Friday, May 05, 2006

Grandma's Diplomacy

When my mom was growing up, sometimes she would make her mother mad. And my grandmother had a way of dealing with that. She simply wouldn't talk to my mom... for days... even weeks.

Naturally, Grandma came to mind when I saw this headline: "Bush administration refuses to talk directly with its main foes." Bush won't let his people meet with representatives from North Korea, Iran, Syria, and others with whom he disagrees. What the hell kind of "diplomacy" is that? How do two parties reach an understanding without communication? I'm not the only one who sees this as wrongheaded at best, fatal hubris at worst.
"I believe that diplomacy is not simply meant for our friends. It is meant for our enemies," said Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state in President Bush's first term. "In fact, our enemies need diplomatic engagement more."
Condoleezza Rice argues, "We have people who know our views who talk with the Iranians. I don't think that the absence of communication is the problem here." Yeah, at least Grandpa still talked to my mom. But should the most powerful nation on Earth engage in critical discussions solely by proxy? I just don't get it. Maybe Grandma can explain it to me.


Chris said...


Buy a clue. Even a vowel. We talk with Kim Platform Shoes via the SIX PARTY TALKS. We don't let Li'l Kim use one on ones to split us from the ROKS and the Japanese.
The Object of the Exercise is to use all the neighbors to convince Kim to give up the Bomb.

Please stop being so dadgum gullible. What do you fucking think this is? Eight Grade Civics?

Jesus, liberals are stupid. This is basic stuff. No wonder Clinton and Albright gave the store away to Kim Il Sung and agreed to that "Agreed Framework" that the Norks used as cover for their Bomb Program. You assclowns fall for this shit over and over again because you always want to be seen to be doing the "right" thing instead of the "smart" thing.

No wonder every tinhorn dictator and two-bit terrorist plays Democrats like a violin.

David Johnsen said...

Sun-tzu had a clue, and he said, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." That is why we should have diplomatic relations with those countries.

I know about the six-party talks, and that approach is fine with me since we are involved. The problem presented in the story is that Kim has already met with the other nations. Clearly the rest of us should have agreed that no one talks separately to North Korea, but that didn't happen. If they are all talking one-on-one with Kim, how does it benefit us to be the only ones who don't?

But the linked story is about more than North Korea. My greater concern is with this being our worldwide diplomatic strategy.

We're letting our European allies talk with Iran, but we are the ones who are going to be dropping the bombs. Does that make any sense? And how can Bush claim he wants democracy in the Middle East while he refuses to talk with the democratically elected Palestinian government? (I'm not happy about Hamas, but we can't just close our eyes and make them go away.)

By the Bush administration's logic, Reagan should never have talked with Gorbachev.