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
the menu."

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.

Posted In: Personal, Wine News


5 Responses

  1. Alfonso - September 20, 2006

    you bet Shiraz!

  2. gvertigo - September 20, 2006

    Hi Tom.
    Yes, one may wonder if the problems that the islamic world has with the west couldn’t be more easily overcome if they just tried drinking wine, just once could be enough !!!
    I give you this by R Feynman, Nobel prize in physics… wouldn’ it deserve a Nobel in literature as well ??
    A poet once said, “The whole universe is a glass of wine”. We will probably never know in what sense he meant that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in the glass, and our imagination adds the atoms. The glass is a distillation of the earth’s rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe’s age, and the evolution of stars.
    What strange array of chemicals are in the wine ? How did they come to be ? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization: all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts – physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on – remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure: drink it and forget it all!

  3. Terry Hughes - September 20, 2006

    Hey, Omar Khayyam was Muslim and HE drank wine, pretty famously too…

  4. Fredric Koeppel - September 21, 2006

    a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, a book of poetry and another person with you — Omar summed up life so simply!

  5. - September 21, 2006

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