Home / Culture and Society / Wikileaks’ First Casualty: Canada’s Envoy Offers to Resign

Wikileaks’ First Casualty: Canada’s Envoy Offers to Resign

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It seems heads began to roll. The unveiling of over 260,000 diplomatic cables between the US’ ambassadors posted in countries around the world and the US state department is the revelation of how the US treats other countries, no matter whether they are its allies or enemies. The leak revealed that the true face of the diplomacy is hypocrisy. It showed that the inner face of the diplomacy is espionage. It disclosed that the diplomacy is everything but what diplomats say.

Maybe humans cannot see their true face when it is reflected in a mirror. Wikileaks provided such a huge mirror for all diplomats around the world, supposed to secure the cordial relations between the countries, to realise what their real face was and what they really were doing in the name of diplomacy. It is particularly true in the case of the United States of America, the largest state of democracy.

Perhaps, the Canadian ambassador in Afghanistan could not imagine what was waiting for him. Sensing the embarrassment that would cause to him after the release of next set of documents, William Crosbie promptly offered his resignation. The Canadian ambassador is concerned about how the Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai will react when he comes to know that Canadian diplomat was very critical of Karzai’s (and his family’s) corruption, with the revelation of yet-to-be-released document. Crosbie reportedly has written a note to the Canadian government detailing Karzai’s and his family’s influence in Afghanistan government, the contents of which may damage relations between Canada and Afghanistan if revealed.

MSNBC news quoted The Globe and Mail as reporting what Crosbie wrote to his government offering his resignation:

“The message is a report of a lengthy (ambassadors’) meeting on Feb. 20, 2010, in which I speak in very critical terms about the misuse of power by Karzai and his family (Karzai’s half-brother Ahmed Wali Karzai is named) and urge the international community to oppose Karzai’s attempts to take control of the electoral law in advance of the [parliamentary] elections.”

American diplomats also criticized Hamid Karzai in their cables to their state department, published on November 30, for freeing dangerous detainees and pardoning suspected drug dealers because they had connections to powerful figures. This was done despite repeated rebukes from the US officials in Afghanistan, the US deputy ambassador Frank Ricciardone claimed in a published cable.

The real matter is not the corruption of Afghan rulers. They do not deserve that place, as the elections were just a sham. The real issue is what the ambassadors did in Afghanistan in the name of diplomacy. Are they supposed to collect classified information of the countries in which they are working, in the name of diplomacy? Relations between two countries have to be assessed by their rulers and their establishments according to the political, economic, and cultural exchanges between those countries. The ambassadors are supposed to help maintain good relations between the two countries in question.

Whenever Indian workers try to form a union in a foreign private company, the US ambassador steps in and warns the Indian government, “…in that case, you will not get Foreign Direct Investments. You have to control your people.” Immediately, Indian police promptly cracks down heavily on workers and restores normalcy. The representative of a largest democracy in the world issues a warning to a foreign government to suppress undemocratically the people’s voice, who are asking for a fundamental democratic right of forming a union in their work place. The same country (the US) demands countries such as China to observe democratic principles such as human rights! What a pity.

Coming to Karzai’s corruption, who should judge Karzai? Only the Afghan people can judge their rulers. But, they are not getting chance to choose their own leaders. Until 1990, there were the Russian army. The Taliban came after them. If the Taliban government is a fundamentalist, or reactionary, Afghan people will know what they missed eventually, and they themselves should decide who will rule them. However, even before they came to know what was happening, the US army occupied their land in the name of war on terror, killing thousands of civilians and pushing their lives into an unending tragedy.

Now, Wikileaks revealed Pakistan president Zardari’s opinion that the US was losing the war. The US did not learn any lesson from Vietnam War. These two wars, Afghan and Iraq, precipitated the US debt burden, damaging the economic nerves of the country. And, we are witnessing the fallout.


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About Sekhar

  • Toronto

    If only Julian Assange could use his resources to work with these Gorvernments, instead of simple leaking all the information to the public and upsetting the very people that can do something about it.

  • Whatever Julian Assange’s motivation to start wikileaks was, it is more than clear that he effectively managed to change the world. Governments should better get used to much more public control from now on.

  • pub

    Oh goodgawd, every government makes comments. Our Western Euro allies and the Commonwealths constantly insult the USA. Get a grip.

  • Hi Karen, political people of the US and its allies know everything about Karzai. As a matter of fact, only corrupted Afghan rulers allow the US and its allied forces to stay in Afghanistan. Those who are worried about well being of Afghans will tend to think who are their real enemy, whether Taliban & al-Qaeda or western forces that came a long way to install so-called democracy. And, they will soon find out that western forces are no there to help Afghans but to settle there to look after the strategic area of South Asia, middle-east and also to check China rise in Asian region.

    The US has a long history of supporting autocratic rulers in Africa, Asia and Latin America as long as they are subservient to the US interests. Talk of democracy by the US is just rubbish. They don’t find any interest in democracies. They are only concerned with economic, strategic and military interests in any region. It is just about business and money.

    The international community should allow Afghan people to choose who should rule them. They have to be given chance to overthrow bad people by themselves. One cannot export democracies by force.

  • Karen St. Amand

    Thank God Wikileaks revealed William Crobsie’s impressions of Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai and his family. Ever since he was put in the position of Afghanistan president, every thinking Canadian has been perfectly aware of what sort of corruption the Karzai regime was perpetrating. We were horrified that our soldiers were being asked to give their lives to help support that gang of thieves, and couldn’t believe that the international community was so blind or ignorant that they condoned what was going on. What a relief to find out that, at least Canada’s diplomats are not complete morons.
    Now the question is how to get rid of the Karzai clan and help Afghanis elect a government that will serve the people.