Shuttle Diplomacy Again!
Watching the news (7/18/06) from the deck and being drained by the heat and humidity, I heard Dr. Condeleeza Rice indicate that she will go to the Middle East when she can do the most good. Sounds like a positive change in diplomacy so that instead of hopping around from region to region, Dr. Rice will remove herself from the fray as she now seems ready to do, stand above it, and let meeting with her be the last step before meeting with our President, not the first. Shuttle diplomacy may have worked (obviously short-term) for Henry Kissinger as he was traveling back and forth between Middle Eastern nations but not now. The analogy to the recalcitrant teenager would seem appropriate here to discuss the behavior of some in the Middle East if the situation were not so serious. The terrorists are ruthless but you have to give them credit for telling the truth. They don’t mince words. They want to drive Israel into the sea and they are determined to destroy Western civilization. If history is any indication, we must take them at their word. They are absolutely serious regardless of their motivation, their education, or anything else. If 9/11/01 does not prove that they will kill indiscriminately and that a person’s religion is no shield, then the killings in London, Madrid, Iraq and Indonesia should prove it. They despise weakness. I appreciate some of the geopolitics involved in the current hostilities but, for goodness sake, we send taxpayer dollars to just about everybody including Palestine. Do we send money to Lebanon and Syria too? Why? Scuttle shuttle diplomacy. One does not send a woman no matter how bright or how daft to negotiate hardball with men who appear to hold women in low esteem. To give her credit, Dr. Rice has style and class and does not wear frumpy hats from hell or gaudy brooches but even dress, style, and intellect belie the point. And here the feminists will shriek. When we need a strong man to go in and say “What the hell are you boys doing?”, we send him in with a Louisville Slugger on his shoulder and the authority to use it backed up with a few precision guided missiles at his fingertips and the ability to put a stop-payment on our checks. [Let’s face it girls, men and women are different and we need to re-enforce men’s strengths not feminize them into ineffectuality.] The world stage seems to be lacking strong women such as Golda Mier, Indira Gandhi, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth I or Eleanor of Aquitaine (my all-time favorite). But then, these women had the power to send in troops and in several cases they led their troops into battle. For right now, send in the men! Meeting with the Secretary of State of the United States should be the reward in this situation, not the opening gambit. So, Dr. Rice, stay home! Let them come to you by invitation only and in the case of Lebanon when they have established themselves as a sovereign nation not a pawn of Syria or Iran. And keep the UN out! That said, let’s stay out of Israel’s way and say, “Good luck, God’s speed, and the materiel you need is at your dock!”