The Wikileaks saga continues to dominate the foreign pages. So should I revise my opinion that it’s all a huge fuss about surprisingly little? A bit - but only a bit.
In my last post, I said that there was only one revelation that had half-surprised me – and this was the idea that the Saudis are urging an attack on Iran. Since then, there has one other thing that struck me as real news -and that is the suggestion that China is prepared to accept a reunified Korea, which still played host to American troops. But, even here, it’s not clear that how far the Chinese sources cited actually reflect a unified and settled position in Beijing. It sounds to me more like a single official, reflecting a policy discussion that is underway in China. It’s interesting to get a glimpse of that discussion. But, again, I think you could probably assume that in a sophisticated government like China’s, these kinds of option would be under discussion.
From a British point of view, it was interesting to readthat Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, was worried that the Tory team was a bit clueless and overly political – and I guess that could make his next meeting with David Cameron slightly awkward. But even Vladimir Putin seems inclined to mix a slightly frosty response to the stuff said about him, with a degree of sympathy for the Americans and distaste for WikiLeaks.
It’s amusing for the rest of us to read US diplomats’ frank and sometimes unflattering verdicts on foreign leaders, and it’s obviously embarrassing for the Americans. It’s a bit like somebody getting drunk at a party and making bitchy comments in too loud a voice. Nobody is incredibly shocked that such things happen. But it’s still awkward to be overheard by the person you are talking about.