Blogs > HNN > Talking to Kim

Oct 10, 2006 5:36 pm

Talking to Kim

In 1913, after a bloody coup in Mexico, Woodrow Wilson announced the he would not recognize a “government of butchers,” and established a new principle of international relations that led to the U.S. refusal to recognize the Soviet Union for sixteen years, “Red China” for almost thirty years, Castro’s Cuba for forty-five years and counting, and breaking our own record, North Korea for over a half-century. Forget for the moment that Wilson and his successors were quite selective in deciding which butchers deserved non-recognition. Has this policy ever contributed to our national security?

The Bush administration, some of whose members draw inspiration from Wilson, has refused to engage in direct talks with North Korea, a nation that is apparently interested in normalizing relations with us. At the least, Pyongyang has insisted on direct talks and a non-aggression pledge as the first steps in moving away from confrontation over its nuclear program.

What’s the big deal about meeting them one-on-one, except, I guess, that Bush drew a line in the sand and does not want to lose face or have to admit that he has mishandled North Korean policy? That policy, in contrast to the allegedly wimpy but successful containment policy of Bill Clinton, has led to this weekend’s nuclear test and little else, save the comforting knowledge that everyone in the region agrees with us that Kim is a rogue. And this gang is still asking us to elect them because they can be trusted better than Democrats to defend national security?

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HNN - 10/11/2006

If Jim Baker says it's ok to talk to our enemies I would think all Republicans could agree.

But then Baker was always the pragmatist. It's much more fun to sally forth on your horse denouncing enemies than actually getting something done.

I have no idea if talking would help resolve our differences with North Korea. But surely it couldn't hurt.

This is the chicken soup defense. Anything wrong with it?