Is Russian President Vladimir Putin, as he claims, really eager to rid himself of Edward Snowden? For Russia’s Moskovskij Komsomolets, columnist Mikhail Rostov’s answer is emphatically ‘nyet!’ Rostov writes that Snowden is the perfect instrument to get revenge against Washington for the insulting Magnitsky Act, and break America’s habit of treating Russia dismissively – except in those times – like now – that Washington needs something from it.
China, having gained maximum propaganda and political advantage from Snowden’s revelations, deftly stepped aside in its usual manner. So that leaves Russia, a country with very specific political traditions.
Our own “Snowdens” (that is, truth-seeking whistleblowers) are, in a time-honored tradition, wantonly “flushed down the shitter” by their government. But everything changes when the “genuine, imported, overseas” Snowden flies in. The very idea of sending this truth-seeker back to our former “arch opponent” is absolutely unthinkable.
But aside from political reflexes and considerations of sovereign pride, does Russia have other motives for contriving this grand political game around Edward Snowden? To my mind, unequivocally, yes. Of course, the risks are high. For American law enforcers, the Snowden story hits below the belt. The Yankees are pissed off in the extreme. But the presence within our borders of the great whistleblower gives Russia distinct opportunities, the likes of which the Kremlin could only have dreamed of a couple of months ago.
On our own individual paths through life, each of us happen upon deeply unpleasant people of a certain sort. When such a person thinks he doesn’t need anything from you, he behaves arrogantly and superciliously toward you. He says nasty things about you regardless of the situation, doesn’t pass up the chance to spill your tea, drop a dead fly into your soup, and top it all off with a disingenuous good-natured laugh.
But tomorrow always comes. And the mocker of yesterday is suddenly in dire need of your help. He has suddenly changed! He now speaks so eloquently about “ties of friendship” that bind you, universal human values, and honor! His eyes are full of reproach and “the pain of unexpected betrayal!”
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Copyright 2013 The Moderate Voice