The Costs Of Engagement: These conservatives say negotiating with rogue regimes is no different than endorsing them
- David Rothkopf, Foreign Policy: "The trip tests the core idea of engagement. There are few more odious regimes on the planet and this one is being interacted with precisely at one of the moments when that odiousness is most clearly on display."
- Walter Lohman, The Foundry: "Senator Jim Webb provided the junta an opportunity for saturation media coverage of what will pass there as US endorsement of its rule."
- Patterico's Pontifications: "This is great news for the Yettaw family but it sounds like the U.S. government is handing another in a growing line of PR and engagement victories to a totalitarian regime."
- Annie Lowrey, Foreign Policy: "I worry the United States gave up an opportunity to publicly demand something out of Yangon."
The Potential Upside: Isolation didn't help human rights. Maybe engagement will.
- Doug Bandow, Commentary: The U.S. policy of isolating Burma has failed. "Webb has created an opportunity for the administration to press the Burmese junta to improve, even if modestly, its treatment of the Burmese people."
- Virginia M. Moncrieff, Huffington Post: "How much closer are we to defining a future for 50 million Burmese while we put our hands on our hips and play no-talkies?"
- Catherine Lyons, Los Angeles Times: Sanctions didn't work in Myanmar. Let's give engagement a try. "While human rights organizations are decrying the meeting as a legitimization of a government guilty of abuses, some engagement is better than none; as Clinton said, the status quo of sanctions and tough rhetoric hasn't worked."
- Todd Crowell, Asia Week: "Clinton and several members of his entourage meet Kim face-to-face over several hours, where they were able to observe him close up and in person. In a country where it is virtually impossible to obtain 'humint' - human intelligence - this was no small thing."