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Dave Duffy

Overall, WikiLeaks cables show American diplomats as competent problem solvers

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

One of the interesting things about reading a lot of the WikiLeaks cables is that most of them show U.S. diplomats in a very favorable light. They are assessing problems around the world and trying to figure out ways to solve them. It is mainly other characters from other countries who come off badly.

Maybe that old sod is true: The American form of government is lousy, except when compared to every other form of government around the world. Of course, that does not excuse the systematic way American politicians have for decades chipped away at our Constitution so that its safeguards of individual freedoms are routinely violated by the government.

The cables make engrossing reading if you are interested in how foreign policy is conducted these days, maybe always. Many of them give insight into the hugely complicated diplomacy required to achieve American objectives in countries and often in regions so that the diplomatic mix becomes even more complicated. The personalities of foreign leaders, how they interact with each other, the hurt feelings of key players, the stupidity of others are all thrown into the mix. The statements by American diplomats, by and large, are thoughtful and concise. There is no beating around the bush, as the diplomats are trying to pinpoint exactly what can and cannot be done.  I have yet to read something that made an American diplomat come off as a fool. I think that’s something to be proud of. We’ve got some smart guys (and gals) working for us.

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