Tag Archives: negotiations

Negotiations: a primer for Zone A residents, by Andrei

The Russians are generally willing to negotiate because they view both war and negotiations as ultimately serving a political purpose. From Andrei at thesaker.is:

Negotiations: a primer for Zone A residents

Okay, I am going to ask you to make a real effort and, for a while at least, drop your certitudes and what you believe is a good or a bad way to prosecute a war.  Instead, I am going to appeal to your common sense.

Long before the Russian Special Military Operation (SMO) in the Ukraine started, but following the Russian ultimatum, I indicated many times that what Russia would be doing is the following: ask for negotiations and if the other side rejects them, Russia would turn up the “pain dial”, slowly, step by step.  If the other side agreed to negotiations, but then used them to stall and negotiate in bad faith, same response: Russia would turn up the pain dial.  A little.  Step by step.

And do WHAT exactly next???

What is the point of turning on the pain dial and remaining silent?

The purpose of the pain dial is to convince your enemy to agree to substantive talks.  Conversely, that means that turning the pain dial WITHOUT offering talks simply makes no sense.

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Chumps: China Is Playing Trump and His Trade Team, by Charles Hugh Smith

China has the upper hand in trade negotiations with Trump. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

If we put ourselves in the shoes of the Chinese negotiators, we realize there’s no need to sign a deal at all.

The world’s worst negotiating strategy is to give the other side everything they want in exchange for worthless empty promises, yet this is exactly what Trump and his trade team are doing. All the Chinese trade team has to do to get rid of tariffs and other U.S. bargaining chips is mutter some empty phrase about “agreeing in principle” and the U.S. surrenders all its bargaining chips.

If the other side are such naive chumps that they give you everything you want without actually committing to anything remotely consequential, why bother with a formal agreement? Just play the other side for the chumps they are: if they threaten to reinstate tariffs, just issue another worthless press release about “progress has been made.”

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A Short Pictorial: Top 10 GREATEST Negotiations In HISTORY, by Stucky

History is dotted with great negotiations and Stucky has compiled the 10 greatest. From Stucky at theburningplatform.com:

I have spent over 100 hours of research and thought on this Labor of Love. It is a short list, for sure, due to time constraints and needing to go to the bathroom.  So, please, no criticisms — but, feel free to add your own candidates to this list, which will surely go viral.  Let’s get started …

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10) The Hammurabi Code

Hammurabi was a really cool dude who ruled a prosperous and thriving Babylonia around 1750BC.  His approximate 300 laws are the most well-preserved and comprehensive lists of ancient laws in existence today. Many of his laws were copied directly into the Old Testament!  According to one fragment Hammurabi stated his goal was — “… to make justice visible in the land, to destroy the wicked person and the evil-doer, that the strong might not injure the weak.” In other words, he was a Republican.  He also (really) came up with the “eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth” law.  If he were alive today creatures knows as Pelosi and Feinstein would be blind and toothless (oh, wait ….).

9) Ramses II,  aka, Ramses The Great

Reigned for 67 years during the 12th century BC. Perhaps the greatest of Pharaohs as Egypt reached an overwhelming state of prosperity during his reign.  Egypt today is littered with his monuments. He is included here for one reason. According to this source; — “He was the first king in history to sign a peace treaty with his enemies, the Hittites, ending long years of wars and hostility. The treaty can still be considered a conclusive model, even when applying today’s standards.”   Actual part of the treaty in above pic.  Most people don’t know who the Hittites (pronounced “Hi Titties!”) were.  They were an annoying tribe who lived in what today is Turkey.  Yeah, even back then the Turks were assholes.

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A Trump Doctrine for Singapore and Beyond, by Patrick J. Buchanan

The American idea of negotiations often looks like unilateral surrender to the rest of the world. There will be no unilateral surrender from North Korea. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

After Pyongyang railed this week that the U.S.-South Korean Max Thunder military drills were a rehearsal for an invasion of the North, and imperiled the Singapore summit, the Pentagon dialed them back.

The B-52 exercises alongside F-22 stealth fighters were canceled.

But Pyongyang had other objections.

Sunday, NSC adviser John Bolton spoke of a “Libyan model” for the North’s disarmament, referring to Moammar Gadhafi’s surrender of all his weapons of mass destruction in 2004. The U.S. was invited into Libya to pick them up and cart them off, whereupon sanctions were lifted.

As Libya was subsequently attacked by NATO and Gadhafi lynched, North Korea denounced Bolton and all this talk of the “Libyan model” of unilateral disarmament.

North Korea wants a step-by-step approach, each concession by Pyongyang to be met by a U.S. concession. And Bolton sitting beside Trump, and across the table from Kim Jong Un in Singapore, may be inhibiting.

What was predictable and predicted has come to pass.

If we expected Kim to commit at Singapore to Bolton’s demand for “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,” and a swift follow-through, we were deluding ourselves.

At Singapore, both sides will have demands, and both will have to offer concessions, if there is to be a deal.

What does Kim Jong Un want?

An end to U.S. and South Korean military exercises and sanctions on the North, trade and investment, U.S. recognition of his regime, a peace treaty, and the eventual removal of U.S. bases and troops.

He is likely to offer an end to the testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, no transfer of nuclear weapons or strategic missiles to third powers, a drawdown of troops on the DMZ, and the opening of North Korea’s borders to trade and travel.

As for his nuclear weapons and the facilities to produce them, these are Kim’s crown jewels. These brought him to the attention of the world and the Americans to the table. These are why President Trump is flying 10,000 miles to meet and talk with him.

And, unlike Gadhafi, Kim is not going to give them up.

To continue reading: A Trump Doctrine for Singapore and Beyond

You Know The U.S. is Losing, We’re Willing to Talk, by Tom Luongo

The US generally calls for talks in military situations when the talks can be used as a military tactic—for delay and regrouping. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

How do you know when a politician is lying?

Their lips move and words come out.

How do you know when the United States is at a disadvantage in a geopolitical quagmire?

Our diplomats and Presidents want to ‘open up talks.’

Multiple times in the past four years the U.S. has used negotiating ceasefires in Syria and Ukraine to rearm and regroup those we’re backing or get our opposition (the Syrian Arab Army, the Russians) to let their guard down and then attack within 24 hours.

We’ve used the U.N. Security Council as a bludgeon to brazenly lie about on the ground facts in Syria to attempt to save our pet jihadists in places like Aleppo and now eastern Ghouta.

And in each of these instances the Russian counterparts have documented the U.S.’s mendacity, patiently building up an international file of such incidents for future use.  As I’ve pointed out so many times, the Russians rightly feel we are “Not Agreement Capable” either from a short-term or long-term perspective.

Winning Looks like Losing

So, why do I think the U.S. is in a losing position right now, despite the pronouncements from President Trump and his most ardent supporters that he’s winning on everything?

Because on the two most important issues of 2018, Korean denuclearization and strategic arms control, Trump is ready to sit down and talk.  And we have not been willing to do that on either of these issues at the Head of State level for most of this century, if not longer.

I wrote recently that the Neoconservative cabal in D.C. is in its final push for war with Russia.  The catalyst, for me, was President Putin’s state of the union address on March 1st where he unveiled new weapons that conjured up images from the finale of Dr. Strangelove.

I said, and still believe …

The neocons are cornered.  All of their major pushes to destroy Russia and Iran and control central Asia are collapsing.  The EU is fast approaching a political crisis.  The U.K. is still a loyal subject but the White House has a cancer at its center, Donald Trump. The window has nearly closed on regime change in Russia.  In effect, it’s now or never.


To continue reading: You Know The U.S. is Losing, We’re Willing to Talk

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