Wine: A Deterrent to World Peace
I’m no expert on statesmanship. I’ve never been one. And though my post-graduate work was in the area of U.S. Diplomatic History that basically means I read a lot of memoirs, scanned a lot of maps, read letters between historical figures and poured over not a few diplomatic dispatches.
That said, I’ve always thought that the essence of statesmanship, particularly on the world stage, is founded on the idea that even the most average of statesmen must be willing to set aside personal motivations, put the interests of their countrymen first, and commit themselves to the notion that dialogue is in fact the primary tool for understanding your peers.
Where’s the stuff about wine? OK.
I guess I was a little disappointed (shocked?) and disheartened when I read this in an article distributed by Reuters:
"The Iranian president, a strict Muslim, declined to attend
a lunch for world leaders, including Bush, hosted by U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ostensibly because wine was on
the menu. Other Muslim leaders attended."
Let me make this a bit more clear:
"The Iranian president…declined to attend
a lunch for world leaders…because wine was on
I know…there’s politics involved. Middle Eastern politics no less.
One wonders if the simple presence of a fermented beverage is the best excuse a world leader could come up with for declining to be in the same room with an adversary. Maybe I’m just disappointed that the leader of one of the most important countries on earth and country that is a huge player in middle eastern politics, could possibly be so unimaginative.