What does "SECRET" mean? Much of what comes out seems so obvious and so not news but fascinating in a voyeuristic way. We now have more about Iraq and what those in the Middle East really think about a new Shiite power center next to Iran.
Today's Wikileak peek into US diplomacy shows the reality of the unintended consequences of our ill-conceived and ill-prepared mission in Iraq, a mission that was to be paid for by Iraqi oil but fell a trillion dollars or so short.
The same people that thought Iraq was a good idea are the same that created or supervised a system of security for US secret cables.
It has become obvious that a lot of people that confided with the US, people whose cooperation was needed by the US are now embarrassed or in trouble because of these revelations.
Why would anyone in their right mind, domestic or foreign, trust anything the US Government says or does?
Analysts: Cables between Sunnis, U.S. diplomats might push Iraq closer to Iran
By Leila Fadel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, December 2, 2010; 7:35 PM
BAGHDAD - Private conversations between Sunni Arab leaders in the Middle East and U.S. diplomats, leaked in confidential State Department documents this week, may push Iraq's future Shiite-led government closer to Iran, analysts said.
The nation is already divided along sectarian lines and since the U.S. invasion in 2003 Iraq has become the center of a regional power struggle between Shiite Iran to the east and Arab Sunni neighbors to the west - a struggle that played out during Iraq's parliamentary elections in March.
The first few hundred cables leaked by the WikiLeaks Web site could further damage Shiite incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's weak relationship with Arab neighbors, countries the United States had hoped would counter Iran's influence in Iraq as U.S. influence here wanes and the U.S. military prepares for a scheduled exit at the end of 2011.
The cables show candid moments over the past two years in which, among other things, the king of Saudi Arabia called Maliki an "Iranian agent" and a "liar." Meanwhile, Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, advocated a military coup in Iraq and said that the United States should "forget democracy" there and that the country should have "a dictator."
Sunni Arab hostility toward the growing Shiite power in Iraq is no revelation. But the sensitive cables are coming out just as the recently reappointed Maliki is cobbling together a cabinet that may finally lead to a government.
"Sunni Arab dislike of a Shiite ascendancy in Iraq is well known by Maliki. But this will exacerbate the problem and may push him closer to the Iranians," said Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009. "Tehran will certainly try. We'll see if there are any Arab overture to the new government once it is formed - that would help, but I doubt it."
Iraqi officials were quick to dismiss the likelihood of lasting effects, pointing out this was more of a problem between Iran and the Arab Gulf than a problem for Iraq. A new era of Shiite Arab majority leadership was forged in Iraq following the invasion, after decades of dictatorship under Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Arab who oppressed the Shiite majority and the Kurds. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia likened the Shiite rule to giving Iraq to Iran on a "golden platter."
"These are not secrets. We know this," said Sami al-Askari, a Shiite legislator close to Maliki. "I think it has no effect at all. With Saudi Arabia, our relationship is not good, and with Egypt our relations are not that good. It's more an embarrassment for the American establishment. How can these secret documents get out? It's shaking the entire American system."