Now that North Korea has detonated a fission bomb, Kim Jong Il has laid his intentions bare for the entire world to take note of. Without a doubt, this will be a defining moment in President Obama's administration. The media characterization of this moment as a "challenge to President Obama's diplomacy," however, is flawed. It is, in fact, a stark repudiation of a failed policy that Obama has adhered to since the 2008 campaign trail.
Diplomacy is what happens when two parties each have things the other wants. Negotiation is the process of discovering how far your opponent is willing to go in achieving what he wants. Not every individual can be negotiated with; there is a point at which a diplomatic sparring partner ceases to be an opponent, and starts to be an enemy. From that point on, negotiation simply means appeasement, and negotiation with Kim Jong Il is nothing less than appeasing a madman.
It's time for President Obama to stop negotiating from a position of weakness, and start from a position of strength. Unfortunately, this borders on the impossible while he seeks to apologize for America's numerous illusory transgressions. Until President Obama can prepare to treat America like the superpower it is, his diplomatic efforts will only give aid and comfort to America's enemies. We know what the United States Constitution has to say about that. . .