The humiliation of US allies - How can politicians repair the damage?
This question is related to the following Fluther thread
But now it’s about looking forward. The damage has already been done. Here’s the current situation:
People in Germany and all the other affected countries not only feel very angry about their political leaders (and also themselves) being spied on, but also very humiliated. On the German news, everybody learns that the reaction in America mostly is, we don’t care or only guilty people have something to hide. Can you imagine what this does to people?
On the roof of the American embassy in Berlin, Germany, which is only half a mile away from the Bundeskanzleramt (the German White House) and the parliament, there is a secret technical installation run by the NSA capable of intercepting all cell phone calls within a radius of one mile. There were photos shown on the news with comments from security experts.
Is this about finding terror cells like the one in Hamburg who flew an airplane into a skyscraper? Few people have a problem with that. For this spying is good. But listening to Angela Merkel, the elected leader of the German people? From the US embassy? How can Germans ever trust an American embassy again? The Americans working in this embassy who know about the installation on top of the building are no longer welcome in Germany. They will soon hate their jobs. Their diplomatic status will protect them from prosecution, but they can be sent back to America. I wonder what will happen.
So is this something like the Watergate scandal with the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters? If no, what is the difference? Bits and bytes versus paper? In one case it was a spying on a rival political party. The EU and the US are trade partners, but American and European companies are also competitors. In the other case, it is about spying on a leader of another country who has to care about jobs in this country.
Personally, I don’t see a difference between Watergate and what is happening now. And I think there must be consequences.
Again, Edward Snowden did the right thing. Revealing criminal activity is not a crime. It’s an honorable deed. He’s a hero. I know many disagree.
Suppose you are an influential politician. Suppose you care. What would you do?