Less Powerful Than Imagined

Graeme Wood reads Wikileaks cables on Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. He concludes that "U.S. diplomats cared about all the right things, but apparently had no power to make them happen because their perceived clout wasn't enough to persuade anyone to reform":

Perhaps there are cables that show the United States to be a regional puppet master, or even a regional player capable of exerting a teeny bit of influence, among the 245,000 cables still undisclosed by WikiLeaks. But for an American to read the cables so far made public is an exercise in humility. The take-away lesson of the leaks and the revolutions may be that once a foreign government becomes so out of touch that the United States can't induce it even to do something that is clearly in its own interest, the point of no return has been reached and the government is doomed.