Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
In the aftermath of World War II, the United States stood as the bastion of freedom, human rights and democracy. The other super power, the Soviet Union, represented the polar opposites – repression, dictatorship and servitude. The enlightened leadership of our Nation at that time realized that America, both for its own best interests and the interest of the entire free world, had to LEAD the recovery from the immense devastation of that conflict in a way that benefited ALL in the long run. Through efforts like the Marshall Plan, the United Nations, the World Bank, NATO, etc., we willingly gave up our overwhelming position in order that others might benefit along with us.
I find that commitment to the greater good to be sorely lacking today.
Let’s take a look at what is happening internationally today.
- IRAN: Iran used to be one of our closest and best allies. No longer. We rightfully do not support the repressive, theocratic government in Iran that espouses hatred for the United States or its apparent mission of meddling in the internal affairs of its neighbors. However, our policy towards Iran is one of maximum pressure and isolation, believing that the people of Iran will rise up, overthrow the government and be more like us. Ain’t gonna happen. With the possible exceptions of Israel and Saudi Arabia, we stand alone in the measures we have imposed. Additionally, many strike at our best allies, causing them to oppose our policies. And, our efforts have the unintended (I hope) consequence of heightening the possibility of armed conflict.
- NORTH KOREA: The happy talk that came out of the Shanghai meeting between President Trump and Kim Jung Un has vanished. Any delusions about the North Korean’s willingness to denuclearize vanished in a few minutes at Hanoi when Trump and Kim again met. Now, North Korea has resumed (if they ever stopped) enriching uranium and have conducted additional missile tests. The President continues to tout his close relationship with Kim but there have certainly been no concrete steps towards denuclearization as a result.. Back to square one.
- VENEZUELA: We could not convince the military to change sides so Maduro is still in office and the people are still starving. Without concrete results, the support in Venezuela for our man Gaido is waning. Russia and Cuba stepped up to support Maduro despite our threats. Like Hungary in 1956 and Cuba in 1961, we have encouraged the people to rise up against a repressive government without a clear plan or avenue to assist them in effecting that change with disastrous results. Bold statements by John Bolton are no substitute for a plan and action.
- CHINA:. Tit for tat. I see your hundred billion in tariffs and raise you another hundred. Never mind the price being paid by the American consumer and the agricultural industry. If we stick to our guns, we shall prevail and force the communist Chinese government to bend to our will. Right. Never mind that we have essentially acquiesced in the Chinese militarizing the South China Sea; never mind that we pulled out of the Trans Pacific Partnership which was designed to blunt the Chinese influence in Asia. Doers anyone in the Trump Administration have any clue about China and their heritage other than the items on a menu?.
- RUSSIA: Do we have a policy? Seem like all we do is open doors for Russia to insert itself into areas where we are absent such as Syria and Venezuela.
And then there is the Order, but we will leave that for another day.