The White House had hinted at this earlier, but now it's been confirmed that President Obama has cancelled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin
because of Russia's decision to grant temporary asylum to Ed Snowden. This seems petty in the extreme. No one honestly thought that Putin would simply hand over Snowden. And, really, of all the things to cancel a meeting about, this is the one that pushes him over the edge? He could have cancelled it over Putin's recent homophobic remarks
or Russia's latest focus on censoring the internet
or putting activists in jail
or any number of other things that generally should
offend American sensibilities. But using the Snowden asylum as the reason just seems like the federal government is really losing perspective in this whole NSA surveillance debate -- the one Obama claimed he "welcomed."
Honestly, this whole thing feels like kindergarten-style diplomacy. The Russians took "our ball" and so now we're mad at them and won't talk to them. In an adult world, cancelling a meeting over something like this just looks incredibly immature and petty. It's all for show, rather than any legitimate purpose. I'd rather we had a government that didn't do things for show, but for legitimate reasons. Unfortunately, it seems we're well past having that kind of government.