It’s now officially over. Even the Wall St. Journal admits it. And who would have thought that the official end would come about over something like being unable to extradite an alleged fugitive?
Yes, we’re talking about Putin’s granting of asylum to Edward Snowden.
Gerald Seib, the WSJ’s chief Washington correspondent, but it on the line in an article today. He wrote: “President Barack Obama is having a hard time right now steering world events in the direction he would like. Before Russia’s decision, made in defiance of demands that Mr. Snowden be turned over to the U.S., the Obama administration was similarly unable to persuade the governments of Hong Kong and China to arrest Mr. Snowden, or at least keep him from fleeing his initial foreign landing spot in Hong Kong
Seib cites the Obama administration’s inability to prevent Hong Kong from allowing Snowden to leave, and then goes on to mention their inability to influence the new military-controlled regime in Egypt as another example of weakness. He also points out how “Russia has been a thorn in the side” of the US regarding Syria. He then writes:
“The Syrian problem has been exacerbated by the inability of the U.S. to convince Iraqi leaders to stop allowing their airspace to be used by Iran to fly in arms to bolster the Syrian regime. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, American officials have been unable to convince President Hamid Karzai to embrace the idea of peace talks with the Taliban.”
The article correctly points out that US capitalism is still the major world power, but not the only one anymore. Seib quotes Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Affairs, as saying “The U.S. may be first among unequals, but there’s a big difference between primacy and hegemony. We’re simply not in a position to dictate things.”
The Wall St. Journal editors would do well to read their own news articles. They regularly attack Obama for his alleged weaknesses, when the reality is that US capitalism is simply in a weaker position than it was 20 years ago. (Has it been that long?)
The Wall St. Journal represents the cheer leaders, the morale boosters for the US capitalist class and the representatives of their most militant wing. Too bad the working class has no such representatives here at this stage.
Meanwhile, I listened to an oh-so-very learned “expert” on Russia on KQED this morning. He was “explaining” that Putin can simply do whatever he likes, and he personally wanted to grant asylum, which is why he did so. I shut off the radio. The silly twit… The fact is that all heads of state have to have a base to rest on. In Putin’s case, it’s the military, in part, plus some popular support based on nationalism. It would have severely weakened him to be seen as backing down to Obama’s pressure.