Over the years Talleyrand has developed a certain respect for the uncanny way Americans get what they want
in the world. But he is wondering what it will take for them to stop treating diplomacy and statecraft as a branch of public
relations. The last team that looked like they understood the job left office in 1992. Since then,
Mr. Clinton thought by saying
all the right things, the world would get along. Then he changed his mind.
Mr. Bush (fils) thought he could say all the wrong things then shock
and awe the world into doing his bidding. Then he changed his mind.
Mr. Obama thought he could say clever things and that the world
would readjust to running itself on its own terms. Then he changed his mind.
Mr. Putin once said that Americans see the world as a laboratory.
He had a point.