Col. Moammar Gadhafi. An adviser to the sultan of Oman describes the Libyan leader as "just strange." A report by Gene Cretz, the U.S. ambassador in Tripoli, meanwhile, says Gadhafi cannot travel anywhere without his "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, 38, as she alone "knows his
Silvio Berlusconi. The gaffe-prone Italian prime minister is "feckless, vain and ineffective as a modern European leader," according to Elizabeth Dibble, U.S. charge d'affaires in Rome, reports The Guardian. Another cable from the Italian embassy described Berlusconi as a "physically and politically weak" leader whose "frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest."
Nicolas Sarkozy. France's president is dubbed "an emperor with no clothes" who has a "thin-skinned and authoritarian personal style."
Hamid Karzai. The Afghan leader is portrayed as a paranoid wreck. A dispatch from Kabul calls him "an extremely weak man who did not listen to facts but was instead easily swayed by anyone who came to report even the most bizarre stories or plots against him." His brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, a powerful and untouchable figure in the southern province of Kandahar, also comes in for criticism. "While we must deal with AWK as the head of the provincial council," records a September 2009 cable, "he is widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker."
Angela Merkel. U.S. diplomats struggled to warm to the German chancellor, whose political survival skills led them to dub her "Angela 'Teflon' Merkel." In a 2009 dispatch from Berlin, officials declared, "She is risk averse and rarely creative."
Kim Jong Il. A diplomat's source referred to North Korea's ailing despot as a "flabby old chap" who had suffered "physical and psychological trauma" as a result of a stroke.
Robert Mugabe In an unduly optimistic 2007 cable titled "The End Is Nigh," Christopher Dell -- then America's ambassador in Harare, Zimbabwe -- predicted the dictator's imminent downfall. "To give the devil his due, he is a brilliant tactitian [sic]," says Dell. "However, he is fundamentally hampered by several factors: his ego and belief in his own infallibility; his obsessive focus on the past as a justification for everything in the present and future; his deep ignorance on economic issues (coupled with the belief that his 18 doctorates give him the authority to suspend the laws of economics, including supply and demand)."