July 25, 2010

Let Us All Solemnly Praise Wikileaks


We properly should offer recognition and honor to the great heroism of the people at Wikileaks:
A huge cache of secret US military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency.

The disclosures come from more than 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the conflict obtained by the whistleblowers' website Wikileaks in one of the biggest leaks in US military history. The files, which were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel, give a blow-by-blow account of the fighting over the last six years, which has so far cost the lives of more than 320 British and more than 1,000 US troops.
The leaders of America's Death State reacted in the manner typical of imperial murderers:
In a statement, the White House said the chaotic picture painted by the logs was the result of "under-resourcing" under Obama's predecessor, saying: "It is important to note that the time period reflected in the documents is January 2004 to December 2009."

The White House also criticised the publication of the files by Wikileaks: "We strongly condemn the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organisations, which puts the lives of the US and partner service members at risk and threatens our national security. Wikileaks made no effort to contact the US government about these documents, which may contain information that endanger the lives of Americans, our partners, and local populations who co-operate with us."
On the first point -- the White House contention that these failures were "the result of 'under-resourcing'" and that everything is different now, under the wise leadership of Obama: this is complete, and completely evil, bullshit.

It is bullshit because, to begin with, Obama's "new" strategy is not "new" in any significant respect at all. See two articles for the details: "A Deadly Liar and Manipulator," and "Wherein We Gaze Into Our Inerrant Crystal Ball and Espy A Deadly Rat."

It is also bullshit because Obama's "surge" strategy in Afghanistan is intentionally patterned after the "surge" strategy in Iraq, which allegedly led to great success -- or, as Obama himself expressed it, to an "extraordinary achievement." This, too, is a monstrous and sickening lie. See "The Blood-Drenched Darkness of American Exceptionalism" for the excessively bloody details. The White House's contention that the "new" strategy in Afghanistan, which is not new, will lead to any kind of "success" as recognized by sane, healthy human beings is thus a complete and evil lie. More may be more in terms of numbers of American troops alone. More is not "new" or "better." It certainly may be even deadlier -- especially insofar as innocent civilians are concerned -- and this is the only germ of truth such arguments might contain. Perhaps this is, in fact, precisely the meaning Obama intends.

On the White House's second point -- where the White House "strongly condemn[s]" the leak -- let us keep squarely in the front of our minds the actual nature of U.S. foreign policy, and the actual nature of what the U.S. is doing in Afghanistan. As I expressed it recently:
To put the actual point very bluntly: the Russians, along with the Iranians, along with everyone else in the world, are entirely justified in thinking that, if they are not on their guard and if they do not take all possible precautions, the United States will fuck up their shit. This is what it means to be devoted to a policy of American worldwide hegemony, enabled by, among other elements, a global empire of bases. The United States is intent, to the fullest extent it can, on fucking up everyone's shit. That's what the U.S. has been doing for more than a century.
Given that the U.S. today continues to follow the course upon which it embarked over a century ago, i.e., that it intends to fuck up everyone's shit in the name of American global hegemony, leaks such as these embody a singularly great allegiance to the value of innocent human life, and to the pursuit of genuine peace. The U.S. government cares about neither. Oh, it says that it does, with the compulsive, nauseating repetitiveness of the most vicious murderer -- and when exactly are murderers notably open and honest about their true motives and goals, especially when they are so devotionally intent upon viewing themselves and making certain that all others view them as noble fighters on behalf of the liberation of all mankind? Do not ever credit in even the smallest degree what is the most obvious and most obviously sickening propaganda and public relations.

The Guardian story provides evidence from the Wikileaks material concerning the U.S.'s (and other coalition troops') utter disregard for innocent human life:
The logs detail, in sometimes harrowing vignettes, the toll on civilians exacted by coalition forces: events termed "blue on white" in military jargon. The logs reveal 144 such incidents.

Some of these casualties come from the controversial air strikes that have led to Afghan government protests, but a large number of previously unknown incidents also appear to be the result of troops shooting unarmed drivers or motorcyclists out of a determination to protect themselves from suicide bombers.

At least 195 civilians are admitted to have been killed and 174 wounded in total, but this is likely to be an underestimate as many disputed incidents are omitted from the daily snapshots reported by troops on the ground and then collated, sometimes erratically, by military intelligence analysts.

Bloody errors at civilians' expense, as recorded in the logs, include the day French troops strafed a bus full of children in 2008, wounding eight. A US patrol similarly machine-gunned a bus, wounding or killing 15 of its passengers, and in 2007 Polish troops mortared a village, killing a wedding party including a pregnant woman, in an apparent revenge attack.
See the Guardian report for many additional details.

And with regard to Wikileaks' actions which the U.S. government strongly condemns, you may be certain that neither the government nor the many others who will rush to condemn Wikileaks will note the following, also from the Guardian story:
Most of the material, though classified "secret" at the time, is no longer militarily sensitive. A small amount of information has been withheld from publication because it might endanger local informants or give away genuine military secrets. Wikileaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, obtained the material in circumstances he will not discuss, said it would redact harmful material before posting the bulk of the data on its "uncensorable" servers.
When you face a genocidal serial murderer, a murderer without conscience or soul, it is your obligation as a minimally decent human being to oppose him in any way you can. Through its leak of material such as that now made public, Wikileaks seeks to fulfill this solemn responsibility.

Long may it thrive, until the blessed day when its services are no longer required.

UPDATE: Much more about Wikileaks is in my latest post: "Wikileaks, Resistance, Genuine Heroes, and Breaking the Goddamned Rules."