One has to wonder about Trump’s America’s notion of diplomacy when it dispatches its top diplomat to the lectern to demand surrender by a sovereign country (and in a most unimpressive way too).
For, any comparison of Trumpian so-called diplomacy must start with the way Donald Trump’s two secretaries of state sounded.
Hence, we must start with their voices.
Rex Tillerson had a deep gravelly voice that imparted gravitas and great meaning to his every pronouncement, howsoever disappointing.
His successor, Mike Pompeo, has a voice that lacks deep notes and range. He sounds like a rabbit who’s trying to lower his pitch and speak for impact but failing miserably.
We know this because Mr Pompeo delivered what was billed as his first major policy address as secretary of state on Monday, May 21. In his unimpressive voice, he rattled through a list of imperious demands of Iran, on behalf of Donald Trump, America and the world. Presumably, Mr Pompeo didn’t stop to think if Trump’s America can really claim to speak for the world today.
One had to wonder about the prospects for American diplomacy if this is what its chief diplomat believes to be a fine example of the softer art of peaceful persuasion.
As Jeremy Shapiro, the research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations, put it:
“The list of requirements of the Iranians asks for everything but conversion to Christianity and reads more like a demand for unconditional surrender than an actual attempt at negotiation”.
Or, as someone else said, had Mr Pompeo added a 13th demand to the US list for Iran, it would be:
“That every Iranian adopt a unicorn as a house pet.”