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International diplomacy is just a bigger version of what we do every day - negotiate as fairly as possible the differences between different cultures. Or, in our everyday case, it is the negotiation between different 'personalities'.
But it is the same problem. And the first part of a solution is always to try to understand the other person's point of view - if you want to find a workable compromise. That is what cooperation is: finding workable compromises - ways to move forward.
In the area of this diary, that means trying to understand the basic beliefs, perceptions, history and traditions of Islam. It means also looking at our non-Islamic world through the eyes, not only of Islam (or any other major or minor belief set), but also the living conditions and aspirations of people who are not able to live like us.
We use diplomacy to avoid conflict, not to impose our beliefs on others.
You can't be me, I'm taken
When France's diplomacy was kind of lonely, trying to prevent the US from invading Irak, with Villepin flying around the world trying to get support, how was the public opinion in the other European countries ? In Germany, I believe I have an idea, but elsewhere ?
Why didn't France get more support when trying to stop the bully by diplomatic means ?
France had all the support it needed to stop the bully. The fact is that the attempt to cajole the UNSC into lending legitimacy to the adventure failed, and the failure was acknowledged at the Acores summit in early March 2003. What France (or Russia, or China) did not have was the intention of getting physically [or financially] in the way of the bully if the bully insisted in undertaking an illegal action. And that proves the US is a superpower.
"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
In the media it was less clear cut editorially. But as I recall, rigid sampled polling and the kind of newspaper 'What do you think?' type of loose polling, all had regular majorities against invasion.
Finland is very much a serious EU team player, though sometimes taking minority positions against France, Germany, Britain. Finland is not a member of NATO, though it has observer status. Finland has limited its military role abroad to UN peacekeeping and is a frequent and early contributor to UN efforts in this regard.
Finland, for historical, pragmatic and commercial reasons, sees itself as an important moderator between Russia, the EU, the UN and to a much lesser extent the US. Add into this mix, that Finland is a so-called Welfare State in the classic Nordic model, while still being very active with the emergent Baltic states, even though they are taking a different line. Finland sees Estonians as genetic brothers and sisters, tied by an almost common language. Latvia and Lithuania are also developing strong relations with Finland - taking up again the old trading ideas of the Hanseatic League.
The Baltic Sea is the unifying factor.
You can't be me, I'm taken
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