Leaders - Deceptions and Convenient Lies



Generally speaking, when we deal with the issue of leadership in the context of international relations and diplomacy, the power of individual character of a leader is an important element of the analysis. Public is usually attracted by leaders of outstanding personality, able to influence the politics at home and in prevailing circumstances in international relations.According to the authors of textbook on leadership proposed for this course, people are attracted by those who lead, because whatever comes from the ways they do right or wrong can influence lives of millions on a large scale.  But, it is not the matter of looking on position of a leader, sometimes acting behind bombastic titles like “beloved leader” or “dear comrade”, etc. Rather, it is the matter of looking on leaders in action in domestic and foreign policy, because decisions they make can sometimes influence the course of international relations even after a period when they act as leaders.As one of primary concerns of public is to look on ways leaders use their power, it leads experts in politics to consider leadership as a rather complex and multidimensional exercise. Some people believe that interaction between leaders and followers is happening in mysterious ways. But there is nothing mysterious in the plain fact that both leaders and followers influence each other in due process, in prevailing conditions of their time and in locations where they act. Undoubtedly, the actual conditions in overall international relations do affect largely the attitude of leaders, and in circumstances of the great change they and states they lead can become central actors in re-creating the international system as well. According to the authors of “Essentials of International Relations”, available through the Internet, “leaders of hegemonic states”, for example, “can take decisions that shape international political economy”. In this context they observe, among other things, the following: “In this special context of the 2003 Gulf war and invasion of Iraq, leading to the destitution of Saddam Hussein, can we say that because of the arrogant attitude of former Iraqi president and the overconfidence of his advisers that the USA launched its invasion to make an end to a long era of dictatorship and tyranny.”When another author John Mearsheimer wrote about lying in international politics, suggested as additional reading for our course, he observed how sometimes leaders engage directly, or allow other leading officials of the state, to produce deceptions and so-called convenient lies in politics. His impressive research included also the references to 2004 U.S. presidential campaign when John Kerry, acting at time as the senator, stated how President George W. Bush, in the case of alleged decision of Saddam Hussein to possess material for nuclear arms, “failed to tell the truth” about Iraq and “misled the American people”.In this context, this author argued that there are sometimes “good strategic reasons for leaders to lie to other countries as well as to their own people; international lying, in other words, is not necessarily misconduct; in fact, it is often thought to be clever, necessary and maybe even virtuous in some circumstances”. Going further through his writings, I gained the motivation to work on it within my end term paper, to reflect upon some aspects of this interesting issue, trying to understand better how it reflects upon views on leadership process that are in today’s world of power of media under constant scrutiny.

Keywords: Leaders, Deceptions, Convenient Lies

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/78-05

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