WikiLeaks and The Reputation of Prince
In the past weeks, many classified diplomatic cables between various parts of the United States government ands its allies have been released. These content of these cables has ranged from harmless social banter between diplomats to highly classified facts concerning ongoing operations throughout the world, including the active fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the fallout has not been critical security-wise as of now, there have been some rather unflattering remarks published about the opinions and actions of certain leaders around the world.
One example that I would like to point out involves the Saudis. Officially, the Saudis are an invaluable ally in the war on terror. While there may be some questionable stances on human rights in their Kingdom, they are generally well regarded in the United States due to their wealth in oil and their assistance in fighting terrorists. In Saudi Arabia, they follow Islamic Law as it is stated in the Koran. This means that women have essentially no rights, public touching is banned, and drinking alcohol is also against the law. However, this does not seem to stop the upper echelon from enjoying these temptations. According to the Jerusalem Post, a cable was published describing a party attended by Saudi princes and nobles that included drugs, alcohol and prostitutes.
Here is the link: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=198583
This really soils the reputation of the current Saudi Regime. People have a hard enough time taking them seriously due to their archaic legal system that does not allow women to drive alone and cuts the hands off of thieves. How is the world going to take them seriously when even they think their own laws are ridiculous.
According to Machiavelli in Chapter 15 of The Prince, titled The Reputation of a Prince, he states “Men have imagined republics and principalities that never really existed at all. Yet the way men live is so far removed from the way they ought to live that anyone who abandons what is, for what should be pursues his downfall rather than his preservation; for a man who strives after goodness in all his acts is sure to come to ruin, since there are so many men who are not good.” This quotation basically states that princes who do good things and follow laws may precipitate their downfall. However, if this is how princes act and no one can take them seriously, how are they going to maintain their rule? How does a publication like this affect their reputation?