In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a “war of perception... conducted continuously using the news media”. What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where “the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences”. Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. “We had a secret weapon,” he boasted. “We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of rock star John Lennon’s assassination. Lennon was also an anti-war activist and, in the most radical period of his life in the early 1970s, an unashamed socialist. (You can read an interview given by Lennon and his partner Yoko Ono to British revolutionary socialist magazine Red Mole in 1971 here.)
December 8 statement by WL Central (Australia-based unofficial Wikileaks information resource. * * * On November 13th 2010, Burma’s most famous political prisoner, Aung San Suu Kyi, was released from house arrest. She had been confined to her house for almost 15 years.
National rally details Noam Chomsky, renowned academic, author and critic of US imperialism, has offered his support to protesters across Australia planning to take to the streets in defence of Wikileaks. In a message to the rallies, Chomsky said: “Julian Assange is performing his civic duties, courageously and honorably. Naturally, systems of power wish to protect themselves from citizens — while at the same time sparing no effort to intrude into private lives so as better to establish their control.
In response to the U.S. State Department’s condemnation of the unauthorized release of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables by the website Wikileaks, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez praised the whistleblower site and called for the resignation of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Bolivian Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera has posted all US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks that pertain to Bolivia on his official website, the Associated Press said on December 8. Garcia Linera said he wanted people to know the “barbarities and insults” of what he called Washington's “interventionist infiltration”. The Bolivian government, headed by left-wing President Evo Morales, has faced US-backed attempts to overthrow it. In September 2008, Morales expelled the US ambassador.
Statement released by organisers of the Sydney rally to defend Wikileaks on December 10, 1pm at Sydney Town Hall. For more information, visit http://www.rally4wikileaks.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org . For full list of all national protests, see here. * * * John Pilger backs Wikileaks rally Renowned independent journalist and filmmaker John Pilger has offered his support for the protest organised by supporters of Wikileaks on Friday, December 10 at 1pm at Sydney Town Hall.
The open letter below was originally published at ABC.net.au. * * * Dear Prime Minister, We note with concern the increasingly violent rhetoric directed towards Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. “We should treat Mr Assange the same way as other high-value terrorist targets: Kill him,” writes conservative columnist Jeffrey T Kuhner in the Washington Times.
Socialist Alliance statement, December 7. Defend Wikileaks and Julian Assange! Australia should break the military alliance with US! “The Australian government should defend and support Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, and their efforts to expose the lies, duplicities and outright crimes of the US government and its allies”, said Peter Boyle, national convener of the Socialist Alliance. “We condemn the Australian government for collaborating with the American government in hunting Julian Assange down.