While our own citizens seem to focus on results, and to discount the importance of deception in achieving those results, this is not true of people in other countries who scrutinize our actions. When we are deceptive without remorse, we undermine international trustworthiness among all countries, we encourage other countries also to become masters of deception, and we weaken the sense of approbation when deception is discovered.
In a world in which the power bases of many countries are more or less equal and there is a constant battle for supremacy, a Machiavellian foreign policy may be justifiable. But, in this world in which we are supremely dominant, this approach represents a shameful lost opportunity to lead the world to the next higher plane of civility among nations.
Is Bush more trustworthy than Musharaff? Not even a little bit.
So long as principles are secondary to securing advantages, progress for democracy and individual freedom will be slow.