Stop the War Coalition – 12 October 2011
If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth. So that is our task. Get the truth. Get the ball. Give it to Wikileaks, says Julian Assange. And we’ll spread it all over the world.
Julian Assange is the founder of Wikileaks, which has had such a dramatic impact on news gathering with its revelations, not least of the lies that have been told to justify wars that have killed hundreds of thousands of people. This is a transcript of the speech he made at Stop the War Coalition’s Antiwar Assembly on 8 October 2011
Thank you. Thank you. Well, what a wonderful crowd. It’s not a crowd that I often get to see, but it’s very heartening to see that so many people care about the values that I hold dear.
And there’s something I want to talk about. What can we do with our values? What can we do at all in relation to this war?
Because the reality is Margret Thatcher had it right: there is no society anymore. What there is, is a transnational security elite that is busy carving up the world using your tax money.
To combat that elite we must not petition. We must take it over.
We must form our own networks of strength and mutual value, which can challenge those strengths and self-interested values of the warmongers in this country and in others that have formed hand-in-hand an alliance to take money from the United States — from every NATO country, from Australia — and launder it through Afghanistan, launder it through Iraq, launder it through Somalia, launder it through Yemen, launder it through Pakistan, and wash that money in people’s blood.
I don’t need to tell you the depravity of war. You are all too familiar with its images, with the refugees of war, with information that we have revealed showing the everyday squalor and barbarity of war. Information such as the individual deaths of over 130,000 people in Iraq – individual deaths – that were kept secret by the US military who denied that they ever counted the deaths of civilians.
Instead I want to tell you what I think is the way that wars come to be and that wars can be undone.
In democracies (or the pseudo-democracies that we are evolving into) wars are a result of lies. The Vietnam war and the push for US involvement was a result of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. A lie. The Iraq war famously is a result of lies. Wars in Somalia are a result of lies. The Second World War and the invasion of Poland was the result of carefully-constructed lies. That is war by media.
Let us ask ourselves of the complicit media, which is the majority of the mainstream press, what is the average death count attributed to each journalist? When we understand that wars come about as a result of lies peddled to the British public and the American public and the publics all over Europe and other countries, then who are the war criminals? It is not just leaders, it is not just soldiers, it is journalists. Journalists are war criminals.
And while one might think that that should lead us to a state of despair, that the reality that is constructed around us is constructed by liars, is constructed by people who are close to those who they are meant to be policing, it should lead us also to an optimistic understanding. Because if wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth.
So that is our task, and it is your task. Go and get the truth. Get into the ballpark and get the ball and give it to us and we’ll spread it all over the world.
By Julian Assange