January 31, 2008

Jaw-Jaw

Andrew Stuttaford is entirely right here when he discusses why its a good idea to talk to Iran. The point is that you might not gain anything, in which case if the talks are done at a low level you haven't lost anything. You might though gain something in which case you have a success. Talking is a bad idea if it gives the other side a propaganda coup- I remember Blair going to Damascus and being attacked by Bashar Assad but if done properly at low levels what is the problem with it. Furthermore if its done properly with a proper arrangement in place, it can even work at higher levels. The point is that negotiations don't lose you anything, they may even gain you advantages.

4 comments:

Ellee Seymour said...

I missed a good talk in Cambridge about deadlock, how do negotiations overcome an impasse?

I liked your comment on James' post about feminism. I suppose it depends on your interpretation, but all women are still unique and individuals.

Gracchi said...

I missed that too.

I agree with you Ellee entirely about women- there is no generalisation which includes all women no more than all men and searching for one is pointless- the society I'd like is where everyone can do as they wish. Anyway I'm not sure my comment helped anything- I was probably too combative but that's life.

edmund said...

that might be true (article) i ssupect it's happening - what this does ingore though ( as I fer the Bush administraion has) is that talking is fine but doing nothing has cots as well as doing something- and talking is too often an excuse to do nothing. Also I've yet to see a convincing account of why the Iranian Mullahs are going to change their positions - e.g an article IN FP this month very convincingly says why it'd be wonderfull if we could do a deal with them -doesnt' explain how or why wiht any detail at all.


On the comments this is true-however there are very very few things that are absolutley true of large categories of people ( Democrats peole iwth IQ over 100 , univeristiy graduates, terroristis, peole over 5 foot 10 )unless they're tatuological ( pink people are pink") this does not mean such categoreis can not be usefull and usefull indicators

Gracchi said...

I'm not sure that women Edmund are too large a category. But anyway that is an argument for another time.

The points you make about negotiation are right- it can't become a substitute for policy. Equally though just not negotiating and not having another policy which seems say to be the Bush approach to North Korea and Iran isn't a real gain either.