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Gimme shelter: León Trotsky and Julian Assange

20 August 2012

Today is the 72nd anniversary of one of the most most outrageous violations of the rights of nations to provide political asylum… Soviet agent Ramon Mercador’s attack on León Trotsky, which led to his death the following day.

Julian Assange is in the title to this post, but don’t worry… I’m not about to claim that the British, or the C.I.A. … with or without Swedish assistance… are planning to kill Assange,or that Assange is some major political theorist, but only that … like Trotsky, Assange was pushing for a devolution of power — in his case, in control of access to information. And, that is something the powers cannot abide.

Four of a kind?

I don’t think David Cameron or Barack Obama or Frederik Reinfeld want to be thought of as acting like Stalin, nor to have their nations compared to the Soviet Union, but it’s becoming harder not to make the analogy.

Perhaps “soft pressure” is acceptable: I notice that with Ecuador’s decision to grant Assange asylum, there has been a concerted effort to paint that country’s own struggle to devolve media power as “dictatorial”, much as the Stalinists suddenly changed their tune, deciding the Mexican Revolution was not a “true” revolution — and a model for their own. All that is to be expected… Lazaro Cardenas did not have to justify himself to Josef Stalin, and Rafael Correa owes no explanation to Great Britain, or the United States or Sweden.

But, in financing the Mexican Communist attack on Trotsky (24 May 1940) and Mercador’s hit on the 20th of August, Stalin proved (as if there wasn’t proof already) that his was a rogue state. Whether the governments of Messers Cameron, Obama and Reinfeld “like” Assange or not, they lead nations that have always claimed the “rule of law” is of paramount importance. That the “rule of law” is that countries have the right to offer asylum, but if Cameron, Obama and Reinfeld find it inconvenient or a threat — tough luck… unless they mean to “go rogue” themselves, in which case they deserve to be compared to Stalin. And should be. And will be.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 20 August 2012 2:57 pm

    Hot Damn! You nailed it again–almost perfectly.
    Minor quibble with the last sentence: “And will be.” that I believe–if history provides future lessons–is overly optimistic.
    Take Roosevelt’s LIHOP operation known as Pearl Harbor, or JFK’s murder, or LBJ’s Gulf of Tonkin excuse, or GWB’s (and now “Oh-Bomb-ya”s) 9-11 charade as (only a few of many) examples of lies USians need to believe in to justify superior thoughts of “American Exceptionalism” .
    As such, no dissenting voices will be allowed in the US lamestream media, and our mutual wish/prayer that the comparison will be made well-known is I believe, just a dream.
    A possible dream perhaps, but if history provides accurate lessons, highly unlikely.
    Otherwise, congratulations for another great post.

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