For professional historians the publication of the vast trove of diplomatic cables is a bittersweet affair. No one outside of the Washington establishment and the myriad foreign leaders shamed by revelations of their penchant for hatred, hubris and pedestrian peccadillos can seriously argue that the release of these classified documents has done anything but good for the cause of peace and political transparency. Whether about Iraq, Afghanistan, or the minuate of American diplomacy, they have shed crucial light on some of the most important issues of the day and will make it much harder for Western or Middle Eastern governments to lie to their people about so many aspects of the various wars on/of terror in the future.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is ecstatic. He has come to the conclusion that a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, revealing that the Saudis privately favour a military strike on Iran, has vindicated Israel's hawkish stance. With Saudi Arabia aboard the war train, how can it possibly be derailed?