Thursday, July 23, 2015

Springtime For Enemies

As 44's tenure gets into the homestretch - one quiz pops up more often than your depressed addict friend always wanting to hit your vapor device.

Is it Springtime for America's enemies?

Dangerous and short-sighted U.S. diplomacy has empowered no one except state sponsors of terrorism and fascistic regimes.
There has never been a better time in history to be an enemy of the United States of America. While America’s traditional allies in Europe and the Middle East express confusion and frustration, 44’s White House delivers compliments and concessions to some of the most brutal dictatorships in the world. In the span of a single week, the U.S. has restored diplomatic relations with Cuba, pressured Ukraine to accept Vladimir Putin’s butchering of its eastern region, and brokered a deal to liberate Iran from sanctions.

These actions would represent a tremendous series of diplomatic triumphs if they improved human rights in these repressed nations, saved lives in conflict regions, or improved global security. That is, in fact, what the White House says these deals will do, despite copious evidence to the contrary. These negotiations represent willful ignorance of the fundamental nature of the regimes in question, especially those of Iran and Russia. Cuba is a political hotspot in the U.S. and remains a potent symbol of totalitarianism, but despite its regional meddling, especially in Venezuela, it isn’t on the scale of the global threats represented by Iran’s terrorism and nuclear ambitions and Putin’s nuclear-backed expansionism.

Regardless of the wishes of the Iranian and Russian people, their leaders have no interest in peace, although they are very interested in never-ending peace negotiations that provide them with cover as they continue to spread violence and hatred.

The favorite straw man of the “peacemongers” is that the only alternative to appeasement is war, which makes no sense when there is already an escalating war in progress. The alternative to diplomacy isn’t war when it prolongs or worsens existing conflicts and gives the real warmongers a free hand. Deterrence is the alternative to appeasement. Isolation is the alternative to years of engagement that has only fueled more aggression.

Money Shot!

Keeping a firm grip on power is the only thing that matters in a dictatorship. The consequences of losing power in an authoritarian regime rarely involve peaceful retirement and a long life. (Gorbachev is a notable exception, mostly due to his cleverly taking credit for the Soviet collapse he fought so hard to avoid, as well as to the shameful lack of appetite in Russia and the international community for holding Communist leaders accountable.) Both Khamenei and Putin have brutally cracked down on their own people to remove any challenges to their authority. Both rely on vicious propaganda to drum up nationalism and hatred for foreign enemies and “traitors” at home, i.e. anyone who opposes or criticizes the regime.

Both wage war and terror on their borders and beyond. Both hold sham elections to provide a distraction for their citizens and fodder for the global press to blather on about the potential for liberalization. And this week, both Putin and Khamenei have been rewarded by 44 with negotiations that will aid them in causing further suffering to their people and in making the world far less safe. 44 gets his “peace for our time” fanfare and the dictatorships continue with business as usual.