Belgian journalist to ST: Western media doesn’t want to allow citizens to check the reality of events in Syria


Well-established cooperation between Middle East’s journalists and citizens who know the reality of events in the region is the key to stop the lies of western media, according to the Belgian journalist and author Mr. Michel Collon , who participated in a symposium held on Saturday in Damascus by Ahfad Achtar Foundation to debate media’s role in the war on Syria.

Mr. Collon, who is visiting Syria for the first time, told the Syriatimes e-newspaper on the sidelines of the activity that he considers the role of Syrian citizens, not only journalists, is very important to tell the truth about the events taking place in Syria before the public opinion in the west because Information is a battle now it is really a war and there are many sources.

“Everyone must engage as soldier to be active on internet, on direct contact with people –in English, French, Arabic, whatever- and try to counter the media lies and try to exchange information even with people who have very bad thoughts about your country,” the journalist stated, indicating the need to change the technique of debate via social media.

“Do not start a debate by saying:  you are right or you are wrong. Start with let us check the facts; let us check what you have been told ; do you know about this.  Exchange experiences about the fact and the causes of these problems and then many people can proceed in the direction of the truth. That would be my suggestion,” Mr. Collon said, referring to the lack of direct information from Syria.

He underscored the need to document the real events because it is very important for Syrian public opinion and western one as well.

“Documentations are not in circulation and we should work in a coordinate manner. Journalist from all countries that are looking for truth could exchange these documents and could bring these documents to people. Really we do not have enough direct information from here.,” the Belgian journalist added.

He expressed his pessimism over media system in general, asserting the need to organize direct information from public through internet, books, conferences and debate. “I think the system is really blocked , and even if a journalist wants to do a good job, they are not allowed to do that in the west.”

Add to that, Mr. Collon affirmed that mainstream media strategy towards the events in Syria have not changed so much even after the military victories achieved by Syrian army and allies against terrorism.

“They [MSM] speak less about Syria...The French president Emmanuel Macron has changed his mind and has said: we have to talk and the big problem now is fighting against terrorism. It is a little start, if he stops attacking Syria this will be very good . But if we want to go further we really need to mobilize the citizens that they know the truth and they say to French and Belgian governments stop to attack any country do not repeat it again against another country,” he clarified.

The journalist pointed out that those who tell the reality of events in the west are black-listed by media outlets in their countries. “The leaders in western media know well what they are doing and they are connected with government. So as I said that we address mainly the public and we ask public to make pressure on media system to allow to make debate.”

“Internet gives the possibility to tell the truth and to invite people to come to Syria to see the reality with their own eyes. It is a big battle. They want to censor on the internet but we will not let them do that,” Mr. Collon said.

Western politicians try to demonize and isolate Syria

Asked about the possibility of witnessing change in western politicians’ stances towards Syria, the Belgian author replied: “I do not trust that they will change their minds. Most of them – not all of them- who are in power will not change their minds as they serve the big companies that want to control the ME. What will change is the people’s minds.”

But the problem is that the MSM do not want to allow citizens to check the truth. “They [MSM] think that they are God. They thing that they know the truth and they must not answer if there is a criticism. That is not correct…If the doctor is not good you have to criticize; if the judge is not good you have to criticize. Why , would journalist be above all discussions and as if they were god?” Mr. Collon asked.

He suggested to establish a contact and say that we are human just like you; we are mothers; we are fathers; we are just ordinary citizens in order to break the attempts of western politicians to isolate and demonize Syria.

Demonization and Isolation are the two strategies being used by western politicians and media in Syria, Libya, Venezuela and Palestine.

Regarding his current visit to Syria, Mr. Collon said: “This is my first visit to Syria. I’m glad to see that the life in Syria is recovering and it can be rebuilt. I am very satisfied that although I come from one of the countries which has been throwing bombs on the people of your country, people make very well difference between my government and citizens and we are welcomed . I have been in Iraq and in Jordan but I have never been in Syria before. I wished to come in 2012 but I could not get a visa at that time.”

“Yesterday, I and my colleague Federica Morelli had nice talks with people in streets of Damascus and we learnt very interesting things. Open mind, friendship and exchanging facts with people is the key to change western public opinion about what is happening in Syria,” he concluded.

It is worth mentioning that Mr. Collon is a journalist, author and director of two films. He wrote several books entitled: Attention, médias ! Médiamensonges du Golfe, Poker menteur, Les grandes puissances, la Yougoslavie et les prochaines guerres, Monopoly, L'Otan à la conquête du monde,  L'Empire en guerre, (ouvrage collectif), Le Temps des Cerises, Bush, le cyclone, Les lois économiques qui mènent à la guerre, la pauvreté et d'autres crimes, Les 7 Péchés d'Hugo Chavèz, Investig'Action/Couleur livres, sraël, parlons-en ! .

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour