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Missing WikiLeaks

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20101219

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Missing WikiLeaks




Sunday, December 19, 2010





Missing WikiLeaks: All roads lead to Tel Aviv






Tickers
on different news channels were running fast at the bottom of the
television screen. It was the evening before the next batch
of Wikileaks were due for publication.

By Dr. Ghayur Ayub in Opinion Maker
I made sure to buy The Guardian – one of five newspapers publishing the documents. With remote control in hand, I was browsing through Sky News, BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera and Press TV. To the best of my recollection, it was Sky News which caught my eye. The breaking news referred to a planned Israeli nuclear attack on
two American cities, which were to be linked to Pakistan. America would
have had a cause to respond in kind and take out Pakistani nuclear sites.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! I rewound the news to double check what I
had just read. Thinking details would be published in the Guardian
newspaper the following day I did not record it. Later, I rang a friend
and told him about the mind boggling news. The bizarre news kept me
awake most of the night.


The next day I got the newspaper
and went through it page by page. To my surprise, the “ticker news”
could not be seen anywhere. I read it a couple of times but failed to
find the particular piece. I could not understand how the newspaper
missed such an important part of the leak? In pursuit, I opened the Wikileaks’
website and browsed through it carefully; no luck again. Then, I
Googled relevant questions pertaining to Israel; still no luck! To make
it more direct, I refined my search based on the information I had read
on television. Again no reference. The news had just disappeared from cyberspace.
Doubts started emerging whether I had really seen that segment which
was embedded in my mind despite me vividly remembering its content. In
fact I called a friend about it. So what happened to the news?


The only explanation I can think
of is that the news item must have leaked out by mistake and then
swiftly been retracted. After all it is common knowledge that the leaks
are selective. I have no idea who else watched it during that brief
period it was on the air. Was it a coincidence that at that very moment I
was browsing through the channels? Many would say yes. But I don’t
believe in coincidences. I call them part of ‘cosmic language’. All it
means is that nature talks to us in its own language that has no
syllabi. I may write on this subject some other time. But for now I had
to find the ‘missing leak’.


During my search I came to know
about a basic fact that even the embarrassment factor was not that high
for the politicians and foreign diplomats as they all understood each
other and routinely lied which explains the uniformity in their reaction
to the leaks by denying them. It also became apparent that the leaks
related to Israel were primarily Iran-centric and that Iran’s nukes pose
an “existentialist threat” to Israel. It was interesting to find that
before the leaks were publicized Natanyahu did not think they would
seriously damage Israel’s position. No wonder when he visited jubilantly
Tel Aviv’s Beit Sokolow, the home of the Israeli Journalists
Association, for the prime minister’s annual meeting with the Editors
Committee, he was all smiles. This is the place where Ben Gurion used to
hold secret meetings. Last year he skipped the event; however, this
time around it was different because of the Wikileaks publication. He
showed up to display his political command by sticking to his public
agenda and sending a message to the White House of what was befalling President Obama. As if he knew there was now no fear that Washington would
persist on the question of a settlement freeze or to accelerate
negotiations on withdrawal from the territories. He felt confident that
the settlement issue would take a back seat and it was time to press on
other issues such as extremism in Arab and Muslim world.


At Beit Sokolow he announced “no
one will now be able to allege that Israel is acting irresponsibly”.
Then he spoke about the Arab leaders urging them to “speak openly about
Iran what they have been whispering to the Americans” Speaking his
language in an interview with Time Magazine, Julian Assange sent an
identical message “We can see the Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin]
Natanyahu coming out with a very interesting statement that leaders
should speak in public like they do in private whenever they can”.
Natanyahu
was proud that Israel maintained information security and that
sensitive conversations were not conveyed in diplomatic cables but in
face-to-face meetings or via secure telephones. For a split second that
“mysterious ticker” flashed back and I thought if only Natanyahu knew
that a blunder had been committed by someone somewhere exposing Israel’s
intentions to start a nuclear nightmare!
He
seemed content with the outcome of Wikileaks, ignoring what Huseyin
Celik, the deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s AKP Party
had said about Israel. Celic accused Israel of engineering the leaks,
questioning how Israel could announce before the release that it would
not suffer from its publication. He queried, “How did they know that?”


Instead, Natanyahu was quoting Arab leaders from Egypt, Jordan and Persian Gulf States,
that they were also fearful of the Iranian threat. He was right in his
statement because Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu
Dhabi warned, “Iran will threaten Israel’s existence should it go
nuclear.” He called Ahmadinejad a “Hitler”, proposing that “if air
strikes will not do the job in Iran the ground troops should be sent
in.” Similarly, Saudi King Abdullah wanted the U.S. to “cut off the head
of the snake”. Another UAE leader gave his reasons for Iran-bashing by
saying that “Iran is establishing ‘sleeper emirates’ across the Muslim worldincluding south Lebanon, Gaza, Kuwait, Bahrain and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia with
the mother of all ‘emirates’ in southern Iraq and now in Yemen.”
Similar sentiments were heard from other pro-American leaders in the
Arab world. One Israeli official stated, “the Arab countries are pushing United States towards military action more forcefully than Israel”.
As
opposed to these reports the American intellectual Noam Chomsky cited a
Brookings Institution poll that 80 per cent of Arabs consider Israel as
the main threat followed by the U.S. at 77 per cent. Only 10 per cent
rated Iran as a danger. He concluded by stating, “When they talk about
Arabs, they mean the Arab dictators, not the population, which is
overwhelmingly opposed to the conclusions that the analysts-Clinton and
the media-have drawn.” According to another report, the Arab rulers
“dare follow the American line completely, particularly if this includes
a strike against Iran if they did, they’d risk popular revolts”.
I found nothing but Iran-centric Wikileaks in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers. They were reminiscent of the “Zimmermann Telegram” during World War I.
The declassified documents of history tell us that in early 1917 the
British cryptography unit (“Room 40″ ) decoded a telegram from German
Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to his country’s embassy in Mexico
City proposing that the Mexicans launch a war against United States and
retake Texas. The British showed the telegram to American diplomats. It
prompted the Congress and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to declare war
on Germany which contributed to Germany’s defeat at the end of 1918.


A few months after this episode
of the “Zimmermann Telegram” the Bolshevik Revolution took place in
Russia. The new leadership wanted to declassify the documents of the
Czar’s Foreign Ministry. The task was given to Leon Trosky – the
people’s commissar for foreign affairs. One of the documents revealed
the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement in which Britain and France planned how
they would carve up the Ottoman Empire and
also promised a hefty slice to Russia which desired Istanbul and the
Black Sea straits. What if the secrets were revealed at that time? Would
it have changed the history?


The point I am trying to make is
that exposure of secrets can influence events if they appear at the
right moment, as in the case of the Zimmermann telegram. So what could
be the reason for Wikileaks and how will it affect short and long-term
relations amongst Muslim countries vis-a-vis pro-Israel lobbies in
America. Would Natanyahu be resting in a comfort zone and constantly
pressurizing Obama to stop interfering in the internal matters of Israel
especially the settlements issue had the ‘missing leak’ been
circulated? Here comes the million dollar question. Is there a ‘missing
leak’ exposing Israel’s heinous motives despite the leaked documents
stating that “there is no Israel lobby involvement to involuntarily
force US in a war to serve Jewish interests” and that “the world opinion
is wielding towards declaring Iran as the head of a snake that must be
cut off as the Saudi potentate described it” Not many would believe in
the existence of such a ‘missing leak’. Even my own lawyer daughter
thinks I may have misread the news. But deep down, I know what I saw and
read that evening. Perhaps 50 years from now this “ticker news” may
show up in a slue of declassified documents similar to Zimmerman’s
secret telegram. The leaked telegram changed the course of history but
the ‘missing leak’ cannot; as long as it remains missing.
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Jhanzeb Khan
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