Derek Leebaert

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A global power’s diplomatic archives are inevitably full of caustic dispatches. In Britain, a new batch of Foreign Office records is declassified each January under the “30-year rule” (a “50-year rule” before 1968). Historians can peruse elegantly handwritten mockeries of President Eisenhower’s name as exotically Eastern European, or files deriding Americans as the planet’s “most excitable” people — other than Bangladeshis.

For the most part, such documents provide little more than a snapshot of a moment in history or a window into the mind of a particular diplomat. Over the last two weeks, however, WikiLeaks has opened another perspective. Its quarter-million cables provide a sample broad enough to reflect the culture in which American foreign policy takes shape.…  Seguir leyendo »