Wikileaks - aims and objectives

Posted in China , United States , Democracy , Human Rights | 28-Dec-10 | Author: Ian Adie

In his essays of 2006 on "State and Terrorist Conspiracies" and
"Conspiracy of Governance" a not quite terrorist but quite
conspiratorial and authoritarian Australian, Julian Assange, made his
intentions perfectly clear. Far from promoting free speech or
"transparency" his Wikileaks were meant to cut back and dumb down the
sharing of information between agencies of the United States
Government, seen as an "authoritarian conspiracy", back totheir status
of before September 11, 2001.

Then their "stovepipe" divisions and turf-wars contributedto the
intelligence failures of that time, according to the Congressional
report on 9/11. Following which intelligence was dished out to about a
million computers, including that of a certain unhappy private soldier
in Kuwait. Assange leaked to make the "the security state [he meant the
USA, to] try to shrink its computational network in response, thereby
making itself dumber and slower and smaller" (Assange's clandestine
Anti-US Crusade. The Australian, 7 December 2010)

Despite the ill-considered instant outbursts of some leaders and
"leftie-liberal" media in Australia as well as America, the net effect
of the leaks was to confirm the law of unintended consequences. Most of
the would-be revelations from hacked diplomatic cables told us what we
knew already and/or as far as Australia was concerned had been reported
in extenso in Mr. Murdoch's not so leftish Australian newspaper (Rudd
revelations are old news, 9 December 2010).

Better than that, at the time of Kevin Rudd, a.k.a.Lu Ke-wen's
election as prime Minister the present writer pointed out in that thanks to his Chinese studies as well as
language skills he was going to be a realist, not "soft"on China as
the media expected. (Australia votes, China wins? WSN 6 December 2007).

Greatly to the credit of American diplomats, as many commentators have
observed, perceptive aspersions were cast in their well-drafted cables
on "control freak" Rudd as they were on other public figures around the
world, long before the "politically correct" mainstream media dared to
blurt out what everybody knew or suspected.
In his self-styled role as "zhengyou" (real friend) of China our ex-PM
and now Foreign Minister spoke truth on authoritarian power when he
analysed Beijing leaders as paranoid about Taiwan and Tibet.

Also, when he revealed that the thrust of his Asia-Pacific community
concept and Australia's Defence focus on beefing up the navy wasabout
management of China's possible temptation to enforce its own "Monroe
doctrine", a naval no go zone for the West Pacific backed by
submarines, missiles and cyber-weaponry.

Preferably its "rise" could be peacefully accommodated into the
international community, with the US remaining engaged in the
Asia-Pacific region; but to prevent anything "going wrong"it would be
necessary to build up adequately deterrent naval/military strength.
Rudd was talking here about avoiding, not fighting a war with China -
engagement with hedging, as the London Economist put it in a nervous
24-page report on "The Dangers of a Rising China" (4 December 2010).
Admirals everywhere demand hedging, Ambassadors crave engagement. The
difference is that in China, a military eats a country: in the USA, a
country hires a military.

Fulsome praise from Hillary Clinton was deserved for Rudd's success in
persuading the US to join the East Asian Summit, no doubt thanks to the
"brutal realism" of his understanding of the presently assertive
military-corporate-security-propaganda apparatus mindset in Beijing's
politburo. "[A] sense of their past greatness, recent humiliation,
present achievement and future supremacy" as another Australian put it
(loc.cit. p.9)

He may also have pointed out to Hillary, when she asked "how do we
handle our bankers?" that there are less hawkish elements in the
civilian leadership of the once-Communist Party who may profit from the
current shift in China's economic policy from export-led growth to
domestic consumerism, necessitated by fears about the future of its
enormous holdings of debt denominated in US dollars.

President Obama is well placed to understand his Chinese counterparts'
difficulties of getting the military top brass to toe a civilian line -
and of dealing with the vengeful popular hyper-nationalism hawks can
play to, due to decades of indoctrination of the citizenry in schools,
the media and museums about the all-too-true humiliation of China by
"white folks" (or rather red-haired ocean devils, yangguizi, as well as
Japanese dwarf pirates, wokou).

Not unlike the payback-nationalistic reaction of some, but not all,
poor Afro-Americans he knew in Chicago, who did not need to be
harangued to feel downtrodden.(Dreams from my Father, Ch.10, Crown
Publishers 1995,2004).
Urbanisation and property development are becoming the main drivers of
China's economic growth, as 12 million people move every year fromthe
country into towns and 20 million marriages a year set up 10 million
new households there. (Australian Financial Review 8 December 2010).
Much of this growth is steered away from the coastal mega-cities to
lower-tier outback cities and the hitherto under-privileged "wildWest".

The legitimacy and stability of the Beijing regime depends on providing
these new burghers with a rising standard of living, as its leaders
well know. When the lights go out because coal is short, a chauvinist
crisis can always be whipped up and mid-level mandarins froth at the
mouth about pride and victimhood, to divert attention over a clash with
the Japanese, or support from out-of-reach foreigners as well as local
intellectuals (who have been rounded up) for a powerless individual,
Liu Xiaobo, given a Nobel Prize for advocating a less oppressive

"China should join the mainstream of civilized society by embracing
universal values. Such is the only route to becoming a 'great nation'
that is capable of playing a positive and responsible role on the world

But Mr. Liu is not alone in hoping for this, like our Mr.Lu. According
to a Wikileaked cable, US diplomats in Beijing named the Politburo
member in charge of propaganda as launcher of the cyber-attacks on
Google and other US companies, in revenge for criticism of him he read
on Google. Fortunately this member of the hawk-chauvinist faction lacks
total control of the media. Southern newspapers can report Premier Wen
Jiabao's frequent calls for reforms with the support of PresidentHu
Jintao. The Southern Weekend quotes Wen Jia-bao as claiming that the
will of the people for political reform is "irresistible". (The Age,
16 October 2010). He had spoken on reform seven times in the last 50
days: "everyone is speaking may happen faster thanwe thought,
despite the crackdown".

Even the military element of the current
military-corporate-princeling-media power complex has a voice warning
his colleagues that they will face Soviet-style collapse "if thesystem
fails to let its citizens breathe freely and release their creativity
to the maximum extent, and fails to place those who best represent the
system and its people into leadership" (General Liu Yazhou in Phoenix
magazine, Hong Kong, cited in The Age 12 August 2010). In an earlier
article, he raised the taboo subject of some generals who refused to
lead their troops to suppress the "nationwide riots" of 1989, caused by
the incompatibility of existing power structures with reform.

The switch from export-led to domestic growth may have encouraged
Beijing chauvinists to throw their new-found weight about and no longer
feel the need to treat foreigners politely; businessmen report
increasing difficulties working in China and
another Australian has been jailed, apparently victim of a "murky
acquisitions ploy" by local Party officials (Weekend Australian 4-5
December 2010). They are forced to cut corners because the Centre does
not fund adequately the services they must provide, (see China: An
Inwardly Animated Economy, p.436 ff. and review of book by Minzi Su on
rural development in China's "new socialist countryside", p. 258, in
Asian Affairs November 2010)

The problem with just throwing money at new consumers and
property-buyers to keep the masses quiet while resisting reform is that
the economy shows "the symptoms of a major is more likely
that we will even have a [market] crash sometime in the next nine to 12
months" (Marc Faber in Pragmatic Capitalism 3 May 2010). The sameDr.
Doom says he would rather have the Chinese bubble than the US bubble,
which is a government-backed credit bubble that can never be repaid
unless in worthless US dollars (Russia Forum on Youtube, Russia Today 5
February 2010).
Last year in Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy (No. 9 2009) I
analysed the impact of ongoing "stimulus" in the interdependent PRC and
the US ("Chimerica") and wondered "If the Twin Bubble Splits, Which
will Burst First"?
If Professor Minxin Pei of Princeton University is right, things may
well "go wrong" in China; See "China's Trapped Transition: The Limits
of Developmental Autocracy" (Harvard U.P. 2006). As in the old Soviet
Russia, the system cannot run unless lubricated by structural

President Obama may also seem to be trapped in a bubble by his twin
"Achilles Heels", Messrs Geithner and Summers and by "dangerous
greenback emissions" addict, Ben Shalom Bernanke. But if James Fallows
is right ("How the US can rise again", Atlantic Monthly Jan-Feb. 2010)
the US political system as well as the physical infrastructure is
outdated and dysfunctional, (not to mention Fannie Mae, Fannie Mac and
all that, see statistics in "Paper Economy, A US Real Estate Bubble
Blog", papermoney 22 December 2010). But the society is
vital enough to bounce the country back, as it always did. Folks want
to go and live there, not in China!