An earlier post here was, in effect, one reason I am usually left unmoved by what's called "realpolitik". Below is another, from the same source. (There may be a third, also from there).
For what it's worth, this is not about this writer in particular. It's just that I often find reasoning like this from people who claim to look at the world not as it could be, but as it really is. Sometimes the reasoning is from an avowed free-marketer, going through conniption and contortion to defend perversions of free markets. Sometimes it is from an analyst, making abstruse distinction between supporting the Olympics but boycotting the Olympic torch run.
And it can all use examination.
"India's accumulation of power and influence in Asia will be perceived as a threat by China ... There's no reason to feel apologetic about this. Aggression and intimidation, like diplomacy and negotiations are parts of a composite toolkit." (From here.)
Fair enough: a more succinct articulation of realpolitik in our part of the world would be hard to find.
Yet the same thinker also wrote:
"India must refrain from going overboard in its support for the Tibetan protests lest this issue upset broader relations with China." (Here.)
We need not "feel apologetic" about being a "threat" to China, about "aggression and intimidation" ... but we must not "upset broader relations with China"? Is "realpolitik" always this confusing?
There's also this:
"It is not in India's interests to antagonise China, a more powerful neighbouring state." (Here.)
We need not "feel apologetic" about "aggression and intimidation" ... but we must not "antagonise China"? I mean, what exactly will aggression and intimidation do, what are they intended to do, if not antagonise?
What, really, is in India's interests? Bluster about "composite toolkits"? Or meekness before our neighbour?
Or, just maybe, steadfast conviction?