President Obama came into office apparently believing that his non-traditional background, charisma and good intentions could placate dictators hostile to America and ease global tensions.
In these first six months, the new administration has made clear to Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Russia's Vladimir Putin and other strongmen like them that Barack Obama is not a mean-talking George Bush. A kinder, gentler United States has promised to push the "reset" button. In the interest of peace, an American president would finally be listening rather than lecturing, and willing to talk to authoritarian bullies without preconditions. See more by Victor Davis Hanson
The use of the term "thug" in the above by Hanson is most appropriate for dictators, and I apply it to them all the time.