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“…the main significance of the cables that have been released so far is what they tell us about Western leadership. So, Hillary Clinton and Binyamin Netanyahu surely know of the careful polls of Arab public opinion. The Brookings Institute just a few months ago released extensive polls of what Arabs think about Iran. And the results are rather striking. They show that Arab opinion does—holds that the major threat in the region is Israel, that’s 80 percent; the second major threat is the United States, that’s 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent. With regard to nuclear weapons, rather remarkably, a majority, in fact, 57 percent, say that the region will be—it would have a positive effect in the region if Iran had nuclear weapons. Now, these are not small numbers. Eighty percent, 77 percent say that the U.S. and Israel are the major threat. Ten percent say that Iran is the major threat.
Now, this may not be reported in the newspapers here—it is in England—but it’s certainly familiar to the Israeli and the U.S. governments and to the ambassadors. But there isn’t a word about it anywhere. What that reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership and, of course, the Israeli political leadership. These things aren’t even to be mentioned. And this seeps its way all through the diplomatic service. So the cables don’t have any indication of that…”
And the money quote, when asked about some particularly unscrupulous behavior by the U.S. with regards to Hamas:
“That should not come as much of a surprise. Contrary to the image that’s portrayed here, the United States is not an honest broker.”
Chomsky’s assertion here, although intended specifically for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, seems to apply more broadly to everything that Wikileaks has revealed thus far. We now have documentary evidence to support what most knowledgeable people have long surmised – namely, that United States government and its representatives act according to their own interests and not those of the common citizen. Chomsky’s citation of the poll which revealed the United States and as Israel as being the greatest perceived threat in the region, along with the failure of any of the diplomatic cables to acknowledge this reality, highlight that our government representatives are operating in a world completely detached from the concerns of ordinary plebes.
It should be absolutely no surprise to anyone that the United States and its proxy state of Israel are perceived as the greatest threat in the Middle East. The United States is currently engaged in combat in at least four countries in the region, and the invasions have come, for the most part, without the slightest provocation. We have troops amassed in Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, with thousands more in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere in the vicinity. It has been made abundantly clear that the U.S. government is intent on controlling the region throughout whatever means necessary, so it is to be expected that we, along with a nuclear-armed Israel, are seen as the greatest menace.
Compared to the vast sums of money devoted to military expenditures in the United States, Iran spends but a minute fraction. Iran has not invaded another nation for centuries, and there is no credible evidence to suggest that they have any intention of doing so in the near future. While I disagree with the theocratic nature of the Iranian government, I find the notion of Iran posing a grave danger to us or anyone else to be highly laughable. If Iran is actively seeking nuclear weapons – which I sincerely doubt – they would certainly be justified in doing so, given the success that North Korea has had in deterring U.S. aggression.
The latest batch from Wikileaks has thus far revealed a great deal about the way that American power operates throughout the world. Given the disdain that our officials appear to have for the concerns of ordinary people, it is not surprising that elites around the nation – as well as their elected representatives – have raised such a stir. The cables reveal just a little bit more of reality than our overlords would care for us to see, and the prospect of an awakened populace is, for them, unfathomable. Let’s hope that more courageous individuals continue to feed Wikileaks with the information it needs to continue prodding the slumbering masses, in the hopes that some day soon the great beast might finally arise.