I'm not making this shit up. Really. (I don't have that kind of time.) Quoth AgenceFrance:
The United States said it will make no formal response to a surprise letter sent by Iran's hardline leader, but President George W. Bush vowed to pursue diplomatic efforts to counter Iran's nuclear programme.
Dude, read my lips. Diplomacy means two parties, both of them talking. Preferably to one another, but if need be through a third party. And saying "Nanny, nanny, boo-boo, I can't hear you!" whenever the other side makes an overture doesn't count.
Tell you what, I'll even help you write the reply. Start it off with something like "Dear President Ahmadinejad," and then find something--anything--nice to begin the letter proper. A simple "Thank you for your recent communication" will do. Should the Spirit move you, add something like "It's been a long time since last we heard from you, but we're glad to discover you haven't lost our number."
And then you can rip his arguments to shreds (diplomatically, of course) if you feel the need. Say "I cannot agree with your characterization of my actions and those of the United States government in Iraq, but I appreciate your sharing your views with me." After that, it's time to move on to what you want him to do for you:
I understand your desire to keep your economy humming, and your need to generate sufficient power to make that happen. But we are very concerned with your stated plan to do that through nuclear power, and particularly by your plans to enrich uranium toward that end. We would very much appreciate it, and I feel confident that many of the other governments represented on the U.N. Security Council would agree with me on this, if you would work with us to find alternative means to supply your country's energy needs that cannot also be used to develop nuclear weapons.
You may say that those words, in the mouth of a man who has advocated for unilateral, pre-emptive war, and on behalf of the only government on this planet ever to use nuclear weapons, are hypocritical. And there is at least a grain of truth in such an accusation. However, it is precisely because the nation I have the honor to represent was the one first to develop, deploy, and use nuclear weapons that I feel so strongly about limiting their proliferation and spread.
Our objective is not the destruction of Iran, or of Islam. Our goal is to find some way to guarantee a stable, prosperous, and peaceful Middle East. Of course we would prefer that nations there--and everywhere--were governed democratically. But we do recognize that individuals have the right to self-determination, and that not every nation is ready for an American-style democracy. We hope that the people and the government of Iran can find some way to work with us toward the achievement of peace in the Middle East for all of her peoples, and to prevent any further proliferation of nuclear weapons. In the words of one of my predecessors:Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more.
To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.
To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.
To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course—both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war.
So let us begin anew—remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.
Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms—and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.
Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.
Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah—to "undo the heavy burdens ... and to let the oppressed go free."
I know, I know. Even in a flight of fancy it's probably too much to expect Shrubya to quote JFK. Even more so to expect him to act like JFK. But wouldn't it be lovely if he could?