25 July 2011

Let’s be real about Wikileaks, shall we?

First some caveats.  I am not gung-ho about Wikileaks. As someone pointed out, much of the pernicious intent of US diplomats and the atrocities committed against innocent peoples all over the world and especially in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent times, is known. Even a regular browsing of mainstream media by someone emboldened with an iota of intelligence and the most rudimentary of skills in reading between the lines would have been sufficient to elicit a fair enough picture of what’s happened and what’s been happening in the world and who has been doing what. 
Secondly, it is clear now that the ‘leaks’ are being processed carefully for public consumption by the mainstream media in ways that legitimate the general policy designs of the bigger thugs in the international community, led of course by the USA: the vilification of Iran and justification for attack. 
As for the ‘Sri Lanka files’, only the naïve and ignorant would have believed Particia Butenis (like her predecessor and now confidante of Barack Obama, Robert Blake) was not an interfering, viceroy wannabe who actively operated (and failed) to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2010. Bottom line: it is not news. 
Finally, we are in the early days of Wikileaks and involuntary transparency.  The signals are mixed, whichever way one looks at it. Right now it looks as though the benefits are accruing to US foreign policy prerogatives. The Isrealis are cheering Wikileaks because it has been ‘revealed’ that Arab governments, in secret, are scared of Iran’s potential nuclear threat, never mind the fact that nothing’s been proven yet about Iran’s plans to develop a nuclear weapon.  "We come out looking very good," a senior Israel official has said and he  "They confirm that the whole Middle East is terrified by the prospect of a nuclear Iran." 

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 Round Table - Prime TV on Wikileaks

Noam Chomsky has a telling response: ‘To tell the world– well, they’re talking to each other- to pretend to each other that the Arab world regards Iran as the major threat and wants the U.S. to bomb Iran, is extremely revealing, when they know that approximately 80% of Arab opinion regards the U.S. and Israel as the major threat, 10% regard Iran as the major threat, and a majority, 57%, think the region would be better off with Iranian nuclear weapons as a kind of deterrent. That is does not even enter. All that enters is what they claim has been said by Arab dictators – brutal Arab dictators.’
So is the news all bad?  Hard to say,.
Tom Flanagan, a senior advisor and strategist to the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called for the assassination of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange. He even wanted Obama to put out a (murder) contract on Assange and said he would not be unhappy if Assange ‘disappeared’. He’s echoing Republican presidential hopeful Sarah Palin here.  Meanwhile Assange is being charged with rape.  This is all classic silencing tactics. 
Let’s assume that Assange is a rapist. Let’s imagine an Assange-less world.  Let’s assume that he’s indeed a willing or unwilling pawn of a larger game that anticipates an ending antithetical to those who truly believe that Wikileaks will help tilt the world in favour of the insulted and humiliated, the beaten and downtrodden, the exploited and plundered. Let’s assume that the howls of protest about ‘leaks’ have been carefully scripted, even if cannot forget that the howlers are actively, deliberately and consciously making plans whose implementation would eliminate thousands of lives even as I write; lives that have caused untold suffering to hundreds of thousands of people, have pillaged and destroyed nations and poisoned the earth, the seas, the waterways and the skies.  Let us assume that Patricia Butenis and other officials whose missives have been ‘leaked’ are indeed dispensible creatures and will be happily sacrificed to achieve larger US foreign policy objectives. 
There are things that are indisputable. Last year, this time, the world did not know of a Julian Assange. Today the man is all over the place and inside the closets of big-name people and big-weapon nations, pulling out skeletons by the thousands.  He’s unceremoniously knocked people off the moral high ground, made hollow the high-minded pronouncements of the self-righteous and basically stripped thugs and thug-nations of saintly garb and halo. In particular Assange has showed us the true face of the US democracy (which Malcolm X correctly described as ‘hypocrisy’ more than 40 years ago).  
Let’s assume that they take him out of the equation. They still have a problem: they can’t take the equation out along with him. The Prophet of Involuntary Transparency, as he’s been dubbed, can fall or be eliminated, but there’s no stopping involuntary transparency now. 
Even if Assange is Obama’s accomplice and Netanyahu’s pawn, even if Wikileaks is used to set up world opinion to attack Iran (not that the thugs that have run and still run the United States of America ever required permission for thuggery), we still have a mechanism that is getting word out. Sooner or later, it will be impossible to lie. People will have to come clean, warts and all or else opt for systemic thuggery in the form of constitutional dictatorships or straight forward military juntas. Works. For a while. 
I believe therefore that what’s happening is that a can has been opened, an idea formulated and a process set in motion that the setters-in-motion might not be able to contain or manage. That’s the flip side of Wikileaks.
It all boils down to what we do with Wilileaks and Wikileaking, if you will. It depends on what we do with involuntary transparency, how we use it or abuse it. Let us not have illusions. The powerful are better positioned to use and abuse. The weak have to strive. It is not impossible. It is high time that people stripped the Obamas of this world of the literature of liberation. ‘Yes we can’ does not belong to Obama; it is something that Obamian victims must embrace and put to work. That’s how Wikileaks can work for us. 
Until such time, it is perhaps prudent to say that the jury is out on Wikileaks. We shouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves, should we?


fayaz said...

i though t from the beginning that wikileaks was a joke of this kind..