Published time: July 10, 2014 12:22
The NSA Snowden affair did a lot of damage, but the new spying scandals are making winning affection for the US a major question for any government that tries to defend that special relationship, publicist and author William Engdahl told RT.
RT:These spying scandals are coming one after another. Should we expect another one soon, or will the US become more careful?
William Engdahl: Obviously it’s the case that the NSA has not ceased that practice of spying on everyone everywhere. I think what is interesting about the German spy scandals most recently is the fact that they are coming to the surface at all, and this is a major change in the attitude of the European or EU elites, the powerful people behind the scenes who tell elected politicians like Angela Merkel or Hollande in France what is the wise course to follow. What we are seeing is a sharp distancing from the Atlantic strategy in many areas but most of all the strategy of Washington and the neo-conservatives to split Russia from the EU and using Ukraine of course to do that.
RT: What does Washington want from its spying on Germany?
WE: It is unclear. They are spying on so many absolutely idiotic targets. They are spying on the internet users who are just routine ordinary citizens, according to information that comes out in regard of the Snowden affair. [Concerning] what they want, my experience with agencies of the federal government in Washington is that yes, they have certain strategies on a certain level. On the other hand, it is bureaucracy run amok, a kind of self-perpetuating itself through justifying its budget, and the NSA has a budget far larger than that of the CIA.
In terms of Germany, in terms of Europe, Washington is well aware that they are pushing the relationship to the brink, and that the Europeans, both Germany and France, do not want a war confrontation with Russia. They went through that one time in the last century and that wasn’t at all a pretty event. So the Europeans are much more sober on the question of Russian relations and much more sensible. The Obama administration wants to push it to the brink, they want to push Iraq and Syria to the brink as a way of weakening direct ties between Middle East energy producing countries and the EU and such things as this. The spy scandals in Germany are the reflection of the fact that this is being made public now. Normally this would be covered up. Five years ago, ten years ago you would never hear about such a thing.
RT: Will Berlin finally take some kind of action to stop this?
WE: I wouldn’t look at one-on-one correlation. Let’s be realistic, how would you stop a Leviathan that is out of control and spying on every government in the world of any significance. The Obama administration is clearly hypocritical and has no intention obviously of downscaling any of its espionage activities on EU politicians, on fellow NATO member politicians, no matter what their pretty words are they exchange at the G7 cocktail parties. I think the point is the effect of these scandals in the German media, on an average German, is to really weaken the affection for the US that the majority of Germans had during the time of the Berlin airlift in the 1950s and during the Cold War or the Marshall Plan. Rightly or wrongly there was a very strong wellspring of affection between most ordinary Germans and the US. A love of American enthusiasm, of American vitality, informality and creativity. That has pretty much been spent now. The NSA Snowden affair did a lot of damage, but now these new scandals are making it a major question for any government that try to defend at all cost that special relationship with Washington.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.