David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.

The Silver Lining of WikiLeaks


WikiLeaks has generated much simple enjoyment. Well done that American diplomat who reported that Nicolas Sarkozy is an emperor with no clothes. Another reports that Silvio Berlusconi is always too exhausted from partying to do his job, and someone else has spotted that the preposterous Muammar Gaddhafi has a voluptuous Ukrainian blonde as a permanent escort. It is good to know that a responsible official like the Governor of the Bank of England judges the two leading Conservatives, David Cameron and George Osborne, to be lightweights.

Best of all, we now have a standard by which to measure Arab hypocrisy. There they are in public, the Arab rulers of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, all in the tribal finery they affect for official occasions, holding hands with the Iranian president swearing Muslim solidarity, while all the time behind his back imploring the United States to attack Iran and cut off the head of the snake, as the Saudi monarch expressed it so pictorially. So far, cables from Turkey are more numerous than those from anywhere else, and they show Prime Minister Erdogan playing the same sort of double game, pushing his country into radical Islamism and hatred of Israel under pretense that he and his party align their politics and morals on the Western model.

But really everything here is only confirming what anyone with an interest in the wider world will already know. American diplomats are telling it like it is. As so often seems the case in the United States, providers of information are doing a first-rate job and those who take decisions based on this information are second-rate, biased, ignorant, in the last resort unintelligent. WikiLeaks may very well end in victory for realism in foreign affairs, strengthening the hand of the United States and its friends.


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