The American government considers itself in a state of worldwide war against what it calls international terrorism. The Americans went to war with Iraq because, according to them, Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that threatened the United States. In support of that charge they have not, thus far, provided any real evidence but instead only fallacious displays.
Some observers think this absence of real evidence must be embarrassing both for the White House and for those who, in the international community, have chimed in with George W. Bush and Tony Blair to assure us that Saddam Hussein had such weapons. Those observers are mistaken. They are unaware of the history of war propaganda; on this subject they ought to consult the revisionist authors. Then they would learn that, for the public at large, the best proof of the existence of those weapons is precisely the fact that no trace or evidence of them is to be found.
Lies of the past
Let us recall here the witch trials, the so-called “Nazi war crimes” trials and the cases brought against historical revisionists.
In centuries past – in particular from 1450 to 1650, but still towards the end of the 18th century – certain ecclesiastical tribunals and learned university men maintained that there were sixty places on a woman’s body where traces of sexual intercourse with the Devil could be detected. But other courts, and minds no less learned, deemed that, despite all the fine details furnished by experts, the best proof of said contact lay in the fact that the Devil had erased all traces of it; if he hadn’t, they asserted, he would not be the Devil.
In the last century, especially in 1945-1946 with the show trials at Nuremberg, then during an endless series of cases brought – still today! – against “camp guards”, “war criminals”, “collaborators” and, finally, in actions against revisionists, a similar phenomenon could be observed as regards the alleged genocide of the Jews and the alleged Nazi gas chambers. Here the learned ones initially held that, considering the abundance of evidence and witnesses, it was enough to state that those horrors were “facts of common knowledge” (Article 21 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg). Then, in their writings, other learned ones desired, all the same, to carry out a demonstration, but in the end it emerged that, all told, and by those experts’ own admission, only “beginnings of proof” were to be discovered, accompanied by testimonies to be received with caution (the case, for example, of Jean-Claude Pressac with his bulky book, in English, devoted to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, and of Robert Jan van Pelt, author of two works on the same subject). Lastly, the more cunning among them have chosen to declare: “Everyone knows that the Nazis destroyed those gas chambers and systematically eliminated all the witnesses”: this statement comes from Simone Veil (France-Soir Magazine, May 7, 1983, p. 47), who thus has us understand that Hitler would simply not have been Hitler if he had left behind the least trace of his gigantic crime. In fact, in the millions of documents left in our world by that new Satan, one will not find so much as a single order to kill Jews, nor any plan to exterminate millions of them (not even in the report of a certain meeting held at Berlin-Wannsee), nor any directive stating that the Jews had to be physically eliminated (not even as concerns the Einsatzgruppen), nor any hint of a budget for so vast an enterprise. Also, in all the globe, there is nowhere to be seen even a single execution gas van or a single execution gas chamber, apart from some grotesque Potemkin village or theatrical prop-style gas chambers clumsily “reconstituted” after the war. When confronted with this utter void in the way of evidence, such an authority as that most learned among the “Holocaust” experts, the Jewish master Raul Hilberg, ended up explaining, in desperation, that the formidable slaughter had taken place thanks to “an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus-mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy”, the German bureaucracy, that is. More diabolical than Beelzebub himself, Adolf Hitler had not been content with erasing all evidence of his crime but, the better to fool everyone, he also left evidence meant to have people believe he had never wanted, much less tried, to exterminate the Jews to begin with. To take but three examples: first, he had spared the lives of millions of them; then, as the documents prove, he had sought, in order to solve “the Jewish question in Europe”, only a “final territorial solution” (with the Madagascar plan, or some other one); finally, his military courts convicted and sentenced to death Germans guilty of killing just one Jew. And so on and so forth. As for the magical gas chambers, he made them disappear so well that afterwards nobody could take up the challenge of historical revisionists demanding that one of the crime weapons be shown or, at the very least, drawn or described. It also proved impossible to explain how those chemical slaughterhouses could function without killing the personnel assigned to clear them of thousands of corpses infused with cyanide, and therefore untouchable. So it was that Adolf Hitler left the Jews incapable of proving their main accusation against him, thus confirming his thoroughly diabolical nature.
At this beginning of the 21st century, it seems we’re being replayed the same script with Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. And I do say “seems”, for stress needs to be laid on a sizeable difference. While intercourse with the Devil was physically impossible and the Nazi gas chamber was chemically inconceivable, one must agree that the terrifying weapons of Saddam Hussein are, in theory, perfectly possible, from the point of view of physics and chemistry, if only because his accusers, beginning with Ariel Sharon, are themselves in possession of huge numbers of those very things, albeit known by the innocuous name of “weapons of mass deterrence”.
The eternal big lie
In wartime all political regimes of whatever stripe, whether Saddam Hussein’s or G. W. Bush’s, employ the coarsest of lies. To launch a country into a war, maintain warlike fervour or justify a military crusade after the fact, only a good old-fashioned big lie will speak to the crowd. An ingenious lie or a newly invented one will not do the trick. There exist formulas for moving a mass of people to indignation, anger, the desire to fight, formulas for arousing, at least temporarily, the will to commit oneself heart and soul to the war effort. The politician with experience in handling the masses knows the powers of the simplistic, and also knows that the ultimate skill consists in elaborating on the theme “I love you; love me!”, or “I’m good, you’re good and the others are wicked.” The televangelist intones: “God is love, God is with us and against the evil ones.” The first weapon of the ordinary confidence man is not some genius for swindling but an ability to gain sympathy when approaching the victim and to proceed with the very simplest talk. These features and these expedients of the politician, the televangelist and the swindler will necessarily be found in a leader taking his country into a war. From this standpoint, Franklin D. Roosevelt will perhaps go down in history as the slyest of 20th century warmongers. Will Bush outdo him in the new century?
The comfort of credulity
The perfect crime leaves no trace, no evidence. Likewise, here the perfect accusation is not based on anything verifiable. The war propagandist knows this. It will suffice for him to launch the eternal atrocity stories about opponents who spend most of their time killing babies, using invisible weapons, operating corpse factories located near mass graves. These accounts will win people over only if not accompanied by any purported evidence, or if flanked merely by “clues”, “testimonies” or references to unidentified “sources.” Hard evidence has the drawback of restricting the imagination and passions. With clues there is the advantage of giving free rein to the fancy. As for testimonies, they touch sensitive souls, especially if accompanied by tears or scenes of fainting (a speciality of some Israeli witnesses). A gratuitous and stereotyped slander will do the job better than one with detailed accusations and supporting evidence. One favourite recipe is a genuine photograph with a false caption; for example, the photo will show dead bodies but the caption will tell of the slain, the massacred, the exterminated. Ideal witnesses provide no other information on the crime than inexact bits of exactness: this allows people who lend them credence to build the décor in their own heads, and reconstitute the crime scene to their liking. Without difficulty, as if on a magic carpet, the listeners, in their minds, fly off towards Auschwitz, Timisoara or the Kuwait City hospital where, according to Bush the elder, the Iraqis had, in 1991, disconnected the incubators with premature babies inside. Those who hear or see such a witness feel delightfully flooded with compassion, and thoroughly enjoy themselves: they satisfy all at once a taste for the spectacle of horror (to which they could never admit), their inner need to hate and their aspiration for the finer feelings. The shrewd propagandist thus leaves those he tricks with the illusion of a certain personal freedom.
The need to believe
The common crowd is simple, and it will never be said too often that a simple mind finds real charm in elementary reasoning, particularly in circular reasoning. For instance, people can be told that the proof that someone is wicked is that he is wicked. The proof that the man is wicked is that he doesn’t love us. If he doesn’t love us, it’s that he’s barbaric. If he’s barbaric, it’s that he doesn’t see things as we do. This wicked barbarian belongs to another world, which can only be the nether world. If he is of the nether world, it follows that we are of a higher world. And so it is confirmed that, if we are good, our enemy is fundamentally bad. The circle is complete: it’s perfect. Any other proof is superfluous and, just as Henri IV’s white horse is white because it’s white, it also ought not to be wondered how the mass murder attributed to Hitler was technically possible: “It was technically possible, since it happened.” That extravagant asininity was proffered, in a joint declaration, by Léon Poliakov, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Fernand Braudel and about thirty French historians when in 1978-1979 I had, in a way, beseeched those people to explain how the gassings of Jews, such as they were described to us, had been technically possible (Le Monde, February 21, 1979, p. 23). As for Saddam Hussein’s weapons, if they aren’t in his country, then they must be somewhere else. If they aren’t in Iraq, it’s because they’re in Syria. Or in Iran. Or on the moon. Or the Devil knows where! But what does it matter? The masses have a short memory. They will not go and hold the liars to account for anything. For them, with or without a weapon, with or without any evidence, the crime of the defeated side remains a crime and the defeated criminal, a criminal. Circular reasoning delectably finds its place in the cerebral convolutions of the simple-minded. It’s snug and cosy there. Reptilian or not, isn’t the brain a more or less soft, spongy, formless mass? Isn’t the heart basically just a pump that sucks in and pushes out without one’s having to think about it? Isn’t laziness voluptuous? And thinking, tiring? The effort of memory, hard? Then why, in a consumer society, complicate one’s life when it’s quite enough to receive, absorb, regurgitate, then, with a refilled belly and a brain full of air, feel good-hearted alongside the winning killer?
The Third World War is recycling the old lies
American leaders have never shown much interest for nuance or detail. And ever since 1898 at the latest, in order to justify their incessant military expeditions they have employed the same inventions. Why would they change them? Those inventions have successfully covered over the horrors that the boys piled up during the Second World War, their war in Vietnam and in twenty other military adventures. The same fakeries were used to justify the masquerade of a trial at Nuremberg and are still found now in the hideous holocaustic propaganda of which American Jews have made themselves the champions. Just recently, the White House and its Judeo-Israeli camarilla have done nothing more than recycle the most worn-out concoctions of war propaganda in making up and exploiting a fable about weapons of mass destruction supposedly held by Saddam Hussein who, for that matter – let it be said in passing –, forgot to put them to use when the time came. Their second war against Iraq has illustrated the progress of the Americans’ inventions in all fields except, on the one hand, the fabrication of horrors ascribed to the opponent and, on the other, the fabrication of their own soldiers’ alleged prowess. Their propaganda may have changed shape but the content has never varied. In an accessory manner, we have now been treated to Saddam Hussein’s doubles (six in all, of whom none has yet been found) as well as a heroic, if purely fictional tale with the young soldier Jessica Lynch’s rescue story.
The revisionists are lucky. Over the course of the new world war, their task will be easy. War propaganda will remain imperturbably the same. Jean Norton Cru, in dealing with the First World War, and Paul Rassinier, with the Second World War, have in a way already described for us the great deceptions of this Third World War. It should be enough to read these authors again. They have, if one dare say, recorded in advance the long-standing lies of Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Blair and Sharon. The Third World War will be quite different from the two great wars that have gone before and will innovate in a number of fields, but its propaganda based on atrocity stories will continue to abide by tradition. Crass and deeply cynical, it will continue to illustrate a truth borne out by experience: in time of war fever, the accusation that really carries with the masses is one that is not actually accompanied by evidence. The Americans will compensate for this absence of genuine evidence with spin doctors’ arrangements, further clownery à la Colin Powell (who made believe, for the cameras, to be waving a tube of Iraqi poison), or else with still more vile Hollywood productions in the Shoah Business and Holocaust Industry tradition. Applied to the history of the Third World War, the revisionist method will at least offer the benefit of flushing out this sort of fakery.
May 11, 2003