Appeasement is not a Viable Strategy with North Korea, as 25 Years of it has Shown

An article appeared in the Taipei Times on Sunday, October 29, 2017 on p. 6 regarding the North Korean crisis entitled Talking Must be the Only Answer by Ian Inkster  http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2017/10/29/2003681233/3

Mr. Inkster very instantly and blithely dismisses the most important concept identified by President Trump, that “the US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years,” at the outset of Inkster’s article.  President Clinton made the horrific mistake of trusting North Korea in 1992, and the agreement with North Korea was violated by North Korea before the ink was dry. Years of Chinese prevarication, talking, and “statesmanship”, as Mr. Inkster lovingly suggests, in particular over the past 8 years by the great statesman President Obama, produced nuclear weapons, long range missiles and a hydrogen bomb. So much for statesmanship. As I mentioned before in my blog post, and here, and in others, President Reagan scared the Iranians so much they released the hostages they had held for a year within hours of his inauguration, after years of wimpiness from President Carter. Curiously we find ourselves in a similar position, with 8 years of extraordinary wimpiness from President Obama followed by a very loose and sometimes scary but apparently resolute cannon (despite not being the brightest bulb in the marquee of life).

Mr. Inkster refers to the Cuban Missile Crisis. He must have viewed it as a young teen through the foggy mist across the pond. From here, in New York, a hop, skip and jump from Washington, I saw and felt President Kennedy’s “bluster”, which Mr. Inkster says Kennedy did not display, but his spine, and his temerity, his willingness to meet move with move and show of strength with show of strength, and the backdoor channel ready to receive a message of contrition from Khrushchev is what made the Russians back down and get the missiles out of Cuba, not “statesmanship” alone. In those days, the US had 16 times as many nuclear weapons as the Soviets, and Khrushchev knew it. Were Kennedy instead Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama, Cuba would be a colony of the Soviet Union with nuclear missiles on our doorstep. Make no mistake. Kennedy played chicken well, and Khrushchev blinked, and then a basis for resolution was found. Junior knows the score. He is crazy but he is not an idiot. He looks for weakness and tries to exploit it. But like a rat, he has no desire to die.

In Europe, the strategy for everything has always been, compromise, compromise, compromise. Even with Hitler. Even with Russia. Even with Iran. Even with N. Korea. Particularly with China. It is this unwillingness to show strength to achieve compromise that has always led to horrible deals. I am not surprised by this (and Europe had a willing partner in Obama, whose foreign policy was taken directly from Europe’s playbook, which is why his foreign policy was reviled in the US, and loved abroad).

As soon as Trump spoke his mind (and the more unhinged he sounds, the better at present for strategic purposes) the European members of NATO were on their hands and knees begging for talks with N. Korea. To what end? To what compromise? To give a lunatic encouragement? Let an insane regime have a hydrogen bomb? There will be no resolution to this situation unless NATO grows a spine and plays its part (which is not begging, but rather trying to convince junior that Trump would love to test the US arsenal), and when North Korea weighs its options well, it will find a way to save face and back down.

And the answer is not relying on China. China has been playing the North Korea game for 25 years, playing every President and every administration and Europe for fools, just as the Palestinians have. It is a farce. Bullies only understand one thing. A punch in the nose, or the very real threat of one. Tea on the veranda is not the approach.

 

The Problem for Taiwan and Israel is not China or the Arab World – It’s European Appeasement…Again….Will They Never Learn?

In an article by Alexander Gorlach, which appeared in the Taipei Times on Saturday, October 21st on Page 8 entitled “Taiwan, China: the European view” Mr. Gorlach states: “Declining support for the values of Western liberal democracy across the world in recent years, which not only led to the Brexit vote but also to a rise in mostly far-right xenophobic movements, does not serve as a breeding ground for compassion and action for a far-away nation such as restricted Taiwan.”

This is a somewhat delusional statement. To think that “liberal democracy”, particularly European liberal democracies, are either compassionate of foreign struggles for democratic evolution or capable of taking action to actually support and protect foreign democracies, is laughable, at best. Two examples which immediately come to mind are Taiwan and Israel, two of the smallest and brightest stars in the celestial glow of democracy, both completely abandoned by those useless “European liberal democracies”.

The height of liberal democracy might be considered the administration of the recent liberal God, President Obama, whose foreign policy doctrine of Oppeasement basically betrayed all of the American allies, most pointedly Israel and Taiwan, and allowed the world to erupt into flames, and evil dictators around the world to hastily move with aggression (and celebrate) while he danced and sang Kumbaya, and said to Putin, “be my guest” as he sped by into Syria to take over the fight there, but on behalf of Assad, not the opposition, betrayed by Obama over and over. Obama did nothing for Taiwan. European democracies have their lips pressed too hard to Daddy Xi’s buttocks to even notice Taiwan, welcoming the One Belt One Road honey trap (extolled on these very pages in article after article by George Soros’ ultra liberal Project Syndicate) with open arms, rubbing their hands together and chortling at the prospects of Kommunist Kash filling their coffers.

In 70 years, the US is the only ally with the guts to pass law after law in favor of Taiwan and keep China at bay. NATO couldn’t without the US, the European powers cannot and will not, nor will the UN. This trend has nothing to do with the death of liberal democracy, but in fact is the direct result of liberal democracy’s tendency to retreat in the face of danger or conflict, and prefer to “negotiate” rather than confront (e.g. totally misunderstanding evil such as N.Korea, and rather than employing an enormous stick and a teeny carrot and a kick in the teeth, are on their knees holding a gigantic carrot and a toothpick, begging Kim to come to the table and talk (and doing the same with Iran, which is an order of magnitude more dangerous)), having NOT learned the lessons from World War II of the dangers of APPEASEMENT and the unquenchable hunger of evil regimes for more power, more land, more death, more everything. Actually, in the case of Israel, its biggest problem is not the Arab nations that surround it (who know they cannot defeat Israel) but rather liberal democracies in Europe, which have done everything in their power to destroy Israel by being weak in convictions, weak in morality, weak in policy, weak in support, weak in their faux liberal democratic ideals.  The same can be said for Taiwan, which cannot rely on liberal democracies around the world for support, except the United States Congress.

China is not a problem of Trump’s making, nor is Iran or N. Korea or the Middle East. These are problems left on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office by Blinking Barry and his Oppeasement policy on the way out. President Trump has extraordinarily difficult tasks ahead undoing the damage done by Obama in eight years of weakness and betrayal, and in this instance specifically to Taiwan and Israel.

I am skittish about President Trump’s meeting with Xi. Not because Trump is not a liberal, but because he is not the brightest bulb in the marquee of life, and while China has always played three dimensional chess, Trump is having difficulty with checkers because there are two colors. However, I have less fear of Trump meeting Xi than Obama, who bowed to the Chinese leader on several occasions and projected such a weak image of the US, that China has become far more belligerent and aggressive than before Obama’s era of Oppeasement.

When you show me liberal democracies growing spines, I will listen to this “European View” drivel. In the meantime, so long as they appease evil around the world, I will ignore them as the weak, timid, fearful, feckless, useless regimes they are, pretending to be important, while planning the next business trip to Tehran or Beijing. (“hey, China is not so bad, just because the Communist Party is the worst totalitarian regime in the history of the world – they have pandas and lots of money, we just have to say “One China” and keep Taiwan out! And if we sell jets and missile and nuclear technology to Iran, of course they won’t bomb us – they’ll bomb them (Israel)!”).

Macron’s Visions of European Sovereign Sugarplums Dancing in Paris

An article appeared in the Taipei Times on Saturday, September 30, 2017, P. 9, “Macron’s vast ambitions for a united Europe” By Philippe Legrain  /  PARIS.

Mr. Legrain’s article is just another Project Syndicate pie in the sky piece about rainbows and lollipops. Basically the EU is made up of 28 sovereign nations who have been cobbled together into an economic zone, and pressed by France to sit under what it views as its enormous penumbra of substantive government so that France can be the King of Europe (once again, if ever it was)(“Coalitions of willing governments would then integrate faster, with a revitalized Franco-German engine driving the process forward”). But the EU can never be cobbled into a United States of Europe because to do so would be to release sovereignty and no country is going to give up sovereignty to France or Germany or both – yet at the end, that is Macron’s great “vision” for Europe – or is it for France?

Already the EU has tried to pass so many substantive laws about the internal affairs of nations in the EU (which has led to the exit of Great Britain, which would never cede sovereignty to a French leadership) including vast and often unwelcome immigration and rights and internal policies. Far from the economic and social organization, the EU, under French and German determination, has become a stringent competitive (or anti-competitive) entity which often is at odds with particular sovereign’s own internal policies (e.g. Ireland’s tax concessions to lure international businesses to its shores having become the subject of retroactive reversal and imposition of enormous taxes and penalties by the European commission concerned with protecting EU competition and not member states’ competition, and stealing as much as possible from foreign entities through penalties and taxes).

Of course the French PM sees a greater bigger tighter EU as one entity under France (oh, perhaps I should not have said that out loud). Not going to happen. Not unless Europe finds itself immigrated out of existence, which is more likely than each of the sovereign European members ceding sovereignty to a French and German dominated EU. Nothing has changed in 800 years, the French and Germans are eager to grab territorial influence one way or another. Macron’s view is merely “the good old days” repackaged with ribbons and rainbows.