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|Yes, there is indeed no place for "morality" in international politice
Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
| And the reason that there is no place for "morality" in international realpolitik is that the people who conduct it pretty much self-select for immorality or at least amorality.
Looking back over the last fifty years or so of American politcs, i find that it's a good rule of thumb that anyone who wants to be President probably shouldn't be allowed to be. (And that applies to both sdes of the aisle.)
Similarly, in international relations, anyone who actually *wants* to help decide the fate of nations and the world probably shouldn't be allowed to.
Certainly, that applies to "Shoher", whatever his real name and qualifications in the field. (The back cover avers he is the leader of a political party. So was Lord Sutch.)
Incidentally -- why does he feel it's necessary to put this out under a pseudonym? From his own website, he says:
"- to avoid offending friends and colleagues who hold different views
- to continue travel to Muslim countries under my real name".
Like [fellow Amazon.com reviewer] Yaakov Ben Shulim, i received an e-mail (an identical one to his, as i recall the wording) asking me if i would look the book over and perhaps review it, mentioning its "banning" by Google and Yahoo.
I regret saying, in a moment of weakness, that i would.
I have now read segments of the book, and can safely say that it is boring (which is not surprising, most political tracts and texts are), poorly organised (again, not surprising -- it's thedegree to which it is disorganised that catches the eye), and based on the theory that since Might Makes Right, Israel has the Right to do anything it wants and no-one has any right to argue with it.
As an instance: In the first couple of pages, the author demonstrates (to his satisfaction, at least) that, since one possible formulation of the "Golden Rule" is "You may do anything to the Other Guy that you wouldn't deny him the right to do to you", then, if you are willing to die for your country or political beliefs or religion, it's okay to kill other people based on those principles.
Sort of makes suicide bombers in pizza parlors and National Guard members called up and on the front lines morally equivalent, doesn't it?
I actually cannot totally disagree with the thought that, faced with un-co-operative "negotiating partners", one can, if one is strong enough, force their "co-operation" with little fear of retribution; and, a few years ago, back when i was pretty much uncritically pro-Israel, i might even have thought it was a Good Idea.
I don't now.
Whatever else he taught, Machievelli was eminently practical -- he would never have overstepped his abilities, nor advocated that his Prince do so.
Shoher, on the other hand, seems to be doing so.
Quite simply, short of the Nuclear Option, i do not believe that Israel can survive solely by force of arms, and i question whether that option would actually guarantee its survival or merely commnce the last act of the suicide pact that Israel and its neighbours have been approaching for years.
(Watching the italian pitstop that our operations in Iraq have become, i'm not particularly sure that even the US -- arguably the most powerful nation in the history of the world -- currently has the capability to move in and force peace in the region without the willing co-operation of all or most parties or resorting to the "glass desert" option ourselves. While there is something to be said for Keith Laumer's theory that "There ain't nothin' more peaceful than a dead troublemaker," we really ought to avoid putting ourselves in the position of having to make "peaceful troublemakers" out of a goodly fraction of the population of the region.)
Anyone, as what i have read of Shoher's arguments, who advocates unilateral force as a basis for international relations had better make sure that he has the big battalions as well as God on his side.
Right now, i can't see that anyone -- on either side -- in the Middle East has.