Tuesday, January 03, 2006

You catch more flies with honey

Reading some more of Jimmy Carter's book Our Endangered Values, I have been reflecting on the use of military force by the United States. The United States used to have the value that force was used as a last resort. It was used to defend ourselves. Rather than defending ourselves, we have gone into Iraq and used an attack first method to meet a percieved threat.

Other nations are understandably threatened by this.

I am reminded of the saying that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. In other words, it is often easier to work with people, to understand them, perhaps flatter them but offer them some objective that benefits them (as well as you) and you are more likely to convince them that your action or objective is sound, rather than just bullying them until they go along.

Personally we need to remember that we should stop yelling and name calling and start pointing out how our objectives are helpful for the people who are in positions to assist us. We might find that this is more effective than trying to bully someone to our way of thinking--no matter if the force is passive agressive or verbally or physically actually agressive.

Diplomacy is a wonderful tool that isn't being used nearly enough.


Blogger Rebecca said...

I just wanted to wish you a happy New Year! I have been a way for a while and have been sick. but I have been reading. Good post today. Keep up your quest for peace! R

9:08 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Ugh. Nasty stuff going around. Good to see you back.

Interesting post on untangling identities-

5:59 PM  
Blogger Cappa said...

Agreeing partially with what you said, there is however a valid point to stress here.

Terror of this sort is not new to the world; however, 9/11 brought it to the US' doorstep. Moreover, a great number of these Islamic radicals have taken this jihad to heart, and will stop at nothing to see it completed.

Attacking Iraq was simply wrong. The reasons are far too many to list. however, what is done is done. That said, our primary goal should be to devote our full attention to these radicals. As I’m absolutely sure, they are planning to do the same. And, in terms of diplomacy, as you stated, it is a wonderful tool, however, in this situation, it would be as useless as a football fan who’s engrossed in a Sunday’s game.


6:30 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

There will always be terrorists so long as there is oppression in the world. If we turn our attention instead to fighting oppression of others (for whatever reasons) then we can fight terror without wars and have peace.

The idea of diplomacy is finding ways to work things out without resorting to war. Direct discussion with the terrorists is unlikely to have any effect. However if we work within our own countries and look at how we treat the world and look at who is the cause of the terrorism and what drives them, only then will we be able to find middle ground and perhaps prevent the terror. The dogma that the terrorists are grounded in makes this difficult but I am not a negotiator! This is what impresses me about Mr. Carter. He knows his issues and always seems to find a middle way. I am sure he is not the only one on the planet that has this talent.

6:38 PM  

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