Barack Obama severely criticized President Bush's policies for dealing with despots. He advocated a policy of engagement. How is that working out? North Korea is rattling it's nuclear arsenal and firing long missiles as fast as they can mount them on the launch pad. Iran is brutally suppressing a democratic uprising and trying to blame us for causing it. President Obama gets a 'fail' when it comes to dealing with Iran and North Korea. From the Wall Street Journal:
President Obama took office loudly promising to be the anti-George W. Bush of foreign policy, vowing to "extend a hand" to adversaries "willing to unclench" their fists. What he has received instead is an education in the reality of global rogues, and how he responds has become a major test of his Presidency.
The immediate challenges are North Korea and Iran, governments that the American left claimed were "evil" only because Mr. Bush had declared them so. Perhaps Mr. Obama believed this too, though five months later he has learned otherwise. North Korea has rejected his every overture and is now defying the U.N. to press its nuclear and proliferation ambitions. As for Iran, the mullahs are attempting to crush a popular uprising after a stolen election while also showing disdain for Mr. Obama's diplomatic entreaties.
The question is whether Mr. Obama will now adapt his policies to meet challenges he clearly didn't expect. Jimmy Carter took office with similar illusions about the Soviet Union, promising to cure our "inordinate fear of Communism." Our enemies pushed back at what they perceived to be U.S. weakness, and Mr. Carter and his NSC adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski never recovered. We'll soon learn if Mr. Obama is made of sterner stuff.