Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Appeasement

On the day after we commemorated the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I find myself looking at the times leading up to the US entry into WWII.  


This country and the world once again find themselves in troubled times and many of its leaders shake their heads in dismay at what currently masquerades as a foreign policy for the US. We treat our friends as strangers and our enemies as innocent bystanders. We pretend that evil does not exist in the world in spite of having our noses rubbed daily in illustrations of its presence. We refuse to confront or even acknowledge the danger inherent in those whose stated goal is our destruction in the name of political correctness. 


We act as host and chief financier of the United Nations so that every third world dictator and petty tyrant can take center stage to disparage and insult us in our own backyard. We create or prop up corrupt governments around the world to provide us protection from what we believe are other even more corrupt governments, only to often find ourselves having to deal with the tyrant that we supported when he finally gets out of control. We pretend that we can broker peace between cultures that have been fighting each other for thousands of years and act surprised when our efforts prove unsuccessful because one side or the other (or both) simply don't want peace. 


We watch as hundreds of people are killed along our southern border, and refuse aid to state governments begging for it that we would cheerfully extend to a foreign country to protect them from a similar invading criminal element. We bow our heads as Mexico rebukes us on how we treat immigration law violators in this country, when its own authorities are shown to be guilty of robbing, raping, and murdering those in similar circumstances in their own. We accept such criticism without complaint and without pointing out such obvious incongruities. 


We accept criticism from Iran and China on human rights violations while watching them murdering their own citizens year after year. We reach out a hand in friendship to those proven to be our enemies in the Muslim world (only to have it spat upon) while simultaneously reaching out a hand to pat down innocent citizens in our own country to protect us from their most radical elements. 


We hand billions of dollars over to countries like Egypt that corrupt the electoral process through violent suppression of opposing points of view; and stand silently while they accept our money, but refuse observers of their flawed process that they deem as interfering. We support equally corrupt governments in Pakistan and Afghanistan, again with billions in US funds, ignoring their aid to this country's enemies and the murder of US troops by their security forces. We in fact seem to hand bags of money to every petty despot in the third world, only to see them share this wealth with other local tyrants who make no bones about being our sworn enemies. 


This does not dissuade us from sending more money however, filled as we are with the childish hope that somehow these misguided misanthropes will eventually change their minds. Disaster relief money that we send to areas around the world more often than not ends up in the hands of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in even more corrupt governments, but our response is to send more in the misguided hope that some of it might actually be used for the intended goal.


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No matter how much we badly we desire it, the world does not change to suit our altruistic picture of it. Perhaps it's time that we began to recognize that much of the world does not share a common philosophy with us and stopped trying to remake that world in our own image. 


Perhaps it's time that we stopped looking at the world through rose colored glasses and stopped believing that by our example and our treasure, we can influence other nations to follow our path to freedom. We would do well in fact to remember our 20th Century history. 


Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain in the 1930's certainly showed us what we can expect to reap when we sow a lack of recognition of the real evil that does exist in the world. His treatment of Adolf Hitler lingers on some seventy-five years later as an shining example of ignorance and futility. Governments who reject freedom, liberty, and the "pursuit of happiness" of their citizens have not fundamentally changed in the intervening years. 


Unless we begin to once more stand on the founding principles of this country; like the misguided Chamberlain, we risk being remembered by history for little other than appeasement.

2 comments:

Roland Hansen said...

"Tis the season to say:
"God bless us, every one"

Tim Higgins said...

Roland,

I suspect that you posted this comment to the wrong posting, but let it stand anyway. After all, tis the season ...