April 23, 2015

Today's real appeasement isn't what wingnuts claim it is

With Sen. Tom Cotton and the letter of "The 47" of the Senate GOP to Iran, and three declared GOP presidential candidates and more on the way, expect words and phrases like "Iran," "appeasement," "Munich" and "Neville Chamberlain" to get mouthed by more and more Republicans in the next 18 months.

Or, with two Cuban-Americans in the race, substitute "Cuba" for "Iran."

Fact is that neither of these is what the real "appeasement" is.

Rather, as most recently illustrated by the Trans Pacific Partnership officially entering Congressional fast-track discussion, the real appeasement is continuing to "engage" with China in the blind, unsubstantiated belief that such "engagement" will automatically, at some point, liberalize Chinese government.

But, why would it?

Singapore was an authoritarian capitalist government for decades under Lee Kuan Yew. Israel is moving in a more anti-democratic direction as we speak, as is Turkey.

And, for worshipers at the hagiography of human rationality, Adam Smith never said that his invisible hand was dependent on a certain type of government. Since 1700s Britain was hardly democratic, that alone undercuts the slavering shibboleths of today's bipartisan foreign policy establishment about China.

Beyond that, it's not just Beijing that's being appeased — it's rich businesses, ever more multinational in character, even if officially incorporated in the US.

Of the four declared presidential candidates of both major parties so far, do you seen anyone who's not an appeaser?

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