Published on WSWS, by K. Ratnayake, Dec. 9, 2010.
… The US dropped the “human rights” pretence when it became clear that it was not assisting in the effort to woo or coerce Rajapakse, but instead was proving counter-productive. Butenis’s cable took the same approach as last December’s US Senate Foreign Relations Committee report, which highlighted the danger to US strategic interests of China’s growing influence in Colombo. The report declared that the US could not afford to “lose Sri Lanka”. A preoccupation with “human rights” would “shortchange US geostrategic interests in the region,” it stated.
Since then, the Obama administration has publicly backed a sham inquiry established by Rajapakse himself, called the Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation. Its purpose, like previous inquiries appointed by Rajapakse into military atrocities and pro-government death squads, is to cover the crimes, whitewash the role of the government and justify the war itself. In June, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared in Washington that Rajapakse’s commission “holds promise”.
Because the Obama administration is mending its relations with him, Rajapakse, unlike Assange, remains free to strut the world stage. Last week he visited London with a large entourage. While Tamil protests eventually forced the Oxford Union Debating Society to cancel a planned address, Rajapakse was afforded a meeting with UK Defence Minister Liam Fox. According to media reports, the pair discussed British assistance to Sri Lanka, especially in infrastructure projects in the former LTTE-held North, and opportunities for British investment in the country.
By contrast, the British government moved to have Assange arrested as soon as possible. As the British police prepared to detain Assange, Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman declared: “We unequivocally condemn the unauthorised release of classified information. The leaks and their publication are damaging to national security in the United States, Britain and elsewhere.”
This “national security” has nothing to do with the security or safety of ordinary people, but consists of hiding from them the killings, assassinations, coups and other imperialist conspiracies perpetrated by the US and its allies in pursuit of their strategic and corporate interests. Alongside the US, Britain is the second biggest military contributor to Obama’s escalating offensive underway in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In their attempts to crush resistance to the neo-colonial occupation of Afghanistan, both governments are responsible for war crimes, including drone assassinations, aerial bombings and military death squads,
The Obama administration has been stung by the WikiLeaks exposures because they place the spotlight on the real criminals. They are part of a ruling elite that is responsible for decades of illegal acts carried out behind the backs of the American working class—from wars of aggression to renditions, torture and other acts of international terror. The Sri Lankan revelations point to the necessity for the international working class to overturn the entire socio-economic order that has produced these filthy imperialist intrigues and wars. (full text).