Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The short and the long of our rhetoric

Martha Bayles reviews a new book on "public diplomacy" by Carnes Lord and finds it wanting. She ends the short review by recommending that he recollect Aristotle’s definition of rhetoric (as Lord translates it): "What is crucial is to attain a proper understanding of the possibilities of persuasion in a given situation." I should mention that she began the review with this from Aristotle (another Lord translation): "The things that are truer and better are more susceptible to reasoned argument and more persuasive, generally speaking."

Regarding non-public diplomacy The New York Times notes how the careers of Markus Wolf (the late East German spy chief) and Robert Gates, former CIA chief, had crossed. The paper also takes a few excerpts from the memoirs of each that are worth reading. Note how the former chief of the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung--the one who was afraid of dealing with the terrorists Carlos the Jackal--mocks the CIA. Wolf died last week, Communist East Germany died over ten years ago. Gates will become Secretary of Defense next week.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Yea, He’ll become Sec Def and proceed to sell out the Iraqis who trusted us soon thereafter. Him, Baker, et al, are the "realists" who have been living in fantasy land since 1979, for they’ve believed, {more held as a dogma of their religious faith} that they can entice that ruling satanic regime in Tehran to come to some sort of terms with the United States.

Ever since Cindy Sheehan’s spell at Camp Casey, outside of Bush’s Crawford ranch, this administration has been lost in a free fall of incompetence and cluelessness. That was the moment when it all went south. And when I say "it all went south" what I’m referring to is his entire second term.

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