(For a listing of the Assange postings, click on Julian Assange, Wikileaks, and scroll down.)
Is there a bigger “David versus Goliath” story than
- Julian Assange (Wikileaks) versus
- the American military-industrial-congressional complex?!
What a cliff-hanger, and for democracy!
May 30, 2012: The UK Supreme Court says . . oops! see Assange gets surprise chance to fight another day
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Amy Goodman says (Democracy Now, 2011 interview with Julian Assange (Wikileaks) and Slavoj Žižek):
“ Information is a matter of life and death. We’ve learned that through these remarkable trove of documents (INSERT: documents leaked through Wikileaks) that have been released in the last year. The Iraq War Logs, the Afghanistan War Logs, and what’s been called Cablegate, the U.S. State Department documents that are continuing to be released. Why does it matter so much? . . . “
Why DOES it matter so much? – – For Assange’s understanding of the political world: click on WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange & Philosopher Slavoj Žižek, interview by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!. It’s worth your time – it’s there in transcript, or in video (Amy Goodman handles Žižek’s mannerisms with aplomb!).
Assange asserts that freedom of speech is not the jewel, so much as the freedom to communicate our ideas with each other.
He talks about the importance of an accurate societal record of what’s happening, a driving force for him.
Slavoj Žižek introduces the idea of “public reason”, the independent space of communication and debate. I think of it in relation to our ability to make intelligent decisions for the society in which we live. If public reason is not carried out in an independent space (free of undue influence), we will make lousy decisions, or lousy decisions will be made for us!
But again, Why does it matter? . . .
What if no one knew, because the mainstream media did not do a good job of recording “what’s happening”? Try these two examples:
- 2012-05-11 Historic judgment: (Charge #2) Bush & Associates found Guilty of torture, Kuala Lumpur.
Would some people act differently if they didn’t know that even a former U.S. President will be held accountable for war crimes?
It’s not only the small players like Bosnian Serb general, Ratko Mladic, or al-Bashir from Sudan, or a general from Sierra Leone that will be put on trial. It is also George Bush and his pals, eventually.
What if we didn’t know WHO is doing it?
One of the major forces behind the efforts to bring Bush and Company to justice is “part of an initiative by former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad” who stated simply
“Unlawful use of force threatens the world to return to a state of lawlessness.
The acts of the accused (INSERT: Bush and Co.) were unlawful.”
It’s a group of international people, with leadership in Kuala Lumpur, who decided that they had to play their part to defend justice for all. Their position is well documented: 2012-05-11 Historic judgment: (Charge #2) Bush & Associates found Guilty of torture, Kuala Lumpur.
Actually, there’s a long list of people working to ensure the arrest of Bush – see Arrest George Bush. Rule of Law essential to democracy.
Another point made in the Amy Goodman interview with Assange and Žižek: the ordinariness of people who just decide to do something.
2. Click on this short video: Julia Bacha: Pay attention to nonviolence (from TED.com – Ideas worth spreading)
“. . I believe that what’s mostly missing for non-violence to grow is not for Palestinians to START adopting non-violence, but for us to start paying attention to those who already are . . “.
(I relate this to Julian Assange’s statement of society’s need to record and communicate what is happening in the real world. If we don’t know . . . !)
Slavoj Žižek in the interview with Goodman says:
(the “he” referred to is Sgt Bradley Manning who is alleged to have leaked the documents to Wikileaks),
“ . . There are many examples that I know of ordinary people who are not anything special, they are not saints. But all of a sudden, they see something, like probably he, if he is the one, saw all these documents, and something told him, “Sorry, I will not be pushed more. I have to do something here.”
This is so precious today, because it also goes against a note which is in a way true, but it’s exploited by our enemies, this idea ideology today is cynical, people are totally duped, and so on. No, they are not. I prefer her to play a little bit of simple moralism.
From time to time, there are ethical miracles. There are people who still care, and so on and so on. This is very important because, you know, like, let’s not leave this domain of a care for simple, dignified, ethical acts to agencies like Catholic Church and so on. Who are they to talk about it? We . . . should rehabilitate this-I know it doesn’t sound very postmodern or cynical-this idea that there are out there quite ordinary guys, nothing special, but who all of a sudden, as if in a miracle, do something wonderful. That’s almost, I would say, our only hope today.”
Julia Bacha is a quite ordinary guy (maybe!) who did something wonderful! What if the villagers’ story wasn’t told in their communities?
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The two examples (there are tonnes of others) find Canadians looking at Malaysia and Palestine. Maybe our stereotypes are challenged, because “what’s happening” hasn’t been communicated to us.
TURN THE TABLES:
What are Malayians and Palestinians being told about what’s going on in Canada?
Indeed, what are we being told about what’s going on in Canada? . . .
I want to join the Occupy “Walk on Ottawa” that left Vancouver Island on May 1st, following the Trans Canada Highway. I want to help get people out to walk for a while with them. When I checked last week they had gotten as far as Osoyoos, expecting to get to Regina by end of June. I’ll get an update out later.
I think there’s lots of really good stuff going on in Canada. We just have to communicate it! Democracy Now!