A “New” Diplomacy With North Korea And Iran: Brilliant Manuever Or Reckless Strategy?

President Obama has decided to take a major gamble in diplomacy by agreeing to direct talks with North Korea’s government in the context of the six party talks (US, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia), and also with Iran’s hardline government in the form of seven party talks (US, Iran, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China). The discussions with Iran would be the first substantive talks since the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

The decision to deal with these two nations, considered by many observers to be the two most dangerous and intransigent nations on earth, is a bold move that could, if things work out, be a real coup for Obama, but if the talks fail, could be seen as a reckless, unwise failure that makes the world more dangerous.

There is a tendency to be pessimistic about both nations being willing to act reasonably, and therefore, Obama runs a tremendous risk of being portrayed as naive and delusional, and putting South Korea and Israel particularly in a tremendous state of danger and insecurity.

The way that Barack Obama confronts issues insures that he might be seen in the long run as a genius, or as a total disaster. Certainly, he can be said, like Harry Truman, to have guts and courage. The question is whether that will be enough to promote success.

One comment on “A “New” Diplomacy With North Korea And Iran: Brilliant Manuever Or Reckless Strategy?

  1. tate September 14, 2009 10:56 am

    I think this is a bold move yet the alternative of doing nothing may be even more reckless.

    Both countries are dangerous but attempting no dialog and attempting to isolate them through sanctions and the such already has bred anti-americanism and hatred.

    N. Korea, more than Iran, I feel will come to the table and play ball. They are starving there…the “staged” cities are empty and merely a production to show the “good fortunes” of those under communist rule. They, the N. Korean’s, have a basic need to use these talks as a means to simply survive so I feel good thing may come as a result. Additionally, having other countries present will stroke Kim’s need to have his reign acknowledged and validated.

    Iran will be the tough sell. Anti-americanism runs so deeply there and their leader (whose name I can’t spell) is clearly an anti-american / anti-semite and feels that America’s protection/ support of Israel makes both countries worthy of his countries wrath.

    Finally, about Iran, in my opinion they can’t be trusted. This may seem like a general stereotype but is widely held and for several rasons which I will not go into here. In short, these are a tough people to trust fully.

    Thus, I think trying is a good plan for Obama and the US. The worst that can happen should this fail is: Republican’s label him a failure for this and more of the same (regarding both countries) continues on. Even partial success (with N. Korea) would be a triumph in my book.

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