"Advice From White House Is Not Always Followed" http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/22/washington/22assess.html?_r=1&oref=slogin (read the rest..) Some of us have been talking about the way the US is actively reclusing itself from any diplomatic solutions with merit around the world. And how that in turn isolates the US and limits the influence it can wield. We've seen this in Japan, with their actually serious discussion on striking down their ban on having nuclear weapons. Because this evidently has something to do with their reliance on America for security in the region. We've seen this with China. Any negotiations or attempts to shape everything from Burma and Tibet to the Olympics have failed abysmally. Something that again backfires in that diplomacy in general becomes useless - and we have only third party options to have influence. Such as through emergency aid organisations and NGOs of various kinds, or indirectly through business- interests. Earlier on, we had this with South Korea and UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon - as he and others fairly obviously made claims that flew directly in the face of the Bush- administration's rhetoric (and actions) against the Kim regime. To the point where the Bush- administration attacked the foreign service's representatives in that region who refused to, I suppose, stamp their foot and hold their breath. Other events could include Iranian influence in Iraq, where their interlocutors have been successful in.. among other things, I'm sure.. brokering a (momentary) peace- agreement between the government forces and the Mahdi army. Again something which is the antithesis of Bush- administration foreign policy. Lastly, we're ending up in Israel, where after several Egyptian attempts to broker a peace- agreement between Hamas, Fatah and Israel - Israel now turns on it's own towards settling a peace- agreement with Syria, in attempts hosted by Turkey. So what is the US's role in this? Why?