The first challenge is corruption,” Ambassador Bernard Bajolet, representative of France to Afghanistan, stated as he completes this assignment and prepares to return to Paris for another post. Diplomats are generally paid to be discreet, polished and smooth — in short, diplomatic.
In pursuing current events as in playing cards, evaluating the wider atmosphere is as important as studying the specific hand one has been dealt.
North Korea's propaganda reference to the “venomous swish” of the skirt of South Korean President Park Geun-hye is loaded with symbolism, mostly unintended.
“A real and clear danger,” is how United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on April 3 described North Korea. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and South Korea Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se have held a joint press conference in Washington to emphasize military and security partnership.
On March 22, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel reached out the hand of peace by telephoning Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to apologize. Often belligerent “Bibi” Netanyahu was making amends for the notorious incident in 2010, when Israeli armed forces boarded a Turkish ship attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to occupied Gaza.
“We are you, and you are us.” That is how Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described alliance with the United States while visiting Washington a year ago.
'What about the rest of the North?' asked McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation, back in the 1970s while considering yet one more grant to help the troubled Native Americans of Alaska. The initial reaction of a young staffer asked to research the question was that the boss was making some strange reference to the Civil War.
Cuba's President Raul Castro has made notable news by announcing on Feb. 24 that he will retire from that office in 2018. His older brother Fidel stepped down from the same post in 2008, after turning 85 years of age.
“South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction,” was how North Korea diplomat Jon Yong Ryong responded to intense criticism of his country's test of a nuclear weapon on Feb. 12.
“Eye for eye, tooth for tooth ...” is a useful starting place for discussion of the rule of Pope Benedict XVI in the wake of the stunning announcement he will retire at the end of the month. To modern readers, the Biblical quote (Exodus 21:24) may seem cruel and rigid, but the Old Testament sentiment actually involved revolutionary flexibility and progress.
2013/2/18, 2 Comments