Last two days I spend on arguing with people who condemned Edward Snowden because he took part in Putin’s conference with Russian citizens. I don’t know how it looks like in other countries but in Poland lot of people believe that Snowden is KGB spy – they are just not sure if he were from the beginning or become later. Generally I’m not Putin’s fan – as every other person who respect human rights – but I’m sick off people who cannot overcome their cold-war thinking.
Before ’89 we have every right to believe that world is easy to recognize in simple moral manner. We’ve been considering ourselves as victims (we do <3 it), USSR as oppressor and USA as potential savor. But I find it peculiar that 25 years later lot o Poles just stuck in this simple division: good US, bad Russia.
First, we can agree that the world is much more complicated today. Increasing globalization makes the net of interest more and more difficult to untangle and identify. Oversimplification doesn’t help to understand Russian policy, even in Ukraina’s issue.
Secondly, we now know much more about US activity in the region in ’70 and ’80 – in the same period when we consider it as a pure goodness. We know how US supported dictatorship and juntas in Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama etc. Don’t need to enumerate what it did and does in Asia. Maybe one cannot find a lot of information about it in school books but, you know, we have other books and Internet to search for not so popular knowledge. It is not fair and rational to assess past and present US policy solely on the basis of backing our democratic opposition in ’80.
Thirdly, people commenting on Snowden usually miss the point that he revealed all his information to the general public, not to Putin’s secret services. He give us chance for self-emancipation by access to data and insight knowledge. Now we can secure ourselves and enhance political and consumer pressure on those who spy on us. This is not how spies do, as I recall.
But, going back to Snowden, I don’t think he had an option. In June his one-year asylum given by Russia will expire. As we know no other country offered him guarantee of safe travel and asylum. Last year Evo Morales forced landing in Vienna proves that that this first is as much important as the second. I guess he don’t really had an option not to follow Putin’s requests. The alternative is to join Chelsea Manning in US prison. I think he already sacrifice much more than other people would do in his shoes and don’t want to see him in a jail.I don’t know what was his first plan, how risky it was, but I know that democratic world failed and abandoned him. And I’m ashamed because of it.
Tomorrow I’ll be #WaitnigForEd but I do not wish him to end up in Poland.