THE DIPLOMACY OF EXHIBITIONISM, SENATOR KERRY ON THE PERSIAN NUCLEAR TALKS: A COMMENT.
"The key here is that, first of all the Bush administration [argument of] no enrichment was ridiculous, on its face, because Iran is a signatory to the [nuclear] Non-Proliferation Treaty and whether they are inside or outside their obligations, to ask them to give up something that was within their rights within the treaty assuming they were up to their obligations is a non-starter. It was bombastic diplomacy. It was wasted energy. It sort of hardened the lines, if you will (inaudible).
Because it seemed so unreasonable to people. They have a right to peaceful nuclear power and to enrichment in that purpose. But they don’t have a right, obviously, to be outside of the other restraints of the IAEA and of the non-proliferation agreement. And so the key here was to really open a different kind of dialogue with them about where you draw the line".
Senator John Forbes Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "Transcript: John Kerry Interview," 10 June, 2009, in http://www.ft.com/
"It will always be desirable that the foreign policy of any great country should be carried out by professionals trained in their business. Amateur diplomatists...are prone to prove unreliable. It is not merely that their lack of knowledge and experience may be of disadvantage to their governments, it is that the amateur diplomatist is apt out of vanity and owing to the shortness
of his tenure to seek for rapid successes; that he tends, owing to diffidence, to be over-suspicious: that he is inclined to be far too zealous and to have bright ideas; that he has not acquired the humane and tolerant disbelief which is the product
of a long diplomatic career and is often assailed by convictions, sympathies, even impulses; that he may arrive with a righteous contempt for the formalities of diplomacy and with some impatience of its conventions; that he may cause offence
when he wishes only to inspire geniality; that in his reports and dispatches he may seek rather to display his own acumen and literary brilliance than to provide his government with a careful and sensible balance-sheet of facts".
Sir Harold Nicolson, Diplomacy, 1939.
Senator John Kerry is an honorable, and intelligent man. He was by far a much better Presidential candidate than Bush the Younger. And, would have easily been a better President than his opponent. Regardless of this truism however, it appears that since the junior Senator from Massachusetts, took over the Chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has been afflicted with that uniquely American Congressional illness, which his predecessor, the current American Vice-President, Mr. Biden was particularly sufferer from: a tendency to wish to see his name in print and on the television box all the time. In the case of Senator Kerry, his particular area of the world where he is interested in making his name, appears to be the Near and Middle East. This regardless of the fact that he was never associated with or particularly knowledgeable about this area...
Ordinarily this illness would be of the de minimus variety, a rather minor peccatum.
However given the importance of the ongoing negotiations with the regime in Persia over its potential nuclear aspirations, it is say we say, less than intelligent for the good Senator to let Teheran to know in advance that such an important American personage, is willing to in effect hand-over an important diplomatic bargaining chip, to the Persians. Scott free no less. Let me be clear: I do not in reality necessarily disagree with what Senator Kerry says. I do however disagree violently with his saying it, and, in public. What he blandly is willing to acknowledge, is something which should only be given, in the context of an overall settlement. Something which we are very far away from at the moment. And, which Senator Kerry's comments have made even much more difficult to arrive at.