"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A US Diplomatic lesson - Soft Cop / Tough Cop

Prior to his invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein peremptorily summoned the US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie to a meeting with , this was the first time she had met him, which was at noon when the US was asleep.
What exactly was said during that meeting has been the subject of much speculation and propaganda for many years.

Various versions of what happened have been produced but the most commonly believed is one that states
..."We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first iven to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."

Although this text does not appear in the document that is in the Thatcher Foundation which is is said to be the official sate telegram covering the meeting which is accessible at the margaret Thatcher Foundation Archives.(Gulf War: US Embassy Baghdad to Washington Saddam's message of friendship to George Bush) [declassified 1998] (see pic above)

James Akins, the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (he had been Attache, in Baghdad,(1963-65) at the time, was interviewed on PBS radio in 2000 and offered a slightly different (and odd) perspective.offered a somewhat different perspective in a 2000 interview on the US Public Broadcasting Service.

"I have talked to a lot of my colleagues and said, "What would you have said if you were with Saddam and the subject of Kuwait came up? You would say exactly what April said, wouldn't you?" I know I would have. He talked about the border dispute with Kuwait, and she took the straight American line, which is we do not take positions on border disputes between friendly countries. That's standard. That's what you always say. You would not have said, "Mr. President, if you really are considering invading Kuwait, by God, we'll bring down the wrath of God on your palaces, and on your country, and you'll all be destroyed." She wouldn't say that, nor would I. Neither would any diplomat."

Which is remarkably different from what Richard Holbrooke said on PBS when he went to see Slobodan Milosevic when he had refused to sign the Rambouillet alleged Treaty.

You're sent again to talk to Milosevic, after the Albanians finally agree, at least in part. What happened in that March meeting, just before the bombing begins?
" .....I went back alone, and I sat there alone with Milosevic. I said to him, "You understand that if I leave here without an agreement today, bombing will start almost immediately." And he said, "Yes, I understand that." I said, "You understand it'll be swift, severe and sustained." And I used those three words very carefully, after consultations with the Pentagon. And he said, "You're a great country, a powerful country. You can do anything you want. We can't stop you." There was an air of resignation to him, and we sat alone in this big, empty palace, surrounded by these inherited Rembrandts and other art left over from earlier regimes. I said, "Yes, you understand. You're absolutely clear what will happen when we leave?" And he said, very quietly, "Yes. You'll bomb us." . . . I told him that the White House and the state department are waiting for a report, and that I've got to go. I asked, "Is that it? And one more time, you understand what happens?" He said, "Yes." So we left, and that was it. I want to stress that there was no misunderstanding in his mind. He knew the bombing would start immediately after our departure, and it did, less than 30 hours later.

They must have gone to different schools of diplomacy.

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