Fresh Frozen Jumbo Shrimp
Vol: 110 Issue: 29 Monday, November 29, 2010
It is hard to decide, as we open the books on this week, which is the more pressing story. A Somali-born American citizen tried to blow up a bunch of Christmas revelers (mostly women and children) in Portland, Oregon.
North Korea is but one provocation away from triggering a war in Asia that will undoubtedly draw in Japan, China and the United States. As tensions escalate and with North Korea threatening a ‘merciless attack’ China is trying to restart the failed disarmament talks.
The Israelis are so frustrated with the United States over its position on the peace talks that they are beginning to look toward Europe, an unthinkable option only a few years ago.
If there was ever a time when America needed a strong diplomatic hand, it is now. That’s why the Wikileaks story tops the list this morning. Whatever diplomatic cards used to be there, they’re all gone now.
I’ve been fascinated by efforts, particularly among the Left in the mainstream, to minimize the damage by claiming the leaks expose nothing more than harmless gossip.
First off, “harmless” and “gossip” are words that don’t belong together, like “military intelligence” or “fresh frozen jumbo shrimp.”
Gossip is anything but harmless. According to the Apostle James, few things are more destructive:
“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:5-8)
The Wikileaks document dump don’t reveal that America’s diplomatic corps consists of idle gossipers better suited to a kaffeeklatch – it reveals how untrustworthy America is to do business with.
Not that US trustworthiness comes as much of a surprise. Pretty much every nation that has put its faith in the word of Uncle Sam since the conclusion of World War Two has come to regret it, from Seoul to Hanoi to Baghdad to Kabul.
But this time around, the whole world has reason for regret, with the notable exceptions of countries like Venezuela, Iran and North Korea, who said we were a nation of back-stabbing weasels all along – even before Julian Assange offered 250,000 pages of supporting evidence.
The Left is claiming that the Wikileaks dump was really a public service. I actually heard a lawyer lady say that on Fox News on Sunday.
If by ‘public’ she means the enemies of the United States, then it is a public service. But for the people of the United States, this is a catastrophe of as-yet unrealized proportions.
The document dump has arguably done US security more damage than anything bin-Laden and his band of merry men have been able to accomplish.
Some senators are calling for Assange’s arrest and prosecution. Under the rules of assymetrical warfare, Assange represents a clear and present danger to the security of the United States.
In a saner world, prosecution would be the least of Assange’s worries.
But this isn’t a sane world.
“If only we could say publicly what we hear behind closed doors,” Israeli officials would comment, following off-record talks they held with Arab leaders throughout the Middle East.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu was quick to announce that the exposure of US secret diplomatic cables didn’t hurt Israel. The leaks vindicated Israel’s positions on the Palestinians, Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah.
“More and more countries realize that Iran is the central threat, but the countries in the region have a gap because they publicly are attached to the Israeli-Arab conflict but privately they realize that this narrative is not true. They realize that the central threat is from Iran and now this has been revealed even though it was known,” the prime minister said.
Netanyahu highlighted that “the question is where this leads. If they continue to not say it publicly, it won’t help. But if they start saying it publicly, it can pave the road to peace.”
“It can eliminate the theory that Israel is the obstacle to peace and show that we have mutual interests,” Netanyahu said.
The leaked cables included exhortations from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and Jordan to the United States about Iran’s nuclear program:
“Saudi King Abdullah “frequently exhorted the US to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program” and to “cut off the head of the snake”.
“That program must be stopped,” said King Hamad of Bahrain. “The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.”
Israel could never get away with comments about Iran as extreme as those expressed in Arab capitals without incurring immediate global condemnation.
That adds a whole new dimension to the damage Wikileaks has done to US credibility from the Israeli perspective.
The leaks show that Washington allowed Israel to take the pasting that it did from the United Nations following the 2006 Lebanon war, knowing full well the extent of Iran’s involvement but saying nothing in Israel’s defense.
The US knew that Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen were operating inside Lebanon disguised as officials of the “Red Crescent” and was using medical supply lines to facilitate weapons shipments.
Think about this for a minute. Revealing the contents of America’s secret diplomatic cables has caused damage and embarrassment to virtually all of America’s erstwhile political ‘allies’ in the Middle East, Europe and almost every other nation that has had intimate diplomatic relations with the United States.
But the secrets that America had been keeping about Israel practically gave the Israelis cause for celebration!
The secrets America had been keeping about Israel would have shown the Goldstone Report for the anti-Semitic travesty that it was.
What America knew about Israeli conduct during the Second Lebanon War would have shown the anti-Israel bias of UN Resolution 1701 that allowed Iran to re-arm and re-equip Hezbollah without fear of interference from UNFIL or the Lebanese Army.
But America kept these helpful facts secret and allowed the Israelis to twist over the UN’s roasting pit, all the while claiming that Washington had Israel’s best interests at heart.
That is why I believe that the Wikileaks story dwarfs the Somali terrorists and the North Korean artillerymen and the inscrutable Chinese politicians and even Barack Obama’s fat lip.
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee . . .” (Genesis 12:3)
Ten years ago, America was at relative peace. The stock market was shooting up like a thermometer in August. The budge deficit was paid off. The debt clock had started running backwards. Unemployment was at an all-time low and things couldn’t look better.
After Osama bin Laden attacked on September 11 however, America’s ruling class began to rethink the price of unconditional support for Israel.
The more it was rethought, the more it was revised until the State Department concluded that the best way to help Israel live in peace was to support the creation of a terrorist state on its borders.
Things haven’t exactly been coming up roses for us since.