Reporter Glenn Greenwald, best known as the man who broke the Edward Snowden story for The Guardian — some might use the term “colluded” — sat down with MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow this afternoon, as part of the promotion for his new book, “No Place to Hide.” Greenwald was asked by Farrow to weigh in on the disintegrating situation in Iraq, and particularly to share his views on America’s role in the Middle East. Defending recent comments in which he stated that the United States could be considered terrorists for invading Iraq, Greenwald explained, “It seems like a lot of the violence we ourselves engage in could fall in the parameters of what that term means.”
Oh, thanks, Glenn! Using his logic, I suppose we need to make sure all of our foreign policy actions pass John Kerry’s infamous “global test” before we engage anywhere in the world. What Greenwald fails to realize is that if we had a strong president leading the United States right now, it wouldn’t matter how our enemies perceive us. A strong leader would define America’s true character, irrespective of what the bad actors in the Middle East think of us. It’s that very lack of American leadership that scares people like Greenwald into worrying what others think of our actions. After all, if we don’t know who we are as a nation, how can we possibly command the respect of other countries?
Ultimately, this semantic debate regarding the true meaning of words like “terrorism” is getting old, and it’s really not as intellectual a discussion as people like Greenwald make it out to be. In fact, it’s rather pointless, if not simply counterproductive to our interests.
Perhaps it might be time to give the moral equivalency game a rest, Glenn. That is, unless you’re auditioning to become the next Al Jazeera correspondent.
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