by Austin Bay
December 7, 2010
Julian Assange, the man behind the WikiLeaks dump of secretUS State Department cables, has been frank about his reasons for releasingthousands of classified -and stolen -- documents.
Assange says he wants to seriously damage the United States.If this damage forwards America's ultimate destruction, so be it. The son ofleftist America-haters, Assange was born and weaned during the Cold War. Thenthe wrong side won. What the superpower Soviet Union failed to do with itsarmies, he, a super-empowered individual, will accomplish via the informationanarchy of the Internet.
If Assange's history-shaping goal seems grandiose anddetached from reality, indeed it is. However, once you understand the man'sreligion, his megalomania and solipsism become a bit more comprehensible ifeven more reprehensible.
Like other anti-American cranks on the planet, Assange holdsfirm in his warped faith that the U.S. is the leading source of global evil. Theroots of this religion run deep, beginning with 18th century Europeanaristocrats who despised the American Revolution. The anti-Americanism ofNazis, communists, tribalists, anarchists and now militant Islamists all rehashthe same tropes, with their semi-schizoid baseline being the U.S. issimultaneously a vast authoritarian conspiracy and a heterogeneous menagerie ofinfidel-cowboy-capitalist idiots who dogmatically resist enlightened socialpolicies.
Assange argues his revelations will force this conglomerateAmerican monster to become more secretive and authoritarian. Limiting access toinformation, in order to stop future leaks, will reduce the monster's secretiveand authoritarian effectiveness. The monster's "security state" willdumb down, and --here's the moment of religious rapture in Assange's prophecy-- this will increase global justice.
Assange also links this shackling of America to creatingpeace. Don't snicker too long. There are a lot of tenured gray-haired profswith ponytails who teach this dreck at notable universities and get paid forit.
Assange understands media grandstanding, but he doesn'tunderstand people and certainly doesn't understand how American diplomatscontribute to maintaining peace.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates understands peopleand diplomacy, and his assessment of Assange's info dump is as clear as it ishistorically and psychologically informed. At the Pentagon last week, Gatessaid: "The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it'sin their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us and notbecause they believe we can keep secrets. Many governments -- some governments-- deal with us because they fear us, some because they respect us, mostbecause they need us. We are still essentially, as has been said before, theindispensable nation."
Gates added that the cables were "embarrassing"and "awkward," but the ultimate effects on policy would be"modest."
Pray that Gates is right about modest impact, but right nowand for at least the next six months, the world confronts the possibility of anuclear war in East Asia ignited by North Korean aggression. This is a timeperiod when the world absolutely needs close -- and trustworthy -- cooperationbetween the U.S. and China. A big war in Korea could kill millions but willguarantee a global economic depression. Leaked cables discuss corruption inChina's Communist Party and names hypocritical party elites.
Even if the information is accurate, this is a case whererevealed candor damages personal relationships among key U.S. diplomaticpersonnel and Chinese leaders. China is a face culture, and the leaders havelost face. A mature appreciation of the common danger should override personalanger, but another leak revealed that China sees North Korea as a "spoiledchild" and that it believes Korea will ultimately be reunited with SouthKorea absorbing the North. This revelation weakens China's political leveragewith North Korea at a moment when any leverage is precious.
Assange, of course, did not consider how he increased thethreat to the lives of millions of Korean, Japanese and Chinese when he dumpedhis filched documents. His faith-based narrative of American evil excludes thepossibility that American diplomats are collaborating with China to avoid warand eventually put an end to North Korea's armed brinksmanship without anuclear explosion.
Here's WikiLeaks' bottom-line revelation: Assange andideologues like him promote an ignorant and destructive solipsism that hasnothing to do with peace and justice but a lot to do with sociopathicnarcissism.