by Austin Bay
December 7, 2010
Julian Assange, the man behind the WikiLeaks dump of secret
US State Department cables, has been frank about his reasons for releasing
thousands 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 of
leftist America-haters, Assange was born and weaned during the Cold War. Then
the wrong side won. What the superpower Soviet Union failed to do with its
armies, he, a super-empowered individual, will accomplish via the information
anarchy of the Internet.
If Assange's history-shaping goal seems grandiose and
detached from reality, indeed it is. However, once you understand the man's
religion, his megalomania and solipsism become a bit more comprehensible if
even more reprehensible.
Like other anti-American cranks on the planet, Assange holds
firm in his warped faith that the U.S. is the leading source of global evil. The
roots of this religion run deep, beginning with 18th century European
aristocrats who despised the American Revolution. The anti-Americanism of
Nazis, communists, tribalists, anarchists and now militant Islamists all rehash
the same tropes, with their semi-schizoid baseline being the U.S. is
simultaneously a vast authoritarian conspiracy and a heterogeneous menagerie of
infidel-cowboy-capitalist idiots who dogmatically resist enlightened social
Assange argues his revelations will force this conglomerate
American monster to become more secretive and authoritarian. Limiting access to
information, in order to stop future leaks, will reduce the monster's secretive
and authoritarian effectiveness. The monster's "security state" will
dumb 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 creating
peace. Don't snicker too long. There are a lot of tenured gray-haired profs
with ponytails who teach this dreck at notable universities and get paid for
Assange understands media grandstanding, but he doesn't
understand people and certainly doesn't understand how American diplomats
contribute to maintaining peace.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates understands people
and diplomacy, and his assessment of Assange's info dump is as clear as it is
historically and psychologically informed. At the Pentagon last week, Gates
said: "The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it's
in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us and not
because they believe we can keep secrets. Many governments -- some governments
-- deal with us because they fear us, some because they respect us, most
because they need us. We are still essentially, as has been said before, the
Gates added that the cables were "embarrassing"
and "awkward," but the ultimate effects on policy would be
Pray that Gates is right about modest impact, but right now
and for at least the next six months, the world confronts the possibility of a
nuclear war in East Asia ignited by North Korean aggression. This is a time
period when the world absolutely needs close -- and trustworthy -- cooperation
between the U.S. and China. A big war in Korea could kill millions but will
guarantee a global economic depression. Leaked cables discuss corruption in
China's Communist Party and names hypocritical party elites.
Even if the information is accurate, this is a case where
revealed candor damages personal relationships among key U.S. diplomatic
personnel and Chinese leaders. China is a face culture, and the leaders have
lost face. A mature appreciation of the common danger should override personal
anger, but another leak revealed that China sees North Korea as a "spoiled
child" and that it believes Korea will ultimately be reunited with South
Korea absorbing the North. This revelation weakens China's political leverage
with North Korea at a moment when any leverage is precious.
Assange, of course, did not consider how he increased the
threat to the lives of millions of Korean, Japanese and Chinese when he dumped
his filched documents. His faith-based narrative of American evil excludes the
possibility that American diplomats are collaborating with China to avoid war
and eventually put an end to North Korea's armed brinksmanship without a
Here's WikiLeaks' bottom-line revelation: Assange and
ideologues like him promote an ignorant and destructive solipsism that has
nothing to do with peace and justice but a lot to do with sociopathic