Tensions are flaring; U.S. government officials are loudly huffing, puffing, and direly warning the tiny South American nation of Ecuador and all other countries on the planet, that there will be certainly be "grave consequences" if any of them dare to grant NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden political asylum.
The U.S. State Department is especially miffed at Hong Kong officials for allowing Snowden to leave China on a flight to Moscow knowing that he was a wanted fugitive. "They knew he was a wanted fugitive, and they intentionally let him go," whined a State Department spokesman. "They've tried to sort of say, oops, he just left. And we're saying, no, that this was an intentional decision."
Now China has been warned that its decision will hurt U.S.-China relations, and Russia is also a target in an escalation of diplomatic warnings and diplomatic pressure to turn Snowden over or face the so-called dreaded “consequences.”
Much to my own personal amusement and delight, each of those nations has so far given our American government buffoons the equivalent of the middle finger response. They aren’t afraid of the big bad imperial super power of the United States and they are going to deal with Edward Snowden, the political asylum seeker as they damn well please.
Why shouldn’t they?
If Edward Snowden was a Chinese citizen and employee of the Chinese government who blew the whistle on their computer hacking activities against other nations, not to mention abuses against his fellow Chinese citizens, and he escaped to the United States, there is no way that our government would just meekly extradite him, turn him over, or accede to Chinese government demands.
If Edward Snowden were a Russian who fled to the U.S. requesting political asylum after exposing Russian secrets, our government would welcome him with open arms, just like it has done many times in the past in similar situations. The U.S. has granted assistance and asylum to many people from many countries just like China, Russia and Equator have done with Snowden.
Clearly, the United States government in this case is guilty of double standard diplomacy.
Ecuador officials recognize that and are quite ready to tell the U.S. to piss off; they don’t need us even if it means a few bad “consequences” for their people. They’ve already given notice that they neither need nor want U.S. aid and assistance. And they are "unilaterally and irrevocably" willing to waive favorable trade rights under a trade agreement with the U.S.
Favored political status, which provides more jobs for Ecuadoreans and cheaper goods for Americans, was considered a potentially powerful negotiating chip. Many U.S. politicians believe that the U.S. could use both its direct aid and the trade benefits as leverage against Ecuador. They have no problem with penalizing the little people of both nations just to satisfy their desire to deliver “consequences.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden personally intervened in the case, calling Ecuador's president Rafael Correa to urge him to reject Snowden’s asylum request. "The moment that he arrives, if he arrives, the first thing is we'll ask the opinion of the United States, as we did in the Assange case with England," Correa said. "But the decision is ours to make."
Correa praised Biden for being more courteous than U.S. senators who have threatened economic penalties if Ecuador doesn't cooperate. He also rebuked the Obama administration for hypocrisy in regard to the case of two banker brothers Roberto and William Isaias, whom Ecuador is seeking to extradite from the U.S. "Let's be consistent," he said. "Have rules for everyone, because that is a clear double-standard here."
He’s not the first head of state in history, nor will he likely be the last in my opinion, to rightly accuse the government of the United States of double standard diplomacy.