That there is a chasm between the declared values of the member-states of that constantly bumbling alliance, NATO, is evident from the manner in which Julian Assange has been treated by such votaries of “freedom of speech” as the UK and the US. The manner in which they have dealt with Truth Teller Assange will enter history as a prime example of doubletalk and hypocrisy. Rather than reach for the handcuffs, if the member-states of NATO (especially the US) had bothered to draw appropriate conclusions from the revelations made in Wikileaks, the historical NATO-created blunder that is the present chaos in Afghanistan, could have been avoided. Judging by the trajectory of events in Afghanistan, it would appear that the record of the Bourbons (who learnt nothing from the numerous errors they made) have met their match in stubbornness in continuing on their disastrous path. The Wikileaks only revealed what had been clear to millions of Afghans and to the few within the command structures of NATO forces who switched from auto-pilot to actually understanding ground reality in the theatre in which they sought without success to overcome a motley collection of brigands. Their lack of success in doing so apparently did not cause any alarms to go off in the higher ranks of NATO militaries. The refusal to understand the motivation of GHQ Rawalpindi has been a consistent trait of NATO chancelleries since the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton sought to force Prime Minister Narasimha Rao to make concessions over Kashmir and to help Washington destroy India’s nuclear capabilities. Rao did neither. It would be erroneous to accuse the Pakistan army of double dealing, for their sabotage of US and allied efforts at beating back the Taliban was transparent. It would take a Sigmund Freud to understand the whys and hows of the manner in which GHQ Rawalpindi acquired cheerleaders such as long-time backer Senator Joe Biden. His decades-long sponsorship of the objectives sought by the Pakistan military has been repaid by being a significant factor behind the shameful defeat of the US at the hands of a rag-tag militia under (now President) Joe Biden’s watch. The man who won the 2020 polls by being the Trump Contra has become the Trump Clone, clinging on to the 45th President’s cowardly and criminal surrender to the Taliban rather than jettisoning a policy toxic to US security and global interests. After witnessing the clueless manner in which Biden is shutting down the post 9/11 US military million in Afghanistan, it is with dread that leaders who had earlier looked towards a security relationship with the US are re-evaluating their options. Under President Biden, the US is even less of a credible security partner than was the case under the self-obsessed and mercurial Trump. It is to be hoped that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will not roll over and carry out the next disastrous decision of a US President who is plainly not up to the job he has been elected to. Instead, they should go their own way or resign. General Mark Milley, the head of the US military, has become a comic figure among the uniformed services across the globe for the manner in which he has clung on to his position at the expense of his reputation.
The Assange revelations (many secured through the moral courage of Bradley Manning) showed how civilians were being killed while labelled as terrorists. The Taliban and its affiliates (including numerous other terror groups whom this Wahhabi militia claim to be opposed to) could not have had a better recruitment agent than those in the US and allied militaries who carried out such atrocities on Afghan civilians. It is they who needed to go to prison and not Manning or Assange. When a system refuses to acknowledge its errors and punishes truth tellers, it meets the fate that has hit NATO in Afghanistan, which is a disaster of a magnitude sufficient to cast doubt about its value as a security partner or as a fighting force. It would appear that only a Saddam Hussein stripped of his WMD and much of his weaponry or a Muammar Gaddafi after the voluntary handover of the WMD in his possession are foes that NATO can prevail over. They have been shown to be helpless in the face of even a medieval militia. The computer simulation warriors in Beijing will be drawing heart from the travails of the US and its allies on the battlefields of Afghanistan. The defeat of US and allied forces in that crucial theatre of operations has left a stain far bigger than that left by the Vietnam debacle. If only the revelations made by Wikileaks had been taken seriously rather than ignored in the cacophony of abuse that fell on Assange, matters may have turned out differently. When the same language used by dictators to justify the jailing of those with a viewpoint contrary to theirs becomes the common currency of the leaders of democracies, it is a sorry day for those who believe in that system and in the freedoms it guarantees. Events in Afghanistan show that the Truth Teller was right and his “democratic” tormentors (including a spineless Australian government) were wrong. Free Julian Assange. Now, even as the stench of President Biden’s manner of pullout from Afghanistan spreads across the world.