It is not a zero sum game.

Many look at the west with such a suspicion. They would suspect every things they do even if it appears a good deed. This is the result of long history of interference from the west in Meddle East internal affairs, which mostly lead to disastrous consequences to the people who lived through these event (some highlights include military coup supported by CIA and MI6 in Syria with husni zaim, or Coup in Iraq supporting saddam, or Iran Coup for reinstatement of the Shah,,, not to mention Palestine and so own,  most recent is the Iraq direct military occupation). For fairness it also can be due to local brutal dictators blaming the west for all the brutality these regimes commit to their own people, trying to disguise it as a foreign conspiracy (to cover their total failure).

But this should not blind us from the fact that it is not a zero sum game, our win should not necessarily mean their loss, and same argument can be valid other way around. Countries can build alignment of their interests where one party win can be a win for the other party. I will take Libya as an example; many talk about the price Libya need to pay NATO for their liberation, and how NATO or the west helped in return of financial compensation either directly or indirectly by granted the project for rebuilding the country. I can never be convinced with this argument, first because there was nothing in the country before the liberation, so more accurate expression is building Libya not rebuilding. But more seriously I don’t think NATO assisted rebels because of the riches of the country but because Gaddafi represented a real threat to Europe, he was using Illegal Immigrants as a weapon and a threat to Europe, he was using a threat of terrorism, which he proved capable of using to obtain concessions( he actually threaten to shoot down civil air-plains over the Mediterranean Sea if Eu tried to implement a no fly zone), couple that with the extreme proximity to Europe (really check it out on the map), I think Europe decided that we can not have a this crazy guy with all this money available to him to do us harm., and we should take this opportunity to get rid of him.  Now that happen to be in total alignment with the interest of the Libyan people, and so the rest is history.

Better way to do that is to actually plan this alignment and don’t leave it to the stars above. but the bottom line is that not all actions west do in their interest should mean a loss to us, and evidence of their interest is not an evidence proving that this position cannot serve our interest.

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4 thoughts on “It is not a zero sum game.

  1. I liked your analysis but still I am not convinced by Western countries “sudden charity” towards the Arab Spring. A number of these countries were happy with the current situation especially I will focus on France in my case.
    France had good interest in Tunisia, Lybia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Can you tell me how to interprete the comment of Michele Alliot-Marie, fmr MOI last year, backing Ben Ali with anti-riot supplies? What about the magic turnover of Nicolas Sarkozy that pledged no discussion with dictators before being elected and surprise surprise invites Ghaddafi and Assad at the Palais de l’Elysee?
    I know that foreign intervention is not acceptable morally speaking but we should also get back to “real-politik” and for small countries or democracy seeking countries to rely on the current superpower, even at a cost. Europe called USA twice at World War I and World War II to induce a momentum in the stalled situation and thats was the way and always be. But to try to sugarcoat it behind a charity just not right. Tell them to taxpayers if they agree to see part of their crippled economy smoked for some humanitarian purposes.
    Lets be pragmatic on current Western foregin policy. Where there is return on investment (Lybia can afford to pay back) then we push for intervention. When they is not much to get (Syria) or worse it is in our interest to keep same players (Yemen, Bahrain) we just ignore it and let it rot.
    I may say that USA learned that democracy cannot be induced by its own (Irak and Afghanistan are dramatically failed experiments) and you should instead ensure that people are mature to take the ramp of democracy to help them on it….at the condition that they not mess up with your own interest…

    • Thank you for your comment;
      I did not try to show that the west is doing favors or have a sudden charity tendencies, on the contrary I showed that helping Libya was in the interest of the EU (and i do think it is not money, it is more because he crazy with lots of money who is capable of doing lots of bad things, and it was an opportunity to take him out). My point was that in case of Libya it happened to be in the interest of the Libyan people, so serving EU interest can sometime be serving our interest.
      I have been hearing lots of arguments with friends about the bad intention of the west, and they only need to prove that the west has interest in an action to prove that it is not in our interest. what am trying to say that it can be both, and a smart politics don’t leave it for chances but instead work on creating mutual interest when we can align our interest with others. Many has done it before, even Syrian regime has done it with Iran. All i am saying don’t reject something just because it is coming from the west, examine each case take what is good for you and reject what is bad.

    • Hi Morris, i don’t know if you are looking for a reply from me on the video you posted. I actually started to put down some notes on as I watched the video than after five minutes i stopped because I was writing so much notes that it will fill a full page. I hope you are not taking Thierry knowledge seriously as he even exceeded the official media line (or Lies) when he was mentioned the Peshtoons from Pakistan (please don’t tell authorities in SYria about it they might like it and adopt it themselves).
      I am not trying to dismiss opposing ideas, as i like to listen to all ideas and i think i have an open mind that take all, but sometimes it looks too silly (no offence).

      Thank you for the comment though

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