Obama's Amerika: The Land of Mao and Lenin, not Madison and Jefferson (Will Grigg)
Monday June 17th, 2013
When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden fled to Hong Kong, many observers were puzzled that he would seek sanctuary in a city that is a special administrative region of Communist China.
According to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, this wasn’t all that surprising, given that the U.S. and China are, in his view, beginning to resemble each other. Weiwei, who lived in the United States for 12 years, describes the NSA’s massive surveillance program as an “abuse of state power” that “goes totally against my understanding of what it means to be a civilized society, and it will be shocking of American citizens allow this to continue.”
Speaking from a different totalitarian tradition and a vastly different perspective, Russian President Vladimir Putin – a veteran of the KGB – has given his enthusiastic support to the NSA’s surveillance program. Comprehensive phone surveillance and internet data-mining, according to Putin, is “the way a civilized society should go about fighting terrorism.” He also applauded the brutal paramilitary tactics increasingly used by U.S. police in dealing with demonstrations. According to Putin, “That’s the way it’s done in the U.S. … and that’s the way it’s done in Russia.”
Under Obama, the United States has become the land of Mao and Lenin, rather than Madison and Jefferson.