The Fine Art of Diplomacy

With all the talk on what the US should do with Iran, we should revisit what diplomacy means.  According to online sources:

Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states.

Notice the word “negotiation”.  When I hear the word “negotiation”, I typically think of haggling and attempting to get the best possible trade for your time & money.  In essence, to obtain something, you must offer something of value to the other person.  If you want what they have, then you must offer them something, an incentive, in order to acquiesce to your request.  The key is that the offer must be something of comprable value.

A lot of hay has been made recently about negotiations with Iran.  The State Department has been having parlays with Iran on the topic of nuclear disarmament.  It hasn’t been very successful, but it has shown that negotiations with Iran have clearly lacked any incentive from the US that Iran finds appealing enough to end nuclear enrichment.

Obama says he’ll talk directly to the leader of Iran.  I don’t know what this will accomplish other than put the leader of Iran on equal footing with the leader of the United States.  The Baracka-ites love that idea– making the US seem an equal to Iran.  Nobody should be better than anyone else, right?  Unfortunately it flies in the face of negotiation.  Nowhere in that arrangement is the US put in a position of power.

Bush used the power of the US to form a coalition to invade and topple Saddam.  It was a useful push for power.  Iraq could have forestalled invasion had they simply complied with UN resolutions, but they didn’t, and they got invaded.  They didn’t meet the US at the table, and the US had “invasion” as their big bargaining chip.  Iraq offered nothing of value, so the US invaded.  This negotiation tactic has to be employed with Iran as well.

Should be dangle “invasion” in front of Ahmadinejad?  No.  It’s always an option (NEVER limit your options in negotiation).  But instead of invading, why not strip Iran of its most powerful negotiating piece– oil.  Blockade Iran.  Seize any vessels carrying oil out of Iran.  Some may consider this an act of war, but it’s not an invasion, and it pushes Iran to consider ending their nuclear program.  Note that their nukes cannot be used as trade, and in producing them they’ve drawn money out of other areas of the government.  A blockade to the Iranian economy will trigger an economic crisis.

If the US uses a blockade, it will give the US one big bargaining chip– one that’s equal in size to the Iranian nuke-card.  Iran cannot survive with its primary export blocked.  They could attempt to ship it through Pakistan, but they just wouldn’t have the necessary capacity to make as much money as they do now shipping from Pakistan.  They can’t go through Iraq, and Turkey would probably side with NATO and the US.  There are no other ocean-outlets for tankers.  Iran would be stuck with a greatly diminished oil-shipping capacity.

What’s great about the blockade is that it will be a military solution without invasion.  It worked for Kennedy and Cuba, why not Iran?  Iran could strike out at US forces, but we all know how that will end for Iran, and even then, the US wouldn’t need to invade.

Of course, the UN would never agree to it.  They don’t like embargoes, much less an actual military blockade.  Besides, if the US can do this independent of the UN, it gives us that much more freedom.  If we ask beforehand, it will seem a gracious act.

As for ships carrying Iranian oil, seize them and the oil.  Send a clear message that nothing gets out of Iran.  That and Iran must consider dropping its nuke program


2 Responses to “The Fine Art of Diplomacy”

  1. May 26, 2008 at 6:40 am

    It’s my understanding that Iran’s “oil wealth” is illusionary. That is, while Iran is a producer, it is also a net-importer of petroleum and has a serious shortage of refining capacity.

    So the trick would be to cut off supplies between the refiner and Iran.

  2. June 20, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Sibilate!!

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My name is Doc. Welcome to my blog. If you're visiting from another blog, add me to your blogroll (and I'll happily reciprocate). I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry and live in Wisconsin. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. My email is docattheautopsy at gmail. (No linking to deflate the incredible spam monsters).



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