JP: A simple word like "war" is a deception. A war implies there are two sides of more or less equal power facing each other. The word "war" is applied whenever the West threatens to attack Syria or Iran. There is no war. There is the threat of aggression and if the threat is carried through, there is invasion. There was no war when the West attacked Iraq. It was a mostly unopposed invasion. The same thing happened in 1991. I saw the state of the Iraqi army shortly before Iraq was attacked in "Desert Storm''; it was incapable of defending the country. Iraq was defenceless. The US mostly attacks defenceless countries, because it learned a lesson in Vietnam which, in spite of terrible losses, was able to defend itself. In Vietnam, western reporters used the word "involvement." The US, they said, was "involved" in Vietnam. "Involved" is a useless word that doesn't really mean anything. In fact, US had invaded South Vietnam, a country it was meant to be defending, at least according to its propagandists. "Invasion" was almost never used.
FB: One of your last film that is called "The war you don't see," the people we often don't see are the people on the ground, the people that are fighting imperialism, fighting for an intervention. Following our interview tonight, we are going to talk to a woman activist from Nablus, a Lady called Beesan Ramadan, what would be your message to people on the ground that are suffering from Western interventions?
JP: I think we all depend on people like that; we draw inspiration from them because they are remarkable. The Palestinians inspire us because they keep going; they don't give in. The attacks on Palestine have not divided them. Yes, Gaza has been physically divided from the West Bank, the Occupied Territories, but even that has not really succeeded. I remember the spectacle of Palestinian children going to school dressed up in their school uniforms, spick and span, making their way through rubble, often having had disturbed nights and perhaps disturbed themselves by the relentless attacks from the air; and yet there is a sense of purpose about them that is so moving. They're an inspiration.
So Palestine is still the issue. Until there is justice in Palestine there will be no peace in the region, and in the world beyond.
FB: Thanks John, thanks again.
John Pilger is an award winning Australian journalist and broadcaster/documentary maker primarily based in Britain.
Frank Barat is a human rights activist based in London, UK and is coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.