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Herbert London: Appeasement Here And Abroad

After years of inaction, NATO is now attempting to develop a strategy to cope with Russian aggression. A State Department report indicates that Iran has not reduced its global terrorist activity despite the accommodative stances of the P5 + 1 on Iranian nuclear weapons acquisition. The elimination of “stop and frisk” preventive policing action, has resulted in an increase of gun violence in New York City and in other major cities where lapsed police measures have been imposed.

What do these events have in common? Despite all of the effort to refute them by cultural constructivists, the laws of nature are inevitable. If there is not an inner compulsion to comply with the law or accepted forms of behavior, external compulsion in necessary. When there is neglect to apply external compulsion in the form of policing or resistance to aggression, anarchy will prevail. Aggressors sense when rules can be violated.

This isn’t a radical or ethnic question; it is a matter of natural law, a condition so obvious that most people recognize it intuitively.

Why then are we obliged to reacquaint ourselves with the obvious? First, there are those, who for political reasons rationalize the behavior of miscreants. Russia has a historical sphere of influence over eastern Europe argue the apologists. Or you might hear the words of inner city rabble rousers who contend that strict police action has a “disparate impact” on certain racial and ethnic groups, despite the fact these are the people who disproportionately violate the law. Second, many do not believe laws are natural, notwithstanding empirical evidence to the contrary. These are the well intentioned who believe if we establish an example of peace and tranquility aggressors will follow suit. Third, there are naïve true believers who cannot be convinced by reasonable argument and may even accept the chains that tether them as a game played by aggressors.

No matter what Putin says about his intention to restore the pride of mother Russia damaged in the Cold War, European and American leaders refuse to accept his words as genuine. To do so, would force actions most national leaders consider unacceptable. Similarly, the Supreme Leader of Iran doesn’t conceal his ambitions to establish an empire in the Middle East. But President Obama is so keen on a nuclear weapons deal, he remains deaf to the comments. Thugs, carrying weapons, know the police are handcuffed. Some have stated as much. Yet the politicians responsible for the lax policies contend the uptick in crime is statistical aberration.

There is an unwillingness to recognize the fact that evil hasn’t yet been eliminated. In the interest of self preservation, it would be advisable to recognize this reality. Yet, and this is the point, so many are willing to march to their demise. They accept the willful destruction of property claiming that a portion of the city can be set-aside for this purpose?

In almost the same manner President Obama has turned a blind eye to terrorism fomented by Iran, terrorism that has claimed at least 1500 American lives.

It appears as if any call to halt terrorist activity will jeopardize a nuclear weapons treaty he regards as the hallmark of his administration.

Here is a case where domestic policy collides with foreign policy. An unwillingness to stand up to the defiled in Ferguson and Baltimore is analogues in my judgment, to the acceptance of aggression by the mullahs in Iran and Putin. Losing the will to call evil by its name and by avoiding the use of police and military assets to oppose it, was once regarded as ignoring common sense. “Peace through strength” was not an expression invented by President Reagan; it goes back to Jerusalem and Athens. In fact, it is in the Western DNA.

Something happened. Is it battle fatigue? Perhaps a lack of leadership? Or is it something else, a profound belief in appeasement as a quest-religious ideal? One thing is certain: aggressors smell weakness. The slide to slavery may not be inevitable, but the path we are on could lead to that result.

Herbert London is President of the London Center for Policy Research, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of the book The Transformational Decade (University Press of America). You can read all of Herb London’s commentaries at www.londoncenter.org

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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