The following is an excerpt of an article from Yawning Bread
I’ll give it to Australian journalists — they know how to write opening sentences that seize one’s attention. The Age opened its story on Wikileaked US diplomatic cables related to conversations with Singapore foreign ministry officials thus:
Malaysia’s ”dangerous” decline is fuelled by incompetent politicians, Thailand is dogged by corruption and a ”very erratic” crown prince, Japan is a ”big fat loser” and India is ”stupid”.
So say some of Singapore’s highest-ranking officials, according to leaked US State Department cables that are likely to spark intense political controversy in the region.
– The Age, 12 Dec 2010, Top Singapore officials trash the neighbours
Yet, a closer reading of the news stories — a related story by the same writers also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald — reveal that other than undiplomatic hyperbole, our foreign ministry officials are not saying anything really new.
Coupled with the fact that so far we haven’t seen what bases our officials have for their views, one has the suspicion that they are merely repeating conventional wisdom. That said, I have not been able to locate the original cables from the ever-harried Wikileaks mirror sites, though from what I’ve seen of other cables, these reports don’t go into great depth. US diplomats seem only to report the conversations they’ve had, seldom do they explain why their counterparts believed what they believed. There is no demand for evidence to back up their counterparts’ views.
That being the case, some of the things may be little more than gossip dressed as intel or insight.
You can read the rest of the article here.