Feature

Australia: Assange’s delusional supporters

Australian progressives who once fought for social justice have embraced a kind of “political nihilism.”

Nick Dyrenfurth
The Age

The hard Left in Australia has been exposed as “a hypocritical sham,” said Nick Dyrenfurth. Supposedly the great defender of free speech, the Left here is cheering the efforts of native son Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, to claim asylum in Ecuador, “a nation where journalists are routinely harassed.” Even worse is the hypocrisy over the charges that Assange sexually assaulted two women in Sweden, a country not known for trumping up charges against dissidents of any stripe. Yet the Left, even the feminist Left, gives him a pass on this because of its admiration for his “undergraduate anti-Americanism.” These “apologists and conspiracy theorists” believe that Sweden secretly intends to ship Assange off to the U.S. to face the death penalty for publishing thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables. Such a canard is “simply a cowardly, opportunistic attempt to avoid justice.” Of course Assange’s rights should be protected; he deserves due process in Sweden. But let’s not forget that “his complainants have rights too.” Time was, Australian progressives would have been standing up for them. Instead, those activists who once fought for social justice have embraced a kind of “political nihilism.”

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