I love someone who can write a good stick. Even more if the author is a mysterious figure lurking in the background.
Milbank’s article, below, includes what appears to be a link to the full original text, but right now it’s not working. Let’s hope it hasn’t been snatched away.
…somewhere within the U.S. diplomatic corps lurks literary genius.
This classified contribution to the canon came with an unpromising title, cable number MOSCOW 009533. Its subject line, “A Caucasus Wedding,” was only slightly more provocative. But over the next 3,400 words, this August 2006 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow gives an account worthy of a Graham Greene novel as it describes the wedding of the son of state oil company chief and Duma member Gadzhi Makhachev.
Along the way, we are told about U.S. diplomats’ ride in Gadzhi’s Rolls-Royce Phantom (“the legroom was somewhat constricted by the presence of a Kalashnikov carbine at our feet”), the wedding feast (“the cooks seemed to keep whole sheep and whole cows boiling in a cauldron somewhere day and night, dumping disjointed fragments of the carcass on the tables whenever someone entered the room”) and the entertainment (“Gadzhi’s main act, a Syrian-born singer named Avraam Russo, could not make it because he was shot a few days before the wedding”).