Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Diplomacy by Compromise

Yes, that's right.  Diplomacy is about compromise.
And judging by what Dep. Secretary of State Robert Zoellick had to say about his recent picture with a panda cub at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, it's not the kind of compromise one might expect.
None of this high-fallutin nation-to-nation negotiation.  It's not about ensuring ambassadors and heads-of-state send and receive the correct symbols from speeches and actions.  According to Zoellick, diplomacy is about something far more fundamental.  According to the Washington Post,
"Some aides had questioned whether the image was the right one to convey, he acknowledged, but he decided to go ahead because his wife wanted a photo of him with a panda."
Zoellicks' response?  "At my age, I listen to my wife."
I guess it is true.  Women do run the world.


alektra said...

If that's how we use our "power"...

No wonder all the world is run by men.

Genya said...

I find his comment somewhat demeaning. His wife wants a picture of him with a panda bear? Hooray.
I was reading an article on Ariel Sharon in the New Yorker the other day, and the only time it mentioned his wife was when she brought in hors d'oeuvres. I seriously doubt that if they were interviewing Germany's new female chancellor, Angela Merkel, that they would refer to her husband as someone who brings in refreshments. He's probably a prominent investment banker, yada yada.

Chinahand said...

Just for the record: Merkel's first husband, Ulrich Merkel, is a physicist (married 1977-1982). Her present husband, Joachim Sauer, is a chemistry professor (married 1998-present). From wikipedia.

Genya said...

Right. So neither of them will be serving refreshments any time soon.