Denver Post editorial on Richardson’s diplomacy

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I haven’t seen this anywhere else yet, so I thought I’d include a snippet here:

Bill Richardson has won international acclaim for his unique diplomatic efforts over the years.

He’s won the release of Americans held captive in the most difficult global hot spots – a U.S. pilot shot down over North Korea, three Red Cross workers held hostage in Sudan, captives in Iraq and Cuba.

A few days ago, the governor of New Mexico pulled off a similar achievement that is quite outside his job description.

Richardson negotiated the release of three people from the war-torn region of Darfur, Sudan – a Chicago Tribune journalist on assignment for The National Geographic along with his driver and interpreter.

I’ve seen Richardson’s diplomatic efforts criticized in the past, but here’s the thing: diplomacy doesn’t work at all if it isn’t tried. Of course, I’m probably an “appeaser” for advocating we sit down and talk, but, as Richardson (and others) has showed, sometimes positive things develop.

We can’t be hypocritical about foreign relations. We can’t advocate democracy as the ultimate goal for those in the Middle East and then ignore the results of democratic elections (see Hamas). We can’t urge Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites to stop killing each other opposing factions to work out their differences when we can’t be bothered to do the same with those we dislike.

Sometimes, diplomacy actually works — when it’s given a chance.

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