In the Basements of the Left

Written by Daniel Greenfield


Plenty of people don't quite know how to feel about Julian Assange. On the one hand he's a clear and declared enemy of the United States. On the other hand Wikileaks has released diplomatic cables that provided helpful information. And the main damage has been done to Obama and a left of center diplomatic corps. That alone has made Assange seem like the enemy of my enemy. But that kind of thinking is problematic.


The showdown between Assange and Obama is more proof that the left is a bottomless pit. That as bad as you think it's going to get, there's still another level beneath that. And another level beneath it still. Obama and his administration are not the basement. There is another basement beneath them where Assange lives. And still another basement beneath him. And another one below that. If there's a bottom floor to it all. A place where there could be no greater possible evil, no deeper hatred of America and no wider assault on civilization. Then we haven't reached it yet.

To chart just a small portion of the territory is like following a sewer deeper and deeper into the ground. And here's an example. Michael Moore has emerged as one of Assange's biggest defenders. (Since Moore has begun to be forgotten by the left, this was a timely way to remind everyone that he exists and assert his radical credentials.)

Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann retweeted a claim from Bianca Jagger, questioning the rape charges and accusing one of Assange's rape victims of having CIA ties. The site that Bianca Jagger linked to was run by Mark Crispin Miller, an NYU professor of media studies obsessed with writing conspiracy theory books about the Bush Administration, like, "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order". Miller is also a 9/11 Truther. But Miller's source for the CIA claim was a piece on Firedoglake. The Firedoglake piece used as its source Alexander Cockburn of CounterPunch. And Cockburn's source was Israel Shamir.

Israel Shamir has variously been a Communist, a Zionist, Jew, Christian and a Neo-Nazi. Born in Russia under an entirely different name, he has gone by Adam Ermash, Jöran Jermas and Israel Smerler. Holocaust denier David Irving accused him of trying to sell him fake Nazi memorabilia. Even Electronic Intifada and Israel boycotters gave him the boot because they thought he was too antisemitic. Like most Jews who try to launch a career in antisemitism, Shamir or Smerler or Jermas or Ermash, isn't very good at it. He veers into embarrassing rants about the Holocaust and accuses of drinking blood. And so neither the left nor even the far right had much use for him. Even most Muslims have learned to avoid him. The only people who will have anything to do with him are Russian nationalists, some Swedish leftists, Alexander Cockburn and Julian Assange.

And how reliable is Israel Shamir? A Russian reporter has stated that Shamir's wrote an article based on fake Wikileaks cables pandering to regime propaganda. The Russian newspaper Kommersant accused Shamir of asking the paper for 10,000 dollars in exchange for access to the Wikileaks cables. And so "journalists" like Olbermann and Moore conducted their reporting based on six degrees of separation from a Nazi wannabe with a history of dishonesty and fraud. Not because they checked their facts, but because they wanted it to be true.

Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann were relying on a claim from a man that even David Irving didn't think had any credibility. A smear targeting one of Assange's rape accusers penned by one of Assange's own associates. Shamir's Counterpunch screed contained sexist, homophobic and antisemitic remarks. None of that bothered Moore or Olbermann. It gave the names of two of Assange's rape victims. Naming rape victims is the sort of abusive behavior that liberals are supposed to reject. But that didn't bother Moore and Olbermann either.

Following that long twisting trail from Olbermann and Moore to Shamir shows just how deep the basement really goes. And there are still levels below that. Levels without end, as low and as deep as human evil goes.

Julian_AssangeThe sheer perversity of this is that we are not looking at a showdown between a right wing Bush Administration and leftist activists. No, this is a confrontation between leftist activists in the Obama Administration and the State Department who want to use diplomacy to weaken American power and leftist activists like Assange who are obstructing them because their sole purpose is to sabotage America-- even when America is already sabotaging itself. It's a showdown between leftists who want to work within the system and leftist anarchists who want to smash the whole system.

And then you have liberal celebrities like Michael Moore trying to hog the spotlight and an insecure Keith Olbermann struggling for relevance, and jumping on the Wikileaks bandwagon to try and stay ahead of the Obama train wreck. Neither of them even understand what they're doing. Michael Moore probably has no actual politics. He just knows how to pander to his audience. Olbermann keeps trying to cope with his endless midlife crisis by posturing as the resurrected spirit of Edward R. Murrow. That these men have become the moral voice of the American left on the Assange issue, with no one to oppose them but a handful of feminist activists on Twitter shows just how bankrupt the American left has become.

Even within its own narrow limits it has no moral center. It can't even stand up to back its own leader whom it worked so hard to elect. Or take a stand against denouncing rape victims based on sixth hand material from an international fraud. It exploits feminism and tosses it aside. It shuts its eyes against the bigotry and homophobia that it crusades against four days out of the week. And shows that it has no value closer to its heart than the glamor of nihilism. That it loves nothing better than to be seen taking a sledgehammer to the edifices of civilization, even if they're standing on them at the time.

The truth is that Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, Israel Shamir, Barack Obama and Julian Assange all deserve each other. They're men without a country, saying words they don't mean, egotists who can't think of anyone or anything besides themselves. Children playing at being men. The trip down is a descent away from responsibility to a wonderland where destroying others is the only token of cool and the self is the only entity worthy of notice. The Assange who used leaked information that cost lives to build a cult of personality for himself is the same man, who is accused of taking advantage of women. These two details are not contradictory, they reflect the whole man.

Getting power is only half the story. The left's problem has never been getting power, but using it. And the entire Wikileaks story is a reminder of how senselessly the left grasps power, men seizing it for their own self-glorification, only to bring it down on themselves over and over again. Because deep down in that basement of basements, there is no ideology, only ego. The rabid anti-Americanism is the ego reflex of the leftist manchild. In that deepest of basements, plans for the betterment of the world give way to conspiracy theories, to demons of greed, hate and envy. Those serpent entwined roots twist around themselves and strangle all that they create. And the only thing they breed is darkness. And more darkness.


Wikileaks is less about policy and more about cult of personality. The cult of Obama contending with the cult of Assange. The cult of Michael Moore intruding to take sides. Assange and his defenders don't really believe in absolute transparency. If they did, they wouldn't be screaming their heads off over the leaked charges against him. Like most egotists, they believe in transparency for others. They have the right to know the contents of every diplomatic communique and the right to release the names of Assange's accusers. But there is no reciprocity.

Michael Moore has the right to badger and pester CEO's for answers to his questions, but his feminist critics don't have that same right. Keith Olbermann can denounce others, but he can't tolerate being denounced himself. Assange, Olbermann and Moore posture as crusaders, but theirs is not a crusade for any principle, but for their own self-glorification. Their calls transparency and the right to question are one way streets.

So too the Communist revolutions in Russia and China devolved into the cults of Lenin, Mao and Stalin. In Russia, democracy gave way to Putinism. The fall of the Bush era gave way to Obamanism. For all its condemnations of greed and capitalism, when given a chance the left builds its own private fiefdoms. Little empires for men like Olbermann, Assange, Obama or Shamir. Men running from themselves. Indulging themselves. And running whatever causes they champion into the ground.

From NY to Jerusalem, Daniel Greenfield Covers the Stories Behind the News

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