Reale Simple

The world is more than what they tell you. Listen up. It's not complex. It's Reale Simple.

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Former USCHO writer, former writer at a Midwestern broadsheet, occassional CHN blogger.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sleeping with the enemy

I still want to believe that American leaders aren't willing to compromise. I still want to believe that American leaders will do what is right for America first.

Unfortunately, the Democrats - and worse, Congress at large - are not willing to uphold those beliefs.

Fresh off her junket to Syria, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has supported the comments of fellow Left Coast Congressman Tom Lantos, who has called for a "dialogue" with Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This, of course, despite the unwillingness of the Iranian government to bow to any international concerns over its nuclear program.

Let's slow this down for a minute and get down to some hard facts. The State Department maintains a list of nations which sponsor international terrorism. We are currently engaged in a War on Terror. So let's take a quick run down the list and see who we're dealing with.

Syria - The only nation which has been on the list continuously since its inception in 1979. According to the State Department, Syria has provided, and continued to provide refuge and basing privileges to such fine, upstanding organizations as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Islamic Jihad. Visited last week, without any concession whatsoever, by Speaker Pelosi with the aim of "establishing dialogue." What have they done to deserve dialogue? Are they now going to stop funding Hezbollah because we asked nicely? We've been "asking nicely" through the use of sanctions for over a quarter-century. Sanctions didn't do the trick, but Nancy batting her eyes at the world's scariest ophthalmologist, Bashar al-Assad, that'll work.

Cuba - Castro's regime made the list in 1982 because of its support for the Basque ETA, and several terrorist factions in Columbia. This did not stop Jimmy Carter from chilling with Castro in May 2002.

Iran - Hit the list in 1984 for essentially the same reasons as Syria, although the Islamic Republic is now playing the role of Michael to Syria's Fredo. There's no doubt that Iran has been the world's leading terrorist nations ever since the ayatollahs came to power. They've been the 800-pound gorilla in the room that the world has, thus far, been unwilling to stare down during the War on Terror. They've just continued on their merry way without much of a hitch, but now we're supposed to "open a dialogue with them."

North Korea - Listed in 1988. Kim il-Sung and his loser son Kim Jong-il have been selling arms to the highest bidder for decades, and that often includes terrorists. They've given asylum to Japanese Communist League and Red Army Faction terrorists. The current Kim himself is suspected of plotting a bombing in Rangoon in 1983 that targeted the President of South Korea - he was not killed, but several members of his government were, and if he had been killed, it probably would have touched off another war. Kim also oversaw the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858 in 1987, which killed 115, which directly led to their inclusion on this list. Bill Richardson has made six trips to North Korea, including one he's on right now, engaged in unilateral talks with their government.

Sudan - The last member of the list was added in 1993. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Group, and last but not least, al-Qaeda have continued to use Sudan as a safe haven for logistical and support activities. Perhaps due in large part to the ongoing genocide in Darfur, there haven't been any Democrat sitdowns with Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's head thug. After all, it's pretty difficult to be chummy with people who are in the middle of an active campaign of terror rather than simply lending money and support to terrorists.

The Democrats controlled both the White House and the House of Representatives during both World Wars, so the parallel isn't exact, but suppose Republican Minority Leader Joseph Martin had met with figures like Hitler, Mussolini, or Tojo during the war, "seeking dialogue." He'd have been scourged and pilloried for undermining the war effort, giving propaganda value to the enemy, and likely would have been accused of treason. Is that no different from what top Democrats have done across the board - given nations like Syria an instant credibility upgrade, while they concede nothing in return?

Libya was a member of the list from its inception up until last year. What changed? Yes, it was a diplomatic negotiation that brought Libya off the list and helped them move toward rejoining the global community. No, Bill Clinton didn't swing by to say hello. It was an example of the way we should hope to be able to deal with these nations - negotiation following a show of goodwill from both sides. As a nation, we must always be willing to act in good faith and show goodwill to our enemies, but there is one main component which must be present and which Nancy Pelosi has failed to recognize - there must be goodwill on the other end.

What was accomplished? Nothing, although Pelosi clearly achieved her goal of undermining the President, which is essentially Job #1 for all Democrats these days.

Whatever happened to the days of Wendell Willkie, who supported the foreign policies of the man he faced in the 1940 Presidential Election, Franklin Roosevelt, rather than undermine the national interest? Sadly, they're gone, and they may never return.