"The future lies ahead!" - Mort Saul
Kent Halliburton's Blog Post, "Appeasement Has Never Worked and It Never Will," is very well researched and well written. The premise in the piece is that appeasement doesn’t work and never will. There are also a couple of sub premises, one being that countries are appeasing other countries to try to maintain stability rather than objecting to aggression on moral or humanitarian grounds. A second sub premise is that most countries have reacted to bullying by appeasement rather than by standing up to and defending against it.
No country holds the moral high ground and most aggression is done for profit. There is an old statement, attributed to many people throughout history, that countries don’t have friends, they have interests. This is very important to note.
The United States currently has Special Operation Forces in 134 countries, which some say makes us the most dangerous country in the world. We no longer have official wars and haven’t since WWII because congress hasn’t declared our conflicts to be wars. That means Vietnam and our Iraq and Afghanistan incursions were not officially wars. Yet we seem to be in a “forever” war around the world without increasing our influence anywhere or acquiring more territory. It’s profitable to the military industrial complex but not for the middle class. Some US investors Including the Bush family are also acquiring land and water rights in South American countries because water will eventually be more valuable than oil - people can’t drink oil and need water to survive.
Russia seems more interested in acquiring more territory and influence by incursions into Crimea and eastern Ukraine and Syria and threatening countries which were once part of the USSR. China is acquiring more territory in disputed areas in the China Seas by building military bases on islands and declaring that surrounding areas are no longer international water, by also declaring military interest in Syria and by investment in other countries, noticeably in Africa.
So who are the principal bullies in the world and what to do about it in the nuclear age?
I think the biggest loose cannon factor is the USA since Trump became President Elect. He is surrounding himself with Generals and filling his cabinet with people as unqualified for the jobs as he himself is. He has already shown himself to be a thin skinned bully with no respect or awareness of the constitution and prone to believe fake news and conspiracy theories and a tendency to take revenge. He’s a fan of Mein Kampf which advocates telling the Big Lie until it’s believed and he is a pathological liar and a narcissist. He has missed the last 17 of 20 briefings and doesn’t seem interested or capable of learning what a President needs to know. He has publicly asked, “if we have nuclear weapons, why don’t we use them?”
Our best hope is that he only uses his time in office to increase his wealth and put our country back by 50 years or so in civil rights, the environment, women’s rights, healthcare, Social Security, employment and free speech without causing a nuclear World War III and is replaced in 4 years and I realize that’s a lousy hope. But we can recover, it is possible. The plutocracy will only get stronger, the middle class will get weaker but no one will believe Trump next time around, not even the God fearing uneducated and underemployed folks will accept more disappointment.
Our only recourse is resistance and developing both a powerful alternative message and charismatic candidates to oppose him and the Republicans. I expect Trump to help us by breaking every campaign promise he made but we must get to work and start now.
Kent ends his post by asking what can stand in the way of our propensity to accept appeasement in the face of bullying and aggression and mentions the weakness of the UN and I agree. The UN is crippled by the veto power of any member of the Security Council and has no effective enforcement procedures. I also agree that the outlook looks bleak.