In 1972, Richard Nixon visited China to try to build a buffer against the Soviet Union. China was then in the middle of its horrendous cultural revolution from which Mao Tse-tung derived the reputation of being a brutal monster. In 2004, Tony Blair visited Libya to try to build a buffer against extreme and violent Islam and to test a new method of turning dictatorship to democracy without bloodshed.
Nixon is generally praised for his China initiative. Blair is condemned.