​Gareth Evans or WikiLeaks? It’s an easy choice | Phnom Penh Post

Gareth Evans or WikiLeaks? It’s an easy choice

National

Publication date
16 September 2011 | 08:00 ICT

Reporter : Allen Myers

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Hundreds of Cham Muslims were left homeless on Thursday morning when a fire tore through a crowded neighbourhood in Phnom Penh, incinerating more than 200 homes and causing ammunition in a police station to explode. Despite the intensity of the inferno, no one was killed.

Dear Editor,

Gareth Evans, having progressed from washed-up politician to university chancellor, evidently feels that his attack on WikiLeaks (Post, September 14)  needs to enlighten us with philosophical profundities such as:  “But life will go on, because it has to.”

Thanks for that pearl of wisdom, Gareth. Let’s all have it carved on our tombstones.

This, and the similarly patronising drivel that takes up a large part of Evans’ half-page, is a necessary evasion.

Evans has to be evasive because he is trying to convince the reader of something that is untrue.

To the limited extent that it contains a logical argument, the article’s claim is: too much exposure of what they are doing can compromise our well-meaning governments’ attempts to make everything better for all of us.

But the real impact of the Wikileaks documents comes not from the disclosure that diplomats use rude words about foreign officials.

It comes from the clear evidence that the US government is not at all well-meaning, but is out to advance US business interests at all times, no matter how much lying, cheating, torture and killing this may require.

The documents make it clear that the same is true of US-allied governments such as Australia’s, although the evidence is not so extensive because the leaks involved only US government cables.

Evans’s own political career was irreparably damaged by the pre-WikiLeaks disclosure of his champagne toast with Indonesian generals over the Australian-Indonesian agreement to jointly steal East Timor’s oil resources.

If Evans is correct that the fear of WikiLeaks-style disclosure would have hampered Australia’s  “policy-making and implementation” in that instance, it’s a shame WikiLeaks hasn’t been around a lot longer.

Allen Myers

Phnom Penh

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