In a good exercise in vanity, I’m pleased to share this with you: one American diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks this week is quoting me anonymously. Here is the quote from a post published on Global Voice Online:
Summarizing the mood, one blogger on Global Voices wrote, “The end of ‘Le Journal’ signals a dangerous setback for the state of freedoms in Morocco. It pulls a thorn out of the regime’s side but it also sends a strong message to the remaining independent media still struggling to survive in an increasingly repressive environment.”
The cable sent in February 2010 from the US embassy in Rabat is reporting on the closure of a prominent Moroccan independent weekly, Le Journal, which the cable describes (quite correctly) as “the vanguard of the Moroccan independent press, serving as a potent symbol of the new face of Morocco promoted tirelessly by King Mohammed VI.”
The controversy around Wikileaks aside, the released diplomatic cables have revealed a general rule among American diplomats posted in the Arab world: they are mostly clueless about what was happening in the region, as demonstrated by a rather shallow cable on a meeting diplomats had with two prominent human rights activists in Morocco in 2009 for example.
But I must admit, this one piece of diplomatic correspondence sounded like it got it right. “When it’s in line with their own values, they get it right” commented my friend Jillian York, with whom I agree. Take a read!