I am so grateful sometimes that I am late on reporting about some issues as other journalists are quicker and sum up what I am kind of lazy to write about. This is the case of the latest Wikileaks diplomatic cables about Greek politicians and the media. American diplomats put pressure and lash out with their habitual colonial arrogance on local men and conditions and when they quit their post they get hired by those they were complaining about – as is the case of former US ambassador to Athens Daniel Speckhard.
Anyway the good man was diligently producingreports on Greek ‘realities’, adding spices and hot sauce to make the food for thought for Washington and now Athens more juicy. “Corrupt consciences” could be the main title with the subtitle: “When US diplomats serve as business interests distributors.”
In the February 2010 conversation, Speckhard, “counselled” Dimitris Droutsas, since elevated to foreign minister, that “most important contribution Greece could make would be to resolve some of the challenges close to home”, referring to the Cyprus and Fyrom issues. “Show Washington you are a political decision maker able to lead, and somebody with whom we can work together practically to solve problems … not just a diplomat who can explain positions,” said Speckhard, who served in Athens from 2007 to 2010.
Droutsas, for his part, “asked for Washington’s support and understanding” for task facing George Papandreou to manage domestic politics “while moving the foreign policy ball forward”. “This will be a delicate process with some political risk,” the cable paraphrases Droutsas.
In February 2010, Speckhard hinted to Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelosthat buying American military hardware could assist Greece in overcoming its financial woes. Speckhard reminded Venizelos of the “additional value US products represented during this time of economic difficulty in Greece”, in a meeting called by the embassy after press reports indicated that Greece would replace its existing fleet of American-manufactured fighter jets with the European-built Eurofighter. For his part, Venizelos assured Speckhard that the procurement would proceed in a transparent, open framework, although he reminded the Americans that the defensive system suites did not work in any of Greece’s existing fleet of US-manufactured F-16s.
The US diplomats have to say a word or two also about other former foreign ministers, prime ministers or media tycoons. I remember there was another Wikileaks cable around the 2009 elections and I will try to find it for you. But for the time being, you can satisfy your diplomatic correspondence craving by reading the good researched article For Your Eyes Only