We’ve all heard of newspapers coming out with April Fool’s stories, but a cable leaked by Wikileaks reveals that even the dour diplomats have a funny bone they let out once in a year.
The cable, reproduced in entirety below, was authored by the American Embassy in charge Steven White on April 1, 2008 and even has an ‘action request’ status — which means emergency action is required.
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR FASTS FOR NUCLEAR DEAL
¶1. (SBU) This is an action request for SCA. Please see para
¶2. (SBU) Summary: The Ambassador told Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon April 1 that he will go on a hunger strike until the UPA government submits the IAEA safeguards agreement to the Board of Governors.
Moreover, he continued, like Mahatma Gandhi, he will march to the Department of Atomic Energy headquarters in Mumbai in an effort to mobilize public opinion in support of the nuclear initiative.
In a separate April 1 meeting, the Ambassador told National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan that the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn in April would prevail on the Board to look more favorably on the agreement than if the Board considered approval in May.
Narayanan countered that his birth chart predicted a big international event in May, which he interpreted as passage of the safeguards agreement. Narayanan also expressed concern that the U.S. Embassy chancery faced east, and advised the Ambassador to rotate the foundation 90 degrees, allowing the sun and planets to assist U.S. efforts on the nuclear initiative.
The Ambassador requests funding from SCA for the rotation of the chancery and yoga classes. End Summary.
Menon Supports Ambassador’s Nuclear Fast
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¶3. In an April 1 meeting with Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, the Ambassador conveyed that if the next UPA-Left committee meeting on the civil nuclear initiative prolongs the delay in submitting the safeguards agreement to the Board of Governors, he will commence a fast.
The Ambassador warned that during the fast he will consume only wasabi-and-lime-flavored California-grown almonds, on which, he noted, the UPA government currently imposes a luxury tax. Menon responded that such a fast might help force the government to rise above “petty politics” and embrace the Ambassador’s “new-found Gandhian ethics.”
However, he advised that lentils and ghee would provide more nutrition than savory almonds during a fast.
Nuclear Yatra Also on the Cards
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¶4. (SBU) The Ambassador also floated the idea of conducting a march to the Department of Atomic Energy headquarters in Mumbai in the days immediately before the next committee meeting.
The Ambassador asserted that he would wear a dhoti (white robe) and chappals (sandals) and carry a staff while he walked between villages and exhorted locals to support an initiative that could potentially bring energy to the countryside.
Such a march could help illustrate that the vast majority of Indians support stronger U.S.-India ties and the nuclear initiative.
Menon counseled against the march, which he claimed would expose the Ambassador to potholes and wild monkeys, but he suggested that the Ambassador begin spinning home-spun khadi cloth in Roosevelt House to show that Indians will have to make their own, energy-free clothing if the nuclear initiative remains unfinished.
Narayanan’s Planets Are Not Aligned with the Ambassador’s
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¶5. (SBU) In a separate April 1 meeting with National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, the Ambassador related that he had recently met with an astrologer, who observed that the IAEA Board would approve the safeguards agreement in April, during which Jupiter and Saturn share an alignment.
In May, however, Mars interferes with the larger planets, making the Board decision more difficult to achieve, the Ambassador cautioned. The interference of Mars will actually prove an obstacle for the Communists, Narayanan corrected, and added that the tilt of Venus towards Mercury during that time will make them more “level-headed and rational.”
The Ambassador asked how Uranus figures into the equation. Narayanan acknowledged that Uranus could have a negative impact on the voting of Ireland and Austria in the Board of Governors, but he hoped that Neptune would counteract Uranus’ adverse effect. Narayanan asked for the Ambassador’s thoughts regarding Pluto’s influence on the nuclear initiative. The Ambassador replied, “Pluto is not a planet.”
Narayanan Gives Vaastu Shastra Advice
¶6. (SBU) Narayanan observed that U.S.-India relations have suffered because the U.S. Embassy was not situated in proper alignment with the planets and earth.
While Embassy features such as water fountains and flower gardens would normally clear the mind and allow U.S. mission personnel to regard India positively, the chancery receives too much shade, which darkens the U.S. perspective towards India. “You should shift the Chancery 90 degrees so that it faces east,” Narayanan directed.
An eastern facing Chancery would receive the sun for longer hours, making the U.S. officers’ outlook towards India brighter, he said, and placing it directly under the influence of the asteroid belt, which would give the U.S. strength. The Ambassador remarked that he has started yoga, and demonstrated the “sleeping dog” position.
Narayanan commended his flexibility, and recommended that he attempt the “twitching scorpion” and “napping platypus,” which would develop an aura to facilitate the completion of the nuclear initiative.
Narayanan warned him to stay away from nuclear-themed yoga positions such as “breeding plutonium” and “melting reactor,” which would violate patents submitted by India’s nuclear scientists.
Action Request and Comment
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¶7. (SBU) The Ambassador requests USD 250 million to shift the Chancery 90 degrees, which, according to Narayanan, will help facilitate the completion of the civil nuclear cooperation initiative.
Considering the stakes of U.S. firms in the completion of the initiative, post suggests that the Department approach General Electric and Westinghouse to contribute.
The Ambassador also requests funding for yoga classes for the Embassy, which in addition to making the mission more flexible and relaxed, will also help channel our positive energy to contribute to the U.S.-India strategic partnership.
¶8. (SBU) Comment: Happy April Fool’s Day from Incredible India!