Appeasing authoritarianism comes in many forms. All of them are ugly. Some are obvious and extremely dangerous, and some are subtle, indicating a mindset portending future danger because of a propensity to ignore reality. Opening the 23rd Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, prominent American media outlets displayed the latter appeasement mentality in full measure, becoming stenographers for North Korea’s propaganda machine. Reflecting boundless gullibility, representatives of our free press stepped up to carry Pyongyang’s message.
Iran has taken a much more forward position here, close to Israel, close to the oil-producing Arabs state of the Persian Gulf. And it’s beefed up its conventional military capability. I think it’s very troubling for Israel and our Arab friends in the region too.
Animosities are so high that not even full disclosure may be enough to resolve the current disputes and restore faith to critical government institutions. And no matter how carefully analyzed, the disclosures will inevitably impair some legitimate government endeavors. But the most important government interest here is restoring the citizenry’s faith in its government. That interest above all must prevail.
“I don’t think we can blink the reality here. North Korea is getting ever-closer to deliverable nuclear weapons. Barring some dramatic action by China, which is an increasingly fading hope I think at this point, we’re coming down to the decision either to accept nuclear weapons in the hands of this very bizarre regime or consider the use military force. These are not happy choices but we’re running out of options.”
President Trump’s first State of the Union address was not heavy on national security issues. It did, however, make one critical point: In reviewing the international achievements of his first year in office, Trump was abundantly clear that the Obama era is over.