Sunday, December 5, 2010

Never Fear, Wikileaks Is Here

Critics of Wikileaks claim that some things must be kept secret, that governments need to be able to act confidentially, and that ordinary citizens cannot have a significant say in affairs of state because there are some things they should never know. That may be true, assuming your system of government is functioning properly. But as top-level inertia on major global crises indicates, our supposedly democratic systems are not working properly.

Global warming is surely the most pressing example of Western government failure. Despite decades of scientific evidence and ever-increasing public support for action, our governments (led by the USA) have proven themselves capable of little more than earnest platitudes. Big Business leaders have done everything possible to undermine the science, confuse the public, and successfully lobby against change in the corridors of power. Their efforts have been fully supported by a compliant corporate media.

The Middle East is another intractable problem. The central conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is so heavily politicised that professional Western commentators are reluctant to even discuss today's inhumane apartheid reality in the Occupied Territories. The Israeli lobby controls US government decision-making, while US client states support Washington's auto-reflexive veto of any UN condemnation of Israeli atrocities. Again, the media supports the charade. Well-meaning citizens are somehow brain-washed into thinking that Zionist interests equate to their own, never mind the terrorists being created as a result.

Then there's the financial turbulence afflicting economies around the world, with Ireland, Greece and Iceland only the latest major victims. If banks like Goldman Sachs are a "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity" then the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank may be considered their major tentacles, reaching deep down into the bowels of national wealth. The elite "economic hit-men" do their jobs, the world's mega-billionaires grow ever more obscenely rich, profit-gorging on taxpayer-funded bailouts, and our governments pretend there's nothing they can do about it.

And let's not forget the bloody Energy Wars raging in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, where millions of innocent citizens are being murdered, maimed and displaced as a result of Western lies, greed and criminal incompetence.

Enough! Evidently, something has to change. But what can be done?

The normal democratic avenues for regulation, accountability and change are simply not functioning as they supposedly should.

Public enquiries have become long-winded wastes of public money. Elaborate cover-ups are orchestrated with the help of willing stooges in the media, parliament and judiciary. Military enquiries are even more farcical. Whiste-blowers are exposed wherever possible, facing legal action and character assassination from the highest levels, while the crimes they reveal are brushed aside.

And don't even think that the Fourth Estate might come riding to the rescue. Independent media outlets face funding dilemmas and smear attacks, while the corporate media is hopelessly compromised by political and business agendas.

In such a deeply corrupted environment, the only remaining solution is for ordinary citizens to pry open the machinations of government and expose the truth to all who care to look.

Of course our leaders like to talk about "Open Government", but only during election campaigns (particularly when minor parties threaten their cosy hold on power). The reality terrifies them. But now Open Government has arrived, whether they like it or not, and there is no turning back.

It is no coincidence that those most loudly condemning Wikileaks have the most clearly vested interests in protecting their own dark secrets. Wikileaks is the most recent, potent and visible manifestation of widespread global anger at the ever-increasing confluence of government policy and Big Business interests. We, the people, have been steadily abandoned by our leaders. We want our democracies back.

It is therefore heartening to see a global outpouring of support from the general public. Ordinary citizens have nothing to fear, and much to celebrate, from this new cyber-space revolution.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ten Self-Evident Truths

"We hold these truths to be self-evident..." - Thomas Jefferson, US Declaration Of Independence.

Today, much of the world's most critically important debates are mired in time-wasting, dishonest, pseudo-scientific gobbledy-gook. Politicians and professional spin-doctors muddy the waters with ridiculous, headline-grabbing arguments that do nothing but stall progress. Teams of professional lawyers search for obtuse loopholes to protect their wealthy clients from socially important judgements. Media whores chase rabbits through thickets of steaming prose that grow denser by the day, till the truth is nowhere to be found.

It's time to draw a line in the sand. It's time to agree that certain issues are not up for debate any more. It's time to demand that certain facts be recognised as universal, self-evident truths. And if we can do this, then perhaps, like those who long ago overthrew slavery and imperial control, we can all move forward to a better future.


I propose that the following ten facts be acknowledged as no longer worth debating:

1. Evolution is real. The world was created billions of years ago. Modern human beings evolved from ancestors who lived hundreds of thousands of years ago.

2. Man-made global warming is real. Even if the earth is warming partly due to natural processes, there is absolutely no scientific basis for doubt that the earth is warming, and that human activity is accelerating this problem. Therefore, there is absolutely no excuse for not doing everything we can to urgently combat this growing crisis.

3. We don't know the whole truth about what happened on September 11th, 2001, because the US government's 9/11 Commission was a reluctantly organized cover-up. The commission heads were government stooges. Important evidence was ignored or suppressed. 48 pages of the final report were redacted. Conspiracy theories have only been able to proliferate because the official government version of events is so blatantly inadequate.

4. Dr Bruce Ivins did not single-handedly orchestrate the US anthrax attacks of October 2001. Robert Mueller's FBI mis-managed the investigation from the start by harassing innocent suspects, ignoring a host of important evidence, and then closing the case prematurely without conclusive evidence after Ivins died. Obviously they did not want to find the real killers.

5. The US-led invasion of Iraq was illegal. Saddam never had any WMDs, nor any ties to terrorists, and the people who made the decision to invade Iraq knew that perfectly well. They lied, they "sexed up" the intelligence, they side-lined the United Nations, and they intimidated or eliminated anyone else who stood in their way.

6. The USA and their international "Coalition Of The Willing" partners invaded Iraq for the oil. There were secondary motives, of course, including establishing a new US military foothold in the Middle East (especially after the USA quietly caved in to Bin Laden's demand to withdraw from Saudi Arabia). But with peak oil looming, control of Iraq's oil resources was always the primary objective. It's no coincidence that the President and Vice President of the USA at the time were both former oil company CEOs.

7. Israel's treatment of Palestinians amounts to apartheid, and Washington supports this because the US government is riddled with excessive pro-Israeli influences. US foreign policy is inordinately skewered towards Israel, and it is only US protectionism that makes international condemnation of Israeli apartheid impossible. US-support of Zionist expansion results in atrocious living conditions for Palestinians, and consequently not just a more dangerous Middle East, but also a more dangerous world for all of us.

8. Corporate media outlets are not trustworthy news sources. They have been heavily complicit in efforts to mislead the public about Iraq, Iran, the global financial crisis, global warming, and many other critically important issues. Moguls who control media monopolies collude with fellow billionaires and government leaders to keep the public confused, misled and uninformed. Rupert Murdoch in particular is as much a War Criminal as George W. Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard.

9. Despite a change of government, the USA still condones torture and holds people without charge in secret gulags around the world. It still spies on its own citizens and reserves the right to kill them without due process anywhere in the world. It still kills innocent civilians of other nations without due concern. All this has been justified by both major US political parties as part of a "war on terror" that has never been clearly defined, and which also has no clear goals. This implies that these illegal and unconstitutional US government actions will persist indefinitely, as will the self-declared "Long War" against anyone they chose to proclaim an enemy combatant. This is not acceptable behaviour for a civilized nation.

10. The richest 1% of people on this planet should not control 40% of the wealth. That's just wrong. Wealthy individuals and global corporations, particularly the financial sector, currently wield massively disproportionate power in comparison to ordinary individuals. This cannot be allowed to continue.


If we can agree that these ten, simple facts are true, then we are forced to draw some rather horrific conclusions. It's no wonder most people would rather ignore them!

There is a global conspiracy to keep the public uninformed. Such language may sound alarmist, but there is no other way to describe it. The world's super-rich elites have informally bonded together to keep the public ignorant about important issues - including war crimes - that these people just don't want to discuss. As the ten above truths demonstrate, this conspiracy is no longer a "theory" - it is an observable fact.

It is tempting to declare that Western democratic government is no longer functional in any meaningful sense. The social contract between people and government has been broken. The Fourth Estate is broken too. The corporations, the banks, the lobbyists and their employers have taken control of the decision-making process. There is no meaningful oversight or accountability. Even the public debating process is skewed to the point of farce.

Effectively, what we have now is economic class warfare, waged from the top down. Those of us at the bottom, who know what is going on, have nobody to represent us in the corridors of power. We have no real voice in the mainstream media. We are disenfranchised, even as we continue working and paying taxes to support the official lies.

As history shows, people cannot be treated like this forever without consequence.