stand with the Victims as a way to try and make up for the past.
It’s enough just to play on this one central motivation to completely deform a very complicated Reality—actually, very complicated Realities, because Reality is, by definition, multifarious—and to leave the choices—these choices that make situations understandable—very often, to leave these choices to the manipulators. So, during this period of African wars, a piece of History that has become more and more transparent, the manipulation of information became easier and easier—especially with all the advances in technology that have taken place over the last 25 years.
CM/P: But who benefits from this ‘Complicated Reality’? Because, when you spoke of ‘the State versus Civil Society’, . . .—For example, my ex-wife is a ‘Social Worker’. She takes care of the Poor, the Homeless, like that. But she works for a ‘Private Company’! In the past, her work was a function of the State. And I gave English courses to a private firm called S-----o. The employees of this firm go all over the world and develop projects—like a Social Security System for China, or Water System for Niger or a Sanitation System for Leningrad (now, again, St. Petersburg)—so, are we really looking at ‘The State v Civil Society’? Or is it ‘The State v Private Enterprise’?
PP: Yeah. . . . I think it’s both. And the State has not ceased its abandonment, especially under the influence of Ultra-Liberalism, of a number of its traditional domains. This is a tendency that began long ago, but there has recently been an acceleration in the take-over of State functions: whether they be Health Care or Security or whatever, they are Privatized, and that is a distinct characteristic of contemporary Society.
But the heavy tendency toward the ‘Privatization of all the former functions of the Crown’ is an important element today. On the other hand, Civil Society—or the Associative World (of NGOs), which is more and more important in the shaping of Public Opinion—these ‘Civil Organizations’ can work at times with the world of Private Enterprise. But ours is a world that is much more complicated and hard to explain, and which demands we get much more involved.
CM/P: Well, speaking of ‘Victims’: I’m sure you’re up on what is happening in New York City with DSK (Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the IMF). What astonishes me is the speed with which this lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, stood out in front of the Courthouse and started talking about his client as ‘The Victim’—and that all ‘The Victims’ were out in the street. I thought, wait a minute: the criminal case hasn’t even been heard yet; what ‘Victim’ or what ‘Crime’ are we talking about here? . . . Do you remember the OJ case—?
PP: Hold on. Because I say something is just so does not mean that something else next to it is not so. Now, to go back to something I said. . . . I’m a bit older than you, right? . . .
CM/P: A little bit, yeah.
PP: I came up in a bi-polar world. A fundamentally simpler world. You were either in one camp or the other. When I was initiated into French Politics—when I was a student, there were only two possibilities: you were either for or against a French Algeria. As simple as that.
But today, it’s more and more complicated. So, at the heart of what I know—and as I said before: there is a growing complexity about things, a gradual diminution of the State as a major player, and, as applies to the war in Africa, the complexity of things makes History hard to decipher and poses the possibility that all this information will be manipulated to some foul end. I can’t go much further than that—but this, in no way, excludes other things from being true.
CM/P: But how, exactly, does money—you know, the profit motive—enter into these situations? For example: an organization like SOS-Racism—an organization, which you founded—
PP: —Of which I was ONE of several 'godparents'.
CM/P: —Right. But an organization which then turned against you, charging you with inciting racial hatred, on the basis of four pages from your extraordinary, massive work on Rwanda, Noires fureurs, blancs menteurs (Sad to say, I can only cite the title in French because this essential work has not as yet been translated.). Now, what was the motive for this arch betrayal?
I’ve had my own experience with an SOS organization. My landlord pretends to be the head of SOS-Papa, an NGO that specializes in mediating problems with bi-national couples and ‘rescuing’ the children involved. When I was having my own such bi-national family problems, this clown offered his mediation services and claimed a 90% success or satisfaction rate. At our second meeting, he said he would have to charge me 450 euros, and ‘suggested’ I pay him in ‘Black’ money, to cover the secret, paramilitary expenses incurred in these ‘rescues’—think of the Arc de Zoé.
What’s up with these SOS organizations?—like SOS Attentat, from your book on the bombing of UTA flight 772, which defends so-called ‘Victims Rights’ and pursues reparations for all victims of terrorist attacks—‘reparations’ here meaning money. So, what role does money play in these ‘Humanitarian’ actions?
PP: These are very good examples of the manipulation of Civil Society. SOS-Racism is a group that represents itself as having the last word on a number of subjects. In ‘Carnage’, I tried to show a little bit of what motivated it to bring these charges against me—something I found absolutely nightmarish. But my principal accusers, who were being protected by SOS-Racism, were the French National Union of Jewish Students.
What had I done (in Noires fureurs, etc.)—by talking about the power of the Tutsis in Rwandan history—what had I done against Israel or against the Jewish Community? What had I done?
CM/P: Well, yeah, that’s my question, too.
PP: But my book was considered like Mein Kampf. . . . This was extraordinary. Oh, now, I can talk calmly about it. But, at the time, it was something very violent.
CM/P: Yes, yes, absolutely, I remember.
PP: And I had only laid out some hypotheses in my book. What were some of these hypotheses? I was not speaking of the Tutsi movement in any fundamental sense. But what I said was that there were some people within the movement who functioned with other than honorable motives. In any case, what I was trying to say was that some of the things that had happened in this part of the world, over the past several years, had some relationship with the security of Israel—or with the vision that Israel had of its own security.
CM/P: There were those who even called the Tutsis the “Jews of Africa.”
PP: I didn’t go that far, but I had to lay out certain hypotheses. However, in my book (Noires fureurs,) I did not say one word against the Jews. But I did try to show that in order to understand what was going on in East Africa and in the African Great Lakes, you had to reintroduce Israel as one of the main players in these regions—the regions that Israel considered very important to its security.
CM/P: The words in your first book—the words being contested—were not your words at all. They were the words of Prince Nyere, the Tutsi Prince, who spoke of his own ‘Tutsi Culture of Lies’.
But, you know, what strikes me as a little sad is—because I get a great sense of security from reading your works, a strong sense of having built up my knowledge of a certain subject on clear and cogent details. Reading—and hopefully translating more of your work in the future have given me a very great, a very serious pleasure. Yet, I have to wonder, after you have done all this work, all this research and composition—and after talking to you this afternoon, I have to wonder if you, too, find pleasure in all this great work?
PP: Oh, yes, of course. There always has been—and still is—a good deal of Tin-Tin in me.
 CM/P translation. These two important books by Péan have not as yet been translated into English—though we are currently in the process of translating ‘Carnage’, while we search for an English-language publisher for our translations of his other critical works.
 Some are now claiming Bill Casey was accompanied by Reagan’s running-mate, George H.W. Bush, on this cynical mission.
 Published by Fayard in January 1987, and still un-translated, ‘La Menace’ deals with the French hostages taken in Lebanon in retaliation for France’s support of Iraq in its decade-long war with Iran. Much of the same kind of corruption as took place in the US arms trade, also happened in France at that time, with a full-fledged ‘Irangate’-style investigation conducted into the Mitterand government and the French Defense industry.
 Students for a Democratic Society and the Progressive Labor Party.
 It resulted in 241 dead US service personnel (including 220 Marines, 16 Navy and three Army; and was considered the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the 1968 Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II.
 As a result of the second strike, 58 French paratroopers from the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment were killed and 15 were injured, in the single worst military loss for France since the end of the Algerian War.
 And the Mossad claimed advanced knowledge of these terrorist acts, yet refused to alert their targeted allies for fear of compromising their sources of intelligence. Sound familiar?
 On 5 April 1986, at West Berlin's La Belle Disco, people working for the Mossad and the CIA, planted explosives that killed two US servicemen, a Turkish woman, and maimed 229 others. Also in 1986, during the Reagan administration, the Mossad broadcast false-flag messages from a location inside Libya (termed Operation Trojan Horse) in order to unfairly blame Libya for the La Belle Disco terror attack. (Victor Ostrovsky: How Mossad got America to bomb Libya and fight Iraq)
 ‘In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story’ [Nov. 1997] John R. Stockwell is a former CIA officer who managed the U.S. involvement in the Angolan Civil War as Chief of the Angola Task Force during its 1975 covert operations.
 This is the subject of Péan’s, yet un-translated, ‘Manipulations Africaines: Qui sont les vrais coupables de l’attentat du vol UTA 772?’ (Plon, 2001)—one day this great read might be found in the front racks of popular American bookstores under the title: “African Manipulations: Who Was Really Behind the Bombing of UTA Flight 772?”—or playing at a Cineplex near you.
 François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand (26 October 1916 – 8 January 1996) was the fourth President of France elected under the Fifth Republic, serving from 1981 to 1995. As leader of the Socialist Party, he is the only figure from the left, so far, to be elected President under the Fifth Republic.
 Called for by the Iraqi Ba’ath Party in 1968, nationalization proceeded incrementally with the Iraqi government’s assumption of control over certain national companies and their prospecting rights, and was not fully achieved until June 1, 1972, with law “69.” In recognition of its sympathetic stand on the Arab-Israeli issue since 1967, France and its national oil company, ELF-ERAP, were given special concessions.
 It has been said that rather than concerns for protecting its share of Iraqi oil being what discouraged France from taking part in the 2003 Bush-Blair/ WMD invasion of the already brutalized country, it was a multi-million dollar supply deal that France had cut with Russia and was to be executed exactly at that time—March 2003.
 Rwandan Patriotic Front, the force created by expatriated Tutsis in Uganda with the goal of reclaiming political power in Rwanda, and then in Eastern Congo.
 Tintin is a young reporter, and his creator, Hergé, uses this to present the character in a number of adventures which were contemporary with the period in which he was working, most notably, the Bolshevik uprising in Russia and World War II, and sometimes even prescient, as in the case of the moon landings. Hergé also created a world for Tintin which managed to reduce detail to a simplified but recognisable and realistic representation, an effect Hergé was able to achieve with reference to a well-maintained archive of images.