Well, this week on WikiLeaks, there has been a massive release of well-over 200,000 diplomatic cables. They show a rather ugly history of the United States and its actions with other nations. There are a lot of questions about what the effect will be with the rest of the world, and these are valid questions, but there is a different issue altogether. The issue is what is the line that is drawn about how this country can act?
It is very easy for a country to hide its unpleasant acts beneath a bureaucratic mat. It is very easy to just say that you were ordered to do it, or to say that it is just your job, and that you had no choice. This country has gotten far too used to doing that. Every time there is a major unearthing of political idiocy, the people just shrug and say that it was their job. Add to that the fact that most of this kind of stuff doesn ‘t come out till most of the parties involved are dead or don’t care anymore. This kind of pathetic game is played far too often. But now, there is a pariah that has come into the game. They have come out at a time when everybody has been content to just not talk about the ugly business that is going on.
WikiLeaks has been the subject of a lot of controversy of late. The feeling about it have differed from every sector, ranging from government, to military, to journalism. But it is still talked about. This is a good thing. It is good when a topic of controversy is involved in so many aspects. That means that they are powerful enough to make a difference on a global level. WikiLeaks has given rise to a new type of heroism that hasn’t been seen in a long time.
When “The Pentagon Papers” came to light, the man who brought them forward, Daniel Ellsberg came forward with these papers, it took the country by storm. Four presidential administrations actions in Vietnam were coming to light. It was one of the biggest revelations of the corrupt and pathetically incompetant and sometimes deceitful this government actually is. We orchestrated at massive clusterfuck in Vietnam that can only be described as completely FUBAR. This man was a patriot, and there is still some contention that those in power have with him. Many people think he turned the ideals of a war that was “being won” (bullshit) and made us leave before it was done. The truth is that Ellsburg should be seen as a national hero, getting us out of Vietnam while we still could.
As was expected, when WikiLeaks has shown these diplomatic cables to the rest of the world through their heroic website, the government of this country immediately villified them. They called them all sorts of names and said how they were threatening the “war on terror.” Now there’s a bullshit concept for you, eh? War on Terror. That concept is such a joke that it actually hurts me to say. It is a lot like the “war on drugs” that we still have going on and cannot hope to win. The government’s job, of late, seems to be lying to the people and desperately trying to make their incompetence look acceptable.
Personally, from a journalistic perspective (as I am a journalism student), these people are a bit of a problem. When a source cannot be verified by those outside of an organization, it does lead to a bit of the problem of credibility. Granted, there have never been any contests of merit by anybody that WikiLeaks is an organization that is promoting lies. Let’s at least thank that government for being honest about that much. But still, it is an organization that should be respected, and in my opinion, thanked.
This country has a very ugly history in respect to its relations with other nations. Vietnam, Korea, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, and so many others, our country doesn’t seem to make friends every easily. We seem to be more the country that simply tries to mess with things that are simply beyond our ability to understand. We have bought and paid for dictators, helped nations fight wars, sometimes with themselves. We have done so much. These Diplomatic cables, and there is a story in The New York Times about this, are showing that this country is doing some very unpleasant things in a lot of places where we shouldn’t be messing. We do these things because of mainly one thing, the war on terror. This bogus concept is now influencing our politics in other nations.
When I hear the government worrying about how these cables might reflect their relationship with other nations, I can’t help and think that they are getting what they deserve if other countries are pissed at us. There is an old saying that I think is very true, “you reap what you sow.” Meaning that if you are sowing the seeds of corruption and villiany in the rest of the world, it is going to come back and bite you. There is a phrase from the Bible that is pretty much saying the same thing, “All that is hidden will be revealed,” Luke 8:17. Even from an atheist point of view, I can respect that, and it is actually true, in some regards. When you try to hide the truth, and it comes out, it always makes you look worse for wear.
America has very few friends these days. I suppose we can all thank Bush for that, when he began his campaign, “Iraq 2: the Search for Curley’s Gold.” This latest bout of diplomatic cables being brought the light are guaranteed to make us look even less attractive to the rest of the world, but if you ask me, so be it. You get what you deserve, in the end, and that’s just how it is.
Until next time, a quote,
“Those who care don’t know, and those who know don’t care.” -Yuri Orlov, Lord of War