The West has developed the habit of putting on a pedestal anyone who opposes a political government perceived as threatening. Thus, throughout the 20th century and until the forced dismantling of the USSR, any citizen of the Eastern bloc or of a communist country who criticized his government was immediately elevated to the rank of absolute defender of human rights and infallible representative of individual liberties.
Nobel Prizes, medals of honor, high positions of responsibility, or advertisements with great fanfare of the stories of their unbearable persecution. Nothing was too good to reward these paragons of virtue. It does not matter whether these same paragons were notorious fascists like Solzhenitsyn or whether they were graciously paid by the CIA to keep the flame of their struggle alive like the Dalai Lama. The important thing was to smear the reputation of the enemy countries and give the illusion that freedom and democracy only existed in the West, that is, under capitalist rule.
The New York Times and the Washington Post, for example, have given recently extensive lines of their newspapers to the eulogy of Yuri Orlov, a famous Soviet dissident who had been living in the United States since 1987 and who died on 27th September 2020.
Orlov according to the newspaper was banned from the USSR after serving a 7-year sentence in a labor camp for anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.
Orlov, of course, always stood up to the communist dictatorship, to quote the newspaper “He helped organize the Soviet branch of Amnesty International in 1973. In 1976, he founded, together with Lyudmila Alexeyeva, what was considered his most enduring legacy: the Moscow Helsinki Group, which monitored Soviet compliance with the human rights commitments that had been outlined in the 1975 Helsinki Accords, signed by some 35 nations”. (New York times Yuri Orlov, Bold Champion of Soviet Dissidents, Dies at 96 1rst October 2020)
Orlov’s obituary can be found on the homepage of the renowned newspaper’s website, but on the same homepage another dissident who makes the news recently was missing: Julian Assange. Mr Assange, whose extradition trial ended on October 1 in Old Bailey, was not given any coverage by the newspaper. The last article referring to Assange on the New York Times website was dated September 16, 2020.
Yet Julian Assange is one of the worst cases of human rights abuses in recent years. His fate for revealing the war crimes of imperialist countries like the United States of America is equivalent to the treatment of the worst terrorists in Guantanamo! As this excerpt from Proletarian points out, “WikiLeaks has publicized the dark secrets of the US state – secrets collected and handed over by US operatives themselves, including whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. WikiLeaks has done much to reveal the horrific crimes routinely committed by imperialist nations, the United States in particular, during the last two decades of escalating imperialist war.” (Proletarian Julian Assange facing extradition to the United States 23/05/2019)
Julian Assange has been persecuted for more than 10 years now by the same countries who wage wars all over the globe to bring freedom and democracy.
No doubt he would appreciate having access to books on human rights from outside Belmarsh in secret, as Mr. Orlov did during his stay in labor camp. He, whose every move and gesture is constantly watched and who finds himself the prey of a system determined to destroy him little by little for having revealed ugly facts.
We can see with these two cases that the imperialist West is an absolute fan of human rights and individual liberties only when they serve its interests, during the Cold War it was imperative to score points against the Soviet Union and for this reason it welcomed and financed anyone who went in this direction. But when the same desire for freedom and human rights inspires his own people, like Assange, it does everything in his power to extinguish it. We see once again that there can be no real freedom in a society that tortures its own dissidents in silence when it celebrates that of its enemies without ever questioning their word.