Blogger Majed Iqbal argues that the US does not trust its “allies” after its spy agency, the NSA, was caught bugging the phones and emails of European leaders.
Are you being bugged? The simple answer is YES! Why are you surprised? Why is Angela Merkel surprised? Why is the Spanish Minister surprised after being informed that 60 million calls, emails, and social network activity were monitored by the US in just one month alone?
Revelations in the last few weeks about the US Spy Agency, the NSA, and its operations have dumbfounded many countries resulting in a huge trust and relationship issue. Surely they are on the same page fighting the menace of “Islamist Terrorism” – the bogey man which has bought all these nations together under the umbrella of the discredited “War on Terror”.
So why is the need for surveillance each other? Are they not “one team”?
Leaders of European states have become hysterical, now demanding that Barack Obama explains himself as to why their respective countries had been spied upon.
Despite the damning revelations and stacks of evidence, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, said much of the public information on them was misguided. He said: “They are seeing three or four pieces of a thousand-piece puzzle and trying to come to a conclusion.”
Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Sub-committee on Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence, said: “The President should stop apologising, stop being defensive. The reality is the NSA has saved thousands of lives, not just in the United States but also in France and Germany and throughout Europe.
“We’re not doing this for the fun of it. This is to gather valuable intelligence which helps not just us but also helps the Europeans.”
Obama the peacemaker?
The White House refused to comment on an article in a German tabloid, which alleged that Obama was personally briefed by the operation to target Merkel’s phone by the NSA’s director, Keith Alexander, and allowed it to continue.
Those who voted in Obama successively for both his administrations on his politically manufactured persona of “the dove for Peace” and the “US’s new moral face”, should now really be raising serious questions. Does the mere fact that Obama won a Nobel Peace prize during his first term as President qualify him as a man of peace whilst simultaneously using his powers to drone attack Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and spooking nations?
David Cameron also unleashed his venom on the issue, but not against Obama, but the Guardian newspaper who had printing files leaked by Edward Snowden. Why? Because Cameron argued that surveillance is “necessary” to fight against terrorism.
That shining model of a newspaper, the Sun said: “Extremists stopped using electronic communications after he (Snowden) divulged details of UK surveillance. The alarming development means our spies can no longer keep track of militants’ plans and opens Britain up to a possible 9/11-style outrage.”
The paper ran the story yesterday with a picture of the 9/11 attacks, quoting “a top surveillance source” as saying: “Some very dangerous people have gone quiet. There is no doubt Snowden is to blame. The last time visibility was lost on this scale was when Osama bin Laden discovered we could listen to his satellite phone conversations. The next we heard of him was 9/11.”
So has surveillance made Western states safer or should we be focusing on how the foreign policy of these nations made towns and cities less safe and susceptible to attacks? How long will the wildcard of terrorism be used to scaremonger people into buying into the narrative that Western foreign policy pursues measures of peace against those who seek to destroy it? Maybe we can ask Angela Merkel if she is working to destroy the western way of life!
Lessons to be learned
Simply, the US is a belligerent state which cannot be trusted as an international power broker of epic. This should not come as a surprise as these latest revelations are decades in the making from successive Presidents and US administrations. America has always operated like this as it is intrinsically linked to its foreign policy of maintaining its hegemony over the globe as the leading state.
It is surprising as to why many in the Muslim world would still see the US as a neutral state with its interests at heart when it doesn’t even spare its “allies”. But then again, the US doesn’t have allies, only its own interests.