For some reason, completely beyond me, those on the far Left with an anti American and conspiracist view of how the world works are hugely supportive of Assange and the recent Wikileaks publication of diplomatic cables. However, the cables disclose very little that we did not know already. Indeed, most of what it does disclose demonstrates the United States acting sensibly.
This has left conspiracists with a dilemma. Some claim that Wikileaks is itself part of the Grand Conspiracy. Others try to make bricks without straw.
Here is a prime example of the latter phenomenon, from Mark Weisbrot, the co-writer of Oliver Stone’s documentary South of the Border:
The polarisation of the debate around WikiLeaks is pretty simple, really. Of all the governments in the world, the United States government is the greatest threat to world peace and security today.
Uh, right. Here is the Wikileak which Weisbrot cites in support of his thesis:
The WikiLeaks cables illustrate how important the control of Haiti is to the United States. A long memo from the US embassy in Port-au-Prince to the US secretary of state answers detailed questions about Haitian president Rene Preval’s political, personal and family life, including such vital national security questions as “How many drinks can Preval consume before he shows signs of inebriation?” It also expresses one of Washington’s main concerns:
“His reflexive nationalism, and his disinterest in managing bilateral relations in a broad diplomatic sense, will lead to periodic frictions as we move forward our bilateral agenda. Case in point, we believe that in terms of foreign policy, Preval is most interested in gaining increased assistance from any available resource. He is likely to be tempted to frame his relationship with Venezuela and Chávez-allies in the hemisphere in a way that he hopes will create a competitive atmosphere as far as who can provide the most to Haiti.”
I’d be interesting to hear Weisbrot’s, and indeed Michael Moore’s take on the following Wikileak relating to the Cuban Monarchy:
Cuba banned Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a “mythically” favourable picture of Cuba’s healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a “popular backlash”, according to US diplomats in Havana.
The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.
But the memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so “disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room”.
Castro’s government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it “knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.”
Sicko investigated healthcare in the US by comparing the for-profit, non-universal US system with the non-profit universal health care systems of other countries, including Cuba, France and the UK.
It was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature but was also castigated for being naive and tendentious.
The memo points out that even the Cuban ruling elite leave Cuba when they need medical care. Fidel Castro, for example, brought in a Spanish doctor during his health crisis in 2006. The vice-minister of health, Abelardo Ramirez, went to France for gastric cancer surgery. The neurosurgeon whoheads CIMEQ [Centro de Investigaciones Médico-Quirúrgicas] hospital – widely regarded as one of the best in Cuba – came to England for eye surgery, returning periodically for checkups.
“After living in Cuba for two and a half years, treating numerous Cuban employees at USINT, and interacting with many other Cubans, the FSHP believes … preventive medicine in Cuba is a by-gone ideal, rather than the standard practice of care,” the memo concludes.
Could any story more perfectly sum up the idiocy of the far Left?
Gene adds: Michael Moore insists that “Sicko” was not banned in Cuba, and links to reports in the Cuban media that it was broadcast on Cuban TV.
It is, of course, entirely possible that US diplomats in Cuba got this wrong. But it doesn’t change the fact that there’s a long list of films that could never legally be shown in Cuba, let alone broadcast on TV.
Gene adds again: In fact the diplomatic cable in question does not state as a fact that “Sicko” was banned in Cuba. It quotes a source as saying it was banned.
Terry Glavin has more.
Also see Nick Cohen. And Yoani Sanchez.