I’ve watched with interest my country’s flip-flopping foreign policy toward Egypt, and I have to say it was a little embarrassing. Now it’s same song second verse with Libya.
I’m sure it looked to the world like we were supporters of Mubarak as long as we thought Mubarak would remain in power and advance our interests in the Middle East.
When it looked like a popular revolution would prevail we were for the people. I’m trying to find the principle that motivated that policy.
I recognize foreign policy can’t be entirely altruistic, but neither should it be entirely self-interested.
After we have called for Mubarak’s removal, I wondered what would happen to our relationship with Egypt if Mubarak somehow succeeded in holding onto power. That is the problem with conducting a foreign policy that is primarily self-interested rather than principled.
Here’s another example. Right now, we are bowing and scraping to China because they own so much of our debt and are an emerging superpower. Yet, the Church is being horribly persecuted by the Chinese government, and in response our government is effectively silent. Where is the principle in our foreign policy toward China?
I’m not picking on President Obama. I’m sure I could come up with similar examples from the Bush Administration. But if the choice of what to do in Egypt, or what to do now in Libya now, seem difficult and the balance we are trying to strike delicate, it is only because we are making decisions based on self-interested outcomes, not based on principle. Principle is more concerned about right conduct than desired conclusions. As a result, principled choices are almost always more clearly seen than self-interested ones.
As the kingdom of God advances on the earth and nations begin to operate under the delegated authority of King Jesus they should be motivated as much or more by principle than self-interest. I think that would be a good place to start now. GS