I’ve been quite engrossed in watching this Eddy Snowden/NSA drama unfold. You have to admit it’s not everyday that you see the proverbial elephant in the room get scared because of the little mouse. The US government’s reaction to Snowden’s actions has been nothing short of extraordinary. Extraordinary in it’s nationalist hubris, extraordinary in it’s hypocrisy, extraordinary in it’s fear.
Eddy told the Chinese everything about the extent of American spying and hacking in Hong Kong and mainland China, particularly of their private citizens. According to Glenn Greenwald it was precisely because of the outrage the extent of these revelations generated, that Hong Kong officials gave Eddy a free pass to leave for Moscow. I find it funny that on one hand Americans are spying on the Chinese and then from the other side of their mouth “politely” asked that they return Snowden to them. That’s like the schoolyard bully kicking the little kid in the corner and then having the nerve to ask the same kid to invite the bully to his birthday party. It’s just not going to happen.
Eddy is now apparently holed up in some half-way zone at the Moscow airport and I’m willing to bet money he’s exposing stuff to Russian officials and intelligence agents while he’s there and he’ll probably leave after they’re through with him. I should add those Russian hackers are probably the most talented in the world. They are gonna have a field day after this, I’m sure.
I normally don’t really admire leaders and presidents and such but I have to say I’m going to give full marks to former KGM agent, multilingual Vladimir Putin for having the balls to stand his ground and indirectly tell former Bonesman, husband to the ketchup queen and bad plastic surgery patient, John Kerry to screw off. (While I profoundly disagreed with how Putin handled the Chechnya situation, he is by far the smartest, shrewdest world leader right now. He knows exactly how things work behind closed doors and more importantly, he’s not afraid.)
I really hope Eddy makes it to South America or Iceland safely.
This story has exposed the worst, most sinister aspects of state behavior and the nation-state model. Maintaining order always involves violence. People need to ask questions like “Who’s version of order?” “Who benefits or profits from this order?” “Who defines this order?” but outside of activist circles, these kinds of questions are unfortunately never discussed.
This story has also exposed that empires have a shorter and shorter shelf-life. The Western and Eastern Roman Empire lasted nearly 2000 years. The Ottoman Empire lasted 700 years. The British Empire lasted just shy of 500 years. The American Empire barely lasted 60 years.
Some people speculate that China will be the next superpower, I don’t know. My own opinion is that the age of Empire and superpowers is on its way to being over. No more scenarios where you have one giant shark and lots of tiny goldfish in the pond. Rather, you’ll have a number of big fish and lots of medium and smaller sized fish, but no one fish will rule over all.
That’s a good thing, it keeps things in check and it prevents the development of the bully mentality and the myth of exceptionalism whether it’s American, Anglo-Saxon, Slavic or whatever.
Just remember this one thing, suspicious minds are generally guilty ones.