Wednesday, 3 May 2017

It is ethical, if necessary, to send young men to die for their country, but not for values.

Can someone explain please why people are saying that Turkey cannot belong to Nato if she ceases to be a democracy? 

Salazar's Portugal was one of Nato's founding members. Turkey joined Nato in 1952 as a democracy but later became a dictatorship without leaving. The same is true of Greece.

The problem is that, when it came to enlarging Nato, after the Cold War had ended, countries were admitted on the basis of how democratic they were, not how useful they would be as allies.

Values and human rights keep getting entangled with war.

In a comparable way, politicians think of countries as being based in values not on blood and history.

This reminds me that so called ethical foreign policies are very unethical. It is ethical, in necessity, to send young men to die for their country but not for values or for democracy in Iraq.

This is why people like Boris Johnson, whom I had hoped would be good but is proving a terrible Foreign Secretary, think we have to follow the USA into whatever adventure they get involved in. Presumably, because he too thinks foreign policy is about values and our and American values are the same.

As I said before, he resembles Hillary Clinton in drag.

Which reminds me of these words of Enoch Powell talking to Margaret Thatcher.

Enoch Powell: No, we do not fight for values. I would fight for this country even if it had a communist government.Margaret Thatcher: Nonsense, Enoch. If I send British troops abroad, it will be to defend our values.Powell: No, Prime Minister, values exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed.

The strange thing is that, even when we send young men to die, we are nowadays supposed to do so for 'values' not for their nation. And even nations are supposed to be based on values, not blood.

Why are nations, and especially ethnic states, out of fashion among the priestly caste who (normally, except in referendums and US elections) decide things?


  1. David in Moscow3 May 2017 at 20:15

    All wars waste lives especially young ones.

    This is one of the reasons I do not believe that the UK should wage war for ethical reasons. War should be waged only out of dire necessity, i.e. national survival.

    Boris Johnson - Mrs May in this instance has proved very clever. She has kept her friends close and her enemies closer. By making Boris Foreign Secretary she has given him enough rope to hang himself.
    No way can he now sustain a successful leadership challenge against her.

    The unquestioning support for USA baffles me to. What is in it for us?

    Three cheers for Jeremy Corbyn! He would never follow the Septics ;)

    1. The unquestioning support for USA baffles me to. What is in it for us?

      A sense of self-importance.

      An independent UK would have to accept the reality of being a second-rate economic power, a third-rate military power and a fourth-rate political power. More significant than Canada, but much less significant than India or Brazil.

      By being Uncle Sam's faithful lap-dog Britons can delude themselves into thinking that being a minor henchman of a big shot is just as good as being a big shot. In actual fact it just means that Britain is regarded with contempt by everybody, including the United States.

  2. Certainly.

    [aside: I had forgoten Boris ... Never hear of him, somehow. Ought to catch up on the news ! ]