Sunday, September 13, 2009

The US takes the diplomatic road

Yesterday Guam Diary's 'US DPRK breaks the ice'. Yet the Obama administration's breaking ground on North Korea [DPRK or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea] has got lost in the media shuffle, going greatly under reported. Today's it signals a willingness to sit down to discussions with the Islamic Republic of Iran breaks out in large and occasionally banner headlines, which momentarily burying in the back pages news of a new initiative in talks with the DPRK.
The grand market place that the United Nations becomes every September when the leaders of its members take to the podium, and cross paths in VIP lounges or ranking diplomats run into one another or talk in shaded alcoves or share drinks, will tell of the direction the talks will take.
It is reasonable to point out that any items on announced agendas or press releases or stories in the press, are starting points, for the long weeks or even months of sharp horse trading, in order to arrive at agreed upon outcomes.
Yet, the DPRK and Iran are part of a larger diplomatic thrust that the Obama state department has launched. The influential US press bruit stories of a breakthrough with Castro's Cuba, where New Mexico's governor and old Clinton administration trouble shooter, Bill Richardson turned up a few weeks ago. [See, Guam Diary's 'the peripatetic Bill Richardson] Rumours abound that Mr. Richardson might be Washington's first ambassador to Havana should restoration of normal diplomatic channels take place. Nonetheless, rumours are simply bits and snippets of gossip which usually have little substance.
On the Dafur front, president Obama [BHO] is forging ahead with crafting an agreement which would put a final chapter on a horrible onslaught against Sudan's nomadic Muslim population.
BHO's diplomatict offeinse has so far no echo in the NATO war in Aghanistan. Already powerful committees in the houses of Congress and in more senior military circles are having second thoughts of persecuting a war which suddenly reminds them of the fiasco that was Vietnam.
It is hoped that secretary of state Hillary Clinton who has a hawkish position on Afghanistan, is also exploring back channels with amenable Taliban elements, the better to wind down a draining war in Central Asia.
Little mention is made of Spanish and Portugese speaking America. Mme. Clinton has dragged her feet on the coup in Hondorus which stays afloat thanks to the Yankee economic and military dollar. Will she extend BHO's hand to smooth ruffled feathers in a vast continent with its oil reserves, mineral resources, and its growing sense of this continent's standing and power?
Africa poses a delicate problems. Furthermore, solutions are less easy to come by, owing to endemic corruption, immense health problems, drought, and general low level of development.
And finally, there the push by veteran negotiator George Mitchell, to untie the knots of the Israeli Palestine imbroglio. He has his work cut out for him: he has to contend with a feral Israel, an anemic Palestinian Authority, which suffers from the steel grip of more than 40 years of Israel
occupation. He has to somehow, way, shape or form, bring Hamas into the equation. He has his work cut out for him. The outcome is far from secure.

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