Chairman Mao may have made that potent observation about the enemy of an enemy being a friend. But in 21st century capitocommunist China, an old friend who’s also the friend of an adversary can indeed be a friend. Thanks to that dripping tap, WikiLeaks, we now know that the United States government was aware of China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, vetoing sanctions being imposed against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a nom de plume of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) when operating in Pakistan. We also know that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was aware that Beijing, old suppliers of nuclear bits and bobs to Rawalpindi if not to Islamabad, had stuck its toe in the door that would have shut the JuD/LeT business.
The tricky bit for Ms Clinton will be to now explain not only how Washington can be still so chummy with Islamabad (necessity is the mother of some strategic alliances) but also how the Obama administration can only furiously whistle into the air and proactively do nothing (although this activity has to be conducted in private) if Beijing, America’s biggest lender, decides to veto the inclusion of, say, dangerous mad mullahs in the list of ‘dangerous mad mullahs’.
All we can say, sitting here and watching the waterfalls of WikiLeaks forming a puddle of global realpolitik, is that Washington isn’t only ‘slow and lumbering’ in its mobilisation of global law and order, but it’s actually a spectator with incredibly adept opposable thumbs that it uses so deftly for twiddling. Till the next leak then.