WikiLeaks May End Up Helping America
Secretary of State
If what we have seen in the first week of disclosures is the most juicy part of this unprecedented leak of diplomatic cables, it will undoubtedly make life more difficult for U.S. diplomats in coming weeks.
The Obama administration will be hit from all sides. U.S. allies across the world will feel betrayed by
U.S. adversaries, in turn, will use any criticism of their governments in the cables to try to paint U.S. diplomats as sinister spies.
And U.S. conservatives will blast the Obama administration for not siding with right-wing forces in countries such as
So in coming months,
But in coming years, when the WikiLeaks diplomatic notes fade from the headlines and make their transition to the less-agitated world of historians, the massive array of diplomatic cables may help disarm conspiracy theorists around the world.
Today's big headlines, such as Clinton's question to the U.S. Embassy in
So far, the WikiLeaks cables have not backed up any of the wildest conspiracy theories circulating on the blogosphere, such as that former President
There are 696 mentions of the name "Chávez" in the WikiLeaks cables, but the Venezuelan leader may be disappointed that, until now, nothing has come out to prove his claims that
In fact, the cables show that the Obama administration stood up for democracy even when that required siding with anti-American populist leaders, such as
Against the wishes of the pro-U.S. Honduran business community, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens reported in a confidential cable on
My opinion: It's too early to tell because thousands of cables remain to be scrutinized, and we may still find evidence of U.S. cowboy diplomacy. And, granted, there are other U.S. government cables from various intelligence agencies that are not included in the WikiLeaks treasure box.
But barring some gross revelation of U.S. dirty tricks abroad in upcoming WikiLeak cables, the fact that a quarter-million confidential U.S. diplomatic notes contain no evidence to back up some of the craziest conspiracy theories circulating worldwide should help put the latter to rest, at least among reasonable people.
In a weird way, what's a major embarrassment for Clinton today may end up helping restore the U.S. image abroad tomorrow.
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WikiLeaks May End Up Helping America
(c) 2010 Andres Oppenheimer