Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WikiLeaks’ Latest & Sweden’s Spin on Cablegate

The latest release of U.S. documents by self-styled whistle-blower, Julian Assange covers a wide range of policy discussions, as summarized by U.S. State Department officials and diplomatic personnel in internal cable correspondence.  In fact, the scope of the material allows for not one, but two levels of revelation, the first being the actual WikiLeaks material, and the second being the bias of the news agency covering the leaks, as there is lots of room to pick and choose.
For example, the Local, Sweden’s English-language daily, discussed the impact of the leaks on diplomacy in very general terms. The article is based largely on the responses of Rolf Ekéus, former Swedish ambassador to Washington, to the release of the diplomatic cables.
-“Ekéus said he feared WikiLeaks' publication of confidential diplomatic correspondence could result in fewer contacts being willing to provide diplomats with vital information.”
The Local notes that the relatively small amount of information dealing with Sweden includes “observations that Sweden was the leader of a handfull [sic] of European countries to oppose sanctions on Iran at a meeting in Brussels in 2009.” Note this symptom of denial.
On the various issues raised by the WikiLeaks publication, the Local breezes over substantial issues and eschews delving into details, merely saying that:
 -“Particular matters of interest to [Ekéus] were new details about the Koreas, Middle East and EU, as well as judgments on Russia and world leaders that have not been previously reported.

  “To Ekéus, the most surprising revelations in the documents were the ‘great nervousness’ expressed about the Iranian nuclear programme and whether it is moving towards manufacturing weapons.”
“Whether” Iran is moving towards nuclear weapons development? Is this really a question?
Cablegate reveals the extent that the Swedish press and the “official line” expressed by Ekéus differs from reality. In fact, the true picture shown in the cables is that leaders of several Arab states actively and repeatedly sought U.S. military action against Iran. The material was less than surprising for those who follow the Israeli press and other (non-Swedish) sources.  For quite some time the Israeli leadership has been saying publicly that the Arab world is just as unhappy as Israel is regarding Iran’s nuclear program.  The cables confirm that there has been a huge gap between the public and closed-door statements of Arab regimes regarding Iran. Even Ekéus’ characterization of “great nervousness” about Iran implies a hand-wringing attitude—which is a far cry from the Saudis urging the U.S. to “cut off the head of the snake”. 
The Swedish media is not alone in the whitewashing of these home truths about the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. The left-leaning New York Times in an initial report completely omitted the Saudi call to take out Iranian nuclear facilities, although, unlike the Local, it did note that:
-“Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the ‘worst in the region’ in counterterrorism efforts.”
Admitting that terror is literally “fueled” by barrels of Saudi oil money flies in the face of the accepted leftist line that terror is the desperate choice of the downtrodden, and that revolution—Islamic or otherwise—is the uprising of the disadvantaged.  It’s a good guess that that’s why the Ekéus and the Local—which has been referred to as “Aftonbladet in English”—failed to give readers the substantive issues. 
By: Chanah Shapira


  1. Ekéus is not a thrustworthy person. He was positiv to the american occupation of Iraq

  2. - normally I do not post anonymously...