Sunday, December 05, 2010

The conspiracy poseurs

Hey, you can be so, so, so smart, and assume there is no goodness in the world, and absolutely everything is run by the Rothschilds.  I can't stop you.  By the way, how is that ultra-scepticism working out for you?  Is it making the world a better place? Well, at least you can die knowing you were never a chump.  Or, you could try to do something positive for a change.

"How WikiLeaks builds a global open source insurgency":
"Poulsen insinuates that the struggles with domain names, hosting and DNS servers shows bungling on the part of the wikileakers, but I don't really believe that; I think it has been deliberate.

After all, what has been the net result of the affair? A swarm. Not only did WikiLeaks itself set up numerous other domains to host cablegate, but people all over the globe have been busy setting up mirror sites, pointing their domains towards WikiLeaks and so on, a reported 100,000 people have downloaded the "insurance file" which contains all the un-redacted cables plus some more goodies, the released cables have also been made available as a package for easy download – in other words: it is now 200% sure that this cache of secret documents will never ever go away again and for those who seek to stop the leak the only possible outcome is that things will get much worse.

There is even, as we speak, set up a page (don't know by whom) to allow anyone who owns a website to allow for a mirror to be set up under that domain by just filling a form and adding a subdomain to your domain (not sure how safe that procedure actually is).

All this points to grand strategic thinking. With WikiLeaks now being hosted by a swarm of people around the globe, these volunteers are now part of WikiLeaks themselves – the emerging WikiLeaks tribe – plus releasing new cables becomes a simple matter of syncing all the mirrors, and the distribution of the material is now invulnerable to any kind of attack or regulatory oversight, no matter how much they whine about it in France or the US.

With the infrastructure now firmly in place and bullet-proof and the hype-hungry mainstream media waiting to be fed, the stage is set for further releases of classified cables, probably even more damaging than the ones we've already seen. And then the Bank of America files. And then who knows what.

By that time the "conspiracy" will be crumbling under the relentless attacks of this open source insurgency – our insurgency, really. So that we can build something new, from the bottom up, to replace it."
Wilikeaks is a hologram, breaking up into innumerable little pieces each containing the same information. The shattering was planned.

"Wikileaks: Hezbollah Rockets Cover All of Israel"

"Wikileaks Wikiing"

"WikiLeaks, Iran, and the US's Arab Allies:  What the Corporate Media Are Not Saying":
"In short, according to these papers, the US's main interest in the Middle East for over seven decades - oil (particularly control over oil production and distribution) -- has little relevance to this conflict.  And the struggle for hegemony in the region has little to do with geopolitical interests - rather, it is rooted in religious and ethnic divisions.

In place of concrete analysis, we get an Islamophobic cliché which is based on the assumption that the roots of all (or most) actions by Arab states lie in Islam.  If this reductionism is applied to Arab nations, it is also applied to Iran as I show below.

What such explanations obscure is the real historical and political relationship between the US, Israel, and various US Arab allies.

In the case of the Gulf monarchies, which have long allied themselves closely with imperial nations (first Britain and then the US), control over oil resources trumps all other concerns.  For instance, the so-called "special relationship" between the US and Saudi Arabia is based on oil for security: the US needs to control oil in the region in order to be a global hegemon, and Saudi Arabia needs the US to shore up its defense capabilities in order to put down both external and internal threats to the rule of the Al Saud family. 

Iran, since the fall of the US-backed Shah in 1979, has been seen as an external threat.  Saudi Arabia therefore buys billions of dollars worth of military equipment from the US and has been the backbone of the US defense industry.

Internal threats are all struggles that have the potential to disrupt the "special relationship" by threatening the control of the Al Saud family.  Thus, movements for workers' rights, women's rights, and democratic reform have been squashed by the ruling family, with the approval and help of the US.  When workers went on strike in the oil regions in the 1940s and 50s, the Al Saud family, with the assistance of the US oil company ARAMCO, ruthlessly suppressed the strikers and jailed, deported, or assassinated its leadership.  When women staged a "drive-in" in the early 1990s to seek greater rights for women, they were stripped of their passports and fired from their jobs.

These actions were not driven by "Islam."  Rather, both the US and the Al Saud family (as well as the ruling families in other Gulf states) have little tolerance for democratic movements, fearing rightly that such actions will result in elevating the will of the people over theirs, which could upset the oil for security status quo.

And indeed, the will of the people does stand in opposition to the aforementioned leaders on the question of Iran.

In contrast to the hostility expressed by the leadership, a recent poll carried out by the Brookings Institution finds that regular people in several Arab nations don't see Iran as a major threat.  Instead, 88% identified Israel as the biggest threat, followed closely by the US (77%).  A whooping 10% identified Iran as a threat to their interests.  So much for the historic Sunni-Shia enmity and Arab-Persian rivalry!

Additionally, in contrast again to the views held by the leadership, 75% of ordinary people were opposed to international efforts to pressure Iran to curtail its nuclear program, stating that they believed that Iran had a right to its nuclear program.  57% even think that it would be positive development for the region if Iran acquired nuclear weapons.

It is therefore not surprising that the US's Arab allies are not willing to publicly criticize Iran or offer open support for US efforts to "cut off the head of the snake."  What this poll reveals is not only the contrasting views held by the Arab public and the leadership, but also that the majority of Arabs don't see the world through the US/Israeli prism that is taken for granted by the corporate media."
"Swiss army knives as a danger to Arab regimes"

"Al-Akhbar in the New York Times"

"WikiLeaks: Foreign Office accused of misleading public over Diego Garcia"

"Wiki weakens Iran war drive" - not that there was ever any hope for it.

"Wikileaks in Venezuela: Espionage, Propaganda, and Disinformation"
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