Let me start with my own ‘WikiLeak moment.’ I have been wanting to write about the whole WikiLeak saga and how we Pakistanis have been reacting to it. However, I have still not figured out what there is to say about it. I am clearly in a minority (maybe even a minority of one) on this one since everyone seems to have nothing else to talk about except WikiLeaks: All WikiLeaks all the time seems to be the roller coaster that Pakistan is on right now.
Hence this post. To ask our readers what in the WikiLeaks, or about the WikiLeaks, has surprised them the most. As for me, maybe I have become too cynical myself, but there is nothing in or about WikiLeaks that has really surprised or stunned me. At least , not yet.
Of course, there is much to chatter about for the chattering classes in the WikiLeaks. For a nation that seems to run on talking points, there is talking points a plenty. But to what avail and for what point. That I do not know. And that is what I seek to learn from you, dear readers.
Maybe the surprise is that there still are many who seem (or feign) surprise at finding that Americans wish to influence other countries in pursuit of their own national interests, or that our own leaders seem interested only in their own personal interests. That our leaders are bent on bad-mouthing each other with gusto and seek favors of Americans who they seem to think are the arbiters of their own political fate should also not be a surprise to anyone who has ever seen a Pakistani talk show, least of all to the anchors of those shows. Yet, our perennially incensed anchors seem to be particularly incensed about this very non-surprise.
Maybe one surprise is that we have, as yet, not heard anything about what these memos say about what our media stars have been saying to the Americans. I suspect, that too shall come. Of course, reading about what other countries think of Pakistan and of our leaders is embarrassing, but I cannot imagine that it is truly surprising either. That too many will spin, twist and even lie about what is or is not in WikiLeaks is sometimes irksome, but frankly we have seen lies so much more blatant that these little skirmishes with the truth seem rather trivial. Sure enough, WikiLeaks can confirm that which we had already suspected. But in this case they seem to circumstantially confirm all, and sometimes smack opposite, conspiracy theories. No matter what you believe, you can – and will – claim that WikiLeaks has confirmed that exact view.
So, here I am wondering what I should write about. What is there in these WikiLeaks that is truly news, surprising, or even just insightful? What have we learnt that we really did not know before? And what might we learn from this little tsunami in a tea-cup, if indeed we were ever in a mood to learn anything? Do help me, dear readers, to help figure this one out.