Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Attack Dogs Against Diplomacy

The recent GOP thought process applies the same logic to politics as diplomacy. Always attack and demonize, never try to compromise. Always pretend you are in position of strength (since perception is all that matters), and refuse to give ground or negotiate with those who have different views. Only talk to those who agree with you. After all, in the House of Representative,s the GOP would only bring bills to the floor if the majority of the GOP agreed with it. Who cares what the rest of the country (or world) thinks?

They exclude all opposing views, and label their very existence as evil. They live within an echo chamber, where every action is glorious and only some evil/liberal media prevents others from seeing this. This creates an utter fear of negotiation or compromise.

While Regan called the Soviet Union the evil empire, he also attended summits all the time to intimately discuss issues with the leader of this evil empire. Nixon visited Communist China just after the conclusion of the Great Leap Forward killed millions. It seems that today's pundits forget all of this and simply adopt the Bush black and white of "you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

A good example is a recent Instapundit post. When told the Baker commission encourages, you know, traditional diplomacy (as opposed to cowboy style regime change), he gulps "uh oh." He later notes:
John Hinderaker is very unhappy with this talk. He also thinks that any expectation of a deal with the Iranians is "delusional."

I'll just note that the last time folks in the White House tried to cut a deal with the Iranians, Don Regan characterized it this way: "We got snookered by a bunch of rug merchants."

Ooh, can't trust those wily Persians! Throughout all this hand-wringing, there's a failure to understand we are a far greater threat to Iran than they are to us. We occupy countries on two of their borders. Our ships ply their waters (and we could blockade them just as well as they could blockade the gulf). We have thousands of nuclear weapons, tell them our only diplomatic goal as to their government is "regime change," and call them part of the "Axis of Evil."

If we had a President with some balls who really wanted to change things (as just creating terrorists and bungling occupations), then he would fly to Tehran, admit to our past sins (overthrowing their prime minister in the 50s, installing the shah, selling arms to Saddam while he was gassing Iranians), and make a plea for respect and peace, I think we would get much farther in the world. As for Syria, if we force Israel and Palestine to take some action (we control a lot of money flows to both) and help them get Golan back, things would ease up as well.

But the Republicans would rather demonize and send out hostility, fear, and militarism.

*Sigh* I shouldn't have to say this, since it goes without question. But we would have to get Iran to grow up accept Israel's right to exist (out of the West Bank and Gaza, natch). And we would keep a wary eye on the Iranians and let them know that an attack on us is an act of war. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to live in peace.

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