August 31, 2015
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.(Reuters / John Stillwell) / Reuters
Julian Assange has given an interview to an Argentinian paper from his Ecuadorian embassy asylum where he spent more than 1,000 days. He spoke about why US meddling in Ukraine led to civil war, how the West helped ISIS and Israel supported Hamas.
US has long wanted to bring Ukraine to West
The United States has spent “a lot of time trying to bring Ukraine to the West,” the WikiLeaks founder saidin an interview to Pagina/12, Argentinian newspaper on Monday.
“If it cannot be with a NATO membership, at least it becomes independent from Moscow’s sphere of influence, to reduce Russian industrial-military complex and its naval bases in Crimea.”
Kiev first step closer to NATO was in December 2014, when President Petro Poroshenko signed a law canceling the Ukraine’ non-bloc status and promised to hold a national referendum on NATO accession in the next five to six years.
In January, Kiev authorities announced that the Ukrainian army would take part in 11 international military drills in 2015 to bolster NATO standards in troops.
One more attempt of US and Europe to ‘bring Ukraine closer to the West’ was spending “billions of dollars on the creation of NGOs,” said Assange , adding that “through these institutions, the West promised to end corruption in Ukraine.”
ISIS result of Western adventurism
Meddling of Western countries in the Middle East led to creation of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), an Islamist group that is currently gaining a massive following across the wider Middle East and Africa, Assange said.
“The IS is a direct result of the adventurism of the West,” Assange said.
He says the “adventurism” of Western countries has already destroyed the Libyan and Syrian society and now is “destroying Iraq for oil and other geopolitical reasons.”
Many people know that arms are being transported to Syria, that there are attempts to reduce Iranian influence in postwar Iraq by supporting the Sunnis, he said. But “what we don’t know is that in recent years in recent years Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have increased their power and managed to gain certain independence form the US.”
As a result, Washington ceased to be “the only geopolitical actor” pushing developments in the Middle East, believes Assange.
Israel supported Hamas in its infancy
The WikiLeaks founder accused Israeli authorities of supporting Hamas group at its early stages in order to divide the Palestinian resistance.
“Our cables reveal that Israel supported Hamas in its infancy, that Hamas was used as an instrument to divide the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and the Palestinian resistance,” Assange told the paper.
Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London while awaiting safe passage to the Central American country, where he has been granted asylum. Staking out the building, in case the Australian should leave the premises, has already cost British taxpayers a hefty £10 million, according to govwaste.co.uk.
Assange has not been charged with a crime, but is wanted for questioning in Sweden regarding allegations of sexual misconduct brought against him in 2010.
An arrest warrant was issued for Assange in 2010 in the of wake sexual assault allegations leveled against him by two Swedish women. He denied the allegations of sexual misconduct and rape and managed to avoid extradition to Sweden by seeking refuge in the embassy in 2012.
He repeatedly announced that he is ready to answer all questions concerning his sexual assault allegations within the sanctity of the embassy. However, Swedish prosecutors were reluctant to do so until March this year.
“If Assange gives his consent, the prosecutor will promptly submit a request for legal assistance to the British authorities to further continue the investigation,” the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.
Assange’s Swedish lawyer welcomed the Swedish prosecutors’ request to interview Assange in London, but added that the whole process of questioning could take time.
“We welcome [this] and see it also as a big victory … for Julian Assange that what we have demanded is finally going to happen,” Per Samuelson said.
Assange supporters fear that if he is deported to Sweden he will likely face espionage charges in America over his role in publishing sensitive, classified US government documents.
But even if Sweden drops the case, he faces arrest by UK police for jumping the bail granted while the British courts considered a European arrest warrant issued by Stockholm.
In June 2014, 56 international human rights and free media organizations signed a letter addressed to US Attorney General Eric Holder calling upon the US government to end all criminal investigations into Assange’s actions as editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, and to cease harassing the organization for publishing materials in the public interest.