Open Secret Facts:
“The fact is governments deal with the United States because it is in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us and not because they believe we can keep secrets. Some governments deal with us because they fear us, some because they respect us, most because they need us. We are still essentially; it’s been said before, the indispensable nation.”
Rhetoric, made by Mr. Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, USA in the year of 2010 on the contexts of Wikileak fallout. Indeed it is true in all sense for every country. There is nothing perpetual friendship or enmity in the international politics among the Nation States but only interest. No state supports other one only for ‘friendship’. The so called ‘friendly state’ is in fact a notion of ‘feeling good’, a de facto euphemism of the word ‘associate states’.
Most recent evidence is the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. During the Russian invasion of Georgia, neither the USA nor the EU member states had helped Georgia to keep their ‘territorial integrity’ or ‘free society’ (they love to coin this word). Literally, Georgia had been left alone by those ‘friendly’ states simply because there was no viable ‘interest’ in Georgia for western nations. Georgia has no oil or other precious minerals; even geopolitically it’s not very important at least for nowadays like the Israel, South Korea or Taiwan. Georgian case is a very good educational case of small country – never expect help from ‘friendly country’ at the crisis period only for the sack of ‘friendship’ other than ‘mutual interest’.
Situation of the Bangladesh:
As militarily and economically a weak country, for us diplomacy is somewhat onerous as other stronger nation. In the international arena we cannot use or show our Armed forces (UN peace mission is completely different thing) for ‘Deterrent’ or ‘Show off’ during the conflict of interest; we can only discuss via dialogue. We have to strengthen our diplomatic arena and it must be compartmentalise according to requirements. There are also our own faults. Often, many kinds of allegation come against the Bangladeshi Foreign Service official working abroad. Most pessimistic of them that, embassy official keep themselves at bay from general blue collar service people who are one of the top earning sources of Bangladesh.
Diplomats stationed in the Middle East or South East Asia has a completely different job than stationed in Europe-America or South. The word ‘Diplomat’ does not necessarily mean the officer of Foreign Service. Whoever work in the abroad on behalf of Bangladesh is one way or other diplomat. For any republic, its chief executive (president or prime minister) is the de jure principal diplomat. Minister of Foreign/External affairs or Secretary of State (foreign) is only the chief official adviser (not personal adviser).
Diplomacy is the first line of defense for any country including Bangladesh, for now, second line of defense or ‘offensive defense’ is not an option for us as we are disproportionately weaker than our imminent threat. Should the diplomacy would fail in any critical moment, we have to think directly the last line of defense, which is all out civilian mobilisation to form the ‘people’s army’.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had faced some embarrassing situation in the recent visit to the USA; due to one of her unwise decision, apparently which was taken by her very personal wish. Whether the decision was right or wrong if Bangladesh were a strong state, certainly US foreign secretary Hillary Clinton would not take any risk to aggrieve its PM and keep the personal friendship and international relationship (which she had vowed to maintain) apart.
Recent death of a Saudi diplomatic official is a nightmare situation par excellence. We must bring the criminal to the justice as soon as possible; otherwise it will be a national embarrassment for us not only in the Saudi Arabia but in entire Middle East from the Morocco to the Iraq.
In spite of the popularity of ‘Made in Bangladesh’ label, in the neighboring country, our products cannot fairly compete in their market for some unreasonable regulation. On the other hand our market has been filled out by their myriads of products. We have to take necessary steps to stop these kinds of bad practice.
Legal victory over Myanmar on the issue of maritime border is one of the few diplomatic successes among the loads of faux pas. One of the most fascinating irony is that the principal professional adviser to the foreign minister is a retired naval officer. Who made cogent reasoning at the UN court rather than calling to General quarters from the flagship. Indubitably Bangladesh-Myanmar case in UN court will remain as a good precedence for future. Some would argue that it’s a legal victory but ‘legal’ portion of this matter is just small official if not ceremonial part.
Ludicrous Political Culture:
We must ensure self-respect. It is very unwise and disregardful act to seek political solution for our internal matters from foreign embassies; sometimes it is done for very trifling dissension. Never to forget, the embassies are here to maintain largely the national interest for the respective countries, not to settle our internal problems. If they are told to give advice to solve any kinds of internal disagreement, definitely they will tell exactly that, which are advantageous for their respective country.
Unlike any other country, some ambassadors (especially American and British) are media star; they appear so many times in various national TV channels for various matters. Not only politician but also many journalist and of course progressive ‘intellectuals’ are very fond of foreign embassy, esp. American, British, Indian, Saudi Arabian and in some case Pakistani embassies.
Like every patriotic citizen, I have also a dream to see my beloved country as a regional if not the global super power. But at first, we have to develop our economy and ascertain the financial independence of every single citizen. Shrewd foreign policy must be prevailed which ought not to be done for our intrinsic beliefs or inclination but only and only for our national interest.