Monday, November 5, 2012

excerpt from Chapter 10 - foreign relations

Chapter 10 - pps. 230-231


One of my key tenets of being an American is that we as Americans are the thought leaders for the modern world.  We can use this leadership to take the actions and create the strategy and platform to deliver a world in which everyone has the ability to exist in a peaceful manner and to pursue their own life objectives.  That is, if we choose to be tolerant of other systems.  Whether they be managing a farm for the state, creating the biggest company ever known to man or pursuing the word of Allah.  All to me are valuable contributions to society and should be acknowledged and respected.

In order to be a thoughtful leader for the world, however, you have to have respect for the views of others, rather than hold an overt contempt for how the rest of the world lives.  Think about it this way, how often in your life have you as an individual done something because someone forced you too?  Probably not too often, or if you did end up doing it you did it begrudgingly, the results were likely not as good as they could have been.  I always found that if you could get people to do things because they wanted to contribute and feel that they mattered, then the results will be substantially better and result in dramatic successes and exponential improvement for whatever area you are focusing on.  Once you have people motivated for success and working to the best of their abilities, then you can propose new thoughts and methodologies and philosophies to attain even higher goals.

Now, with all that being said, quite often it is advantageous for your counter-parts to know you are serious about your capabilities and your desires.  This does not mean strong-armed approaches to negotiations and conflict resolution, but rather that the inherent knowledge should be that your opponent is truly aware of your objectives.  This all sounds like threatening behavior but utilized correctly it is not.  Being number one gives you a distinct advantage.  No one ever said that everything had to have an equal result, rather just an amicable one, and one that everyone can walk away from with some level of positivity and know their role.

Following the financial collapse of Greece and the attempts by the EU to save it, Greece’s internal politics became a shambles and its people were crushed in spirit.  Greeks had been quite used to prosperity and what I will call a “relaxed work ethic” coupled with extremely generous social policies.  When the Greek government could no longer afford to keep up the social policies for the nation, there was nothing to fall back on, and the bottom fell out of the economy.  Even at the end, and with generous offers from Germany and the EU, sadly there was an unwillingness on the part of the Greek population to accept much in the way of austerity measures.  Therefore, Greece declared bankruptcy at the end of 2013.

With nowhere left to turn, the monarchy of Saudi Arabia arrived with the offer of billions in support.  In exchange, they asked for a prominent seat within the future government of Greece.  This in and of itself was not necessarily such a horrific thing on its own, but what was most troubling for people was that the Saudi’s were offering a direct cash payment and jobs to individual citizens if they converted to Islam.  

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