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  • Presidential Diplomacy?

    Hello,

    I recently read a book Russia Hand,written by a former deputy secretary of state, Strobe Talbott. It is a memoir of presidential diplomacy. It spoke of how Clinton personally dealt with Boris Yeltsin after the collapse of USSR and a fledgling Russian democracy struggling with its identity and economic crises.

    I am wondering, just how extensively has Bush Jr. been dealing with various foreign leaders? I would like to know of any treatise done on Bush's presidential diplomacy with any foreign leader. I believe this will be a valuable asset for any serious political scientist or a historian in understanding Bush's mentality and personal beliefs in directing the American foreign policy.

    I think the presidential diplomacy hasn't declined, in fact, due to instantenous communications and relatively easy travel, the importance of such diplomacy has taken on an entirely new meaning in 21st century. It kinds of put on a human face on various difficulties many countries are facing each other. Moreover, I notice the tendency many presidents, or prime ministers for that matter, depend on so-called experts to provide an insight into how the other leader may think or act upon. I am wondering will this be even more significant in future?

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

    "Aim small, miss small."

  • #2
    It is vital that the President listen to his advisors, it is impossible for any one man to be an expert on the traditions of every country that he is asked to deal with. Evidently Bush isn't listening to his advisors and it's getting him into trouble.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cheetah772
      I am wondering, just how extensively has Bush Jr. been dealing with various foreign leaders?
      To my knowledge, Bush hasn't set foot on Canadian soil. Since WW2, it has been the tradition that a newly elected Canadian PM or US Pres visit the other nation as his/her first international trip. Bush went to Mexico for his first visit, and hasn't been north at all.

      Only in Canada does something like this get noticed

      Comment


      • #4
        I had thought Bush had gone to Canada for a G8 conference....or was that on Clinton's watch?

        Anyhow, we all know that the true "test" (in more ways than one, I'm sure!) for another nation's Prime Minister or President or dictator is to get the opportunity to spend some quality time with W at his ranch near Crawford, TX.

        Has Chretien made that trip yet? Or did he fail to take W to Tim Horton's for a double-double and a maple pecan danish first?

        Just wondering....now to go get some of those damned addictive M&M cookies!

        John

        edit-- typo corrections

        Comment


        • #5
          Bush Jr has very limited experience in foriegn policy. Even as governor, Bush didn't travel extensively to encourage business to improve Texas' economy. He approaches people in a very blunt, up-front manner, which often is viewed as arrogance. Bush Jr also appears to take comments made by foriegn dignitaries more personally than some of his prede-cessors. This has inspired several retaliatory responses that does little to improve his international image.

          The President's shortcomings are best illustrated in press conferences, or when reporters hit him with an off the wall question. Bush Jr seems uneasy answering his own decisions. At times, I expect him to say, "let me ask Cheney and Rumsfield, then I'll get back to you."

          These issues, along with his own political ideals, combine to complete Bush Jr's ability to handle foriegn policy, and more importantly, address the international community. Bush rarely speaks to a nation other than America. Even Chirac (who is also a limited statesman) had the sense to at least appeal once to the American people during the pre-War debate. He didn't do a good job because his comments seemed to contradict themselves. However, I give him credit for trying. When Bush talks to people, his comments and speeches appear geared toward Americans. Again, this only serves to further alienate the President from people.

          Bush appears unwilling to learn how to cope with foriegn leaders. He reminds me of Truman; "a tough little SOB that when pushed, only stands his ground stronger." This might be appropriate in certain situations, but is not always effective in foriegn policy.

          I think the presidential diplomacy hasn't declined, in fact, due to instantenous communications and relatively easy travel, the importance of such diplomacy has taken on an entirely new meaning in 21st century. It kinds of put on a human face on various difficulties many countries are facing each other. Moreover, I notice the tendency many presidents, or prime ministers for that matter, depend on so-called experts to provide an insight into how the other leader may think or act upon. I am wondering will this be even more significant in future?
          There are no experts in foriegn policy since it depends on one's ideals and opinions of the world around them. Foriegn policy is dominated by either idealism or realism, or maybe a combination of the two. While realism is often more accurate in the short term. Idealism is usually what leads to progress. Failure to understand and balance both can have enormous consequences. The reason policy often fails is because people fail to apply realism and idealism effectively.

          Leaders have always illicited the counsel of people with experience, and knowledge in a particular field. They also tend to favor individuals who share their perceptions of the situation. This is unlikely to change. As we progress toward a more open-society, leaders will increasingly require people with more experience with foriegn counterparts. The pool of individuals will continue to grow because the means of communication are improving. Whether or not this will lead to improved relations or greater multipolarization depends on our acceptance of others and their views.

          Originally posted by Priest
          It is vital that the President listen to his advisors, it is impossible for any one man to be an expert on the traditions of every country that he is asked to deal with. Evidently Bush isn't listening to his advisors and it's getting him into trouble.
          Bush appears to listen to a handful of advisors who share his vision. These men, likely led by VP Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfield, all have seem to support a belief that America is at a point where it must re-define its dominance. Their views are based more on an ideal of security through greater global dominance. Bush likely feels the world is against the US. Thus, he treats it with discontent.

          Bush Jr, and his clique, are correct to conclude America must maintain an economic and political dominance well into the 21st Century. Greater control over the Middle East is clearly an important ingredient to achieving these objectives. That's why I supported the invasion of Iraq. However, I believe the neo-conservative movement ignores the economic and political expansion of the world today. Failure to recognize these changes and respect the new powers of Europe and Asia is promoting the ideal of imperalism. We're trying to hold all the cards, instead of keeping those that are most important. The United States must respect the views of other nations, and not seek to impede their progress. Otherwise, anti-Americanism will become much more than a poor opinion of the United States.
          "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Martin Schenkel
            To my knowledge, Bush hasn't set foot on Canadian soil. Since WW2, it has been the tradition that a newly elected Canadian PM or US Pres visit the other nation as his/her first international trip. Bush went to Mexico for his first visit, and hasn't been north at all.

            Only in Canada does something like this get noticed
            Can't really blame him after Chretien stuck his nose in the US election.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tex
              Can't really blame him after Chretien stuck his nose in the US election.
              Perhaps. Or maybe Bush was just embarrassed because he didn't know the PMs real name.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Southern Dandy
                I had thought Bush had gone to Canada for a G8 conference....or was that on Clinton's watch?
                You're right. I remember the Banff/Kannanaskis meeting now. They set up AA batteries around the area. I happened to be with one of my company's Helicopters in the area, and we had to be careful on our filght home not to go through the wrong valley.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Martin Schenkel
                  Perhaps. Or maybe Bush was just embarrassed because he didn't know the PMs real name.
                  hee hee...this reminds me of that episode of "This Hour has 22 Minutes" in which the intrepid reporter catches W campaigning in Michigan, I believe, and breaks the news to him the Prime Minister Poutine of Canada is endorsing W's candidacy. Great stuff, especially watching W's long rambling response to that.....

                  Of course, a lot of the stuff on that show is funny, even if it is Canadian humo(u)r.....


                  John

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Southern Dandy
                    hee hee...this reminds me of that episode of "This Hour has 22 Minutes" in which the intrepid reporter catches W campaigning in Michigan, I believe, and breaks the news to him the Prime Minister Poutine of Canada is endorsing W's candidacy. Great stuff, especially watching W's long rambling response to that.....
                    Exactly what I was refering to

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