Re: "I'm a soldier not a diplomat."
I'd also note Kirk never made an attempt a diplomacy before the war started. He DOES in most episodes. He simply seemed far to eager to jump into the fray.
Would that be during the Klingon ship hitting the Enterprise with magnetic pulses or when the later 8 vessels invade Orgainia? When is this "before" you speak of?
"A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on, and licks it. Or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away."