Democrats have a long record of appeasing bad guys in hopes, they say, of making things better. That rarely works anywhere.
But no one ever accused America’s Democrats of giving up a bad idea because it failed. Do it some more and maybe things will improve. That’s how we got those long decades of well-intentioned welfare that trained folks to rely on the federal government, not themselves.
Now, we have yet another example of this cockamamie thinking from the Obama 3.0 administration of Joe Biden.
He’s decided – or at least the real decisionmakers pulling his strings want us to think it was Joe himself who decided — that the miscreant mullahs of Iran will return to the nuclear negotiating table and cooperate if only we reward them with more stuff even BEFORE they agree to talk.
Like, oh, say, maybe live up to some of the previous things they agreed to when Ketchup King Kerry was in charge of the talks. They got $400 million delivered on pallets in advance of signing the pact to slow development of their nuclear weapons. For nothing in return.
Biden aides say he’s decided to erase all the extra sanctions levied by the Trump administration, yet another example of the undoing of Trump policies. Recall Biden also halted border wall construction and stopped Trump’s total troop withdrawal from America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan.
Trump’s stricter measures had the silly notion that tough and even tougher actions should remain in place to ensure compliance. North Korea’s Kim Jung-un wanted sanction relief before halting his ICBM development. Trump said anyi, or no.
Now, I’ve got serious doubts about the value of economic sanctions effectively changing any country’s behavior. They did work ultimately in changing South Africa’s apartheid policies. Sanctions are a better alternative than war. But since then, they’ve become pretty much just threatening photo ops that allow one country to sound tough. At the rate we’ve been slapping sanctions on folks – governments, individuals, organizations — if any bad actors still have deposits in the U.S., they probably deserve to lose them.
Sanctions were big news when slapped on Venezuela, its strongman, and key aides. Have you noticed? They’re still there. Obama imposed a series of sanctions on Russia and Russians for annexing Crimea and fomenting instability in Ukraine. No results there either. North Korea appears to continue its ICBM testing apace. Most recently, sanctions on Myanmar.
But giving favors to buy cooperation in advance of talks with no quid pro quo has gone nowhere. As a Windy City pol, you’d think Obama would know that. He was a good talker. But as a bargainer, he was a disaster. Think his notorious “red line.” Remember Sean Connery’s advice to mob-fighter Kevin Costner in “The Untouchables”?
You want to get Capone? Here’s how you get him. He pulls a knife? You pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital? You send one of his to the morgue! That’s the Chicago way!
Here’s how newly-installed President Obama handled Vladimir Putin in 2009, hoping he’d help tame Iran’s rebellious religious leaders supporting international terrorism: Without consulting or even informing courageous Eastern European allies, Obama scuttled the planned U.S. missile defense system there. It was aimed at intercepting Iranian missiles coming at the U.S. over Europe, but Putin disliked the weapons so close.
In appreciation for Obama’s attempted suck-up, Putin ignored his appeals, sold Iran a nuclear power plant, later an advanced anti-aircraft defense system, and launched a deep training program for Iranian militias fighting to crush Syrian rebels. Militias, by the way, which can later be deployed elsewhere in the Mideast promoting instability and eroding U.S. influence.
Iran, meanwhile, continued to export terrorism support to Yemen and elsewhere, launched drones at Saudi Arabian refineries, and increased harassment of maritime traffic in the Straits of Hormuz.
Sound familiar? Now, Joe’s rewarding Iran in advance again with nothing in return by easing restrictions that have severely damaged Iran’s economy, though obviously not enough to prompt any policy changes.
In his memoir, Robert Gates, who was Secretary of Defense when the Obama administration began, described Joe Biden as an immensely affable man who, as senator and vice president, had been wrong on just about every single major foreign policy issue for four decades.
Now as president, Biden and his appeasement crowd are extending his streak of foreign policy incompetence into yet another decade. But don’t worry. He’s safe and, well, clearly not-so-sound in the White House. It will be others who pay the future price for the resulting troubles to come.