Karma yoga and “realist” foreign policy

As ye sow, so shall ye reap. Ignoring that principle isn’t realistic.

The problem with foreign-policy “realism” – the kind that’s always searching for “our sunuvabitch” – is that it’s so damned unrealistic in its calm assurance that the Law of Karma has been repealed, and that therefore what goes around will never, ever come around.

John Burns illustrates from the history of Afghanistan, where Barack Obama has a crappy hand to play because of Ronald Reagan’s “realism” about working with what later got to be called Islamofascists.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

5 thoughts on “Karma yoga and “realist” foreign policy”

  1. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," is simply wrong in so many ways. The correct version, "The enemy of my enemy is a potential ally," is much less emotionally satisfying, but a better approach.

  2. "The problem with foreign-policy “realism”… is that it’s so damned unrealistic in its calm assurance that the Law of Karma has been repealed … " Bingo! Wish I'd said that! Well, I've long thought it, but not in such eloquent words. Congratulations, Mr. Kleiman. I hope we shall see this in the Oxford Book of Quotations some day.

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