Shrewd politics or bad policy
Depending on how you see it, U.S. foreign policy is either taking a bold new direction or heading into treacherous waters in its dealings with the Axis of Evil. For clarification, I see the latter.
It's been announced that the United States will make an about-face and actually sit down with Iran and Syria in discussions about what to do with Iraq. The talks, which were called by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, will put us at the same table with two countries which are at the heart of the insurgency that is currently tearing Iraq apart.
There will be no talking to Iran about its nuclear program, and no chatter about Syria's attempt to overthrow the fragile democracy in Lebanon. Hopefully, they will at least discuss how the Iranian military is taking part in attacks on American troops and Iraqi civilians. It'll be interesting to see how long the attendees of this meeting will be able to keep a straight face.
On the other side of the Axis, Kim Kye-Gwan, North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs, is coming to America to talk about normalizing diplomatic ties with the United States. This is a situation of people getting ahead of themselves if ever there was one. Kim Jung Il's reactors are still buzzing, and we don't even know how many bombs he currently has, but we're already looking to take the next step in this latest "agreement." Ronald Reagan used to say "trust, but verify." Well, we have no reason on earth to even do the first part in regard to the Hermit Kingdom. But we definitely should verify Kim every step of the way before making his ministers feel welcome in the U.S. like old friends.