Googling the exact phrase "new Long Telegram" turns up very little - which could mean many things besides "Nobody has the brains to write one." It could also mean, for example, "We don't need one," "The old Long Telegram wasn't so hot," or "Nobody has the influence to make the one he writes attractive or believable." I'd say my own entry falls into that last category. (And I'd say the original Long Telegram falls into the category headed "We've already got a good one." I particularly like the remarks about the Soviets' resistance to any kind of persuasive voice, as well as the attention to the home front.) I have no business doing what I'm doing here. But the sheer lack of competition excites me: an Idea Vacuum is always fun to jump into. So here goes. I haven't put a plain link in my website to this page because that seems the sort of thing a crackpot would do, and also because I want to see if anybody visits this page the only ways there are, which are by Googling purposefully or on the recommendation of someone else.

In order to be diplomatic, you must have something to be diplomatic about. Your own country must be strong, or at least have something the other guy wants and is patient enough to ask for.

The question that always hovers above the desk between a diplomat and his petitioners: Who needs you? It would be undiplomatic to utter it formally. But everyone in the room must be made to feel it.

Insanity is a choice. Choose something else. This would be a fine admonition coming from a President. One should deliver it, just for the record. It would be a useful surprise to everyone if craziness were identified, or even suggested, as a reason whole nations do what they do. It would also be useful to state such behavior represents one option among several: if it was picked, it was picked because people preferred it, or (and this may be far more likely) they felt they deserved it. That they picked it, however, indicates implacability. You may not be able to sway such people, because after all, there's no accident about where they are. Where they are must be, one way or another, desirable and even defensible by their lights.

The great political force of the last century, and this one so far, is self-hatred. In the 20th century it was famines and gulags; in the 21st it's been environmentalism and sharia. None of the four is pleasant, yet people in very large numbers have effectively and observably opted for one or more of them. In the later 21st century, this emotion may take the form of a conscious rejection of medical advances, or even a refusal to have medical advances. That is just a guess. What isn't a guess is that self-haters have an edge over their adversaries in that they don't care what happens to themselves or to anybody else. They aren't counting the cost of anything; you are.

Don't let losers hang around. Because then they aren't losers - they're welfare cases. Once shoved off the battlefield or shooed away from the negotiating table, they must not be allowed to come back. If they are so allowed, they figure you want them to, indeed are showing your magnanimity by letting them, and will milk this because the greatly generous hate to be found reversing themselves.

Don't ask for peace plans. Ask for victory plans. If troublemakers want a peace plan, it's just to make their betters back off for a while. Their own mission remains unchanged: to make more trouble. "Peace" imposes no obligations on them, so they can continue to do what they've always done. As troublemakers are always held to lower standards, no one will much care if they're violating a truce. Of course they're doing that. Expect victory from them, and that puts pressure on them.

Strong countries are easier to manage than weak countries. Because weak countries aren't being managed well at all, and also because they are likely to farm out management. Even if you yourself (as opposed to some candid foe or some shifty semi-ally) are the lucky subcontractor, your job will be thankless. It should be understood as well that "management" is never perfect, indeed the very need for it bespeaks a society that can't figure out anything on its own and probably can't figure you out either.

Our enemies are nihilists; our enemies' leaders, nihilists with cash. This can change with time. Right now, though, it is well to leave open the possibility that enemies aren't playing a deep game at all. They may simply be self-destructively crazy.

Of your enemies, always ask: "What if they win? What do they get?" It may be nothing at all. Certainly that is what nihilists want. For the purposes of selling a foreign policy to certain home constituencies, this consideration is vital. If what one's enemies want is nothing that really helps them, and you simply demonstrate it, you instantly reduce their perceived nobility - in the eyes of those who consider self-torture absurd. In the eyes of those who consider self-torture proof of high moral standing, the effect may be just the opposite.

Treaties with enemies are useless. Because they're enemies. The only reasons they negotiated with you were to cost you something and put you at a disadvantage. (Indeed, this may be the definition of "enemy.") It certainly wasn't to give you anything valuable in return, except if you thought time and inertia were valuable. For a strong country, these aren't.

Democracy is good but the rule of law is better. Because if you have the rule of law, democracy pretty much follows from it. If you accept as good the rule of law, you naturally take an interest in where laws come from and why they might persist and how you might influence either of these, and democracy - the idea of democracy, anyway - shows you a way.

Keep identifications geographical. Because these are indisputable. Start ID'ing people by race or religion, and you start looking un-American. If enemies insist on identifying themselves by hue or creed, insist yourself on examining where they live and work, and if it's in a friendly nation, get ready to re-evaluate that nation's friendliness.

The assumptions behind this are that localities make demands on their residents, that continued residence anywhere implies the locality's authorities are not undisturbed by the resident's behavior, and that this can be taken to mean endorsement of such behavior. If an enemy of the USA lives in, or is even allowed into, XYZ, then XYZ is in some way hostile to the USA. The possibility must however be left open that XYZ is exacting nothing from the putative enemy, beyond the purely commercial demand that he pay his electric bill. This alone should be taken as XYZ's absence of sovereignty - in which case why are we even worrying about diplomacy?

Never give anything to the permanently unhappy. At least not with the expectation of getting anything in return.

When promoting a foreign policy domestically, expect fewer difficulties from journalism than from people who were given college degrees. American journalism is merely the least efficient segment of the entertainment industry. If you are slightly more entertaining, and you have a website, you can always outflank American journalism. But people who coasted through college did so in order to become petty aristocrats: they figure they already know it all and this exalted condition of theirs ought to be obvious. They are unteachable, and touchy about it.

The allure of state slavery, a/k/a Communism, is large and lasting. Maybe even permanent. In discussing "Communism," avoid textbook definitions - it just doesn't matter what Marx or Mao or Lenin said. Identify it by the countries that openly and determinedly championed it. And identify it not by what it was supposed to be, but what it was and is: state slavery. The state owns you, and gives you every material thing it thinks you need. The fact that it's giving you stuff (a more precise term is not necessary) is, for many people in all eras, wonderful, regardless of any tradeoffs.