“I hope the Russians love their secrets too…”

Remember back in the 1980s, when Sting and Prokofiev teamed up to extol the blessings for world peace that would flow from recognising that Americans and Russians deep down shared the same basic needs? Now the headlines read

Russia’s Putin tells Snowden to stop US secrets leak.

Okay, the cynics will say that east-west agreement on imprisoning political dissidents isn’t really on a level with “loving their children”, noble-sentiments-wise, but when former enemies can work together to cover up each other’s spying on their allies — well, when you get right down to it, how far is that from lions-lying-down-with-lambs territory? Put this together with the climate catastrophe, and we must truly be living at the end of days…

That this heartwarming rapprochement is happening just as Cold-War so-called allies are betraying the US, on  the pretext of protesting against being themselves the targets of NSA espionage — WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO HIDE?! — is all the more poignant. Sniff. I think I have to go drown my Weltschmerz tears in shots of Freedom Vodka (TM). За нашу дружбу!

Leaker irony

The Guardian comments, with just a trace of snark

A senior Obama administration official who would not provide his or her name told reporters late on Sunday that Snowden’s presumed travel plan undermined the whistleblower’s stated intent to tell the American people about broad government surveillance.

“Mr Snowden’s claim that he is focused on supporting transparency, freedom of the press and protection of individual rights and democracy is belied by the protectors he has potentially chosen: China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador,” said the official, who did not note that the US was simultaneously attempting to secure the cooperation of China and Russia.

In this new brave new world of cooperation among the US, China, and Russia on criminalising dissidents who reveal government secrets, I look forward with schadenfreude to the next time a Chinese intellectual flees to the US embassy, or seeks refuge in the US from supposed persecution. Now that the US state department has pronounced the sanctity of arrest warrants, I expect to see the US respond favourably to those issued by the Chinese Communist Party or the Kremlin.