Blustering Appeasement

Monday, January 07, 2019

Over at Slate, Joshua Keating considers the effectiveness of our commander-in-chief at addressing the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear arsenal. This he does largely by looking back a year and asking whether anything but the rhetoric has changed. His conclusion just about says it all:

Trump's remarkable feat, intentional or not, has been in getting the U.S. public to accept North Korea as a de facto nuclear power.
It is clear that Keating is far from being very concerned about this. Indeed, it is clear that perhaps Keating, no fan of Trump, ought to be one. It is also clear that today that we live in a very different world from the one I grew up in: The above quote won't "say it all," at least to very many people. The truth is, we are now in much worse shape than we were a year ago, starting with the nature of what Trump has induced many Americans to find acceptable. To wit:
Image via Pixabay.
The difficulty with this approach is not simply that we can't believe, or verify, the promises of a totalitarian dictator. The fundamental problem is that the payment of protection money is a very impractical way of ensuring our safety. It works neither against criminals nor against criminal-states. It only encourages our enemies by telling them, in effect, that they needn't worry about a military response by us, because we're always open to an amicable "deal." This appeasing approach is the reason an impoverished, backward nation is now on the verge of being able to launch nuclear-armed ballistic missiles against us. [bold added]
The above comes from a piece published about a year ago by Peter Schwartz, a Distinguished Fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, and deserves to be read in full.

At best, all Trump has done is kicked this can further down the road a lot more noisily than his predecessors.

-- CAV

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