[This conversation between Andre Vltchek and BAR contributor Danny Haiphong was first published by Black Agenda Report.]
Danny Haiphong: This week I spoke with philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist Andre Vltchek.
Vlchek has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are his tribute to "The Great October Socialist Revolution" a revolutionary novel "Aurora" and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: "Exposing Lies Of The Empire." His other books can be viewed here. Also be sure to watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky "On Western Terrorism". Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.
I spoke with him about his work and his thoughts on the current imperialist attack on independent media.
Danny Haiphong : Could you give readers a background of who you are and what influenced you to take the path of independent journalism and analysis?
Andre Vltchek: First of all, lately I do not define myself as a journalist. These days, journalism is synonymous with 'the oldest profession.' I document the world, I inform people, and I propagate my political ideas. I don't believe in "objective reporting" -- it simply does not exist, and those who claim to be objective, like the BBC or The New York Times, are actually the most professional propagandists for the Western Empire. I may be a propagandist, too, but for the left, for internationalism. And I never hide who I am and where I am standing, politically.
Who am I? To simplify it: a Cuban-style unapologetic 'Commie' and internationalist. Russian-born, quarter Chinese, novelist, filmmaker, philosopher and revolutionary.
Danny Haiphong: In the years I've followed your media work, you have covered such topics as neo-colonialism, the role of the Soviet Union in the rise of internationalist politics, and the little known imperialist wars on Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to name a few. Could you tell me more about what led you to seek the truth on these matters?
Andre Vltchek: I witnessed terrible suffering of people in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It often appeared that the Empire truly saw billions of human beings as 'non-people,' as some lowly beings who deserve to have no rights, who could be freely exploited, enslaved, even killed. This arrangement of the world made me sick, from my young age. It made me so sick, that I decided to get involved, to take action, to join the struggle against Western imperialism and neo-colonialism.
I never saw Western civilization or Western culture as something glorious or positive. It managed to literally slaughter hundreds of millions of human beings on all continents, for centuries.
I tried to understand the concept of imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism, in order to help to stop this deadly process. I went to Namibia to study the first Holocaust committed by Germans. I went to Congo (DRC), in order to understand extremity of European brutality, 100 years ago, and now.
At some point, I finally understood that the only way to reach permanent peace on Earth, based on justice, would be to force Western powers from the position of power, of controlling the world.
Danny Haiphong: In your bio, I've noticed that you have written for Russian and Chinese outlets such as RT, New Eastern Outlook, and The People's Daily. What is the difference, in your opinion, in the quality of journalism that emanates from these countries as opposed to the US and West?
Andre Vltchek: Media outlets that you mentioned belong to the countries which are fighting against Western imperialism and its global dominance. These countries are my allies; therefore, I write for their media, I make films for them, and appear on their television networks. It is not only Russian and Chinese media, but also several outlets in Latin America and the Middle East.
What is different about them? They serve their nations, their people, not some corporate freaks. I like when people work for wellbeing of their countries: I like healthy patriotism, especially when it is combined with the internationalist principles.