It is one thing for a president to be liked, but in a dangerous world with dictators who have, or wish to acquire, nuclear weapons and by these and other means destroy the United States, it is better that an American president be feared.
Does this administration have a "Plan B" for dealing with thugs and dictators should their rules of social and diplomatic etiquette fail to produce their announced objectives? Suppose Kim Jong-il follows through on his threat to launch a missile at Hawaii on July 4? If he does and America shoots it down, what happens then? If missile defense fails (the administration and Congress are cutting the budget for a missile shield) and the missile hits Hawaii and kills a lot of people, what then?
Will there be strong denunciations, UN resolutions, or a rapid and devastating retaliation? Given this administration's commitment to "dialogue," I'm not betting on retaliation. More like handwringing and wondering aloud what we might have done to make them hate us, as we heard from many leftists following Sept. 11.
The administration is being tested on several fronts, as Vice President Biden predicted. Honduras is one of many challenges. Will the administration meet them, or retreat? We may know sooner than many of us might expect.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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