Some baby steps between international rivals.  I have some confidence that both Obama and McCain will be a less confrontational President than Bush.  There is a way to go before negotiations replace war as the favored policy in International Politics, but it’s a start.
 
1) Condoleezza Rice became the first Secretary of State in over fifty years to visit Libya, once described as a “rogue” state that the US bombed in 1986.
 
2) The President of Turkey visited traditional enemy Armenia for “talks” on Sept. 7th.
 
3) Talks between the Greeks and the Turks on Cyprus give some hope that the two sides of the island could be reunited.
 
4) French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the first Western leader in years to visit Damascus, hoping to help Syria break out of a self-imposed isolation as a supporter of terror. His trip may be a model of what the West could someday do with Iran – mullahs willing.

5) Also this week in Europe, Serbia ratified a premembership agreement with the European Union, helped along by Serbia’s role in the capture of a former Bosnian Serb leader for war crimes. This comes nine years after NATO bombed Serbia for its grip on Kosovo.

The Balkan nations, scene of ethnic cleansing during the 1990s, are slowly reconciling. It has taken NATO’s military muscle, careful diplomacy, and the lure of EU membership to turn around this volatile corner of Europe.

6) The winner of the this years election should look to Abraham Lincoln. He welcomed his bitter political rivals into his cabinet after winning. By drawing them close, he turned enemies into allies. And he kept an eye on a grander purpose, which often helps to melt differences.

As Churchill put it, “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.”

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