La Moralité de l'amoralité en politique étrangère

En matière de moralité, les diplomates sont généralement considérés comme froids et calculateurs. Machiavel et Metternich sont synonymes de défense d'intérêts sans scrupule à la limite de la malhonnêteté. Sir Henry Wootton, l'ambassadeur de la reine Élizabeth à Venise et en Bohème, décrivait sa profession comme peuplée d'honnêtes gentlemen envoyés à l'étranger pour mentir pour leur patrie. Toutefois, il existe de bonnes raisons pour expliquer la tradition d'amoralité de la diplomatie et paradoxalement, cette tradition personnifie des valeurs morales importantes.

Nous sommes nombreux, en dépit de notre grand respect pour les États-Unis, à réagir contre des expressions telles que « l'axe du mal », non pas parce que les pays listés ne présentent aucun danger sérieux, mais du fait des difficultés que le mélange de la moralité et de la politique étrangère crée. Le terme « mal » est issu du vocabulaire religieux, ce n'est en aucun cas un principe de politique étrangère.

La politique étrangère traite de guerre et de paix. Si les guerres se font sur fond de préoccupation morale ou religieuse, il n'existe plus aucun fondement pour la modération. Après tout, qualifier quelque chose de « mal » revient à évoquer le devoir moral de l'éliminer. Aucun compromis, aucun modus vivendi, aucune co-existence pacifique n'est plus possible. Si l'on exclue toute maîtrise, alors il ne reste aucun espace de négociation ni de compromis. On ne peut pas faire affaire avec le Grand Satan.

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