ANALYSIS: Talking to the enemy

Look who talks to the enemy

Seven years of President Bush’s Don’t-Talk-to-Evil policy are over, even under the helm of the administration that crafted it.

Now administration officials are openly making nice with Syria, holding round after round of talks with Iran over the fate of Iraq, and making preliminary plans for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to visit Libya.

And President Bush himself has gotten in on the act — writing a personal (“cordial,” the White House says) letter to the secretive and enigmatic North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il that held out the possibility of normalizing diplomatic relations.

The morphing of the White House from imperial protector of American presidential exclusivity to sending Christmastime greetings to North Korean dictators will leave the next president, whoever he or she is, with a lot more legroom to decide whether to talk to America’s foes, foreign policy experts say. These experts include Republicans and Democrats, current and former officials from all administrations since 1977. [complete article]

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