I was chatting with a U.S.-based friend of mine over phone (not Skype or Gmail chat).
Just a catchup conversation……after a fairly long time of some 6 months or so. We spent some 20 minutes over phone, discussing how business is going, the direction of the U.S. economy and such.
The discussion veered towards the snooping of private citizens’ phone call records and emails by the U.S. Government and the guy from NSA (National Security Agency) who fled to Hong Kong.
While mentioning my views on the subject, my friend interrupted and said “be careful and don’t be that explicit in your views – you may get into trouble on this matter……..”.
Was I shocked ?
Here we are having a private phone conversation and the implication is that right then and there, the government might be listening in on the conversation and picking up my views on the manner in which things have moved in the geopolitical scene after the snooping revelations. For example, I expressed my disdain towards President Obama and the manner in which he has gone about the government business over the past couple of years, veering far away from his election promises. Disclosure: I support, in general, the clarity and commitment of the Republican Party of the U.S., though I am neither a citizen nor a permanent resident of the U.S.
I believe that if a President or a Prime Minister manages to win power by virtue of his/her political manifesto and the commitments that he or she makes during the pre-presidential polls, then he or she should keep those commitments, come what may, at the expense of his or her re-election to the government. Well, that may be day-dreaming and asking for too much.
If U.S. citizens and residents accept that government can snoop on their lives, then the U.S. government can jolly well continue doing so. But then, the U.S. cannot claim to be a beacon of democratic freedoms in a global sense.
Further, the U.S. loses its right to blame other nations who could be doing the same (like China and India). But the worst thing of all is that crying wolf on the cybercrimes of China when it was shown by Snowden that it was indeed the U.S. who has been extensively snooping all over the world, with special attention on China !
At least the Republicans would not have let such a fiasco to happen, undermining peoples’ confidence in the U.S. all over the world.
The key point is that the U.S. needs to recover its position rapidly and re-assert its beacon-status soon, and I don’t see that happening with President Obama – he is trying hard or less (!) to justify what happened…….
I am worried that other nations will justify their actions now without any remorse.
Where are we headed ?
30th June 2013