Friday, 10 December 2010
I don't often comment on political matters here at the old manse, but I can no longer avoid commenting on the cause célèbre of the moment, a fellow Australian, indeed a fellow Queenslander, one Julian Assange. For many he is a hero, blowing the whistle on morally corrupt governments and forcing them, through embarassment, to reform their way of doing business. But I think Mr Assange is rather more ambitious than that - his goal is to subvert Western civilisation itself, at least as it is presently constituted with the US as the dominant power.
So far, only the US State Dept (*see below) and the Australian ABC journalist Jonathan Holmes (click on the post title to read his incisive commentary) seem to have cottoned on to this, although Mr. Assange has written as much (btw, I think Holmes's close, drawing an analogy between Assange's likely martyrdom and that of our Lord Jesus Christ is strained). The rest of the media, along with the chattering political classes, seem to think this is solely an issue of the freedom of speech, but I suggest you really need to consider the manifesto from Assange's own pen - or should that be keyboard? - that Jonathan Holmes has unearthed from the cyber-vaults of a Melbourne university before you make your mind up as to whether he is to be regarded as a hero or a villain. The success of Mr. Assange's endeavours - if they were achieved with the aid of his many wirelessly connected sympathisers - could have profound repercussions in your life.
I happen to think Western civilisation as presently constituted, with all its warts, is worth preserving - and for many reasons too, but not least because I have children.
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Having got that off my chest...whoever thought that the protagonist in some real life Ian Flemingesque drama of world proportions (if you've read Assange's manifesto and seen pics of Wikileaks's Swedish bunker you'll understand the comparison with the likes of Goldfinger) would be from Townsville, Queensland, Australia of all places!? Certainly not my cousins, who grew up there, and couldn't wait to get out of the place. They are astonished.
* "He is not a journalist. He is not a whistleblower. He is a political actor. He has a political agenda," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters. "He is trying to undermine the international system that enables us to cooperate and collaborate with other governments and to work in multilateral settings and on a bilateral basis to help solve regional and international issues," Crowley said in response to a question. "What he is doing is damaging to our efforts and the efforts of other governments. They are putting at risk our national interest and the interests of other governments around the world. He is not an objective observer of anything."