Skip to comments.A Bush Summit To Baghdad Should Be The Road To Peace(Appeaser on Crack Alert!)
Posted on 03/13/2003 8:35:52 AM PST by TADSLOS
Historically, the greatest world leaders have taken uncharacteristic, even unpopular steps to ensure peace with justice and the security of their nation and the world.
Uncharacteristic need not exemplify a novel act never before exhibited simply action that is unusual or infrequent.
President Richard Nixon's trip to China was uncharacteristic, as was Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's flight to Jerusalem. Surely, when three heads of state Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter delegated their normal presidential duties to others in order to have extended, concentrated and productive time together at Camp David, the act has to be considered uncharacteristic.
It is time for many of us to stop damning President Bush and, instead, help him. What we can do best as a people is to provide the president rational incentives to peace; to instill in him the courage to take his own uncharacteristic action to go to Baghdad, and to go right now. It's not too late.
The obvious question: How could you trust Saddam in any negotiation? How much did Egypt trust Israel at Camp David? How much did Hanoi and Washington trust each other at the Paris Peace Talks? Zero, and landmark resolutions were still achieved.
Bush in Baghdad is not preposterous. To quickly offer a negative reaction is myopic. To argue that security and logistical challenges cannot be met is simply being dismissive. To overlook a summit is to be non-responsive to the desires of the majority of the world's people a situation we can scarcely afford in a post-9/11 world.
A Bush summit in Baghdad if genuine could do much to achieve a meaningful peace.
First, there would have to be a few conditions and procedural agreements, not substantive demands. Without them, there is no process, only a series of meetings. Besides, procedural agreements have a way of monitoring even enforcing the integrity of negotiation. Developing such agreements gets the parties into the so-called "yes" habit a rehearsal of sorts that they can work together. After all, if they can make and keep procedural agreements, they likely can do the same with substantive agreements.
There also must be realistic expectations, including acceptance of seemingly nonproductive ventilation by both sides insults and accusations as to who really is the bigger threat to world peace. It's all part of the process.
But most of all, both presidents must be focused on the future, must internalize that each is the partner that the other needs to transform conflict into an achievable and sustainable peace that cannot be fully or solely determined by the United States. Each nation must recognize the rights of sovereignty and security of the other, for this recognition enhances the sovereignty and security of all nations.
Both presidents have to acknowledge that this summit cannot be viewed as a contest but as an exercise in cooperative problem solving and productive, collaborative planning for a different Iraq, a different Iraq-U.S. relationship; an experience that may forsake regime change but not the elimination of weapons of mass destruction an example of a national transition that weds orderly social change with reasonable rapid change.
Additionally, President Bush has to provide worthy incentives, not mere ultimatums coupled with punitive measures. And Saddam must distinguish between threats and warnings, the latter being the inevitable, unstoppable, tragic occurrences if U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix ever decides that progress is elusive and that hope is no more.
The rewards are great morally, economically and politically. The planet will see a real world leader in an American president who exemplifies true statesmanship and an America that has redefined the role of the lone superpower, proving that assertiveness and cooperation simultaneously exercised need not be contradictory; that although a competent and responsible U.S. military must be ever ready, nevertheless, our nation has at last revived its role as a peacemaker.
Whatever political support the president might lose, more than that loss will be gained by the support of Democrats and independents alike. And after Iraq, please, Mr. President, go directly to North Korea, Jerusalem and perhaps even Cuba. These would be the acts of true American leadership in the world.
William F. Lincoln is one of nine federal appointees who helped Congress create the U.S. Institute of Peace. Since 1989, he has served as the founder and executive director of the Tacoma-based Conflict Resolution, Research and Resource Institute, a leader in global conflict resolution.
This has to be one of the dumbest pieces I've ever read.
President Bush to commit suicide?
And that is just what it would be if Dubya were to go to Baghdad. Saddam Hussein would just LOVE to get a good shot at him.
Oh, yes, you are ...
Please click here to learn important fact about your Saddam-fellating self.