Thursday, January 07, 2010

Closing The Doors To Productive Discussion

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Closing The Doors To Productive Discussion

Note: This article was written by Author Douglas Castle for publication in THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE and in THE NATIONAL NETWORKER NEWSLETTER. This article may be reprinted, re-published or otherwise transmitted without the permission of the author provided that it is reprinted, re-published or transmitted in total, unedited, with all hyperlinks left intact and live. Proper attribution should always be given the author and the initial publications where the piece appeared. You are invited to join the National Networker as a member of its GICBC -- you will also receive (free) the TNNW Weekly Newsletter and the Blue Tuesday Report - Simply click on To also receive RSS feeds or daily email from The National Networker Companies, click on and make your selection. -DC

Dear Friends:

I am neither a fan of John Kerry's, nor of Bob Livingston's, but I find valuable information in unlikely places because I am always willing to listen, and to learn. Kerry, of the US, leans politically toward the Democratic Party and some ideologically imprecise progressivism (which some refer to as liberalism), while Bob Livingston, the publisher of The Liberty Alert and The Liberty Digest, is a self-professed ultra-conservative, right-winger. The two would seemingly have nothing in common, except that both do a great deal of speaking and promoting within their respective realms of expertise and in accord with their respective agendas for political and social change. Frankly, I find them both a bit annoying - but I am willing to listen to either of them, which is an important point.

The United States, the UK and a number of other nations have become increasingly concerned about the potential for Iran to build up significant nuclear weapons capabilities. Whether or not, any nation has a right to dictate policy regarding self-defense or military strategies to Iran or any other sovereign is another issue. But nonetheless, Iran's reputation for either condoning or sponsoring certain known terrorist organizations, as well as its internal political instability make it an object for concern throughout the Middle East, Asia, Europe and America.

While I do not believe that any nation (or any Human Being) should simply "do what it is told" by the established international community (e.g., the most powerful industrialized nations, plus a few smaller "roaring mice,"), I believe that Iran has made a terrible mistake in its refusal to honor a visit by Senator John Kerry until (through the Iranian Press) "The US changes its policies." This is useless petty political extortion, posturing, and anger-engendering. Imposing conditions by one country upon another before the first will grant an audience to the second sends a message of animousity, and it serves to lend further gravity to any negative feelings and suspicions. The temptation is then to escalate the hostilities on both sides until the scenario is like having a tennis volley with a time bomb as the ball.

Keep all doors wherein there is a possibility for productive, peaceful discussion open. Don't predicate a visit or conversation on an immediate policy change or action on the part of the other party -- a lack of open communication leads each side to suspect the worst of the other.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: Either engage in conversation, or augment the risk of eventual conflict.

Closing the doors to productive discussion can never be a good policy.

An article from Mr. Livingston's publication follows for your information. It puts my point further across.


Douglas Castle,
Internationalist and Individualist

John Kerry Refused Permission To Visit Iran

January 6, 2010 by Personal Liberty News Desk  at The PERSONAL LIBERTY DIGEST
Legislators in Iran have rejected top Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) request to visit the country, the media have reported.

According to, Iranian media have said that Kerry, who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had submitted an official request to visit Tehran as an emissary.
Iran’s Fars News Agency has quoted Zohreh Elahian, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, as saying that "The Islamic Republic of Iran has no plans to negotiate with any American official, unless [the U.S.] changes its policies," which was quoted by

The Iranian news source also said that Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani advised Kerry to end America’s hostile policies toward his country, particularly regarding the nuclear issue.

When questioned by journalists, the senator’s spokesman, Frederick Jones, said no trip to Iran was planned at the moment.

The United States and Iran broke off diplomatic relations in the wake of the Iranian hostage crisis during which 53 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from 1979 to 1981 at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The two countries have held no bilateral talks for the past 30 years, but after his inauguration President Obama suggested he was ready to start talks on normalizing the relations.
However, last September Obama, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France alleged Iran has covert plans to build an enrichment plant about 100 miles outside of Tehran, according to The New York Times. ####

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