Richard Spencer is one of the Daily Telegraph’s Middle East correspondents. He was China correspondent for six years before moving to Dubai, where he lives with his wife and children, last year.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told Gen David Petraeus: ‘We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours’ (Photo: AP)
Wikileaks, according to every news agency, newspaper and television station across the world, is a huge embarrassment, a disaster for the United States.
You will therefore be surprised to learn that Wikileaks is in fact a US-front organisation, or at the very least a Mossad operation. It is intent on undermining peace in the Middle East, and discrediting the region’s leaders and Iran in particular.
That, at least, was the view of an Iranian analyst interviewed just now on al-Jazeera. The Wikileaks disclosures should be seen, he said, in light of the battle for power between the Republican and Democratic “factions” in the US regime.
All bizarre and nonsensical conspiracy theory of course.
Well, I don’t buy the conspiracy theory. But one thing’s for sure – the leaks reflect far worse on Middle Eastern regimes, including but not only Iran, than on the United States.
Leaving aside the “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” stuff, what for example will President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen say to his people now he has been clearly revealed to have got the US to lie on his behalf (not that it wasn’t common knowledge)?
As I have just said in an online commentary, the disclosures, based as they are on diplomatic cables, set out extremely clearly the thinking underlying US government policy – including rationales that cannot usually be given publicly for fear of offending allies or revealing secrets. Their partiality might be questioned – but their coherence can’t.
Ultimately, they put the onus on Middle Eastern countries to explain themselves. The cables are America’s own explanations. Neither Iran nor many of its Arab friends and enemies like being held to account overmuch.
Now they have been. No wonder Iran thinks it’s a plot; I wonder if other countries agree. I wouldn’t be surprised