05/26/09 — Diplomacy? Rogue nations aren't interested in compromise -- just victory

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Diplomacy? Rogue nations aren't interested in compromise -- just victory

It should surprise no one that North Korea seems to be paying no attention to warnings that its nuclear weapons testing is not acceptable to the world in general -- and its neighbors in specific.

In fact, anyone who follows politics of rogue nations should know by now that diplomacy with leaders like those who are in charge of North Korea is an exercise in futility.

These leaders crave legitimacy -- that's why they ignore international warnings and press their luck to see just how much they can get away with. In their minds, their interests are equal to those of the rest of the nations in the United Nations -- and therefore, they can spread their tail feathers all they want.

They see negotiation as a sign of weakness -- and they are testing right now to see if the U.S. and its allies are strong enough and determined enough to put their collective foot down -- hard.

Much of President Obama's first few months in office have been spent telling the world that this is a new U.S. policy that reaches out with diplomacy and other means to resolve conflicts.

He has even acknowledged some leaders he should have ignored.

And now we will see if his version of diplomacy and finger-shaking really works when it is tested.

Dealing with a rogue nation with threats is like trying to discipline a child.

If you continue to threaten and nothing more happens than more talk and more finger-wagging, the naughty child will test the boundaries. If you want the behavior to stop, you have to make a statement.

It will be interesting to see just what President Obama's statement is going to be.

Published in Editorials on May 26, 2009 11:57 AM