Out of the diplomatic bag By William Bowles

3 December, 2010

Wikileaks has committed the unforgivable sin of revealing the inner workings of Empire, what the servants of Empire really think and in so doing it has also revealed the extremely comfortable relationship between the media and the state in making sure that the truth behind the headlines is kept from us.

Fascinating, the world of inter-state relations or diplomacy has been by ‘tradition’ (not mine) a closed house, members only with its own private language and rules of conduct. But of course diplomacy has two faces, one public and one private. The private face is not a pretty one but then you knew that already, didn’t you?

The art of diplomacy has been around for centuries and is codified in a set of behaviours that allow states to to talk to each other in what might be best described as the neutral territory of a commonly accepted language. So for example, outright threats to another state will be couched in ‘diplomatic’ language, not “I’ll blow you away unless you do as I say”. This enables states to negotiate in a ‘no man’s land’, conducted by intermediaries, the civil servants of the ruling political class. And the modern-day diplomat needs a real university degree in order to function, not someone with connections, the right family etc or a ‘degree’ in media studies.

But hand the state machine over to a bunch of halfwits and you get chaos. For proof of this just look at what thirteen years of ‘New’ Labour did to the UK state’s infrastructure. It can’t even keep the roads open when some snow falls.

The fact that around two million people have access to the ‘secret diplomatic’ cables that Wikileaks acquired and millions of other cables, just in the US, points to the obvious fact that global imperialism is a complicated mess, only held together because the mass media is willing and complicit partner in maintaining the charade. Above all else, this means accepting at face value, everything the state makes public. Thus keeping their private musings private is absolutely crucial if the illusion is to be maintained.

And that’s what’s interesting about a lot of these diplomatic cables as it’s apparent that for the most part they’re written by halfwits who have no idea how the real world works, not even in the furtherence of their own interests. It’s a far cry from the days of the real ‘Great Game’, when a relatively small handful of planners ran an empire on behalf of capital.

“If Berlin-Baghdad” were achieved, a huge block of territory producing every kind of economic wealth, and unassailable by sea-power would be united under German authority…Russia would be cut off by this barrier from her western friends, Great Britain and France”

Thus said R.G.D. Laftan, a senior British military advisor just before the outbreak of war in 1914 referring to German plans to build a railway from Berlin to Baghdad and neutralize Britain’s control of the high seas. Imagine if you will, the consequences had the diplomatic notes of the time been made public?

The British diplomatic service of Laftan’s day, was a small, coherent and highly motivated group, well able to engineer complex operations of all kinds and strict secrecy was at the heart of it all. But controlling a global empire that has to operate without a centralized, colonial authority, or even admitting to being an empire is a nightmare of conflicting interests but no less deceitful or duplicitous than its infamous ancestor.

The thing is, as has been pointed out elsewhere, what is revealed in these cables is not earth-shattering, nor a surprise, the world’s archives are full of the same, billions of them in fact. What makes these different of course is that they’re not history in the academic sense of the word, nor do they fit well with the public face of the state as echoed through our complicit corporate/state media in selling the lie that our political class are responsible, rational and ethical individuals operating to further the public good.

The reality is that for the most part our leaders are obviously sociopaths, mass murderers, thieves and liars. We know this because they’ve been found out and found out the same way Wikileaks exposed the workings of a crumbling psychotic empire; by gaining access to the information that they have kept to themselves for fear of exposure concerning their real intentions and activities.

And now Julian Assange is really pissing them off and they’re out to get him. I think he will have to join Assata Shakur in Cuba pretty shortly if he wants to stay out of jail (or worse).

But above all else, it’s the audacity of the event that has got the political class so furious. You just don’t do things like this! To see the ‘masters of the universe’ for what they really are just blows the entire illusion away, which is why the substantive issues are never actually dealt with in the mass media. Instead, it does what it does best, look for the ‘juicy’ bits, celebrity-style and mount a character assassination attack on the unfortunate Mr. Assange, who has obviously bitten off a lot more than he can chew this time.

Part of the problem is that the releases have not only pissed off the leading players in the less than ‘great game’ but just about every government that has dealings with the Empire, which doesn’t leave many countries out of the equation. Frankly, I would have been a lot more selective and practice the ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ approach to the cables and just embarrass the hell out of the gringos.

“Mr Putin said the Batman and Robin comparison “aimed to slander one of us”.

“”This is about our interaction, which is an important factor of the domestic policies in this country,” he said. “But to be honest with you, we didn’t suspect that this would be done with such arrogance, with such a push and, you know, being so unethically done.”” — Vladimir Putin, ‘Vladimir Putin slams ‘American arrogance’ after Batman-Robin slur

But I think Vladimir Putin’s comment sums up very well how many of the leaders outside the Anglo-Saxon cabal reacted to the revelations; they are under no illusion about the nature of the beast, but then that’s what diplomacy is meant to be about, not bad mouthing political leaders in such a loutish manner. Worse still, it reveals that the political class is composed of shallow-minded thugs who see the world as something akin to a Marvel comic. Dangerous people indeed.

But it’s too late, the cat is well and truly out of the bag, things will never be the same again. We know the emperor wears no clothes.

PS: See – WikiLeaks release: US diplomats redefine “diplomatic”

U.N. Special Rapporteur Juan Méndez: Instead of Focusing on Assange, U.S. Should Address WikiLeaks’ Disclosures of Torture

2 December, 2010 — Democracy Now!

One of the leaked U.S. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks urges diplomats to gather intelligence about “plans and intentions of member states or U.N. Special Rapporteurs to press for resolutions or investigations into U.S. counter-terrorism strategies and treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan or Guantanamo.” We speak to Juan Méndez, the new U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Jeremy Scahill: WikiLeaks Cables Confirm Secret U.S. War Ops in Pakistan

2 December, 2010 — Democracy Now!

Despite sustained denials by the Pentagon, the leaked cables from WikiLeaks confirm that U.S. military special operations forces have been secretly working with the Pakistani military to conduct offensive operations and coordinate drone strikes in the areas near the Afghan border. The cables confirm aspects of a story about the covert U.S. war in Pakistan The cables confirm aspects of a story about the covert U.S. war in Pakistan published in The Nation magazine last year by investigative journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill.

Attorney Confirms WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange in Britain, Responds to U.S. Attacks

2 December, 2010 — Democracy Now

As the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks continues to publish secret U.S. diplomatic cables, its founder Julian Assange is facing international arrest over allegations in Sweden. In the United States, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced WikiLeaks is the target of a criminal probe, and some politicians have accused him of violating the Espionage Act. We speak to Assange’s attorney in London, Jennifer Robinson.

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UPDATE FROM THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA 2 December, 2010

2 December, 2010 — Electronic Intifada

PALESTINIAN PROPERTY DESTROYED AS ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS GROW Report, The Electronic Intifada, 2 December 2010
Israeli bulldozers and armed soldiers implemented a swath of demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures for more than a week in multiple areas across the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.

electronicintifada.net/v2/article11655.shtml

TARGETING SILWAN’S CHILDREN By Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, The Electronic Intifada, 1 December 2010
Earlier this year, “Mahmoud” came home to see a letter with his name on it, instructing him to come to the Russian Compound prison facility in Jerusalem. The 15-year-old Palestinian resident of the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem went to the prison with his father, mother and aunt. He was interrogated for seven hours.

electronicintifada.net/v2/article11652.shtml

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WikiLeaks’ harsh lesson on imperial hubris By Jonathan Cook

30 November, 2010 — The Electronic Intifada

The WikiLeaks disclosure this week of confidential cables from United States embassies has been debated chiefly in terms either of the damage to Washington’s reputation or of the questions it raises about national security and freedom of the press.

The headlines aside, most of the information so far revealed from the 250,000 documents is hardly earth-shattering, even if it often runs starkly counter to the official narrative of the US as the benevolent global policeman, trying to maintain order amid an often unruly rabble of underlings.

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New York Times Beats Drums for War

2 December, 2010 — The Real News Network

Ray McGovern: NYT ignores intelligence there is no evidence of Iran nuclear weapons program program

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Bio
Ray McGovern is a retired CIA officer. McGovern was employed under seven US presidents for over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. McGovern was born and raised in the Bronx, graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University, received an M.A. in Russian Studies from Fordham, a certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University, and graduated from Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

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WikiLeaks lift curtains on American political autism – expert — RT

2 December, 2010 — RT

The latest WikiLeaks release of confidential US diplomatic documents alleges Russia is rife with corruption and crime. And it goes right to the top.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has said US diplomats are spreading unverified information and compared them with tabloid newspapers.

‘The allegation made by the American diplomats is not just that Russia is a victim of corruption and crime, but instead – that corruption and crime in Russia is being controlled by the government and that Russia is a mafia state, at the head of which is Vladimir Putin,’ says John Laughland, Director of the Institute for Democracy and Co-operation.

‘This [WikiLeaks story] does lift the curtains on the American mentality, on America’s fundamental intellectual incapacity to deal with the outside world in any other way than by dividing it up into good guys and bad guys. For me it is a message, that there is an incredibly immature and, frankly, dangerous attitude on the part of American diplomats to categorize the world only in terms of whether people are friendly towards America and whether countries want to be like America,’ he told RT.

‘This shows the real intellectual flaw at the heart of American foreign policy, because it shows that America – at least the State Department – is the victim of a sort of political autism. In other words the political inability to deal with the other,’ Laughland added.

Wikileaks News Roundup for 2 December, 2010

2 December, 2010 — Creative-i