Role of Diplomacy in International Affairs

From General Douglas MacArthur to Qin Gang

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From time immemorial, Emperors and Kings have engaged in the comity of nations through their ambassadors passing official messages, and responses, back and forth. That practice has continued, even after 1776 and the birth of the great American Experiment.

Sovereign nations can either trade with each other, or wage war upon the other. Diplomacy, then, is a core governmental function that is necessary to assist in enhancing bilateral trade, secure additional rights in lieu of war being engaged in futuro, engage in actual war or to end it. It functions as the “lines of communications” that sovereign nations use to engage in sovereign intercourse – across a wide array of menu items that arise – be it during peace or war. Indeed, diplomats are issued special passports by their sending-nation state, and credentials for the welcoming-nation state. Every nation state welcoming an ambassador accepts the credentials of such ambassador, and by so doing, the two-way official lines of communication are set. Recently, Qin Gang, the father of “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy, was dishonorably retired – as he should have been – by President Xi Jinping, as he structurally violated the basic tenet of diplomacy: to make love or war, with equal sobriety, and passion for accurate reporting bilaterally.

Indeed, while our President nominates ambassadors to 193 nations around the world, it is our Senate Foreign Relations Committee that holds hearings, and if approved, the Senate confirms with its “advise and consent” power. Only after that, does our Secretary of State issue credentials to the confirmed-ambassador which will then be presented to the Head of State or Government of the receiving nation-state.

While anyone can be diplomatic, only persons representing their nation – be it a democracy, theocracy, autocracy or monarchy – is a diplomat, officially engaging in diplomacy. It is true that private persons – such as Bill Richardson, former U.S. Permanent Representative and governor of New Mexico – can engage in “fringe diplomatic” efforts that, hopefully, assists in resolving a thorny issue between two or more nation states. For example, Bill Richardson helped to secure the freedom of hostages from Iran, Libya, Myanmar and inter alia Russia. The list included basketball player Brittney Griner, journalist Danny Fenster, U.S. Marine veteran Trevor Reed, and inter alia Osman Khan. Khan was freed with the help of the State Department and the Richardson Center in October 2022 along with six others in exchange for two relatives of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro jailed in the United States.

The Osman Khan episode is an example of hybrid-diplomacy, but the most famous example is in the movie – Bridge of Spies – wherein Tom Hanks portrays a private lawyer, James Donovan, who secured the release of hostages from then-East Germany, and years later, President John F. Kennedy, after the Bay of Pigs, again looked to James Donovan to seek the release of a few American hostages, and Donovan, well in excess of his mandate, secured the release of all Americans held by Cuba, then within USSR’s core sphere of influence. Cuba is a nation so close to Miami that we ought to create a process to resolve all outstanding issues, including: property claims, and the so-called “Havana Syndrome.”

Diplomats are granted inviolability in the nation they are credentialed to, but are not above the rule of law in the nation they are sent by. That means no law enforcement can arrest them or stop them for any reason, and have full “freedom of movement” in the nation they are accredited-to.

In the tragic times of pre-WW II period of Appeasement, which was driven by the strategic failure of the Great Powers to unite, Neville Chamberlain, then Prime Minister of the great British Empire, made a Peace Deal on behalf of Europe with Hitler’s Third Reich – the First Reich being the medieval Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806; and the Second Reich included the German Empire from 1871-1918 – by gifting Czechoslovakia to Hitler, without any right or any consent of said nation to be so subjugated! This was followed up by USSR’s Stalin’s Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov negotiating into the wee hours of August 23, 1939 with Hitler’s Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop to create the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, with secret protocols that became public during the Nuremberg Trials, to ensure peace between Hitler and Stalin, with each of them agreeing to fight and create agreed-to future-spheres of influence. On September 1, 1939, a week later, Hitler attacked western Poland, on September 17th Stalin invaded eastern Poland, and on September 22nd the Soviet and Nazi militaries held a joint military parade in Brest-Litovsk. The USSR-Nazi joint-war effort was short-lived, and Stalin’s USSR fought Nazi Germany and suffered the largest number of casualties at over 26 million dead to defeat fascist Nazis.

It was Winston Churchill’s “we will never surrender,” and our Franklin D. Roosevelt, after Pearl Harbor, that the West, as we know it, was formed and was “united,” and is still, sadly, a term of art. Later, in early and cold February 1945, FDR, Churchill and Joseph Stalin met for a week – the Yalta Conference – in a resort in Crimea, and negotiated the shape of the postwar world. This, too is diplomacy, albeit, by and between the principals themselves guided by their “fears” and “wants.”

So long as deception exist in human conduct – aka “fraud” in civil context – to aid and abet the vices that can reside in many an ambitious human heart, well explained by the great General Sun Tzu and Nico Machiavelli, let alone Mark Twain’s  hilarious rendition in his “Prince and the Pauper,” where walnuts are cracked with the Great Seal of England, we will need diplomacy.

 

 

Diplomacy, then, is a vehicle that can enhance peace, start a war, or end it on terms negotiated poorly – as after WW I, that led to the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation and Hitler’s rise to power – or well, as our General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, on September 2, 1945 did in accepting the Instrument of Surrender from Japan on the teak deck of the USS Missouri, with full honors and respect so as to help create a new prosperous and democratic Japan and everyday Japanese wishing to be a forever-American Ally.

Those who enjoy “insult” – as in the Alaska Summit at Anchorage on March 18, 2022 – will forever be mired in conflict, and even in a war that was avoidable. And those who harness the power of “respect,” especially for an adversary, as General MacArthur proved, will find a durable peace and friendship.

Until a more perfect time for all, the United Nations Charter is our best hope for a more perfect world, and why the UN is the Vatican of Hope and the Permanent Representatives Arch-Angels.

 

 

 

Ravi Batra, Esq.
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Ravi Batra, starting September 11, 2021, is a publisher of The America Times Company Ltd., and since January 2022, is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a member of the National Press Club, in Washington D.C., and a member of its "Freedom of the Press" and "International Correspondents" Teams/Committees.

A member of the bar since 1981, he is the head of a boutique law firm in Manhattan, The Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C., that handles complex constitutional, sovereignty, torture, civil and criminal cases, representing governments, corporates and individuals, with landmark legal victories, including, libel in fiction, in “Batra v. Dick Wolf.” He is Chairman & CEO, Greenstar Global Energy Corp., King Danylo of Galicia International Ltd., Mars & Pax Advisors, Ltd., Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and since September 2021, Advisor for Legal and Humanitarian Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. He is invited by various governments to address High Level Ministerial events, including, on Counter-Terrorism, including, Astana (Nur-Sultan), Dushanbe, Minsk and Delhi. He has testified in Congress as an invitee of the Chair, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and interacted with U.S. Department of State from 1984 -1990, and then again, from 2006, during the tenures of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo and Antony Blinken.

He has served as Commissioner of New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Trustee on New York State IOLA Board, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Second Judicial Department, City Bar’s Judicial Committee, Vice-Chair of Kings County Democratic County Committee’s Independent Judicial Screening Committee for the then-2nd Judicial Department of Brooklyn and Staten Island, Chair of NYSTLA’ Judicial Independence Committee, with many more bar leadership roles, including, NYSBA’s House of Delegates for four years. He has served as Advisor for Legal & Human Rights Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine post-annexation of Crimea till 2021, and Legal Advisor to numerous nations’ permanent missions to the U. N. since 2009, including, India, Pakistan, Honduras and Malta. He has served: as Global Special Counsel to The Antonov Company in Ukraine, a state-owned company, and was registered with the Justice Dept pursuant to FARA; and as Special Global Advisor to Rector/President of both - National Aviation University of Ukraine and National Technical University of Ukraine/KPI. He remains involved in geopolitics and public policy since the mid-1980's, starting with being on House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Speaker’s Club and appointed member of NACSAA during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. In 1988, he was part of U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese’s Delegation to Japan to resolve bilateral trade imbalance. He regularly interacts with the multilateral diplomatic community, and during the High Level UNGA Debate, with heads of State/Government. He is sought for his views as a speaker and writer. 

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