NATO Monitor has a policy of not using Wikileaks cables and this unsourced cable has not been verified. However, its importance for NATO security in the High North cannot be doubted, so, at this time of year we believe it is appropriate to publish it in full so that our readers can make up their own minds. NATO Monitor cannot verify the source or author of the cable, but believe that the author is a genius!
To: SECSTATE WASHDC
From: AMEMBASSY NORTHPOLE
INFO: AMEMBASSY FRANZ JOSEF LAND
JTF WRANGEL ISLAND
NORTH POLE COLLECTIVE
TAGS: OVIP, ECON, PREL, PSANTA, XMAS, HOHOHO
SUBJECT: Upcoming Arctic Negotiations - Background for USDEL
(SU/NF) Negotiations scheduled for December 16 in [location redacted] represent an important opportunity for the USG to improve relations with a globally influential Northern neighbor while increasing the delivery of child-oriented luxury/leisure goods to the United States. This cable provides background information on the North Pole’s enigmatic leader and his policies.
(SU/NF) Mr. Santa Claus is the undisputed leader of North Pole. He has been in power for many generations, and we see no prospect for polar regime change. While reported to be “jolly,” some overseas critics note that North Pole has never had an election, and that workers there toil under intense deadline pressure (one BIG deadline!). These workers - referred to disparagingly as “elves” -- work in what - but for the temperature! - would be referred to as “sweat shop conditions.” Claus is said often be quite cross with the elves -- one contact characterized his leadership and management style as “an iron fist in a red flannel glove.”
(SU/NF) Claus dominates the political and economic life of one of the world’s most isolated societies. Communication with the outside world is limited to one delivery of mail each year (mid-December, incoming only).
Claus is the only citizen permitted to travel, and he only leaves North Pole once each year. Perhaps in an indication of concerns about personal security we note that Claus ALWAYS travels at night, and never publishes his itinerary.
POLAR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: THE KINDLY OLD MAN FACADE
(SU/NF) Through his connections in Hollywood, Claus has over the years carefully cultivated the image of a kindly, avuncular senior citizen. But behind the scenes he has shown himself to be capable playing an almost Nixonian brand of political hardball. He seems to have a harsh, black and white, good and evil, with-us-or-with-the-terrorist worldview. We are told that each fall, Claus’s staff prepares for him a worldwide “enemies list.”
Enemies are listed as “naughty,” friends as “nice.” To prepare this list, Claus seems to make use of a sophisticated intelligence network. One staffer told us (in an arrogant tone): “Look, it’s like this: He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.” And then, a threat: “You better not pout, you better not cry.” Claus himself reportedly checks the enemies list… twice.
THE INNER CIRCLE: THE WIFE AND THE ELVES
(SU/NF) Claus has reportedly surrounded himself with a small group of sycophantic advisors. We hear from contacts that no dissent is tolerated.
Claus’s wife (Mrs. Claus) is widely seen as “the real power behind the toy bag.” Also influential is a my sterious figure referred to only by his first name: Rudolf. Claus frequently seeks “guidance” from this person.
Post has not had contact with him, but the name does raise the prospect of Russian influence. Other influential advisors reportedly include staffers named Donner and Prancer. Claus’s relationship with an aide nick-named “Vixen” has raised eyebrows in conservative, traditional North Pole society and has caused unsubstantiated rumors of personal indiscretion.
THE POLAR FAST LANE: “IT’S NOT ALL COOKIES AND MILK”
(SU/NF) There have also been rumors of substance abuse. One sarcastic doggerel that has recently been muttered by Claus-critics (with obvious use of drug slang) says: “The stump of a PIPE he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke it encircled his HEAD like a wreath...” Other observers note that Claus is almost constantly giggling: One contact notes: “He has a broad face and a little round belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowlful of jelly.” Another observer told us: “His eyes-how they twinkled!
His dimples were merry. His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry. His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow. And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.” Our DEA office note that Claus and his inner circle seem to have developed a sophisticated global shipment network that allows for clandestine delivery of packages. They also note that Claus and his advisors are frequently overheard discussing “snow” and “ice” and “candy.” Clearly, the rumors of drug abuse have to be given some credence.
NORTH POLE ECONOMICS: “ONE HUGE-MUNGOUS TRADE SURPLUS”
(SU/NF) The North Pole economy is highly seasonal, and is dominated by the export of leisure/luxury goods aimed primarily at the under 10 demographic. The Claus government recently came under criticism after the IMF carried out its first ever Article IV consultations. North Pole exports were found to exceed imports by 6,000,000 percent. In fact, the IMF found essentially no imports (they bring in only a small quantity of egg-nog). This trade surplus has caused one prominent Washington pundit to claim that the “North Pole makes China look like a free and open currency market.”
(SU/NF) Rumors of Claus’s alleged communist leanings were quite common during the Cold War years. Observers frequently noted that Claus ALWAYS dressed in red, and promoted “a gift-based economy.”
(SU/NF) There is a strong internationalist and humanitarian streak in North Pole economic policy. International Development is a high priority - Claus attempted to add an additional goal (The Right to Toys!) to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. He is a big supporter of UNICEF.
ENVIRONMENTAL VIEWS: “SCREW THE POLAR BEARS!”
(SU/NF) Claus’s views on environmental issues are nuanced: for obvious reasons he is deeply concerned about global warming, but he has not been a strong supporter of CITES and other efforts to protect endangered species.
He is clearly not fond of Polar Bears, quipping to the press that “Those damn bears are always trying to eat the elves” and that if it was up to him, “they’d be a whole lot more endangered.” Claus does, however, seem quite fond of Reindeer. And Post believes we can count on North Pole support for our efforts to save the whales. Claus has no strong feelings on Cetaceans, but we hear that he has a long-standing grudge against Iceland (a whaling country). This is apparently related to a 1979 episode in which a bouncer at a Reykjavik night club denied Mr. Claus and his elf entourage access, and made disparaging comments about both their attire and their physiques.
(SU/NF) Perhaps in another indication of his concern about global warming Claus has made “a lump of coal” an important symbol of societal disapproval.
MILITARY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT POLICIES: SANTA IS WEAK ON TERROR
(SU/NF) For many years Claus and his staff have annually flaunted international flight clearance procedures, and he regularly crosses borders without submitting to document checks or customs inspections. This has recently caused FOX News to question Claus’s commitment to the war on terror. DHS is very concerned that Claus’s very lax immigration policies and non-existent border controls are making the North Pole a potential avenue for the infiltration of terrorists into the United States. Claus himself has frequently come close to arrest (usually on charges of trespassing or breaking and entering).
(SU/NF) Claus obviously could be a key figure in the coming war for the Arctic. While we cannot take his support for granted, we are encouraged by the participation of North Pole assets in an annual U.S. Marine Corps exercise (“Toys For Tots”).
PROTOCOL TIPS: ITS ALL ABOUT DAIRY AND PASTRIES
(SU/NF) USDEL should be aware that North Pole culture puts a premium on late night socializing. The preferred beverage is milk (WHOLE milk) and the preferred food is cookies (CHOCOLATE cookies). Carrots are also sometimes provided. Most entertaining takes place close to chimneys.
(SU/NF) Long considered the alpha dog of the high north, Claus has a complex personality that mixes a strong ego, a desire to be the center of attention, and a burning desire for adoration and celebrity. He is a very challenging diplomatic interlocutor. While he has his flaws, Post believes that Claus will be in power for many centuries to come. Like him or not, we believe that Santa Claus is a leader we can and should work with.