That’s Right Nate

Thoughts from a right thinker.

Negotiating with Disaster

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Now that Obama is the Democrat nominee it seems like the ideal time to discuss his appeasement plan and contrast it with the level headed diplomacy that we’ve had for the past 8 years and that McCain wisely wants to continue.

To begin with, let’s look at North Korea.  An inexperienced President like Obama would probably have tried negotiating with them a few years ago when they were building up a nuclear program believing that we had more leverage.  Bush wisely waited until the bombs were already built.  By doing so North Korea knew we were serious because they already had the weapons.

When it comes to Iran, Bush may himself have been tempted to negotiate in 2003 when Karl Rove received a secret Iranian proposal for negotiations from Iranian Ambassador in Paris Sadeq Kharrazi  Kharrazi and the three top figures in Iranian foreign policy: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, then President Mohammad Khatami and his Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.

In the proposal which was negotiated with Swiss ambassador Tim Guldimann the Iranians stated Iran was willing to consider far-reaching compromises on its nuclear program, relations with Hezbollah and Hamas and support for a Palestinian peace agreement with Israel as part of a larger peace agreement with the United States. 

Of course that was before the Iraq war and before Ahmadinajed came to power.  The new hardline government in Iran is unlikely to offer us the same terms.  On the other hand, Bush has played a very clever waiting game and it should be long with continued pressure before Iran caves.

Bush was probably not so anti-negotiation, but became that way after some less than stellar negotiations.  Maybe he rebought part of Alaska from Putin or gave assurances to Chavez for some magical coffee beans.  However, I am sure that Bush didn’t come to his position lightly.  As a 21st century  Bush has discovered a way of negotiating through the media that is responsible for much of this administration’s foreign policy success.

The Bush strategy involves not talking to our enemies, but in making public indirect threats about them either to the media or through third-parties.  By doing this publicly, they not only get their way, but have the added bonus of humiliating the foreign leader and making him lose face when he inevitably acquiesces.  I’m not denying that Obama can learn these techniques, but do we really want a leader who is learning on the job?  I don’t.

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Written by thatsrightnate

June 4, 2008 at 9:19 pm

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