Friday, December 3, 2010


When I heard of the Wikileaks State Department cables release, my first thought was, oh no, we need to brace for the worst, thinking what a embarrassment this was going to be. But then I thought, maybe this is a good thing, one of those that shifts those worn out ways of institutionalized governance. Truth be told, I feel that if something were going to change, it would have to be with a big blow, and that is Assange’s mission, I think, apart from being a little on the creepily vindictive side. He openly stated the he was pleased to hear Netanyahu’s comment that leaders should discuss in public what they discuss in private. I wonder what Netanyahu’s take would have been if he had lost face with the cable instead of his Middle Eastern counterparts.

When I started to think about the consequences, I thought about the reality of how leaders and diplomats act when it comes to talking with each other. Surely, if you were going to show any willingness to cooperate and negotiate with others with whom you are actually or even historically at odds, wouldn’t it be necessary to do so behind closed doors? Leaders always want to show zero weakness to their own people and save face. That means displaying that you are unwilling to waver on any points. What I wonder is, if there were never any negotiations and concessions behind closed doors, would any of it ever really get done?

I am all for being able to have these conversations in the public eye, but is it realistic? I can see that if there were a big shift in PD, and the new information era of transparency served to convinced everyone that giving a little and taking a little is part of any workable relationship, then it would be easy. What are the chances that everyone’s paradigm to how we have always done international relation will change?

This administration takes a bit of heat for being too “apologetic.“ Would everyone be able to strike that balance between being capable of working with others, and keeping their constituents at ease?

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