Interview with Andre Vltchek for Iran’s Farhikhtegan Newspaper

Mostafa Afzalzadeh:  Do we see an increase in the number of countries resisting the bullying of the United States and its allies?  What makes this resistance happen?

Andre Vltchek:  I believe that there are two main factors. The first one is the ‘moral one’: People are more and more aware of the brutality of the Western colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism, which have been torturing the planet for many centuries. This awareness became possible mainly thanks to the non-Western mass media outlets, such as RT, Telesur, Press TV, CGTN, but also NEO, Global Times and Sputnik. The second one is the “practical aspect”: Countries like Iran, Venezuela, or Cuba are looking around, and what they see are horrors that are happening to neighboring nations, which have already succumbed to the Western dictate: Iraq, Afghanistan, Honduras, for instance. They see total devastation and collapse, and they are coming to a logical conclusion: “Being a slave of the Western empire does not pay. It is better to maintain dignity and to fight for independence, no matter what. Dying upright is better than surviving on one’s knees, in a puddle of excrement.”

MA:  Is it the US that has weakened or countries that resist have become stronger?

AV:  Both. The U.S. is weak because it is morally defunct. There is nothing optimistic in terrorizing other nations. To run an imperialist empire is deeply nihilistic and gloomy. To live from plunder is depressing. Depression and pessimism, nihilism and constant outbursts of aggressiveness, are weakening the spirit. On the other hand, positive resistance and revolutionary spirit, are strengthening both nations and the individuals. I described it in detail in my revolutionary philosophy book, Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism.

MA: What happens to a country that does not resist the oppression of powerful countries? What makes countries surrender to the West and not believe in their own power?

AV: Total collapse. It happened, for instance, to Indonesia, after the US-sponsored coup of 1965. It is, unfortunately, going to happen to Brazil, under the Bolsonaro regime, unless the country rises. It happened to Russia under Yeltsin. Countries surrender to the West because they lower their guard and their young people get fully indoctrinated by Western propaganda, as we can see right now in Hong Kong. Of course, local elites often play a very negative role: they get corrupted by the West, and they use their power over their own people, using the mass media outlets that they hold in their hands as a tool of indoctrination and of the lowering of the intellectual standards of their nation. Education, too, can be a double-edge sword: ‘education’ does not always mean positive ‘knowledge’ – it can be something that brutally forces a person into accepting orthodox, banal concepts which ruin all creativity and make people accept a way of thinking that is injected into their country from abroad (the West). Excessive amounts of nihilist, pop ‘culture’ designed to negatively condition one’s brain is there to weaken the country as a whole.

MA: Are the US and Britain as influential as they seem or are they less powerful than the will of nations in portraying themselves with the help of soft power?

AV: Both the United States and Britain, but especially the United States, are extremely powerful and lethal, militarily. Together, they possess enough nuclear weapons to destroy life on our planet many times over and over again. However, as societies, they are becoming increasingly weak. If you mingle with North American and British people, one thing that would strike you is that most of the individuals living there are very confused, insecure and uncertain about countless basic things. There is a lot of fear there. People are scared of getting sick or old. They are terrified of ending up without a job, on the street. Many are incredibly lonely. But their brains have been conditioned, geared to embrace extreme individualism, and so they are increasingly afraid to commit to anything or anybody. They are desperately longing to be part of a family, of a community, or of some movement, but they cannot commit to anything. If you are committed — let’s say you are a Communist or something else — they will ridicule you, smear you. It is quite an ugly world populated by mainly weak, spoilt people who talk big, smear big, try to think about themselves as being big, but are terribly insecure and unhappy, often suicidal. They think they are free, but they are not. They think they are knowledgeable, but many of them are like ISIS — totally indoctrinated.

MA: To what extent has the Iranian people’s resistance and in the whole, the resistance of what is called axis of resistance (Syria, Iraq, Yemen …) been a model for the world’s dominated countries? How can the countries that have resisted transfer their experiences to other countries?

AV:  Only through determined men and women – writers, journalists and filmmakers. The problem is that in the West, almost no one knows about the heroic struggle of the Iranian, Syrian, Venezuelan or Cuban people, and very few are really aware of the suffering of the Yemeni men, women and children. And the West basically controls the flow of information in places like Africa, Asia (except China) and to a great extent, Latin America. And this is precisely where we have to get people to know what is happening in the world. Cubans should now be close to Iranians, Syrians to Venezuelans. To the Russians and Chinese, with all those who are being attacked by the West. In a way, this is now beginning to happen, but slowly. Victims should unite, and fight. To survive together, to defeat imperialism together, and to build a much better world together. The resistance of heroic countries should be hailed. Imperialism should be shamed, stridently. We should help each other, support each other. The trend is in the right direction. I just wish things would move faster. I don’t want billions of human beings to continue dying in misery, unnecessarily, as they are now: alive but dead. I believe in justice, in social justice. That is why I support countries that are fighting against imperialism. I don’t expect them to be perfect. I only expect them to be better than those who are torturing the world. Better, stronger and kinder.

Mostafa Afzalzadeh is an investigative journalist and filmmaker. He created a documentary film entitled Manufacturing Dissent: The Truth About Syria, as well as a documentary about the ‘99 percent Movement’ in the US, which was broadcast by the Iran’s National TV and won the first prize at Amar Film Festival. He has also been present at most of the nuclear talks, covering them as both journalist and filmmaker. Read other articles by Mostafa.