In response to an FT article by Philip Stephens on 8th December 2016, entitled 'Xi Jinping, Davos and the world in 2017'
On a superficial level, the above article is about President Xi's plan to attend Davos this year, what his decision to attend says about China's emerging role as a major force in geo-politics, and how the election of a non-interventionist US President relates to that. My response does not focus on any of that. I have chosen to challenge the underlying premises that Mr Stephens brings to his analysis of the world - an ideology of US/Western exceptionalism and phoney moral virtue. An ideology I refute as false, and dangerous.
“There is a tidiness that disappears when rules are replaced by competing powers…”
“…a post-cold war generation lulled into believing that order and predictability are part of the state of nature has been badly shaken”
“…a club of Americans that sees global rules and fixed alliances as a subtraction from, rather than an addition to, US power”
If there is still anyone out there who really believes that there has been any post-cold war ‘order and predictability’, that US & UK foreign policy has been based on ‘rules’, or that there has been anything remotely ‘tidy’ about the geopolitical landscape…then they have either been in a coma for twenty years, getting their news solely from the State Department, or spending far too much time polishing their address book in cocktail parties at the Council on Foreign Relations.
- When we went into Iraq, it wasn’t based on ‘rules’, unless you consider lying to Congress, Parliament and the United Nations following ‘rules’
- When we intervened in Libya having led the world to believe we wouldn’t, we weren’t promoting ‘predictability’
- When we recruited, trained, and funded ‘moderate rebels’ in one theatre of war, whilst bombing them as ‘terrorists’ in another…we were not engaged in an exercise designed to promote ‘tidiness’
The major premise of this article is absolute tosh. The author is either being incredibly naïve...or is complicit with the lies spun by the neo-cons, militarists, and good old-fashioned ‘creeps’ in Washington and Whitehall, who would like us to believe we live on the loftiest outcrop of the moral high-ground. We don’t, and you do no service to international relations by pretending that we do.