Originally Posted by alnorth
This is not accurate, at all. We never wavered from the first option.
What happened is the junta finally caved. It wasn't that we lightened up and they responded, Burma finally began to enact real democratic reforms. We didn't send SoS Clinton over until they began to crack.
The first option as you described above does not mean isolating the tyrannical nation forever and ever until they fully reform. When they began to tentatively move down the path of democracy, we immediately rewarded Burma. They have now progressed far enough to deserve the symbolism of a presidential trip.
Sure we did. We sent Bill Richardson over in the very early days of the Obama administration.
Our policy regarding Burma was, to borrow from Amnorix, was a Cuba-like embargo of diplomatic relations. For decades. This changed as the Obama administration began to make overtures. They were slight overtures, but with the attractive economic power of the United States, that's really all you need with a country like Burma.