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  2. Middle East & Iran, Native Americans, Nuclear Weapons, Peacebuilding, U.S. Wars & Militarism

Washington Newsletter: Standing Up for Diplomacy

February 5, 2018


Diplomacy doesn’t require admiration or even trust between the parties. It does require an orientation toward continuing conversation and a willingness to listen to other perspectives. It is, in its way, a spiritual discipline of endeavoring to speak to the Divine that lives in each of us.

FCNL works by creating space for common ground. We lobby Republicans and Democrats alike and support opportunities—such as the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus—for members of Congress to work together across party lines. We have literally created space where dialogue is possible in the new Quaker Welcome Center. And we urge our government to pursue policies that promote diplomacy, encouraging U.S. participation with other nations in addressing problems that need the world’s collective strength.

Background Congress Must Stand Up for Diplomacy 

“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” The Trump administration would do well to remember this truism from former Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan.

Background What Is Diplomacy? 

Anthony Wier heads FCNL’s lobbying on Pentagon spending and nuclear disarmament. He came to FCNL from the State Department, where he had many opportunities to be part of diplomatic efforts. Communications Director Alicia McBride sat down with him to go over some diplomacy basics.

Update Sustaining the Iran Deal 

As the world focuses on the threat of nuclear war with North Korea, it’s useful to remember that good-faith negotiations can address even high-stakes international disputes. The Iran nuclear deal provides an example of what diplomacy can do—as well as the potential consequences if it is allowed to fail.

Update Checking Our President on North Korea 

President Trump and other U.S. leaders seem almost eager for a war with North Korea, with their tough talk and tweeted taunts. South Korean efforts to pause both military exercises and North Korean provocations while building small pockets of trust around the Winter Olympics are the first encouraging signs in months.

Insert: Native American Advocacy

Update Introducing the Native American Congressional Advocate Program 

The Native American Congressional Advocate program is a two-year fellowship at FCNL for a young professional with a passion for protecting the rights, culture, and future of Native communities to influence federal policies in Washington, DC—and then to bring those skills and relationships back home.

Background A Partner with Native Peoples 

In the 1970s, Nebraska Yearly meeting donated the annual proceeds of a cornfield to launch FCNL’s Native American advocacy program. This (literal) seed money enabled FCNL to create a persistent advocacy effort, building on a long history of concern for Native American affairs.