Dan Drezner, professor of international politics at Tufts University, makes the case that it was the decision by the Obama administration to force down the plane of Bolivian president Evo Morales because of suspicions that Edward Snowden may have been on board.
I never know how to create rank-ordered lists of things so I don’t even try. After all, the tragic deaths of so many innocent people because of drone strikes around the world that have caused such anger surely has to count as a major blunder. And what about the revelations of the NSA tapping into the communications of foreign leaders?
But what the Morales episode did was remind us and the rest of the world once again that the US, despite its pious pronouncements whenever its own diplomats are threatened, has the utmost contempt for the sovereign rights of other countries and diplomatic norms if those stand in the way of it getting what it wants. Just imagine another country forcing down Air Force One because of suspicions that the plane was carrying a dissident from the country that the president had just visited. Unthinkable, isn’t it? Because these rules only apply one way.