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U.S. Fears, Not Evil, Motivate Desperate Search for Snowden (Pagina Siete, Bolivia)


"PRISM (the espionage program revealed by Snowden), the persecution of this former agent, and the intolerable prison at Guantanamo, are all reactions of fear: fear caused by a sense of uncertainty that U.S. citizens feel. This is understandable, but at the same time dangerous, leading nations to sacrifice freedom in the name of security. This is an outbreak of authoritarianism in a democratic environment. ... This is a bad day for liberal Bolivians."


By Meridiano Fernando Molina*


Translated By Rachael Bradley


July 9, 2013


Bolivia - Pagina Siete - Original Article (Spanish)

President Obama: 'There is nothing wrong with having another backyard in Europe.'

[La Jornada, Mexico]

BBC NEWS VIDEO: Barack Obama says he 'won't scramble jets for Snowden', June 27, 00:03:55RealVideo

Desperate to prevent former NSA analyst Edward Snowden from seeking asylum in Bolivia, it appears that several European countries denied the plane of President Evo Morales from refueling in any of the their airports. The president was returning from Russia, which is where Snowden is now located. These events have fed into the worldview that forms the basis of Morales' politics: all evil that happens in the world is the result of an imperialist plot.


Thanks to Austria and Spain, which finally allowed the presidential aircraft to refuel, Morales escaped to accuse the United States of "kidnapping" and "attempting to kill him." Everything that has occurred in an attempt to silence Snowdon, the rising star of anti-northamericanism, who had the courage to prove the lengths to which Washington will go to maintain its control over the world, is no example of democratic behavior, and in any case, is not an example of practicing what one preached.


No, the United States doesn’t practice what it preaches, neither when spying on its enemies (and even on allies), or when acting like a kind of "bully diplomat" to silence the boy who caught them with their trousers down and exposed them to the world. This nonsense involving Evo Morales, which had all the signs of an "inspired" demonstration of gringo strength, can be compared to the roar of a wounded male elephant.


It would of course be illogical to conclude that the United States has ceased to be a democracy (the fact that Snowden's revelations were immediately admitted by the U.S. government demonstrates this eloquently). Nor does any of this mean that the United States has carried out these acts for malevolent or totalitarian reasons and with the sole purpose of increasing its "imperial power." The truth simpler. PRISM (the espionage program revealed by Snowden), the persecution of this former agent, and the intolerable prison at Guantanamo, are all reactions of fear: fear caused by a sense of uncertainty that U.S. citizens feel. This is understandable, but at the same time dangerous, leading nations to sacrifice freedom in the name of security. This is an outbreak of authoritarianism in a democratic environment.


The spirit of the group, defense of the group, reappears like a throwback to squelch the civilizing progress that has been made over the centuries. For the moment it has weakened the concept of freedom, i.e., freedom based on values that were unknown in antiquity, like the right to privacy and the honesty of leaders. This "negative liberty," is abdicated, in favor of "positive liberty," which is the idea that the state can intervene in the lives of its people, lie to them, and define what is good for all: the PRISM system entirely encapsulates this vision of freedom.


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Fears of Bolshevism lead Europe to Nazism. Fear of terrorism (and the anticipated victor thereof) has relativized democratic convictions, and in my view, the sincere convictions of citizens of the United States. Yet this analogy should not lead us to delusion: in a democracy, the imbalance between negative and positive liberty can be corrected without bloodshed. Despite recent events, the Obama Administration has made efforts in this direction.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


Having said that, who will convince Latin American politicians of this, particularly those that use the United States as a scapegoat, and who condemn negative liberty (the power of control) as a "liberal illusion."


This episode has given ammunition to all of those skeptical of democracy and of the possibility of building a rule-bound international community. It is a disservice to those struggling against authoritarianism in Latin America.


Beyond the shock Morales may have suffered, this episode has given a great boost to his politics: not only does it allow him to appear on the front line of the global anti-imperialist struggle, but it confirms his deepest convictions: If things are going badly, it is the fault of the empire. Therefore, the reasoning goes, to improve the situation, nationalist states must be strengthened so that they can better cope with this powerful and criminal outside power.


This is a bad day for liberal Bolivians.


*Fernando Molina is a journalist and writer.


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Posted By Worldmeets.US June 9, 2013, 3:18pm