Sunday, February 6, 2011
Is it ever right to support a dictator ?
This is a question that is being asked right now inside the White House and the Pentagon. Most people would say that the answer is clearly no. However Henry Kissenger once said that "people of average intelligence believe you can apply the same principles to personal relations as you do to International Relations, this is not so because with International Relations you sometimes have to choose between a lesser of two evils". It is an arrogant statement by Kissenger but it is a statement that one cannot dismiss easly. Joseph Stalin was one of histories greatest monsters yet most people accept that the west was correct to ally themselves with the psychotic communist mad man in order to defeat Hitler. Likewise during the Cold War American foreign Policy came under intense criticism for the active policy of sponsoring right wing military governments in order to prevent the spread of communism. My view is that in certain extreme situations support for dictators was on occasion necessary when the alternative was a Soviet take over of a strategically important nation. Today, President Obama and American Foreign policy experts are faced with the dilemma of whether or not to support a friendly yet brutal Arab dictator when the primary objective of American Foreign Policy is supposed to be the spread of democracy in the Middle East. This dilemma is further complicated by the fact that America not only wants a democratic Middle East, but peace for Israel with its neighbour as well, a paradox at best considering Mubarak's brutal regime is one of only two Arab nations to make peace with Israel. So, what should President Obama do ? Thoughts anyone???