Wikileaks has published over 250,000 US diplomatic cables – some classified, for any one to read. They paint an unsurprising story of the reality of diplomacy and politics. Some of the views expressed in the cables will, shall we say, make for some uncomfortable conversation at a later date when the parties involved meet again.
The current US administration has worked fast and furious to prevent any diplomatic strife by contacting parties involved and giving them foreknowledge as to what was in the cables.
Iran, who is signaled out in the messiest, has denounced the cables as “propaganda.” The cables report support for attacking Iran in order to halt their nuclear programmes.
Which raises some interesting questions about the intention of the cable leaks. Not their validity, but, how much of the leak may have been coordinated and condoned or, simply recognized as a golden opportunity. Rather than educate people as to the realities of diplomatic bullying and the prevailing sentiment of US diplomats and politicians toward using force to resolve all problems and challenging our perception of ourselves as global leaders and confirming our reputation as global bullies – there is a kind of thread in the cables that I think, will work to ensure support from the American majority. This because they get to see that politicos think and feel just like they do.
Add into the mix the wrench thrown into the Arab world by depicting several leaders, who have spearheaded peace negotiations, as secretly longing for the US to just come blast certain people off the earth and suddenly – things will get a little uncomfortable.
The question is, will it be dealt with on the surface or will it fall back into the smoke and simmer below?
The crowing claim is that all this heralds the new age of investigative journalism. But investigative journalism is not just a reprinting of source material (although that seems to be the trend these days). Few people are going to sit and read the cables. They may go and start, but, come on, there are 250,000 of them. The journalism begins when someone traces and connects the cables to some kind of revelation.
It is…information accounting…a ledger type presentation of information but no summary, no analysis to help people understand the actual meaning. You see, it follows the principle of divide and conquer. Without summary and analysis there is only an overwhelming amount of single pieces of information. This allows for Iran to come out and dismiss it as “propaganda” or the US to contact other countries and go “let me explain” because those actions are summaries, and these days, the cliff notes always win.
I am a little more concerned right now about the meaning of the UN resolution that removed “sexual orientation” from a definition of discrimination and replaced it with “discrimination for any reason.” Now, in a perfect world the preferred phrase is “discrimination for any reason” however, the UN retained a whole laundry list of specific definitions and only removed that one. Why?
The act of asking ‘Why?’ is what should be following all this.
And knowing (and being able to see via Wikileaks) the amount of tit-for-tat trading that goes on in diplomacy, it is interesting to look at the breakdown of the countries that supported that referendum and then ask “Why” once again.
c.2010. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.