* kathleen Reardon:
"For the current administration, negotiation is a back-up strategy - something done after the enemy's back is against the wall. Also, it involves telling the other side what must be done and then refusing to speak with them if they don't agree.either that or they don't want a negotiated solution.
The choices appear to be the "status quo ante," agreeing to the resolution that was only drafted this weekend without the parties who could make a difference, or more war.
Equally worrisome is Rice's inclination to defend rather than learn. This administration abhors learning as it gets in the way of a sense of being always right. If that's not the case, then little has been done to contradict the impression. We're all left divided on whether they can't negotiate or they simply won't.
And, branding the other side "terrorists," even when correct, has become an excuse for not listening to what they say or learning how they think. You can't outsmart a fox by treating it like all other four-legged wild animals. They're much too clever.
Breaking down "perceptual fields" and then recreating ones that facilitate constructive interaction is the road to peace. Granted, it's a tough road, not one lined with niceties. But, right now, the Bush administration is blinded by its own inflated, misplaced confidence regarding several cultures about which it evidently knows very little."
* kathleen reardon:
"Where are the future thinkers, the ones who know there is life beyond their own? Instead we have madmen everywhere selling lethal weapons to the highest bidders to save their political hides at this moment in time. When did we as a world become complacent about such gratuitous weaponeering? No doubt someday in the future an article will appear in a leading newspaper asking why we did this. And it will be too late. Every nutcase will be armed to the teeth.
Real war is indeed hell, as we see everyday on television - and far too many young people see face-to-face. And yet we don't mind arming or allowing the arming of people bent on our destruction or that of the helpless as in Darfur. And, if this isn't short-term thinking of the worst kind, why is it, for example, that Hezbollah was able to mount such an offensive under the noses of current world leaders? Yet, we had those amazing photos of supposed WMDs in Iraq. Who was asleep at the Hezbollah switch? Likely no one who could have made a difference. Short-term gains were to be had or it simply would not have happened.
Prevention isn't in our foreign policy repertoire. Slack and react. That's what we do best. Snore, ignore and then suddenly deplore."
* kathleen reardon:
"The next time someone tells you that something is nonnegotiable, try asking a question such as, "Which aspect troubles you most?" If the person answers, you work from there. "So, A is not going to change no matter what I say, no matter what's offered?" you might ask. See what he or she says.
If need be, you sacrifice A, but the rest is back to being negotiable merely by having placed a question where most others would have inserted contentiousness. It's a negotiation technique - simple but powerful. The last thing you want to do with people who've planted their feet and won't budge is to tell them how wrong they are.
Listening is a rare gift. Remember the last time someone really listened to you? I mean really listened. It's exhilarating because it's so rare. The best negotiators make the nonnegotiable negotiable by listening -- the only path to generating creative, workable options."
* kathleen reardon:
"It's time for the American people to tell members of the press that we're simply not as simple-minded as they think. If a politician changes his or her mind on the basis of better information, they're immediately accused of inconsistency. And equally damaging is the tendency for politicians to run from the accusation.
What's wrong with being for a war you were lied to about and against it once you know the truth? What's wrong, for that matter, with being for anything and then later, on the basis of more extensive or accurate knowledge, deciding to change your mind? It's a sign of intelligence - of learning. And yet, like dogs with bones, the press keeps pressing senators and congressional representatives to admit to having made a mistake or being wrong about the war in Iraq if they want to find a way out of it. "Were you wrong, Senator?" "Do you regret your vote, Congressman?" "So are you changing your mind?" But, really, isn't this different than what you said before Senator?""