Thursday, October 31, 2013

No Down Side to Complaining

When we fail to support friends and oppose enemies, our enemies learn not to fear us, of course. But don't forget that the flip side of this coin is that friends learn they don't have incentive to remain a loyal friend.

With the Germans, French, and other countries bitterly and publicly complaining about our NSA eavesdropping, some here are dismissing the protests because everybody knows everybody does it (tip to Instapundit):

Amid the growing furor over allegations that the United States spied on some of its closest allies in Europe – including German Chancellor Angela Merkel – a quiet refrain is being repeated by intelligence insiders across the continent: We all do it.

The other countries may complain (tip to Instapundit) but they basically resent that we are much better at it, but we're all grown ups.

Yet our allies and others are complaining loudly. Why?

They complain because they no longer have an incentive to just stay quiet and let the story die.

In the past, knowing they needed our help, they would take the big boy attitude that everyone does this and just hope the story goes away.

But now the German leaders can score points at home by slamming our efforts with little concern that they might lose our support in the future. Heck, what are the odds of this administration helping them if they stay quiet?

And obviously, we aren't going to try to punish them. Good grief, look at what Iran gets away with! And we still think we see a reformer in power in Iran who might strike a deal with us!

Merkel could take over Austria, invade Denmark, and still expect to get a phone call from President Obama to work out our differences! What on Earth are we going to do about a little complaining about our NSA?

It's all about a lack of respect for us. If our allies feel this way, what will our enemies try to do to us over the next three years?