Reconsidering Diplomacy

Sunday, March 9, 2014 – Reconsidering Diplomacy

If you can’t go around it, over it, or through it, you had better negotiate with it. ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Diplomacy is a disguised war, in which states seek to gain by barter and intrigue, by the cleverness of arts, the objectives which they would have to gain more clumsily by means of war. ~ Randolph Bourne

Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie” until you can find a rock. ~ Will Rogers

Diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way. ~ Daniele Vare

Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness. ~ Otto von Bismarck

A real diplomat is one who can cut his neighbor’s throat without having his neighbor notice it. ~ Trygve Lie

A diplomat who says “yes” means “maybe” – a diplomat who says “maybe” means “no” – and a diplomat who says “no” is no diplomat. ~ Talleyrand

There are a few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

I never refuse. I contradict. I sometimes forget. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip. ~ Caskie Stinnett

American diplomacy is easy on the brain but hell on the feet. ~ Charles G. Dawes

We are the greatest power in the world. If we behave like it. ~ Walter Rostow

There is, in world affairs, a steady course to be followed between an assertion of strength that is truculent and a confession of helplessness that is cowardly. ~ Dwight David Eisenhower

Animosity is not a policy. ~ Henry Cabot Lodge

Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions. ~ Ambrose Bierce

When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce. ~ Sun Tzu

Diplomacy means all the wicked devices of the Old World, spheres of influence, balances of power, secret treaties, triple alliances, and, during the interim period, appeasement of Fascism. ~ Barbara Tuchman

You may gain temporary appeasement by a policy of concession to violence, but you do not gain lasting peace that way. ~ Anthony Eden

I trust that a graduate student someday will write a doctoral essay on the influence of the Munich analogy on the subsequent history of the twentieth century. Perhaps in the end he will conclude that the multitude of errors committed in the name of “Munich” may exceed the original error of 1938. ~ Arthur Schlesinger, Jr

If you need something from somebody always give that person a way to hand it to you. ~ Sue Monk Kidd

Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment. ~ Mario Puzo, The Godfather

“You’re in America now,” I said. “Our idea of diplomacy is showing up with a gun in one hand and a sandwich in the other and asking which you’d prefer.” ~ Jim Butcher, Turn Coat

It is a principle of diplomacy that one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly. ~ Tom Clancy, The Hunt for Red October

For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible – and no one can now doubt the word of America. ~ George W. Bush

If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy but just wage a total war, our children will sing great songs about us years from now. ~ Richard Perle

You have no idea how much it contributes to the general politeness and pleasantness of diplomacy when you have a little quiet armed force in the background. ~ George F. Kennan

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. ~ H. L. Mencken

Tact is the ability to step on a man’s toes without messing up the shine on his shoes. ~ Harry S. Truman

A turbulent history has taught Chinese leaders that not every problem has a solution and that too great an emphasis on total mastery over specific events could upset the harmony of the universe. ~ Henry Kissinger

Diplomacy means the art of nearly deceiving all your friends, but not quite deceiving all your enemies. ~ Kofi Busia

Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. ~ Stephen Hawking

In diplomacy there are two kinds of problems: small ones and large ones. The small ones will go away by themselves and the large ones you will not be able to do anything about. The biggest challenges in your career will come from the temptation to act. The test of your mettle will be how nobly you surmount it. ~ Patrick McGuinness


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