Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Angry Realtors, Sellers, Attorneys and Carl Levin's Foreign Policy

Whenever there is a difficult purchase loan, and this is often, that invariably goes not according to plan, more times than not I get a call from one of three sorts of people: an angry seller, an angry realtor, and an angry attorney. The angry seller is usually screaming about everything, threatening, everything in a long diatrobe that frankly usually goes nowhere. The angry realtor usually starts to threaten to begin negotiations with another buyer that "I knew I should have worked with from the beginning". The angry attorney usually threatens some sort of a lawsuit based on their understanding that the loan was guaranteed.

Anyone who has ever done any of these things during your own purchase or sale process please take heed...You aren't helping. I don't know why people think that adding intensity to an already intense situation somehow makes things better, but threatening law suits, new deals, and any other threat doesn't actually do anything to solve the underlying problem. In fact, and this may surprise you, the underlying problem has absolutely nothing to do with the threat you pose. In other words, whatever threat one makes it has nothing to do with whatever problem there is with the loan. The way to properly resolve these situations is for everyone to remain calm. While that maybe sometimes be very difficult to do, it is the only thing everyone should do.

This brings me to Carl Levin who recently came back from a trip to Iraq. I was heartened by his honest assessment of the situation on the ground. Still, what he said regarding Iraq's political situation sounded much like the angry seller's, realtors, and attorneys I deal with daily. Before he left he said this, ""Folks, if you want a civil war in this country, that's your choice. Count us out of your civil war. We've been here four-and-a-half years". After he came back he went even further, "I hope the parliament will vote the Maliki government out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less sectarian and more unifying prime minister and government"
Someone can correct me if I am wrong, however has a U.S. politician ever so brazenly inserted themselves into the internal dynamics of a democratically elected government? Have I missed something? Has anyone called for Ehud Olmert to be voted out? Did any Republican endorse one side or another in the French election? Since when do U.S. politicians call for the ouster of a Democratically elected government?

Now, no one is frankly altogether excited about Maliki. Of course, it would have been nice to see the Iraqi government working alongside our U.S. military. Of course, an oil law would have gone a long way toward progress in Iraq, That said, Levin is acting no differently than any angry seller, realtor or attorney. All he is doing is adding fuel to already hot fire.

Levin seems to think that complicated rivalries and relationships can be solved by veiled threats from outside politicians. They can't and just like in my business, his threats have nothing to do with the underlying problem. Maliki did what anyone would expect when a pompous outsider injects himself into internal politics. He lashed out

Those who make such statements are bothered by our visit to Syria. We will pay
no attention. We care for our people and our constitution and can find friends
elsewhere," al-Maliki said

Is anyone really surprised? What exactly did Levin think was going to happen? Let's see rivalries and relationships fueled by evil killers are causing all sorts of complicated problems, but here is Carl Levin saying "Folks, if you want a civil war in this country, that's your choice. Count us out of your civil war. We've been here four-and-a-half years". Why didn't he say so, now the Shia, Sunnis, Kurds, Al Qaeda, Iran, Syria, and Turkey will forgive and forget.

This reminds of that great scene in A Few Good Men,
" "I strenuously object?" Is that how it works? Hm? "Objection." "Overruled." "Oh, no, no, no. No, I STRENUOUSLY object." "Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider."

For the better part of two years, the Democrats have railed Bush's supposed lack of foreign diplomacy, and yet is this what we have. Our Speaker also plays Secretary of State and kow tows to an evil, vicious tyrant. One Presidential candidate not only promises to visit with every enemy no questions asked, but then threatens one of our allies with invasion. Now, we have Carl Levin "strenuously objecting".

For all the wrangling, we currently have friendly governments in France, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Mexico. We have forged new ties with much of Eastern Europe. Formed a new, though tenuous ally, in Pakistan. In Colombia, we may have found a new ally as well. While the Democrats dismiss this and call for a new foreign policy approach, we only need to look at Carl Levin and his idea of foreign policy to see what that approach would be.

No comments: