'There is something slightly weird about all this activity. If the Obama team wanted to make a really significant break from past Bush policy, it would say it was not going to just talk with the world's worst strongmen but would give equal, public status to their democratic opposition groups. Instead, the baddest actors in the world get face time with Barack Obama, but their struggling opposition gets invisibility.'
First point - either the sentance about past Bush policy is very badly written, or the implication was to talk to the 'world's worst strongmen'. As I recall Bush policy in general it was to verbally chastise the worst regimes around the world, give verbal support to democrat oppositions in those countries, and invade the worst offenders and get rid of their dictators.
How what this Henninger guy is suggesting trumps that I can't imagine.
Second point - giving the same status as national governments to any group is entering very dubious territory indeed. And completely unnecessary to attain the goals sought.