Is fence sitting the right thing to do? It could appear to be the easiest thing to do but it does not lead to the evolution of the society. Moreover, it amounts to an immoral act of being a silent spectator of the ‘bad’ things happening around you.
As I have said in the past, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are relative. So, one cannot compare USA and Iraq on an absolute scale. Similarly, one cannot compare George Bush and Saddam Hussain on an absolute scale. This does not mean that we ignore the basic tenets of justice, liberty and other values of this century. A misinterpretation of what I said before may lead to a conclusion that murdering one person is better than murdering ten persons.
What happened in Iraq was good for the human society. The people of Iraq were liberated from the clutches of vicious forces. One may attach imperialistic interests to the motives of USA but the truth remains that USA has been hard hit because of its war expenditure. The determination of USA to uphold the human values lies in the fact that it could deal with Afghanistan and Iraq back to back. Now, it is trying to do the same in case of Libya.
How can USA afford to have such courage and determination? One simple answer is its cultural values and the other reason is that it is the super power. So, one needs to appreciate that USA is acting responsibly as a super power. We Indians could not take sides during the cold war era for the simple reason that we lacked power. Our leaders were smart enough to disguise this helplessness with non alignment.
As we move ahead with a 8% growth to become one of the superpowers in this world, our foreign policy should also change. We cannot use the principle of ‘no use of force’ every time and everywhere though I personally admire Gandhian methods. In summary, one should carefully choose whether ‘to fence sit’ or ‘not to fence sit’ and the efforts in most of the cases should be ‘not to fence sit’ and take sides based on the relative measure.