The lessons of boundless pragmatism

Posted: Arkadijus Vinokuras Date: 2013-09-12 07:25

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The Gordian Knot of Syria is cut. It was done by no one else but the president of the USA Barack Obama – the person who clearly does not want to be involved in the conflict that is not useful for the big powers.

Moreover, as one retired Israeli general said, the fight in Syria is not among the good and the bad. In Syria the bad ones are fighting the even worse ones. It seems that this is the truth. That is why the suggestion to confiscate the chemical weapons from al Assad fell like manna from of the sky. Therefore, as I have predicted before, there will be no World War III, and the situation in the Middle East – business as usual.

The secretary of the State John Kerry not accidently suggested that chemical weapons of Syria should be confiscated. Russians got hooked up on that also. Maybe Obama talked about this with Putin at G20. The phone lines are heated because of the talks among USA, Russia and Arab League.

Say what you want but if the US hadn’t threatened to attack Syria (even if it had hard time doing so), Russians would not have pulled themselves together. And Obama would have to take actions even if he does not want to. Because the USA only threatens once. This is the responsibility of the world’s policeman. And who wants to be the policeman of the world? It is better that this is done by the USA than China or Russia.

So, the president Obama after he faced the judgment of the Congress probably avoided the dangerous conflict. And not only the conflict: his colleague in Russia was also able to keep its honor. Mow both of them will claim the rights to have managed to find this solution. How do people say? And sheep is safe and wolf is full.

But the sheep is not the sheep. It is a wolf. And if nothing happens, 100 000 more Syrians will be killed.

All kinds of political Western humanists will cry about the lost lives, Russians will celebrate that they did not lose their influence in the middle East, morally right analysts will complain about this endless pragmatism which is cynicism really. It is only cynicism and nothing else.

Who won? Not democracies. But does that mean that democracies have to take all the responsibility for the atrocities done by dictators? Even the sentence “It is not our business” should creep us out. We again see the entire massacre and realize that we have lost all hope not to be cynical observers.

Political consensus with dictators that does not bring salvation for ordinary people in any war run by dictators in any part of the world – such a consensus is not just immoral: it tramples the imperative of moral supremacy of democracy over dictatorship.

So how we are different from all those killers? The right thing to do in this situation would be helping those who suffer. If this is not done, the apathy becomes a norm.

Now the USA and the EU need to find other means to deal with Russia and Arab dictators to stop killings in Syria. But some like Nobel Peace prize winner Adolf Pérez Esquivel blame the USA for getting into “not their business”. Like without the USA, the world would be a heaven.

Well, it is true that the massacre continued in Iraq and Afghanistan. No powerful state could beat their chests and swear that they have not been driven by double standards at some point. In other words, when ethics leave politics, the trust in politicians and politics vanishes. Then the “street laws” take over. So these are the lessons of endless pragmatism for those who want to learn from them.