Monday, January 10, 2011

Little Dutch Boy Takes a Wikileak

Back in late November Noam Chomsky pointed out that the cables released by WikiLeaks regarding statements on Iran from Arab and US leaders demonstrated a "profound hatred for democracy" on the part of those leaders. His evidence was that polling clearly showed that Arab public sentiment on potential Iranian nuclear arms - and on what nations were viewed as the greatest threat to peace -
(from the UM/Zogby 2010 Poll - click to see full PDF version)

were diametrically opposed to the policies of their leaders. Even the Washington Times noted the results of the polling.

Contempt for democracy might well describe the editorial stance at NPR, and Michele Kelemen goes at it full bore on Monday evening. Kelemen, one of the many the State Department spokespersons for NPR, recently tried to stanch the flood of ugly coming out of the WikiLeaks cables disclosures, showed her own contempt for democracy by distorting the content of the WikiLeaks cables to favor US aggression toward Iran:
"Diplomatic cables recently released by Wikileaks show that many in this region are worried about Iranian intentions. The ruler of Abu Dhabi was quoted in one as comparing Iranian President Amadinejahd to Hitler, warning he could drag the region into war."
Those are really her words from the broadcast! It's clever how she manages to change a handful of Arab dictators and plutocrats into "many in this region." And you have to love how she manages to ring the Hitler gong [standard neocon propaganda that even Fareed Zakaria knows is rubbish] by repeating the nonsense from Abu Dhabi's crown prince.


Anonymous said...

The really hilarious part about this is that Wikileaks gets criticized by the media (eg, by Rachel Maddow) for releasing cables that contain lies (eg, told by US State Department folks that Castro had banned Michael Moore's movie Sicko) and the very same media quote other cables as if they were the gospel truth.

Diplomacy is all about getting other countries to do what benefits your country.

So anything one reads in a diplomatic cable MUST be taken with a block of salt (or two).

But apparently Kellemen believes that anything in a diplomatic cable is necessarily true -- and necessarily what the author of the cable actually believes.

Those Arab countries like Saudi Arabia couldn't have any ulterior motives for emasculating Iran, could they?

Porter Melmoth said...

Thus the essential need for mechanisms such as Wikileaks to provide truthful insights, which expose lies and propaganda as much as nationalist intent, and even sincerity, if it happens to come along.

I'm in total agreement with Chomsky, which is about the easiest thing to do.

Like democracy itself, Wikileaks is intended for mature societies who are serious about equality for all. For those who hate democracy, Wikileaks, and democracy itself, are enemies.

Anonymous said...

Assange has called what wikileaks does "scientific journalism" because it provides access (via links) to the original documents.

Like science itself, it allows anyone to decide for themselves whether something is true or not, without having to depend on what an authority figure (eg, "expert", official, or even journalist) says.

There is not need to "trust" a third party.

But as with science, the drawback is that one must be astute enough to actually understand what one is looking at.

Kelemen obviously fails the latter.

She does not understand that there is a lot of propaganda in diplomatic cables.

In fact, one could make a pretty good argument that that is their primary purpose.

gDog said...

It must be all like bloody grammar school again and again for these wankers at NPR: some marm (a minder, like, say, David Sweeney) keeps feedin' ya stuff to memorize and and then mesmorize yourself with as you regurgitate into your narcissistic mirror headphones.

Speaking of which, searching for David Sweeney produces nothing since last August. Has he gone deep undercover?

informedveteran said...

The US can't "possibly" be the biggest threat to world security. Just check out this steaming pile:

Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan 12/1/09

Since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, and the service and sacrifice of our grandparents and great-grandparents, our country has borne a special burden in global affairs. We have spilled American blood in many countries on multiple continents. We have spent our revenue to help others rebuild from rubble and develop their own economies. We have joined with others to develop an architecture of institutions -- from the United Nations to NATO to the World Bank -- that provide for the common security and prosperity of human beings.

We have not always been thanked for these efforts, and we have at times made mistakes. But more than any other nation, the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades -- a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, and markets open, and billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress and advancing frontiers of human liberty.

For unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination. Our union was founded in resistance to oppression. We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation’s resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours. What we have fought for -- what we continue to fight for -- is a better future for our children and grandchildren. And we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples’ children and grandchildren can live in freedom and access opportunity.