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Notes from January 2005


Today the world flounders through a hastily-conceived "war on terrorism". This new war --- an open-ended series of current and possible future conflicts --- arguably arose, in part, because the USA relies too much on military might and too little on diplomacy. In the conclusion to a new book the editors * demonstrate the relevance of Reid's approach today, as Canada again strives to balance a far more powerful neighbour. The editors of this insightful review of Reid's accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses state a truth which is surely self-evident to all keen, free-thinking observers of the tragedies on the world's stage:

"To diminish the hatred of its foes and to woo its allies, Washington must begin to address the unfulfilled promise of the United Nations and the cries of most of its members for genuine social and economic progress".

* Stéphane Roussel and Greg Donaghy, in "Escott Reid, Diplomat and Scholar" (Donaghy,G and Roussel,S, editors), McGill-Queen's University Press, 144pp., p.125 (2004).

Comment: the world is unlikely to heal itself until more citizens of democracies take advantage of the incredible information available to them and start thinking for themselves. Until then, we must hope and try to ensure that we have enough good diplomats --- and enough smart leaders willing to pay them heed.

Document last revised 27 January 2005, 03 March 2006 / format amended 14 April 2013