Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Patronising Patron

From the Aussie newspaper, The Age:
But privately, Mr Maliki criticised what he called the patronising US tone
towards the Iraqi Government ...
Of course we're 'patronising'. You're our client. We're your patron. If you want the patronage, you get the patronising attitude. They go hand in hand. Let's be perfectly clear - this is not a relationship of equals. We are propping up the Iraq government, such as it is. Without US troops, the Iraq government falls by dinner.

Look at it this way - if your country has lots of US troops on its soil to protect your country from threats, internal or external, then your country is our client and we are your patron. Client/patron relationships are not partnerships between equals. "Patron" comes from the same word as pater (father). We give you patronage in the form of military protection or aid or.

Countries all over the world often claim that America is arrogant and doesn't respect them. This is the monologue of whining adolescents. If you want to be respected as an equal, then act like an equal. Protect yourself. Countries from Korea to Japan, from Germany to Italy rely on tens of thousands of US troops based on their land to protect them from external threats, real or potential. There is no reciprocity in these relationships. When we the last time you drove by a Germany army base? When was the last time you saw a group of Korean marines drinking in a local bar? Never, that's when.

So yes, we are a patronising patron. Suck it up. Either stand on your own (which means paying for and manning your own military with money and men you probably don't have) or quit bitching.

Yes, we're arrogant. We're patronising. That's the price you pay for having a patron. Clients aren't equals.