Peggy Shapiro at American Thinker reminds us “diplomacy is not the Dr. Phil show.”
The going theory in the world of media psychology is that people need to confront their demons and talk over problems in order to repair relationships. The next logical step is to conclude that what works on the personal level can be applied to the political and that by dialogue, international relations can be brought to a peaceful resolution. So everyone is talking about talking.
Barak Obama promises to launch "a surge of diplomatic talks" and going with the healing relationship theme, the candidate told General David Petraeus that America should "embrace talks with Iran." Talks without preconditions take a page out of the Neville Chamberlain playbook. Chamberlain may have felt that opening his soul to Hitler in Munich cleared the air. On the other hand, Hitler, emboldened by Chamberlain's naiveté invaded Czechoslovakia. Ignoring the historical reality that talks without preconditions lend legitimacy to one's adversaries, that others who have spoken with Tehran were left empty-handed and deceived, and that meeting with no preconditions will leave an American president little to put on the table, Obama persists in his faith in the healing art of conversation.
Ah, yes, Neville Chamberlain. He was the pre-war Prime Minister of Great Britain, who negotiated an agreement with Nazi Germany that guaranteed “Peace in our time.” It wasn't worth the paper it was written on. All this round of diplomacy accomplished was buying time for Hitler, which allowed him to move forward with his plans to expand the Third Reich.
All in all, it was a dismal failure for diplomacy.
Mind you, even Winston Churchill stated “Jaw jaw is better than war war.” But Churchill also understood that sometimes war is necessary. And war is, after all, diplomacy by other means.
Sometimes, our diplomats and head of state will meet with ruthless dictators and partake of a cup tea with thug, all in the name of diplomacy. But that doesn't mean we give in to them or, even worse, set no preconditions for such meetings. Without that condition, all we do is set up circumstances that will have repercussions for us and none for the other side. It's always a formula for disaster, particularly when we're dealing with foreign leaders who think living in the past is just fine...at least for those under their thumb and in their prisons.
American leaders, certainly, can't isolate themselves from dealing with dictators. The world is an ugly place. But diplomacy without any preconditions is fraught with unintended consequences, as Lee Smith, a visiting fellow with the Hudson Institute's Center for Future Security Strategies, wrote in the New Republic.
When the Democratic speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, visited Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad for tea last year, Assad, "as Syrian dissidents had warned," wrote Smith, "clamped down on opposition figures, seemingly availing himself of the apparently relaxed U.S. pressure." A similar scene played out when Republican Sen. Arlen Specter visited Syria last year. Two dissidents were arrested within 48 hours of his trip.
Either Obama believes his awe-inspiring personality can win over theocratic bigots or, worse, that theocratic bigots are reasonable men. Hubris or clueless, it spells trouble.
Now, we may be a nation sick of a war, but we shouldn't be a nation that emboldens, legitimizes and offers propaganda opportunities to a 12th century-styled theocracy.
I fear that in regards to Barack Obama's pledge to meet with our enemies it is both cluelessness and hubris that leads him to make such a promise. We will gain nothing from those meetings and they will gain everything. The mistake Obama and many on the Left make over and over again is their belief the “theocratic bigots” are reasonable men, just like them. They really don't get it, don't understand that the only thing these men want is all of us dead or enslaved to those same Islamic extremists trying their best to bring back the Caliphate. They aren't reasonable men. If they have to kill 300 million Americans and a like number of Europeans to do it, they will.
In such a case the only talk I want to share with them is a simple declaration along the lines of “Don't screw with us or we'll give you a war you won't believe!” And make them understand that should it come to pass, it won't be a war of the type we fought in Iraq, with precision and with best efforts to minimize civilian casualties. Instead it will be more like what Nazi Germany and Japan experienced during WWII – utter and complete destruction, with nothing but burning rubble where a cities once stood, privation amongst the surviving population, and, after a fair trial, a dance at the end of a hangman's noose for them. That is diplomatic language they do understand.
(H/T Maggie's Farm, for getting me going on this diatribe.)