The Definition of Diplomacy
To this Administration, it means "telling our friends what we're going to do (and to get out of the way) and telling our enemies to piss off."
Last month, the chief U.S. negotiator with North Korea wanted to meet privately with his North Korean counterpart, hoping he could persuade Pyongyang to return to talks on eliminating its nuclear weapons program.
But the meeting between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and North Korean Vice Premier Kim Kye Gwan on the sidelines of a conference in Tokyo never took place.
Hill's superiors in Washington forbade him from talking directly to the North Koreans, said three U.S. officials, a conference participant and another knowledgeable expert. All requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue [...]
"I believe that diplomacy is not simply meant for our friends. It is meant for our enemies," said Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state in President Bush's first term. "In fact, our enemies need diplomatic engagement more.
"We ought to have sufficient self-confidence in the correctness of our policy and the ability of our diplomats."
It's clear that the Bushies aren't practicing diplomacy in Iran because they want diplomacy to fail, leading the way to an invasion. But not engaging the world in this manner makes everybody less safe. I thought the point was to find more allies and cooperate with everybody, since stateless terrorists are likely to set up shop anywhere. We could have negotiated with Iran years ago, before Ahmadinejad was even known outside of Tehran, and settled this issue. I believe that's what the American people would want; someone who defuses conflict, rather than someone who goes out looking for a fight. This standoffishness is what is leading North Korea and Iran into the nuclear club rather than the negotiating table.