Diplomacy fails in Geneva

January 23, 2014 4:13 PM

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President Obama and his B team of national security advisers are plagued by the standard liberal misconception about “diplomacy.” They see this as a discrete activity, an alternative to force. One sits down and sort of works things out with enemies. The problem is not conflicting interests or values, but “mistrust.” Ah, if only.

Former Secretary of State George P. Schultz, a labor lawyer before entering government service, was asked if union negotiations were good preparation for international diplomacy. He replied that in, say, a supermarket negotiation, the other guys aren’t intent on blowing up the market. He understood ...

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