A Bad Spell of Big Power Behavior
by Rami G. Khouri Released: 3 Feb 2010
BEIRUT -- This has been a revealing but worrying few days for the exercise of power by some of the world's strongest countries. China showed the world that it could be just as silly as other powers in trying to use economic sanctions as punitive diplomatic tools. Hilary Clinton showed that a woman can be just as idiotic as a man when articulating foreign policy principles that also relate to the use of sanctions to change the behavior of other countries. The worst moment of the week, however, was the sight of the snake-like Tony Blair once again showing us how otherwise intelligent, articulate leaders can also comfortably splash around in the underbrush of human deceit and political arrogance.
These three incidents remind us that our world usually operates on the basis of power politics, not on the basis of law or morality. The strong use their power to pursue policies that they believe will serve their national interests. If in the process they also indulge in hypocrisy, illusion, and crass, self-interested double standards, well that is too bad for the rest of the world. It is useful to note these things when they occur, if only to keep seeking more effective ways of dealing with the world's problems than through military force and diplomatic arm-twisting.
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