Non-Aligned Movement obscure? I suppose so

Ivan, in a comment, says that my Non-Aligned Movement post is obscure and I suppose it is (which is the point of the story, really) but when I was a kid, the Non-Aligned Movement was a big deal, a sort of glamorous anti-UN for hot countries (countries usually lead by blokes wearing army fatigues or tribal robes). Young lefties in the West thought it was, well, just cool, especially when the alternative was Harold Wilson or Richard Nixon.

Non-Aligned politics represented the opposite of the kind of grey zero-sum dead-end of the cold war. The Non-Aligned Movement’s pronouncements used to be read out at the kind of meetings I went to when I was getting political. Castro and Tito were the big names. The Movement had a place at the big table in an era that begins to look, from here, like a kind of golden age, certainly a simpler time. I guess the Movement’s eclipse was inevitable, especially once countries started to drop out. Non-Alignment just isn’t cool any more. As a diplomatic option is seems to be available only to nutcase-States like North Korea and Yemen. Alignment is where it’s at (and yesterday, George Bush landed in Mongolia to thank that nation for its careful alignment with the US-led coalition in Iraq).

1 comment

  1. Oh, I like obscurity (of a certain kind). As for alignment being the new non-alignment, you’re right. But how revealing is it that Bush has to personally thank each and every Mongolian for their support. Has he no more important allies to thank? As an Al Jazeera journalist said on Newsnight last night, after Bush said ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us’, there was no room for neutrality. Either align, or we will you baby.

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