Friday, September 20, 2013

Lunch at Maru


Mom and I were agreeing, over Japanese fare, that now was a fine time to be confessing how few and far between had been any diplomatic contacts between Tehran and Washington, DC, since the Shah was deposed, and yet we were already up to bombing again (Syria this time) a few days ago, from zero to sixty.

Military action is supposed to be a last resort after all diplomacy has failed but here is evidence of not even trying.  When diplomacy breaks down is when you need a flurry of diplomacy, or have US colleges and universities completely dropped the ball in teaching this stuff.  Has Woodrow Wilson School been replaced by West Point, when it comes to how conflicts should be handled?  May the historians investigate.

If John Kerry derailed the attack for the time being, he was just doing his job.  Diplomats should avert wars as a matter of course.  State should steal all the business, all the limelight, from the Pentagon from now on.  We don't want, need or care about the Cruise Missile Porn, generals on TV with their model jets, stroking their smooth lines, slobbering over the mayhem they're about to unleash on CNN.

Talk to Hollywood about that if that's your kinky complex.  Get your own Adult Movies studio.

We talked about Citizens Diplomacy or "second track", which in years gone by State has advocated.  Whatever happened to Citizens' Diplomacy?

It's just they're so rusty at diplomacy over there in the State Department -- overworked at the top, feckless around the middle -- that any talk of a "second track" immediately sounds threatening, potentially disruptive to one's career.

Like when the amateur athlete presumes to challenge the reigning champ.  The champ just hasn't been working out lately.  The smell of "rout" is in the air.  State is ashamed to take its shirt off and reveal there's nothing there and/or a lot of flab.  Been letting the military fight your dirty wars eh?  Nice vacation?

We have lots of Iranians in Portland, including a family I interviewed for Princeton, one of many.  We're talking intelligent professionals with satellite TV, lots of skills, highly personable.  If DC is too quick on the draw to reach for the cruise missiles, even before deigning to pick up a cell phone, then maybe we should help those poor slobs out, so desperately out of shape they've become?

"DC, you have three years to get back up to steam, in the meantime Portland will assume all your diplomatic responsibilities, free of charge, simply to save our own skins and build up tourism".  Sounds like a generous proposition.  We'll give 'em four years if they can't hack it.

So, hey, Iran, whaddya wanna talk about?  You wanna go back to calling it Persia and stop caring about old Anglo maps with stupid countries?  Yeah, that sounds like a conversation, we've been thinking that too.  Greetings from Cascadia.  How's the weather?