The Daily Show: Il communication
Over Thanksgiving weekend I was bracing for the WikiLeaks dump of vital State Department communications - 250,000 secret cables detailing the candid conversations between high-level ambassadors.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was described as "thin skinned" and "an emperor with no clothes."
Muammar al-Gaddafi was said to be inseparable from a voluptuous blonde referred to officially as his "senior Ukrainian nurse."
And North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il was called "a flabby old chap."
Who put Perez Hilton in charge of our diplomatic core? Hey,mm Colombia, is that your army or did Menudo get back together?
So was there any non-"Mean Girls"-related information?
One document did describe the king of Saudi Arabia as urging the U.S. to bomb Iran. And the sensitive information published included records suggesting that Saudi donors remained chief financiers of militant groups like Al Qaeda.
Wow, that's confusing. One of our main allies in the war on terror is also one of the main financiers of our war on terror's enemy.
Well, that's Saudi Arabia. A more reliable ally would be Egypt, a lifetime recipient of close to $70 billion in U.S. aid.
There, President Hosni Mubarak is quoted in the leaked documents as telling John Kerry that Iran's sponsorship of terrorism is "well-known, but I cannot say it publicly because it would create a dangerous situation."
Yes, if you said that, people could get hurt, unlike Iran's sponsorship of terrorism. Apparently that's consequence-free.
You know, there's an old saying about the Middle East: The enemy of my enemy is also most likely at some point my enemy. I guess the good news is there's nothing crucial keeping us in the region.
So we give them money for oil that allows them to buy weapons from us with a little left over to fund terrorist groups that we must send our military over to fight, which costs a lot of money in fuel, which we buy from them. It's like we're the commissionless middlemen in a war we're waging on ourselves.
Was there any good news over the holiday weekend?
"Tonight, South Korea is threatening enormous retaliation after an attack by North Korea," reported Brian Williams on Nov. 23.
Yeah, that's the stuff. That sounds like promisingly traditional hostility. It's the result of a disputed U.N. demilitarized zone. North Korea says they have a larger section of waters in the Yellow Sea than recognized by South Korea and other countries.
Boom, they're just fighting over a line - no tribes, no inside deals, no confusing allies. It's just a good old-fashioned line fight!
Anyway, my point is this: North Korea fighting South Korea is a war we can understand. Two great powers, United States and China, using two lesser powers, North and South Korea, as Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. Old-school.
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