Africa: Cablegate: Does the US care about Africa this much?

Bloggers react to documents published by WikiLeaks (Cablegate) that disclose classified communication between the US State department and its embassies worldwide. The documents make reference to African countries and its leaders.

Life is Savage looks at references to South African in the documents:

I’ve scanned the interwebs and here’s a quick rundown of how South Africa features in the Wikileaks documents so far:

* Winnie Madikizela-Mandela helped US officials gain access to Madiba
* Nelson Mandela criticised for his opposition to the US led invasion of Iraq
* ANC co-operated with US intelligence services and gave confidential info before 1994 elections
* Planned De Klerk speech that changed South Africa and paved the way for Nelson Mandela to be released from prison
* Nelson Mandela was “furious” when a top adviser stopped him meeting Margaret Thatcher
* SA International Affairs minister called Robert Mugabe a” crazy old man”

That’s all for now , but only a fraction of the 250 000 documents have been released so expect more later. I’ll update you when further South African communications are released. If you have any other SA developments just leave a comment.

Sarah Onyango, a media student in Cape Town, South Africa, wants to know if George Bush denigrated Nelson Mandela:

As I write governments likely to be impacted by the leaks are busy briefing thier news media about the need to publish the leaks responsibly and in the interests of thier national security. A criticism of Mandela by George Bush does not readly strike me as harmful except of cours to couse some minor diplomatic embarrasement.

It is, therefore, disappointing that the very transparancy and respect for media that is incessantly preached to non-Western governments is being trampled on in this case. Ironically the same reasons or shall we say “excuses” we are familiar with in our not so “democratic” areas of the world are being used. I wonder who is truely learning from whom?

The very reason why new media and that includes the likes of WikiLeaks and the plethora of blogs that populate the internet are increasingly becoming more powerful is that they are less easily nullified and pressured to “tow the line”. Old media reflects the standard Government hypocrisy of lies, denial and deceit.

The plot thickens but the question still stands…..We need to know if George Bush really denigrated Mandela! The truth will set you free!

A blogger at MyWeku asks, “Does the US really care for Africa this much?”:

The Wikileaks U.S. diplomatic documents dropped yesterday. The 250,000 WikiLeak cables made references to Africa and its leaders. These are still being mulled over in the hope of piecing together America’s view of Africa. Top issues considered as important to the Amerians included “Darfur/Sudan,” and surprisingly eight West African states including Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal. Does the US really care for Africa this much?

African countries and their leaders referenced in WikiLeaks

Main African WikiLeak Headline Events

Burundi: 16/04/09- Washington wants diplomats to send DNA and iris scans for African leaders in the great lakes region.

Sudan: 16/04/09 – Washington launches intelligence trawl on West Sahara States

Egypt: 02/10/08 – Egypt Spy Chief promises pressure on Hamas

Links to Africa Cables

Mandela’s release and what he thought of De klerk: Viewing cable 90CAPETOWN97

A glimpse into Libyan Leader Qadhafi’s eccentricties: Viewing cable 09TRIPOLI771

President Mubarak of Egypt quote “The British were behind this “big fuss” and that the pressure from other African leaders was sufficiently soft that Mugabe can do what he wants.”: Viewing cable 08CAIRO1637

Washington wants diplomats to send DNA and iris scans for African leaders in the great lakes region: Viewing cable 09STATE37561

Washington launches intelligence trawl on West Sahara States: Viewing cable 09STATE37566

However, some bloggers think that the documents are not aunthentic. Maishinski calls the founder of WikiLeaks a “useful idiot”:

1. The latest wiki-“leaks” are not really leaks at all, but mere US propaganda…

The setting is perfect: who wouldn't want to read “classified” / “top secret” documents – especially from an over-secretive source like the US? It is human nature to be inquisitive – more so when faced with a pandora's box…

If I was the US and wanted to influence perceptions/political dynamics, I would simply create fake classified documents whose contents surreriptiously promote my overt/covert agenda and then have somebody (preferably unwittingly) leak them out to the world.

Most people would be inclined to believe the contents without questioning their authenticity/veracity – simply because the source is perceived as anti-establishment. Thus vigilantes like the wikileak founder run the risk of being converted to tools of imperialist propaganda a.k.a useful idiots.

Are the documents part of US pyschological warfare?:

3. What we are witnessing is a change in US tactics from direct action to Psychological Warfare.

Just because something is written on paper doesn't mean it's true… Grab your pop corn, kick back, and enjoy the show!

Citizen Kane says that it is difficult to separate fact from fiction:

Watch out! I am still monitoring news comments elsewhere but there are already some people that are suggesting that Wikileaks is a false flag operation in order to befuddle the real issues. They write that if Wikileaks really has such national critical information then the Wikileaks owner would have been assassinated long time already.

It is damn difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction – look how long the global warming story had been maintained and still is being maintained.

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