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Friday, November 24, 2006

Appeasement Doesn't Work

Once again we have history repeating itself because people are so busy trying to find an "easy" answer all the time, they rarely look back to history to understand that what is easy does not always work... in fact, it rarely does.

In 1994 we attempted to appease North Korea with the "Framework Agreement"

In it we, the Japanese and the South Koreans promised the North Koreans that if they halted their nuclear weapons program, we'd build for them two nuclear power reactors. While they were being built, we'd supply North Korea with food and fuel oil. As a result, we became the principal supplier of foreign assistance to the most repressive dictatorship on earth.

North Korea's perfidy reminded us of a truth of which we ought not to have needed reminding: Vicious mass murderers tend to be liars, too.

In 2002 John Podhoretz wrote a piece for the New York Post, in it he wrote:

North Korea's behavior seems so irrational that the only possible explanation that some people can discern is this: It's a psychotic country. Indeed, for years, questions have been raised about the sanity of Kim Jong-Il (who must be called "Dear Leader" under pain of death) and his late father, Kim Il-Sung ("Great Leader")...

Oh, yeah, the Kims are crazy all right. Like great poker players are crazy.

For 20 years now, Great Leader and Dear Leader have been using the same system of blackmail to extract money and technology from the rest of the world. It's worked every time, even with Bush's father. So why, Kim must reason, wouldn't it work now?

Here's the history: In 1985, it became clear that North Korea had launched an aggressive effort to develop nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union made a deal with its fellow Communist neighbor: If Great Leader signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Soviets would build some light reactors there to provide power without providing explosive material.

The North Koreans agreed. Then Great Leader gave the Soviets the finger. He did everything he could to keep out nuclear inspectors, and delayed their entry into the country by five years.

Cut to 1991, when the first Bush administration cuts a deal: South and North Korea both agree to denuclearization efforts. To sweeten the pot for the elder Kim, America pulls short-range nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea doesn't stop doing anything. Then comes 1993. Abruptly, with inspectors hot on their trail, the Kims pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The reactor at Yongbyon is up and running. The Clinton administration swings into action. By the end of 1994, the Clintonites announce with great fanfare a deal called "the Agreed Framework."

The "Agreed Framework" looks suspiciously like the 1985 deal with the Soviets. The U.S. agreed to build two reactors in North Korea. But wait, there was so much more. We also agreed to supply Dear Leader (by this time, Great Leader had died) with fuel oil and food aid. This bribe was, as they used to say on game shows, a package worth something like $4 billion.

Bill Clinton celebrated. "North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program," he announced in one of the innumerable statements for which history will deride him.

Then, in 1998, North Korea got scary all over again by launching an intercontinental missile directly over Japan. The United States demanded that the North Koreans allow international inspectors into the country to determine the extent of its nuclear program.

The North Koreans said: Fine; pay us $300 million and we'll let the inspectors in. The United States went one better. It didn't hand over the cash. Instead, it sent food aid in a package worth far more than $300 million.

Even after this debacle, the Clintonites kept on acting as if their 1994 deal was a good one. "We made a lot of progress with them," the president said on Dec. 28, 2000. "I think it will make the world a much safer place. I feel very good about what we've done."

Now here we are. We know North Korea has at least one nuclear weapon - and that, unchecked, it will be able to make 50 nuclear bombs a year by 2009. Yet influential voices continue to insist that all we need to do is continue to give Dear Leader money - the very money he uses to subsidize his nation's efforts to become a major nuclear power.

Hence, Tom Friedman in the New York Times: "When dealing with a heavily armed crazy state like North Korea. . . . All you can do is is shrink its nuclear programs in exchange for food, and expand trade and investment to alleviate some of its abject poverty - so when it does collapse, it does the least damage possible."

North Korea is the perfect object lesson in the failure of appeasement: Without appeasement, it would not be a nuclear power today. And yet the Friedmans of the world keep insisting that appeasement is the only workable strategy.

So who's really crazy here? Dear Leader - or the appeasers?

History is there for everyone to see, yet many turn a blind eye because the alternative may be "difficult"

Now, I am not going to say Clinton is to blame, the Framework Agreement was worth a try... but we were left with no methods to verify that il-Jong would follow through with the agreement, and he did not.

Which brings me to Lebanon, present day.

As Michael Young puts it in his article "So how does "engaging with Syria" look now:

In recent weeks the idea that the United States and the UK should “engage” Syria, but also Iran, to stabilise Iraq has been all the rage. On Tuesday, in an east Beirut suburb, Lebanon’s industry minister, Pierre Gemayel, showed what the cost of engagement might be. The scion of a prominent Christian political family was assassinated in broad daylight. This was the latest in a series of killings and bomb attacks that the UN investigator looking into the murder of the late Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri, has determined are linked.

Mr Gemayel’s allies quickly accused Syria or its allies of the crime, and it’s difficult to disagree. With the late minister dead and six pro-Syrian ministers having just resigned, Lebanon’s Government is near the stage where it will be constitutionally forced to resign.

This is a priority for Syria as it would undermine Lebanon’s formal endorsement of the court being established by the UN to try suspects in the Hariri case. Syrian officials fear being fingered by the UN investigation.

Many disagree with Bush's policy to not deal with states that sponsor terror, even after seeing what dealing with terrorists can cost. You do not make deals with liars, murders and dictators, because no deal will be honored.

What is a deal when only one party is working in good faith? No deal.

Wapo actually has a decent article about Lebanon.

Some chants were familiar: "Freedom, sovereignty and independence," along with "Syria out!" Others were new, directed against Hezbollah and its contentious weapons. "No arms that aren't legitimate." Some protesters shouted obscenities at Hezbollah's leader, Hasan Nasrallah, and his Christian ally, Michel Aoun. At the start of the funeral, others burned and stomped portraits of Aoun and Emile Lahoud, the pro-Syrian president whose resignation was a main demand of Gemayel's supporters Thursday.

"They wanted it to be a contest, so let it be one," Samir Geagea, a Christian leader allied with the government, told the cheering crowd in Martyrs' Square. "We are not afraid one bit. We shall not give in. We shall not submit until the crimes stop."

The Lebanese Bloggers believes that the anger the people of Lebanon feel is fleeting, like a wave that has washed up onto a rock and will recede back into the sea. I sincerely hope he is wrong, but from history, we see he is probably right.

To go a step further, 9/11 taught us that there were extremeists out there that would go to extraordinary measures to hurt innocent people. Bin Laden is only ONE example, as is al-Qaeda. There are hundreds of thousands extremists and the majority of them can be tied, one way or another, back with Iran and Syria.

Like puppeteers they pull strings and watch the puppets dance. Who will stop this?

We look at France, which was written about last night and the anti-semetic actions which show that Europe has not learned the lessons of World War II.

We have North Korea, in which we see where the policy of appeasement has gotten us, il-Jong is now testing nuclear weapons. We have Iran refusing to stop to abide by the UN resolution about nuclear activity. We have Lebanon in the midst of yet another crisis. We have Israel who has to deal with the reality of Iran's constant threats to wipe them off the face of the Earth. We have al-Qaeda that has stated very recently that they will not be happy until they blow up the White House..... the list goes on and on. We see Lebanon in a chaotic state and still fighting hard to keep the democracy they have worked so hard to obtain.

A prime example that fighting to create a democracy and helping it thrive is the only way we are going to get any stability in the Middle East and those that cannot see this are either blind or stupid. This is why Syria and Iran fight so hard to keep Lebanon in a state of chaos, because if democracy wins there, then it will spread as freedom and liberty often does. It is in Syria and Irans best interest to assure that Lebanon does NOT succeed. It is also in Iran'ss best interest, as well as al-Qaeda's to make sure Iraq does not suceed in democracy.

We either are prepared to fight to help in building democracies across the Middle East or we sit back and wait for the battle to come to our soil. If we wait for the fight to be brought to us AGAIN, like it was on 9/11, we might as well arm ourselves to the teeth, go back to building bomb shelters and prepare ourselves for the chaos we see there.... because it WILL come. Is this the legacy you wish to leave your children?

Do we continue to appease and give the terrorists what they want, or do we stand, as one and yell out....ENOUGH!!!??

I for one see no option... enough is enough.

On a side note, we also have to realize that our "allies" in some cases are no better than our enemies.

Townhall is also discussing this.
Right Truth has a piece called "Lebanese walk all over Iran and Syria".
Hyscience and JP have a must read article.
Captain's Quarters has an excellent take on this issue.

Right Wing Nut House, Outside The Beltway, The Belmont Club, Pajamas Media, protein wisdom, Blue Crab Boulevard

Open thread over at Right Wing Nation.