attorney for Ilich Ramírez Sánchez “Carlos the Jackal”
by J.-L. Duvigneau, founder of the Bolivarian Centre for Documentation and Analysis Strategies (CBDA) in Venezuela.
thank you to http://www.voxnr.com
translated from the French for Open Revolt.
CBDA: My dear sir, you have the historic privilege of defending Carlos …. The man who today is presented to “international opinion” as the very symbol of terrorism. This is certainly a huge event ! What is terrorism? According to our definition, it is an act of psychological warfare designed to hit civilians or an attack against a military occupation force as a means of resistance. We shall not go into details here, as we do in the research and analysis at CBDA, but this is an essential point. Hitting civilian population is an act of terrorism.Place a bomb in a train station or market, or else dumping tons of incendiary bombs on an urban center are terrorist acts that are only differentiated by the volume of murder and destruction. Carlos was never a bomber pilot who killed innocent civilians in cold blood from the air although other countries’ citizens have done this. To summarize the issue, does Carlos have the blood of innocents on his hands?
Viguier: You’ll have to ask him that question. Personally, I answer for myself, not for him, I think he did not shed innocent blood, without going into the theological subtleties which no longer apply today. But again, they are not my hands, but his, and I can not answer for him.
Anyway I took his defense, in fact, but I do not claim it is a privilege. Otherwise, to return to your question, Carlos said something like “terror is the essence of war.” Beware of the distinction between terrorism and resistance, it serves to criminalize one and glorify the other, depending on the bias.
CBDA: Behind the legend is the man – there’s already been a film made about him – can you, you who have the privilege of knowing him personally, describe the “real Carlos”?
Viguier : Here it is true, I admit, I am a privileged person. Carlos, or as I prefer to call him, Ilich, if I may say so , is a real politician in the best sense, he is even a statesman. The historical context threw him into an underground struggle, this is largely a secret war, but he is a real war leader, driven by a passion and a skill for high politics. I think it runs in his family.
I’ll even tell you a secret. I have been in prison, and I had a very unpleasant impression; but then the first time I visited him, I had the feeling of visiting a lord. The guards seemed to me not there to imprison him, but to protect him, as a kind of close security. And the prison of Poissy, this beautiful old prison, appeared to me like a palace.
CBDA: Let’s talk about his conversion to Islam. Do you know what were the motives, the circumstances of this decision?
Viguier : Have you read his book, Revolutionary Islam? He recounts his conversion. How, in a “vigil” before facing death, his fedayin asked him to convert. It was a conversion a little lightly. He then uttered the sacred formula that makes you a muslim. I myself gave this profession of faith in Arabic.
I think then he practiced, and learned to pray with his Palestinian wife. It is said that in prison he has deepened his faith in Islam. Beyond this we are not saying anything more except that God is Great.
CBDA: How does he live? What are the conditions of his detention? In particular, we received some time ago, a report of physical abuse that would have been inflicted during a transfer?
Viguier : He was actually beaten up by a coward who was shouting “Obama! Obama! ” Confinement when not a personal choice, as is the case in Christian monasticism, especially in Benedictine, is a bad thing. The prison is one of the most degenerate and most pernicious institutions in our sick Western society. Everyone knows that prison creates more criminals. He was particularly hard hit as he was in total isolation ten years. I remind you that totals seventeen years of confinement. In this regime the ordinary human being goes mad, but he is OK. He even says that we have made him into a monk.
CBDA: He was living in Sudan when the government there betrayed him to the French “authorities” (note the quotes!), at the request of Charles Pasqua. Can you clarify this matter, including the trial that Carlos has brought against Pasqua ?
Viguier: The Sudanese Government betrayed Ilich. They handed him over to French secret services, then led by the hilarious Charles Pasqua. I can not say much more. Above Pasqua there were others.For the record, certain Sudanese officials who had to execute the order to arrest him were in tears. All of them lowered their eyes in shame, he told me that.
CBDA: It is said that in his trial there were many irregularities and violations of the law. Can you say a few words?
Viguier: I think that for someone simply to bring a case against someone like Ilich is a difficult task. I mean the law is only the law because of court decisions, laws and rules that we lawyers consider to be truth. France, I will say only what I know, is entering a phase of legal barbarism. So … violation of the impartiality rule (the judge in principles supposed to be fair, not a prosecutor) in the indictments etc.. none of this is surprising. I forgot the worst: the manipulation of public opinion on French television, an almost unanimous opinion created against him. But that’s what counts, the winds of public sentiment. France may well do it again and Italy too. Yet the land of France is populated by millions upon millions of men and women whose political consciousness is being awakened. With these youths fighting against the myth, Carlos can change the course of history. He embodies the myth of the partisan far more better than Jean Moulin and Guy Môquet .
CBDA: What outcome do you expect from the trial and what are the issues involved?
It would be naive to expect a righteous criminal justice system. In certain circumstances everything becomes inevitable: both for the farmer in the middle of his field running to escape an air raid, or in the city on the evening train, believing that he can escape the bomb that is placed precisely under his seat, everyone is subject to the same laws. Everything in the trial is a question of land, this is the enemy’s land. It is, indeed, a real jungle and only those who grew up in the jungle, who are at home in the jungle, can engage with the judge. Whoever can understand, let him listen.
CBDA: Overall, what is your opinion on respect for human rights in France? We had the case of the recent imprisonment of Vincent Reynouard, with heavy fines for a book. Let’s not discuss the contents of this book, but note that in France and throughout Western Europe, and not in China, Iran, Cuba and many other countries France calls human rights violators , we can go to jail for writing a historical thesis. As a lawyer, what do you say about that?
Viguier: Freedom of speech and writing has never existed and never will. Only the bourgeois degenerate believes that we should be able to say and write everything. You must have forgotten that in life anything one says is ultimately political. The paradox of Liberty is that she has become a tyrant. And this is the worst tyrant that we have ever seen. No freedom for the enemies of Liberty. We are here. Someone says as a friend of Liberty, “I deny the need to prevent you from speaking and writing.” But then you designate as the enemy of freedom someone who is against you. And you do not have to prove that that someone is an enemy of liberty, you simply decree it. Individuals and small groups of dissidents suffer in the West what entire populations suffer elsewhere on the globe. Ostracism and marginalization here, embargoes and bombing there. Human Rights are a weapon of mass destruction.
CBDA: A rebel of antiquity, addressing a tyrant who had captured him, said: I stole a small boat and they call me a pirate. You’ll take for yourself a whole fleet and we honor you as a great conqueror! This recalls the words of Ben M’hidi addressing the officer of the paratroopers who had captured him, probably Colonel Trinquier: “We carry our bombs in baskets, but we are ready to trade baskets for your bombers.” It happens that the trial of Carlos begins as the French bombers bomb Libya, killing hundreds or thousands of civilians that Western governments claimed they want to protect from the “tyranny” of Kadhafi, an infamous lie, in fact as in Afghanistan, as in 1990 in Iraq, for foreign and even contrary to those wishes of the French people, the French aircraft carriers and vessels are stained with the blood of innocents. Is it not that Nicolas Sarkozy should be in the dock and when can we expect that the real terrorists and murderers of humanity finally get their punishment? Are there appropriate international bodies where they can be brought before ?
Viguier: Wait, Forgive me but I personally have to preface this by always saying that I am a lawyer and not an advocate of Ilich, distinguishing clearly the case of the rebel and tyrant, the definition Sarkozy offers does not satisfy me.
In the history of rebels, as St. Augustine relates, the attacker does not deny being a criminal, and he calls the tyrant a criminal. But in reality, if the rebel is a criminal, a tyrant is not one. This is very important. The tyrant is not the equal of the criminal, he possesses more force whereas today’s tyrants and “rebels” (terrorists, resistants or their supporters) are both legitimate, I mean in that they all are fighting for a political cause. While, certainly, in terms of law, none of them are really legitimate, since there can be no legitimacy under international law without mutual recognition. The disaster of our time, the downward spiral in which we have entered since 1917 and which we do not get is that everyone treats the other as if they were rebels, tyrants and criminals while believing that they can remain legitimate, which is absurd.
The “rebel” therefore calls the tyrant criminal, he wants him to stand trial. The tyrant says the same with the “rebels”. The tyrant behaves the same way as the “rebel and the “rebel” the tyrant. Tyrants give tyrannical trials. But the absolute negation of the Other causes the worst ignominy, while the mutual recognition of the Other as such, Hegel had said, contains the possibility of real peace, even in the conduct of hostilities.
There is in the noble Western cultural tradition is the main idea of the Court of History. Posterity, for statesmen as well as artists, is the sole judge. These international criminal courts are heresies. They usurp the role of the Court of History. They mimic. It’s barbarism. I do not defend the International Court. They are of the same ilk as the special criminal court before which Ilich Ramirez Sanchez will appear. And note that the judges are often on the same side.
I’m not saying that in general do not use the weapons of the enemy, I do not say that we should not fight, I say that all these international criminal courts, these courts of war by other means, are the enemy himself.
Am I clear? The Trial is a weapon of unconventional warfare. This is the most effective means of terrorism, because it touches the deepest depths of human consciousness. All religions, even non-monotheists, speak of one way being good and the other bad, the trial is a profound drama by which the fight between them takes place; that is why the enemy uses it as a means of propaganda. Ilich is a perfect victim for them, he is a martyr, his fate is very Christlike.