Is it always right to talk?

There has been a lot written recently of a return to the days of the Great Game – of a world in which major powers squabble over expanding and defending their spheres of interest.

In such a world, no one state is strong enough to act as a global policeman and maintain order world-wide. So does this mean the world becomes more dangerous? And in an environment of conflict who are the people you can and cannot talk to in an effort to achieve peace?

Please tell us what you think and listen to a panel of guests discuss these issues on Newshour on Saturday 13 September live from Geneva at 1230 GMT, and again at 2000 GMT.

10 Responses to “Is it always right to talk?”

  1. 1 Kelsie in Houston
    September 10, 2008 at 14:40

    In a world where weapons of incredible power are available in overabundance, we should always regard diplomatic discussion as the first choice. It might not be the most efficient or nationalistically-satisfying means of resolving conflicts, but discussion has the potential to save many lives–many more than direct military action.

  2. 2 steve
    September 10, 2008 at 14:43

    I think you should always be willing to talk, but in some cases, talking won’t solve the problems. Sorry, but no amount of talking would have stopped Hitler. Chamberlain’s reputation was destroyed by thinking talking would work. some people can’t be talked to.

  3. 3 Count Iblis
    September 10, 2008 at 15:52

    After the end of the Cold War, the West has been the de-facto World’s policeman. But now countries like China, Russia and India are becoming more powerful and the West has to adapt. This transitional period in which the West still sees itself as the World’s leader is a dangerous period. The West may overreach and start a war that can escalate into a world war.

  4. 4 Lauren
    September 10, 2008 at 16:03

    I agree with Kelsie- discussion should always be the first choice. Using force against a country first in order to weaken their infrastructure, and then offer a dialogue can cause problems in the future. Defeat can cause resentment which can lead to violence. That’s what happened in Germany after WWI– Hitler rose to power by feeding peoples resentment towards the US and other European countries and look how that turned out.

  5. 5 Brian Larson
    September 10, 2008 at 16:34

    Diplomacy is absolutely preferable. War, even against hideous regimes, is extremely costly in lives and money. Talking to the regime, hoping for a peaceful change, applying pressure, buying them off, using almost any method is preferable to war. Containment and waiting for the regime to change or fail always works. The benefits of participating in the expanding world economy are persuasive even to the despotic. Further, the chaos and repercussions from a military “victory” are unforeseeable, especially in a world of asymmetrical conflict and mind boggling complexity. Finally, with global economic integration and the military hegemony of the alliance of Australasia, Europe and North America, spheres of influence, war, even the Grand Game itself is quickly becoming pointless. It no longer works.

  6. September 10, 2008 at 22:09

    Peace talk without peace of mind is like building castles in the air. It prolongs the suffering, it inflates hope like a balloon, it is delluding and unethical.

    Agreements can only last if the tension is eliminated first. Tension shatters any agreement. Remove tension with peace technology, connecting the mind of the nation with the mind of nature, pure wakefulness, absolute peace of mind.

  7. 7 John LaGrua/New York
    September 12, 2008 at 20:47

    It’s no trick to talk to friends but talking with adversaries is an art the exclusionists refused to learn .When problems arise and are allowed to fester is when crisis clouds judgement.To fear compromise is to court confrontation and the world has seen a century of the tragedy of conflict .and idealogical folly .The bellicosity of the neo-con idealogues in the US has brought misery to millions ,destroyed America’s reputation as a champion of peace and freedom and increased geometrically the chance of nuclear horror .The advocates of force over diplomacy are never near the battlefield ,artful in staying well out of harms way.and eagerly urge the gullible to enter the cauldron of war and be consumed by it.

  8. 8 Emile Barre
    September 13, 2008 at 14:01

    I think it was an american president who said you had to stand up to your opposite number before you sit down. At the very least that is good table manners.

  9. September 14, 2008 at 16:21

    Kelsie in Houston
    September 10, 2008 at 2:40 pm,

    You have rightly voiced that discussions are the strategic manner of settling even most serious matters.

  10. September 15, 2008 at 11:28

    doesn’t this web site has other languages support??

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