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WHEN THE FOX PREACHETH...

16-09-2013

"Recent events surrouding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders", begins a letter by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, published in The new York Times of September 11, 2013 and reprinted as an annex to this item. The letter is a good example of Public Diplomacy, a diplomatic instrument originating in the Unted States at the time of the First World War to spread democracy and extensively employed during the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Read my first book in the series "Footprints of the Twentieth Century", Volume One: Cultural Diplomacy: waging war by other means? WLP 2009.Chapter 5. Several Americans were understandably irritated or angry by the use of their preferred method of diplomacy against them. Still, the letter makes interesting reading. Of course it is hypocritical; but it is also realistic. Both the Americans and the Russians - after Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya - could know that military intervention in the Middle East is bound to further complicate and escalate conflicts. As we shall see in the next item, the letter is part of an important diplomatic breakthrough with respect to the endless and cruel civil war in Syria. The letter ends with a surprising statement for a president trained as an atheist KGB officer:"We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord`s blessing, we must not forget that God created us equal." Still, on the initiative of Pope Francis, millions of Christians held a day of fasting and prayer on Saturday September 7 for peace in Syria, Egypt and the Middle East. I am sure the Lord`s blessing is making a difference
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Frans A.M. Alting von Geusau

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  • Cultural Diplomacy: Waging war by other means?
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  • The Illusions of Détente,
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  • Western Cooperation
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  • Sporen van de Twintigste Eeuw
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  • European Unification into the twenty first Century...
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  • De geest van Christus leeft in Europa
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  • Neither Justice nor Order
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European Unification into the Twenty First Century

Footprints of the 20th Century - Third Edition

Description

The story of European Unification is fascinating. In 1950, two sworn enemies – France and Germany – decide to seek reconciliation and European federal unity. As a first step, they created the European Coal and Steel Community together with Italy and the Benelux countries. The fathers of this new Europe were visionary persons. Does today`s student or scholar still know who Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer, Alcide de Gasperi or Willem Beyen were and what they stood for?

The Illusions of Detente

Footprints of the 20th Century - Third Edition

Description

Since 1989, we refer to the whole post-war period as the “Cold War Era”. Such was not the case in 1968. At the time, the Cold War – in our perception – was behind us. We no longer felt to be in the midst of it. Europeans on the Western side of the Iron Curtain0 felt relatively at ease with Europe’s division. The era of Détente as we called it, was0 considered to be a fairly stable and long-lasting political condition, even after Soviet tanks crushed Dubcek’s socialism with a human face in Pragu