Andrew Marshall on Wikileaks

This is a long piece and I donot necessarily buy into every conclusion proffered.  However, it at least makes the case forhaving a skeptical eye on all this.

My own take is that almostall the documents were classified no higher than secret and that a lowlyprivate may well have been tasked with their filing and handling.  Such documents are sensitive but also theyare not so deadly that a leak or two is much of an issue.

Of course a diplomat or twogot embarrassed but his solution is simply to head of to a new posting.  Otherwise we have learned nothing that acompetent observer would not already know. This merely provides documentary support.

Obviously anything real isnot trusted to normal channels as common sense dictates.  A courier with a briefcase is a vastimprovement in that case.

In the end we end up readingsomeone’s mail and his considered opinion perhaps.  The historians will love them and it isalready history as each day passes.

Of far greater import is the recognition here that we are witnessing a global political awakening that must evolve into a global tiered political structure that is able to diffuse  local centripetal issues and provide unity for all societies.

Wikileaks and the Worldwide Information War

Power, Propaganda, and the Global Political Awakening

By Andrew Gavin Marshall


The recent release of the 250,000 Wikileaks documents has provokedunparalleled global interest, both positive, negative, and everywhere inbetween. One thing that can be said with certainty: Wikileaks is changingthings.

There are those who accept what the Wikileaks releases say at face value,largely due to the misrepresentation of the documents by thecorporate-controlled news.

There are those who see the documents as authentic and simply in need of properinterpretation and analysis.

Then there are those, many of whom are in the alternative media, who approachthe leaks with caution and suspicion.

There are those who simply cast the leaks aside as a ‘psy-op’ designedto target specific nations that fit into U.S. foreign policy objectives.Finally, then, there are those who deplore the leaks as ‘treason’ orthreatening ‘security’. Of all the claims and notions, the last is, without adoubt, the most ridiculous. This essay aims to examine the nature of theWikileaks releases and how they should be approached and understood. IfWikileaks is changing things, let’s hope people will make sure that it changesthings in the right direction.

Media PropagandaAgainst Iran:Taking the Cables at Face Value

This perspective is perhaps the most propagated one, as it is largelyinfluenced and undertaken by the mainstream corporate media, which present theleaked diplomatic cables as ‘proof’ of the media’s take on major world issues;most notably among them, Iran’s nuclear program. As per usual, the New YorkTimes steps center stage in its unbridled contempt for truth and relentless useof propaganda to serve U.S. imperial interests, headlining articles with titleslike, “Around the World, Distress Over Iran,” which explained how Israel andthe Arab leaders agree on Iran as a nuclear threat to the world, with thecommentary in the article stating that, “running beneath the cables is a beliefamong many leaders that unless the current government in Tehran falls, Iranwill have a bomb sooner or later.”[1] Fox News ran an article proclaiming that,“Leaked Documents Show Middle East Consensus on Threat Posed by Iran,” and commented that, “the seismic documentspill by WikiLeaks showed one area of profound agreement -- that Iran is viewed in the Middle East as the region's No. 1 troublemaker.”[2]

This, it should be understood, is propaganda. Yet, we need to properlyrefine our understanding of propaganda in order to assess what is specificallypropagandistic about these stories. While one should remain skeptical ofsources and disinformation campaigns (as those who critically analyze the mediahave known take place time and time again), one must also consider the personalperspective of the source and decipher between authenticity and analysis. Thesedocuments, I truly believe, are authentic. In this sense, I do not adhere tothe notion that these are a part of a psychological operation (psy-op) orpropaganda effort, in terms of the actual release of the documents. We mustkeep in mind that the sources for these cables are U.S.diplomatic channels, and thus the statements within them reflect the perspectivesand beliefs of U.S.diplomatic personnel. The documents are an authentic representation of theirstatements and beliefs, but that does not imply that they are an accuraterepresentation of reality.

This is where the media comes in to propagandize the information withinthe leaks. The two above examples claim that the leaks show that there is a“consensus” on Iran, and thus, that the U.S. and indeed Israeli positions onIran for the past several years have been “vindicated,” namely in that they fearIran is making nuclear weapons. This is nonsense. The media has essentiallyread and propagated the documents at face value, meaning that because U.S.diplomats, Middle Eastern and Arab leaders all agree that Iran is a “threat”and is trying to make a “nuclear weapon,” it therefore must be true. This is anon sequitur. If a military general tells several soldiers to commit a raid ona house because there are “suspected terrorists” inside, the fact that thesoldiers carry out the raid – and that they believe there are terrorists inside– does not make it so. In contextualizing this example with the currentWikileaks release, just because Middle Eastern and Arab leaders see Iran as athreat, does not make it so. 

Again, consider the sources. What makes the Arab leaders trustworthysources for ‘unbiased’ information? For example, one ‘revelation’ that made itsway around the world was the insistence of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah toAmerica to “cut off the head of the snake” of Iran, and urging America tolaunch military strikes against Iran.[3] This has largely been interpreted inthe media as “proof” that there is a “consensus” on the “threat” posed by Iranto the Middle East and the world. This has been the propaganda line towed bythe New York Times, Fox News and the Israeli government, among many others.Yet, we need to properly contextualize this information, something which theNew York Times has a long record of failing to properly do (intentionally, Imight add). I do not doubt the authenticity of these statements or the beliefsof the Arab leaders that Iranis a ‘threat’. Iran, on the other hand, has claimed that the leaks are“mischievous” and that they serve US interests, and claimed that Iranis “friends” with its neighbours.[4] This too, is propaganda. Again, we need tocontextualize.

Iran is a Shi’a nation, while the Arab nations, particularly SaudiArabia, are predominantly Sunni. This presents a means of division among thesenations in the region, at least on a superficial basis. The reality, however,is that Saudi Arabia and Iran are far from “friendly”, and have not been ongood terms since the Shah was deposed in 1979. Iranis Saudi Arabia’s primarycontender and competition for power and influence in the region, and thus Iran is, inherently, a threat to Saudi Arabia, politically. Further, the Arab states, whoseclaims against Iran havebeen widely publicized, such as those of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,Oman, the UAE and Egypt, must be understood in their relation tothe United States.The Arab states are American proxies in the region. Their armies are subsidizedby the American military industrial complex, their political regimes (all ofwhich are dictatorships and dynasties), are propped up and supported by America. Thesame goes for Israel,although it has at least the public outward appearance of a democracy, muchlike the United States,itself.

The Arab nations and leaders know that the only reason they have andmaintain their power is because the United States allows them and helpsthem to do so. Thus, they are dependent upon America and its political,financial and military support. Going against America’sambitions in the region is a sure way to end up like Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Thehistory of the Middle East in the modern erais replete with examples of how one-time puppets and personal favourites of theAmerican Empire can so easily turn into new enemies and “threats to peace.”American sponsored regime change takes place, and a new puppet is installed. IfArab leaders said that Iranwas not a threat to peace, they would soon find themselves targets of Westernimperialism. Further, many, like King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, are so virulent in their hatred and distrust of Iran simplybecause they are regional competitors for influence. One thing can be said ofall states and their leaders, they are inherently self-interested and obsessedwith self-preservation and personal power expansion.

Saudi Arabia, in particular, is not a passive actor in the regionalbattle of influence with Iran.In Yemen, Saudi Arabia is involved in another Americanimperial war of conquest, in suppressing secessionist and indigenous liberationmovements in the North and South of Yemen. Yemen, ruled by an Americansupported dictator, Saleh, who has been in power since 1978, is also workingwith the Americans to suppress its own population in order to maintain its holdon power. Much of the presentation of the conflict, however, is inpropagandizing the conflict, portraying it as a regional battle for influence betweenSaudi Arabia and Iran. Whilethere is no doubt, and clear admissions, of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in thewar, there has been no information that Iran has had any involvement, yet it isconstantly accused by both Saudi Arabia and Yemen of being involved. This maybe an attempt to draw Iraninto a regional proxy war, if not to simply demonize the nation further. In themidst of this new Yemeni war, America made an arms deal with Saudi Arabia whichbroke the record as the largest U.S. arms deal in history, at $60 billion. Thedeal, of which it is no secret, is aimed at building up Saudi Arabia’s militarycapabilities in order to both engage more effectively in the Yemen war, butprimarily to challenge and counter increased Iranian influence in the region.In short, America is armingits proxy nations for a war with Iran.

[For a detailed examination of the war in Yemen, see: “Yemen: The Covert Apparatus of the American Empire.”]

Israel did not denounce the arms deal as it was taking place, simplybecause it ultimately served Israel’s interest in the region as well, of whichits main target is Iran.Further, Israelis left subdued to American interests, as an American proxy itself. If Israel’s military financing and hardware comesfrom America (which itdoes), thus making it dependent upon Americafor its own military power, Israelis in no position to tell Americato not arm its other regional proxies. If indeed there is a regional waragainst Iran in the making,which it has appeared for some time that there is, it is certainly in Israel’s interest to have allies against Iran in theregion.

Is Wikileaks aPropaganda Effort?

The leaders of Israelhave been very adamant that the Wikileaks documents do not embarrass Israel to anyextent. Prior to the release, the U.S. government briefed Israeli officials onthe type of documents that would be released by Wikileaks regarding Israel.[5]Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “there is no disparitybetween the public discourse between us and Washington, and the mutualunderstanding of each other’s positions.”[6] The Israeli Defense Minister, EhudBarak, claimed that the documents “show a more accurate view of reality.”[7]One top Turkish politician stated that looking at which countries are pleasedwith the releases says a lot, and speculated that Israel “engineered therelease” of documents in an attempt to advance its interests and to “pressureTurkey.”[8]

Further, the Internet and various alternative news organizations are abuzzwith speculation that Wikileaks itself may be a propaganda front, perhaps evena CIA front organization, a method of “controlling the opposition” (which,historically we know, is no stranger to CIA activities). Yet, this speculationis based upon the use of the information that is released in the cables, and itstrikes me as a lack of contextualizing the documents.

So, how should one contextualize this? Let’s begin with Israel.Certainly, Israel is withouta doubt a criminal state (as all states essentially are), but its criminalityis amplified more so than most states on this planet, possibly outdone only by America,itself. Israel’s ethniccleansing of Palestinians is one of the most horrific and long-lasting crimesagainst humanity seen in the past 50 years, and posterity will view Israel as thevicious, war-mongering, dehumanizing and abhorrent state it is. Yet, for allthat Israel is, one thing Israelis not, is subtle. When the Israeli PM states that the Wikileaks releases arenot embarrassing to Israel,he is mostly correct. This is not because Israelhas nothing to hide (remember, the Wikileaks documents are not ‘top secret’documents, but merely diplomatic cables), but because the diplomatic exchanges Israel makes largely reflect the reality of thepublic statements Israelmakes. Israel and its political elite are no strangers to making absurd publicstatements, to constantly threatening war with Iran and other neighbours, or topropagandizing their beliefs that Iran is making nuclear weapons (somethingwhich has never been proven). Thus, the leaks do not ‘hurt’ Israel’s image,because Israel’s image, internationally, is already so abysmal and despicable,and because Israeli diplomats and politicians are generally as brazen in whatthey say publicly as they say to each other, that Israel’s image has largelyremained the same. Of course, Israeli leaders – political and military – areusing the leaks to suggest that it “vindicates” their perspective on Iran as athreat, which of course is an absurd propaganda ploy, the exact same techniquetaken on by the corporate media, in taking the cables at face value. 

While Iran hasslammed the Wikileaks releases as Western propaganda aimed at Iran, thisstatement itself should be taken as a form of propaganda. After all, Iran claimedthat it is “friends” with all its neighbours, a claim which is an historicaland present falsity. Iran, like all states, uses propaganda to advance its owninterests. Iranis not by any means a wonderful nation. However, compared to the Americanfavourites in the region (such as Saudi Arabia),Iranis a bastion of freedom and democracy, which isn’t saying much. Those whoattempt to battle the spread of misinformation and propaganda, myself included,must remain highly critical of media representations and campaigns against Iran,of which there are many. Iran is firmly in the targets of America’s imperialambitions, this is no secret. Yet, there is nothing in the current batch ofWikileaks releases that strikes me as inauthentic in relation to Iran, especially those documents pertaining tothe perspectives of Western diplomats and Arab leaders in relation to Iran. No doubt,they have these perspectives simply because they reflect the policy prioritiesof Americaand the West, itself, not because they are factual in their substance. In this,we must decipher between authenticity and accuracy.

Iran stating that the Wikileaks documents arepropaganda is a misnomer and is misleading. Analysts must not only criticallyassess the authenticity of documents (and the sources from which they come),but also, and perhaps even more importantly, they must critically analyze theinterpretation of those documents. So while I do not doubt the authenticity ofdocuments pertaining to Western and Middle Eastern perceptions of Iran (as itfits in with the wider geopolitical realities of the region), it is theinterpretation of the documents that I view as active propaganda efforts on thepart of Western governments and media. The methods of this propaganda effort,however, are in depicting the documents as ‘factual assessments’ of theon-the-ground reality, which they are not. The documents are factual in howthey represent the views of those who wrote them, which does not mean that theyare factual in their substance. There is a difference, and acknowledging thisdifference is incredibly important in both the exposure of propaganda andassessment of truth.

The Truth AboutDiplomacy

Craig Murray is one voice that should be heard on this issue. Craig Murraywas a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who made a name for himself inexposing intelligence from Uzbekistan related to al-Qaeda as entirelyunreliable, due to the methods of torture used to get the information (such asboiling people alive). This intelligence was passed to the CIA and MI6, which Murray said was“factually incorrect.” When Murrayexpressed his concerns with the higher-ups in the British diplomatic services,he was reprimanded for talking about “human rights.”[9] The British Foreign andCommonwealth Office (FCO) told Murraythat he had one week to resign, and was threatened with possible prosecution orjail time for revealing “state secrets.”[10] He was subsequently removed fromhis ambassadorial position, and has since become something of a politicalactivist. In short, Murrayis exactly the type of diplomat a person should want: honest. But he was alsoexactly the type of diplomat that Western imperial powers don’t want: honest.

In the midst of the latest Wikileaks releases of diplomatic documents,Craig Murray was asked to write an article for the Guardian regarding hisinterpretation of the issue. As Murraylater noted, the paper placed his article, largely reduced, hidden in themiddle of a long article which was a compendium of various commentaries onWikileaks. Murray, however, posted the full version on his website. In thearticle, Murray begins by assessing the claims of government officials aroundthe world, particularly in the United States, that Wikileaks exposes the UnitedStates to “harm,” that it puts lives at risk, and that they will “encourageIslamic extremism,” and most especially, the notion that “government secrecy isessential to keep us all safe.” Murray explains that having been a diplomat forover 20 years, he is very familiar with these arguments, particularly that as aresult of Wikileaks, diplomats will no longer be candid in giving advice, “ifthat advice might become public.” Murrayelaborates:

Put it another way. The best advice is adviceyou would not be prepared to defend in public. Really? Why? In today'sglobalised world, the Embassy is not a unique source of expertise. Oftenexpatriate, academic and commercial organisations are a lot better informed.The best policy advice is not advice which is shielded from peer review.

What of course the establishment mean is thatAmbassadors should be free to recommend things which the general public wouldview with deep opprobrium, without any danger of being found out. But shouldthey really be allowed to do that, in a democracy?[11]

Murray pointedly asked why a type of behaviour thatis considered reprehensible for most people – such as lying – “should beconsidered acceptable, or even praiseworthy, in diplomacy.” Murray explainedthat for British diplomats, “this belief that their profession exempts themfrom the normal constraints of decent behaviour amounts to a cult ofMachiavellianism, a pride in their own amorality.” He explained that diplomatscome from a very narrow upper social strata, and “view themselves asultra-intelligent Nietzschean supermen, above normal morality” who are sociallyconnected to the political elite. In criticizing the claims made by manycommentators that the release of the leaks endanger lives, Murraypointedly wrote that this perspective needs to be “set against any such riskthe hundreds of thousands of actual dead from the foreign policies of the US andits co-conspirators in the past decade.” Further, for those who posit thatWikileaks is a psy-op or propaganda operation or that Wikileaks is a “CIAfront”, Murrayhad this to say:

Of course the documents reflect the US view – they are official US governmentcommunications. What they show is something I witnessed personally, thatdiplomats as a class very seldom tell unpalatable truths to politicians, butrather report and reinforce what their masters want to hear, in the hope ofreceiving preferment.

There is therefore a huge amount about Iran's putative nuclear arsenal and anexaggeration of Iran'swarhead delivery capability. But there is nothing about Israel'smassive nuclear arsenal. That is not because wikileaks have censored criticismof Israel.It is because any USdiplomat who made an honest and open assessment of Israeli crimes would veryquickly be an unemployed ex-diplomat.[12]

Murray concluded his article with the statement thatall would do well to keep in mind: “Truth helps the people against rapaciouselites – everywhere.”[13]

World Order andGlobal Awakening

In attempting to understand Wikileaks and its potential effects (thatis, if the alternative media and citizens activists use this opportunity), wemust place Wikileaks within a wider geopolitical context. Our human worldexists as a complex system of social interactions. As powerful and dominating aselites are and have always been, we must understand that they are notomnipotent; they are human and flawed, as are their methods and ideas. Thereare other forces at work in the human social world, and these variousinteractions created and changed the world into what it is, and will determinewhere it is going. In effect, nothing is preordained; nothing is exact. Plansare made, certainly, by elites, in designing ideas and reshaping andcontrolling society. However, society – and in the globalized world, a ‘globalsociety’ – react and interact with elite forces and ideas. Just as the peoplemust react to and experience repercussions from changes in elite processes, sotoo must the elite react to and experience repercussions from changes in socialprocesses. Today, we can conceptualize this dichotomy – the geopoliticalreality of the world – as ‘The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order’:

There is a new and unique development in human history that is takingplace around the world; it is unprecedented in reach and volume, and it is alsothe greatest threat to all global power structures: the ‘global politicalawakening.’ The term was coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and refers to the factthat, as Brzezinski wrote:

For the first time in history almost all ofhumanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politicallyinteractive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for culturalrespect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial orimperial domination.

It is, in essence, this massive ‘global political awakening’ whichpresents the gravest and greatest challenge to the organized powers ofglobalization and the global political economy: nation-states, multinationalcorporations and banks, central banks, international organizations, military,intelligence, media and academic institutions. The Transnational CapitalistClass (TCC), or ‘Superclass’ as David Rothkopf refers to them, are globalizedlike never before. For the first time in history, we have a truly global andheavily integrated elite. As elites have globalized their power, seeking toconstruct a ‘new world order’ of global governance and ultimately globalgovernment (decades down the line), they have simultaneously globalizedpopulations.

The ‘Technological Revolution’ involves two major geopoliticaldevelopments. The first is that as technology advances, systems of masscommunication rapidly accelerate, and the world’s people are able to engage ininstant communication with one another and gain access to information fromaround the world. In it, lies the potential – and ultimately a central source –of a massive global political awakening. Simultaneously, the TechnologicalRevolution has allowed elites to redirect and control society in ways neverbefore imagined, potentially culminating in a global scientific dictatorship,as many have warned of since the early decades of the 20th century. Thepotential for controlling the masses has never been so great, as science unleashesthe power of genetics, biometrics, surveillance, and new forms of moderneugenics; implemented by a scientific elite equipped with systems ofpsycho-social control.

Brzezinski has written extensively on the issue of the ‘GlobalPolitical Awakening,’ and has been giving speeches at various elite think tanksaround the world, ‘informing’ the elites of this changing global dynamic.Brzezinski is one of the principle representatives of the global elite and oneof the most influential elite intellectuals in the world. His analysis of the`global politicl awakening`is useful because of his repesentation of it as theprimary global threat to elite interests everywhere. Thus, people should viewthe concept of the `global political awakening`as the greatest potential hopefor humanity and that it should be advanced and aided, as opposed toBrzezinski`s perspective that it should be controlled and suppressed. However,it would be best for Brzezinski to explain the concept in his own words toallow people to understand how it constitutes a `threat`to eliteinterests :

For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politicallyactivated, politically conscious and politically interactive. There are only a few pockets of humanityleft in the remotest corners of the world that are not politically alert andengaged with the political turmoil and stirrings that are so widespread todayaround the world. The resulting global politicalactivism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, culturalrespect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories ofcenturies-long alien colonial or imperial domination... The worldwide yearningfor human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of globalpolitical awakening.

...America needs to face squarely a centrallyimportant new global reality: that the world's population is experiencing apolitical awakening unprecedented in scope and intensity, with the resultthat the politics of populism aretransforming the politics of power. The need to respond to that massive phenomenon poses to the uniquelysovereign America anhistoric dilemma: What should be the central definition of America'sglobal role? ... The central challenge of our time is posed not by globalterrorism, but rather by the intensifying turbulence caused by the phenomenonof global political awakening. That awakening issocially massive and politically radicalizing.

... It is no overstatement to assert thatnow in the 21st century thepopulation of much of the developing world is politically stirring and in manyplaces seething with unrest. It is a population acutely conscious of socialinjustice to an unprecedented degree, and often resentful of its perceived lackof political dignity. Thenearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both toexisting states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America stillperches.

... The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic revolution they embody isthus a political time-bomb, as well. With the exception of Europe, Japan and America, the rapidly expandingdemographic bulge in the 25-year-old-and-under age bracket is creating a hugemass of impatient young people. Their minds have been stirred by sounds andimages that emanate from afar and which intensify their disaffection with whatis at hand. Their potential revolutionaryspearhead is likely to emerge from among the scores of millions of studentsconcentrated in the often intellectually dubious "tertiary level"educational institutions of developing countries. Depending on the definition of the tertiaryeducational level, there are currently worldwidebetween 80 and 130 million "college" students. Typically originatingfrom the socially insecure lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of socialoutrage, these millions of students are revolutionaries-in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in largecongregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay on alarger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in TiananmenSquare. Their physical energy and emotionalfrustration is just waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred.

Brzezinski thus posits that to address this new global “challenge” toentrenched powers, particularly nation-states that cannot sufficiently addressthe increasingly non-pliant populations and populist demands, what is required,is “increasingly supranational cooperation, actively promoted by the United States.”In other words, Brzezinski favours an increased and expanded‘internationalization’, not surprising considering he laid the intellectualfoundations of the Trilateral Commission. He explains that “Democracy per se isnot an enduring solution,” as it could be overtaken by “radically resentfulpopulism.” This is truly a new global reality:

Politically awakened mankind craves politicaldignity, which democracy can enhance, but political dignity also encompassesethnic or national self-determination, religious self-definition, and human andsocial rights, all in a world now acutely aware of economic, racial and ethnicinequities. The quest for political dignity, especially through nationalself-determination and social transformation, is part of the pulse ofself-assertion by the world's underprivileged.

Thus, writes Brzezinski, “an effective response can only come from aself-confident Americagenuinely committed to a new vision of global solidarity.” The idea is that toaddress the grievances caused by globalization and global power structures, theworld and Americamust expand and institutionalize the process of globalization, not simply inthe economic sphere, but in the social and political as well. It is a flawedlogic, to say the least, that the answer to these systemic problems is toenhance and strengthen the systemic flaws that created them. One cannot put outa fire by adding fuel.

Brzezinski even wrote that, “let it be said right away thatsupranationality should not be confused with world government. Even if it weredesirable, mankind is not remotely ready for world government, and the Americanpeople certainly do not want it.” Instead, Brzezinski argues, America must becentral in constructing a system of global governance, “in shaping a world thatis defined less by the fiction of state sovereignty and more by the reality ofexpanding and politically regulated interdependence.” In other words, not‘global government’ but ‘global governance’, which is simply a rhetorical ploy,as ‘global governance’ – no matter how overlapping, sporadic and desultory itpresents itself – is in fact a key step and necessary transition in the movestoward an actual global government structure.

[See: Andrew Gavin MarshallThe Global Political Awakening and the New World Order,Global Research, 24 June 2010]


I feel that Wikileaks must be conceptualized within our understandingof this geopolitical reality we find ourselves in today. While indeed it isnecessary to be skeptical of such monumental events, we must allow ourselves toremember that there are always surprises – for everyone – and that the futureis nothing if not unknown. Anything, truly, can happen. There is of courselogic behind the automatic skepticism and suspicion about Wikileaks from thealternative media; however, they also risk losing an incredible opportunitypresented by Wikileaks, to not only reach more people with importantinformation, but to better inform that information itself.

For those who view Wikileaks as a conspiracy or plot, as a psy-op ofsome kind, while indeed these things have taken place in the past, there issimply no evidence for it thus far. Every examination of this concept is basedupon speculation. Many nations around the world, particularly in the MiddleEast and South Asia, are pointing to theWestern nations as engaging in a covert propaganda campaign aimed at creatingdisunity between states and allies. Iran, Turkey, Pakistanand Afghanistanhave made such claims. It is no surprise that most of these are nations,particularly Iran, aretargets of U.S.imperial policy. Since, however, the Wikileaks releases speak heavily andnegatively about Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Venezuela, etc.,one must remember that these are ‘diplomatic cables’, and represent the ‘opinionsand beliefs’ of the diplomatic establishment, a social group which ishistorically and presently deeply enmeshed and submissive to elite ideology andmethodology. In short, these are the foreign imperial envoys, and as such, theyare ideological imperialists and represent imperial interests.

As has been the case both historically and presently, imperialobjectives are hidden with political rhetoric. Since, politically, these aretarget nations of the American imperial elite, America’s diplomaticrepresentatives will focus on these nations, and adopt the same ideas andbeliefs. How many people have ever been given a raise by questioning and thendisregarding their superior’s management technique? Thus, in their respectivenations and operations, the diplomats will seek information that targets thesenations or serve specific American imperial objectives. If all the informationthey come up with are rumours and conjectures and repeated talking points, thatis what will be seen in the diplomatic cables. Indeed, that was exactly thecase. The cables are full of rumours and unsupported allegations. So naturally,they would target these specific nations – deemed geopolitically significant byAmerican imperial interests – and why there would be far less information on Israel andother allied nations. This is why it seems to me that these cables areauthentic. They seem to represent the reality of the ‘diplomatic social group’,and thus they are a vivid exploration in the study of imperialism. We have beengiven the opportunity to see the ‘communications’ of imperial diplomacy. It isin this, that we are presented with an incredible opportunity.

Further, in regards to many Middle Eastern and Asian nations framingWikileaks as a “Western plot,” as critical thinkers we must take note of thegeopolitical reality of the ‘global political awakenng.’ All states areself-interested, that is the nature of a state. Elites all over the world areaware of the reality and potential political power of the ‘global politicalawakening’ and thus, seek to suppress or co-opt its potential. States which areoften viewed by the critical press as ‘targets’ by Western imperial powers(such as Iran),may seek to use this power to its own advantage. They may attempt to steer the‘global awakening’ and the ‘alternative media’ to their favour, which givesthem political power. But the alternative media must not ‘pick sides’ in termsof global elites and power structures, we must remain critical of all sides andall actors.

Wikileaks is receiving an incredible readership and is reaching out tonew audiences, globally, in the American homeland itself, and to the youth ofthe world. People’s perceptions are beginning to change on a variety of issues.The question is: will the alternative media ignore Wikileaks and isolateitself, or will they engage with Wikileaks, and prevent the mainstreamcorporate media from having a ‘monopoly of interpretation’, which becomesinherently propagandistic. Wikileaks is having global repercussions, and hasbeen very good for the newspaper and mainstream news industries, which havebeen on a steady decline. This too, can be an issue to reach out to this newand growing audience, and to bring them to a new perspective. If we do notreach out, we are left talking to each other, further isolating ourselves, andultimately becoming subverted and ineffective for change. We need to reach outto new audiences, and this is an incredible opportunity to do so. People areinterested, people are curious, people are hungry for more.

Wikileaks and theMedia

Instead of deriding Wikileaks as “not telling us anything we didn’tknow” before, perhaps the alternative media should use the popularity andmomentum of Wikileaks to take from it the documentation and analysis thatfurther strengthens our arguments and beliefs. This will allow for others,especially new audiences of interested people worldwide, to place the Wikileaksreleases within a wider context and understanding. The reports from Wikileaksare ‘revelations’ only to those who largely adhere to the ‘illusions’ of theworld: that we live in ‘democracies’ promoting ‘freedom’ around the world andat home, etc. The ‘revelations’ however, are not simply challenging Americanperceptions of America,but of all nations and their populations. The fact that these people arereading and discovering new things for which they are developing an interest isan incredible change. This is likely why the corporate media is so heavilyinvolved in the dissemination of this information (which itself is a majorsource of suspicion for the alternative media): to control the interpretationof the message. It is the job of the alternative media and intellectuals andother thinking individuals to challenge that interpretation with factual analysis.The Wikileaks releases, in fact, give us more facts to place within and supportour interpretations than they do for the corporate media.

We must ask why the Wikileaks releases were ‘revelations’ for mostpeople? Well, it was surprising simply for the fact that the media itself hassuch a strong hold on the access, dissemination and interpretation ofinformation. They are ‘revelations’ because people are indoctrinated withmyths. They are not ‘revelations’ to the alternative media because we have beentalking about these things for years. However, while they may not necessarilybe ‘revelations’, they are in fact, ‘confirmations’ and ‘vindications’ andbring more information to the analysis. It is in this, that a great opportunitylies. For since the leaks support and better inform our perspectives, we canbuild on this concept and examine how Wikileaks adds to and supports criticalanalysis. For those who are newly interested and looking for information, orfor those who are having their previous perceptions challenged, it is thealternative media and critical voices alone who can place that information in awider context for everyone else. In this, more people will see how it is thealternative media and critical perspectives which were more reflective ofreality than say, the mainstream media (for which Wikileaks is a ‘revelation’).Thus, more people may soon start turning to alternative media and ideas; afterall, our perspectives were vindicated, not those of the mainstream media(though they attempt to spin it as such).

We are under a heavy propaganda offensive on the part of the globalcorporate and mainstream media to spin and manipulate these leaks to their owninterests. We, as alternative media and voices, must use Wikileaks to ouradvantage. Ignoring it will only damage our cause and undermine our strength.The mainstream media understood that; so too, must we. Wikileaks presents initself a further opportunity for the larger exposure of mainstream media asorganized propaganda. By ‘surprising’ so many people with the ‘revelations’,the media has in effect exposed itself as deeply inadequate in their analysisof the world and the major issues within it. While currently it is giving themainstream media a great boost, we are still immersed in the era of the‘Technological Revolution’ and there is still (for now, anyway) Internetfreedom, and thus, the tide can quickly turn.

Like the saying goes, ‘the rich man will sell you the rope to hang himwith if he thinks he can make a buck on it.’ Perhaps the mainstream media hasdone the same. No other organized apparatus was as capable of disseminating asmuch material as quickly and with such global reach as the mainstream media. Ifthe leaks initially only made it into alternative media, then the informationwould only reach those whom are already reading the alternative press. In that,they would not be such grand ‘revelations’ and would have had a muted effect.In the mainstream media’s global exposure of Wikileaks material (never mindtheir slanted and propagandistic interpretations), they have changed thedynamic and significance of the information. By reaching wider and newaudiences, the alternative and critical voices can co-opt these new audiences;lead them away from the realm of information ‘control’ into the realm ofinformation ‘access’. This is potentially one of the greatest opportunitiespresented for the alternative and critical voices of the world.

Wikileaks is a globally transformative event. Not simply in terms ofawakening new people to ‘new’ information, but also in terms of the effect itis having upon global power structures, itself. With ambassadors resigning,diplomats being exposed as liars and tools, political rifts developing betweenWestern imperial allies, and many careers and reputations of elites around theworld at great risk, Wikileaks is creating the potential for an enormousdeterioration in the effectiveness of imperialism and domination. That, initself, is an admirable and worthy goal. That this is already a reality isrepresentative of how truly transformative Wikileaks is and could be. People,globally, are starting to see their leaders through a lens not filtered by‘public relations.’ Through mainstream media, it gets filtered throughpropaganda, which is why it is an essential duty of the alternative media andcritical thinkers to place this information in a wider, comprehensive context.This would further erode the effectiveness of empire.

With the reaction of several states and policing organizations to issuearrest warrants for Julian Assange, or in calling for his assassination (as oneCanadian adviser to the Prime Minister suggested on television), theseorganizations and individuals are exposing their own hatred of democracy,transparency and freedom of information. Their reactions can be used todiscredit their legitimacy to ‘rule’. If policing agencies are supposed to“protect and serve,” why are they seeking instead to “punish and subvert” thosewho expose the truth? Again, this comes as no surprise to those who closelystudy the nature of the state, and especially the modern phenomenon of themilitarization of domestic society and the dismantling of rights and freedoms.However, it is happening before the eyes of the whole world, and people arepaying attention. This is new.

This is an incredible opportunity to criticize foreign policy (read:‘imperial strategy’), and to disembowel many global power structures. Morepeople, now, than ever before, will be willing to listen, learn and investigatefor themselves. Wikileaks should be regarded as a ‘gift’, not a ‘distraction.’Instead of focusing on the parts of the Wikileaks cables which do not reflectthe perspectives of the alternative media (such as on Iran), we must useWikileaks to better inform our own understanding not simply of the ‘policy’itself, but of the complex social interactions and ideas that create the basisfor the ‘policy’ to be carried out. In regards to the diplomatic cablesthemselves, we are better able to understand the nature of diplomats as ‘agentsof empire,’ and so instead of discounting the cables as ‘propaganda’ we mustuse them against the apparatus of empire itself: to expose the empire for whatit is. Wikileaks helps to unsheathe and strip away the rhetoric behind imperialpolicy, and expose diplomats not as ‘informed observers’, but as ‘agents ofpower.’ The reaction by nations, organizations and institutions around theworld adds further fuel to this approach, as we are seeing the utter distastepolitical leaders have for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom of information’, despitetheir rhetoric. Several institutions of power can be more widely exposed inthis manner.

A recent addition to this analysis can be in the role played byuniversities not in ‘education’ but in ‘indoctrination’ and the production ofnew ‘agents of power.’ For example, Columbia University is one of themost “respected” and “revered” universities in the world, which has producedseveral individuals and significant sectors of the political elite (includingdiplomats). In reaction to the Wikileaks releases, Columbia University haswarned “students they risk future job prospects if they download any of thematerial,” which followed “a government ban on employees, estimated at morethan two-and-a-half million people, using work computers and othercommunication devices to look at diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.” TheUniversity “emailed students at the university's school of international andpublic affairs, a recruiting ground for the state department.”[14] Good for Columbia! What do theythink university is for, ‘education’ or something? How dare students takeeducation into their own hands, especially students who will likely be futurediplomats. This university reaction to Wikileaks helps call into attention therole of universities in our society, and specifically the role of universitiesin shaping the future ‘managers’ of the imperial apparatus.

Wikileaks as an Opportunity

If Wikileaks is a psy-op, it is either the stupidest or mostintelligent psychological operation ever undertaken. But one thing is for sure:systems and structures of power are in the process of being exposed to a muchwider audience than ever before. The question for the alternative media andcritical researchers, alike, is what will they do with this information andthis opportunity?

Julian Assange was recently interviewed by Time Magazine aboutWikileaks, in which he explained to the inadequately informed editor of TimeMagazine that organizations which are secretive need to be exposed:

If their behavior is revealed to the public,they have one of two choices: one is to reform in such a way that they can beproud of their endeavors, and proud to display them to the public. Or the otheris to lock down internally and to balkanize, and as a result, of course, ceaseto be as efficient as they were. To me, that is a very good outcome,because organizations can either beefficient, open and honest, or they can be closed, conspiratorial andinefficient.[15]

Assange further explained some of his perspectives regarding theinfluence of and reactions to Wikileaks, stating that the Chinese:

appear to be terrified of free speech, andwhile one might say that means something awful is happening in the country, Iactually think that is a very optimistic sign, because it means that speech can still cause reform and that the power structureis still inherently political, asopposed to fiscal. So journalism and writing are capable of achieving change,and that is why Chinese authorities are so scared of it. Whereas in the UnitedStates to a large degree, and in other Western countries, the basic elements ofsociety have been so heavily fiscalized through contractual obligations thatpolitical change doesn't seem to result in economic change, which in otherwords means that political change doesn't resultin change.[16]

In the interview, Assange turned to the issue of the Internet andcommunity media:

For the rise of social media, it's quiteinteresting. When we first started [in 2006], we thought we would have theanalytical work done by bloggers and people who wrote Wikipedia articles and soon. And we thought that was a natural, given that we had lots of quality,important content... The bulk of the heavy lifting - heavy analytical lifting -that is done with our materials is done by us, and is done by professionaljournalists we work with and by professional human-rights activists. It is notdone by the broader community. However, once the initial lifting is done, oncea story becomes a story, becomes a news article, then we start to see community involvement, which digs deeper and providesmore perspective. Sothe social networks tend to be, for us, an amplifier of what we are doing. Andalso a supply of sources for us.[17]

As researchers, media, and critics, we must realize that ourperspectives and beliefs must be open to change and evolution. Simply becausesomething like this has never happened before does not mean that it isn’thappening now. We live in the era of the ‘Technological Revolution,’ and theInternet has changed economics, politics and society itself, on a global scale.This is where the true hope in furthering and better informing the ‘globalpolitical awakening’ will need to take speed and establish itself. True changein our world is not going to come from already-established or newly-createdinstitutions of power, which is where all issues are currently being addressed,especially those of global significance. True change, instead, can only comenot from global power structures, but from the global ‘community’ of people,interacting with one another via the power unleashed by the ‘TechnologicalRevolution.’ Change must be globally understood and community organized.

We are on the verge of a period of global social transformation, thequestion is: will we do anything about it? Will we seek to inform and partakein this transition, or will we sit and watch it be misled, criticizing it as itfalters and falls? Just as Martin Luther King commented in his 1967 speech,Beyond Vietnam, that it seemed as if America was “on the wrong side of a worldrevolution,” now there is an opportunity to remedy that sad reality, and notsimply on a national scale, but global.

Despite all the means and methods of power and domination in thisworld, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As thingsprogressively get worse and worse, as any independent observer of the world hasnoticed, life has a way of creating means and methods to counter theseregressions. As ‘globalization’ has facilitated the emergence of a globalelite, and several global institutions and ideologies of global power, so toohas this process facilitated the ‘globalization of opposition.’ So whileelites, globally, actively work to integrate and expand global powerstructures, they are inadvertently integrating and expanding global oppositionto those very same power structures. This is the great paradox of our time, andone which we must recognize, for it is not simply a factual observation, but itis a hopeful situation.

Hope should not be underestimated, and it is something that I havepersonally struggled with in my views of the world. It is hard to see ‘hope’when you study so much ‘horror’ in the world, and see how little is being doneabout it. But activism and change need hope. This is very evident from theObama campaign, which was splashed with rhetoric of ‘hope’ and ‘change’,something that all people rightfully want and need. However, Obama’s ‘hope’ and‘change’ were Wall Street brands and patents, it was a glorious practice in theart of propaganda, and a horrific blow to true notions of ‘hope’ and ‘change’.There is a reason why the Obama campaign took the top prizes in publicrelations industry awards.[18]

Hope is needed, but it cannot be misplaced hope, as it was with Obama.It must be a hope grounded not in ‘blind faith’ but in ‘honest analysis.’ Whileindeed on most fronts in the world, things are getting progressively worse, thealternative media has focused almost exclusively on these issues that they haveblinded themselves to the positive geopolitical developments in the world,namely the ‘global political awakening’ and the role of the Internet inreshaping global society. While these issues are acknowledged, they are notfully understood or explained within the wider context: that these are in fact,hopeful developments; that there is hope. Wikileaks strengthens this notion, ifit is to be taken as an opportunity. A critique without hope falls on deafears. No one wants to hear that things are ‘hopeless’, so while an examinationof what is wrong in the world is integral to moving forward, so too is anexamination of what is hopeful and positive. This spreads the message andbuilds its supporters. The Internet as a medium facilitates the spread of thismessage, and after all, as one of the foremost media theorists, MarshallMcLuhan, noted, “The medium is the message.”

Appendix of‘Revelations’ and ‘Vindications’: A Call to Action for Alternative Media

So what are some of the supposed ‘revelations’ which can be used as‘vindications’ by the alternative media? Well, for one, the role of royalty asa relevant and powerful economic and political actor in the world today. And bythis I do not simply refer to states where monarchs remain as official rulers,such as in Saudi Arabia, but more specifically to West European and notably theBritish monarchs. For those who have studied institutions like the BilderbergGroup and the Trilateral Commission, the relevance of European royalty in internationalaffairs is not a new concept. For the majority of people (who haven’t evenheard of the Bilderberg Group or Trilateral Commission), these monarchs arelargely viewed as symbolic figures as opposed to political actors. This is, ofcourse, naïve, as all monarchs have always been political actors, however, itis a naivety that has now been challenged on a much wider scale and to a muchwider audience. There was a time when I would discuss the relevance of monarchsin the modern world, and it would be a subject that would be treated by manyothers as an absurd notion: “but the Queen has no real power, she’s afigurehead,” etc. Wikileaks has exposed that notion as a falsity, and it shouldbe an issue that is expanded upon.

For example, within the Wikileaks cables, take the British PrinceAndrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, who has been subject to many cable‘revelations.’ The U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstanwrote a cable regarding a meeting she attended with several British andCanadian businessmen and Prince Andrew, who is a special U.K. trade representative to the Middle East andCentral Asia. At the meeting, Prince Andrewranted against “those [expletive] journalists ... who poke their noseseverywhere,” and he “railed at British anticorruption investigators, who hadhad the 'idiocy' of almost scuttling the al-Yamama deal with Saudi Arabia,”particularly “referencing an investigation, subsequently closed, into allegedkickbacks a senior Saudi royal had received in exchange for the multi-year,lucrative BAE Systems contract to provide equipment and training to Saudisecurity forces.” When he ranted against the media – specifically the Guardianpaper – for making it harder to do business abroad, the U.S. Ambassador notedthat the businessmen in attendance “roared their approval” and “practicallyclapped.”[19] Again, evidence for how elites despise true representations ofdemocracy and freedom.

At that same meeting, Prince Andrew made another startling claim, andone which had not been as widely publicized in the media to date. He statedthat to the U.S. Ambassador that: “the United Kingdom, Western Europe(and by extension you Americans too) were now back in the thick of playing theGreat Game,” and, “this time we aim to win!” Further, Prince Andrew – the ‘Dukeof York’ – “then stated that he was very worriedabout Russia'sresurgence in the region,” and referred to Chinese economic and politicalexpansion in the region as “probably inevitable, but a menace.” On the way outof the meeting, one British businessman said to the U.S. Ambassador, “What awonderful representative for the British people! We could not be prouder of ourroyal family!”[20] Well, there you have it, a rich prince running around theworld with rich businessmen promoting their economic interests in foreigncountries and referring to it as the age-old imperial competition between Britain and Russiain the “Great Game” for dominance over Central Asia.And we call our countries ‘democracies’ and exporters of ‘freedom’?

This is quite typical behaviour of the royal family, however, as aformer South African MP and anti-corruption campaigner, Andrew Feinstein,explained, “the royal family has actively supported Britain's arms sales, evenwhen corruption and malfeasance has been suspected,” and that, “the royalfamily was involved in trying to persuade South Africa to buy BAE's Hawk jets,despite the air force not wanting the planes that cost two and a half times theprice of their preferred aircraft. As an ANC MP at the time, I was told that £116min bribes had been paid to key decision-makers and the ANC itself. The royalfamily's attitude is part of the reason that BAE will never face justice in theUKfor its corrupt practices.”[21]

The British royals are also very close with Arab monarchs, which makessense, considering it was the British Empire(and the ‘Crown’ behind it) that created the Arab monarchs and gave them powerin the first place. Prince Andrew went on hunting trips with the King of Jordan and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forcesof the UAE.[22] Further, Prince Charles is considered a strategic diplomaticfigure in regards to Saudi Arabia, as the cables reveal. The Britishmedia headlined with the ‘revelation’ that Prince Charles is not as “respected”as Queen Elizabeth, but the real story was buried in the same article beneaththe royal gossip, as cables revealed that Prince Charles and his wife “havehelped to overcome ‘severe strains’ following Saudi Arabia's imprisonment andtorture of five Britons from December 2001 to August 2003 and the UK's officialfraud investigations of British Aerospace operations in Saudi Arabia in 2004.”As one U.S. diplomatic cableexplained, the British royals “helped re-build UK-Saudi ties” as “the House ofSaud and the House of Windsorbuild upon their royal commonality.” In other words, they both representunelected and unaccountable elite dynastic power, and so they should naturallywork together in ‘their’ own interests. How ‘democratic’ of them. Further, aSaudi royal threw a lavish party for Prince Charles in Saudi Arabiawith the help of an unnamed British businessman.[23]

It looks, however, like the British royals will have to again move into “smooth out” ties with Saudi Arabia, as ‘revelations’ about the country andits monarch paint a picture of a not-so-helpful Western ally. In short, Saudi Arabiaand its monarch have received one of the largest public relations disasters inrecent history. The British monarch may be too busy cleaning up their own mess,or have too much light on them at the moment, to be able to ‘gracefully’maneuver through yet another ‘imperious’ royal visit. What am I referring tohere in terms of bad PR for the Saudis? It’s quite simple, the Saudi royals,good friends of the British monarch, are incidentally the principle financiersof Sunni terrorists (which includes what we commonly refer to as ‘al-Qaeda’)worldwide.

While this comes as no surprise to those who have critically analyzedal-Qaeda or the “war on terror,” it is indeed a ‘revelation’ to the majority ofpeople. While Western governments and media propaganda machines have for yearsblamed terrorist financing and support on ‘target’ nations like Afghanistan,Iraq, Iran and more recently, Pakistan and Yemen, the Wikileaks cables‘vindicated’ the historical and present reality that it is in fact the mainWestern allies in the region, especially Saudi Arabia, but also the other majorGulf Arab states (and their monarchs), who are the main financiers andsupporters of terrorism, and most notably, al-Qaeda. A memo signed by HillaryClinton confirmed that Saudi Arabia is understood to be “the world'slargest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Talibanand Lashkar-e-Taiba,” as well as al-Qaeda itself. Further, three other Arabstates, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates are listed asother chief terrorist financiers. As the Guardian put it, “the cables highlightan often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that theviolence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea.” While Pakistanis largely blamed for aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan,it is in fact Saudi Arabiaas well as UAE-based businesses which are its chief financiers. Kuwait, anotherstaunch U.S. ally, is a “source of funds and a key transit point” foral-Qaeda.[24]

While the New York Times was busy declaring Wikileaks as providing a“new consensus” on Iran, with the Saudi King urging America to attack and “cutthe head off the snake,” they mentioned only in passing, how “Saudi donorsremain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda.”[25] Now,while these are indeed ‘revelations’ to many, we must place these facts intheir proper context. This is not simply to be taken as Saudi Arabiaand Arab states being responsible, alone, for support of terrorism andal-Qaeda, but that they are simply playing the role they have always played,and that diplomacy is sidelined and kept in the dark on this issue as it alwayshas been.

What I mean by this is that the contextualization of these facts mustbe placed in a comprehensive historical analysis. Looking at the history ofal-Qaeda, arising out of the Soviet-Afghan War, with major covert support fromAmerica and other Western allies, the center of this operation was in the‘Safari Club,’ which constituted a secret network of Western intelligenceagencies (such as those of France, Britain and America) and regionalintelligence agencies (such as those of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan), in carryingout the financing, training, arming and operational support of the Mujahideen,and subsequently the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The ‘Safari Club’ was established in1976 (with the help of CIA director at the time, George H.W. Bush, anotherclose friend of the Saudi royals), and was designed to respond to increasingpolitical oversight of intelligence operations in America (as a result of theChurch Committee investigations on CIA operations), and so the Safari Club wascreated to allow for a more covert and discreet network of intelligence operations,with no oversight. Diplomats were kept in the dark about its operations andindeed its existence, while the quiet covert relationships continued behind thescenes. This network, in some form or another, exists up to the present day, asI recently documented in my three-part series on “The Imperial Anatomy ofal-Qaeda.”

In short, there is a reason that while diplomats complain quietly about Saudiand Arab financing and support for al-Qaeda, nothing is actually done: becausethrough other avenues, the American imperial structure and apparatus supportsand facilitates this process. Diplomacy is more overt in its imperialambitions, thus the reality of the cables reflecting a focus on Iran and Pakistan, yet intelligenceoperations are a much more covert means of establishing and maintainingparticular imperial relationships. This information again should not be taken“at face value,” but rather placed within its broader geopolitical context. Inthis sense, the information is not ‘disinformation’ or ‘propaganda’, but ratheradditional factual ‘vindication’ and information.

While Western governments and media publicly scorn Iran and accuse itof “meddling” in the affairs of Iraq, and of supporting terrorism anddestabilization of the country, the reality is that while Iran certainly exertsinfluence in Iraq, (after all, they are neighbours), Saudi Arabia is a fargreater source of destabilization than Iran is accused of being, and this isfrom the mouths of Iraqi leaders themselves. Iraqi government officials,reported the Guardian, “see Saudi Arabia,not Iran,as the biggest threat to the integrity and cohesion of their fledglingdemocratic state.” In a cable written by the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, it wasexplained that, “Iraq views relations with Saudi Arabia as among its mostchallenging given Riyadh's money, deeply ingrained anti-Shia attitudes and[Saudi] suspicions that a Shia-led Iraq will inevitably further Iranianregional influence.” Further, “Iraqi contacts assess that the Saudi goal (andthat of most other Sunni Arab states, to varying degrees) is to enhance Sunniinfluence, dilute Shia dominance and promote the formation of a weak andfractured Iraqi government.” In short, that would mean that Saudi Arabia is actually doing what the Westaccuses Iran of doing in Iraq. So whileIran certainly has been promoting its own interests in Iraq, it is moreinterested in a stable Shi’a government, while Saudi Arabia is more interestedin a weak and fractured government, and thus promotes sectarian conflict. Oneinteresting fact to note that came out of the cables, is the increasingperspective among Iraqi youth rejecting foreign interference from anygovernment, with diplomatic cables articulating that, “a 'mental revolution'was under way among Iraqi youth against foreign agendas seeking to underminethe country's stability.”[26]

It should come as no surprise, then, that one top Saudi royal (in factthe former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency and thus the manresponsible for handling Saudi Arabia’s relationship with terrorists), PrinceTurki al-Faisal, said that the source of the diplomatic leaks should be“vigorously punished.” Turki, who has also been the Saudi Ambassador to theU.K. and America, said, “the WikiLeaks furor underscored that cyber securitywas an increasing international concern.”[27]

What other areas can Wikileaks be used to further inform and‘vindicate’ the critical media? Well, start with Saudi Arabia’s neighbour to the south, Yemen. Whetheror not most Americans (or for that matter, most people in general) are awarethat America is waging a warin Yemen, just across thewater from where America iswaging another war against Somalia(since 2006/07). This past October, I wrote an article about the imperial warin Yemen as a war being fought under the auspices of the “War on Terror” andfighting al-Qaeda (financed by the Saudi elite); but which in reality is aboutAmerica and other Western imperial powers (such as the U.K.) propping up adespotic leaders who has been in power since 1978, by supporting him in hiscampaign to eliminate a rebel movement in the North and a massive secessionistmovement in the South. Saudi Arabia entered the conflict in August of 2009 bybombing rebel holdouts in the North along the Saudi border, as the Saudi eliteare afraid of the movement spreading to disaffected groups within Saudi Arabiaitself.

America inserted itself into the war by increasing the amount of moneyand military aid given to Yemen (in effect, subsidizing their military, as theydo heavily with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, all the Arab states, anddozens of other states around the world), as well as providing direct specialforces training and assistance, not to mention carrying out missile strikeswithin Yemen against “al-Qaeda training camps” which American intelligenceofficials claimed killed 60 ‘militants’. In reality, 52 innocent people died,with over half of them being women and children. At the time, both Yemen and Americaclaimed it was an al-Qaeda training camp and that the cruise missile was firedby the Yemeni government, despite the fact that it had no such weapons in itsarsenal, unlike the U.S.Navy patrolling the coastline. The missile strike was carried out by America “ondirect presidential orders.”

Several days later, there was the bizarre “attempted terrorist attack”in which a young Nigerian man was arrested attempting to blow up his underwear(who was helped onto the plane by a mysterious Indian man in a suit who claimedhe was a diplomat, according to witnesses), and who was subsequently linked to“al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (an organization which started up not muchearlier when a Guantanamo inmate returned to Saudi Arabia only to ‘escape’Saudi custody, and flee to Yemen to start a new al-Qaeda branch). This providedthe justification for America to dramatically increase its military aid toYemen, which more than doubled from $67 million to $150 million, and came withincreased special forces training and assistance, as well as increased CIA activity,discussing using drone attacks to kill innocent people (as they do inPakistan), and more missile strikes.

This previous September, the Yemen government “laid siege” to a town inthe South while the Obama administrations top counter-terrorism official, JohnBrennan, was in Yemen for ‘talks’ with President Saleh. The town was claimed tobe a “sanctuary for al-Qaeda,” but it has key strategic significance as well.It is just south of a major new liquid natural gas pipeline, and the townhappened to be home to many people involved in the Southern secessionistmovement. The Yemeni government “barred” any outside or independent observersfrom witnessing the siege, which lasted days. However, for the many who fledthe conflict and “siege,” they were claiming that the Islamic militants wereworking with the government against the rebel movement in the North andsecessionist movement in the South, and according to one NPR reporter, “this ismore about fighting or subduing the secessionist movement than it is aboutal-Qaida.”

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, “Yemen: The Covert Apparatus of the American Empire,” GlobalResearch, 5 October 2010]

The Wikileaks ‘revelations’ further inform and confirm much of thisanalysis. In regards to the missile strike that killed innocent women andchildren on Obama’s orders, Wikileaks cables revealed that Yemeni PresidentSaleh “secretly offered US forces unrestricted access to his territory toconduct unilateral strikes against al-Qaida terrorist targets.” As Saleh toldJohn Breannan in September of 2009, “I have given you an open door onterrorism. So I am not responsible.” Regarding the December 21 strike thatkilled the innocent civilians, a cable explained, “Yemeninsisted it must 'maintain the status quo' regarding the official denial of US involvement.Saleh wanted operations to continue 'non-stop until we eradicate this disease,”and days later in a meeting with U.S. Central Command head, GeneralDavid Patraeus, “Saleh admitted lying to his population about the strikes.” Hetold the General, “We'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.”[28]

In regards to Pakistan, while it is important to be highly critical ofthe validity of the ‘perspectives’ within the cables in regards to Pakistan andthe Taliban, since Pakistan is a current and escalating target in the “War [OF]Terror,” there are things to keep in mind: historically, the Pakistani ISI hasfunded, armed and trained the Taliban, but always with U.S. assistance andsupport. Thus, we must examine the situation presently and so historically.Wikileaks revealed (as I mentioned previously), that Arab Gulf states help fundthe Taliban in Afghanistan, so the common claim that it is Pakistan ‘alone’ isimmediately made to be erroneous. Is it possible that Pakistan isstill working with the Taliban? Of course. They have historically through theirintelligence services, the ISI, and while they have never done it without (mostly through the CIA), the ISI still receives most of its outside fundingfrom the CIA.[29] The CIA funding of the ISI, a reality since the late 70s,picked up dramatically following 9/11, the operations of which the ISI has beenitself complicit in financing.[30] Thus, the CIA rewarded the financiers of9/11 by increasing their funds.

The trouble with discounting information that does not fit in with yourpreviously conceived ideas is that it does not allow for evolution or progressin thinking. This should never be done in regards to any subject, yet it iscommonly done for all subjects, by official and critical voices alike. WithPakistan, we must understand that while historically it has been a staunch in the region, propping up every government, supporting every coup,American geopolitical ambitions have changed as a result of the changinggeopolitical reality of the world. Pakistan has drawn increasingly close toChina, which built a major seaport on Pakistan’s coast, giving China access to the Indian Ocean. This is a strategic threat to Indiaand the United States morebroadly, which seeks to subdue and control China’sgrowing influence (while simultaneously attempting to engage in efforts ofinternational integration with China,specifically economically). India and Pakistan are historical enemies, and warshave been fought between them before. India and America are in a strategicalliance, and America helped India with its nuclear program, much to thedistaste of the Pakistanis, who drew closer to China. Pakistan occupies an area ofthe utmost strategic importance: with its neighbours being Afghanistan, China, India and Iran.

American policy has changed to support a civilian government, kept weakand subservient to U.S. interests, while Americacovertly expands its wars inside Pakistan. This is creating anincredible potential for absolute destabilization and fragmentation,potentially resulting in total civil war. Americaappears to be undertaking a similar policy in Pakistanthat it undertook in fracturing Yugoslaviathroughout the 1990s. Only that Pakistanhas a population of 170 million people and nuclear weapons. As America expands its destabilization of Pakistan, the risk of a nuclear war between Pakistan and Indiadramatically increases, as does the risk of destabilization spreadingregionally to its neighbours of India,China, Afghanistan and Iran. The American-urged separationof the Pakistani military from official power in Pakistan(as in, it’s not a military dictatorships), was designed to impose a completelyU.S.dependent civilian government and isolate an increasingly frustrated andantagonized Pakistani military.

As the Wikileaks cables revealed, General Kayani, head of the Pakistanimilitary, threatened to depose the Pakistani government in a coup in March of2009, and he discussed this in meetings with the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, AnnePatterson. The cables revealed that the Pakistani Army Chief disliked thecivilian government, but that they disliked the opposition even more, which wasrallying people in the streets.[31] This reveals the intimate nature the U.S.has with the Pakistani military, as it always has. The U.S. did not support this proposal, as itcurrently favours a weak civilian government, and therefore a strong militarydictatorship is not in America’s(or India’s)interest. Thus, there was no coup. Hence, Wikileaks can be used to furtherinform and vindicate analysis of Pakistan. For those who have beenspeaking about the destabilization of Pakistan for years, and there have beenmany, Wikileaks provides more resources to a critical analysis, and suddenlymore people around the world might be interested in new ideas and perspectives,as Wikileaks has challenged so many of their previously held beliefs.

The list of examples surfacing from the Wikileaks cables is endless inthe amount of additional information it can add in the alternative media’sdissemination of information and analysis. These were but a few examples amongmany. Make no mistake, this is an opportunity for the spread of truth, not adistraction from it. Treat it accordingly.

Andrew Gavin Marshall isa Research Associate with the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is co-editor, with Michel Chossudovsky, of the recent book, "The Global EconomicCrisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century," available to order He is currently writing a book on 'GlobalGovernment' due to be released in 2011 by Global Research Publishers


[1]        David E. Sanger, James Glanzand Jo Becker, Around the World, Distress Over Iran, The New York Times, 28November 2010:
[2]        Fox, Leaked Documents ShowMiddle East Consensus on Threat Posed by Iran, Fox News, 29 November 2010:
[3]        Ross Colvin, "Cut offhead of snake" Saudis told U.S.on Iran,Reuters, 29 November 2010:
[4]        FT reporters, Iran accuses USover WikiLeaks, The Financial Times, 29 November 2010:
[5]        Barak Ravid, Netanyahu:Israel will not stand at center of new WikiLeaks report, Ha’aretz, 28 November2010:
[6]        Jerrold Kessel and PierreKlochendler, Unexpectedly, IsraelWelcomes WikiLeaks Revelations, IPS News, 1 December 2010:
[7]        JPOST.COM STAFF, Barak:'Wikileaks incident has not damaged Israel',Jerusalem Post,30 November 2010:
[8]        Haaretz Service, SeniorTurkey official says Israel behind WikiLeaks release, Ha’aretz, 2 December2010:
[9]        Craig Murray, ExtraordinaryRendition,, 11 July 2005:
[10]      Nick Paton Walsh, The envoywho said too much, The Guardian, 15 July 2004:
[11]      Craig Murray, Raise A Glassto Wikileaks,, 29 November 2010:
[12]      Ibid.
[13]      Ibid.
[14]      Ewen MacAskill, Columbiastudents told job prospects harmed if they access WikiLeaks cables, TheGuardian, 5 December 2010:
[15]      RICHARD STENGEL, Transcript:TIME Interview with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange, Time Magazine, 30 November 2010:
[16]      Ibid.
[17]      Ibid.
[18]      Matthew Creamer, Obama Wins!... Ad Age's Marketer of the Year, AdAge, 17 October 2008:; Mark Sweney, Barack Obamacampaign claims two top prizes at Cannes Lion ad awards, The Guardian, 29 June2009:
[19]      David Leigh, HeatherBrooke  and Rob Evans, WikiLeaks cables: 'Rude' PrinceAndrew shocks US ambassador, The Guardian, 29 November 2010:
[20]      US embassy cables: PrinceAndrew rails against France,the SFO and the Guardian, The Guardian, 29 November 2010:
[21]      Rob Evans and David Leigh,WikiLeaks cables: Prince Andrew demanded special BAE briefing, The Guardian, 30November 2010:
[22]      US embassy cables: Prince Andrew hunts with Arableaders, The Guardian, 29 November 2010:
[23]      Robert Booth, Wikileakscable: Prince Charles 'not respected like Queen', The Guardian, 29 November2010:
[24]      Declan Walsh, WikiLeakscables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists, The Guardian, 5December 2010:
[25]      SCOTT SHANE and ANDREW W.LEHREN, Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U.S. Diplomacy, The New York Times,28 November 2010:
[26]      Simon Tisdall, WikiLeakscables: Saudi Arabia rated a bigger threat to Iraqi stability than Iran, TheGuardian, 5 December 2010:
[27]      William Maclean, Saudi royal:Punish WikiLeaks source "vigorously", Reuters, 5 December 2010:
[28]      Robert Booth and Ian Black,WikiLeaks cables: Yemen offered US 'open door' to attack al-Qaida on its soil,The Guardian, 3 December 2010:
[29]      Greg Miller, CIA pays forsupport in Pakistan, Los Angeles Times, 15November 2009:
[30]      Andrew Gavin Marshall,9/11 and America’sSecret Terror Campaign, Global Research, 10 September 2010:
[31]      David Batty and Declan Walsh,Pakistan army reacts to WikiLeaks cables with democracy pledge, The Guardian, 4December 2010:

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