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Time to mend the fences

Updated: 2013-12-24 07:16
( China Daily)

The United States' ties with Israel appear to have run into rough weather after documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former US National Security Agency contractor on Friday, accused the US of spying on Israeli leaders. Unless the US shows real sincerity in redressing its blunders, it seems that the nightmare caused by Snowden's leaks will wreak further havoc on its ties with other nations.

Lengthy global media coverage on the Snowden leaks has put more pressure on US President Barack Obama's administration and tarnished the image of Uncle Sam in the global arena.

True, Washington has tried to dispel the repercussions of the mishap and vowed to put some checks on its massive surveillance activities. But it is also true that it has tried even harder to defend its spying system. High-ranking US officials have repeatedly attributed the massive tapping to anti-terrorism efforts. Some have even gone to extremes by trying to divert global attention and put the blames onto others.

Last week, US Congressman Mike Rogers told reporters at the European Parliament that the European Union debate on the US spying is helping China to rob Western companies. "Because of this confusion and of this muddling of the debate, it has allowed the Chinese to absolutely steal us blind when it comes to intellectual property for European and American companies," said Rogers.

Such irresponsible remarks are hardly worth refuting. The US politician should be told that badmouthing China would not help the US out of its Snowden nightmare. Uncle Sam should face squarely the dirt on his own face. Otherwise, the US' global credibility crisis will only deepen day by day as Snowden has made it clear he will cooperate with victims of the US spying and continue to leak information.

Snowden's leaks have triggered alarms in the victimized countries and prompted them to beef up national security, especially information security. As one of the many repercussions of the US spying drama, the US will find it more difficult to maintain its hegemony in the virtual world no matter whether it is ready for some soul-searching or not.

(China Daily 12/24/2013 page8)