World Leaders' Vanity Exposed By WikileaksS

Policy wonks are still debating the implications of the 250,000 documents dumped by Wikileaks last night. But one thing is indisputable: There is some serious bitchery going on in those diplomatic cables, particularly about male vanity. Our favorites:

  • An advisor to the Sultan of Oman is quoted calling Muammar Qaddafi "just strange." But nothing is strange about wanting those lines to disappear! El Pais picked up on his Botox use.
  • Kim Jong Il is referred to in one cable as a "flabby old chap." (So far as we know, the State Department is not yet employing the pseudo-British — it was a quote from a source). As our brother at Gawker griped, "So the guy has curves? We're so sick of unrealistic body expectations for unhinged dictators." Glad we found some common ground!
  • We knew this already, but Silvio Berlusconi is "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader," wrote Elizabeth Dibble, US charge d'affaires in Rome. Also, per another report, he is "physically and politically weak" leader whose "frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest." Who are you calling physically weak?
  • Perhaps we can be grateful that there is no Mean Girl-esque takedown of German chancellor Angela Merkel. "When cornered, Merkel can be tenacious but is risk averse and rarely creative." God, I can't believe they didn't address her hair — now that's risk-averse. Double standard!

Washington's View Of World Leaders [Guardian]
Wikileaks Dump Reveals Qaddafi Gets Botox, Kim Jong-Il Flabby [Forbes]