The Obama Administration is furious. A good chunk of Congress is furious. Most of the Sunday news show pundits are furious. Shaking their fists impotently in rage at the escape of Edward Snowden from Hong Kong, they are inconsolable.
Who are they mad at? Tiny Ecuador, who is granting Snowden asylum, to be sure. But the rage is also targeted at China, Hong Kong’s city government, even Russia for letting Snowden’s plane stop off there.
The White House has promised a “negative impact” on Sino-American relations as a result of Snowden’s escape, and demands that Russia use “all options” to capture Snowden and turn him over to the US government, threatening major repercussions for defiance.
Rep. Peter King (R – NY), always convenient for his ability to boil things down to their totally unreasonable conclusions, insisted that the US must now be much more hostile toward China going forward, and that “business cannot go on as usual.”
In the end this means that the US government is willing to self-sabotage its most important diplomatic relationships, those with China and Russia, which the Obama Administration has been pouring effort into keeping at least nominally civil.
Neither Russia or China is eager to worsen relations with the US, though China is surely displeased with the news of US cyber-attacks. Ultimately it is the Obama Administration’s own anger, and the lack of a detainee to take out their frustrations on, that will drive the worsening ties.