2014 | 5 | 13 | 41-68
Article title

On the Road to Damascus: British Foreign Policy and the Crises in Libya and Syria

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The purpose of this article is to capture one of the key features of the political thought that developed in the United States of America. Assuming that the USA’s political culture is indeed exceptional, the author attempts to find the common denominator that would reflect the singularity of the American political mind. The author states that such a feature is the radical anti-historicality of the American mode of thinking about politics. It is a phenomenon that is deeply-rooted in the political and spiritual past of the United States and seems to be crucial because it never developed to such an extent in other traditions. Furthermore, even today to a large extent it defines both the American left and right. It is also very much present in academic discussion as well as in ordinary political activities. By anti-historicality the author means the rejection of the thesis that politics within a given society depends on that society’s past experience. The phenomenon defies simple normative assessments. On the one hand, it protects American politics from the perils of radical historicism; on the other hand, it hinders the USA’s contacts with other political bodies. However, the author concludes that understanding American anti-historicality is crucial when entering into any relations with the USA.   Celem artykułu jest porównanie i przeciwstawienie brytyjskiej polityki wobec kryzysu w Libii i w Syrii odpowiednio w 2011 i w 2013 roku. Szuka się w nim odpowiedzi na pytanie, dlaczego parlament brytyjski, który w 2011 roku tak zdecydowanie poparł użycie siły przeciwko Libii, wstrzymał swoje poparcie dla akcji militarnej w Syrii w sierpniu 2013 roku. Autor wskazuje, że perspektywa masakry w libańskim mieście Benghazi przekonała brytyjskiego premiera, że akcja międzynarodowa była pilną koniecznością. Rezolucja Rady Bezpieczeństwa ONZ pozwalająca na akcję militarną w celu ochrony libijskiej ludności cywilnej oraz fakt, iż interwencję poparło kilka rządów na Bliskim Wschodzie, również przyczyniły się do uznania jej przez rząd brytyjski za w pełni uprawnioną. Jednakże dwa lata później brytyjski parlament skutecznie zawetował udział Wielkiej Brytanii w atakach powietrznych przeciwko Syrii. Było to skutkiem, jak argumentuje autor, braku rezolucji ONZ w tej kwestii i wsparcia rządów w regionie dla Syrii oraz wątpliwości co do skuteczności akcji militarnej. W artykule podejmowane jest również pytanie, czy brak brytyjskiej interwencji w Syrii oznacza początek zwrotu w brytyjskiej polityce zagranicznej.
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