How Pope Francis U.S. visit can help boost diplomacy and defeat militarism

Trita Parsi writes: Pope Francis’s visit to Washington DC could not have been better timed for the Obama administration. Relations with Cuba have been normalized and the Iran nuclear deal has survived the theatrics of the mandated Congressional review. Pope Francis has of course played an important role in many of these wins for President Barack Obama. He helped with the backchannel diplomacy with Havana, he has endorsed the Iran deal and the White House has reportedly also enlisted his offices to help secure the release of three American citizens imprisoned in Iran.

While the Pope’s assistance in what appears to amount to a prisoner exchange with Iran is both welcomed and necessary, there are two other interrelated issues that deserves some papal nudging.

On the broader level, the Obama administration should seek strong support from the pope on the matter of diplomacy as a principle. The Iran nuclear deal was above all a major victory for a foreign policy paradigm centered on the idea that international conflicts must first and foremost be resolved through dialogue and negotiations, rather than through militarism and coercion.

Many outside of the US may find it perplexing that this even needs to be debated, but the Congressional debate around the Iran nuclear deal revealed the profound opposition that remains within the Washington foreign policy establishment around the notion of negotiating and compromising with one’s adversaries. [Continue reading…]

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One thought on “How Pope Francis U.S. visit can help boost diplomacy and defeat militarism

  1. Keith Lovett

    Perhaps a universally agreed definition of Diplomacy should first be established. The neoliberal US version is most certainly not what the Greek’s had in mind.

    China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Viet-Nam, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and many, many other elected Governments are judged undemocratic (by US Foreign Policy Makers).

    On the other hand, compliant dictatorships are called democracies once a neoliberal regime has been instated eg. Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Rwanda & Uganda where extreme violence & inequality run rampant.

    So please let’s begin with a universally accepted understanding of Democracy which the US is trying so hard to usurp.

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