I have a new story up about WikiLeaks on the website of Foreign Policy:
One of my favorite cables of the recent release -- a vivid account from a wedding in Dagestan -- could have been a Slate dispatch. Others are really funny: calling Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin "Batman" and President Dmitry Medvedev "Robin," or the dry skewering of Prince Andrew's boorish British pomposity among the Kyrgyz.
So why don't U.S. diplomats usually talk like this? Tautologically, yes, talking like this is "undiplomatic." But the Kazakhs surely know they are corrupt and aren't fooling anyone. Meanwhile, they are probably saying equally harsh things about the United States. So why can't the Americans just sit down with the Kazakhs and say, "OK, you're crude and corrupt, and we're oafish neoimperialists. But you have things we want, and we have things you want. So let's do business." Why wouldn't that work?
Read the whole thing here.