WikiLeaks is in the process of transforming foreign affairs and international relations in a dramatic fashion. It is revealing over 250,000 cables from US embassies worldwide to the State department and other classified documents. The consequences of this 'mega-scoop' will be very far reaching indeed.
For the United States the issues are both strategic as well as ethical. On a strategic level the leaks, which expose frank assessment of foreign leaders by senior American officials and American thinking on many critical issues; will complicate Obama administration's ability to deal with its allies and may increase global cynicism about US intentions.
Many of the allies will be angry and distrustful. They will also be afraid of being candid in the future. All players in the future will be trying to second-guess each other, unwilling to articulate what their real intentions and goals are. After all nobody wishes to read a summary of their confidential dialogue with Americans in the New York Times. The revelations may also reverse many of the hard earned diplomatic gains made by the State department over the years in acquiring support for US policies from many nations.
On the ethical level, the key question is: what will the American public do with the knowledge that the US government has allies who are known criminals; that it says one thing in public and pursues another policy in reality; bullying seems to be a standard operating procedure and intervening in every affair seems to be a natural instinct of US foreign policy. Will the Senate, or the House, call for hearings to hold the administration accountable? Will there be a public outcry?
The revelations so far about the Muslim world are eye opening. Muslims, even some American Muslims have raised criticism of American foreign policy to the level of religious ritual. Often Muslim radicalism and alienation is explained as a direct consequence of US foreign policy alone. The point being, US foreign policy is anti-Islam and subversive of Muslim nations. Therefore Muslim anger and radicalism against the U.S. while often expressed in unjustifiable ways is still understandable.
But now that the Shenanigans of Muslim nations, most importantly their collusion with America's so called anti-Islam foreign policy, is exposed, what will Muslims do? Will they also hate Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar and other nations just as much as they hate America? Or will they recognize that nation states, have interests and they pursue them in whatever ways they can; and understand that US foreign policy neither advances nor targets any religion.
The preliminary review of the cables by New York Times and the Guardian reveals the duplicity of many Arab nations on foreign policy, especially in the case of Iran. For example in the past few years, Arab nations have publicly countered Israeli propaganda that Iran is a bigger threat to the world, than the resolution of the Palestinian issue, with claims that the failure to bring a just solution to the Palestinians was the number one issue for Arabs and Muslims. But apparently, privately these same nations have been parroting Bibi Netanyahu's mantra to the U.S., repeatedly asking the US to bomb Iran and even invade it with ground troops.
The Saudis refer to Iran, a fellow Muslim and "Islamic nation" as "evil" and have requested the U.S. to "cut of the head of the snake". The same cables also reveal that even now the main financiers of Al Qaeda are Saudi donors. American Presidents, George W. Bush and Barak H. Obama have identified Al Qaeda as the biggest threat to the U.S. and yet they collude with the nation whose citizens are its biggest financiers. Why don't the Saudis cut off the head of the real snake, Al Qaeda, by arresting and imprisoning its financiers? Most Americans know that fifteen of the nineteen terrorists that attacked the US on September 11, 2001, were Saudis. None were Iranians. A significant number of foreign fighters who joined al Qaeda in Iraq were Saudis. This is a classic case of "the pot calling the kettle black!"
Do not interpret my criticism of Saudi Arabia as support for Iran. Its current leaders are a bunch of thugs who stole governance from their own people by force and made a mockery out of the idea of an Islamic democracy.
It seems that on key issues Arab foreign policy is the same as Israel. Except Israel is open, and Arab states are not. In future if we wish to understood Arab foreign policy, then all we have to do is take Israeli foreign policy and add hypocrisy (nifaaq) to it. Voila.
Another level of hypocrisy that Muslim nations seem to be practicing is in their dealings with their own populations. While the US is worried that WikiLeaks latest revelations will undermine its relations with its allies, Muslim governments are worried that these same leaks will expose the extent to which they routinely lie to their own people.
Nation after Muslim nation has been supporting and collaborating with the U.S. and lying to its public about the extent of its support for US foreign policy. For example, the Yemeni President acknowledged that he would continue to lie to his people and claim American military operations in Yemen as Yemeni operations. Similarly, the Pakistani government does not want its people to know the extent to which it cooperates with the U.S. on nuclear issues.
It is amazing how Muslim governments engage in policies that they know their populations will not approve.
Anyway now thanks to WikiLeaks, at least Muslims who hate America for its foreign policy must realize that their own countries are collaborators. Perhaps their hatred will now be more evenly spread rather than just focusing on the U.S. If they don't, then they will be like their own governments - hypocritical.
Source: AltMuslim - Dr. Muqtedar Khan is Associate Professor of Islam and Global Affairs at the University of Delaware and a Fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understating. His website is http://www.ijtihad.org
"Do not interpret my criticism of Saudi Arabia as support for Iran. Its current leaders are a bunch of thugs who stole governance from their own people by force and made a mockery out of the idea of an Islamic democracy."
The west delegitimized elections in nascent democracies of Algeria & Palestine when Muslims won after inviting, challenging and insisting them to be democratic. Not so when Catholics won under Lech Walesa in Poland, or when Likud won under Begin or with the help of Avignor Lieberman only recently. Now, Iran is a well established Muslim democracy that the west seeks to delegitimize in a brazen use of a tried and tested strategy. The good professor has jumped on to that band wagon.
Pre-election western poll suggested that the current government would have won by over 60% and it did. Yet the the west added its voice to the sour grape voices of the Iranian opposition. It was convenient, a part and parcel of introducing a series of bogeymen into the Iranian national issues. How is it possible to win with a margin of about 60-30? How is it possible to cheat and perpetuate fraud that allows switching at least 20% votes in a system that has never been accused of such actions? It is possible in Egypt, Libya and other Arab nations to get 90% plus votes and run a caricature of a democracy. They moved from monarchy to military autocracy. Iran went from monarchy to popular to democracy, popular to its people at least. Isn't that the finest feature of a true democracy?
So, I am alarmed that an able professor with a trustworthy reputation should be swayed thus. He took the Wikileaks, found yet another devious & facetious opportunity to drag in the Iranians and start kicking them. That is the hallmark of more established western journalists! The west is racking up reasons to strike Iran, we should n
The Muslim problem with their typical official leaders is so deteriorated & so endemic that even the "hypocrisy" labeling is hackneyed. Much water, no torrent, has flowed under the bridge before the Wikileaks revelations came along.
Of course, it has one redeeming value, that of casting doubt in the minds of the dyed-in-the-wool supporters of the various regimes.
In a way, Professor Muqtedar's early article lost the opportunity to mull over the real nature and implications of the "revelation". For example, as newer articles have brought to fore, they are skewed in that nothing is said about the Palestinian rights and obligations. The silence is deafening in its suggestiveness. It's hard to believe that the Arab leaders have not spoken to this issue. Then why are the cables so banal in their exclusion of such dialogues? Is it a systematic US policy that its diplomats will not give any weight to such thoughts and words by completely omitting them from any official record keeping? This is a telling tactic in an overall strategy to make the Palestinian pain and rights a non-issue designed to decay and disappear with time. The US State Department is not run by AIPAC, or is it?
I can't agree more on Romesh chanders comment. I used to hate his comments but now his judgement on Muslims and Muslim leaders are more than accurate.
On one side we proudly proclaim that Islam is the fasted growing religion. But unfortunately our so called impotent leaders are ready to destroy this great religion.
I never thought muslims will be so impotent and so hypocrites.
Saudi Arabia for example should set the example to the rest of the Muslim Ummah in condemning all sort of terrorist activities in all its capacities being on its own soil or outside it. They are human beings they should be challenged about the allegations in this article. At OIC forums or any other suitable occasions.
Thanks for space.
As far Muslims, I dont see that they can do anything different after this so called leak. They can establish a good society at people level. Choose leaders wisely where democratic means are available (very limited options) and dont approve the unjust and zionist supportive policies of their leaders. If they cant fight their tyrant leaders (for fear of being labeled as terrorist), they should speak up againt the unjust leaders. At least world will know that support of Saudi, Jordan, Egypt or Abbas, Karzai is only from these puppets and does not represnt the people of those nations.
person with common sense can know that Saudis and their associates
in middle east are there to protect political, economical and
dynistic interest of their own clan. They are weak and the Rome has
currupted them with enormous wealth. Iran on the other hand is very
big nation. Shah with all the oil wealth could not lessen poverty
and social inequality. Moreover, Iran is proud nation. It was Iran's
contribution that Islam intelecually flourished in its inception. It
was cooperation between political genious of Arabs and cultural and
administrative genious of Iran that gave Islam its glory days. How
can Rome stand Islamic Iran? Rome has to divide Arabs and Persians
and for that it has created goats like Saudis and others
Only problem is that Palestiniaqns have suffered because of Hypocrisy of Arab leaders as well as muslim leaders of Pakistan and Iran. Pakistanis only give lip service; Iranians use Palestinians as anti-Arab plank.
Now why did Arabs fight 3 wars with Israel? To give Palestine back to Palestinians or just to destroy Zionism? Syria wanted all of Palestine and so did Jordan; Egypt wanted part of Palestine too. Nobody wanted Palestine to be an independent countyry. Iraq and Saudis were Anti-Zionists. In essence, nobody cared for Palestinians. But they lost 3 wars; so Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel. Now, nobody is even anti-Zionist anymore, contrary to their pronouncements.
Poor Palestinians, they have been pushed down the river. Well, that is life in the political world. Unfortunately, Palestinans don't understand it. Next, it will be Hamas and Fateh which will abandon Palestinians (Mark my words).
Same thing with Kashmir. Pakistan is not pro-Kashmir; just anti-India (or anti-Hindu). Some day, Pakistan will just quietly give up issue of Kashmir too. That is how politics runs.
Muqtadar Khan is the hypocrite who is the kettele here. Inshallah Allah will raise for us brave and honest leaders as well but we need to change our misguided ways.