Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Wikileaks: Wicked or Hallowed?



The world media is currently awash with sensitive, sensationalized and classified information. Many 'unknowns' are now known. Politicians, especially from 'civilized and developed world' and those from 'wicked and doomed world', have though in different taste and manner, their dirty linens in the agora where every eye can see and tongues wag.

Many, especially, from the establishment, are vehemently condemning Wikileaks’ founder and his team. Some suggest that Julian Assange, the founder and boss of Wikileaks, should be treated as a terrorist thanks to his exposing the rot the high and mighty have been committing for long! What all protagonists don't dispute is the truth of what is released.

US Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton was recently admitting the dirty job ambassadors have been doing thus: "the illegal publication of classified information poses real concerns and even potential damage to our friends and partners around the world." Who is causing this danger between the one reporting the goings-on behind the curtains and the one that commits those dangerous things for the world?

Some say: what Wikileaks is doing is dangerous to world security. They may be right. But again, what Wikileaks does is telling the high and mighty to do their business decently and safely for the world. Others say: what Wikileaks is doing is honorable and decent job that aims at keeping rulers of the world honest. Who is right and who is wrong depends on how one looks at this hidden world of politicos.

In a word, the writings are on the board that when we do dirty things, others will do clean and right thing to expose our rot. Thus, who is to blame in the first place?

Another interesting thing is the fact that the role of ambassadors has been reduced to tittle-tattling and the likes thanks to the contents of what they send back home as they report. True, thanks to the leaks, a new face of ambassadors that was not known to the world is known-they are not emissaries but legalized spies who can spy any aspect of their host countries including trivial matters such as who sleeps with the president. Refer to the voluptuous Ukrainian nurse that Libyan strong man likes to be by his side wherever he goes.

This being the fact, currently, some of us look at ambassadors as menacingly hypocritical creatures in two ways. Likewise, even some of our rulers are as hypocritical and double faced just like their emissaries. Who would think that the Saudi King would hate Iran even more than their sworn-and-made enemy Israel? Who would risk thinking that the US ambassador to Kenya would dress Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki down whilst in public these are the guys he has always commended for ushering the new constitution in? Hither the problem is the fact that ambassadors report truth back home as they tell lies to their hosts in order to win them.

What is the upshot of all this? The Swahili have a saying that your arch enemy is the one that you share table with. So, all compliments our rulers hear from lip servicing lips of diplomats and use them boldly to evaluate their successes are but mere mealy-mouthed- daylight lies so to speak. Ambassadors know how corrupt and inept our rulers are. They want this be known home in order to be used to fix them though the same don't help the Wananchi to dispose the same!

Ambassadors, in this respect, are spies as well as burden to our budgets thanks to spending millions just for gossiping, spying or keeping mum especially those from dependent and poor countries. Do such cabal of government machinery hell bent to spy and sting on others deserve the high place they have always enjoyed?

What Wiki-leaks has fed the world of media wolves shows that ambassadors are spies per se. Is this the reason why everything diplomatic is kept secret not to mention preference in our points of entry? We used to hear of some arrests of ambassadors and diplomats involved in some illegal dealings such as arm-dealing, smuggling in some cases and what not but not spying and gossiping.

We heard of what diplomats from the west say and report about our rulers. What of our own counterparts? Does it mean that we differ when it comes to understanding the role of the ambassadors we dispatch to other countries or we have nothing to spy on? I am anxiously waiting to hear what our diplomats report home from Washington, Paris, London, Brussels and what not.

Looking at the tittle-tattle spying Wikileaks unearthed, Africa is more of a prey than a predator. In other simple words, Africa is taken for a ride and still, our rulers cannot underscore this!

What pains beyond comparisons is the fact that the same informers we hold high are the same creatures that laugh and rub shoulders with our high and mighty free and often so as to stab them on the back. Will our rulers come of age by looking at western ambassadors like spies instead of anything more or less in this matter?

Some bad things may have good things with them. At least our rulers that have ignored those that voted for them as they adore the donors can now see how they have always goofed. They can see how other people see them and use them. For this reason, what Wikileaks is doing is a noble job-keeping tabs on politicians.
Source:The African Executive Magazine Dec. 15, 2005.

No comments: