- MELANIE PHILLIPS - JAN 28, 2022 -
Tyrants and extremists regard compromise as an incentive to redouble aggression
As the Ukraine crisis continues, one question in particular poses itself. How can it be that, having defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War, the west is now unable to get the better of the leader of the bankrupt kleptocracy that replaced communism in Russia?
At a synagogue meeting in Atlanta earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken displayed the all-too hapless posture of the west. Asked what Russian President Vladimir Putin’s next move might be having deployed 100,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, Blinken replied: “He is the only one that can give you an answer”.
Having done nothing more than advertise his own cluelessness, he then enumerated core western principles: that a country can’t change the borders of another by force, decide another’s choices and decisions, or exert its sphere of influence to subjugate its neighbours to its will.
Fine principles indeed, but utterly meaningless unless the west is determined to uphold them. The reason that Putin has the whip hand in threatening to ride roughshod over those principles in Ukraine is that he knows that, for the west, these are merely pious words.
In Afghanistan, America betrayed all those who had given their lives there to fight the enemies of the free world when it abruptly pulled out its troops and abandoned the country to the Taliban.
Faced with Iran racing towards the bomb, the Biden administration has redoubled its offers of sweeteners to the world’s most lethal terrorist regime. It dropped American objections to a $5 billion International Monetary Fund loan to Tehran.
It released Iranian oil funds in South Korea, Iraq and Oman. Last March, it halted the release of a report by the International Atomic Energy Authority detailing Iran’s non-compliance with the IAEA’s investigation into its undeclared nuclear material and activities.
Even though America’s own interests have been subjected to running attacks by Iran-backed militias, it merely responds with a feeble flick of the wrist in delivering only token military reprisals.
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