At Night I Hear Victims Shouting

ON NOVEMBER 21, 2015

Cyrano's Journal TodayBy Andre Vltchek, Contributing Editor

WhyIFightIt sometimes happens in the middle of a dark night, when I don’t expect it, when I think that I am sound asleep but am not, or when perhaps I really am but not completely. I don’t know. All that I witnessed and overheard, all that I thought I forgot but couldn’t, all that I tried so desperately to forget comes back, first in spasms, then in full force.I often think that the West went mad. Totally, irreversibly! It turned into a monster of itself, and it keeps manufacturing new, smaller but equally toxic brutes all over the world. It rolls, smashing all that stands in its way. And I am not sure whether it still can be stopped.


Those horrid US military bases on Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands… those Israeli occupation forces choking the Syrian Golan Heights, those helicopter gunships firing at civilian vehicles in Gaza… bombed and burned villages near Mosul, Iraq… images of people slaughtered by pro-no7Western terrorists in Iran… men who were tortured savagely, and whose wives and daughters were brutally raped in “India-administered” Kashmir, clinging to each other desperately, whispering their stories in some godforsaken village near the border with Pakistan.

Here, in this essay, I will not, cannot go through the entire catalogue of horrors that has already penetrated my brain, deciding to stay, most likely, forever. The list is too long – almost endless.

love1Except that it’s not just a list, but a mosaic of true events that occurred to hundreds and thousands of human beings in all corners of the world, often in front of my own eyes.

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I hear people screaming.

I try to work, write books and essays, and make films. I usually don’t allow myself the luxury of talking to others about those nights.

no4But this time I will. Many of you asked what is fueling my writing; what keeps me going; and why do I dare doing what others don’t, and going where almost no one goes.

Let me reply once and for all. Let me share at least few personal moments with my readers.

I met a Syrian girl inside a small, informal and unnamed refugee camp, in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, near the city of Zahlah. She was a refugee, perhaps five or six years old. At first she was scared when I tried to take her photograph, but then she smiled. Eventually, she showed me her tongue, and moved it, cheekily, to one side of her mouth. She was standing there, in the middle of anonymous camp, with her older sister.

no3Then, a few moments later, she cautiously came closer to me and touched my hand.

Winter was approaching. Some refugees were freezing, and the girl was suffering from malnutrition. Her natural behavior, her innocence and her obvious oblivion of the war touched me tremendously.

A few weeks later, I drove back with sweets and toys. But the girl had already left. I was told that her family took her north to Aarsal, near the Syrian border where Hezbollah is locked in an epic b30848_bloody-warattle with the ISIS. Yes, the same ISIS that were originally trained and armed by NATO in Turkey and Jordan.
I printed her photo and glued it to my refrigerator. I think about her often, almost every day. I don’t know why.

In a way, her image, that of a simple girl, of a child standing in the middle of some horrid refugee camp near a war zone, is a symbol of insanity of the world in which we are forced to live.

In a way, she is a symbol of resistance against savagery of the Empire, a symbol of longing for something normal, longing for sanity in the middle of lunacy.

cropped-rainy-day-reading.jpgThe conflict, the war in her country, Syria, is so “unnecessary”, so bizarre, so obviously triggered by the West and its vile allies and interests.

Through her youth and eyes full of curiosity and hope, life was managing to prevail over death and dark destructive nihilism. But for how long could it last? In Zahlah the girl was still winning, with her smile and her determination to live, to stay alive. But she is in Aarsal now, where war is ranging, mercilessly. I worry about her. I worry about her so much. And I curse the Empire.


Enough to Make the Hardest Heart Break

ttdOf course I saw plenty of things that could not be allowed to appear even on the pages of the publications with a reportedly “tough”, “hardened readership. Some things were so horrible that they would break someone in half even if they were as strong as a bull; things that should not have been seen by anyone, much less happen to anyone.

Imagine a “refugee camp” near Goma, East Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where an insane, stoned militia armed and supported by the two closest allies of the West in the region – Rwanda and Uganda – had already raped almost all female inhabitants, from tiny babies to old grandmothers.

Imagine coltan and uranium and diamonds being smuggled from the DRP, shamelessly, under the direct supervision of the UN soldiers, so called “peacekeepers”.

Imagine visiting several villages in Iraq, near Mosul, villages that were first attacked by the ISIL and then bombed, mercilessly, by the USAF. Imagine that you have photographs, as you had photographs of those plundered and raped East Timor villages two decades ago, but frankly, nobody gives a fuck.

And you live with all this, day and night.

gaza1Say you saw several Palestinian men after being shot in their balls by Israeli soldiers. You have those images, too, from Shifa Hospital in Gaza. You have plenty of things like that in your memory driving visions in your head.

People without faces, people burned beyond recognition, still alive, still moving, still clinging to life.

It is an “all you can eat” medley of horrors and misery, brought to you by global capitalism, Western imperialism, and Christian fundamentalism!

Then what do you do with it, at night?

When you are very young and see all this shit for the first time, you simply want to puke. And you actually do puke. Later, you stop puking and if you have courage, you fight!

TOON1As time passes and most battles are becoming “uphill ones,” you desperately want to be able to trust people or at least one person, one that had come to you earlier, offering to “share all this, and to fight by your side, forever.” But your courage, as well as your dedication, outrage, zeal, desperation and longing gain you nothing, really. You are betrayed, again and again, perhaps because the stakes are too high, the burden too heavy, or simply because your life is actually excessively intense and totally different from lives of other people.

The lonelier it gets, the more determined you become. There is no going back. The world is in flames. You know it. Not many others realize it. You understand how things are functioning. You have to fight; it is your duty and obligation. And you fight. But there are those nights…

You may be tough as a stone in the middle of terrible battlefields and other most horrendous situations, but at night, you are totally vulnerable and most likely alone.


On To Massawa

When I reached Eritrean port city of Massawa almost one year ago, I felt thoroughly exhausted and burned out. I could hardly move. I had been working a few days earlier just a few kilometers from Mosul, Iraq, and right after that I was in Lebanon. I felt confused after being crashed and insulted by someone I trusted and fully relied on.

My Eritrean hosts got me a room in some old and terribly run down hotel. Then, close to midnight, the electric generator gave up the ghost for the rest of the night. No one else was staying on my floor.

I clearly realized that real hell was ahead of me.

For two hours, I was using the screen of my Mac Book Pro for light. After it went blank, my phone lasted a little bit longer. Then it was around 3:30AM and pitch dark.

headlessThe “procession” began.

I already described such situations in what will be, one day, my 1,000-page novel. But in my book, the victims are passing, night after night, through the secondary border post covered by deep snow, high in the mountains, between Argentina and Chile. They are passing on board old trucks, and in the morning, only deep holes in the virgin snow, holes created by warm streams of blood, would remain the main character burned into my memory of the events of the previous night.

In Eritrea, the victims of the Empire were passing only through in my mind, in my memory. They were passing one by one. Peruvian victims, Colombian victims; victims from Indonesia, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Philippines, the DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Turkey, Ivory Coast, Ukraine, Serbia, Nicaragua, Honduras… victims from dozens of other countries, mainly women; because women always suffer the most. Unnecessary deaths – people who just perished for no particular reason; only because the Empire could not stop looting, murdering, aiming at absolute control over the world.

At some point I gave up: I opened my eyes, staring into the darkness, fists clenched.

Everything inside the room was static. Only my memory was alive.

This was the price of knowing.

I was willing to pay anything; I was never known to be stingy. No price was too high for me.


rainy4Fighting the Pathology of Empire

Fighting against the Empire, exposing its barbarity, learning about its deeds – it all is tremendously overtaxing. Because the Empire is sick, became pathological a long time ago, because too many human beings are dying or are having their lives ruined, just so the excessive needs and appetites of the rulers of the world, of their global regime, are satisfied.

A few months after that dreadful night on the coast of Eritrea, I was invited to speak at the 14th International Symposium on the Contributions of Psychology to Peace, in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa.

Few hours after delivering my presentation on the topic of absolute destruction of the African continent by the Western imperialism, I found myself facing several top psychologists from all corners of the globe:

“How do you manage to survive all that you just described, psychologically and physically?”

fightbackI told them that I am not managing at all, but I have no choice. Someone has to do what I am doing. Otherwise no alternative, no real information could flow.

They asked me to take a break, to rest, for at least several months. I nodded. Then we all began to laugh. Psychologists are known to have great sense of humour.

“I am absolutely devastated”, my dear friend Binu Matthew, a legendary editor of the most important Indian left wing news site, Countercurrents, told me couple of months earlier, as we were driving through his state of Kerala. “I am coping with all those horrors that imperialism is spreading all over the world. It all goes through me. I suffer because of each piece of terrible information that is published by my site. It puts me through tremendous psychological strain.”


Why I Cannot Quit

When things get tough, I imagine a few people; men, women and children, from all corners of the world; people who touched me, who suffered immensely, and who are still most likely in distress.

drones3Their faces, their tears, even their screams, motivate me to keep working.

The Syrian girl from a refugee camp in Bekaa Valley is one of them. I have no right to stop, to back down and to fail her.

It is tremendous shame, disgrace, the hard bottom that our civilization managed to hit: profits over people, superiority dogmas, and above all – the Western fascism.

But the battle is on.

My 1,000-page novel had been, for some time, delayed, but I incorporated many of its stories into my huge 820-page book, Exposing Lies Of The Empire.

One day, hopefully soon, humanism will win over dark nihilism; people will live for other people and not for some cold profits, religious dogmas and “Western values”. Imperialism will be defeated once and for all.

doveOne day we will be building enormous monuments to those who vanished, to those who suffered immensely, to “un-people” whose tears most of us do not even see, whose screams of horror and pain are muzzled by horrendous lies, deranged pop music and movie soundtracks, by whoring mass media, and by formal education which is distributed to everyone like a poison, like sedatives, like a tool that makes most of the people on this scarred Earth disappear from our consciousness.


Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. peacedovemiddleHis latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and Fighting Against Western Imperialism.Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or hisTwitter.

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Dr. Jill Stein on Israel, Palestine and The Middle East

Jill Stein is the only American Presidential candidate to insist on a Middle-East policy platform grounded in international law, human rights, equality, peace, freedom and justice for everyone. She asks the right questions and provides brilliant answers.

Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein
says U.S. PolicJillSteiny Towards Israel, Palestine and the Middle East Must Change. The American People need no longer fund terror. 

 Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, released a clear and comprehensive policy statement on Israel, Palestine and the Middle East on her website.  Jill Stein is the only American Presidential candidate to insist on a Middle-East policy platform grounded in international law, human rights, equality, peace, freedom and justice for everyone. She asks the right questions and provides brilliant answers.


“United States policy regarding Israel and Palestine must be revised to make international law, peace and human rights for all people, no matter their religion or nationality, the central priorities. While the U.S. government sometimes voices support for this principle in name, in practice U.S policy towards Palestine and Israel has violated this principle more often than not.

defendingisraelIn particular, the United States has encouraged the worst tendencies of the Israeli government as it pursues policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law. Instead of allying with the courageous proponents of peace within Israel and Palestine, our government has rewarded consistent abusers of human rights. There is no peace or justice or democracy at the end of such a path. We must reset U.S. policy regarding Israel and Palestine, as part of a broader revision of U.S. policy towards the Middle East.

On taking office, I will put all parties on notice – including the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority, and the gaza1Hamas administration in Gaza – that future U.S. support will depend on respect for human rights and compliance with international law. All three administrations will also be held responsible for preventing attacks by non-state actors on civilians or military personnel of any nationality. The parties will be given 60 days to each demonstrate unilateral material progress towards these ends.

Material progress will be understood to include but not be limited to an end to the discriminatory apartheid policies within the state of Israel, the removal of the Separation Wall, a ban on assassination, movement toward denuclearization, the release of all political prisoners and journalists from Israeli and Palestinian prisons, disarmament of non-state militias, and recognition of the right of self-determination for both Israelis and Palestinians.

peace-justiceFailure by any party to demonstrate sufficient material progress will result in the end of U.S. military and economic aid to that party. Should the end of U.S. aid fail to cause a party to redirect its policies and to take steps resulting in sufficient material progress within an additional 60 days, I will direct my State Department to initiate diplomacy intended to isolate and pressure the offending party, including the use of economic sanctions and targeted boycott. In this way, U.S. policy will begin to become consistent with its practices regarding other violators of human rights and international law in the region.

Consistency in U.S. policy regarding human rights and international law will begin, but not end, with Palestine and Israel. I will apply this same approach to other nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen, among others. I will also ensure that the United States begins to honor its obligations to protect human rights, and will expect that the world community will hold us to the same account we hold others.

Finally, as President I will put the full weight of the United States behind the establishment of a Palestine and Israel news3-1Truth and Reconciliation Commission as the vehicle for shifting from an era of human rights violations to one based on trust and bringing all parties together to seek solutions. Any stakeholder who enters into this process must pledge to work for a solution that respects the rights of all involved. This will bring America’s Middle East policy into alignment with American values. I understand that in the end, a dedicated commitment to justice will further American interests in the region much better than the current policies of supporting abuses and violence by one side against the other. And I believe that this is in the best interests of all people living in Israel and Palestine.”

Dr. Jill Stein

~fiat justitia ruat caelum

This info can also be found at:

[Statement copied verbatim under “Fair Use” from : ]

guest_stein-640x360Dr. Stein:

“Bibi is a threat not only to human rights and to U.S. interests, but also to the security and sanctity of the Jewish people living in Israel-Palestine.”

According to her website, Jill Stein’s Green Party of the United States:

“…urges support for “popular movements for peace and demilitarization in Israel-Palestine, especially those that reach across the lines of conflict to engage both Palestinians and Israelis of good will.” The platform specifically recognizes the rights of self-determination of all peoples in Israel-Palestine, the legal right of return for refugees from the conflict, the suspension of U.S. aid to Israel, the use of boycott and divestment as non-violent means to pressure corporations and the Israeli government to end human rights abuses, and the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “whose inaugurating action would be mutual acknowledgement by Israelis and Palestinians that they have the same basic rights, including the right to exist in the same, secure place.”

onemorethingStein has praised the Israeli political party Meretz in calling for a return to 1967 borders, including a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, and for supporting the 2002 Arab Peace Proposal.

Stein is not afraid to talk tough about travesties being perpetrated by Israel that are politically and materially supported by the US. She sees the US as ENABLING the “worst tendencies of the Israeli government.” She cites these toxic policies: occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law.”

Stein challenges that the US government, instead of aligning with the courageous voices advocating peace, REWARDS an Israel that consistently ABUSES the human rights of Palestinians.

Declares Dr. Stein:

“There is no peace or justice or democracy at the end of such a path. We must reset U.S. policy regarding Israel and Palestine, as part of a broader revision of U.S. policy towards the Middle East.”

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