Sunday, November 10, 2013

Help your friends, harm your enemies: Central Asian Edition

Bridenstine: Obama should treat friends better | TheHill: "The Obama administration is befriending one country, but is all too eager to criticize the other. Nation One wants a nuclear weapons capability. Nation Two combats nuclear proliferation. Nation One supports global terrorist movements. Nation Two contributes troops to America’s fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. Nation One is an Islamic theocracy. Nation Two is a secular society in which women, Christians and Jews enjoy equal rights with the Muslim majority.
By now, you may realize that Nation One is Iran. Nation Two is Azerbaijan, an ancient civilization in the South Caucasus that regained its independence in 1991 after the Soviet Union’s collapse.
Iran and Azerbaijan both held presidential elections this year. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s response to them suggests that it pays to be an adversary of the United States rather than a friend."
But the administration's actions make perfect sense from their theory of foreign affairs: if someone hates you it must be because of some misunderstanding or some injustice you have done to them in the past. In either case, being critical just makes the situation worse. On the other hand, if someone is trying to be your friend and is so accounted by the world, it is all the more important to hold them to the highest standards so as to maintain our own credibility with those who mistrust us or count themselves as our enemies.

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