US Embassy Cables Reveal Imperialism’s Whispers
More revelations have come forward from Wikileaks, this time in the form of 250,000 cables between 250 US embassies worldwide. The leaked documents provide a revealing look into both what the US and its allies are up to and a glimpse behind their rhetoric.
Here is a brief summary of only some of the revelations. While none of this comes as any surprise, as Wikileaks disappointingly didn’t release any top-secret files, the cables offer additional evidence of the US’s treacherous domination of the world.
The British government trained a Bangladeshi government death squad accused by human rights organization of over 1000 extra-judicial killing since it was founded six years ago. (1)
The cables also reveal Britain is pursuing the creation of a marine preserve on the Chagos Islands in order to prevent its resettlement by indigenous peoples forcibly displaced in 1973. The Chagos Islands include Diego Garcia, a joint US-UK military mega-facility used to maintain their global empire. (2)
McDonalds Restaurants used connections in Washington to bully the El Salvadorian government for a favorable settlement in a 24 million dollar lawsuit. (3)
Some of the cables expressed the depth and utility of First Worldist and pro-Amerikan ideology around the world. In one cable, a US official expressed concerns over long-term stability in Tunisia, yet noted with optimism that most there still “admire the ‘American Dream.'” (4) In others, aging Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, was described “obssesed” with admiration for Barak Obama immediately after his election, only to later feel betrayed. (5)
Some of the cables regarded disputes between Third World leaders, which imperialists watch out for and attempt to exacerbate. According to one cable, Hugo Chavez and Alvaro Uribe, presidents of Venezuela and Columbia, got into a heated argument at a Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) meeting in February of 2010. The verbal disagreement, according to the US official, came after Uribe criticized Venezuela’s stance against the Columbian lackey-regime. According to the cable, Cuban leader Raul Castro stepped in to de-escalate the situation. (6)
Chavez was the topic of many leaked cables. The opening summary of 2007 cable with the topic, ‘A Southern Cone Perspective on Countering Chavez and Reasserting US Leadership,” reveals some of the US’s strategy in dealing with the South American leader. The cable helps us understand US imperialism strategy in dealing with any number of regional opponents.
“This [cable] looks at ways the US can counter Chavez and reassert U.S. leadership in the region. …[T]here are six main areas of action for the US government as it seeks to limit Chavez’s influence: –Know the enemy: We have to better understand how Chavez thinks and what he intends; –Directly engage: We must reassert our presence in the region, and engage broadly, especially with the “non-elites”; –Change the political landscape: We should offer a vision of hope and back it up with adequately-funded programs; –Enhance military relationships: We should continue to strengthen ties to those military leaders in the region who share our concern over Chavez; –Play to our strength: We must emphasize that democracy, and a free trade approach that includes corporate social responsibility, provides lasting solutions; –Get the message out: Public diplomacy is key; this is a battle of ideas and visions.[…]
We must convince not only government leaders but civil society – the person on the street – that we are committed to a progressive and democratic vision for the Americas and to helping our neighbors meet their challenges. If we can, we will make quick inroads into marginalizing Chavez’s influence, bolster democracy and reassert our own leadership in the region.” (7)
The above quote speaks to how imperialism is more than comfortable using ‘civil society’ and ‘public diplomacy’ strategies in it maintenance of power. No doubt, more sinister plans are hatched beyond what Wikileaks has revealed.
The leaked cables also received a detailed spy program, initiated by Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State under the Obama administration, against top representatives at the United Nations, including the UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon. A directive called for the collection of credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers, frequent-flyer account numbers for UN figures and “biographic and biometric information” on UN Security Council permanent representatives. Though this likely shocked many of Amerika’s allies, the directive was likely part of a larger spying program, as similar information was sought for leaders and public officials from various countries. Diplomatic missions in Israel, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were asked to gather biometric information on Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaders and representatives. (8)
Cables also revealed US and British officials colluded to create a loophole in UK legislation in order to allow continued storage and deployment of US cluster bombs from British territory. Cluster bombs have been banned by the UN, but the US is not a signatory to any such treaties. (9)
Revealing a lack of confidence in Hamid Karzai, the US’s militarily-installed ‘president’ in Afghanistan, cables from 2009 describe him as erratic, emotional and paranoid. This comes at a time when the US is increasingly reliant on drone attacks into remote parts of Afghanistan where the puppet-state has little or no real control and neighboring Pakistan. (10)
To the ire of allies such as Germany, the US military has been charging a 15% administration fee on an international fund to help train police and military for the Afghan puppet-state. As of yet, 123 million Euros had been donated to the fund. The US military is increasingly overextended in a war without resolution, and reliant on its hegemonic position to shift its burden onto lesser partners in western imperialism. (11)
In Peru, due to increasing disillusionment with the government, the Sendero Luminiso insurgency, nearly wiped out well over a decade ago, is beginning to make a come back. (12)
In a series of leaked cables, a US official describes two main factions operating today. One faction, made up of former leaders recently released from prison, is, according to the US leak, “now using their positions in civic organizations and union groups to foment social unrest.”
The other faction is made up of surviving guerrilla’s, who, according to the US cable., “…clung to survival on the jungle margins, adapting themselves to a political condition characterized by the absence of outside leadership or guidance… continuing the armed struggle while, in practical terms, gradually deepening and expanding their involvement in the drug trade.” (13)
It is important to note that while in activity of anti-imperialist forces is of interest to such in the First World, there is no reason to believe the specific claims made by US officials. Throughout the leaked cables, US official repeatedly implied or claimed Iran was pursuing an nuclear weapons program, which the government of the Iranian Republic denies.
Along the lines of claims against Iran as a pretext for economic and political war, the US, their own diplomatic cables say, pressured the Indian state into preventing sales of graphite to the defiant Middle Eastern country. (14) This occurred as the US haggled with the Yemeni president over trading weapons for supposed terrorists. (15)
The US has expressed interest in the MST landless movement in Brazil. (16)
The oil multi-national Shell has infiltrated in Nigeria government. (17)
Other cables describe what was summed up in one report as a “U.S.-led conspiracy to force GMOs onto European countries by making those countries pay a steep price if they resist.” (18)
There is a danger in relying on the cables too much for information. Too often in mainstream media discourse rumors passed along between US officials in the leaked cables are being treated as truth.
It must be kept in mind that Wikileaks releases one-sided information: in this case part of the viewpoint and narrative of the US state. No doubt there are further crimes committed by imperialists, both that for which they will never explicitly call what it is and that which is ‘top-secret’ and has not been leaked. Nonetheless, the latest release from Wikileaks does present an informative and indeed evidentiary look into the world as the imperialists see it while trying rule it.