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WikiLeaks commentary from The Economist and Common Dreams

Compared to the kind of secret cables that WikiLeaks has just shared with the world, everyday public statements from government officials are exercises in make-believe.

In a democracy, people have a right to know what their government is actually doing. In a pseudo-democracy, a bunch of fairy tales from high places will do the trick.

Diplomatic facades routinely masquerade as realities. But sometimes the mask slips — for all the world to see — and that’s what just happened with the humongous leak of State Department cables.

Read: WikiLeaks: Demystifying “Diplomacy” | CommonDreams.org.

SO WE have another WikiLeaks release, and this time it’s secret diplomatic cables. So far the interesting material is on Arab states’ and America’s relationships with Iran. It seems all those fervid background-only reports of Arab states urging America to bomb Iran, which I mistrusted at the time, were true. Call me naïve. One observation by an Arab diplomat cited in the cables seems on the ball:

Zeid Rifai, a Jordanian, is quoted as telling a US official: “Bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb. Sanctions, carrots, incentives won’t matter.”

Fair enough, but the same observation might be made to the Arab officials who want the Americans to bomb. If they want America to bomb Iran, they’re really going to have to go the very minimal distance and make the request publicly. If they can’t be bothered to take the political risk of publicly making the call, they’re just going to have to live with that Iranian bomb themselves.

Read: WikiLeaks: WikiLeaks degenerates into gossip | The Economist.

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