My Take
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 June, 2013, 1:53am

US spoof speaks truth to power

BIO

Alex Lo is a senior writer at the South China Morning Post. He writes editorials and the daily “My Take” column on page 2. He also edits the weekly science and technology page in Sunday Morning Post.
 

Run for cover. Stock up on food and water. The American imperialist army is coming.

Influential US Republican senator and one-time presidential wannabe John McCain has called for the invasion of Hong Kong over that traitor Edward Snowden.

"Either you're with us or you're against us," McCain reportedly told BBC World News. "And clearly the nation of Hong Kong is against us. By harbouring this known cybercriminal they pose a clear and present danger to the American people."

Well, not quite! This was actually a spoof from the satirical Daily Currant news service. Whatever you say about the declining state of American journalism, they sure have some hilarious news websites. This rather reminds me of a classic putdown by British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay aimed at a hapless kitchen student: "This dish has so much oil in it the Americans are going to invade."

But of course, all satire, through exaggeration, points to a certain truth. In this case, it's American paranoia. The good senator may not have demanded to invade tiny Hong Kong. But the US consulate in town has gotten a tad fearful.

The usual busybodies like lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung have planned a protest march in support of Snowden to the consulate office in Garden Road today. That's enough for the consulate to issue a warning to Americans living in Hong Kong over the march. We all know how Leung makes a living as a protester-for-hire and would not hurt a fly.

The consulate instructed its staff and other US citizens to stay away from the area. Since it's a weekend, that shouldn't be difficult, except for those hard-working CIA and military intelligence operatives toiling round the clock plotting to bring Snowden to American justice.

The consulate also strongly urges US citizens to enrol in a protection programme, warning even a peaceful march could turn violent. "Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence," it said. Come on, haven't you been compiling glowing reports about how Hong Kong people protest peacefully for democracy year after year? Now, a peaceful march will suddenly turn violent - when it's against you.

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US spoof speaks truth to power

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