February 24, 2020

Gordon Barlow: Assange and the evil empire


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By Gordon Barlow

Gordon Barlow

Whatever else he is, Assange is a master of propaganda. Every seller of goods or services in the world ought to be begging his advice on the subject. He may or may not have the skill to boost sales or revenue, but he sure can destroy his enemies’ credibility.

Several years ago, a Chinese dissident found refuge in the US Embassy in Beijing. After a bit of argy-bargy, China agreed to let him catch a flight to America, and it all ended cordially. But when an Australian dissident found refuge in the Ecuador Embassy in London, the UK government went into a snit and refused to give him safe passage to the local airport to catch a flight to Ecuador.

Fancy that! China did the honourable thing, Britain (backed by Sweden and the US) the dishonourable. The British government, having endorsed many “extraordinary renditions” of America’s Prisoners of War through Britain to torture camps in Europe during NATO’s invasions in The Middle East, is now insisting on one more victim. Its treatment of Assange has shown up Britain’s cowardice when America cracks the whip.

By his resistance, Assange has shone the light of publicity on the moral corruption of three nations that I have admired and respected most of my life – Sweden, Britain and the USA. Now, with so many others, I find myself despising them as bullies. The man is a hero – as much a hero as the Chinese man who defied the tanks in Tiananmen Square, in the famous photograph.

The US is ruled by sociopaths, now, who have ripped their country’s reputation to shreds. It is today’s Evil Empire. Its money buys puppets – the rulers of Britain and Sweden, for two. The US’s desire to deliver Assange into the bloody hands of its eager torturers at Guantanamo is what drives the British and Swedish politicians to please their paymasters. The immorality stinks to high heaven, and brings unforgivable shame on them all.

How bizarre, that this one small man of no intrinsic importance has been promoted to the status of a Solzhenitsyn, a Dreyfus, a Stauffenberg, a Daniel Ellsberg, for daring to do the right thing. What a cracked-up sense of honour the three nations’ representatives are clinging to.

In truth, there is little surprise about the US government’s determination to punish Assange’s whistle-blowing. The bombings, invasions and occupations of Moslem communities have put the USA and its cronies beyond the pale of civilised society. Their drone-strikes target civilians, on the off-chance of killing a stray resistance fighter. “Murder by joystick”, they call it, and Assange believed it should be reported. The reaction of the kings of the killing fields was to adopt the cynical words of Shakespeare’s MacBeth:

I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er. 

Britain? Well, Britain has a long history of savagery in defence of its commercial interests. They have done very well out of the slaughters in Iraq and Libya and Syria, and are itching to do equally well in Iran. Sweden’s miners and manufacturers too have a vested interest in the wars of the Empire. Those interests are infinitely more important than the old-fashioned virtues that the nation used to practise.

An online newspaper once referred to Sweden’s rulers as “a Quisling government”, which is amusing, in a sick way. Mr Quisling was the appointed ruler of Norway during the German occupation in the 1940s. His name became a by-word for a betrayer of his people’s interests. I don’t suppose many Swedes enjoy seeing their nation bracketed with a Nazi puppet.

Sigh. In 1961 Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22, a satirical anti-war book that ended with the main character plotting to flee to Sweden in a row-boat from his squadron’s base in Italy during World War II. He would be safe in Sweden, a harbour of anti-war sentiment. In the movie, the last scene shows him actually in the boat and rowing vigorously out to sea. Today, the objective would not be Sweden – or Britain either. China, maybe?


DISCLAMER: The opinion, belief and viewpoint expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinion, belief and viewpoint of iNews Cayman/ieyenews.com or official policies of iNews Cayman/ieyenews.com

Gordon Barlow

Gordon Barlow has lived in Cayman since 1978. He was the first full-time Manager of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce (1986-1988)- a turbulent period as the Chamber struggled to establish its political independence. He has publicly commented on social and political issues since 1990, and in 1998 served as the secretary of two committees of the ‘Vision 2008’ exercise. He has represented the Chamber at several overseas conferences, and the Cayman Islands Human Rights Committee at an international symposium in Gibraltar in 2004.

You can view all his blogs at: https://barlowscayman.blogspot.com

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