The bully-cum-rogue state
Whistle blower Snowden had the right to expose an arrogant and intransigent US regime that chose to spy over the world and to expose US disregard for international law and elementary norms of political decency. The US will not allow him to seek exile – or accept exile when granted.
Indeed, the freefall of the US as a super power is written into all its political actions at international level. Desperation can bring out the worst in a tiger that is cornered. Obama-maniacism has taken hold of government policy and practice.
Free America is not free within- take the recent case of the US Government’s actions to pry into its own citizens affairs. Take also into account the manner in which white racists go about the murder of unarmed African Americans and are declared innocent by co-opted juries who believe in white supremacy. Consider how a miniscule corporate America controls the fortunes of its entire people. Also, mull over how the Zionist lobbies control foreign policy and create war and torment for people and nations whose only fault may be that they either possess resources that the Zionists eye or openly oppose the Zionist agenda of ethnic cleansing in Palestine.
A report issued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) details an immense operation through which nearly 1 billion license plate records of hundreds of millions of drivers are tracked and huge databases are amassed, providing the American government with access to the history and recent whereabouts of the majority of the US population. “More and more cameras, longer retention periods, and widespread sharing allow law enforcement agents to assemble the individual puzzle pieces of where we have been over time into a single, high-resolution image of our lives,” the report says.
The use of this technology for such authoritarian procedures gives the lie to the claims of the government and security apparatus that the purpose of the license-tracking program is to stop crime. In setting up these vast databases, the US government has mobilized the private sector and local law enforcement to set up a police-state mechanism whereby it is possible to track the whereabouts of a majority of people in close to real time and to monitor political dissidents by tracking attendance at meetings and rallies.
Back to Snowden’s plight. It is as bad as that of Julian Assange who lives virtually imprisoned in an Ecuadorian Embassy at the behest of the US authorities- supported by US side-kick-cum-ally- the UK. The world must vigorously condemn and dissent the attempt to bully Venezuela out of granting asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden by Venezuela. It must equally censure the British threat to arrest Assange if he dares leave the Ecuadorian embassy.
Snowden and Assange are modern day heroes whose bravado should be rewarded by the free world through awards and recognitions. They have dared to expose evil. America must be shamed for its evil political designs. The people of the world must, in their own way, say enough is enough. America should be boycotted. American travellers should be boycotted when they take a pro-US administration line and/or be humiliated with hard questions that make them feel unwelcome. Voices that proclaim and justify the American line must be told: ‘Go back and free your country so that the world is free from your imperialistic designs’. Such voices must find echo everywhere that freedom is cherished.
There are, of course, those brave Americans who have asserted their right to dissent. They must be welcomed and be treated with deep respect for their courage and eagerness to show solidarity with the victims of American arrogance. They must be acknowledged for being willing to contest a wicked and dominant system that seeks subservience from the rest of the world. Most governments remain beholden to the US for a variety of dubious reasons.
Those countries who have offered asylum to Snowden are worthy of being recognized as part of an authentic free world. America is not one of those. Its democracy is a sham one – controlled as it is by money bags and huge numbers of ignorant voters – kept ignorant by a propaganda machine which would any day shame the worst of fascist regimes. Americans are far poorer in their political awareness than what many would call the illiterate masses of the poorer countries. Misinformation, half-truths and a pliant, corporate controlled media ensure this will never really change.
Obama has proven that the mere election of a black President will not alter the political landscape. He has far exceeded his white predecessors who previously occupied the White house in accumulating and consolidating brute power and autocratic systems. He has shown that Paulo Friere was not wrong when he postulated the notion that the oppressed always absorb the image of the oppressor and allow it to form an imprint on their choices. He is easily America’s most cruel and barbaric President. The world will be relieved to see him quit the White House. It will bring to an end an era of a two-faced opportunist. What is under contention is the design of ‘empire’- that phenomenon which arrogates on one nation the right to control and destabilise the rest of the world so that its own superlative status goes unchallenged. It is not before long when it will be crushed under its own weight. Until then, we must fight in support of its victims. Snowden and Assange are two typical examples. They are the high profile ones. The millions who are nameless and unknown must also receive the support of those who fight for justice and will not relent or succumb to the powers of the empire.
In line with the above thoughts, the following article by Eric London titled US Secretary Of State Threatens Venezuela over Snowden Asylum makes compelling reading.
US Secretary Of State Threatens Venezuela over Snowden Asylum
By Eric London
20 July, 2013
A report published earlier this week by Spanish newspaper ABC details a series of heavy-handed threats levelled by US Secretary of State John Kerry against the government of Venezuela. The threats were made in an attempt to bully Venezuela out of granting asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden.
ABC cites at least one source who was familiar with the content of a phone call made a week ago by Kerry to Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elías Jaua only hours after Venezuela announced that it had granted asylum to Snowden.
During the phone call, Kerry reportedly made the following threats:
To ground any and all Venezuelan airplanes flying in American or NATO airspace upon any suspicion that Snowden may be on board, including the flights of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. “Immunity is for the president, not for the plane,” Kerry said.
To revoke US entry visas to Venezuelan citizens.
To bring criminal charges for drug trafficking, money laundering and other crimes against Venezuelan officials. The ABC source said that Kerry mentioned specific names of government officials against whom the US would press charges.
To immediately halt sales of US gas products to Venezuela. Venezuela purchases a half-million barrels of gasoline and 350,000 barrels of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, a gasoline additive, from the US each month.
On Friday, US State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf acknowledged that Kerry and Jaua spoke last Friday, but denied as “completely false” the claim that Kerry made any threats.
“The Secretary made no reference in his conversation with Foreign Minister Jaua as to what our response would be if Venezuela were to assist Mr. Snowden or receive him,” she said.
“Instead, Secretary Kerry conveyed to the Foreign Minister that Mr. Snowden is accused of serious criminal offenses and should be returned to the United States to face those charges if he were to come into Venezuelan jurisdiction.”
Harf then called into question her denial by issuing a threat of her own:
“Should Venezuela assist Mr. Snowden or receive him, we will consider what the appropriate response should be at that time.”
Such threats underscore the antidemocratic character of the Obama administration’s campaign to isolate, jail or kill Edward Snowden. Like members of a criminal syndicate, the secretaries and spokespersons of the Obama administration are willing to blackmail, bully, slander and intimidate anyone who dares stand in the way of silencing the young whistleblower.
There are seemingly no limits to what the US government is willing to do to secure the extradition or death of Snowden. It is not entirely clear how the US would respond if a Venezuela-bound commercial flight refused to land upon the administration’s insistence. Would the plane be shot from the sky?
The acts of the Obama administration are also illegal—in violation of the United Nations Charter, which according to Article 2(1) is “based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.”
Article 2(3) explains, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
The US threats also reveal the dangers posed to Snowden by relying on the bourgeois nationalist regimes of Latin America, all of which are heavily dependent on the US and susceptible to US pressure.
As recently as June 5, the day before the Snowden revelations were made public, Jaua was meeting with Kerry in Guatemala to discuss closer ties between US imperialism and the Venezuelan government. The meeting, which had been requested by Venezuela, was considered a success by both parties.
In a statement issued on June 12, six days after the first Snowden revelations were published, Venezuelan Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Calixto Ortega thanked Kerry and said that the meeting was a positive sign that the US and Venezuela are “on the right path for two brother countries and two political positions.”
That same day, the Venezuelan Embassy said that Ortega would meet with Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson “to establish an agenda in this new phase in relations between the countries.”
The statement continued: “Ortega said that he will discuss with Jacobson issues related to politics, culture, energy and finance ‘and all the things that two countries can discuss harmoniously.’”