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January 24, 2004

Define Diplomacy, Please?

Dick Cheney, who's out in the world for his second time ever as VP, is justifying the use of force where diplomacy fails. Thing is, if you've been abroad only twice as VP, I'm not sure you're a credible source for this argument.

Cheney's first trip abroad was to the Middle East to drum up support for the Iraq war , and we know how that went. Okay, a diplomatic mission to Afghanistan would have been in vain, but we're ignoring Korea, we're bullying Iran, we alienated the UN, we're annoying the Brazilians, anti-American sentiment runs high in the EU...

"Force where diplomacy fails." Or is it just force where there's a disagreement with our plans for your oil - I mean government - I mean participation in the world community. Yeah, that's what I mean.

Update: They're on the move! John Ashcroft has left the bunker TOO and is right here in my back yard! (Sorry, it's in German, I can't find it in the English press, yet.)

Posted by pam at January 24, 2004 11:37 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

I would've stopped with "where there's a disagreement with our plans"—oil or not. In Bush's State of the Union address, he said, "From the beginning, America has sought international support for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have gained much support. There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people."

This statement is so ridiculous and depressing, I can hardly think about it. Let's remember that the so-called coalition of the willing is made up primarily of signatories notable for their political lack of significance and their economic interest in being friendly with the United States. I guess it remains to be seen if the United States is safer now; I certainly don't think the invasion of Iraq has anything to do with the lack of terrorist attack on our soil in two years.

Something that John Kerry said early in his campaign was almost exactly what I was thinking, and it made me an early supporter of his (though I've certainly vacillated since then). I wish I could find the quote, but he said something about wanting the United States to be a good neighbor on the global block; he chastised Bush's utter lack of diplomacy. I think that even if we could say that the United States was always right, we could make more right in the world if we played well with others.

Posted by: Gary on January 25, 2004 08:10 PM

The Kerry reference is spot on in sentiment. "Just because we have the biggest house on the block doesn't mean we can't be a good neighbor."

We are the quintessential bad neighbor, that's for sure. Our dog is barking all night long and our teenagers are tearing up and down the block in their cars, blasting Van Halen's 'Panama' over and over and over again.

Our government needs a foreign exchange program, like YFU or something, where top officials go live with middle class families around the world. A little perspective would be useful. This whole 'policy from a bunker (or boardroom)' is not serving us well in the world at large.

And I don't feel any safer; I just feel embarrassed. It's used to be kind of fun to be an American abroad, now it's a liability. My neck hurts from hanging my head so much.

Posted by: pam on January 25, 2004 11:12 PM

Hey, now. Careful what you say about Van Halen.

Posted by: Gary on January 26, 2004 10:59 PM
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