Sunday, May 08, 2005

Diplomacy Isn't About Pals Playing Together

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Chitty chitty bang bang, look at me, ma!

One of the things that fascinate me is the stark difference from President Hu and Premier Wen's diplomatic missions and the strange circus of childish personal attacks coupled with buddy boy playfulness that Bush pursues. There is a reason why the "all business all the time" duo from China are beating America's "Buddy of the Day" antics.

Diplomacy isn't about friends. It is about creating treaties and concords and business deals. A good diplomat is everyone's friend and no one's friend. This concept eludes Americans who tend to want to be palsy walsy with everyone. Note how Rumsfeld in the eighties tried to be a personal good friend with Saddam, for example. President Reagan went around making friends but he did this consistantly. Even after stabbing someone in the back, he would appear before them and pretend they were friends which maddened people who were angry with him but left them with little room to attack him.

Alas, Bush doesn't have this skill. He sent Condi to take pot shots at Putin and then reinforced this with his own. Then he trotted off to visit Putin who, the night before, literally had dinner with the diplomatic genius of Asia, Hu. Putin let the world know he is very angry with Bush. So Bush is shocked when he arrives to find Putin smiling and laughing and goofing off with him. To the man who can't even read "Diplomacy for Dummies" this smiling Putin who just yesterday was snarling warnings means Bush won! Putin loves him! Oh, personal diplomacy isn't hard work after all. One can say and do anything yet it all works out in the end! Bush thinks today that he is a diplomatic genius.

Worse, the media mindlessly pumps up this bloated self estimation.

Meanwhile, our opponents in the Great Game of Go rub their hands with glee. Let's talk poker here. When three men are setting up a man they intend to take to the cleaner, they all pretend to lose a few hands and they praise the victim for being oh so lucky and smart, put some more money up for betting. And drink some more booze, buddy. You are our best friend. We admire you.

The mark laughs and thinks he is the greatest gambler on earth. His chest swells with pride. If he can't speak English very well he is fooled by false praise and can't tell when someone is being ironic or even insulting since he thinks he is a god. Then the gamblers wait until the rash man bets everything on the house.

They close in for the kill.

We are in that state now. The State Department should have experts who understand who Hu is and when Wen will do something. They should be sophisticated enough to know if Putin is playing footsie with China's very sophisticated leadership. They should be able to warn Bush to shut up, shake hands and run away after formal ceremonies.

Alas, the man who can barely speak English and whose understanding about the cruelties of life is minimal to none, is alone with one of the coldest blooded, hard nosed people on earth, a former KGB officer who knows interrogation techniques as well as the good cop/bad cop game. Photographers have caught Putin's expression whenever Bush's back is turned and it is pure poison. You can bet the man barely can restrain strangling Bush. Why the State Department doesn't warn Bush about this is....laughable.

For Bush gave it to Condi, his playmate and good times gal. She is supposed to be a Soviet expert.

Oh well, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, I am George Bush, that is easy to do!
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