Appeasement: The cost of peace

By: Robert Lee - Contributing columnist

Appeasement is nothing new. It has been part of world history as long as man has walked the surface of this planet. Is it right or wrong to appease one’s opponent? Some will say it is, while I see it as nothing more than a stop-gap action for the moment. All it does, in most cases, is allow your enemy to build up and prepare for the inevitable — and that, in this case, is war. The context on the international field of play is a diplomatic policy. Within this policy there will be material and political concessions. These concessions are made to avoid the conflict of war with the aggressive power.

In the past, there has been news censorship on the part of governments. This was done to hold back public opinion. The governments involved could do what they wanted without the people opposing the government or it’s actions. One such appeasement was known as the Munich Pact. This pact between Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy came about in September 1938. It was because Germany wished to take part of Czechoslovakia, know as the Sudetenland. This part of Czechoslovakia was home to about 3 million ethnic Germans. What the Sudetenland gave Germany was 70 percent of Czechoslovakia’s steel, iron, coal and electrical production. Germany had not forgotten how they were treated at the end of World War I. This pact did nothing more than to delay Word War II. By the next year, in September of 1939, war in Poland had started. This would bring about Hell on Earth for the next six years. The world was set on fire with hate. It would be under Great Britain’s leadership of Neville Chamberlain that this appeasement would take place. Chamberlain was confident and stated that he had achieved “peace in out time.” Eighty years later, there are those who have said it was in the best interests of the world at that time.

I can not — and do not — agree with these thoughts, then or now. Germany, in that one year, was allowed to grow into a monster of a “war machine.” The pain of appeasement came at way too high of a cost to the world’s people. The world’s leaders thought this was the best way to push back on communism. It was not. By September of 1939, the nation of Czechoslovakia did not exist. All the Munich Pact achieved was a short-term peace.

Germany had told the world “all we want is Sudetenland.” We all know that was nothing but a lie on top of other lies.

Today, the stage is set for more appeasement and more lies. This time it could lead to the destruction of most of our world. At this point, the appeasement’s cost could mean the security of the entire world. In 1948, Korea was split into two nations, North and South Korea. The North was allied with China and Russia. The South was allied with America and other Western powers. It was at this time when we had to deal with North Korea’s Kim family. Sad to say but the history with the Kim family goes all the way back to 1948 and Kim Il Sung. During 1948, China helped to place Kim in power. That was when the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was created. By February of 1948, the Korean People’s Army was established.

From that point forward, the Kim family turned North Korea into a dictatorship. It appears the playbook of the Kim family has not changed much over the past 80 years. When power was passed to Kim Jong Il, their country went deeper into their “hermit stage.” Since the early 1990s, America has seen the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear program. Most of our presidents have call it a “priority problem” but have done nothing about it. It is something to be dealt with at a later time. That has been the mindset of our leadership.

The leadership of the North has projected to the world that the nation’s nuclear program could be bought out or bribed into submission. This is just an illusion. An illusion, no matter how real it is made to look, is still an illusion. The leadership of North Korea hides behind a mask. But this mask is very transparent to any who will take the time to look deeper.

Diplomacy for the North is nothing more than lies designed to buy more time. In 1994, Washington had a deal with the North: Stop work on your plutonium-based weapons and we will help you financially. The price our government paid at that time was to turn a blind eye to their uranium-based weapons program. In 1998, during the Clinton administration, North Korea fired off its first long-range missile. Rather than placing sanctions on the North, Clinton appeased them with $300 million in food aid. This allowed the U.S. the right to inspect an empty hole in the ground that had been suspected of storing nuclear materiel. Money and time lost to more lies from the North. This was nothing more than a delaying action.

Under the Bush administration, in 2006, the North tested its first nuclear bomb. What did Washington do? It lifted financial sanctions and overlooked the fact the North was building a nuclear reactor in Syria. It only got better for North Korea. Bush then resumed food aid and took them off of the list of state sponsors of terrorism. What could Bush have been thinking? I do understand that Bush was caught up in the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan. Our leadership has let too much with the North be pushed to the back burner.

Under Obama, I must say that he gave into the North very little. But he did nothing to stop their testing of nuclear weapons. While in office, Obama’s administration would see great advancement in North Korea’s quest for nuclear power. There were a total of four nuclear bomb tests. There were also four long-range missile tests. American policymakers have thought that China would step in and do something to curtail the development of the North’s nuclear weapons program. Tell me again, what were these idiots thinking?

China is in bed with the North and never will step away. Both China and North Korea know and understand we are enemies. This will never change. Not with the current leadership of both countries. China took the time to sign on to the United Nations Security Council resolutions of reducing trade with the North. This was on paper and was nothing but more lies from China. It has been said that, in fact, trade was increased.

The world is more interested in money than stopping North Korea from getting more nuclear weapons. The people of the North are dying every day from starvation, but not the elite of their nation. You can see this in the fat face of their “dear leader.” International financiers can take the blame for North Korea’s ability to move their money around. This money is coming in from illegal weapons sales. Even though the North appears to be cut off from the global economy, that’s just another lie.

Until our leadership takes the time to cut the North off from the American dollar, nothing is going to change. America must, at all costs, take their money and any assets that we can find. This money is in offshore accounts. Until we hurt the North financially, we will never be able to change their power structure. Washington will never have the leverage that is needed to shut Kim down. The policy of appeasement with this country has allowed them to have the ability to destroy America with nuclear weapons. If not at this moment, so very soon. We have given in too many times over the past 80 years. No more appeasement for peace. The cost is too high.

Robert Lee is a concerned citizen and U.S. Marine veteran who owns and operates Rockingham Guns and Ammo. His column appears here each Saturday.

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Robert Lee

Contributing columnist