[Arab News, Saudi Arabia]
Saudi Gazette, Saudi
Disclosure Reveals 'Thinking, Feeling, Flawed' Human Beings
the documents casts both their writers - member of the U.S. diplomatic corps -
and their subjects, as profoundly human, with senses of humor and with serious
character flaws. … That said, this refreshing glimpse into the generally murky
depths of diplomacy cannot be the norm."
December 3, 2010
Saudi Arabia - Saudi Gazette - Original
There is plenty to amaze and
titillate in the latest release of U.S. classified documents by the whistle-blowing
Web site, WikiLeaks. The documents, mostly encrypted e-mails sent by members of
the U.S. Foreign Service, offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings and true
thoughts of the American diplomatic corps.
Ultimately, however, one
comes away from the documents with the reassurance of knowing that at the core
of American foreign policy are thinking, feeling human beings (no matter how
disagreeable their comments may at times seem).
The view of diplomacy the
public is usually privy to is limited to the formalities of meetings, pomp and
circumstance. For fairly obvious reasons, much of the discussion takes place
beyond the eyes and ears of the general public, and this privacy is what
enables diplomats to voice their observations and opinions without reservation.
However, is not only is such
honesty not for public consumption; it is not for the consumption of the
diplomats and political leaders who are the targets of such comments. With the
WikiLeaks revelations, the U.S. has a number of diplomatic fires to extinguish,
as its allies around the world are embarrassed and, no doubt, angered by some
of the documents which have been released.
Nevertheless, reading the
documents casts both their writers - member of the U.S. diplomatic corps - and
their subjects, as profoundly human, with senses of humor and with serious
character flaws. The long-term repercussions of the release are not yet known. But
for now, the inside picture of international relations they offer is invaluable.
That said, this refreshing
glimpse into the generally murky depths of diplomacy cannot be the norm. Secrecy
in diplomacy often serves a positive purpose in bringing about agreements and
keeping the peace.
Promises and agreements can
be made away from the public eye that cannot be made when the whole world is
watching. For that reason, we may want to savor the moment while taking a
mature look to the future.
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'Russia Will be Guided by
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