Tag Archives: diplomacy

Magma in My Mind

From introspection and multiple external confirmations, I know that I’ve become a lot mellower as I’ve gotten older. I’m not quite the reformer/revolutionary I was when I graduated high school twelve years ago. Nor do I have the temper I once had. I’ve even surprised myself, friends, and loved ones by taking on the role of peace-maker, diplomat, or arbitrator. I’m beginning to realize, though, that I rarely fill such a role unless I lack a stake in the matter at hand. When I do, it’s clear that I still have a lot of mellowing to do.

Sometimes I feel as though my emotions are volcanic in nature. Aside from the occasional tremor, I maintain a relatively calm exterior. Deep down, though, I’m really a very angry person; the red hot magma is still bubbling and flowing. It’s come close to breaking out of its rocky shell, but somehow enough heat and pressure are vented off that the volcano remains intact another day. Someday, though…


Last Resort? I Don’t Buy It, Mr. President

Bush: Force last resort on Iran

“JERUSALEM (Reuters) — U.S. President George W. Bush said on Israeli television he could consider using force as a last resort to press Iran to give up its nuclear program.”

“‘All options are on the table,’ Bush, speaking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, said in the interview broadcast on Saturday.”

“Asked if that included the use of force, Bush replied: ‘As I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any president and you know, we’ve used force in the recent past to secure our country.'”

I have that deja vu feeling all over again. I’m almost certain Bush said the very same thing (almost to the word) about Iraq before the invasion. Hmmm…

“‘In all these instances we want diplomacy to work and so we’re working feverishly on the diplomatic route and we’ll see if we’re successful or not,’ Bush told state-owned Israel Channel One television.”

My memory is getting clearer now…

I couldn’t find a quote from before the Iraq invasion, but I did find this from the 2004 presidential debates.

“But a president must always be willing to use troops. It must – as a last resort.”

“I was hopeful diplomacy would work in Iraq. It was falling apart. There was no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was hoping that the world would turn a blind eye. “

“And if he had been in power, in other words, if we would have said, ‘Let the inspectors work, or let’s, you know, hope to talk him out. Maybe an 18th resolution would work,’ he would have been stronger and tougher, and the world would have been a lot worse off. There’s just no doubt in my mind we would rue the day, had Saddam Hussein been in power. “

“So we use diplomacy every chance we get, believe me. And I would hope to never have to use force. “

Any of that language sound familiar to anyone besides me? When Bush gives lip service to diplomacy and calls military action the last resort, it seems to be code for “Yeehaw! Lock and load!” Brace for impact, folks. We’ll be going to war faster than you can say “plumeting approval rating”.

BTW, if anyone has a relevant Bush quote from before the invasion, let me know. 🙂

Oil For Food Means Investigation for Money

I’m glad some effort
is being made to keep the U.N. accountable.

Congress May Block UN Budget Over Oil-for-Food Probe

More than 100 members of Congress will try to block some United States funding of the United Nations unless U.S. officials are allowed to begin an open and complete investigation into a U.N. humanitarian program in pre-war Iraq — sooner rather than later.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) noted Monday that it has been more than a year since the public first learned of fraud and abuse allegations directed at the U.N.’s oil-for-food program in Iraq. Flake and his colleagues are unhappy with the U.N.’s apparent lack of progress in its investigation of those charges. Now they are actively promoting existing legislation that would punish what they see as willful inaction.

Right! This Calls for Immediate Discussion!

Another Triumph for the U.N.

The resolution passed, and it was a good day for alliance-nurturing and burden-sharing
– for the burden of doing nothing was shared equally by all. And we are by now used
to the pattern. Every time there is an ongoing atrocity, we watch the world community
go through the same series of stages: (1) shock and concern (2) gathering resolve
(3) fruitless negotiation (4) pathetic inaction (5) shame and humiliation (6) steadfast
vows to never let this happen again.

The "never again" always comes. But still, we have all agreed, this sad
cycle is better than having some impromptu coalition of nations actually go in "unilaterally"
and do something. That would lack legitimacy! Strain alliances! Menace international
law! Threaten the multilateral ideal!

It’s a pity about the poor dead people in Darfur. Their numbers are still rising,
at 6,000 to 10,000 a month.

A bit of Monty Python’s The Life of Brian sprang immediately
into my mind when I read this
NYT op-ed. (Thanks, Nomad

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Wrong Solution to Very Old Problem

UK Scholars Debate Boycott of Israel
By Jill Lawless

"Hundreds of European academics have called a boycott of Israeli universities to protest treatment of the Palestinians – a move that has led to the firing of two Israelis from British publications and prompted allegations of discrimination and intellectual censorship."