20 Attributes of “Great” Powers

great powers

(photo credit: english.sina.com)

  1. You don’t have to say you are sorry. Japan took half a century to sort of apologise to Korea for its war crimes. The US has never apologized to the Vietnamese for napalming them.
  2. You can lie with impunity. The US and the UK lied about Saddam Hussain’s arsenal of chemical and nuclear weapons. Russia lies when it says local rebels are fighting the Ukrainian government. China lies when it calls itself a democracy.
  3. You don’t have to go looking for someone to talk to at a diplomatic party. Everyone else flocks around you.
  4. The line-up for the photo-op after a conference happens around you rather than you scrounging around for a place in the third row.
  5. Your “think tanks” are well funded and packed with retired Ambassadors, Generals and assorted strategists and feel comfortable preaching to your neighbours.
  6. You consider it your duty to send 20 some things, who can barely handle their nickers, to “help” the unfortunates in foreign lands. Never mind that they have never done the same in the country of their birth.
  7. A University professor in the neighbouring countries gets paid the same as a semi-skilled worker in yours.
  8. When you are sure that if you die in your sleep in a foreign land, your local embassy will bother to inform your folks and send back your body.
  9. When you don’t need a visa to travel to other “great countries”, except those whom you have browned off.
  10. When you don’t have to spend an hour figuring out how the loo flushes in your up-market hotel abroad.
  11. When a decent meal in your hotel abroad doesn’t mean that its McDonalds for the rest of the business trip.
  12. When you BPO jobs out to allies.
  13. When high security for the “President” does not mean locking down the neighbourhood where she is visiting for the entire day.
  14. When more foreigners are voting with their feet to come and work in your country than there are citizens trying to get out.
  15. When your language is recognized by the UN as one of its official languages.
  16. When the number of scholars working on your country in the universities of a competing great power are many more that those working on your neighbouring countries.
  17. When your delegation is doing the selling (not the buying) at an air and weapons fair.
  18. When the WTO calls you for convenient dates before fixing the next round of negotiations.
  19. When the poorest adult woman in your country weighs at least 10 kg. per foot of height.
  20. When you don’t need to have a child just to have someone to look after you in old age.



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