Radio Free Europe
October 26, 2020

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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It is no secret that Julian Assange, the man behind WikiLeaks, opposes the American-led war efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He is not some dispassionate journalist bringing information to light for its own sake; he has an agenda, and makes no bones about it. “This material shines light on the everyday brutality and squalor of war,” he said before releasing a stash of classified documents related to the Afghan conflict this summer. “The archive will change public opinion and it will change the opinion of people in positions of political and diplomatic influence.”

WikiLeaks will indeed “change” opinions. But they should not alter them in the pacifistic way Assange desires.

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Far from demonstrating that it is America and its allies which are responsible for most of the violence that has engulfed Iraq in the seven years since the ouster of Saddam Hussein, the latest WikiLeaks reveal, in the words of the “Washington Post,” that “the vast majority of Iraqi civilian deaths were caused by other Iraqis, not by coalition forces.” And many of those deaths were perpetrated by Iraqis who received training in neighboring Iran. “The New York Times” last week said that the documents reveal the “shadow war between the United States and Iraqi militias backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.” According to a 2006 report, for instance, Azhar al-Dulaimi, a Shi’ite militia commander who had kidnapped officials from Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education, was trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah, Iran’s terrorist proxy in Lebanon. This is but one of the connections to Iran that the WikiLeaks reveal; the documents offer a trove of information spelling out in specific detail how various instruments of the Iranian regime funded, equipped, and trained Shi’ite militants to kill not only their fellow Iraqis, but coalition troops as well.

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