Asia's Great Game
In Thailand, Ignore the Human Rights Moralists
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  • Andrew Allison

    “But integrating our moral and political values into concrete policies in a complicated world is harder than it looks, and a rigidly moralistic approach to foreign policy often undercuts exactly the moral values we most wish to support.” as is rather conclusively demonstrated in the Levant at present. In foreign policy, strategy trumps “moral and political values” every time.

    • gabrielsyme

      In foreign policy, strategy trumps “moral and political values” every time.

      I wouldn’t go quite this far. There clearly needs to be a balance. The main problem is that the United States has the wrong values. It prefers democracy to justice (no one should have expected the Muslim Brotherhood to be a more just or fair government than that of Mubarak, particularly to women & minorities); it places a great deal of emphasis on gay rights while not even considering the far greater sufferings caused by religious discrimination and oppression. Much of American foreign policy damage is caused by incompetance; but a significant contributing factor is America’s foolish and inconsistent value system.

      • Andrew Allison

        “Much of American foreign policy damage is caused by incompetence; but a significant contributing factor is America’s foolish and inconsistent value system.” Agreed, and all the more reason why it should not be a factor in foreign policy considerations.

  • qet

    “Ignore the Human Rights Moralists”–this is sound advice across the board. Yes, yes, balance and all that. Nuance. &c. But right now the balance has been so decisively in favor of timorous human rights moralists for so long, the “nuance” has eclipsed every other consideration for so long, that what is needed is a period of re-balancing, a decisive ignoring of the human rights moralists until the correct balance is reestablished.

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