So who knew it was so simple: To avoid nuclear war all the world needs is for President Barack Obama to give North Korean President Kim Jong Un a jingle so the two of them can talk about hoops.
At least that is the thesis offered by no less an international diplomatic authority than former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman after returning from a little jaunt to the most reclusive, authoritarian state on Earth.
Talk about March Madness.
On ABC's "This Week," which aired Sunday, Rodman said, "He (Kim) loves basketball. ... I said Obama loves basketball. Let's start there ... ."
Rodman also said Kim told him, "I don't want to do war. I don't want to do war." And that, "He wants Obama to do one thing, call him."
Well, there you go. It is such a simple and perfectly natural choice to hear Rodman tell it: either we talk basketball or we go to war. We had never really seen the connection before.
Of course, we would be remiss if we did not point out that the Rodman Doctrine as it has been articulated thus far may contain a few fairly significant holes in it.
First, it fails to consider or acknowledge that as recently as two months ago North Korea's National Defense Commission issued a statement that said, "settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words." It also promised "a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle." Hmm ... color us skeptical, but those seem curious comments, indeed, from a nation that doesn't "want to do war."
Second, it was just two weeks ago that North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test, which it made clear was a warning to the United States to drop what it considers a "hostile" policy toward the North.
Here again, we see national actions that suggest a country and a leader with more on its mind than basketball.
Finally, there is that little matter that the U.S. and North Korea are technically still at war. A truce was signed in 1953, but there was never a formal peace treaty and the nations do not have diplomatic relations. And that no American president, regardless of approach, has been able to make much progress toward improving relations between the two countries.
For his part, diplomat Rodman assures us that he is aware of North Korea's abysmal human-rights record, which is one of the worst in the world. But in his next breath, Rodman calls Kim an "an awesome guy."
"He's a good guy to me," Rodman said, adding, that he wasn't apologizing for Kim, but that "as a person to person, he's my friend. I don't condone what he does."
Whew, what a relief.
We can be further comforted to know that Rodman promises to return to North Korea to "find out more what is really going on."
We can hardly wait.