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9/24/2006

when your enemy is not your enemy

IMF lesson - When your enemy is not your enemy The most valuable lesson coming out of the IMF-World Bank Meeting is perhaps a lesson on how to turn your perceived enemies into your friends. Under normal circumstances, anyone who opposes you violently, especially in public demonstration, is your enemy. And conventional wisdom is to gag them and lock them up behind bars. In the IMF-World Bank case, the Civil Society Organisations not only disagree with them but also demonstrated violently, tearing down buildings and hurting people, with possible harm to the delegates. Instead of fighting them the same way or locking them up, they are regarded as worthy friends with good intentions. Their views were taken seriously. And they were given all the opportunities to air their differences. And the CSOs in turn reciprocated in their own ways. It was only a contest of opinions and views. Period. It would be so easy to make all the CSOs their enemies by fighting them, or branding them with all kinds of names. And it would be worst if George Bush's formula of 'if you are not with me you are against me' is adopted. When you make everyone who disagrees with you your enemy, they will be your enemy. The harder you throw a punch at them, the harder they will return. Eventually it will reach a point of no return, you die or I perish.

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