In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

WikiLeaks revelations raise more questions than answers

Posted by seumasach on December 12, 2010

“Israel’s main target is the Erdoğan government. The fact that the documents include allegations aimed at discrediting the government doesn’t seem to be a coincidence,”

Today’s Zaman

12th December, 2010

The content of leaked US diplomatic cables made public by whistleblower website WikiLeaks has already led to heated debates in the domestic political arena, while a considerable number of analysts and politicians warn of the danger of losing sight of the big picture as they argue it is an attempt by self-interest groups to manipulate governments and the public.

 

WikiLeaks released its third major document dump in the last four months in late November, and out of 250,000 US State Department cables — the number of documents sent from the US Embassy in Ankara is said to be the highest of all. However, less than one percent of these documents have been revealed, prompting analysts and politicians to argue that it is a “local picture,” rather than a big picture.

Only a day after the Nov. 28 leak from WikiLeaks, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan cast doubt on WikiLeaks’ credibility, saying his government would wait for the complete release of US documents before commenting on what they say about Turkey and Turkish-US ties. “Let WikiLeaks spill the beans first, and then we will find out whether this is serious or not — since the seriousness of WikiLeaks is in doubt,” Erdoğan said at the time.

This week, Erdoğan reiterated criticism over the language used in the cables, calling it “vulgar, indelicate and without regard.”

“Beyond the style, the fact correspondence only concerning certain countries, regions and issues has been published, increases our doubts,” Erdoğan said on Tuesday at a parliamentary meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

“Those who want to publish these leaks, which are based on false information and indelicate comments, and see it as a virtue, providing transparency, ignore the big picture. That some are hatching plans based on this incident is also clear,” Erdoğan said.

“Common sense and calmness are vitally important, particularly in diplomacy,” he said, arguing that the principle of transparency cannot be defended for all platforms. “Every reaction that is given without fully comprehending the incident and without analyzing the goal of the incident is early and incomplete.”

A chief consultant to the prime minister elaborated on his remarks when he said, “The WikiLeaks incident seems like it was aimed at ‘redesigning relations’ at the international level and prompting countries to change their manners and policies by manipulating the psychologies of [those countries’] peoples.”

Yalçın Akdoğan, chief consultant for Erdoğan, drew attention to speculation that Israel is trying to sabotage relations between Turkey and the US through the leaked documents.

“Israel’s main target is the Erdoğan government. The fact that the documents include allegations aimed at discrediting the government doesn’t seem to be a coincidence,” Akdoğan said in an article published in a Turkish daily newspaper last Sunday. However, he suggested that since the allegations are baseless, the Turkish government would not eventually be harmed.

Noam Chomsky — the world-renowned US linguist and political scientist — has also drawn attention to a kind of filtering process in the leaking of the documents. In a Nov. 30 interview, Chomsky gives the example of Iran, which the WikiLeaks cables suggest is increasingly isolated, not only from the US and Europe but also from most of its Arab neighbors in the Middle East.

“When they talk about Arabs, they mean the Arab dictators, not the population, which is overwhelmingly opposed to the conclusions that the analysts here, Clinton and the media have drawn. There’s also a minor problem. That’s the major problem. The minor problem is that we don’t know from the cables what the Arab leaders think and say. We know what was selected from the range of what they said. So there’s a filtering process,” Chomsky said.

Doomsday for whom

Fears that terrorists may acquire Pakistani nuclear material; several Arab leaders urged attacks on Iran over the nuclear issue; the US spies on key UN officials; China’s changing ties with North Korea; Yemen-approved US strikes on militants; personal and embarrassing comments on world leaders; Afghan leader Hamid Karzai freed dangerous detainees; Russia is a “virtual mafia state” with widespread corruption and bribery; Afghan President Hamid Karzai is “paranoid and weak;” the extent of corruption in Afghanistan; Chinese leadership “hacked Google;” and a list of key global facilities the US says are vital to its national security.

The above is a list provided by the BBC, saying it is the summary of the main leaks so far. Most of all, the above are issues US neo-cons argue must be dealt with by force and on which they slam the Obama administration’s approach.

Analysts in Turkey have widely pointed out that the comments most critical of the government and Turkish officials were made during the troubled period of 2004-2005, when Eric Edelman represented the United States in Ankara. Edelman of the neo-con camp served in Ankara as ambassador from August 2003 to June 2005. He was appointed by former President George W. Bush in April 2003, weeks after Parliament rejected a government motion on March 1, 2003, to allow US troops to conduct operations in northern Iraq from Turkey. This led to the reference “March 1 syndrome” when talking about the bilateral relationship of the two NATO allies.

Reflecting the caution towards WikiLeaks that has been voiced by Erdoğan, AK Party government officials underlined that US reports that use harsh wording when discussing the Turkish government do not reflect the current US administration’s view of the government, pointing out that those reports were posted from Ankara during a period of time when diplomats who were incapable of understanding the strategic nature of the bilateral relationship between the two allies were in charge.

Particularly ultra-nationalist figures known to be close to US neo-cons, meanwhile, used the content of WikiLeaks as justification for a lack of confidence in the government. Yet, an analyst, Alper Görmüş of Taraf daily, this week warned it might be too early for those ultra-nationalists — who also claim to be “anti-US imperialism” — to be pleased over the content of the documents. Görmüş said upcoming documents may also reveal how US neo-cons actually provided the material against the government through their not so legitimate and politically incorrect relations with those ultra-nationalists who also claim to be “anti-US imperialism.”

 

2 Responses to “WikiLeaks revelations raise more questions than answers”

  1. John said

    A chief consultant to the prime minister elaborated on his remarks when he said, “The WikiLeaks incident seems like it was aimed at ‘redesigning relations’ at the international level and prompting countries to change their manners and policies by manipulating the psychologies of [those countries’] peoples.”

    The above arrogant and paranoid statement suggests that people’s psychologies and easily manipulated. But what people want is information, and for example,the Saudi dictators attitude towards Israeli, the Arab people and Iran is a brilliant expose of hypocrisy.

  2. inthesenewtimes said

    Peoples psychology isn’t easily manipulated -it requires complex deception such as we find in wikileaks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: