Can we blame Wikileaks for fomenting democracy?

Posted on 2011-02-20 17:27

A couple months back we heard 2012 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee call for whoever leaked those diplomatic cables to Wiki Leaks to be executed. The cables were an embarrassment to many authoritarian leaders around the globe that the US is friendly with, but despite the negative press run mainly by FOX News and partners, most of the cables weren't particularly damning to the US. Most of what you read in the cables make the US look like the only adult in a room full of whining, petulant, spoiled brats. In fact, it might be argued that the released documents are the main reason why protests are raging across the Arab world as citizens in one country after another, having heard of the abuses of power related in those documents released widely on the internet, demand the end of totalitarian rule and a path to democracy. In a leaked cable from US ambassador to Tunisa, Robert Godec explained frankly his belief that the country was on the point of revolt. His words resonated with Tunisians and at least in this case improved public opinion about the US who could be seen (through this secret document) as truly worried by the current government and having empathy for the plight of the people. I think a case can be made that whoever leaked those documents did more to promote democracy in the middle east than 40 years of secret arms deals with the dictators of those of nations has done.