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Yes, Kouchner lied...

Michel Collon

The co-author of one of the biggest media lies of the nineties has just confessed. A good example for the future because ways of manipulations are always the same...

Flash-back. Summer 92, war in Bosnia. Bernard Kouchner and his "doctors of the world" (Médecins du monde) broadcasted into the press and on the walls in Paris an advertisement, outstanding and expensive. The photograph showed "prisoners" of a Serbian camp in Bosnia. Behind barbed wires, Kouchner sticking the picture of a watchtower from Auschwitz. His text blamed Serbians for "mass executions".

Was it right or wrong? Wrong, admits Kouchner twelve years later. His latest book, the warriors for peace, recounts an interview with Izetbegovic (the Muslim nationalist leader in authority at the time of Sarajevo), in his deathbed:

-Kouchner: those places were awful, but they didn't exterminate consistently. Did you know about that?
- Izetbegovic: Yes. The assertion was false. There were no extermination camps even if those places were terrible. I thought that my revelation would bring faster bombings.

This media lie did actually change the opinion towards the support for bombings. All the Western press broadcasted it massively but the latest rectification was not communicated. The public could actually not be informed that they get rolled.

The half-confession of Kouchner and this media silence makes us asking some important questions:

1. Did Kouchner know all about it previously?
Answer: Yes. Since 1993, a journalist from France 2 channel, Jacques Merlino, revealed the deception in his book with an eloquent title "All the truths are not good to say". He was interviewing the director of Ruder Finn, US agent for public relations. The latter, very proud to tell that his campaign on "extermination camps" was just fake :
- "We got around three big Jewish organisations: B'nai B'rith, American Jewish Committee et American Jewish Congress. And right away, we managed to make the link between Serbians and Nazis concerning the public opinion. The case was complex, nobody understood what was going on in Yugoslavia, but bolt upright it was not really difficult to formulate who was the nice and the good people.
- By lying, points out the journalist! Answer: We are professionals. We are not paid to give moral lessons."
So, Kouchner knew since a long time and that's not nice to charge up the entire blame on a dead person.

2. Did the media hide all the proofs of the deception?
Answer: Yes. A German journalist Thomas Deichmann showed since 1994 that the photograph about barbed wires was fake, and also the prisoners were not locked. In reality, it was taken from an ITN report where they declare to be well-treated, but the journalist took away those declarations!

You can find the Kouchner poster, Deichmann comments, and our paper about special effects in our book Liar's Poker. Dated from 1998. So, we didn't have to wait today to adjust.
Nota Bene for the url : this site is up to now in French (we look for help from translators), but books and film are also available in English.
In a video-reporting "Under NATO bombings" (1999), we also showed the pictures recorded by a local TV, where they were proving the cheating of the ITN reporting.

3. Did Kouchner receive protection, even from "media critics"?
Answer: Yes. One example: Daniel Schneidermann( Arrêts sur images, France 5 channel TV) contacted us about this paper, and he dropped us from Kouchner in order to not annoy him. No questions about the media lies on Kosovo and neither his disastrous statements on this province were asked to Kouchner. We are talking about media lies and not mistakes. His career plan focusing the UN general secretary post, and he has to do whatever to please USA.

4. Why did they have to tell a story "simple", but false?
In order to hide the responsibilities of big Western powers in this conflict:
- Since 1979, the German CIA (the BND) was supporting extremists to collapse Yugoslavia.
- In 1989, the IMF put neoliberal pressure to eradicate the auto management and the workers rights, provoking the crisis and nationalisms.
- In 1991, German gave weapons to the Croatian and Muslim extremists before the war.
- From 1992 to 1995, the USA intentionally extended and prolonged the conflict as certified by a special European reporter in Bosnia, Lord Owen.
- Are there any advantages in those actions? Eradicate a social system too much in the left side, and also control the strategic Balkans and the oil roads.

5. Is it a matter to contradict all the crimes committed?
Not at all, but when our governments try to pull us into a war propaganda "nice versus bad people", it is important to think about their hidden interests. And their fake information. For example, concerning prison camps in Bosnia, the UN counted six Croatians, two Serbians and one Muslim. And they were rather gathering camps for exchanges, not extermination camps. But, the Croatian and Muslim nationalists as being our allies or rather "our" agents, Kouchner, Bernard Henri Levy and the permanent media guests whitewashed them.

We would have to judge the war criminals. All the war criminals, in all camps. But not by phoney courts created by a justice of winners where the USA and the NATO are sitting above the law and straight out outlaw since they are violating the UN bill without embarrassment.

6. Are there any more media lies "well-done" in this war?
Yes. Just one example. When NATO started bombing Yugoslavia, in 1999, it claimed its action after the "massacre of 40 civilians" by the Yugoslavian army, in Racak, Kosovo village. But Belgrad was talking about a fight between two armies, caused by the Albanian separatist forces. The UN asked for a report to a medical examiner commission led by a Finnish doctor, Mrs Ranta who confirmed what Belgrad asserted. The media lie remains intact for the opinion.

Why? Because media lies of Kouchner, BHL and others, allowed to divide the left and stopped it from opposing to the war in reality unfair. The public opinion needs to be manipulated. And the next time, it will start again.

Books Liars' Poker and Monopoly (English) : write to
The Damned of Kosovo (English) and Under the bombs of Nato (French) : write to

Thanks to the translator Hanene Hamdoun !


April 2005


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