Former ambassador to Iraq talks diplomacy

Campus Times
October 10, 2003


by Alejandra Molina
Staff Writer

Former Iraqi Ambassador Edward Peck introduced "Peck's Postulates," his guide to foreign relations to University of La Verne students and faculty Oct. 2 in La Fetra Lecture Hall.

"You already know them," Peck said about his postulates. "But they are never thought about."

"Peck's Postulates" include four main concepts, the first being perception.

"Everything is based on perception, based upon what you think," he said.

Peck related his concept of perception to the Middle East.

What the United States is doing in the Middle East is not what matters, he said, what matters is what they perceive they are doing.

ULV student Deandre Dupree Valencia, who attended, thought it was informative.

"His concept on perception is very true," Valencia said.

"If you ignore the fact that they do see things differently, you are only going to make things harder," he said.

Peck also spoke of sovereign nations.

He said nations that behave in a manner of a sovereign nation can do whatever they please.

"You will pay a price if you do not perceive them like this," Peck said.

We are a sovereign nation who sell arms for one reason, he said.

And that one reason is self interest.

"Nations will only do things if they perceive a benefit," he said.

His third concept stated that every foreign policy can be either unilateral, multilateral and non-lateral.

Peck talked about Saddam Hussein and how he started war with Iran by himself, making a unilateral decision.

The United States decision to break off relations with Cuba is also unilateral.

When Hussein wanted peace with Iran, he could not have peace by himself, Peck said.

By the same token, the United States cannot re-establish relations with Cuba.

"The decisions are ours and theirs," he said.

In a non-lateral country, there is no vote.

"The decisions are theirs," he said. "Based on a basis of what they perceive to be best beneficial."

For example, India with Pakistan and China with Taiwan.

"It's all based on perception an ambiguity.

Peck has been a diplomat for 30 years and serves in the board of directors.

"Democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq is not a piece of hardware," Peck said.

"It does not come with an instruction book, its cultural and philosophical."

Peck commented on how the United States is giving Iraqis six months to implement a democratic government.

"You cannot impose democracy, that is a dictatorship."

John Khanjian was one of the many faculty members who attended the lecture and said he thoroughly enjoyed hearing Peck speak.

"It was realistic, he knows the area and he is well informed," Khanjian said. "His postulates are based on knowledge and experience."

"He's a good speaker, he really kept you interested," Valencia said.