Monday, November 29, 2010


AP reports this morning that Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebair is decrying the release of US documents by WikiLeaks begging the question: Doesn't Hoshyar have some real work to do? Including campaign for his current job since a new Cabinet of Ministers is supposed to be appointed? Considering his remarks that angered -- his many remarks -- Nouri throughout the ongoing political stalemate, you'd think he'd be trying to keep his job. Oh, wait, that's why he's parroting US talking points.

For the latest release by WikiLeaks, we'll drop back to last night's KPFA Evening News:

Anthony Fest: The whistle blower website WikiLeaks released another trove of confidential documents today. Last month WikiLeaks released thousands of Pentagon documents most associated with the US occupation of Iraq. In contrast, the documents made public today include thousands of diplomatic cables -- communications between the State Dept and Washington and US consulates all around the world. The documents cover both the George W. Bush and the Barack Obama administrations. WikiLeaks gave an advance look at the documents to several media organizations including the New York Times and the British newspaper the Guardian. Those publications now have articles on their websites analyzing the documents. WikiLeaks says it will post the documents on its own website in the coming days although it has said its site was the target of a cyber attack today. The documents release is certain to provoke tension between the US and its allies. For example, some of the cables say that Saudi donors are the largest financiers of terror groups. Other cables detail the cover-up of US military activities. One of them records a meeting last January between US Gen David Petreaus and the president of Yemen about air attacks against rebels in Yemen. The president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, tells Petraeus, "We'll continue to say they are our bombs and not yours." According to the Guardian, the documents reveal that some Arab leaders had privately urged an air attack against Iran and that US officials had been instructed to spy on the United Nations' leadership. Among the other disclosures are deep fears in Washington and London about the security of Paksitan's nuclear weapons. Another document asserts massive corruption at high levels of the Afghanistan government saying the Afghan vice president traveled to the United Arab Emirates carrying $52 million in cash. Still other documents disparage the British military in Afghanistan.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that Denmark's Social Democrats are hoping that the release will reveal "why Denmark supported the US-led war on Iraq. Documents released thus far on Iraq tend to zoom in on the Iran-Iraq relationship such as one published by the Guardian which opens:

1. (S) SUMMARY: Iran is a dominant player in Iraq's electoral politics, and is using its close ties to Shia, Kurdish, and select Sunni figures to shape the political landscape in favor of a united Shia victory in the January election. A pro-Iran, Shia-dominated, and preferably Islamist government, led by a united Shia alliance remains Iran's top priority. Toward that end, Iran is seeking to increase pressure on Maliki to join forces with the other prominent Shia coalition (Iraqi National Alliance) led by the Sadrists and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI). END SUMMARY

2. (S) Iran is arguably the most influential regional power seeking to shape and influence the outcome of Iraq's election. This message offers an assessment of Iran's efforts to shape Iraq's electoral politics in anticipation of the national election in January.

The cable goes on to argue that Iran wants a weakened Iraq with the hopes that such a country would lean more heavily on Tehran. Another US Embassy in Iraq cable insists that Quds Forces officers are spying in Iraq. Maybe they're sending cables to Tehran about the US spies in Iraq? The previous cable and this one assert that Tehran is worried about the influence of Grand Ayatollah Sistani who is not seen as sufficiently deferential to Iran and critical of some aspects of Iranian governance.

Though not noted above, Der Spiegel also had access to the documents and is reporting on them with more articles to be published at their website today. One currently up deals with Iraq's border-sharing neighbor Turkey:

The leaked diplomatic cables reveal that US diplomats are skeptical about Turkey's dependability as a partner. The leadership in Ankara is depicted as divided and permeated by Islamists.
US diplomats have grave doubts about Turkey's dependability. Secret or confidential cables from the US Embassy in Ankara describe Islamist tendencies in the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The US diplomats' verdict on the NATO partner with the second biggest army in the alliance is devastating. The Turkish leadership is depicted as divided, and Erdogan's advisers, as well as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, are portrayed as having little understanding of politics beyond Ankara.

On the latest release, the Rocky Mountain Collegian editorial boards offers, "In a world where even international bodies such as the United Nations are hamstrung in the face of U.S. dominance, Wikileaks serves as an essential check on American power. Ultimately, we, as American voters, can be the most effective force in limiting our nations at-times overaggressive foreign policy. And voters need to know the unpleasant facts that Wikileaks provides to make informed choices."

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Back On The Court" and for those who've been gone on the holiday break, Kat's "Kat's Korner: The 80s (where Cher proves them all wrong)" and "Kat's Korner: Cher demonstrates this is far from over" went up Thursday.

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