Sweet, but kinda alarming, unless we really, really get that there are people being hypocritical out there:
When this whole thing started at the weekend it was billed as a series of tales of damage and scandal concerning the United States. People not yet in the know went around shaking their locks and muttering about torture and death squads. The revelations were supposed to be further evidence that the United States was, essentially, a state practising cowboy imperialism, blundering around the world making everything worse for everybody.
This was certainly how the first sets of disclosures of military messages relating to Iraq and Afghanistan were (wrongly) interpreted. But even in the hands of some of the slyest of anti- Americans, the latest stuff just can’t be made to fit the template. Take the case of Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani woman, convicted by a US court for attempted murder, sentenced to 86 years in September, and stoutly defended by Moazzam Begg’s Cageprisoners outfit as a wrongful victim of the War on Terror. It has been alleged that she was held and tortured for several years in Bagram base — and the leaked cables strongly suggest that she wasn’t.
On the generality of the leaked cables Bill Clinton’s former Assistant Secretary of State, Jamie Rubin, made the point yesterday. Far from there being a gulf between the public piety and private diplomatic devilry, American diplomacy is shown to be pretty straightforward. As Mr Rubin put it: “There is no grand conspiracy, no grand hypocrisy to uncover and expose. The big hypocrisies here are not being perpetrated by Americans; they are being perpetrated by foreign governments, namely non-democratic ones.”
The Pakistani authorities complain about drone attacks in public and desire them in private; the Saudis, far from tempering supposed US belligerence in the Middle East, attempt unsuccessfully to incite it; the Chinese, who cannot be brought to criticise their North Korean ally overtly, quite see the advantages of a unified capitalist Korea when speaking behind closed doors.