Acute U.S. government embarrassment over NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden’s timely revelations of rampant institutionalized global spying operations on American citizens as well as foreigners and the governments of foreign countries has turned him into a political football -- a potential catalyst for a serious international incident with Russia, which can only harm the interests of Americans at the expense of our government’s vanity.
Perennial senatorial blowhard and war monger, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is advocating a U.S. boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Russia if President Vladimir Putin grants Snowden the temporary asylum he has requested.
"I love the Olympics, but I hate what the Russian government is doing throughout the world," croaked Graham. "If they give asylum to a person who I believe has committed treason against the United States, that's taking it to a new level."
Then Graham compared the situation and Putin to Adolph Hitler and the Berlin Olympic Games in Nazi Germany in 1936 before WWII. "If you could go back in time, would you have allowed Adolf Hitler to host the Olympics in Germany; to have the propaganda coup of inviting the world into Nazi Germany and putting on a false front?… I'm not saying that Russia is Nazi Germany but I am saying that the Russian government is empowering some of the most evil, hateful people in the world."
Graham said that an Olympic boycott is just one possible measure that the U.S. should consider if Russia decides to grant Snowden asylum. He’s mad about allowing the Russians a propaganda platform to promote itself at a time when the Russians are responsible for enabling Iran's nuclear program, threatening Israel and supporting in Syria.
So he wants to provoke further tensions between the governments of Russia and the U.S. and deprive Americans and American athletes their opportunity to enjoy and participate in the Olympic Games.
Of course, the Olympic Games have been a political tool in the hands of governments for several decades now. It’s not so much about sportsmanship and international good will any longer as it is about political opportunities of parasitical politicians to draw attention to themselves. They don’t care if their subjects are harmed in the process.
"What I'm trying to do is let the Russians know enough is enough. How much more are we going to let them get away with before we make it real to them?" Graham bellowed.
Well then, maybe Senator Graham would like to start a war with the Russians, perhaps another cold war in which both sides would wonder once again whether the other was about to drop the nuclear bomb. That would certainly get Putin’s attention.
Or why doesn’t Graham simply advocate pulling our embassy out of Russia and cutting off diplomatic relations altogether? Maybe that would induce Mr. Putin to put Snowden on a plane to Washington.
The U.S. government was responsible for enabling Israel’s nuclear program; and is currently supporting Syria’s rebel forces in their efforts to depose Syrian president Assad. Putin isn’t threatening our government with boycotts and diplomatic sanctions over the fact that the U.S. chooses to back different sides in international conflicts. Russia isn’t acting any differently than the U.S.
The last time Russia hosted the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980, the U.S. led a 65-nation boycott over the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. President Jimmy Carter announced it and both the House and the Senate passed resolutions supporting it. I don’t recall Russia making a big fuss when the United States invaded Afghanistan. And I don’t recall it doing any good for the American people either.
If a Russian intelligence agent revealed secrets against his own government and then came to the U.S. requesting asylum alleging the probability of persecution and torture by the Russian authorities if deported, there is no way that our government would comply with requests and diplomatic demands that he be returned.
Recently, for example, President Obama said he was "deeply disappointed and concerned" by the conviction of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who challenged the Kremlin with exposures of high-level corruption and mocked the leadership with biting satire. Navalny was sentenced to five years in prison in a verdict that fueled street protests near Red Square and drew condemnation from the West.
If that man escaped and fled to the U.S., he would never be returned to Russia no matter how much President Putin cried and screamed about it.
Clearly the U.S. is guilty of advancing a political double standard in its handling of the Edward Snowden affair.
They’ve turned the poor man into an international political football.