If Wikileaks is right, Hugo Chávez is an American Stooge

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The Wikileaks U.S. Diplomatic Cable data-dump – or rather, the first few shards of it, which is all we’ve seen so far – is a subject of deep fascination for me. There’s just something about the voyeuristic thrill of looking through things you know you were never intended to see: it’s like stumbling on your dad’s nudie magazine collection, but on a global scale.

I can’t get enough of this stuff…nor can I shake the thought that we live in amazing times, when a single Australian nerd with a laptop and a messiah complex can destabilize the entire world diplomatic system. I have a sense that we’ll have a lot more to say over the coming weeks about the Wikileaks revelation as more and more material – including, apparently, hundreds of cables out of the Embassy in Caracas – comes out.

For now, though, I’ll just note that the New York Times story on the Obama administration’s strategy to obtain tough new U.N. sanctions against Iran suggests that Hugo Chávez, against all the odds, has unwittingly been helping the gringos’ key foreign policy objective over the last few years.

The key here is China. For the Americans, getting China on-side over sanctions on Iran was crucial. Because the Chinese have a veto on the U.N. Security Council, nothing was possible without them. And to get Chinese support, the gringos had to assuage China’s fears that it would lose its oil supply if the Iranians shut down the Strait of Hormuz as a response to a crisis.

And the Wikileaked cables show the U.S. mobilized to push its key ally – Saudi Arabia – to make supply guarantees to China in return for its support for sanctions on Iran. In effect, through the bizarre geopolitics of the Iranian nuclear threat, reassuring the Chinese about the stability of their oil supply became a key U.S. foreign policy objective.

And who else has been working feverishly to reassure the Chinese about the stability of their oil supply? Hugo Chávez, of course!

In a Washington where priorities #1, #2 and #3 are preventing Tehran from going nuclear, all Foggy Bottom can say in return for those PDVSA-CNPC joint ventures is “muchas gracias, amigo!”

Hat tip: JC

1 COMMENT

  1. Francisco,

    I am as fascinated as anyone at the picture of the world of modern diplomacy that is emerging, but I have some very mixed feelings about WikiLeak and feel that we are opening some sort of Pandora’s Box here. Try to imagine a world in which a married couple’s private conversations in bed about their friends and acquaintances are published the next morning… Yike! I wouldn’t want to be at the next cocktail party!

    Back in 1996 James Halperin wrote a book called “The Truth Machine” a fictional account of the invention of an infallible lie detector and the sociological consequences of such an invention. In the book, Halperin painted a positive picture of the effects that such an invention would have on the future of humanity. I had my doubts at the time, and those doubts have only grown with the loss of privacy we have experienced over the last decade and half.

    You can drive a human being crazy by depriving him of all human contact. However, you can also drive a human being crazy by depriving him of all privacy. Somehow, it seems to me, that having and keeping secrets is part of being human. And yes, so is lying part of being human. What sort of game would poker be without secrets and lying (bluffing)? Boooorrrrringggg…

  2. Steady, steady……

    Terra bites of dawg bites Mann, with a few Dawg is Pregnant, perhaps the odd, Pregnant Dawg has a nuke. Other than that, not much to see really. Looks to be a sweet dish tho.

    • Thanks! This cable paints diplomatic cables – as a medium – as just a particularly bland form of journalism. The hospitals suck cuz all the money went to Barrio Adentro?! Cripes, what’s in the next cable? “One Legged Duck Swims in Circles”?!

  3. Francisco,

    Writing memos guaranteed to put people to sleep is a time-honored technique of government bureaucrats. Because no one actually reads the whole memo, they manage to disguise the fact that they have absolutely no useful skills or knowledge. This type of government drone never distinguishes himself or herself nor takes action that would risk drawing attention. Oddly enough, these types of employees are consistently promoted.

  4. WikiLeaks exposes truths that the U.S. Government and others do not want you to know.
    We are sick of government lies and fraud.
    Go WikiLeaks.
    It is the U.S. Government and others like them that need to be shut down.
    Not WikiLeaks.
    We the people will continue to expose corrupt leaders, governments and others.
    We demand the truth and we will not be stopped.
    I am,

    GEORGE VREELAND HILL

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