Diplomacy may seem a lost art these days, when the lone superpower prefers belligerent bluffing games creating cover rationales for a lead in to war. Making a huge deal of refusing to negotiate with certain enemies officially tagged evil terrorist creates a convenient rationale for aggression justified as preemptive war. There is no excuse for aggressive attack or preemptive war, though US politics seems to take the principle of intervention for granted, especially since the war on terrorism commenced. Democrats are also all for fighting the real war on terror, as they call it, refusing to take nuclear attack on Iran off the table. This is not limited to Republican madness. That idea is mad, inviting Armageddon or a science fiction horror story, at least for the Middle East, though taking a wider view, there is no escaping consequences of a nuclear attack. Any attack on Iran would be yet another foolhardy violation of international law, making harder to deny the argument USA is at war with Islam, as its extremist spokesmen have been saying at least since the attack on Afghanistan for harboring Osama bin Laden, after refusing to consider the Taliban offer to turn him over for some of that solid evidence of his primary responsibility that was claimed to exist at the time. If US officials really had more than suspicions so quickly, that was one way to avoid war, among others men in power ignored, never saw, or dismissed. Unlike Afghanistan or Iraq, Iran is not an inconsequential appearing foe, having several ways to retaliate beyond the obvious, attacking US troops across its border or Israel. Some have argued this is already a world war, but most Israeli and US officials seem determined to provoke one. From my perspective, feminist diplomacy for my country would develop practical, nonviolent ways to deal with enemies no matter why, or with what kind of passion, they hate US policy, which in no way represents the interests of women anywhere, though some may support it. Since that last spectacular attack on USA, it is more egregiously igniting more and fiercer enemies.
These ways could include creating a forum to hear grievances, an international tribunal to settle all issues peacefully, negotiating compensation for legitimate grievances. Terror is a desperate tactic of people whose grievances are ignored, rather exacerbated by official reaction to protests. Recognizing this is not appeasement or justifying exceptionally deplorable acts of terror, rather recognizing enemies have legitimate issues is critical to negotiating a workable agreement to stop the killing, on the basis of there being a way to air all legitimate grievances for fair hearing and reasonable compensation. This is in no way about justifying terrorism, but pointing out how belligerent policy aggravates the matter, trying to force compliance with demands instead of negotiate a live and let live in peace agreement. Politicians may lean toward selective diplomacy, even Republicans, but while posturing about plans to bring a change in course to get troops home from Iraq, Democratic leadership is desperately running away from the weak on terror bogeyman, supporting that bill to privatize Iraqi oil, talking tough on Iran, as well as promoting free trade agreements, going to show once again, they play their part in the problem. New trade agreements will include better protections for local workers and environment, so they say, sounds like what they always say, so next time never arrives. That implies something not so hot about the last one with a few countries in Latin America willing to go along, raising a question, how much better than those lousy deals making big business money at the expense of the local population and environment, as well as workers losing offshored jobs? This tribunal I suggest, I predict most politicians would denounce as treasonous or appeasement, more likely ignore, as they ignore most issues I choose to raise hell about. US politicians hope to avoid jurisdiction of international law or courts, but World Trade Organization is another matter, a tool to grease the race to the bottom. Plans for ramming the World Trade towers, Pentagon, and ? were no doubt initiated long before Bush Jr. claimed victory, possibly before Clinton, but certainly did not go on hiatus for him.
Warmongers see any attempt at diplomacy with bitter enemies as appeasement, as though there were no legitimate grievances with US foreign policy and transnational corporate activities. Those cost USA the moral high ground needed to discredit the jihad, ranks swelling thanks to the war on terror, the sinister trap luring USA to disaster, dishonor, violating international law to pursue a new Crusade, shattered credibility, alliances, and rights back home, and ultimately end of the corporate empire. That could happen suddenly and soon, through cascading bankruptcy or abandonment of the dollar as primary currency for international trade, causing a bond selloff to collapse this current stock market bubble. Call it military defeat or standoff in Afghanistan and Iraq, both make a mockery of superpower stardom. Expanding the war may reveal just how much worse it can get. This is no benevolent empire justified in its noble humanitarian interventions. It is not immune to military defeat or war coming home.
I see feminist diplomacy bringing an end to all that, an end to any desire to dominate, from the world to another being, human or otherwise. That is the road to more disaster, the sudden end of ability of this planet to sustain human life, perhaps all life. Men have to listen to reason, talk truce, or stand aside as women negotiate peace plans for wars around the world, end the war on terror, put forth ideas to stop the vicious cycle of retaliation. Men have gotten it wrong, more or less distorted or reversed, on just about everything, what they think they know notwithstanding. Most of that is based not on reality, but male theory, structured hierarchically on every level, which in practice glorifies violence, making it seem normal, casual, the expected way to solve an escalated conflict. Violence is only justifiable in self-defense or to aid self-defense, to stop or capture a violent criminal. Aggressive violence is never the only way or best way to resolve a conflict. That would fly in the face of reason, sense, instinct, reducing people to thoughtless insensate brutes, insulting the intelligence of most animals. Yet such is the psychology of the culture of empire, as if there is a right of the most powerful to claim dominance, rule, authority to make decisions directly affecting another. There is no such right; men invented and enshrined the might makes right concept, now devolving into corporate empire pushing to claim the world as a free trade zone so as to ruin local culture, enterprises, social services, and ecology, the better to grab up resources and cheap labor.
Democrats are complicit in most of this, still funding the wars and expanding free trade. They are by and large as comfortable with the war metaphor, the tough guy or gal act, working to further corporate empire. They are by no means about a feminist revolution, even if Hillary Clinton becomes their nominee. She is part of the problem, putting her touch on business as usual. As most Democrats, she wants to fight the real war on terror, whatever that means. Negotiating to end the war on terror is not part of her lexicon. National or cultural pride has limits. Aggressive war is illegal and foolish, but US politicians do not want to risk the taunt of appeasing terrorists. Negotiation is the only way to end this war. Winning is impossible even to define. USA has to own up to consequences of its trampling all over the world. Instead it heads for world war with few if any allies. This is a logical end result of male philosophy, the men on top will go for it all, control of everything they can think of. Scientists meddle with everything from DNA and brain chemistry to outer space in the quest for money and weapons. Women are reduced to pawns in this world, most forced to serve male ideology, interests, or lusts to survive. Women could represent the interests and ideas of women, but virtually all political parties big and small give women short shrift. Ms. Clinton has the name recognition, so is portrayed as the only woman who has a chance to win. This insults the intelligence of all women, but within the confines of mainstream party politics, it may be true.
To US politicians, the idea of discussing the truce Osama bin Laden offered is unthinkable. He is a war criminal, but he has lots of company in that regard among his enemies. If he could make a truce stick, persuade his followers to call off the jihad in the name of Islamic honor, that could be a starting point to negotiate a peace plan. It is easy for forget he was once an ally, against Soviet Union. Some credit that jihad with the breakup of that evil empire. It is too easy to say he has no honor, or is too sexist or fanatical or full of hate, so cannot be trusted to negotiate in good faith. It is too easy to say negotiating with an enemy rewards terrorism. This war on terror cannot be won or justified. There is no moral high ground on either side. Bin Laden represents the views of too many and more all the time. An enemy figurehead such as bin Laden cannot be dismissed as not negotiable fanatical terrorist. However ghastly the tactics of an enemy, this does not create the luxury of ignoring their grievances. USA has hopelessly lost the battle for hearts and minds, for many good reasons, like Abu Ghraib and all the other instances of rape and mayhem. Women soldiers do not escape, getting raped and harassed regularly, the perpetrators rarely disciplined. USA casts itself as a model for the world. No wonder most of the world objects to that arrogant extreme of nationalism.
Feminists have created different models, creating a space for ways to exist peacefully with bitter foes, put a stop to the cycle of violence. This may sound pipedreamy, but that truce was offered for a reason. The Islamic code of honor required it. It should have been recognized and discussed, but it was dismissed out of hand like a bad joke, hardly noticed by the media. It is said Islam is about love of death, that its believers think America is too soft, a pushover. This is all warmonger hype, since love of death is a common disease of male-centered religions and politics. Hamas is said to be avowed to the destruction of Israel. This is also hype; Hamas stated it accepts the fact that Israel exists, but not Israeli claims and violent actions in occupied territories. Israel could negotiate with Hamas, but Israeli leaders are determined to isolate Hamas, despite its popularity as a resistance force defending the people, winning a hotly contested election. Significance of recognizing the right to exist of a state illegally occupying your land is overlooked by mainstream media. The tactics on both sides are deplorable, as usual, but most wars are battles over hyped variations of male ideology, cutthroat competitive nationalism or religious pride at work, while women have no say worth mentioning, but take more than a fair share of the suffering.
Cutthroat competition is how the theory of free enterprise has degenerated. Competition could be revisioned as trying harder, to excel in whatever pursuit, without seeking to dominate. The point would be not to win, but to improve life, for oneself or also others. Schools could be all about developing talents, creativity, independent thought, skills, not passing tests to be dumbed down, appropriately drugged, raised on TV, cogs in the corporate machine. This is another subject, but feminist revisioning runs across the board. Men make so much of winning, the ideal, competing to win the central purpose of everything. No wonder Earth is in such a mess. It is not for nothing I say men have almost everything backwards, wrong, corrupted, twisted to serve the few near the top of the local hierarchal house of cards. Men like to score, as if seducing women is a victory, a conquest. Winning is a bad reason to compete, nor is conquest a goal worthy of human potential, in war or sexuality. I think men focused on winning long ago because some man got the idea to overpower a woman saying no. Self-defense is not remotely about winning or dominance, nor is responsible hunting for food. Aggressive violence is about winning, forcing the target to accept whatever the will of the winner imposes. Rape could have been the original model for coercion, winning by violent acts the ability to have his way over her. Men could have found other reasons to fight, but winning a fight need not make the loser a slave. Life has meaning, not a contest with the object to beat, conquer, or control other people. Rules of doing business need not allow abuse like competing to be the biggest, devouring competition, or polluting a neighborhood. Hostile takeovers have no place if fair competition is valued in free enterprise. That is only workable as a free marketplace of ideas, so companies compete to make the best quality products and services, so customers can choose among a variety for the one that best suits them. Throwing hostile takeover and huge aggregations of capital into the mix ruins free enterprise. Competition has degenerated so far from its potential value, even Adam Smith would find it horrifying.
Cutthroat competition does not have to be the way free enterprise works. When free enterprise was working reasonably well was when corporations had to follow limited charters defining their narrow purposes for existing. If corporations stayed within those bounds, they could not buy out or put competition out of business, buy unrelated businesses to form a conglomerate, or get cozy subsidies to ruin farmers in other countries by dumping subsidized excess grains on their markets so, for instance, the best Mexican farmland can be grabbed by a few rich guys while desperation drives its impoverished people north for a chance for a better life. Some big US employers make money off this free trade arrangement for cheap labor. Some employers of migrants are more like slavemasters, figuring the workers will not dare trying to organize or raise issues with working conditions. All this is going on partly because corporations have been allowed to ruin business and politics with the edge cutthroat competition gives those with big money and connections, corrupting politics into a mockery of a democratic republic. Free enterprise can only work well with brisk competition and sensible rules of doing business keeping everyone honest.
Preemptive war is an extreme expression of lack of honesty, transparency, tolerance, thought, sense, civility, and common decency. It is the worst way to attempt to solve a problem, solving nothing, creating more bitter enemies while lining the pockets of companies in military or related businesses. Despite the debacles in the first two battles in the war on terror, Iran will probably be next in line, with feeble if any protest from Democrats, chastened by hawkish supporters of Israel hyping Iran as a nuclear threat. Any nation producing nuclear energy is a nuclear threat, because reactors produce plenty of material for dirty bombs, along with suitable ingredients for arguably the worst kind of weapons ever invented. Uranium and its derivatives have no place in a civilized society. Unlike their peculiar places in modern warfare from ultra hard penetrator to doomsday deterrent, none of their industrial or medical uses are irreplaceable. It does not help US attempts to win hearts and minds to put uranium dust on the winds just because its chemical properties make it such a valuable weapon. Uranium is toxic as well as radioactive, so ingesting it is no picnic. It is quite capable of causing epidemics of unusual cancers and birth defects, as well as symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome. Is this the modern variety of scorched earth tactic at work? The prerogative to pollute shows its worst extremes in military applications.
Feminist diplomacy would not insist on imposing feminist models of behavior on other cultures, but would encourage women of all nations to express their grievances and ideas for better ways. Men may not want to listen, but that just means men have lessons to learn. Offering assistance to capture energy from sun and wind might help convince men to listen to women. There are many things USA could offer other nations in exchange for things like respect and rights for women. There are also ways of encouraging women to revolt, but that gets risky and complicated where women have no basic rights such as a right to vote. Women could be encouraged to organize resistance regardless, but open revolt risks deadly retaliation, unless the resistance catches on to overwhelming numbers.
USA has made enemies that will be skeptical of any talking, but could show it means to negotiate in good faith by negotiating treaties to outlaw and decommission the worst weapons, meaning nuclear, biological, chemical, including the research. People already know far too much about killing; we should be investing all that time, energy, and money in improving quality of life for everyone. People have the intelligence to work out ways to live in peace, but too many men would rather fight. That oversimplifies matters slightly; men may know no other way, under the circumstances. It can be tricky to theorize on faraway wars while living in a nation that prospers on the surface while here and across the borders, some get richer, but more poor get poorer. Some call that imperialism, but it goes down deeper. I see nothing deserving authority in the airs men in power put on. Their power is contrived, built into the game they play, the winner take all power over principle refined to support intricate hierarchical structures. If the rules of that game change to reflect inherent reality, let alone its model, anything based on unsound theories must collapse, as any house of cards must once losing its shaky foundation. There are many ways of trading goods and services. Cutthroat competition dominated by multinational monstrosities with proportional political influence is about the worst imaginable in a democracy. Next up is fascism, and it is a quibble how close is USA, because it is too close and looks to get closer, regardless of who wins next election, unless someone comes out of nowhere with a radically different vision.
Feminist diplomacy has many such possibilities that sound impossible in a mainstream frame of reference, because they are. Those points of view are based on the principle of hierarchy, based at bottom on the idea men need to be in control, so women must accept that. No, women feel forced by fear or belief in duty when they accept anything of the sort. Nobody needs to be in control in a partnership. In business or politics, decisions need not be made by someone at the top. Decisions could be worked out to be acceptable to at least a majority of everyone affected by the decision. If there is no need or desire to dominate, no concept of subordinate or rank, creativity can have free rein, a free marketplace of ideas can develop rewarding products and services of better value. That is what competition could mean, in my ideal sense, which is so different from what it means in capitalism that it is no wonder some consider concepts of competition and free markets beyond redemption, doomed to a mockery of what free enterprise could be, degenerated into a race to the bottom for wages and quality of life, health, and ecology. Reclaiming language so far gone can be a tempting but fruitless enterprise. The point is, this world has potential to support all its life forms with reasonable quality of life, but not one with the winner take all might makes right mentality. That way lies utter ruin for planet Earth.