Friday, April 24, 2009

Proof of the Foolishness of Appeasement

The events in Pakistan this week serve as a stark demonstration of why the first administration’s apparent twin foreign policy pillars of appeasement and apology are so misguided and dangerous. The government in Pakistan tried to appease the Taliban of all people by allowing them to enforce Sharia law on remote parts of Pakistan. The results were predictable

The government agreed in February to impose Islamic law in Swat and surrounding areas of the northwest in return for a cease-fire that halted nearly two years of bloody fighting between militants and Pakistani security forces.

But hard-liners have seized on the concession to demand Islamic law, or Sharia, across the country, and the Swat Taliban have used it to justify a push into Buner, putting them within striking distance of the capital and key roads leading to the main northwestern city of Peshawar.

Show of hands from everyone shocked that the Taliban, known for their temperance and tolerance, decided that if one part of Pakistan was under sharia law, all of Pakistan should be? Terrorists and dictators don’t understand and don’t respect appeasement as anything but weakness. Appeasing someone who is bent on conquest is going to do nothing but encourage them. What makes this doubly dangerous is the reality of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. While the world frets about Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions, and does nothing about it, the Taliban are growing in strength in a nation that already has nuclear weapons and likely also is providing refuge for Osama bin laden, if he is still alive or his successors if he is not. Osama and the Taliban in charge of Afghanistan was a human rights issue. The Taliban in charge of Pakistan is a threat to world peace not seen since the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Shockingly to no one outside of the State Department and the editorial board of the New York Times, the threat of military action caused the Taliban to back down. Let’s review dealing with thugs: Appeasement encourages them, strength discourages them. Any questions?

President Obama should take a careful look at the events in Pakistan and perhaps reevaluate his administration’s foreign policy of appeasement and apology.
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