The following are excerpts from an interview with Al-Jazeera TV host Faysal Al-Qassem, which aired on Syrian TV on February 12, 2007.
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"The Greatest Lie is That There is Free Media in the West"
Faysal Al-Qassem: "The greatest lie is that there is free media in the West. Brother, how can the Western media be free, when it is partisan? If you look at British newspapers, for example, you see that historically, The Times has represented the Conservative Party. The Daily Telegraph represents the extreme conservatives. The Guardian represents the British left wing, or the British Labor Party. You see that the people writing for The Times are completely different from those who write…"
Interviewer: "Right. Somebody who writes for one cannot write for another."
Faysal Al-Qassem: "He is not allowed. So, ultimately, you are not free. You belong to a certain political line. On the other hand, if you go to America, and see this huge media empire... They say to you: 'We have 10,000 TV channels and 10,000 journals.' But if you watch all these channels on the same night, you get the impression this entire empire has just one chief editor."
"There is a term I frequently use: 'neo-Goebbelism.' 'Goebbelism' as in Goebbels..."
Interviewer: "You lie and lie until you believe it yourself."
Faysal Al-Qassem: "Exactly. Or until some of it gets into the minds of the masses. It goes back to Goebbels, Hitler’s famous information minister. In my opinion, these Goebbels deserves our sympathy… By Allah, he deserves our sympathy. They curse him, spit on him, and call him a liar, yet today, they have developed the theory of Goebbelism a thousand times more than during the Nazi period, because of the huge budgets of the media outlets, and because of the diversity of the media - the Internet, TV, journals, and so on. Goebbelism was never more prosperous than today."
"There is no such thing as an international community. It’s a big lie. There is a Western community, or rather, a small group. A clique. They speak of democracy, while the greatest dictatorship controls the Security Council and the U.N. I wonder how you can possibly speak of democracy, when you have been controlling the world since World War II. The same is true of the media. The media that leads the world today is Western media, or the American media, to be precise.
The Internet is Hosted "On Board [an] American Aircraft Carrier… With a Single Push of a Button, They Can Disconnect Any Country From the Internet"
Faysal Al-Qassem: "Did you know that even the Internet… Many viewers may not know that the code of the Internet web is located, at this very moment, on board one of the American aircraft carriers, which sails the oceans. With a single push of a button, they can disconnect any country from the Internet, as an economic sanction. In addition, when you enter the Internet, you see the first letters 'http'… This is a special protocol which sends you to America, and only then you can enter a website that may be right next to you."
"The American citizen, I am sad to say, is considered one of the most illiterate people on earth when it comes to politics. I watched a show recently and almost died of laughter. Someone was interviewing a group of Americans in a public park. He asked an American, for example: 'Which terrorist county should America attack?' he answered: 'Italy.' His answers showed he didn’t have a clue about what goes on in the world, or where this country is.
"Even American President George Bush… On the day he became president, a reporter asked him, on a live broadcast: 'Mr. President, so you know what’s happening in Pakistan today?' The president responded: 'Do you?' There was a coup in Pakistan that day. Pakistan is an important area of American influence, yet the president says he does not know what is happening there. There is political illiteracy in the West. No country in the world equals America when it comes to political illiteracy. The Americans are the first to admit this."
"The problem in the West is their tremendous hypocrisy. I am astonished when I see a British or Western woman who cares about her dog more than about the people of Africa. This racism and apathy undoubtedly exist in the West. Rudyard Kipling, the famous poet of the British court, the great fascist, said it explicitly: 'My dog is more honorable than the greatest African.' I am sad to say this. This is a disgrace to the Westerners, by any standard."