The Middle East Tribune

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The Ripple Effect of U.S. Double Standard

As centuries ago as now, we find many policymakers, politicians, and political analysts who still consider the abstract idea of double standard a shrewd political craft. They simply justify this double play as a mean to attain goals and preserve interest. Though the manipulative concept is broadly stigmatized, yet the double standard code is very active in the real political life but hides under the name of realpolitik (real politics). In practice, realpolitik has expanded to unparalleled level at which the judgment of most political leaders is transformed.

Politics is generally defined as the art or science that involves constituting regulations and governing policies of a nation, formulating strategies of defense against foreign control or aggression, protection of its citizens’ rights and morals, and observing the codes of national ethics in which a nation can function and prosper safely.

Contrary to that, the double standard code (if there is one) is about the application of unfair designs and different modes to one group of people, community or nation than to another, irrespective of ethical issues.

Proponents of the double standard code consider such utilization is the best practical act to preserve national interest and communal advantages seeing that national concerns should have top priority over other objectives or notions, without regard to moral considerations. Most of its drumbeaters also believe that being fair and square will unmask vulnerabilities, expose objectives and hence undermine the achievement of the required results.

On the other hand, advocates of human rights and civil rights rebuff the idea entirely, seeing it a type of discrimination and a camouflaged act of deceiving others. Supporters of honest dealings and equality believe that double standard, discrimination, segregation, racism, sectarianism, and so forth, have always been a product of one self-serving percept or another. Most intellectuals also believe that double standard would empty the moral values of people on the long run, and could demoralize the national underlying principles of the user-nation for decades.  Forthright politicians affirm that similar political duplicities have failed to attain its declared objectives or to serve its unprofessed goals, especially when the record of such undertakings is full of disappointments instead of successes.

The primary call in question thereof is about the morality and consequences of double standard dealings. It is about whether people of the twenty-first century are destined to live with Niccolo Machiavelli’s supposition “the end justifies the means” or not. To simplify the case, the question is whether it is morally acceptable to cheat in a test so that to graduate from university or be honest and bears the result.

Actually, the practice of double standard is silently spreading, here and there, in which it became a customary political application of many governments and international organizations, like the UN and its Security Council. It is largely practiced where there are armed conflicts and wars, where there are turmoil and chaos, and most importantly, where national interests and flow of foreign resources have to be guaranteed. Although it is officially denied; yet easy to discover its powerful omnipresence in the socio-political practices of most decision makers of Arab states and Middle Eastern countries, like Iran and Turkey–let alone China, Russia, UK, EU  leading states, UN and, above all, the dominant United States

Led by the U.S. Administration, probably the master of double standards, most of those governments among others have driven the world to a state of distrust and falseness thus and so to the absence of international honest-broker organizations and creditable leader-nations to reinstate regional order. Aside from that, this chaotic situation has led, alongside other issues, to the rise of religious fanaticism and terrorism, massacres and barbarism, which have complicated most regional conflicts much further and generated frequent economic crises.

To cite a still-in-play case, most political analysts criticize the current double standard pattern of Obama’s administration, its European partners, and Arab subordinates, in dealing differently with radical Islamic groups. This is, however, because they arm or fund and support some Islamic fundamentalists (mainly, the Muslim Brotherhood and its subdivisions and byproducts) to enforce regime change in Egypt and Libya, for instance. Whereas the same U.S. administration imposes an arm ban on other radical Islamic factions (like those of Syria who share the same ideology and targets like those of Egypt and Libya) so that they could not overthrow Syria’s 43-year-old despotic regime–not to mention cases of Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, and Iraq, at this time.

Like it or not, though the U.S. role is still seen as the most influential country of this era; nevertheless, it is losing momentum day-after-day.  A look at how Russia, North Korea, and Iran, defy the free world and the United Nations to realize how serious the U.S leading status is degenerating. Most of that drop flows from the fact that the unrivaled U.S., which is widely preconceived to honor its proclaimed universal moral values, is running low on willpower and credibility to uphold its founding principles.

Unfortunately, the government, which Abraham Lincoln identified as the” Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth” is now redefined to become the government of material interest, by interest groups, for Washington’s politicians. It is quite hard to believe that the mightiest country on earth, which has fought and won two world wars to liberate Europe and the world from Nazism, fascism and other tyrannical doctrines, is now unnerved to support democracy and stop the massacre of the 21st century in Syria.

On this subject, it is very illustrative to reiterate (without annotating) Tomas Jefferson’s wisdom: Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty”.

Niccolo -

To all intents, it would be very consequential to all developing nations, especially Middle Eastern ones, to be reassured soon that the U.S. foreign policy is not customized to manipulatively stand against the will of people to remove dictators, or disinclined to get potently involved in the cooking of freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

By all odds, if President Obama is to continue in his unplug Middle East policy, the U.S will lose the last chance to uphold its influence and interests in this strategic region before long. Bearing in mind that the free world will also miss this rare chance to help democracy flourish in the Middle East and North Africa.

Considering the way the Egyptian military junta and the Syrian regime oppose the U.S. administration, and in view of the strong comeback of the Russian bear and interference of the Iranian mullahs in the region, is a small sample of what will happen in the future.

Any willful delinquency by the U.S. administration to abort its current double standard practices in the Middle East, and change its policy to side with the people, who are dying in hundreds of thousands to make the change, will create devastating consequences on all.

In all probabilities, if the U.S. is to maintain its political dormancy, the world will witness the destabilization and disintegration of the entire Middle East region, the spread of fear and human suffering all around, and the descent of U.S. political and economic position in the world. Remembering that, the winners will be those who have nothing to lose, mainly the radical camps and anti-west despotic states.

If so, say goodbye to democracy.


Author’s Note: This article is also published at Arabian Gazette


11 comments on “The Ripple Effect of U.S. Double Standard

  1. Pingback: Trump’s Statement on Jerusalem: A Drift Toward the Unknown! | The Middle East Tribune

  2. Mohammad S. Moussalli
    April 13, 2015

    On Behalf of Mr. Jonathan Pollard , here is his comment

    I read your article, the Ripple Effect of the U.S. Double Standard but LinkedIn would not let me comment on it for some reason. I wanted to send you my thoughts:
    Very interesting read. A double standard does create the grounds for injustice and injustice creates the grounds for conflict.
    I often question Machiavelli’s supposition because it provides for more questions than answers and offers room for immoral activity.
    Perhaps Machiavelli’s supposition should not be over generalized in terms of being practical for day to day situations, rather, be utilized for it’s primary purpose. A moral compass.
    My question about this article is, where does the intentions of those on the opposite end of the double standard come into consideration?


  3. Anonymous
    March 20, 2015

    Another great article Mr. Moussalli. What Machiavelli new (and he’s been judged exactly by that) is that nothing comes for free. You cannot expect someone to do a good deed if they have nothing to gain from it.The moral compensation is a hard thing to evaluate, because it depends on the morals of whoever is acting…and that my friend is a very subjective issue! The US has a difficult role: if they act they are condemned if they do not act they are condemned…it’s a lose-lose situation where only some win and like or not any US President who decides to engage in armed conflict has to answer his voters for it, it’s economy and the home opposition. Transform that into a win-win situation and things will change. If you want to solve a problem, the first thing to do is look for a resolution within your range of action. The problem is resolutions have not been found within the Middle-Eastern countries range of action! But are the region countries able to use a unique standard? Can they acknowledge transparency? What will happen to anyone who “has nothing to lose”? Will they be judged or answer to whom?
    I’m acting as the devils lawyer, I know that and I do not agree with many foreign policy double standards of the US but that is not the main issue here. The main issue is there has been no real democracy in this countries and one way or another the State of Law has been bended by self interests and a complete lack of respect for civil dignities and the perpetrators were often appraised for it and treated as national heroes. “Develop the strength to do bold things not the strength to suffer” is indeed and excellent advice to all: US and all other countries.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous
    February 11, 2014

    Great article Mr. Moussalli.
    Liberty is not a dream but an Aim, thus, it can be reached.
    Your Sincerely,
    O.C. Farach

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dr. Paul "Chip" Hill
    August 4, 2013

    Mohammad, great article. Your observations are spot-on. As we have so often discussed, you are sadly correct to assume that the Obama administration – and Americans in general – do not have the stomach to take the necessary actions in the Middle East. American interests are based on a series of quick-fix responses that band aid problems rather than addressing the hard issues that go to the root of Middle Eastern issues. Much like a hemorrhaging patient, US foreign policy seeks to put a band-aid on the patient rather than perform the necessary operation.

    America is now being run by the generation that spawned the “love and peace” movement of the late 1960’s; the results are that most US citizens born post 1960 expects his government to take care of his – and his family’s – needs and wants. Most young Americans have grown accustom to big government programs handing out free entitlements that were paid for on the backs of the last working generation of Americans – the post World War II baby-boomer generation. When the baby-boomers have retired, look for American economic production to sink.

    A great example of my America, today is the once great Motor City, Detroit. Just 60 years ago, Detroit was the wealthiest city in the ‘world’ and home to the vast and omnipotent American auto industry…. today, it is literally bankrupt. America, in general, is in the same shape as Detroit. The last two – most current – American generations have taken freely from the public coffer while contributing little to the real development of the nation. These are the same people that put Mr. Obama into the White House.

    Rome (America) is burning my friend; and Nero (Obama) is fiddling-like-hell. Do not look for this to change. Unless there is a rebirth of American spirit through revolution; I fear that my America is gone and the current version of America is rotten and waiting to implode upon itself… and it breaks my heart to recognize our national character is so soft and weak.


    • Mohammad S. Moussalli
      August 4, 2013

      Thanks Chip for your time and comment. saying that I agree with you is not enough. This is a very realistic exemplifying commentary that deserve to be added to the argumentation of this piece.
      Best regards my friend


      • Romy Kerwin
        August 6, 2013

        Mohammad’s definition of democracy is brilliant, especially because it involves the faults of a country based on religiosity rather than true spiritual beliefs. There is in the US a rather strong appetite for scandals of any kind, especially those of politicians and Sport figures which are seen as ” heroes ” in this culture.
        Naturally, the USA comes to mind as a confusion of religious affiliations and overt and covert actions and reactions.
        The most apparent quality of Mohammed’s language is its clarity which comes from an ordered mind and soul.
        Mr Mousalli believes that politics based on morality is the foundation for true democracy, in one word : transparency.
        The ripple effect of US Double Standard shows us how the US Foreign Policy has shaped the world into its actual mess by re-writing natural and previous boundaries, by preaching peace and selling weapons at the same time by not interfering in stopping a massive catastrophe in Syria and Rwanda to name just a double of places.
        The Middle East and North Africa are burning to the ground, some feuding factions armed by the Russians and others by the US. It seems that there is an understanding of territorial influences.
        Mohammad speaks of Realpolitik as major corruption and corruption it is.
        Mr. Mousalli is a very ethical, moral man and his own ethics have conducted him to define democracy as based on morality, not religiosity, which is hypocritical.
        How many tele-evangelists have abused the suffering masses to enrich themselves by millions of dollars.
        Here, morality is seen as respecting the laws of the people as well as the laws of one’s individual conscience. We have seen too many barbarians without a conscience past and present. Saddam Hussein was put as the Head of the Iraqi people by America. There is no doubt that Assad and Gaddhafi are and were psychopaths. Yet, they were allowed to torture and kill in total impunity.
        Why is that ? The answer is simple : not going against US interests in the region.
        I am very impressed by Mohammad’s description of politics. Politics is the conduit to democracy as it should be untainted and transparent, reflecting the views and demands of a particular people without outside interference.
        Morality seen as transparency is the basis of trust. Let us remember how low the concept of trust became in American politics after the Monica Lewinsky affair. Bill Clinton lost face and respect that was never quite regained. Tyger Woods a family man , lost his reputation and sport endorsements in the millions as well for his poor moral conduct.
        The USA was built on religious tolerance and plurality. Unfortunately, with the passing of time, these noble tenets have disappeared into a mish-mesh of secrecy, a lack of freedom for citizens, as demonstrated by Edward Snowden’s revelatory files of espionage of ordinary citizens.
        Mohammad also sees politics as an art form. In fact, politics could never been a science even though we are constantly repeating the past. A different interpretation of politics is duplicity and prejudice.

        I would like to borrow a quotation used by Mr. Juan Rolando Monroy about Adam Smith ( 1723-1790 ), a Renaissance man, educated in all disciplines for my conclusion: as so well seen by Mr. Mousalli ” social and moral philosophies are inter-connected “.

        Romy Kerwin, Med, MD, Phd
        political analyst for the Government of South Korea


        • Dr. Paul "Chip" Hill
          August 6, 2013

          Romy, I appreciate your perspective – I do not agree with portions of it; nonetheless, your position has merit.

          Politics are a reflection of the masses that allow themselves to be governed. It matters little whether the political form takes shape as a democracy, theocracy, socialism, or brue dictatorship. “Any” form of government has to have the consent of the governed lest it be overturned/overthrown and a differing form of government be adopted. The most significant point to understand concerning whether a government can maintain itself successfully is centered on maintaining an acceptable lifestyle for the masses. This critical test, for any and all governments, is an economics issue. That said, politics comes down to economics. As a government – of any type – if it can function in such a manner as to provide for the means of commerce for the betterment of the governed, ‘any’ form of government can be successful… including the authoritarian dictatorships.

          You will undoubtedly argue that the ruthless dictatorships that plunder and steal from the governed and are, therefore not supportive of the government abusing them. I disagree. The willingness of the governed, to be led by any form of government, is a national choice as surely as if it were made at the ballot box. Politics is not an art and it is not a science. Politics is putting food in the collective governed’s bellies and roofs over the collective governed’s heads. As sure as we breath, politics is economics.

          As for my country, the USA, our government acts like every other government – which, by the way is also a mirror of the collectively governed and therefore human – it acts in its own self-interests. I have already espoused on my disgust for current American political leadership; however, that leadership is reflective of the majority of its population that placed it in power, and then re-elected it to office again. There is no need to re-address here the flawed Obama/American government. Nonetheless, former President Richard Nixon very accurately expressed US application of power – which is still applied today – which simply states that we “reward our friends and punish our enemies”.

          Notice that Nixon did not say we reward only like minded political forms of governments and punish non-democratic forms of governments. Nixon knew something few international students of the social sciences understood, then or now. Nixon recognized that ‘people’ determine how they will allow themselves to be governed at each nation-state level. He understood that the US need not bother considering trying to reform the world into one democratic mirror-image of the US. The result was that it was under Nixon that the US withdrew from Vietnam, Nixon opened the doors to China, and it was under Nixon that the US formulated detente with the Soviet Union.

          Too many things impact politics… religion, geography, economics, etc., for the US to bother with world-wide political reform. The bottom line for application of US power remains “reward your friends and punish your enemies”… this emcumpasses powerful options within the realm of economic, military, and/or cultural applications. In the case of so much of the current political turmoil within Middle East, we (the US) cannot determine who the ‘friend’ is from who the ‘enemy’ (or potential enemy) may be.

          I will offer that regarding Egypt, look for the US to continue to support the Egyptian military because it offers the best chance of stabilizing the country and they have worked closely with them for years. Things are too much in flux in Libya and Syria for the US to commit to any substantial actions – and to be quite candid, I do not think the US has the stomach to do whatever is necessary if they did see a clear pathway that served US interests.

          In the meantime, much of the world needs to offer prayers for the old version of the United States to re-emerge from the current abyss. Should the US not find its way back, in another generation, it will be China that is playing the king-maker, not America. If/When that happens, the world will yearn for the heady days when the US was the only superpower.


          • Mohammad S. Moussalli
            August 8, 2013

            I won’t add a word, I prefer to quote your contemplative closing paragraph:
            “In the meantime, much of the world needs to offer prayers for the old version of the United States to re-emerge from the current abyss. Should the US not find its way back, in another generation, it will be China that is playing the king-maker, not America. If/When that happens, the world will yearn for the heady days when the US was the only superpower.”
            Thanks Chip


        • Mohammad S. Moussalli
          August 7, 2013

          Dear Romy,
          No buts. I’m very thankful to your comments and commendation.
          All the best


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