June 8, 2022
Make no mistake, Nick, it is not at all as if the best of us condone Clinton’s gallivanting any more than that of Trump’s. This rightfully remains a question of principle, I agree. Your article is a fine exercise in perspective, but again not one in terms of context. What you apparently quickly often overlook here, however, throughout your “whataboutism” contention is that these also raise questions of perception. I would still much rather have a drink and conversation for three solid hours with someone with some charm, intellect, and an ability to communicate than three agonizing minutes with a bloated, conniving, egotistical bigot who lacks all of the earlier aforementioned faculties. I’ll let you figure out which is which….
This also applies across the board to behaviours of leaders, nations, and armies. Although you have cited a number of sound examples of the iniquity and hypocrisy in our past and present geopolitical games, there is still a number of situations you put forward here that are seriously flawed as arguments in which you provide woefully little of it – many with which would require fleshing out. I will point out only a select few.
There have been instances when Canada actually held its own. One example being Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s vehement refusal to get directly involved in what was then President George W. Bush’s quasi-unilateral decision to invade Iraq back in 2003 and the U.S.’s so-called “War on Terror.” To compare Russia’s flash attempt at a belligerent takeover of the Ukraine to the longstanding oppression of the Palestinians in east Jerusalem, or of Iraqi insurgency against government forces is a poor one. To the former, it is largely in the Kremlin’s eyes only that Zelensky’s resistance forces are viewed as “terrorists,” while on the far more complex latter scenario, one cannot discern as easily in just whose eyes these Muslim “resistors” are considered as such.
Countries are somewhat extensions of individuals in a large residence, or society. Friendships become alliances. International trade dynamics and security pacts play an integral role in the formation of these alliances, and one need not look too far to see instances in recent history where individual nations did not approve of a perceived “multilateral” act. The sheer complexity of these interactions is what naturally renders what should be viewed as “black and white” to any shade of “grey.” Yes, there is “principle,” but what brings some sense to these perceived iniquities requires context.