American diplomacy of contempt – by Shiraz Paracha

The mastermind as well as the motive behind the WikiLeaks release of US diplomats’ official correspondence with Washington is not known yet. However, the material released so far shows that George W. Bush was not the only mediocre with inferiority complexes. The whole State Department and policy makers in the United States have IQ problems.

Electronic letters and emails of U.S diplomats are symbols of bad taste and indicate that writers were carried away by prejudices and even anger.
Diplomats are supposed to be objective and measured in their assessments and analysis. But U.S ambassadors have been writing  low quality sloppy assessments of very crucial and sensitive international issues and situations.
Such information is supposed to be evaluated and written by serious and responsible professionals; however, U.S embassies emails confirm recklessness and irresponsible behaviour at the very heart of the U.S foreign policy. There is a pattern of ridicule of other cultures and an arrogance that exposes shallow U.S pride.

A much serious issue, however, is that information gathering processes are not very sophisticated and developed at the U.S State Department. A large volume of the so-called classified information is not well sourced and well evaluated. Most of the material is based on hearsay, rumours and careless personal opinions of the officials.

It is obvious that the depth required for dealing with delicacies and sophistications of diplomacy is lacking among the vast majority of the senior U.S foreign policy officials.

Another important point is that U.S ambassadors have been acting as spies. Spooks do use diplomatic cover but ambassadorial level positions are different. Ambassadors have access to places and information which spy agents do not have.

Ambassadors are symbols of trust between two nations. They cultivate friendship and goodwill on the behalf of their states. Some U.S ambassadors, however, have not been meeting the minimum standards of decent and professional behaviour.

Anne Patterson, a former U.S ambassador to Pakistan, for example, was involved in the wheeling and dealings of the Pakistani politics. She was engaged in activities that were beyond her scope and job as a neutral envoy.
And in the opinion of the U.S Ambassador to Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai is a weak person with personality disorders. Let us not that forget the U.S had imposed Mr. Karzai on Afghanistan after the removal of the Taliban.
The U.S diplomats see the Russian government as a mafia. The current Russian leadership is the most popular among the Russian public and the United Russia Party is in power since 2000 as the Russian voters have shown full confidence in the Party and its leadership but U.S diplomats see them as corrupt criminals. One can only feel pity for the low calibre of U.S diplomats. The U.S Ambassador to Kazakhstan is said to have communicated derogatory remarks about politicians of the host country and the same was done to people and leaders in other countries.

It is worrying to realize that the United States foreign policy and key strategic decisions are based on such childish assumption and analysis. It should not be surprising why the U.S is hated around the world. The United States uses military means to maintain control because of the inefficiency of its diplomatic corps and insensitivities of its political leadership.

Diplomacy means cultivating friendships and the truth is that United States has failed the test because the U.S believes in master-salve type of international relationships, while friendship is earned by treating others with equality and respect, not contempt.

Shiraz Paracha is a journalist and analyst. His email address is:



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