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Oliver Herford

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Diplomacy: Lying in state.
The Altogether New Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1907 (1906)

Oliver Herford

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It would be some time before I fully realized that the United States sees little need for diplomacy; power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy. This is why the weak are so deeply concerned with the democratic principle of the sovereign equality of states, as a means of providing some small measure of equality for that which is not equal in fact. Coming from a developing country, I was trained extensively in international law and diplomacy and mistakenly assumed that the great powers, especially the United States, also trained their representatives in diplomacy and accepted the value of it. But the Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. Diplomacy is perceived by an imperial power as a waste of time and prestige and a sign of weakness.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Don't think that I underrate the very great debt we owe to the old diplomacy. Before the new system came into existence, diplomacy was the only protection we had against war; and its achievements were of the utmost importance and value to the human race. But perhaps it is natural that, with rare exceptions, the whole strength of this very powerful organization has been against the new ideas and new principles at Geneva. The old diplomat liked to move with deliberation, in secret, following well-established traditions and working through what he loved to describe as "the usual channels". To him, the open debate carried on, not by professional diplomats, but by politicians and statesmen having little regard for the use of the technical phraseology of diplomacy and intent merely on reaching results which would make diplomacy unnecessary, was offensive to all his instincts.

Robert Cecil

You can do a lot with diplomacy, but with diplomacy backed up by force you can get a lot more done.

Kofi Annan

Clearly, I would be lying if I said I do not have a bank account in Europe; I do. I would be lying if I said I do not have considerable money in my account; I do. Yes, I do have a fair amount of money. However, I would estimate it to total less than 50 million dollars. What is that for twenty-two years as head of state in such a big country?

Mobutu Sese Seko

Diplomacy… mops up war’s spillages; legitimizes its outcomes; gives the strong state the means to impose its will on a weaker one, while saving its fleets and battalions for weightier opponents.

David Mitchell
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