The latest Wikileaks or CableGate revelations have left very few parts of the globe untouched.
The sheer volume of the dispatches leaked (made by American diplomats and members of their diplomatic corps) makes comment inevitable and at the same time nigh impossible.
The media storm raised here in India is about how the US has heaped scorn on India’s preparedness for launching a quick assault on Pakistan. The code-named “Cold Start” policy is a non-starter according to the (ugly) American.
I do not wish to comment on what India’s response should be.
What I would like to suggest is that we should be rational ,reasoned and measured in our approach to the stories that have surfaced and will surface over the next few days. If Wikileaks believe that their only motive was transparency, then they have to be disabused of that notion. This attempt of theirs smacks of bravado, fool-hardiness and an attempt to prove their credibility by discrediting their opponents. Yes, for some reason, America-bashing appears to be their favourite pastime. Not that it hasn’t been so everywhere else, but then that’s the kind of knee-jerk reaction Big Brother evokes.
India should not be unaware of this; whether we like it or not, we are a regional Big Brother to our South Asian neighbours. A lovable, cuddly one we would like to believe but to be truthful, there is no such thing in international politics.
Wikileaks can be useful to provoke thought , more significantly thought translated into action. But everything should be taken with a pinch of salt!
We should be aware that cables by their nature are reactionary and informal. They are not reports air-brushed and put before one’s superiors after thorough analysis and fact-checking. They are spur-of-the-moment, coloured,shaped and hued by personalities, quirks and proximity to significant events and persons. It is easy to be overwhelmed by calamity or catastrophe, even personal ones. No person is immune to being human.Would you like your private opinions and thoughts broadcast to members of the general public? How do you think that will make you appear?
Would you rather have the Americans and others (including India) rely on satellites and technology alone for intelligence gathering?
“A diplomat is a person who lies abroad for his country”. This statement makes no mention of lying to one’s nation, does it?
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