Contact Lines: An Interview With Manuel Ochsenreiter

Manuel Ochsenreiter Interview

Open Revolt is always pleased to feature the work of revolutionary journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter.  Recently, our own James Porrazzo had the chance to talk about recent world news, events and related ideas with Manuel.  It’s eye opening to compare what Manuel has experienced directly with the lies and distortions from the mainstream media and their lackeys.

1. Manuel, even for your own very active schedule you’ve been doing some traveling lately to places our readers are sure to be interested. Can you tell us a bit about your latest adventures?

A: Well, I seriously hope that the term “adventure” doesn´t really fit to our activities. I have been lately to Southern Caucasus (Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh) and to Novorossiya. In Nagorno-Karabakh which is an internationally non-recognized state, I accompanied German and Austrian international observers at the parliament elections in May, in Donetsk I participated at an international conference which discussed the future political and economic status of the embattled Donbass region. In Nagorno-Karabakh I had the opportunity to visit the so-called “contact line” – the front line trenches between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan – and did some interviews with soldiers and officers of the Nagorno-Karabakh defense forces. By the way: My reportage about the Austrian election observer Hans-Jörg Jenewein is published here: http://manuelochsenreiter.com/blog/2015/5/26/the-austrian-observer-with-hans-jrg-jenewein-in-nagorno-karabakh

2. You have been to Novorossiya several times, since the very beginning of the conflict. Can you tell us about the conference?

A: We discussed there with the authorities of the two people´s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk about the future opportunities of the region. The participants were politicians, representatives of human rights organizations active in Donbass and journalists. The most important and basic point was the right of self-determination of the Donbass people. My speech at the conference is published here: http://manuelochsenreiter.com/blog/2015/5/18/international-forum-donetsk-yesterday-today-tomorrow

3. And how do you see things progressing in the People’s Republics? What’s your thoughts on the new states? The volunteers in the Novorossiya Armed Forces? The regular people on the streets?

A: The whole situation there is very difficult. When we were out on the streets of Donetsk, we heard explosions coming from Donetsk airport direction. It is a war region despite the Minsk II-agreement which is not respected by the Kiev side. But Western mainstream media keeps silent about these violations of the cease fire. The Serbian journalist and politician Dragana Trifcovic and I had the opportunity to visit injured soldiers of the Donetsk, all of them lost their legs. But despite their heavy injuries they were all very positive and highly motivated. These two entities – Donetsk and Lugansk – are under a very high political and military pressure. But the people there know very well about the high value of independence from Kiev.

4. You´ve spoken about the Western media lies about Novorossiya. They just go on and on. Do any strike you as most glaring from your first hand experience?

A: Oh my… One could write a whole book about such war lies coming from the West. Western mainstream media picture those two non-recognized republics like monsters and terrorist hubs. They write about the Russian army fighting there, about the people forced to celebrate the republics under Russian guns. Nothing of all these claims is true. We can´t really blame the journalists who copy-paste such war lies, they are just lazy and naive. But the Western journalists who are in Novorossiya know the truth, yet they don´t broadcast it to the Western audience. I will give you one little incident from beginning of this May – and this is representative for the mentality of these so-called “colleagues”: The people´s republic of Donetsk celebrated the one year anniversary of the independence referendum with a huge, happy and colorful parade. It was an amazing event, thousands of people participated in the parade. So what was the reaction of a German state TV journalist? She said on Twitter, it was an “organized cheering celebration” and gave by using those words the impression that the people attending the parade didn´t do that voluntarily.

5. After Novorossiya, we can’t help but think of Syria. It’s clear from your photos that you are held in high regard by friends in the Syrian Army. Can you give us some insight into the current situation on the ground in Syria? Are things as bad as they seem?

A: It´s now already almost a year that I have been there myself. What we can say: Since more than four years Syria is in state of war. It is futile to mention all the destruction, the damage, the millions of refugees, the human suffering in general. The war in Syria depopulated whole regions; vast areas are under control of terrorist militias as “Jabhat al Nusra” or the “Islamic State” (and many others). The West is backing the terror brigades in Syria, delivering weaponry and money to the so-called “rebels”. Turkey, Israel and the Gulf monarchies are supporting the terrorists in Syria on many levels as well. Countless brilliant analysis and reports are written about the situation on the Syrian battle ground – unnecessary to repeat. Especially within the last months the situation on the Syrian battle ground became serious. The so-called “rebels” claimed a series of victories from the divided city of Aleppo to areas in and near Damascus. The future development of the Syrian war seems to be a more or less easy algebra calculation: While the terrorist forces have unlimited access to new fighters and supplies from all over the world, the Syrian government has limited resources for soldiers and war material. In addition to that Syria is “bleeding out”. Young male Syrians leave the country as refugees, whole families flee to neighbor countries or to Europe. That means: The longer the war takes, the worse it is for Syria.

6. You are, of course, German. Here at Open Revolt we’ve watched the continued reports of Islamist fighters coming from Germany to join the Islamic State and fellow travelers with a mixture of hatred and disgust. And things like Pegida which seem to stand against this with an open mind. We’re curious if you could lend some insight on the state of Germany today. Is Germany lost, between immigration, Wahabism and the EU/NATO or is there still realistic hope we could see a Eurasian focused Germany break these chains and solve these serious problems?

A: (laughing) Of course I am a German! That makes it for me much more painful to see the negative role my nation is playing today in the world. We can say: In all the geopolitical conflicts Germany is taking the wrong side. “Wrong” means in that context: Harmful for Germany and harmful for those people fighting in the geopolitical war-zones for their survival. In the Balkans we support Bosnians and Albanians instead of Serbs, in Syria we support terrorists instead of the Syrian army, and in Ukraine we support Kiev instead of Novorossiya. It is really ridiculous that the Syrian army has to solve our German extremism problem.
Mentioning PEGIDA, it was a quite interesting protest phenomenon. Tens of thousands of people gathering peacefully in Dresden while the whole German political mainstream, all established political parties, all media and the whole so-called “civil society” were demonizing these protesters as “Nazis”, “extremists” or simply “insane” is remarkable. Of course there are also things to criticize. In my opinion the breeding of Islamist terrorism is not caused by an “Islamization” but by our own catastrophic politics within the last decades.
The question is not if Germany might be lost in the future. That problem concerns whole Europe. If Europe manages to emancipate the continent from Western liberalism we will have the chance to see still a Europe in 100 years. But that needs a complete de-Americanization of our continent, not just of one or some countries on it.

7. Any political figures you look to for inspiration today in your work?

A: It is always a very inspiring moment when a mainstream politician all of the sudden “wakes up” and starts disturbing the system. It is our job to make such moments possible.

8. Can you tell us a little about Zuerst the magazine you are editor in chief of?

A: We exist now since five years as an independent German news magazine. Self-laudation is always a bad thing, but I think we – not just me but a whole dedicated team of non-mainstream and patriotic journalists – do a good job. When we started everyone was warning us that we can´t survive in an absolute hostile media environment. I was convinced that we can if we keep good quality and do something no other magazine does: Campaigning for the German interest. That might sound ironic. But exactly that is a gap in the market in Germany. Whole media works on behalf of “European integration” (which means in reality: EU), of “transatlanticist values”, of “Gender equality”, of “liberal values” or simply on behalf of “human rights”. Yes, that might sound a bit ridiculous, simply because it is.

9. Any words for your friends and supporters behind enemy lines in North America?

A: Chin up, when the water´s up to your neck!

10. Thank you for both your time and for being a sincere friend and comrade. Best regards from Open Revolt.

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