Take another look at our place in international politics

Yousseff Hanna

Whenever I read the reaction of United States diplomats regarding events in any country outside the U.S. I cannot help but laugh. Similar to the idiotic way characters in Hollywood movies are presented, the U.S. diplomats always show some nations as the “bad” nations, the demons, and others as the “good” ones, the angels.

For instance, Iran with its plans to armor itself with nuclear weapons is a “bad” nation. And the U.S., supposedly trying to refrain Iran from having such weapons, and to keep the peace in the Middle East, is a “good” nation. I find this way of interpreting and categorizing nations very juvenile. There are no angels and demons in politics. Everyone is a demon in their own way.

Let’s take the example of Iran. So apparently the U.S. doesn’t like that Iran is imposing a threat on Israel and the whole Middle East and therefore is trying to refrain the nation from having nuclear weapons. A careful interpretation of the news can show that this is far from being true. I always wondered why the U.S. is not pushing the U.N. to impose real sanctions on this nation.

The reason seems to be that Uncle Sam is profiting from this situation and is actually planning to make some green out of it. Because of the threat Iran is imposing on nations like Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration formally notified Congress in October to sell advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia worth $60 billion, the biggest arms sale in U.S. history. Iran plans do not seem to be a bad thing after all. So thank you Iran for jump-starting the economy.

Similarly when I read the news about the disappointment of the fraudulent Egyptian Parliament elections held last Sunday, I couldn’t help but laugh. So it seems that the U.S. administration is not happy with democracy being violated in Egypt. Really? The U.S. has been paying $1.3 billion every year in aid for decades with full knowledge of  Egypt’s record of suppressing opposition and violating human rights. This aid is used to keep Egypt as a mediator in the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — Egypt is the second largest recipient of American aid right after Israel. And which city did Obama choose to deliver his speech to the Muslim world last year? Wasn’t it Cairo?

I am not trying to defend Iran’s plans for obtaining nuclear weapons or Egypt’s fraudulent elections. I just get frustrated when U.S. diplomats picture the United States as the angels of peace. In politics, there are no good and bad people. It is a dirty game where all players have blood on their hands. It is a game where only one motto exists: The ends justify the means.

So when reading the news, it is better to consider the big picture and develop better judgments than to blindly agree with whatever U.S. diplomats say.