All my life I have heard “Give diplomacy a chance.” I am 68 years old and a Vietnam veteran. Let’s list all these times, if I can remember them all, when we heard “Give diplomacy a chance.” I am sure I’ll miss some.
1. North Korea: We’re still negotiating after all these years and we still haven’t solved anything except we just continued to cave and they now have the bomb and are helping others to get it. This has been a failure so far. I don’t see how there can be a win here.
2. Vietnam: Diplomacy did nothing except give the people we were talking with more time to get their agenda done. Guess what? They got their agenda done. We won all the battles and lost the war. Again, diplomacy failed.
3. Lebanon: Diplomacy did nothing except get a bunch of our greatest assets — “honored Marines” — killed when their barracks were blown up.
4. First Iraq War: We finally gave up with diplomacy and kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait… and did not finish it.
5. Saudi Arabia: Diplomacy to give us Osama bin Laden would have solved many later prob-lems. But no, we have to treat the Saudis with kid gloves, or should I say kid oily gloves? They are as bad as the others but control a lot of oil. Another failure.
6. Afghanistan the first time: We tried by diplomacy to get rid of Osama bin Laden and got nowhere. We did shoot a couple of cruise missiles at him, but again gave up and did not finish it.
7. Second Iraq War: We got nowhere with Saddam Hussein and diplomacy. Finally we took him out, but again we did not finish the job. Now the terrorists are moving back in and Iraqis are asking for our help. Twice was enough there.
8. Egypt: We tried diplomacy there and got exactly what we did not want. Then we tried to back exactly what we did not want running the country.
9. Libya: Just plain failure, including getting four of our citizens killed.
10. Syria: What a mess. We should have backed the rebels at the start before the terrorists moved in and became the big rebel gang. The only thing that could be said is that we sold out to Russia.
11. Afghanistan the second time: We’re still there, and we put a criminal in as president. We’re trying to use diplomacy to let some of our troops stay after most leave. We know that the president of Afghanistan will be on the second to last plane leaving Afghanistan, carrying as much money as he can steal to save his hide because he knows we can’t and won’t protect him.
12. Iran: Diplomacy? Are you kidding? We have Iran on the ropes and broke. So instead of more sanctions — which are killing them — let’s try diplomacy. It sounds good even if it never has worked. Let’s see… Let’s drop the sanctions and promise we will trade with them in the future.Let’s let them keep the uranium they have but they must promise not to enrich any more for six months.
Let us learn from previous experience and let the sanctions finish working. At the same time we announced the so called “big deal” with Iran, its top cleric said Iran’s No.1 objective is to annihilate the Israelis.
We are always pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. If I am wrong, please answer with where we had one important diplomatic effort work?
Diplomacy should have a new definition: Stave off problems so we don’t have to deal with them now.
Pat Burns lives in Westmoreland.