The Diplomat

Sunday, December 4, 2016 – The Diplomat

A diplomat is a man who thinks twice before he says nothing. ~ Edward Heath

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

Diplomatic exchange combined the worst aspects of explaining things to a toddler and talking with a mother-in-law. It was dull, it was tedious, it was exasperating, and it was necessary. ~ Tom Clancy, Debt of Honor

In the movies you get even; in life, diplomacy is best. ~ Lee Marvin

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

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

“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

It is a principle of diplomacy that one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly. ~ Tom Clancy

Frankly, most governments are used to lying to each other to a degree that most people would find shocking. Part of diplomacy is the art of strategic lying. ~ Jonathan Turley

To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy. ~ Will Durant

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

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 letting someone have your way. ~ Daniele Vare

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it… You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week. ~ Will Rogers

Army: A body of men assembled to rectify the mistakes of the diplomats. ~ Josephus Daniels

The message, from too many Democrats and Republicans alike, remains that we should not let facts get in the way of our daydreams. It’s so much easier to fantasize about an alternative and ideal world, rather than making the hard and unpopular decisions that are necessary to deal with the complicated and frustrating one in which we live. It is so much easier to imagine that world as a blank slate on which America can draw as it wishes, rather than to recognize that limits on American power, and recalibrate strategy accordingly. If Americans fail to reexamine their fundamental attitudes toward that world, then the risk for the future is that failure in Iraq will make the United States more cautious, but not wiser. ~ John Hulsman, Ethical Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

I had a dream about you. We got into an argument over the toilet seat. Down, up, down, up, down, up, we each thought we were right. Finally, being a natural diplomat, I suggested we compromise and leave the toilet seat halfway between down and up. You called me an idiot, and I said, “That’s precisely why the majority of the population voted me into public office.” ~ Jarod Kintz

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age. ~ Robert Frost