Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Biggest Douche in the Universe Award 2010

A guest post by Peter North

Normally at this time of year the Biggest Douche in the Universe Committee's (pictured) job is an easy one. The BDIU award so readily falls to David Cameron year after year. But this year sees a new talent; the absolute pinnacle of douchedom. While Nick Clegg was a strong contender and David Cameron running high in the stakes, we had to make a special consideration this year. I am, of course, referring to that international man or moronicism, Julian Assange.

About two years ago I gave up any kind of blogging so as not to distract from day job stuff. Fighting idiocy is a full time occupation in itself and naturally one cannot do the job part time and expect to pass as normal (see one RAE North). So I have to be especially irked to find myself giving a rats hindquarters about anything these days for my own job security. But this year no-one has jolted me from my blissful indifference quite so rudely as Julian Assange.

Though it is not just Assange. It is the whole package from start to finish. There I find nothing quite so nauseating as Dianaesque public and media fawning over narcissistic minor celebrities, especially sexual deviants who consider themselves to be paragons of virtue. Not that this comes as any more of a surprise as the Wikileaks content.

It comes as no surprise either to see the left falling over themselves to paint this man as some modern day cyber-Che Guevara. But in this instance, what is surprising is that even right thinking people, and seemingly the whole UK libertarian movement (with some honourable exceptions), have let their collective brain drool out of their backside. Facebook is bulging with sentimental drivel about this utter fraud.

Leaving aside for a moment the faux sentiments exalting the virtues of democracy (while violating the basic right to freedom of association in publishing the BNP membership list) and the obnoxiously entitled "Collateral Murder" propaganda video in which an Apache crew follows exact protocols for dealing with suspected hostiles, we find that Zimbabwean democracy has taken a hit all for the sake of Mr Assange's ego.
Later that day, the US embassy in Zimbabwe dutifully reported the details of the meeting to Washington in a confidential US State Department diplomatic cable. And slightly less than one year later, WikiLeaks released it to the world.

The reaction in Zimbabwe was swift. Zimbabwe's Mugabe-appointed attorney general announced he was investigating the Prime Minister on treason charges based exclusively on the contents of the leaked cable. While it's unlikely Tsvangirai could be convicted on the contents of the cable alone, the political damage has already been done. The cable provides Mugabe the opportunity to portray Tsvangirai as an agent of foreign governments working against the people of Zimbabwe. Furthermore, it could provide Mugabe with the pretense to abandon the coalition government that allowed Tsvangirai to become prime minister in 2009.

It's difficult to see this as anything but a major setback for democracy in Zimbabwe. Even if Tsvangirai is not charged with treason, the opponents to democratic reforms have won a significant victory. First, popular support for Tsvangirai and the MDC will suffer due to Mugabe’s inevitable smear campaign, including the attorney general's "investigation". Second, the Prime Minister might be forced to take positions in opposition to the international community to avoid accusation of being a foreign corroborator. Third, Zimbabwe's fragile coalition government could collapse completely. Whatever happens, democratic reforms in Zimbabwe are far less likely now than before the leak.
For that reason alone I would toss Assange in Guantanamo Bay and this will not be the last such instance. But the anti-American left will have its pound of flesh and will drive by with the same disregard for the consequences of their own intellectual idleness and pomposity, as ever they do.

As to the morality of mass dumping, I have made the argument too many times to repeat it here. I am now completely robotic on this matter. My main observance would be to point out that there's a massive gulf between "public interest" and "the public are interested". Also the difference between loyal nationalist whistleblowing and internationalist espionage. Evidently there are those left and right who seem completely incapable of making the distinction. Julian Assange is no Daniel Ellsberg. Assuming there was anything particulaly moral about what he did. It has since passed into the narative that events and deeds leading to the fall of South Vietnam is a good thing.

But there is one revalation more disturbing than the contents of the mostly unrevealing cables. The support of Julian Assange and Wikileaks is telling of a society that has lost its way, one whose moral compass is in a flat spin. A society that prefers to see itself as the greater evil on Earth, one that would willingly assist in its own destruction to atone for its perceived sins. For that reason I have found reason to disassociate myself with anyone who could utter a word of support for this creature.

I think the best summary I can muster would be to echo the words of Charles in the comments of LGF.
One of my main objections to the massive document dump approach is very simple, and based on the human right to a reasonable expectation of privacy.

When you just release every stolen document you get your hands on, you're not just a noble warrior for the freedom of information - you're fucking around with thousands of people's lives. In the case of these diplomatic cables, the consequences of having their communications leaked in some countries may be extremely severe, and not just for the people named in the documents. It's naive and irresponsible in the utmost to think there won't be serious problems for many people.

What did these people do to deserve having their lives disrupted by Julian Assange's galactic ego? So far, the vast majority of what's been released shows these people doing their jobs, to the best oftheir abilities. But now their names and reputations and possibly their freedoms and lives are at risk.

The whole concept of doing it like this stinks. It's cruel and irresponsible, and completely disregards the human beings involved.
So ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you the BDIU nomination for 2010.

Drum roll please... Julian Assange, you are the Biggest Douche in the Universe.