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What this thing is exposing is the extent to which the US runs an empire. The American ambassador acts as a Proconsul and everyone who is anybody dispatches with them and casually discloses to them internal affairs of their organizations.

Maybe a good analogy to what we're seeing in Spain is Canada's Governor General. Superficially, people seem to be telling the American ambassadors the kids of things they might tell our figurehead King. And even nominally anti-American politicians (or at least people whose base is suspicious of the US) seem to be doing it once they get into a position of responsibility. Which to mee seems to indicate that dispatching with the American Ambassador is just part of the way the business of government is done, and not much of a personal choice. Of course, the cadres of the right-wing party PP discuss internal party politicking with the Ambassador while in opposition, and the Ambassador seems to support their return to power, so in their case they're more intimately tied to the Empire, ideologically.

So I don't see this as damaging the US much even if there is a backlash against the politicians and public servants exposed by the leaks. As far as the voters go, the more loosely attached left supporters of the PSOE are more likely to desert it in disgust than PP supporters, so electorally this is a net gain for the PP and therefore the US since they are natural allies.

For "the business of government" to cease to include dispatching with the American Ambassador, a large international realignment needs to occur, not unlike the collapse of the Soviet bloc or the Delian League. And that may be in the cards but to predict its timing is impossible.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 13th, 2010 at 04:55:03 AM EST
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