Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Impossible Diplomacy

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

It is perhaps called diplomacy because it is impossible.  Every country has diplomatic channels and diplomats trying to convince people, parties and countries to listen to their agenda for handling things in a fashion that is in their opinion diplomatic.  With so many countries, so many political agendas, so many religious beliefs, and so many people who really don’t see eye to eye with anyone else, diplomacy is practically impossible.

Diplomacy is, defined as the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations and skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility.  The word diplomacy has been used since the year 1796, and has been generously employed by nations since then.  Every nation has had eminent and competent people represent the interests of their own nation, some as secretaries of state, some as foreign ministers, some as career diplomats, some as special envoys, and whatever name and fashion as required by the instance and incidents.  The United Nations which came into formation in 1945 is full of diplomats that represent their own nation, but also participate in the global efforts to control aggression and find common ground for countries to live in peace and harmony.  The UN was formed in 1945 immediately after the World War II, which saw destruction and death beyond human comprehension, and the nations needed a forum to bring the diverse agendas of many nations into one forum and find common ground for living in peace.

While the UN continues to present a forum for nations to work together and find common ground in promoting peace and harmony, the diplomatic efforts seem to be limited to the people on the floor of UN and not being followed by the people who they are representing.  While the cause is noble the following is difficult to implement for the member nations, and the last couple of decades the diplomatic channels have been working overtime and still there is strife all across the world.

Every country has its own agenda and its own internal issues to deal with.  Every part of the world has population growing exponentially and the even the wealthiest countries are struggling to meet the demands of their own population.  Employment, hunger, weather and seasonal issues, disasters, economic issues and anything else that is possible in each of the countries, big and small are continuously fluctuating and challenging the best of administrations.  No nation is reporting clear budget surpluses and until you are a dictatorship or a closed economy there are global signs of greater demand for products and services, way beyond the supply chain can provide for the demands.

Beyond the imbalance in supply and demand, the continued religious strife, extremism and terror continues to dominate the daily headlines and places a great demand for the diplomatic channels.  Things only are getting worse and out of reach for the normal diplomacy as the extremists have no channel to work with for understanding the issues and coming to peaceful and meaningful resolutions.   Many of the extremists do not represent a country or a region, but they represent beliefs that are taken in context of their own reasoning, and whatever agenda they represent broadly support extremism in nature, and destruction of communities.  Most times this destruction is embarked on the very communities they represent, and also cause harm to unsuspecting civilian life.  No one has ever won by destruction, as everyone is a loser when things gets destroyed or people get killed, and the hatred only gets broader audience by including the newly destroyed community into the unwarranted events that lead to the destruction.

The diplomats or their channels can work overtime, but when there is no way to bring people together to find common ground, there is no possibility for diplomacy.  The communications channels that are available give extremist’s easy access to send messages that reach a vast audience, and drives the fear factor in unsuspecting communities.  How do you handle the fear that comes from fundamentalism, and communal differences?  With all the hatred in making the communities to fear for each other and force the invisible enemy to fight in the guise of religion or fundamentalism, how can diplomacy be possible?

People are fearful of everyone and everything and specially when the normal life gets disrupted in life of people who have no experience of fundamentalism, and if such disruptions reach to every part of the world it is not possible to contain the impact to a select few areas of the world, rather the whole world is an open space which has unexpected and unwarranted disruptions to normal life.  The cost of the disruption in life and destruction of wealth is really unimaginable because of the unmanageable groups of extremists making diplomacy impossible.

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