FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Snowden Asylum Saga

by NORMAN POLLACK

The NYT reports on the wholly expected: US application of pressure to prevent Latin American nations from granting asylum to Edward Snowden.  Why not?  First in the techniques of rendition, waterboarding, habeas-corpus suspension, data-mining, overall contempt for civil liberties, and presided over by the  “Assassination” President who authorizes aerial murder at his Tuesday evening soirees with a stellar cast of national-security advisers, all with a supine, bankrupt Left looking idly on.  With a national resume like that, the only surprise is not ordering a Special Ops mission to Moscow to kidnap Snowden.

How dare Snowden spill the beans!  Every hegemon worth its salt declares itself a National-Security State, rests comfortably with its biggest elephant in the room, its nuclear stockpile (Israel, are you also listening?), turns paramilitary operations, regime change, and economic blackmail into the fun-and-games entertainment of its Joint Chiefs, Political Honchoes, and CIA-JSOC debonair warriors, and, ear to the ground, moves in unison with the needs, ambitions, and desires of its upper capitalist stratum, itself an integral—if not paramount—part of the National-Security State.  Shame on you, Snowden: stripping away the political-legal cover for war crimes.  Twicefold shame, Snowden, for stripping away the ideological cover of counterterrorism, not only as America’s biggest growth industry, not only as the surest way of terrorizing the American public and keeping them docile, but also, as the presently most effective way of pursuing the now age-old means for achieving global counterrevolution, counterrevolution enlarged in concept and practice to include more than taking out Left movements and governments, or even Third World efforts at realizing autonomous modernization, for the biggest challenge perceived by US policy makers appears to be China (Obama’s notorious “pivot,” the Pacific-first geostrategic framework to gain predominance in Asia and hem-in Chinese development to prevent its global political-economic influence).  Snowden’s Revelations (deserving capital “R,” as a way of inaugurating a new Bill of Rights for Americans, if we only cared to listen) leaves the Administration with its pants down (cynically mooning a compliant—aka, complicit—populace), exposing the pretentiousness of Exceptionalism and Moral Rectitude by which the US knows itself (talk of false consciousness!!) in seeking exclusive direction, guidance, leadership of a world community safe for the expansion of American capitalism.

Snowden’s documents thus far released already demonstrate that the US has a finger in every pie, making it only a matter of time before that selfsame world community, especially the euphonious-sounding “friends and allies,” awakens to the recognition that all are being had, whether as “partners” in military alliances, which liberally finance the military’s status and power in each of the countries, participants in American-led international financial organizations (IMF, World Bank) which have determined domestic austerity policies compatible with US commercial and banking interests, or simply, as carrot-and-stick induced ideological soul mates, cemented in the spiritual bond of market fundamentalism, in which outsourcing clothing manufacturing to the semi-enslaved workers in poor Asian countries is deemed a crowning achievement.  We mustn’t underestimate the significance of the Revelations, which is why the USG will leave no stone unturned in seeking retribution and, more immediately, silencing the messenger.  This will also serve notice on future whistleblowers, your services are not wanted; indeed, you are really domestic al Qadea, and fair game for Obama’s Tuesday soirees off the Situation Room; you, too, may find yourself on the baseball cards dealt around the table.  Feel honored that your Leader cares enough about you to enlist the full apparatus of the National-Security State to squelch your activities, with the full help of AG Holder and DCIA Brennan, Rice leading the cheering section of “humanitarian interventionists.”  My New York Times Comment (July 12) follows, on the article about US full-court pressure applied to Latin American nations concerning asylum for Snowden:

If I could give my home extraterritoriality I would be honored to take in Edward Snowden as my guest. But of course even then USG would find a way to render him to a third country for torture–or simply shoot him on sight. In the eyes of the world America by its treatment of Snowden–as here blackmailing Latin American countries with sinister threats–stands out as the global terrorist, bully, war criminal.

The more we get tough the more isolated we become, a world pariah. That is the main thing, not the specific revelations about domestic and foreign surveillance, but the larger revelation: that the US believes it can dominate Latin America and the world at large. Thank you, Obama, for revealing your true despotic dimensions–while your fellow liberals and/or progressives look the other way, showing their contempt for civil liberties and privacy (true tests of a democracy). The Left in the US is morally bankrupt, worshiping at the feet of a Democratic Party distinguished only by its interventionist propensities and incipiently fascist opportunism. By all means, Biden, man the phones. You are a laughing stock.

Norman Pollack is the author of “The Populist Response to Industrial America” (Harvard) and “The Just Polity” (Illinois), Guggenheim Fellow, and professor of history emeritus, Michigan State University. His new book, Eichmann on the Potomac, will be published by CounterPunch/AK Press in the fall of 2013.

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail