Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Assange does Obama (and his foreign policy) in.

The recent Wiki-leaks dump of over a quarter of a millions diplomatic cables has done much to shed light on the foreign policy of the Obama Administration, and in doing so has shown the world what a shambles it is. No, Wiki-leaks is not going to seriously undermine US diplomatic efforts around the world, and no, Wiki-leaks is not going to bring all of geopolitics to a halt, as its head Julian Assange suggested, but it is a much bigger deal than much of the American media has made it out to be.

The Obama Administration’s soft line on North Korea and Iran, of which the latter was promised ‘talks without preconditions’ by then candidate Obama, has been significantly undermined by the making public of diplomatic cables indicating that North Korea was, in fact, selling missile technology to Tehran. Making matters worse for the President’s agenda was the revelation that these sales were made possible by Chinese cooperation, and that Beijing served as the transfer site for said technology. Iranian-North Korean cooperation to counter the United States certainly gives weight and credibility to President Bush’s oft-decried ‘Axis of Evil’ comments (A previous Wiki-leaks release also lent credibility to the former President’s Iraqi WMD claims, casting light on the results of American post-war efforts to unearth evidence pertaining to Saddam Hussein’s WMD capability).

Most of all, the most recent round of Wiki-leaks indicates that Obama’s top foreign policy priorities: The START treaty, the expansion of Israeli settlements, and climate change, are all woefully out of touch with reality. Cables released thus far indicate that Central Europe is on edge over increasing Russian belligerence, that the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, see Iran, not Israel as the greatest threat to security in the region, and that American efforts to combat ‘climate change’ are in fact just an attempt to assert political power over other nations. These discrepancies indicate that Obama’s entire worldview is based off a fundamental misunderstanding of how the world works, and what our top security threats actually are.

Though critics of the Obama administration’s foreign policy find Assange’s actions absolutely reprehensible, and by-and-large believe that he ought to be brought to justice over this attack on the United States. This sentiment has remained constant over the last year as Assange has released documents from US military records regarding the patterns of small-unit military operations that increasingly the vulnerability of our troops in the field. This most recent release, however, and drawn severe criticism from Obama’s political allies as well. In an era where there is precious little both sides of the American political divide can find little to agree upon, the case of Wiki-leaks provides a common enemy for both parties. It’s a shame, however, that it takes a pasty white “guy with a laptop,” to borrow an expression from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, to find a foreign policy foe which liberals and conservatives can agree to deal with harshly.

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