Debate Forum Left 12/08/10

Wikileaks a pivotal point in world politics; one for the history books

by Marianne Stanley

Marianne Stanley

Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of Wikileaks, the organization that has set about releasing diplomatic cables intended to be secret, has been cast as everything from a traitor to a hero. Some Republicans have even gone so far as to call for his summary execution and have urged that he be killed. He has been compared to Al Qaeda in the sense of being a “terrorist,” an enemy of the sovereign United States of America. But is he?  Or is he just stepping into the role abandoned by our corporate media, filling the void true media left behind and giving Americans a view of what is really going on in our government?

A true democracy (or republic) requires transparency. It requires a well-educated and informed citizenry. We are no longer either. In the name of unbridled greed, those holding the reins of power in this country, from our government to our media, have conspired to keep us ignorant and intentionally misled. When citizens can no longer receive unbiased information, they are left to hear the likes of paid corporate-shills like Limbaugh and Beck, who fill them with toxic distortions and baseless rabid feelings. Fox News, owned by Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has turned propaganda into high art, merging sensationalism and entertainment with key principles of propaganda, like endless repetition and emotion-stirring words that appeal to a false sense of patriotism. Labeling and demonizing everything, from liberals to Muslims, leads the unstable and the less educated down a dangerous road. Intolerance and hate-mongering replace open-mindedness, civility and respect at the nation’s peril.

And this is where Wikileaks comes in. A good argument can be made that Wikileaks wouldn’t have happened if the American media had been doing its job all along. The “Fourth Estate,” as the media was once called, kept our democracy (republic) functioning, serving as our watchdog over government malfeasance. Remember Watergate and other times when the bad guys were the corrupt officials rather than the whistleblowers? Ah, for the good ol’ days!  Now, we are hunting down, persecuting and prosecuting whistleblowers while letting the corrupt officials off scot-free. Nigeria has just issued a summons for former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on bribery charges. Why is this not front-page news as it would have been before corporations began ruling the world?

The positive side of capitalism, with its emphasis on competition and entrepreneurial thinking has been sabotaged by capitalism’s dark side – unholy, job-killing, home-stealing, people-hurting greed. This darkness is swallowing up the last of our once-great, big-hearted nation, leaving Americans awash in a rising sea of hardship and confusion.

Julian Assange has stepped into the void left by a soulless media that has abandoned its prime purpose in the name of its corporate owners, seeking only to further enrich themselves by spinning the “news.” Our members of Congress were, by and large, put there through corporate sponsorship, leaving us not with true representatives but with corporate shills. And these folks, both Republicans and Democrats, are just about to ignore the wishes of 80% of Americans by extending tax cuts to the billionaires that we most need to carry their fair share of the load.  This is madness and an affront to all of us. Who is representing us in this new world order on Capitol Hill?

Wikileaks is at least pulling back the curtain so that we can begin to see what is really hiding behind the fake images and patriotic posturing of our government.  The truth cannot hurt us, but a corrupt government can. Thus, our corporate-owned and controlled media from talk radio to so-called news, is vociferously attacking Assange and Wikileaks.

But, it’s time for the masks to come off.  The old ways won’t work anymore. War isn’t working. Greed isn’t working. Taking advantage of others isn’t working. Whether we realize it or not, Wikileaks is just the tip of the iceberg in the coming world sea changes. This new world is struggling to be born. Rather than throwing up obstacles to prevent this wondrous birth, it is the time for all of us to midwife it into existence. An America that is not invading other countries and lying about its reasons for doing so would not be creating those who want to do us harm. We are the source and the cause; we can be the solution instead.

Wikileaks is just the beginning.  Killing Assange or shutting down Wikileaks will do nothing to stop the movement to reveal the ugly underbelly of the old world and its lust for power. The power base of the world is shifting and we would be wise to quit creating terrorism and start creating peace through new policies aimed at the renewal of the Earth and its resources, the provision for our children’s and the coming generations’ well-being, the building of bridges between nations and the actual application rather than the mere mouthing of the tenets of all the world’s great religions: “Love one another.” Our present course is unsustainable.  This is our chance to re-examine our course and chart a new path.

Even Assange’s newest release of information on global sites “vital” to U.S. security would be laughably meaningless if the U.S. removed itself from that which is rightfully the province of other nations… their elections, resources, internal workings. His release of information about U.S. relationships with key foreign dignitaries would be toothless if lying were not the norm. History may well see Wikileaks as the pivot-point in world politics, the place where the old ways are revealed as rotting and antiquated and the place where the world as it can be can finally be born.

As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.” Wikileaks may just have provided us with our greatest opportunity to stop the insanity – and perhaps, just in the nick of time.

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