Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Diplomacy for Dummies


Looks like the Japanese and Bush both need diplomacy advice.

A day after China ordered an end to anti-Japanese protests, Japanese officials softened their tone toward China today and urged a meeting between leaders of the countries later this week.

With signs that both sides were seeking ways to defuse the diplomatic crisis, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi responded favorably to Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing of China after his call to Chinese protesters to stop the sometimes violent marches and attacks against Japanese government offices and businesses in China.

The Chinese called off the attacks for a reason. Far down at the bottom of this article lies the reason:

Today, Japanese business leaders - who, unlike politicians, tend to view China as a partner rather than a rival - held a news conference to express worries that the crisis would make it difficult for Japanese companies to do business in China.

But Koizumi is still arrogant. At least his underlings are trying to be sort of diplomatic.

"We hope this meeting will take place," the spokesman for the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Hatsuhisa Takashima, said by telephone from Jakarta. "We are now making arrangements in that direction, but the Chinese are a little slow in giving us an answer.

"We haven't put any preconditions on it," he added. "We just told them that we would like to have a meeting on a wide range of issues."

Diplomacy for Dummies can help translate what is happening. The Chinese are "slow to answer" because they are waiting for an apology. Several apologies. Until this comes, the Japanese will be left to wonder what is going on. Well, Diplomacy for Dummies will reveal why the Chinese, when they do anwer, will say things the Japanese will not enjoy hearing.

No more official visits to WWII military shrines.

Compensate the victims of Japanese imperialist crimes.

Withdraw immediately all claims to disputed China Sea territory.

No more meddling in China/Taiwan affairs.

Very simple. The Chinese have set an agenda already and they are waiting, silently, for the Japanese to read "Diplomacy for Dummies" and begin serious negotiations.

Then there is our special dummy. He gets "dummy of the year" recognition at Culture of Life News. Here he is, negotiating with the Democrats in Congress:
The White House vigorously defended the embattled nomination of John Bolton as its chief delegate to the United Nations today, saying that Democrats were making "unfounded allegations" against the nominee and revealing an "ugly side" of Washington politics.

"Democrats continue to bring these accusations up, and trump them up, and make unfounded allegations," Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said at a news briefing today. He referred to a string of accusations, particularly about Mr. Bolton's behavior toward subordinates, that have been raised since the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opened confirmation hearings last week.

"We believe they are unfounded, they are unsubstantiated, and that they have been addressed by John Bolton," Mr. McClellan said. "I think what you're seeing is the ugly side of Washington, D.C.; that people are playing politics with his nomination."

Attack! Attack! Call names! Yell. Stamp feet imperiously. Pout.

Diplomacy for Dummies suggest this works only on very weak willed indulgent parents with toddlers in public. For a President, this is foolish. The reason Bolton is in trouble is because he is a hot head who is famously undiplomatic. Even the President's own party is horrified at the Terrible Twos behavior this very unattractive man has displayed in the past. It just can't pass Congress.

We suggest Bush nominate a horse. This has historic precedent.

Meanwhile, after celebrating the increase in power in DC, the GOP is now falling apart and falling in the polls. People who supposedly voted for them are dismayed by the infantile behavior of the right wing and regret "voting" for them (ahem). So, at the Bolton hearings:

A surprise last-minute defection by an Ohio Republican forced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to postpone a vote that had been scheduled for Tuesday on the nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations.

The chairman of the panel, Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, reluctantly agreed to put off any vote until next month to allow a review of what Democrats portrayed as troubling new accusations that cast doubt on Mr. Bolton's temperament and credibility.

Until the defection, by Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio, the panel had appeared prepared to send the nomination to the Senate floor on a strict party-line vote. But Mr. Voinovich stunned other senators by announcing that more time was needed to explore accusations against Mr. Bolton.

"My conscience got me," he said after the stormy two-hour session. He said he had gone to the meeting planning to vote for Mr. Bolton, but changed his mind after hearing the case against the nominee made by Senators Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, both Democrats.


It seems as if the Bush administration trains diplomats by having them drive up and down the New Jersey Turnpike at rush hour. Road rage for international and internal politics. Then there is the DeLay melt down. He is undiplomatically trying to destroy the entire Judiciary as well as the House in his attempts at getting away with breaking the law. Temper, temper!

One wishes we could go back to duels. They were useful.

UPDATE: Bomb threat in hotel where Condi was supposed to stay.

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