At first, it seems perplexing that Stalinists & Assadists are making the defense of Julian Assange the very centerpiece of their political campaigning, even prioritizing it over war, occupation, genocide. In the political tradition I come from, war, occupation, & genocide are always the preeminent political issues, bar none. Censorship of journalism is directly related to them so campaigning for freedom of the press is incorporated into antiwar & solidarity work & does not drown them out of existence.
As important as the Assange case is, there is an element & a strong element of white supremacy where the victimization of a white journalist preempts & excludes any campaigning around the hundreds of journalists, including citizen journalists, from places like Iraq, Syria, Burma, Afghanistan, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, India, Yemen, Sudan, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Israel, Egypt, who are arrested, disappeared, tortured, murdered by repressive regimes. Saying that does not negate the importance of defending Assange, no matter how detestable he is, but highlights that his case is only one of hundreds of journalists who are sitting in prisons, being tortured, or are dead because of their work. It has never been explained what makes his case special over the entire network of Rohingya citizen journalists who were disappeared during the genocidal siege of 2017, that of Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan who was arrested for sedition in August 2018 & is also suffering health problems in prison, that of Palestinian journalists shot at by Israeli snipers, or that of Mexican journalists hunted down like animals & forced to flee into exile.
Probably the main reason Stalinists & Assadists are so ardent about Assange is less about freedom of the press & more that his conspiratorial politics obfuscate the distinctions between journalism & propaganda–distinctions they want to obscure in order to discredit journalism, legitimize propaganda, & peddle lies as realities. It was once called the ‘Stalinist school of falsification.’ It is now their use of ‘war on terror’ ideology rooted in Islamophobia that justifies wars, especially Syrian & Russian bombing in Syria, & denies genocides like that of the Uyghur, Rohingya, & Moro Muslims.
This is a photo of Kashmiri Aasif Sultan being arrested by Indian occupying forces in August 2018. He is still in jail & there is presently no international campaign to release him.
(Photo from many Kashmiri sources)