The fact is that the Bush/Cheney administration is constantly talking via back channels to every country and large group. It is also a fact that the Bush/Cheney administration talks to many entities that others feel are evil and terroristic. All the banter about appeasement is a ruse. It is basically a method of avoiding redressing the legitimate grievances of the opposition. It is basically a smokescreen for imperialism.

When Did Talking Go Out of Style?
By Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman 06/04/2008

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when "talking" got such a bad rep. But it clearly has one....

Sen. John McCain raised the concern last night, as he has done almost daily. It started with Obama's statement last summer that, if elected, he would talk directly with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea to bridge the impasse between these nations and the United States. Last week, McCain lectured Cuban-Americans that this would "send the worst possible signal to Cuba's dictators." Shortly before, President George W. Bush told the Israeli Parliament that such dialogue is tantamount to caving in to terrorists. Negotiation is appeasement, he said, "which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

Bush is correct that appeasement has been widely discredited. But no observer of foreign relations could possibly equate negotiation with appeasement.
Talking with an opponent is different from fraternizing with or capitulating to him. It is, in fact, the defining tool of diplomacy, humanity's oldest substitute for fighting.
Notably, one nation did indignantly refuse to negotiate with Stalin when the opportunity still existed. The Polish government-in-exile made Soviet acknowledgment of the Katyn Forest Massacre a precondition of face-to-face meetings. The Soviets refused; the two governments broke off relations, and whatever wiggle room existed in that perilous relationship disappeared. History tragically consigned the people of Poland to the wrong side of the Iron Curtain for the next 40 years.

Perhaps the best explanation for a stiff-necked posture toward negotiation is the legacy of the Cold War. In that struggle, the United States ruled out negotiations with Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro and Mao Tse Tung, to mention a few of the most important Communists whom Washington treated as persona non grata.
Of course, there are moments when delaying talks can have some benefit, but to postpone them for almost 50 years, as in the case of Cuba, merely delays resolution of a conflict. In this case, extending a white flag is sensible indeed. There is no conceivable reason, other than spite or pride, to clutch a policy that has produced so little. Why ostracize Cuban citizens or the Cuban government when we welcome interactions with China, a more formidable Communist country by far? Consistency in policy is the bedrock of order.
A cardinal rule of diplomacy is the principle of de facto recognition, to which President George Washington adhered when deciding he must shake the bloody hand of a representative of the French government that murdered Louis XVI. De facto recognition means that one nation does not judge how another nation rules itself internally. It recognizes whatever government wields power. There is no implication of moral approval or disapproval — regardless of how disgusted one might be by the other.
...the United States has long been the preeminent champion of peaceful conflict resolution.

Talking and negotiation tend to be disparaged by people who aren't very adept at either.
Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman is the Dwight Stanford Professor of American Foreign Relations at San Diego State University. She is the author of "Major Problems in American History: 1865 to the Present" and "All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps and the 1960s."


The following should appear at the end of every post:

According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":

Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.

Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.

Political Campaign Intervention

Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.

Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:

  • Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
  • Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
  • Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
  • Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
  • Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office

Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

  • The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
  • Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
  • We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
  • When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
  • It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
  • We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
  • We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
  • When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
  • We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

  • Subscribe

  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
    This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.