Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Obama leads on diplomacy

Katrina vanden Heuvel has it right in her opinion piece on how Obama had it right.

Growing up the first I ever heard of this strategy was in reference to Israel's refusal to talk with PLO leader Yasser Arafat. Of course, eventually Israel saw the light and did talk with Arafat.

Not negotiating with certain countries and leaders was viewed as a way of combating terrorism by Bill Clinton's administration and has been used in that way ever since.

Obviously it has done little to stop terrorism. The two significant foreign terrorist attacks in the U.S., the first WTC attack and 9-11, occurred after the adoption of this policy.

Not talking did not stop North Korea from testing a nuclear weapon. It also did not stop Iran from becoming what many consider to be the most powerful nation in the Middle East these days.

Stonewalling nations only drives them further into isolation and runs the risk of incubating a truly strong and relatively self-sufficient enemy.

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