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Xinhua, China

America Is a Thief Crying, ‘Stop Thief!’;
Its Exceptionalism Is Pointed Out
as Damaging Soft Power

By Zhong Sheng

Translated By Caroline Moreno

9 September 2013

Edited by Gillian Palmer

China - Xinhua - Original Article (Chinese)

America often plays the cheap tricks of a thief crying, “Stop, thief!” After things are exposed, what is even more outrageous is the vigor with which America forces itself to put on a facade and is unwilling to admit its faults.

According to the latest PRISM documents made public by main player Edward Snowden, the U.S. National Security Agency "actively engages U.S. and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products' designs," making these products "exploitable." A recent New York Times report also cited a quote by an insider who said that in one case, after the U.S. government knew a certain foreign intelligence target ordered new computer hardware, the American manufacturer agreed to insert a back door into the hardware before it was shipped.

Perhaps aiming at the specific target of being oriented toward implanting "back doors" requires too much effort. America is still seeking the ultimate method to easily reap long-term benefits. The documents Snowden publicized reveal that over the past 10 years, the NSA made great efforts to analyze and explain widespread usage of Internet encryption technology, obtaining results that greatly shocked British intelligence personnel. Moreover, the NSA also took advantage of its own influence as the world's most experienced cipher designer and secretly installed weak links in encoding standards adhered to by software and hardware developers all over the world. Mastering and controlling encoding technologies and standards means allowing America to possess the technical abilities to monitor global Internet communications.

Not long ago, U.S. politicians also spitefully blackened the names of other countries' communications equipment manufacturers and fictitiously criticized the other people's communications products as providing full opportunities to implant malicious hardware and software into key U.S. communications systems. While blackening the names of other countries, America itself was actually brazenly doing dishonorable and sordid deeds. Even if America has a strong ability to drive out morality, justice and its sense of culpability, it still needs to face up to the reality of its international image being damaged.

U.S. National Intelligence chief Clapper explains it like this: Breaching Internet encoding is for the purpose of countering "terrorism, Internet crimes, human trafficking and other crimes." The intelligence departments are just fulfilling their duties. Evidently, using the arguments of counterterrorism and law enforcement cannot convince people. That the NSA systematically cut into the New York United Nations headquarters' video communications and monitored international atomic energy organizations and the European Union delegation based in New York, is totally unrelated to counterterrorism. The large-scale monitoring and control of America's own population's communications and other activities suffices to indicate that in every kind of system, the power to prevent the misuse of this monitoring and control exists in name only.

Clearly, it is secretly monitoring the whole world, but it is pretending to be serious about morality and justice to gain a more advantageous position. It changes like the weather, but it's a reprint of America relying on its power and being belligerent. America’s cheap tricks are truly disgusting.

Not to mention America's historical use of chemical weapons. According to Foreign Policy magazine’s website, during the time of the Iran-Iraq War, to ensure that Iraq would win the war, U.S. military and intelligence organizations were very clear that Saddam's military forces would employ chemical weapons, including the fatal nerve toxicant sarin, but they didn't act to stop it. At present, the United Nations investigation report has not yet been issued.* America is mounting intense publicity, preparing to implement a military strike. The American people themselves are not clear on whether the strike is ultimately safeguarding this international standard of preventing the use of chemical weapons or whether it has another secret agenda. The international community is also maintaining ample vigilance.

A nation, regardless of how powerful its economic and military power, will by nature of practicing “exceptionalism” make its soft power feeble in the end; its inner world will also certainly be void. A great power with damaged soft power and deficient of self-confidence is often a troublemaker. This issue can't be resolved using ideology; this kind of great power will ultimately have no way to play a constructive role in the shifting process of the international relations system.

Peace, development, cooperation and shared victories have already become the trends of this era. This is the progress of history; for a great power like America that is carrying on the successes of its predecessors, this is a historical opportunity. How to seize it depends on the wisdom of the American people themselves.

*Editor's Note: Since the original publication of this article, the U.N. report has been released.



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