Sunday, December 08, 2013

Don't bring lawyers to a knife-fight

The legalism of the West is going to end up leading to a great victory for the forces of lawlessness: Letting the Ukraine slip into the Russian orbit and out of the West:

The Great Ukrainian Knife Fight - The American Interest: "The EU on the other hand, infected by the usual mix of arrogance, legalism and internal wrangling that fairly consistently undermines its influence on the world stage, assumed that the attractions of its offer were so overwhelming that relatively little needed to be done beyond restating the terms of the deal. Worse, it demanded that President Yanukovych swallow a large toad before signing up; he had to release his archrival and predecessor Yulia Tymoshenko from jail. 
Not a good idea; the toad swallowing thing ensured that Yanukovych would bargain hard before accepting the EU bid and made him more open to Kremlin seduction than he would otherwise be. It also reminded the entire Ukrainian economic establishment that a deal with the European Union would threaten the freewheeling nature of oligarchical life. It reminded all the power brokers in Ukraine of just how convenient the more flexible Russian approach to matters of political democracy and economic regulation can be."
The West as a whole is hobbled by institutions that care more about conforming their behavior to legal principles rather than achieving results. When confronted by an opponent with a knife the thing to do is not to check whether your hands are clean but whether they have a knife in them as well. Putin is winning in spite of a weak hand because he helps his friends and harms his enemies. All our friends get is a hygiene lecture. 

No comments: