When the news about Snowden first broke, I thought it was simply a domestic matter. The NSA was spying on all Americans with no due process as spelled out in our Constitution but keeping it secret so that no one could take the government to court. By secrecy laws, the US government was essentially outside the realm of Constitutional authority.
Of course, it was more than that: the news media also mentioned that the NSA was also hacking into China’s internet, so there are international implications to Snowden’s revelations. But that still seemed minor to me compared to getting confirmation about our Big Brother government.
Now I’m wondering. Somehow, Snowden’s actions have reverberated in a way that touches on issues I would never have associated with him. Take our insane step to arm a bunch of anti-Christian Jihadists in Syria in order to overthrow the secular Assad regime, ending its policy of enforced religious tolerance. (Despite that good policy, Assad is undoubtedly brutal and evil. I’m not claiming he is a good man; I’m just saying he protected Christians from the systematic rape and murder they are now experiencing.) Russia hates the way we are destabilizing Syria. They have far more direct interest in Syria’s stability than anyone in the US, as can be seen by anyone who looks at a regional map and compares the distance between Syria and Russia to the distance between Syria and the US.
So in the midst of funding and arming terrorists in close proximity to Russia’s border, and insisting on deciding who gets to govern Syria over Russia’s (and much of Syria’s!) opposition, we then act like betrayed parents lecturing children about their sins because the Russians don’t cooperate with the US government. We are now seeing Delores Umbridge headlines that make John Kerry sound like a scolding grandmother (since he already looks like one), “John Kerry admonishes China, Russia on Edward Snowden.”What great strategy. We all know rulers love being lectured on their behavior by foreign governments.
Both Hong Kong (almost certainly under China’s leadership) and Russia have refused to cooperate. Why should they want to cooperate with a government in imprisoning a man who revealed that government has been spying on them? Of course, they already suspected the US government was doing so. But our government has, especially in the case of China, spread news of accusations of Chinese hacking of American servers while never admitting that the American government was behaving in the same way.
Unbelievably, Kerry even said of China and Russia, “I’d urge them to live within the law.” Even if Kerry has convinced himself the NSA is not a criminal organization, he ought to at least be able to imagine how his words sound to the Russians, Chinese, and a majority of Americans.
No one is going to cooperate with the US if the government doesn’t stop speaking so arrogantly and acting like they alone are above the law that they expect other nations to follow. Our moral standing in the sight of the rest of the world is being shredded by our government even as they pretend to be the teachers of the world.
Can people in the Beltway repent and humble themselves? Or must they drag themselves (and us!) into destruction?
The future doesn’t look good for the US.