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To Know Thy Friend Kissinger

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Message Betsy L. Angert
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copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.

Tonight, during the first Presidential Debate, in the year 2008, John McCain empathically claimed to know his chum of more than thirty years.  The Arizona Senator strongly stated former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, would think Barack Obama wrong.  Senator McCain repeatedly reassured the public that the Ambassador would not think it wise to negotiate with rogue nations such as Iran.  John Sidney McCain reminded us of the refrain, Barack Obama is "naïve."  Yet, it might be puerile to ponder that friendship ensures explicit agreement.  Relationships may remind us of a capricious certainty and why countries engage in combat.

The implication, or indeed, the powerful proclamation, that potential President Barack Obama was "wrong" on Iran was one John McCain offered with confidence and conviction.  Yet, the assertion was perhaps, inaccurate.  After the debate, in retrospect, or in support of the Republican Party, Secretary Kissinger reflected upon his personal alliances rather than his previously stated philosophy.   
"Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level.  My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain.  We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."

Nonetheless, the record remains, twisted, and turned on its technical edge as it now is by the former Secretary of State.  Perchance, neither Presidential candidate was wrong or right.  Perhaps, this scenario illustrates why the world is not at peace.  People vehemently profess, someone is either correct or in error.  Humans often sense another is against us, attacking us, an adversary, rather than a person with a point of view.  In actuality, reality is personal and at times political,

Shades that might bring serenity are ignored and abhorred.  Avoidance and aversion create the combative circumstances that currently exist in a debate and within diplomacy.

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Let us consider the nuances too frequently overlooked.  Only days earlier, the words tripped off the tongue of John's friend Henry.  Secretary of State Kissinger avowed,"I am in favor of negotiating with Iran.  And one utility of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East, of a stable Middle East, and our notion on nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it.  And, therefore, I actually have preferred doing it at the Secretary of State level..."  

Henry Kissinger, when asked if he thought it wise to confer at very high level at the outset, at the earliest possible moment, the long time acquaintance of Arizona Senator John McCain, said unequivocally, "Exactly!"  The question might be how high?  Does the answer vary if the inquiry is made before or after an partisan parleys?

A well-regarded attaché, such as Kissinger is known to be, advocated for communication between countries.  His words were . . . "Initially, yes.  And I always believed that the best way to begin a negotiation is to tell the other side exactly what you have in mind and what you are - what the outcome is that you're trying to achieve so that they have something that they can react to . . . So if we go into a negotiation, we ought to have a clear understanding of what is it we're trying to prevent.  What is it going to do if we can't achieve what we're talking about?  But I do not believe that we can make conditions for the opening of negotiations.  Yet . . .

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Apparently, contrary to John McCain, who appeared angered by the perception that his pal might have professed as he did, Henry Kissinger thinks it best to put forth the American vision of a stable Middle East, or did.  

The Statesman, in an earlier recorded conference with fellow former Secretaries of States expressed a belief that if positions are presented in person,  there is an opportunity to study proposals.  The suggestion is, people can come to terms if the terms are stated in a manner that allows for discussion.

Days ago, Henry Kissinger pointedly proclaimed, if we are to effectively work together we must come to the table.  Our intention need be one of cooperation.  Perchance, Secretary Kissinger, an Ambassador, understood what his acquaintance, Presidential aspirant John McCain does not.  The purpose of peace talks is to avoid war, not create greater reasons for combat.

Tonight, the insight into how to create peace is gone. The Party's are at war.  All is fair and nothing is in love and battle.

Earlier persons who heard the words might have believed, Envoy Kissinger had the experience John McCain lacks.  It would seem the esteemed Henry Kissinger knew empathy is indeed, the greatest educator.  An audience might have mused, Kissinger had faith a Chief Officer cannot command unless he communicates.  People could have asserted as they thought the Secretary had, communication requires give and take.  It would have seemed "(T)his notion by not talking to people we are punishing them has not worked . . . our efforts of isolation have actually accelerated (their) efforts to get nuclear weapons."  In the recent past, people might have trusted what Barack Obama concluded was as a statement released by Henry Kissinger a week earlier.  News reports affirmed what many thought fact. 

Kissinger Backs Direct Talks 'Without Conditions' with Iran

ABC News' Rachel Martin Reports: Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger today told an audience in Washington, DC that the U.S. should negotiate with Iran "without conditions" and that the next President should begin such negotiations at a high level

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The former Nixon and Ford U.S. Secretary of State early in the year indicated his belief that the U.S. should hold direct talks with Iran when speaking to Bloomberg Television.

Kissinger spoke at a CNN sponsored forum at George Washington University along with other former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, James Baker III, Warren Christopher, and Colin Powell.  The leaders were asked to pinpoint the major challenges the next president will face around the world and to offer advice about how to handle those critical issues.  The secretaries named the fight against terrorism, restoring America's reputation abroad, re-building the country's economic power, and global climate change as atop priority.

There seemed to be a consensus.  Global harmony can come if a Commander-In-Chief is not intent on a hundred year war.  Henry Kissinger shared, "I agree with what my colleagues have said about the importance of reaching out to the rest of the world."  However . . .

While the population prays for peace, and hopes to honor the philosophy, perpetual battles need not be if world leaders would only look each other in the eye before they presume the other President or Premiere to be an enemy, our diplomats may not share this belief  

One might have mused, Henry Kissinger, through his conversations with many Prime Ministers learned what the maverick McCain has not discovered.  Yet . . .

The American people could have acclaimed as they thought Mister Kissinger had, whether a person shoots from the hip or the lip, if an individual fires before he or she sees the whites of another person's eyes, this person may accidentally kill one who would have never been an adversary.

Perchance, Secretary of State Kissinger, and the other Heads of State, understood, the power one has when they listen, or at least some did days ago.  Secretary Kissinger may or may not have appreciated the idea as numerous imagined.  

Might John McCain have ever focused on what were the words or wisdom of the man he considers his friend, Henry Kissinger, the secretary may not have felt a need to elucidate his assertion.

Had the supposed reformer John McCain acknowledged as an experienced veteran might have, tonight an envoy, Mister Kissinger could have been content to share what he may have learned in countless conferences.  People, when treated with respect, reciprocate.  Possibly, if Senator McCain had thought to listen carefully, earlier, had he closely connected to what was expressed and not his personal, political preference, Secretary of State Kissinger would not have had to revise, clarify, his statements post haste.

Granted, all may agree, then and now, there are times when an indignant dictatorial authority comes to a consultation with a closed mind.  Nonetheless, individuals might trust the mere presence of another illustrates a willingness to work.  Would it not be wondrous if Senator John McCain, or the man who might later be identified as his  possible predecessor, President Bush realized, reverence remains the more significant tool for negotiation.  Would it not be wondrous if Mister Kissinger again accepted this truth.

Henry Kissinger had stated, robustly, it best to put forth the American vision.  However, that was long ago, days earlier.  Perhaps the Secretary's words were not specific enough.  This is another moment, one mired in contentiousness.  After the first Presidential debate American wonders, and argues. Can the public know with confidence what is true, or must the people depend on mutable mentions, belated memorandums, and missives written after the (f)act.

From what the American audience heard tonight, with John McCain in the Oval Office, the aspiration will be war, without conditions, rather than communication without conditions.  Secretary Kissinger will support this decision or not, dependent on the day.  Peace will not have a chance if a Commander-In-Chief cannot and does not acknowledge the words of his ally, or if his associate for more than thirty years, former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger no longer avows the impression he made.  

Citizens of this country might muse; will tranquility be possible if our President does not consider the words of a foe or a friend, or if an supporter sways with the wind, in desire for a political win.  This first Presidential debate may have provided the American people with reason to fear.  Words are weapons and those who vie for world power want war.

Sources for the Experience of an Envoy . . . 


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I am an Educator, a student of life; I am an Author. On each path I learn from you and with you. Indeed. we all teach and study. Together we advance awareness and acumen. We learn, grow, and glow greater. Please peruse my prose at and (more...)
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