Non-Wikileaks Revelations on Libya

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For those of you who can never get enough leaked U.S. government documents but are tired of Wikileaks, The Atlantic’s Max Fisher had a must-read scoop from this weekend about a once-secret deal to remove highly enriched uranium that very nearly went sour. He details the never-before-released news that the U.S. government had negotiated a highly sensitive deal with Libya last November to remove the uranium to Russia, but that Libya stopped the deal at the last moment, leaving several casks of the materials under light guard for a month while American and Russian negotiators frantically worked to get the shipment back on track while securing the uranium. While the story itself is illustrative not only of the risks of transporting these materials but also of dealing with autocratic, closed regimes, the most interesting part of the article is the role played by Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, in the negotiations, as detailed by U.S. State Department cables:

In November of last year, when officials without notice halted the dismantling process, the Libyans were down to their last 5.2 kilograms–still enough to make a bomb. A few days later, the U.S. embassy was contacted by Saif al-Islam al-Qaddafi. The son of Muammar al-Qaddafi, Saif is widely seen as Libya’s great hope for reform should he win out against his more conservative brother, Mutassim, and succeed their father. But on that day, Saif told the U.S. ambassador to Libya that he was “fed up” with the U.S. He warned, “Slowly, slowly, we are moving backward rather than forward.”
Saif, according to the State Department cables reviewed by The Atlantic, told U.S. representatives that he could “fix” the nuclear crisis–if the U.S. met his demands. His list included military equipment, assistance in building a nuclear medical facility, relaxation of trade embargoes against Libya, and a sum of money that he implied would be in the tens of millions of dollars. But Saif made clear that what he sought most was respect. He suggested that the United States and Libya end their decades of enmity with a grand gesture of d

Comments

86 comments on “Non-Wikileaks Revelations on Libya

  1. replice vertu says:

    Re Jewish Supremacist denigration of Arabs–“It’s a particular instance of the all too prevalent tendency of people to distance and downgrade ‘the other’.” It’s also a particularly useful psychological tool to help assuage the guilt of having stolen someone else’s property–“we didn’t really steal it from anyone, because they’re not really human.”
    Right, Nadine?

    Reply

  2. replice vertu phone says:

    Re Jewish Supremacist denigration of Arabs–“It’s a particular instance of the all too prevalent tendency of people to distance and downgrade ‘the other’.” It’s also a particularly useful psychological tool to help assuage the guilt of having stolen someone else’s property–“we didn’t really steal it from anyone, because they’re not really human.”
    Right, Nadine?

    Reply

  3. designer handbag replicas says:

    The http://www.webbestchoice.com/ Louis Vuitton Monogram Miroir collection isn

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  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The Arab Street” isn’t “Arabs”.
    Don’t be an ass. Take the “Arab Street” out of the equation, and all you have left is the ruling class. So, the ruling class are Arabs, and the “Arab” street” is something else?
    Once again, questions, you are arguing in bad faith, advancing premises that YOU KNOW are disingenuous. There is no denying the bigotry in Wiggie and Nadine’s narrative. Your attempt to defend it, or disguise it, is as despicable as the actual bigotry is.

    Reply

  5. JohnH says:

    Re Jewish Supremacist denigration of Arabs–“It’s a particular instance of the all too prevalent tendency of people to distance and downgrade ‘the other’.” It’s also a particularly useful psychological tool to help assuage the guilt of having stolen someone else’s property–“we didn’t really steal it from anyone, because they’re not really human.”
    Right, Nadine?

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    “The Arab Street” isn’t “Arabs”.
    It’s a political identification.

    Reply

  7. DonS says:

    When it comes to Arabs, the Western mind is not particularly kind or open. You can say that double for the Israeli mind.
    Since the inception of Israel, ‘Arabs’ has been a dirty word, and all purpose slur to denote the enemy. Maybe with justification, from the Israeli point of view. It was natural perhaps that many if not the vast majority of Jews elsewhere adopted the jingoistic attitude about ‘their’ new state, and the negative stereotyping of Arabs that went along with it. Many have never altered their perception.
    It’s a particular instance of the all too prevalent tendency of people to distance and downgrade ‘the other’. It’s very real; can’t gild that lily.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, uh, if I call the tea partiers ignorant, docile, uneducated, and irrelevent I am talkiung about a political following, am I not? Undoubtedly, of many different ethnic religious, and racial make-ups.
    If I call negros ignorant, docile, uneducated, and irrelevent, thats a different story, isn’t it?
    Show me where Wiggie dilineates. Where in her slur do you see her single out an aspect of the Arab street that separates some, a few, from her slur? Nope, its the “Arabs”, period. You can defend the wretched bigot all you want, but the intent, and the sentiment behind her slur, was obvious. She was consigning the “Arabs” to an inferior status.
    On another note, its comical seeing you take this tack, considering how you have treated my disgust with our policies on our southern border, and the problem of unfettered illegal immigration.
    I really gotta admire your flexibility. Its not everyone that can pull it off, but you have managed, (in your defense of Wiggie’s blatant bigotry) to have your head stuffed up two asses at once. WOW!!! You ever manage to pull it out, the sound effects are going to rival that of a sonic boom!
    And do you really suppose, with your “note to others”, that you are really so important here, or that I am, that anyone really gives a shit whether or not you “complain” about the way the comments here overlap? Dan was PERSONALLY miffed at your bullshit, it has nothing to do with anyone else. He was telling you to butt out. Thats his right. I find you irritating as well. Kinda like the screech you get when you rake your fingernails acrost a chalk board. But I know better than to tell you to butt out, because its just like inviting you screech your classroom idiocy in my ear. Its as futile as telling Wiggie to stop her braying, or telling Nadine to stop getting all ecstatically hot and bothered over the smell of burning Palestinian flesh.

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  9. questions says:

    POA,
    Tell me how you describe people who identify with the Tea Party.
    Tell me how you describe anyone on the right in the US.
    Tell me what you think of me, even. (Ok, this one I get already.)
    And then tell me why W/W’s characterization is so very singularly wicked.
    Maybe you can make a coherent case here. And if you can, I’ll note the fact.
    (Note to others, by the way, POA is intervening in a dialogue that is not “his business” and I am not complaining. It’s an open forum, and any post is fair game for any other post to take on.)

    Reply

  10. nadine says:

    “Gads, what??? Did questions take an extra few Jackass Pills today???? ” (POA)
    Why, are you missing some?

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  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, what??? Did questions take an extra few Jackass Pills today???? He seems to be overdosing.
    “I don’t think W/W is reducing the “Arab street” to, “subservient, worthless and ignorant beasts, whose opinions don’t matter” so much as noting that within Arab nations, regular people don’t actually have much input into the government”
    Then when Wiggie said they were “docile”, “ignorant”, “uneducated” and “irrelevent” she didn’t actually say that either, eh?
    Great, OK, why don’t you interpret that one for us too? I kinda interpreted it like so; “The Arabs are nuthin’ but worthless sand niggers, so who gives a shit about ’em?”, but perhaps you’ve got a more PC interpretation.

    Reply

  12. questions says:

    Regarding voter behavior, by the way, not even money seems to determine victory. Look at the California senate and gov races. Lots spent by the losers.
    Money helps only in certain situations, mostly in buying name recognition.
    Most people vote party loyalty, so “targeting” doesn’t do a whole lot of damage to a popular incumbent of the correct partisan persuasion. There simply has to be something really wrong with an incumbent for that person to lose. A particular interest group’s “targeting” is not enough.

    Reply

  13. questions says:

    I’ve pasted in your comments and I’ll go through them a line at a time…..
    “We don’t go to war because of a single-interest lobby that “controls” Congress, because there’s just no such thing.”
    ***That’s your citation of my words. I still agree with what I wrote.
    We know that denying the existence of ‘the lobby’ seems to be your life work these days, Questions,
    ***Not my life work, but I already said that.
    or a large segment of your comments here.
    ****I write about a lot of stuff here, actually.
    OK. What about my comment that folks (specific Congresscritters) who cross Israel, a few particular cases, can be targeted, basically as ‘deviant’, and gotten rid of?
    ****I’ve commented on this before. There are two or three congress members (former members) who are listed over and over again regarding the “targeting” issue. Each one had significant other flaws and went down more because of the other flaws than because of any AIPAC targeting. But the fact remains that pressure groups are certainly allowed to “target” as they please.
    ****Jan Schakowsky was targeted by a Republican Jewish group this past election, and she won 66% of the vote. So much for targeting popular incumbents….. In the MJ piece I read about this, MJ notes that Jewish people pretty much vote for dems, so “targeting” on a single issue doesn’t work if the incumbent is of the correct party and is popular. Few Jewish people are single issue voters. But you’d have to read some stuff on American voter behavior to know this. You’d also have to ignore W and M who aren’t specialists in American voter behavior.
    You know I can cite examples, as could you. Please provide the rationale for why this is a false statement other that the obvious rejoinder that many effects are caused by many factors.
    ****As Socrates says to Thrasymachus, it’s as if you ask what twelve is but you won’t let me say twelve is twice six….
    ****American voter behavior, as I note above, doesn’t respond the way that “targeting” makes it seem. Indeed, party loyalty comes first, ideology seems to come later. Wave elections, massive scandals, and retirements are probably more important than “targeting”. The few reps who went down were targeted because they were weak, they weren’t weak because they were targeted. It’s good to keep the causation going the right direction. But you will say, well, you just told me twelve is twice six, and that’s not the answer I want to hear. I want to know what twelve is……. Nothing I can do about this.
    By the way, though your analogy of comments section to a cafe or bar — I guess this is how you conceptualize it to protect your ego — is interesting in it’s way, you use the idea, along with a gratuitously benign interpretation of WW and nadine to minimize their ad hominems of Steve Clemons. What’s with that?
    ****What’s with that is that Steve can take care of himself. And I have loads of issues with W and M, as well…..
    Generally one treats the proprietor of the place, even a cafe, with respect.
    ****Steve can take care of himself. When someone crosses a line he doesn’t like, the someone gets a warning. Steve has expressed significant respect for W/W, and tolerance for nadine. Why should I differ? That’s my way of showing respect to Steve for this nice cafe he’s set up.
    FWIW, I think you overstretch the ‘any words are open to any interpretation’ fetish a bit much to deny the plain meaning of “feckless” and “stupid”, and maybe even “inconsequential”.
    ****I don’t understand this point. Near as I can tell, the Tea Party gets little to no respect here from anyone except perhaps nadine (and the occasional caution from W/W that they might well be consequential). But when W/W notes that the “Arab street” is not consequential in their political system, and that perhaps there is much manipulation, suddenly it’s a terrible thing to insult the “street” and I wonder at the difference in views.
    Also BTW, what in the hell does that remotely have to do with the character or intelligence of tea baggers?
    ***As I noted above, showing disrespect to a “street” is the common link. It’s fine to disparage Americans of a political sort, but not to do so for Arabs of a political sort?
    ***I hope you’re happier now with “twice six” because I can’t think of a better way to express “twelve” — 11+1?? 13-1??? Would you like further consideration? Would you read something about voter behavior before asking yet again about those few MCs who were tossed out allegedly only because of Jewish money or whatever the story is?

    Reply

  14. DonS says:

    “I hope I’ve covered all your concerns..”
    You haven’t. You’ve dodged, weaved, defended, avoided, taken tangents. Sadly I’m not too surprised.

    Reply

  15. questions says:

    “To protect my ego”????
    No, not at all. It’s a comments section on a blog. Every blog, every newspaper, every shopping site has a comments section. People “talk”. What ego or protection has to do with anything, I don’t know.
    This isn’t the White House situation room or whatever.
    As for what this has to do with “tea baggers” the point is that taking offense at W/W’s dismissal of the “Arab Street” while perhaps holding similar views of the “American Street” (or that part represented by people who call themselves the “Tea Party” is a little bit of a stretch for me.
    And regarding the proprietor of the space, my guess is he can take care of himself and he can ban IPs if he decides, or he can shut down the comment section, showing us once and for all how little we matter in the grand scheme of things. And indeed, I would guess we matter pretty little.
    My “life work” is not denying the existence of THELOBBY. I don’t get paid for this and I don’t really think about it except when it comes up around here. I don’t deny that there is an organization called “AIPAC” but I would suggest that those who flip out about its magical powers should read some scholarship on lobbying. I’ve pointed out titles over time. Read something, and then get back to me.
    I hope I’ve covered all your concerns…. I’ll make it my life work to respond to any others you have if I missed something!

    Reply

  16. JohnH says:

    Nadine’s authoritarian tendencies show through again. According to her, Erdogan is evil because he is putting the military under civilian control! And then she has the chutzpah to assert that the most authoritarian organization of all–the military–is an instrument of democracy! If Lewis Carroll were alive today, he could have tapped Nadine’s brain for a sequel to “Alice in Wonderland.”

    Reply

  17. DonS says:

    “We don’t go to war because of a single-interest lobby that “controls” Congress, because there’s just no such thing.”
    We know that denying the existence of ‘the lobby’ seems to be your life work these days, Questions, or a large segment of your comments here. OK. What about my comment that folks (specific Congresscritters) who cross Israel, a few particular cases, can be targeted, basically as ‘deviant’, and gotten rid of? You know I can cite examples, as could you. Please provide the rationale for why this is a false statement other that the obvious rejoinder that many effects are caused by many factors.
    By the way, though your analogy of comments section to a cafe or bar — I guess this is how you conceptualize it to protect your ego — is interesting in it’s way, you use the idea, along with a gratuitously benign interpretation of WW and nadine to minimize their ad hominems of Steve Clemons. What’s with that? Generally one treats the proprietor of the place, even a cafe, with respect.
    FWIW, I think you overstretch the ‘any words are open to any interpretation’ fetish a bit much to deny the plain meaning of “feckless” and “stupid”, and maybe even “inconsequential”. Also BTW, what in the hell does that remotely have to do with the character or intelligence of tea baggers?

    Reply

  18. nadine says:

    Dan, your opinions about Turkey are exactly the as if you pointed to Nazi Germany as a great example of democracy in action. Hitler was elected too, wasn’t he? There was just that eensie-bitty detail about him being a fascist and destroying all instruments of democracy in Germany.
    Similarly, Erdogan is an Islamist who has openly moved to destroy the instruments of democracy in Turkey – free press, the counterweight of the army – all being suppressed. Alliance with Iran, support for Hamas? Open and declared. Nazi-level anti-Semitic propaganda, showing Jews ruling the world, shooting innocents to harvest organs, etc? Repeatedly shown on Turkish TV.
    To blather on about the threats to the old guard in the Middle East without mentioning Islamism or the whole Iran-Syria-Turkey-Hizbullah-Hamas “resistance bloc” is idiocy of the highest degree. It’s as stupid as not noticing that Hitler was a Nazi.
    The main show in the Mideast for the last twenty years has not been Israel/Palestine but Nationalist vs Islamists, and the Islmaists have been on the rise. And you sit there calling anyone “paranoid” who points this out to you.

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    questions, if Nadine’s views that I am “rooting for Bin Laden” and that my “automatic bias in everything is anti-American” is “a pretty standard view”, as you say, then the promoters of these standard views can go to hell, but stay out of my path.
    I am “defending the US” with what I write here only in the sense that I defend in writing policies that I believe would be good for the United States and its people. If what I write has zero influence on what anyone else in the world thinks, fine. But I won’t sit still for assholes claiming that I am rooting for terrorists. I responded to Nadine’s arguments with arguments, but I responded to the personal attacks with personal attacks.
    Mind your own business. It doesn’t concern you.

    Reply

  20. questions says:

    Well, let’s ask W/W if it’s normative or empirical, moral or structural.
    So, W/W, which is it, if you’re reading and you feel like responding.
    And let’s remember the number of times anyone in the US or a poster here or there on TWN has wondered about the intellectual capacity of, say, the average Tea Party voter, the extent to which, say, people have been, I dunno, duped by their government, the extent to which the US government fails to respond to “street” demands…..
    Are we also, perhaps, feckless, stupid, and inconsequential while still being morally valid, worthy of ensoulment, and, I dunno, deserving of respect despite it all?

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  21. Dan Kervick says:

    questions on WigWag:
    “I don’t think W/W is reducing the “Arab street” to, “subservient, worthless and ignorant beasts, whose opinions don’t matter” so much as noting that within Arab nations, regular people don’t actually have much input into the government. That is, it’s not a normative claim, it’s an empirical claim and as such should not be treated as a statement of the moral worth of these people.”
    Actual WigWag:
    “To the extent that it exists at all, the Sunni street is feckless, stupid and inconsequential.”

    Reply

  22. questions says:

    A few items….
    I don’t think W/W is reducing the “Arab street” to, “subservient, worthless and ignorant beasts, whose opinions don’t matter” so much as noting that within Arab nations, regular people don’t actually have much input into the government. That is, it’s not a normative claim, it’s an empirical claim and as such should not be treated as a statement of the moral worth of these people.
    Second, W/W’s main point with all of this is that had the US actually gone to war with Iran, TWN, and W and M, and A. Sullivan would have blasted AIPAC and the worldwide Jewish conspiracy ™ for the action when in actual fact, the pressure would have come just as much from Arab nations. This point shouldn’t be undersold here. Actions are caused by many many factors, and big actions are caused by many big factors. We don’t go to war because of a single-interest lobby that “controls” Congress, because there’s just no such thing.
    We go to war because of a confluence of factors, decisions, concerns, intelligence (or lack thereof).
    Third, W/W has noted several times that the wisdom of war against Iran is a separate issue. Sounds to me like W/W doesn’t really think it would work anyway. And indeed, the cables suggest the same. There is a faction in Israel that wants the bombing, there are other factions that seem to see the difficulties. Had it been open and shut, it would have happened already.
    The point W/W is making is a counterfactual — had the event happened, it would have been blamed on the not-fully-guilty, and the also-guilty would have been ignored because of a certain level of paranoia about the WWJC.
    And Dan, I doubt you are actually defending the US from much of anything by posting here. Self-aggrandizement in this situation leads to intemperate writing and ad hominems of the sort that make the powers that be wonder about the worth of the open format here. (Though I get the feeling Steve is probably pretty used to teh crazee at this point.)
    In fact, nadine is presenting a pretty standard view that needs to be thought through as much as any other view. No one is defending the US in any direct fashion here, and no one is a traitor here either. It’s better to let the drama go and realize that this site is more like a dinner theater or a cafe or a bar or whatever. It’s not a White House strategy session with the pres, and it’s not going to affect policy in any direct way, or indirect way come to think of it.
    It’s a vanity thing to type here.
    By the way, you wanna protect America from all those hazards? Start protesting oil use, energy use, transportation, central heating, people’s living in cold or hot climates, economic expansion (which increases energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependence on ME oil).
    But you want economic growth, stimulus, and industry big time. Well, there are structural consequences from having that economic boom we’d all like so bad.

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  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Well it doesn’t work here and, if the propaganda megaphone that the Firsters enjoy here stops working for them sufficiently, you can be they will do all they can to engineer shutting down comments. They’re alreadly doing everything to discredit the host”
    I think you nailed it. In trying to understand this recent viral attack on Steve’s character, I have ran through a number of possible motives. The only one that makes sense is the one you hint at. Nadine, recently suspended from commenting for insulting Steve, and Wiggie, who has witnessed Steve, on numerous occassions, threaten to shut down the comment section, are working towards just such an end, for the very reason you describe. One hopes he doesn’t take the bait.

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  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And this is the place where I drop my cool and just say, “Shut the fuck up you lying zionist traitor bitch.” Everything I write here about foreign policy is aimed at protecting Americans from the unnecessary hazards and blowback fostered by scheming agitators like you. Everything you write about, on the other hand, is aimed at promoting the welfare of your people, who live in ANOTHER COUNTRY, and aims to maximally expose Americans to that blowback and embroil Americans in the defense of the thieving power grabs and racist expansionism of the Israeli state. I’m happy to let history judge which side proves the most pro-American in the end”
    Ah yes, its wonderful having your head out in the light of day, isn’t it Dan? I worried about ya for a while there, thinkin’ ya might suffocate.
    Then, one day….POP!!!!….out it came.
    Aaaahhhh, the sweet smell of fresh air.

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  25. DonS says:

    “I suspect you are cheering for Iran, since your automatic bias in everything is anti-American.” (nadine, responded to by dan)
    Underlying this libel are variations of several syllogisms employed very effectively by AIPAC, Israel Firsters, toadies and lackies of Israel, and others:
    i.e.,
    — “if you’re not for Israel you must be allied with the Islamofacists”
    — “If you advocate foreign policy initiatives to pacify the region that are inclusive you are against Israel and must be allied with the Islamofacists”
    — If you call attention to Israel’s bad behavior, along with the bad behavior of other actors, you are not sufficiently for Israel and therefore an ally the Islamofacists”
    — If you do not turn a blind eye to the unholy relationship between Israli propaganda and American Jews you are supporting the Islamofascists”
    — And of course not being an Israel sycophant means you yourself are either an Islamofascist or an Islamofascist enabler and sympathiser.
    No wonder American policticians, where they are not true believers, avoid or cower at addressing the logic and the very real counterproductive damage that acquiescing to the underlying syllogisms implies. Who wants to be called an Islamofascist, or an Islamofascist sympathizer. Much easier to just go along with the blackmail, especially since the money that floats the system can be targeted to ‘get’ deviants.
    And no wonder the American people are so confused when politicians are so thoroughly coopted into the “Israel good” syndrome that they have forgotten how to think for themselves, or just don’t bother. The idiocy that Americans must approve the ‘policy’ because they keep electing politicians who rubber stamp the policy is beyond comment. It shows an arrogance and anti-democratic turn that laughs at the prospect of change or, indeed even minimal intergrity. Americans deserve better.
    It is at this point that the noise machine kicks, the ‘smart’ ‘contrarian’ pipsqueak Nadine’s start screaming ‘Jooooooos’ because we all know that 1) that’s the bottom, line/implied or accused anti-Semitism and 2) it usually works in just about any American arena from politics to the local bar.
    Well it doesn’t work here and, if the propaganda megaphone that the Firsters enjoy here stops working for them sufficiently, you can be they will do all they can to engineer shutting down comments. They’re alreadly doing everything to discredit the host.

    Reply

  26. samuelburke says:

    Phil Weiss has his finger on the pulse on this one.
    Let Americans

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  27. samuelburke says:

    this is from antiwar dot com

    Reply

  28. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, all we know is that *some* Arab leaders have at *some* time in the not too distant past urged action against Iran in *some* meetings with *some* US officials.
    The Arabs in general, as we know, have a very different outlook than their leaders. I know that you and WigWag are now arguing that Arabs are subservient, worthless and ignorant beasts, whose opinions don’t matter. But their opinions evidently do matter. If they didn’t, then these leaders and their many courtiers and high-placed dependent would be expressing their hostile preferences much more freely and strenuously in public.
    Far from appearing clueless, it looks like Obama at least understands that US power and resources are not infinite, US lives are not worthless and disposable, and the interests of the United States and its people are not identical to those of the Arab kings and potentates it protects.
    The fact that these leaders support action against Iran, despite the fact that a war will be highly destabilizing, seems to impress you. I suppose you think this is a measure of the urgency of the threat and the sincerity of the leaders’ concerns. It doesn’t impress me. For one thing, the Al-Saud family-state stands to profit handsomely, on the backs of the suffocating American consumer, from the boost in oil prices that a war would cause. For another, regional instability provides them with another opportunity to enhance their power. The As-Saud’s power is dependent on their special relationship with the United States, and that special relationship has consisted, since the days of the embargo, in their ability to turn the oil faucets on or off in response to US needs.
    Those days are disappearing. The power balances in the region are shifting, and the American orientation in the region will shift along with the changes. The old guard see the changes coming, and is desperate to prevent them, but the writing is on the wall. They are terrified by any inklings of a reshuffling of power in the region, which is why they want to goad the US into knocking off their chief business competitor now. Also the Saudis know that at least some American politicians – and almost all the American people – are keenly interested in energy dependence, and will begin working more earnestly on that project as our economy rebounds. The linchpin of their power, the resource that allows a parasitical and backward medieval dynasty to build shiny, air-conditioned shopping malls and play global power in a modern world, is crumbling away as they watch.
    The Egyptians are also very dependent on US handouts, and US indulgence for their harsh and inefficient state. But the regional realities that created the need to continually pay off the Egyptians are not going to last forever.
    “So what else is new? Obama made a few small noises, but Mubarak told him to buzz off, another sign of how great Obama is looking in the Middle East. We pay $3 Billion a year to Egypt, by the way.”
    There is nothing new at all. But the spectacle of this decrepit and corrupt regime doing its thing does nothing to enhance the credibility of Egyptian rulers pushing for more US cannon fodder to throw into their mad, sick power games.
    “To tell Israel to reach out to that is insane.”
    Not at all. Israel reached out in the past to Egypt, for example. And yet Turkey under its present rulers is not even 1/10th as hostile to Israel as Egypt was under Nassar. Israelis pride themselves on how smart they are. The Israelis need to get a clue about which way the winds of change are blowing in the region. They can’t rely forever on backward and structurally weak states with their fingers in the crumbling dikes of the 20th century.
    As for,
    “So your “beacon and model” idea functions only if you are rooting for Osama bin Laden. Are you?”
    Grow up. You know as well as I do that the Turkish strategy for national success has as little to do with empowering Osama Bin Laden as the US strategy does. And your paranoia about the “resistance bloc” is silly. The Turks are trying to make themselves into a prominent and outward-looking global power with broad influence in the West, the Middle East, and the regions to their north and northeast, not some ideologically isolated dissident state with its fate tied only to local militias and resistance fighters. Wake up and take a walk in the new world.
    “But then, I suspect you are cheering for Iran, since your automatic bias in everything is anti-American.”
    And this is the place where I drop my cool and just say, “Shut the fuck up you lying zionist traitor bitch.” Everything I write here about foreign policy is aimed at protecting Americans from the unnecessary hazards and blowback fostered by scheming agitators like you. Everything you write about, on the other hand, is aimed at promoting the welfare of your people, who live in ANOTHER COUNTRY, and aims to maximally expose Americans to that blowback and embroil Americans in the defense of the thieving power grabs and racist expansionism of the Israeli state. I’m happy to let history judge which side proves the most pro-American in the end.

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  29. DonS says:

    “But then, I suspect you are cheering for Iran, since your automatic bias in everything is anti-American.” (nadine)
    And being an Israel Firster isn’t anti-American?
    That’s almost as rich as your friend wigwag pretending that Steve’s ok, but his friends, you know, are not very nice and “I think the worst thing we can say about an otherwise very fine fellow is that he picks his friends rather poorly” (wigwag). Every Jewish kids, and many non-Jews perhaps, recognize this as the greatest insult there is. To wit, ‘you can tell a person by the friends he chooses’, hurled as a epithet for generations.
    Nice.

    Reply

  30. nadine says:

    Dan, let me answer your assessment with mine. We see very different realities.
    “1. Ordinary Arabs, to the extent they are getting full media reports on these leaks, are now getting a fuller look at how dangerous, treacherous and selfish some of their leaders are. Yet I doubt they are learning anything qualitatively new.”
    Agree on this point. Ordinary Arabs have no illusions what their leaders are, though having their leader’s near-total hypocrisy shown up in public will be embarrassing to say the least. But bad as Arab leaders are in having responsive governments, their track records for staying in power are great.
    “2. The key agitators for more

    Reply

  31. Samd says:

    New Zealand Earthquake 2010: Strong Quake Shakes Christchurch
    09- 3-10 12:59 PM
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/03/new-zealand-earthquake-20_n_705040.html
    Thanks for the tip 🙂

    Reply

  32. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sand, Nov 30 2010, 3:30PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Buy in New Zealand.

    Reply

  33. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, assuming these leaks are all the real deal, these are my initial reactions on how they bear on the geopolitics of some of our favorite Middle East discussion topics.
    1. Ordinary Arabs, to the extent they are getting full media reports on these leaks, are now getting a fuller look at how dangerous, treacherous and selfish some of their leaders are. Yet I doubt they are learning anything qualitatively new.
    2. The key agitators for more

    Reply

  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Mike Rivero pretty well sums it up.
    I quote…..
    “Last week, the Department of Homeland Security seized the domain names of roughly 70 websites for copyright infringement. There were no warrants, no court orders, and no court hearings before a judge. The DHS simply used their authority to grab websites on the basis they are perceived threats (apparently Osama Been Deadforawhile makes a good living with bootleg DVDs)”
    “So, if WikiLeaks is really exposing dangerous classified diplomatic cables that are a threat to the United States, why didn’t DHS seize the WikiLeaks domain? Assange was dropping hints of a major leak to come. If WikiLeaks was a real whistleblower, DHS could shut them down by grabbing their domain name just as easily as it shut down the copyright violators”
    “But they didn’t”
    “The dog did not bark!”
    “WikiLeaks is a fake whistleblower, an attempt to repackage old ABCNNBBCBS lies in a new form that the public will swallow.”
    “There is no other possible explanation for DHS not to seize the domain as a real threat, especially since Assange was not shy about dropping hints as to what was to come!”
    “WikiLeaks is a propaganda front.”

    Reply

  35. Sand says:

    I grew up with this political satire — sigh!
    ‘The Wonders of Polling’
    http://www.eschatonblog.com/2010/11/overnight_30.html

    Reply

  36. nadine says:

    Warren, apparently your “wide reading” does not include news sources such as the BBC, or what is perhaps more pertinent, the ability to understand what is said about a computer network. The “precautions” described in the article below are so lax as to amount to an honor system. I will also overlook your jibes about Israeli handlers. If you believe that, then you are sliding into the fever swamps to keep company with conspiracy nutters like POA.
    __________________________________________
    29 November 2010 Last updated at 09:53 ET
    Leaks expose US and UK fears over Pakistan nuclear arms
    Most of the diplomatic messages released by Wikileaks have been traced to a US defence department network, known as Siprnet, used for the exchange of classified information, media reports say.
    Ironically, Siprnet (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network), which was set up in the 1990s, was expanded as part of moves after 9/11 to allow classified information to be shared more easily and prevent failures of communication between different intelligence agencies.
    It is designed for exchange of information up to “secret” level – the level for information that would cause “serious damage” to national security.
    It is thought about 2.5 million US military and civilian personnel have access to the network.
    However, Siprnet is not recommended for distribution of top-secret information.
    Only 6% (more than 15,000) of the documents have been classified as secret. Another 40% were “confidential”, while the rest were unclassified.
    Easier access
    Siprnet was identified as the source of the leaked messages because they had the tag “Sipdis”, meaning Siprnet Distribution, as part of address codes that headed them.
    Siprnet uses the same technology as the internet, but has dedicated and encrypted lines that are separate from all other communications systems, according to a defence department users’ guide.
    The system is protected by a series of security measures, the guide adds:
    * All users must be approved and registered
    * Passwords are complex, and must be changed every 150 days
    * Only accessible from specially enabled computers in secure location
    * Computers must not be left unattended
    * No linking to civilian internet without prior approval
    * Media storage devices become classified at secret level once connected to Siprnet-enabled computers
    * Audit trail of all users, including identity of all persons accessing Siprnet
    However, the guide says that technological advances in storage devices have made it easier to remove classified information from secure areas.
    Meanwhile the network has become easier to access around the world since 9/11.
    The attacks led to the State Department setting up the net centric diplomacy initiative, allowing its own information to be shared on Siprnet.
    The vast majority of US embassies are now connected up to Siprnet.
    Speaking to BBC News in July, US intelligence analyst Catherine Lotrionte said data-sharing was necessary for effective intelligence work, and the risk that it might make large data breaches easier was simply “the cost of doing business – the downside is that someone may break the rules”.
    Military suspect
    No-one has been charged with passing the diplomatic files to Wikileaks but suspicion has fallen on US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst arrested in Iraq in June and charged over an earlier leak of classified US documents.
    Wikileaks has in the past denied that it received any documents from Pfc Manning, and says it is technically impossible to know if he is indeed their source.
    According to claims by Adrian Lamo, a former hacker, Pfc Manning told him in online chats that he removed information by burning it onto a CD.
    Mr Lamo claims that Pfc Manning told him that he disguised his activities by pretending he was listening to music by Lady Gaga.
    It is alleged that an online security system to detect suspicious use of Siprnet was switched off on computers used by the US military in Iraq following complaints that it was inconvenient, the UK’s Guardian newspaper reports.
    Also, analysts say the possibility that someone in a base in Iraq could potentially access cables about Iceland violated the principle of “need to know” in intelligence, on which the Siprnet security system is supposedly based.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11863618

    Reply

  37. Don Bacon says:

    In Kazakhstan SecState Clinton called the leaks “a very irresponsible, thoughtless act” but the locals were less impressed.
    Aigul Solovyeva, a member of the Kazakh Parliament, said reports that the WikiLeak documents include unflattering mentions of top Kazakh government officials made for “entertaining reading” but are likely to have little impact.
    “That’s something we already knew about,” she said, referring to reports of the lavish lifestyles of some government officials.
    People in other countries, I’ve found, tend to be much better informed than Americans. So what is shocking and novel to an American official gets a big yawn overseas.
    Or could Hillary just be playing to her imagined audience, expecting us to lap it up? Nah.

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I realize that what I just presented is considered poppycock by most intellectuals”
    I’m sorry, Warren, but its not just intellectuals that think that that is poppycock.
    You can add this uneducated tradesman to the list of those people entertaining such an opinion of your fantastic flights of fancy.

    Reply

  39. Don Bacon says:

    These cable leaks caused a lot of trouble with US allies, really serious problems with the developed world as we know it. The US Secretary of State is traveling to some global hot-spots — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Bahrain.

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “However, there is no evidence (so far) that the release required any complicity from within the State Dept. It’s hard to see what they would gain”
    Whoosh, all debate about the three billion dollar blow job Hillary was giving Netanyahu is suddenly superceded by the Wiki-leaks flap.
    Presto chango, Netanyahu’s continued theft of Palestinian land (basically destroying any chance at resumed talks, and any hope for a two state solution) is consigned to the netherworld of virtually NO media coverage.
    Bingo, the leaks minimize Iraqi non-combatant deaths, “reveal” that we had nothing to do with torturing Iraqis, and buttress the witch Clinton’s bullshit about the threat that Iran poses.
    In fact, you hapless clown, this charade is a BONANZA for the State Department, and I have no doubt the hag Clinton is grinning ear to ear, gloating as shamelessly as you and Wiggie are in your zeal to pile straw on bullshit.

    Reply

  41. Warren Metzler says:

    POA, here is my position about government influence. Each person has a spirit, each person’s spirt is unconsciously broadcasting 24 hours a day that person’s real context regarding all of that person’s life situations; real context being how that person actually operates in her life, not how she may prefer to believe how she operates.
    Each elected person repeatedly unconsciously receives the collective real context broadcasts of his constituents; and although he has his own real contexts he pursues, while taking actions that affect his constituents he doesn’t ever operate outside of a consensus of his constituents. Hence change the public’s real contexts and you change the government’s actions. I realize that what I just presented is considered poppycock by most intellectuals. But reality was never determined by majority vote, and there is a Supreme Being who set up how the world, the universe, and humans act, and that way is not up for modification just because most intellectuals don’t like the rules.
    It is clear to me, that most Americans are living an immoral land of delusion, and it is out of a land of delusion that most administrative decisions were made in the past 30 years. So I’m fine with my analysis.
    Nadine, how do you know that there are SIRPNET networks, that they contain details of all the actions of all the agencies, and they can be accessed by all levels of Army intelligence (even junior enlisted men), and there are very few safeguards beyond an honor system? Did your Israeli intelligence superiors tell you this? If they didn’t, were did you get this information? I am widely read, and I never read something that even hinted at such a set up.
    POA, if senior State Dept. officials did this leak, we have not seen the worst yet, and the goal was not to avoid putting out the good and the bad, but to reveal how utterly insane and lacking in realty are our current foreign affairs actions. And I think those leaks do that in spades.

    Reply

  42. nadine says:

    “On the leaks. I wonder if anyone other than me sees the high unreasonableness that a Army low level enlisted man has access to such an extensive collection of State Dept. communications. If I am correct, doesn’t this indicate that a, or several, high level State Dept. are the source, and doing so because of great dissatisfaction with the insane foreign policy the US has pursued for the past decades?” (Warren Metzler)
    That is an interesting question, Warren. From what we know so far, it seems that the SIRPNET networks were in the hands of Army intelligence with very few safeguards beyond an honor system.
    However, there is no evidence (so far) that the release required any complicity from within the State Dept. It’s hard to see what they would gain. State Dept. types need privacy so they can speak candidly. They might want to leak certain cables but would NOT want an indiscriminate dump of 100s of thousands of cables.
    Even if there was State Dept. complicity, it would only speak to unhappiness about current policy. Your jibe about US policy “for decades” is nothing but your own bias. If this is unhappiness “for decades” why didn’t we see evidence of it decades ago? Why only now, on Obama’s watch? This could just as well be unhappiness over the massive incompetence of the Obama State Dept.
    On which topic, here is small Youtube cartoon on current US diplomacy:
    I Will Make A Lot Of Peace In The Middle East
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhNOWVuSXGE&feature=player_embedded

    Reply

  43. DonS says:

    Shamelessly OT again: Glenn Greenwald’s contribution to the Wiki drama. He doesn’t speculate on the legitimacy of the dump, assumes they’re legit. He has some interesting reflections, on the US media’s role, reactions, and behavior, essentially collaborating with the government on how to slant the information; the hypocritical barbarians who are out for blood revenge; the incredibly stupid “good citizens” whose conclusion about government’s lying and misledading the public is that the problem is Wikileaks, not the government. And Glenn links to two good brief additional analyses:
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/11/30/wikileaks/index.html

    Reply

  44. DonS says:

    Mr. neocon soundbite got the memo, if he wasn’t part of drafting it:
    “Kristol Incorrectly Claims That WikiLeaks Docs Reveal Arabs Are

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Attack on the World

    Reply

  46. DonS says:

    “Putting so much emphasis on a couple of remarks, like they really meant something” (don b)
    . . . just in case the MSM missed the take away, which, of course, they have not. Now where shall we look for the actual conspiracy, the one that the important money says will never see the light of day?
    How often do we have to see policy by soundbite?
    Tell me that US covert ops couldn’t significantly degrade Wikileaks or take out Assange any time they want? He’s not quite as hard to track as bin Laden.

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I wonder if anyone other than me sees the high unreasonableness that a Army low level enlisted man has access to such an extensive collection of State Dept. communications”
    I pointed that out yesterday. In fact, how would a military private get his hands on classified internal State Department documents, even if he did have a military security clearance? Are we to believe our computer networks containing classified info are an interagency lump of swiss cheese?
    And I am no fan of Brzezinski either. But painting him as “an elitist fool” only underscores how obvious it is that this so called “leak” is an obvious propaganda ploy. Even an “elitist fool” cannot fail to note what a transparent scam this wiki-leaks horseshit is.
    “If I am correct, doesn’t this indicate that a, or several, high level State Dept. are the source, and doing so because of great dissatisfaction with the insane foreign policy the US has pursued for the past decades?”
    Huh???? Thats a surreal position to take, considering how these leaks buttress our policies towards Iran, reinforce Israel’s incessant spew and war mongering, and further the bullshit about WMDs in Iraq, as well as our supposed non-complicity in the torture of Iraqis, and contain a ridiculously low body count of Iraqi non-combatants. It escapes me how you think anyone OPPOSED to our disastrous foreign policies could consider this scam of a “document dump” a tool to change policy.
    “Our government’s actions are ALWAYS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, a reflection of the mindset of the majority of the American people”
    You live on WHAT planet?

    Reply

  48. Sand says:

    “…Posted by Carroll, Nov 30 2010, 1:47AM – Link
    Leave it to the British to distill the Wilkeaks flap to it’s essence…they are always so much more discerning than those of us on this side on the pond. LOL…”
    Find me Uptopia and I’ll move there tomorrow 🙂
    Chalmers Johnson suggested buying a condo in Vancouver. Knowing BC, I don’t think I can escape there either.

    Reply

  49. Warren Metzler says:

    I would like to comment on the article’s subject, Saif of Libya. I think this revelation reveals he is a chip off the old block; and that his Islamist agreement was just pr to substantiate his position for taking over (it appears he is in competition with his brother for supreme leader). And further propose the last thing we can expect from him is a genuine movement toward democracy. For him to act as if he and his family deserves respect, when all they did was give up being crazy and begin to act normal indicates he is just as megalomaniacal and incapable of sound thinking as his father. Which can only exist if the majority of Libyans are too immature to demand they receive their basic rights.
    Zbigniew Brzezinski is an elitist fool, who has never been correct on a single position, and believes that “informed and intelligent” people like him should run the government. Do you know that he believes the US government should have forces in Central Asia, so we can keep China and Russia from taking actions we don’t like? What would be our position if China decided to establish a military base in Mexico?
    If you aren’t operating under the golden rule (do onto others what you want then to do unto you), you are a self-centered elitist that only provides trouble. He should never be listened to on any issue. And it should be assumed that in every situation on which he comments, the proper actions (capable of being productive for all involved) are opposite to whatever he suggests.
    On the leaks. I wonder if anyone other than me sees the high unreasonableness that a Army low level enlisted man has access to such an extensive collection of State Dept. communications. If I am correct, doesn’t this indicate that a, or several, high level State Dept. are the source, and doing so because of great dissatisfaction with the insane foreign policy the US has pursued for the past decades?
    Why is anyone listening to what the king of Saudi Arabia believes. Is not everything out of the mouth of a dictator like him guaranteed to be a view that if followed will lead us to terrible actions?
    I propose these leaks are counterproductive. Because they encourage us to believe we are seeing what is really going on; because they will encourage the US government to become even more security conscious, leading them deeper into a mindset that leads to actions that screw us all; and because these leaks don’t allow us to focus on the fact that we are the problem.
    Our government’s actions are ALWAYS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, a reflection of the mindset of the majority of the American people. Attempt to change the government’s approaches without a change in the mindset of the American people, and nothing productive will occur. Stimulate a change in the mindset of the American people, and the government will unavoidably change to actions that reflect that mindset.

    Reply

  50. Don Bacon says:

    The previous comment down to the link was a quote.

    Reply

  51. Don Bacon says:

    What is Tel Aviv to do now that it’s known Israelis and pro-Israelis

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “….uncharacteristic (for her)…..”
    As I don’t think you have commented here as long as some of us have, so I can understand your incorrect assessment of Wiggie’s character. But I can assure you, those of us that have posted here since Wiggie’s arrival have no such misconception. She used to conceal her true character a bit more conscientiously, but it was always there, writhing and slithering just under the surface of her mask.
    Comments such as her’s, (for example, those regarding the “street Arabs”), are enlightening. She didn’t acquire such bigotry overnight. It takes a lifetime of hatred to enable someone to publically air such interior ugliness unabashedly and with such ease of expression.

    Reply

  53. Don Bacon says:

    POA: “We are being played, once again, by Israel.”
    And isn’t it interesting that WigWag was so prepared to go overboard on it, to include uncharacteristic (for her) vicious personal attacks, on not only this site but on Steve Walt’s site where I’ve never seen her comments before.
    Putting so much emphasis on a couple of remarks, like they really meant something, and they also supposedly highlighted a long-running TWN conspiracy!
    And it’s on and on, repeating the same falsehoods, and working with nadine on it — fascinating. One wonders about the motivation.

    Reply

  54. Don Bacon says:

    Zbig: “it may be getting stuff at the same time from interested intelligence parties who want to manipulate the process and achieve certain very specific objectives.”
    from the Pentagon, the current US foreign policy arm:
    strategic communication (STRATCOM): Focused United States Government efforts to understand and engage key audiences to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of United States Government interests, policies, and objectives through the use of coordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the actions of all instruments of national power.
    Military deception (MILDEC): Causing ambiguity, confusion, or misunderstanding in adversary perceptions of friendly critical information, which may include: unit identities, locations, movements, dispositions, weaknesses, capabilities, strengths, supply status, and intentions.

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010
    Zbigniew Brzezinski:
    Who is Really Leaking to Wikileaks?
    Zbigniew Brzezinski doesn’t think all the leaked information coming out of Wikileaks is a result of Army PFC Bradley Manning, as a matter of fact he suspects a foreign intelligence service may be providing the more embarrassing leaks. In a PBS interview with Judy Woodruff, ZB lays out his thinking:
    JUDY WOODRUFF: Dr. Brzezinski, what do you think the fallout is going to be?
    ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, former adviser, U.S. National Security: …
    The real issue is, who is feeding Wikipedia on this issue — Wiki — Wiki — WikiLeaks on this issue? They’re getting a lot of information which seems trivial, inconsequential, but some of it seems surprisingly pointed.
    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, what are you referring to?
    ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Well, for example, there are references to a report by our officials that some Chinese leaders favor a reunified Korea under South Korea.
    This is clearly designed to embarrass the Chinese and our relationship with them. The very pointed references to Arab leaders could have as their objective undermining their political credibility at home, because this kind of public identification of their hostility towards Iran could actually play against them at home…
    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what is it — what are you worried about with regard to the knowledge that…
    ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: It’s not a question of worry. It’s, rather, a question of whether WikiLeaks are being manipulated by interested parties that want to either complicate our relationship with other governments or want to undermine some governments, because some of these items that are being emphasized and have surfaced are very pointed.
    And I wonder whether, in fact, there aren’t some operations internationally, intelligence services, that are feeding stuff to WikiLeaks, because it is a unique opportunity to embarrass us, to embarrass our position, but also to undermine our relations with particular governments.
    For example, leaving aside the personal gossip about Sarkozy or Berlusconi or Putin, the business about the Turks is clearly calculated in terms of its potential impact on disrupting the American-Turkish relationship.
    JUDY WOODRUFF: Just criticizing the people around…
    ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: And the top leaders, Erdogan and Davutoglu and so forth, are using some really, really, very sharp language.
    JUDY WOODRUFF: But this is 250 — it’s a quarter-of-a-million documents.
    ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Precisely.
    JUDY WOODRUFF: How easy would it be to seed this to make sure that it was slanted a certain way?
    ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Seeding — seeding it is very easy.
    I have no doubt that WikiLeaks is getting a lot of the stuff from sort of relatively unimportant sources, like the one that perhaps is identified on the air. But it may be getting stuff at the same time from interested intelligence parties who want to manipulate the process and achieve certain very specific objectives.
    continues….
    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2010/11/zbigniew-brzezinski-who-is-really.html
    And gee, what government’s positions are being the most buttressed by these so-called “leaks”?
    We are being played, once again, by Israel.
    Quick, lets send them a few more billion to show our appreciation.

    Reply

  56. observer says:

    Why do you caress the sons of dictators and demonize (partially) democratic leaders such as Ahmadinejad?
    Do you have no sense of shame?

    Reply

  57. JohnH says:

    IMHO–the leaks provide a refreshing breath of candor. US foreign policy is run almost entirely behind closed doors. The part that is fed to media, which in turn shovels it out to the American people is largely BS. Wikileaks gives us a peek into the reality of US “diplomacy.”
    Stephen Walt wonders: “would it be all that bad if diplomats understood that secret deals and two-faced diplomacy wasn’t going to be that easy anymore, because the true facts might leak out sooner rather than in twenty or thirty years time? I can think of a few cases where secrecy has been useful (Kennedy’s deal over the Jupiter missiles in Turkey during the Cuban Missile Crisis comes to mind), but in general I think human beings — and this include foreign policy-makers — are more inclined to do bad things when they think they can do so without being exposed. If you have to keep something secret, that’s often a sign that you shouldn’t be doing it at all.”
    Precisely. Isn’t it time for the foreign policy mob be honest with the American people?
    The depressing part of the releases is that the US diplomatic community consists of the brain washed individuals who can’t think for themselves. They have gladly bought into notorious BIG LIES, particularly the BIG LIE that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, even though it was disproven by the consensus opinion of the US intelligence community.

    Reply

  58. Don Bacon says:

    nadine: “It’s instructive to compare the very calm, unruffled response of this administration to this massive loss of OPSEC, which will damage the American diplomatic corps for years to come,”
    Baloney.
    David Rothkopf, FP:
    “The cables not only reveal that the world is run much as you expect it would be but for all the venality, hypocrisy, callousness and irresponsibility that is part and parcel of such assumptions, from time to time elements of it run precisely as you actually would hope they would run. For example, there is repeatedly revealed within the U.S. state department a high degree of professionalism, competence and courage.
    “The best U.S. diplomats — like Bill Burns, now undersecretary of state for political affairs, or ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson — provide dependable insights in their communications and show no hesitation to send back assessments that will surely ruffle feathers back in Washington.”(end)
    SecState Clinton (news report quoted):
    However, she said she was confident that American diplomacy would ”withstand this challenge”.
    ”I want to make clear that our official foreign policy is not set through these messages, but here in Washington,” she said.
    In a lighter moment, Mrs Clinton reflected on calls she had made at the weekend to world leaders to warn them of the contents of the cables.
    ”I can tell you that in my conversations, at least one of my counterparts said to me, ‘Well, don’t worry about it. You should see what we say about you’.”

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “WigWag has been very energetic in trying to use wikileaks to promote the Netanyahu position — big surprise there. Unfortunately this promotion of dear leader’s position has also involved extreme ad hominems against people like Steves Clemons and Walt which WigWag has been unwilling or unable to substantiate on any policy basis”
    Its actually been quite enlightening watching Nadine coax Wiggie out from under her rock into the light of day. There was a time that Wiggie worked hard to conceal the person that would call the Arab street “docile”, “ignorant”, “uneducated”, and “irrelevent”. Under a feigned mantle of moderation, wiggie’s seething bigotry was carefully concealed. Ironic, though, while possessing such boiling hatred under her facade of moderation, she was so loose with her accusations of bigotry when seeking to justify and condone the crimes and human rights abuses of Israel. Hypocricy always seems to be a willing ally of bigotry.
    I suppose we owe thanks to Nadine for unmasking Wig-wag so successfully. Its not as if some of us didn’t know exactly what wiggie concealed under the mask, but at least now the casual observer doesn’t have to penetrate the facade, because Nadine has helped expose wiggie’s ugliness for all to see.

    Reply

  60. Don Bacon says:

    me: “The US knows where to go for policy guidance on the ME, to a country that does have elected leaders — Israel. Nobody else has a voice.”
    This was a bit tongue-in-cheek and of course doesn’t always fully apply. For example, Netanyahu’s position is that Iran has to be “taken care of” before any I/P settlement, but one can argue that the US has devoted more “show time” to I/P than to Iran. It’s been newsy diplomacy on I/P (now dying out) and quiet sanctions on Iran.
    WigWag has been very energetic in trying to use wikileaks to promote the Netanyahu position — big surprise there. Unfortunately this promotion of dear leader’s position has also involved extreme ad hominems against people like Steves Clemons and Walt which WigWag has been unwilling or unable to substantiate on any policy basis.

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Worth considering….
    We’ve now been in Afghanistan longer than the Russians were. In fact, we’ve been in a constant state of “war” now for nine years, going on ten.
    Instead of reaping any sort of benefits from these military adventures, our rights are increasingly diminished, we are subject to intrusive communications evesdropping, draconian and asinine “security” measures, body searches, irradiation, and the collapse of our economy while spending trillions of dollars on the military’s aggression in far away lands.
    And daily, we are reminded by these fucking sacks of shit in DC that we are really no safer from attack, and we need more and more stringent inconveniences, invasions of privacy, and increased police powers for those that have obviously and shamelessly bullshitted us into this situation.
    Do you feel enriched, more secure, more confident in our future, more trusting of our government, more patriotic, as a result of our current global machinations????
    No???
    Then why are they doing it?
    On our behalf?
    What are we getting out of it?

    Reply

  62. erichwwk says:

    ??
    and the brookings study is here:
    http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0805_arab_opinion_poll_telhami.aspx
    And when one tries to go to democracynow.org, one is greeted with:
    “This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again later” for several hours now.
    Is this the future of news in America?

    Reply

  63. erichwwk says:

    The 2003 article on the world’s worst dictators is here:
    http://www.parade.com/articles/editions/2003/edition_02-16-2003/Dictators

    Reply

  64. erichwwk says:

    Nice to find an occasional spot of sanity, Don Bacon.
    What I posted at The Huffington Post, amid the fascist rantings:
    Do folks recall the Feb. 16, 2003 article in Parade Magazine by veteran internatio

    Reply

  65. samuelburke says:

    did i hear someone fart? Nadine did you say something.
    Conflate the world i’ll melt with you was only a song.
    Oh, and an ism.

    Reply

  66. Don Bacon says:

    Calling these fat-ass potentates in the Middle East “leaders” is really a stretch. They never have to stand for election before their people so they can say and do whatever they want.
    They shouldn’t be taken seriously on any subject, and especially their pronouncements shouldn’t be taken as the basis of US policy.
    The US knows where to go for policy guidance on the ME, to a country that does have elected leaders — Israel. Nobody else has a voice.
    Regarding the position of Arab countries on ME nukes they have made it crystal clear, in communications from the league of Arab States to the UN, that they are concerned with the very real nuclear threat in Israel and not in any potential but unreal threat in Iran.

    Reply

  67. larry birnbaum says:

    i guess it counts as progress towards actual realism — as opposed
    to “realism” — that Libya’s government is characterized as an
    “autocratic, closed regime” on this blog.

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  68. Carroll says:

    BTW…the 87 year old King Abdullah is in New York where he had an operation at Presbyterian Hospital..no date given yet for his return to Saudi…and no comment issued by him on the cables.
    His brother who is his succesor was left in charge and he is in his mid seventies himself and in poor health also so we can probably look foward to some turnover in Kings in the near future.

    Reply

  69. Carroll says:

    BTW…the 87 year old King Abdullah is in New York where he had an operation at Presbyterian Hospital..no date given yet for his return to Saudi…and no comment issued by him on the cables.
    His brother who is his succesor was left in charge and he is in his mid seventies himself and in poor health also so we can probably look foward to some turnover in Kings in the near future.

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  70. Carroll says:

    Leave it to the British to distill the Wilkeaks flap to it’s essence…they are always so much more discerning than those of us on this side on the pond. LOL
    US embassy cables: Verdict on the leaks about the Middle East
    What do the cables released by WikiLeaks tell us about diplomacy and US foreign policy in the Middle East
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/nov/29/us-embassy-cables-middle-east

    Reply

  71. Don Bacon says:

    WigWag, when you and nadine finish your little girly chit-chat, you will provide some definitive informative links on how these leaks allegedly disprove Steve Clemons’s point of view, and the ideas that he has promoted, won’t you.
    We do so like to deal with facts rather than pure ad hominems, if you don’t mind. Thanking you in advance.

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  72. nadine says:

    “I wonder whether Steve plans to compare the release of these documents, which do so much to disprove his point of view, to the Pentagon Papers?” (Wigwag)
    It’s instructive to compare the very calm, unruffled response of this administration to this massive loss of OPSEC, which will damage the American diplomatic corps for years to come, with all the screaming and crying the Democrats did over the imaginary damage done to American security by the so-called “outing” of Valerie Plame. That was a real outrage! But 250,000 secret diplomat cables released to the public? Yawn. Eric Holder KNEW it was coming for months, and couldn’t be bothered to act.

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  73. nadine says:

    Philip Weiss, that would be the anti-Israel “reporter” who penned such works of foreign policy genius as
    “Actually, Arab leaders don

    Reply

  74. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Off topic…but…..
    If any of you get the chance, watch the interview Anderson Cooper conducted tonight with Leo Berman, (R-Tex) about Obama’s birth certificate.
    I gotta tell ya, if we have very many Representatives that are that fuckin’ ignorant, than we are in faaaaaaar deeper shit than is imaginable. The ignorance that man exhibited is truly awe inspiring, and very very scary.
    Good God, we’ve got nukes, and we’re sending ignorant jackasses like that to Washington to participate in deciding whether or not we use them???
    Beam me up, Scotty, before I glow in the dark.

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  75. questions says:

    !!!!!!!!
    “5:50 PM | Rachel Slajda | #
    Assange: Next Wikileaks Dump Will Target U.S. Bank
    In an interview with Forbes, Julian Assange says his next target will be an American bank.
    “It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume,” he said. “For this, there’s only one similar example. It’s like the Enron emails.”
    “It could take down a bank or two,” he said.

    From TPM Wire.
    Couldn’t get an item specific link. Sorry.
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/live/wikileaks_wire/wikileaks_wire.html#44

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  76. nadine says:

    Yes, lots of cables relating to Israel. Check the main articles on the dump.

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  77. Bart says:

    Have we seen any cables relating to Israel yet? If not, why?

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  78. JohnH says:

    Arab tyrants’ reaction to Iran is old news. Of course they hate the Iranian Revolution, which overthrew a tyrant just like them, someone who spent more on himself and his military than on his people.
    Most every day, Iranian rhetoric undermines the legitimacy of greedy, self absorbed Arab tyrants as much as it attacks the legitimacy of a Zionist government that stole the land it sits on. And, of course, Iranian rhetoric does nothing to endear itself to an imperial US government that bends over backwards to appease its military, its bankers, its oil supplying tyrants and its giant, international oligopolies.
    Small wonder that these fat cats hate a nation which challenges their privileged status quo. And if Iran’s nuclear program makes Iran more secure and able to continue its rhetoric, then obviously it’s a threat.
    Too bad the Iranian government can’t match its rhetoric by providing a shining example to those living under the thumb of those Arab tyrants. Of course, constant pressure from the ‘international community’ helps assure that that won’t happen.

    Reply

  79. samuelburke says:

    Hey Wig…Phil Weiss says that you guys are full of hasbara,
    they are synonymous.
    If you

    Reply

  80. nadine says:

    “I wonder whether Steve plans to compare the release of these documents, which do so much to disprove his point of view, to the Pentagon Papers?
    So far, the

    Reply

  81. JohnH says:

    Yes, it’s a disgrace that Libya would use loose nuclear materials as a bargaining chip.
    But isn’t it more of a disgrace that the US and Israel will not forswear a first strike on Iran? How many times must we hear that “all options are on the table,” excluding negotiations, but including nukes?

    Reply

  82. Andrew Lebovich says:

    Nadine and WigWag,
    Thank you for reading. I actually intended for the opening line of this post to be tongue-in-cheek, in reference to the very mixed reception the Wikileaks documents have gotten, with at least some people indicating that they were either not surprised or underwhelmed by the documents’ contents. I hope that my attempt at humor was not offensive, and it certainly does not reflect my views on the documents or their release in general.
    Best,
    Andrew

    Reply

  83. WigWag says:

    Actually, Nadine, this post was written by Andrew Lebovich. I don’t know enough about Andrew to know whether or not he shares the realist sentiments of his mentors, but I think it’s pretty obvious why the realists have grown tired of the discussions about the WikiLeaks cables; the release of the cables leave many of the theories the realists have postulated in tatters.
    Ideas that fine young men like Steve Clemons have promoted as well as ideas promoted by bigots like Chas Freeman and Stephen Walt have been put to the test by the cables and those ideas have come up wanting. Blowhard Andrew Sullivan is desperately trying to refute the importance of the cables but he too stands before us like a tree unbarked.
    Steve Clemons is a busy man; unless I’m mistaken he’s doing important work in Japan. When he returns I hope he will answer two simple questions; if he thinks John Bolton is so bad, what does he think of a Saudi King who out-Boltons Bolton?
    If he thinks Benjamin Netanyahu is so bad, what does the think of the fact that several Kings, Princes, Presidents and potentates in the Sunni Arab world are quoted in the cables expressing exactly the same sentiments about Iran as the Israeli Prime Minister?
    Do you remember the last time that WikiLeaks released thousands of secret documents (91,000 to be precise) . The subject of the documents was Afghanistan and Steve compared the released documents to the Pentagon Papers. In fact, he penned two posts comparing the released documents to the famous documents leaked to the New York Times by Daniel Ellsberg. Here are the posts, Nadine, if you would like to refresh your recollection,
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/07/mr_obamas_vietn/
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/07/john_kerry_smel/
    I wonder whether Steve plans to compare the release of these documents, which do so much to disprove his point of view, to the Pentagon Papers?
    So far, the

    Reply

  84. nadine says:

    “For those of you who can never get enough leaked U.S. government documents but are tired of Wikileaks…”
    The Wikileaks documents were only made public TODAY. That’s pretty fast to grow tired of them! Want to change the subject much, Steve?

    Reply

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