If there is one good thing from all of the over-hyped, breathless attention paid to the leaking of supposedly private internal memos within the State Department it is the confirmation that there are some adults in the State Department who were willing to give frank, raw assessments of the various countries with which we have to deal with.
Well, another shoe has dropped with the resignation of our ambassador to Mexico over the exposure of his evaluation of conditions in the government of Mexico that stand in stark contrast to the public picture that has been painted of our neighbors to the south.
That speaks to Mexico's unique relationship with the United States, one marked by more than two centuries of wars and mistrust — but also one of mutual fascination and dependence. A 2,000-mile border, decades of immigration and trade and the shared problem of drug trafficking makes Mexico a prickly but indispensable U.S. ally.
I have a real problem with the term ally being used to describe Mexico, but I have a much higher bar then others. I tend to reserve the term ally for those who have spilled blood alongside us, rather then those who have spilled our blood.
Can anybody recall any large military operation in which there have been Mexican forces fighting alongside us? Instead they spend their considerable time and effort attempting a Reconquista of the American southwest. They export their violent drug culture, flood our system with illegal immigrants and poke fingers in our eyes whenever we dare to point to their problems.
Yeah that makes me a hardliner, but I feel we have reached a time when it is time to reevaluate the status of all whom we call friends. People who smile in your face as long as the money is coming their way are not friends.
I would hope that the release of these memos does not cause those with whom we entrust to keep our leaders informed to start only reporting those things which they think will pacify the hurt feelings of anybody who should read them. It is important to have honest, frank and accurate assessments of all with whom we deal, warts and all.
The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz, was recalled to Washington in January after WikiLeaks posted his blunt assessment of Moammar Gadhafi's eccentricities.
There has often been a time when I have had to deliver news which would not sit well with some folks but I felt it was important to make them aware. Sometimes it was because revealing the information or concerns would impact the potential loss of money or an increase in costs and in some cases it involved real life and death consequences. Our leaders can not be surrounded by yes men, leave that for the pampered class in the entertainment industry with fragile psyches.
In Kenya, WikiLeaks cables made outspoken Ambassador Michael Ranneberger's shaky relationship with the government worse, especially one that described the East African country as a "swamp of flourishing corruption." One member of parliament submitted a motion to censure Ranneberger and have the U.S. government recall him, but the motion was withdrawn in February. Kenya's government may not have wanted to anger or embarrass the U.S. — a major partner and donor —
The last remaining questions however revolve around how is it that national policy is being determined in light of the revelations that many of our assets in foreign countries have been providing honest, frank assessments of their areas of operations but we have done little to influence their actions other then provide bribes. I know the amount of money spent on foreign policies are small in comparison to our overall budget issues, contrary to what Ron Paul would have you believe, and I don't advocate the removal of all foreign aid, see I ain't such a hardliner afterall, but I do advocate a wiser choice in just who we decide to favor with our tax dollars and a shift in attitudes towards who consider friend or foe.