What was the most compelling aspect of Wikileaks’ release of 220 US diplomatic cables - the latest move by the online whistle-blower to - well, whistle-blow - about anything it can get its hands on? Because hey - information wants to be free, national security and diplomacy be damned?
It wasn’t that North Korea aided Iran in acquiring technology for medium range ballistic missiles; and it wasn’t that the US knows Ahmed Wali Karzai is a narco-trafficking thug.
It was that in global politics, the US plays the part of the “Gossip Girl” Alpha-Female - and that high school never really ends.
Reading Wikileaks, in fact, is like listening to one side of a teenage girl’s cellphone conversation. A little something like this:
I know - it’s such a total drag, but really, we just have to close Guantanamo - holding terror detainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions is just so 2001! Who can we get to take these people off our hands?
Couldn’t we, like, get Belgium to do it? [Pause.] Seriously. Here’s how we say it: Taking more Guantanamo prisoners represents “a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe." ‘Cause being the capital of the European Union just isn’t as cool as they thought it would be, right? So we can just tell them, This. Is. Cool.
But we need one more, ‘cause Belgium’s not going to buy it if we make them take everyone. [Pause.] How about Slovenia? No one’s ever heard of them! Just tell them - tell them if they take some Guantanamo people, we’ll invite them to sit with us at the cool table. But Obama’s only going to do it once.
OHMYGOD. Don’t get me started on Qaddafi! That Ukrainian nurse? [Pause.] Is she really going out with him? Are you kidding? That is totally about the money. [Pause.] I know, but living in like, a Libyan palace, has got to be better than the Ukraine.
And have you heard? Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Russian PM Vladimir Putin are totally like BFF’s! They hang out all the time! I know Putin’s not supposed to be in charge anymore but really - he’s like Batman, and President Medvedev is totally Robin. [Pause.] I know he’s supposed to be in charge, but in real life, he is totally Robin.
Hang on. I have another call coming in - let me look. No - OK, nevermind. It’s just Pakistan. I know. We give them like half a billion dollars for the floods, and every once in a while, I’m like, Guard your nuclear arsenal! And then they get all huffy about it.
Wait. Oh. I have to take this, this time - it’s Saudi Arabia. They’re like, totally pissed off that Iran found out how bad they don’t really like them.
No - seriously. They never said anything, because they’re almost neighbors, but the Saudis told us to get rid of the Iranian nukes. [Pause.] Yes, way! They said, ‘Cut off the snake’s head!’ And then they’d get to act all mad, like, Oh, you’ve violated the sovereignty of our Muslim brothers! And really, I don’t know why they think we’re just going to do everything they say. They act like we don’t know they’re still funding al-Qaeda! It pisses me off sometimes. But it’s still ringing, so I have to go.