The US bugs the World

by Daphne Liddle

NINETEEN countries have joined an initiative from Germany and Brazil to draft a United Nations resolution to curb “indiscriminate” and “extra-territorial” surveillance and to ensure “independent oversight” of electronic monitoring.

These countries include France and Mexico — allies of the United States — and they reveal the depth of division and distrust amongst the imperialists over the revelations that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) has been bugging the private electronic communications of many heads of state and governments around the world, from the leaks supplied by American political exile and former NSA employee Edwin Snowden.

Other countries involved in the talks reportedly include Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Paraguay, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The US authorities claim they need mass surveillance of billions of ordinary people around the world in order to defend themselves from terrorism.

But even the most creative among them must be hard pressed to justify the bugging of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private mobile phone on these grounds.

The bugging of the leaders of sovereign governments can only be of use in diplomatic manipulation, blackmail and bullying.

And of course there is the overriding commercial trillion-dollar advantage in international trade of knowing exactly what “friends” and rivals are doing.


Realists know that from ancient times governments have always spied on each other according to their technical ability to do so but it is still regarded an offensive act to be caught bugging those who are supposed to be your allies. Snowden’s revelations will leave the US with few friends around the world at a time when the American Empire is crumbling from internal economic contradictions.

And since American politicians in the past have admitted that the US “has no friends, only interests” those interests will now find it hard to justify to their own people any policies towards the US that are based on friendship or trust.

But there is of course one miserable exception; one grovelling poodle that will never turn of the US however low it sinks. And that is our Prime Minister David Cameron.

Furthermore the British government is complicit in using the GCHQ electronic spying centre in Cheltenham to support the NSA bugging programme.

Far from complaining at the US criminal arrogance in bugging the whole world, Cameron’s complaints have been reserved for the journalists and newspapers who have worked with Snowden — and before him Bradley Manning — to let the world know it is being bugged.

They have been accused of making things easier for terrorists though quite how is uncertain. But then the US and British definition of “terrorist” is quite wide and includes children and grandmothers in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and other places where the US has made lethal drone attacks. Surely the drones are the epitome of real terrorism.

The US government, backed by its British lapdog, is resorting to these outrageous methods to try to control the rest of the world because, in spite of their wealth, power and military might they know the US Empire is crumbling. And insecurity turns emperors into control freaks.

Previous generations of Americans would have been appalled and ashamed of what their government is doing now to its own people and the world. And there is very little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans in power, even though as far as education and culture are concerned Obama is very different to Bush.

It just demonstrates that the real power is not in the presidency but in the giant banks and multinational corporations.

The chances of being able to stop the American war machine are now much higher; now that the leaders of most of the rest of the world are coming together and sinking their political differences, because at last they recognise something has to be done about the mad empire that is getting out of control — as happened with Napoleon and Adolf Hitler.

There is now a chance of an alliance between the rising BRICS countries (Brazil, Rus- sia, India, China and South Africa) and European Union countries to ease global financial, military and political power away from the US — as Liu Chang, a Chinese economist, proposed last month in the “de-Americanisation of the world”.

This can only benefit the working class of the world — including the American workers.