WASHINGTON (Nov. 29) — Almost as shocking as the contemptuous attitude that American diplomats conveyed toward our allies in the latest WikiLeaks release was the pettiness and immaturity shown in the wording of their communications.
In fact, both friend and foe alike are studying the first of a quarter-million confidential cables to learn what those phony-baloney Americans really thought about them behind their back.
State Department officials are seeking to minimize the impact of the leaks, collected over several decades from embassies all over the world. A White House spokesman downplayed the content of the reports, saying they included “often incomplete information.” Analysts were quick to point out, however, that calling British Prime Minister David Cameron a “douchebag” and Afghan President Hamid Karzai “a dweeb and a douchebag” seemed pretty thorough.
In addition to the personal slurs, the release contains more substantive details about how major foreign policy initiatives were apparently drawn up during Foggy Bottom keggers. Carefully gathered intelligence collected from often-hostile nations around the world was evaluated by Washington diplomats who reduced international relations to the level of high school politics.
Among the more startling revelations in yesterday’s publications:
- Americans mounted a secret effort to remove highly enriched uranium from Pakistan in a trade that would bring three tons of fuel rods to the U.S. in exchange for Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter. “They like cricket over there, and he plays baseball, which is sort of the same thing,” said an official in one communiqué. “If that’s not enough, we’ll throw in coupons for 15% off a future purchase of sophisticated military hardware.”
- When attendees at a Fourth of July picnic at an American consulate in India were served vegetarian hotdogs and coconuts painted to look like watermelons, a historic nuclear cooperation deal between those two countries was nearly scuttled. “I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY SERVED US TOFU DOGS!” read the cable. “TOFU DOGS! THESE PEOPLE CAN’T BE TRUSTED.”
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel was characterized as a “CILF” (“Chancellor I’d Like to …”) and the “hottest piece in the Bundestag since Hitler.”
- Efforts to relocate Guantanamo detainees to other countries often involved questionable incentives. The island nation of Kiribati was offered millions of dollars to take several Chinese Muslims. Belgian officials were told that if they took some, it would be a “low-cost way for Belgium to attain a prominence in Europe that didn’t involve waffles.” Slovenia said they would take up to a dozen suspected terrorists if the U.S. would throw in actress Rachel McAdams and comedy ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his sidekick Walter.
- During a meeting with Gen. David Petraeus, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said his country would take credit for attacking itself with missiles rather than expose the U.S.-led strike. “Get a load of this … he also wants credit for inventing rock-and-roll and self-defrosting refrigerators,” wrote a Petraeus aide. “He’s such a tool.”
- Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has a number of peccadilloes, including traveling with “voluptuous blonde” Ukrainian nurse who, according to one diplomat, “knows his routine, if you know what I mean.” He is also reportedly afraid of flying over water, refuses to stay in the upper floors of a hotel, and will have any Libyan summarily executed for speaking the name of seventies singer-songwriter Carole King.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi “really, really like each other and, in all probability, are homos,” according to an American posted in Rome.
- A plot to get Iranian President Malmoud Ahmadinejad to put on a tie was hatched by CIA operatives in Teheran in the belief he would be discredited for acknowledging Western fashion sensibilities. “ADDED PLUS,” read the cable, “WE CAN GRAB IT AND CHOKE HIM.”
- Somalia narrowly averted a cruise missile attack in September of 2009 when their Office of American Interests in the French Embassy offered awful-tasting mints in the reception area during a visit by an American trade mission.
- During Google’s feud with the Chinese government, the Communist Politburo hacked into the company’s computers. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao took personal responsibility for turning the corporate logo on Google’s home page into unidentifiable psychedelic train wreck during major holidays. When the American Embassy in Beijing was informed of the sabotage, an assistant manager responded to the State Department with the message “WHATEVER”.
Less substantive but potentially even more damaging to the U.S. reputation were the personal characterizations by veteran diplomats of past and current foreign leaders. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is officially referred to as a “retard,” Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is a “doofus,” South Korean President Lee Myung-back is a “dickwad,” King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is a “knob” and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a “wanker or spaz, depending on his mood.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement late Monday to address the growing controversy over the WikiLeaks disclosures.
“We are so screwed,” Clinton told reporters. “So very, very screwed.”