Monday, 19 February 2007

4:6 Acting as the world's policeman and judge

Another good technique is to appeal to the very international bodies which are such an impediment to your freedom of action. Say that your decision to act without their authorization is in their best interest. They are too weak and indecisive to act, so you are doing it to preserve their credibility. Like a citizen who shoots a suspected thief to preserve the credibility of an inefficient police force, you act on their behalf by taking upon you to judge their best interests.

This is even more plausible if you can find an earlier resolution of the international bodies which is of a general kind, a kind of blank cheque stating that ‘something must be done’ if you enemies do not behave. You can fill in this cheque as you like.

Of course, if this technique is used by others it is unacceptable, since there are many quite specific resolutions against your friends, demanding that they cease occupying other people’s countries or annihilating their own stubborn populations. These must be ignored as impractical. They can be sidelined with arguments such as ‘the time is not ripe’, ‘when we’ve sorted out the real terrorists’, ‘we have a road map’ and so on.

Obviously one particular thing to avoid is to let your actions be judged by any legal authority above your own national one. We hear that there has been a ridiculous attempt to try to move to a truly global world by setting up an ‘International Court of Justice’ at the Hague. Under no circumstances should you recognize its jurisdiction (and you are glad to see that the most powerful of you have not done so). It could become filled with dangerously liberal lawyers who feel that they should apply the same rules to all nations. Imagine being treated in the same way as some tin-pot little country filled with godless peoples! Imagine your troops being indicted for war crimes just because they are a little over-zealous or indiscrete in their torture. It is clearly unthinkable.

Another useful technique is to find sympathetic people inside your enemies’ gates who, so to speak, unlock the gates from within for you. Clearly if you were fighting an old-fashioned war, you might find this difficult. But nowadays, with the kind of war you are engaged in, you are sure to find some people who are disaffected or ambitious enough to support you.

When you have found them, exaggerate their number and importance. Say that they represent the secret views of the majority of the population you wish to take over. Be careful, of course, not to take them too seriously in practical planning, since they will clearly over-sell themselves, and could lead you into a quagmire. But they are useful when answering critics of your policy.

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