Friday, 17 December, 2010

Brains leaking

In an article titled, Rahul Gandhi warned U.S. of growth of extremist Hindu groups: WikiLeaks on leaked cables from American diplomats in India published by WikiLeaks, the Hindu writes: "Their (American diplomats') view of Indian politicians is variable, however. The failure of Sonia Gandhi, who chairs the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition, to overcome opposition to a nuclear power agreement is criticised heavily.

A deal would see, the U.S. diplomats said, a big boost for clean energy in India and a market worth $150bn for American companies. 'Mrs Gandhi never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity,' one cable sent in November 2007 said."

There is something very disturbing about this, a typical sample of what's been coming out in the press thanks to the WikiLeaks. It's the childishness of the remarks. 'Mrs Gandhi never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity… 'raucous democracy' of India… "If you want to end malaria you have to get rid of the swamp," the Indian national security adviser told the FBI director last year.

The picture that emerges from embassies and government offices across the world is not of sage statesmen or sly scoundrels, but of mediocre people who haven't outgrown the editorship their class magazines. Too clever by half, yet unwilling or unable to cope with complexities, and seeking comfort in cynicism. Was diplomacy and international relations always like this?

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