Yet for all the useless attention we’re getting, most are missing this little truth;
There’s talk, and then there’s dialogue
The two are not necessarily the same. Such a distinction evades otherwise smart politician. He should take heed from those “leaders” of ours, now in
All this talk about talk misunderstands the real dynamics of the conversation between the
Engaging the Seculars
Yes, any engagement or talk requires common ground somewhere, anywhere. In this respect, those who call for engaging
In any case, engagers will find that the players are not using the same vocabulary.
However, such discussions are moot. The Syrian Baath party has become infeodated to
Engaging the Fanatics
… and as you move upstairs, problems appear that require more than mere “talk” to talk about.
At worst, engagers should expect to move really high up, beyond the plane of mundane matters.
Those nouveau fundamentalists tend to long after non-secular, out-of-this-world goals. As such, they answer to a higher authority. Such irrational players are all over the place; we find them in the ranks of Hezb, Hamas, the nasties around Hariri, as well as some elements of the Gush Emunim and their little friends.
At best, engagers will find that the players are not in the same conversation.
Even if one discounts all the Mullah-speak as sabre-rattling for local consumption, when
It was the “Carter Doctrine”, if I recall
So keep talking.
Update: (May 17th, 2008): Divine Network
At least, a new Divine Phone company has emerged in Lebanon that can offer its Divine services in time for such Divine Dialogue/talk; it has now secured local calls, and may soon take international. God can call collect, all others, please pay cash...
Not that it will do us any good. Isn't it odd how the winning side learns the wrong lessons from their opponent's mistakes? All too often, victors tend to get stuck in their "mental impasse". Hezb may now be so busy emulating Israel's bulky C3I, that they cannot be bothered with immutable facts of war...
Soon, Divine Llamas?