Can all countries search their souls and state honestly that they honour the norms of international diplomacy today?
Diplomacy, with a capital D, is described as "The art and practice of establishing and continuing relations between states"; "the skill at dealing with people and establishing agreement". The G8 nations, collectively, gave a prime example of how it is possible to come together and make a change at Gleneagles. Individually, however, not all are good examples.
In the case of the Russian Federation, the voice of Moscow is no longer tied to images of missiles parading through Red Square, since the Russia of Vladimir Putin knew how to evolve diplomatically in line with the political evolutions, as the Soviet Union transformed and the State ceased to be the feud of one single political orientation.
The Russian Federation today is seen universally as a friendly nation, which seeks to improve commercial, political, diplomatic and cultural ties with all the members of the international community on a basis of friendship, discussion, debate, dialogue and equality, using the Forums of the United Nations Organization for crisis management.
While most of the remaining members of the G8 tried to distance themselves from the illegal act of butchery, which was the war against an Iraq devoid of WMD, in which up to one hundred thousand people have been murdered - making this one of the biggest acts of mass murder in history - the United States of America, Britain and Italy distanced themselves from the rest of the pack, the former because the hawks in the Pentagon had already decided what they wanted - a geo-strategic position and Iraq's resources - and the latter because their Prime Ministers understood that a divorce between the USA and Europe was dangerous...due to the unique nature of the situation. In the event, it could be conjectured that both Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi have done far more soul.searching after the attack than George Bush, whose constant justifications for what he has done sound like Bart Simpson saying "I didn't do it!"
The United Kingdom, despite its participation in the coalition, continues to use diplomacy as its modus operandi in the international community, tying deals to aid packages, cultural exchanges, training programmes and commercial ties, never to military threats. London is still seen as a friend in those countries which might be expected to think otherwise, namely Libya, Syria and the Sudan, among others. Therefore the United Kingdom of Tony Blair is a good example of how a government can make a mistake, but through diplomacy, salvage its reputation as a serious player in the international community, not a pariah.
It is the Washington of George Bush, and never the people of the United States of America, which stands as the pariah state in our world today. Here we have a regime which thinks nothing of using bullying, blackmail and belligerence as its tools of diplomacy, over the skills and art mentioned above. Here we have a regime which thinks nothing of imposing blockades, depriving innocent people of medicines and food, starving hundreds of thousands in order to achieve a political end. Machiavelli lives.
If skill and art are the use of statements like "Shock and awe", if skill and art are spreading freedom and democracy through the opening of concentration camps, if skill and art mean winning hearts and minds through systematic and widespread acts of torture and shocking incidences of sexual depravity, then the Washington of George Bush takes the biscuit.
However, this is not the United States of America which George Washington aspired to all those years ago. In those days, despite the fact that the wilderness was still being tamed by the Bible and the bullet, George Washington was great enough to set up a democratic society based on real freedom, real democracy, real equality and real fraternity, not the words bandied around and sallied by the likes of George Bush and his neo-conservative clique of elitists, who become richer by the day while their subjects feel the noose tightening around their necks and the belt buckled one hole less around their waists.
This clique of elitists is responsible for stabbing the norms and noble concept of international diplomacy in the back and they are traitors to the cause which established their nation just over two centuries ago.