Tuesday, August 4, 2009


With news that the two young American journalists have been "pardoned" by the North Koreans, and are at this moment, by all accounts, traveling home with former President Bill Clinton, I feel only gratitude that we have finally evolved to a level of diplomacy.

Diplomacy does not translate into "weakness." Diplomacy means that humans can communicate by means other than violence and that discussion, and yes, even concession can bring about one's ultimate goal without shooting or bombing or otherwise dismembering your opponent.

My father learned this tool at an early age. He used to say, "talk to the man at the top; he has to put his pants on one leg at a time just like you do." In other words, no matter how powerful the man, the country, the agency, the club, the school, the territory, there is a man or woman, a human being in charge with whom one can speak. This is how big business is conducted: the "good ol' boys" as we used to call them, are men who put their pants on one leg at a time just like you do. Make a deal with the man at the top and you've made a business coup in behalf of your own company.

It is apparent that Al Gore, Bill Clinton and more than likely President Obama, learned this rule, too and it saved the lives of two hard-working young women. For that we are grateful. Diplomacy = talking with other humans. That's all that high-falutin term means. Isn't that disarmingly simple?

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