Putin and Snowden
by Kevin Alfred Strom
VLADIMIR PUTIN HAS offered Edward Snowden asylum in Russia only on condition that he stop harming the interests of “our partners,” the US, by continuing to talk. Leaving aside the fact that Snowden may have already done all the significant talking he can do anyway, here are my thoughts:
I do think Putin’s playing a word game here, trying to make it sound like he’s not opposing every move of the Washington regime — which he is. He won’t extradite Snowden, despite massive US pressure. He arranged for Snowden to meet with Russian diplomats to facilitate his finding a country of asylum. He refers to Snowden as a “free man” and implies that he is doing noble work, and openly hopes he can find a new home. Putin says he will make sure that Snowden can travel freely from Russia to any country he chooses. (Contrast this with Britain’s treatment of Julian Assange.) And Snowden is actually in Russia, safe and unharmed. This in a world in which the evil US government was able to pressure Austria yesterday to force the President of Bolivia’s plane to make an involuntary landing so the bastards could “search” it for “fugitive” Snowden. France and Portugal were also bullied into denying that plane the right to be in their airspace.
It’s disappointing that Russia won’t give him unconditional asylum, but, let’s open our eyes — no other country has so far done, or offered to do, anything even close to what Russia is doing now. (Hell, we all know that another truth-teller, Julian Assange, is and was hated by the tyrants in Washington who are just waiting to get their hands on him. What is Russia’s reaction to Assange? They gave him his own television talk show!)
Putin is, rationally, very worried about the US reaction. The US is a deranged, warlike, aggressive, threatening empire with enough nuclear weapons to boil the oceans dry, and, like a wounded, rabid bear, one doesn’t want to antagonize it too much while planning its ultimate downfall.
Snowden threw himself in the middle of power politics for apparently moral reasons (unless you believe Snordelhans’ theory that it’s an internal CIA/NSA feud, and I don’t), and, in power politics, all the players — even the guys we like the best — are maneuvering for maximum advantage at all times, and people get badly hurt every second and lied to every millisecond. Such is life among the higher social primates.
May the gods be with Edward Snowden.