(This classic column was originally published
There are a hundred places in the world that need the help U.S. power and money can provide. But we have to ask, how much can we do and how much do we have the will to do? How effective would diplomacy be?
The dictionary says of "diplomat": "one skilled in diplomacy." Under "diplomacy," it reads: "tact in dealing with people."
The dictionary doesn't say so, but being diplomatic also means not always saying what you think. "Tact" can mean saying something that's less than the whole truth in order to influence or avoid offending someone.
The diplomats don't dare tell us the whole truth because half the time we wouldn't let them do what they think our country should do. They may know best but we don't want to hear it.
We've had a lot of good secretaries of state over the years.
Other points included "Absolute freedom of navigation on the sea," "Removal of all trade barriers" and "General disarmament."
Americans aren't much interested in diplomacy because it usually means dealing with foreign countries. If a vote were taken and the choice for Americans was between never having any relationships with any foreign country again, or doing everything within our power and wealth for the poor people of the world, we'd vote to curl up and forget everyone else. A great many Americans don't think we should concern ourselves with the rest of the world's problems.
There have always been a lot of Americans who are isolationists, and sometimes they've been right. It seems likely we should never have become involved in either Korea or
It took the Japanese attack on
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