(as defined by great minds of the 20th century)
The art of letting somebody else have your way. ~David Frost
The art of restraining power. ~Henry A. Kissinger
The art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock. ~ Will Rogers
My international relations professors (one former DIA, one a Persian ex-pat from Iran) always said diplomacy was the art of speaking softly and carrying a big stick.
In Syria, this week, it seems all four definitions are true.
To sum up – yesterday a reporter asked Sec. State John Kerry what it would take to keep the U.S. from strategic strikes in Syria, and he said, perhaps tongue in cheek, and certainly skeptically, for Assad to turn over his WMD’s to the UN for destruction, turning them over to the international wrecking ball.
By nightfall, Russia’s Putin suggested that to Assad, and Assad agreed. Frankly, I don’t care who gets the credit for the idea if this works, for several reasons:
First and foremost, the U.S. will not be acting alone in yet another nation’s civil war. Throughout our recent history, we’ve been involved in too many, at the cost of too many American lives.
Second, it gets the chemical weapons out of the hands of a sociopath. Assad is clearly apathetic to the plight of his own people in comparison to his own family and friends. He will keep his power at all costs. He saw what happened to his buddies Hussein, Mubarak, & Qaddafi.
Third, it pulls the world back from the brink of another cold war, or world war.
The question is – using Frost’s definition, whose way is diplomacy having? Frankly I’m beginning to think it’s President Obama and the U.S. national interest. The president is standing there, at the G20 in Moscow, with the biggest stick and the softest voice.
Putin wants to feel like he’s a player too and keep his oil routes unencumbered, so he jumps at the opportunity to play “peacemaker”. In just about a week, Assad has gone from we don’t have ’em, to we didn’t use ’em, to “prove it” and finally to the UN, cried “uncle” and is giving them up.
And last but not least, Congress is dancing around, a little bit like marionettes, because Obama said he was going, and didn’t need their approval. When they demanded he said, ok, fine. Debate it.
The legislative shell-shock and gun-shy kerfuffle bought Kerry and diplomacy a little time to work, all the while Obama’s sitting back and saying look – we know you did it, and we’re not letting you do it again.
Call him an idiot if you want, but frankly that’s brilliant.
Ms. Cyrus is smarter than you think too.
If you’ll recall, about a week or so ago I went on a little tirade about how we should really ignore Miley Cyrus’ antics with Robin Thicke at the VMAs and how Syria was just completely being ignored. That the outrage at her behavior, while ignoring everything else was insane.
I stand behind that. And yet here we are again, side by side news headlines – Syria blinks and Cyrus has a new video and OH MY GOD SHE’S NAKED.
Unless you’ve ever been in a relationship that’s laid you bare and emotionally or physically wrecked you, I don’t expect you to get it. I’m becoming convinced this kid — the same age as my stepdaughter — is what my mom & grandfather would call an “old soul.” This song is wise beyond her years, lyrically brilliant, and if you listen first, and look later, you will understand it. Especially if you’ve ever had your heart broken or betrayed.
And I recommend listening to it here, then viewing it. Not because of the nudity, but because you need to hear the message and then you’ll get the visual. It’s here: Put it in a background tab.
Get off her back. Even if she twerks up to you.