Optics in politics; varying in number

optics, politics, world, policy, foreign,

The lexicographic definition of optics is the scientific study of light, its behaviour, transmission and deflection with other material objects. Being an analysis of vision, sight and light the word Optics predominant use have to be found in politics and specially in analysing the foreign policy and its different dimensions apart from its specific use in the scientific world.

Origin of the term

The first metaphorical use of this word appeared in 1970s for the anti-inflation policy of President Jimmy Carter in 1978. The Carter administration took some steps by reducing governmental spending and its deficits and developed an alternative energy policy for United States to avoid any likely situation of oil crisis of 1970s.Though at that time these measures were seen as cosmetic or political optics by critics. From then onward it has its presence, though varying in its usage, in English language and political parlance.

Also Read; That is only good for me!

The word quickly found it’s use and expression in any political or military situation where one side does something unusual and spectacular in the given situation or scenario that convey a clear and specific message and meaning to other side informing them that in case of such and such scenario, they should expect this and that response from theirs side.

As jewellery are worn for personal beauty, a talisman for a good luck and an auspicious ring for success and personal safety!!

Likewise political Optics in foreign policy as well in domestic politics have a definite clear message to onlookers.

Optics are thus the jewels of politics and foreign affairs decorating and connoting a specific situation to domestic and foreign viewers magnifying its value and importance to them. 

Optics in Foreign Policy

The optical examples of Optics in foreign policy and world politics could be found in the implementation of Liberal Policy in 1980s with a primary focus on economic growth leaving aside politics and ideological camping for a while. Gorbachev perestroika and glasnost were nothing new in itself other than those enunciated and followed in the rival western capitalist countries. Another stunning Optics in the world politics and foreign policy realm was the Malta Summit (1989) ending bloc politics and rivalry between USA and USSR.

The Theatre of World Politics with it’s so many actors and ever-changing script gives ample space to actors to act but to act judiciously and wisely least the audiences may not take a wrong queue or feel boredom. 

Madeline Albright “the indispensability of the American force” gave a wrong signal to world community in 1998.

Also Read; To be, not to be

Korean and Vietnam wars, disengaging Mao’s China for many years, Cuban missile crisis and sanctions on it, military exercise in Europe in 1982 were some of the topsy-turvy of Optics in foreign policy and world politics committed by the world powers at times. 

NATO-Russia Council for last 25 years are trying to prevent Moscow from its irredentist policy regarding its former sphere of influence (though Ukraine -Russia war started in February 2022 in spite of this).

President Trump’s visit to France in 2018, his remarks about Washington transatlantic relations and about US marines of WWI was smack off to both Europe and of course US administration as well.

Interestingly the queer Tank advertisement of Mr. Dukakis for the presidential campaign in 1988 proved to be a total fiasco for him. 

Optics for Peace

During the heat of Cold war, even United States and Soviet officials tried for peace and peaceful optics. Former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat visit to Jerusalem was paved by the private conciliatory meetings of his confidante Hasan Touhouy and the Israeli foreign minister Moshe Dayane (with the point that President Sadat visit was not accepted even in his own country and was assassinated for doing this visit).

Willy Brant kneeling on Warsaw in the memorial of holocaust was an Optic for enduring strong peaceful future in Europe and the world at large.

In Taiwan-US-China relations scenario, Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit to Taipei on 22 August, 2022 sparked a political and military imbroglio between Beijing, Washington and Taipei.

The war and peace Optics are in a continuum where one Optic alludes one thing it starts another at the same time.

Optics in politics; varying in number

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