December 2, 2010

THE DIFFERENCE BEING....:

Obama needs leverage for North Korea talks (Will Inboden, December 1, 2010, Foreign Policy)

[O]ne can't escape the irony that the Obama administration is following the same policy of refusing to negotiate that brought much self-righteous criticism from many commentators against former President George W. Bush. And as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama made the centerpiece of his foreign policy a pledge to do just the opposite, specifically offering to talk without preconditions to hostile regimes.

Let me be clear -- I support the White House on this aspect of their North Korea policy. But I also think this might be a good occasion for reflection by commentators on all sides, myself included. It seems that the same voices that so indignantly condemned the Bush administration for its occasional refusal to engage in unconditional negotiations with unsavory regimes (such as Iran) now fall silent when the Obama administration does the same thing. Perhaps this is another example of what Ross Douthat perceptively described earlier this week as the "partisan mind" at work.


...that for W it was a matter of principle. For the UR it's personal because our enemies betrayed him by acting like enemies.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2010 6:38 AM
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