There's a grade-school-level international game being played. It's like the one you played as a kid when you would have a friend punch you as hard as possible in the stomach to see how long you could keep a fake smile plastered on your face. "Oh, THAT didn't hurt AT ALL! Hit me harder, you wimp!" That, right now, is America -- and it needs to stop.
Let's take two recent beneficiaries of the goodies-for-abuse program: Russia and Pakistan.
Russia apparently doesn't feel that granting asylum to National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and his multiple laptops and thumb drives is a big deal. Well, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who served as a Russian intelligence chief for the KGB (an agency not known for taking such things lightly), would think that defecting with national intelligence is a big deal. But that's him -- and you're not him, America. And now Putin has something to put on the show-and-tell shelf along with French actor Gerard Depardieu, who apparently decided that the harsh Russian winters and rampant warrantless wiretapping would be worth a tax cut.
But we'll see you in Sochi, America, where you're expected to assist Russia with security for the 2014 Winter Olympics -- at considerable risk for terrorism due to the fact that a Chechen terrorist leader said so. Not to mention the fact that (as predicted in a previous column) analysts are now expressing widespread concern over the movement of al-Qaeda from Syria into the nearby Russian Islamic hotbed of the Northern Caucasus (from where the alleged Boston Marathon bombers hailed), not far from Sochi.
Perhaps America should just say, "Good luck with that Olympic security thing. Hopefully global national-security icon Ed Snowden will keep everything under control for you."
Worse, Russia is still whining about America not letting it bring its scrappy little buddy Iran to the next backstabbing fiesta, also known as the "Geneva 2" negotiations on the Syrian conflict. America should simply respond, "Look, you can bring your Iranian friends, IF they pull all Iranian proxy and state-sponsored fighters out of the region first."
Next up: Pakistan, the third-biggest recipient of U.S. foreign aid last year, at $2.1 billion, behind only Israel and Afghanistan. Pakistan was supposed to use American aid to help fight terrorism along its border with Afghanistan, and to assist in finding Osama bin Laden, who was believed to have been in Pakistan long before the U.S. Navy's SEAL Team 6 ever raided his compound.