Thursday, May 30, 2024

Stop Negotiating With Wolves: The Consequences of Not Learning from History and Tradition

Stop Negotiating With Wolves:
The consequences of not learning from history and tradition.
Last week an event took place that illustrates the folly of negotiating with passionate ideologues and autocrats with whom there is no common ground for a meeting of the minds necessary for a true agreement. This practical wisdom, based on human experience going back 28 centuries to Homer, has been forgotten by most modern Western leaders and foreign policy hands, who believe that negotiations, non-lethal “engagement,” and persuasion can override an autocratic adversary’s passionate interests and ambitions that by nature conflict with our own.
The occasion was a three-day, humiliating meeting that our Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, attended in China. As Gatestone Institute’s Gordon Chang reported, “China, literally and figuratively, did not roll out the red carpet for [Blinken’s] arrival in Shanghai on Wednesday. Only a low-level official was on hand to greet Blinken as he stepped off the plane.”
Charles Burton of the Sinopsis think-tank told Gatestone, “Aside from a calculated insult to the dignity of the United States, the move indicates Xi Jinping is making clear that the accepted norms of diplomacy will not be respected by China anymore.”
So much for the “rules-based new world order” that the West thinks the Rest actually follow rather than engage tactically. But that assumption is a delusion, as Beijing has demonstrated even since George W. Bush welcomed China to the World Trade Organization in 2001, whose protocols and rules China has serially violated and gamed. And why shouldn’t it? What have been the material consequences for doing so? Or for ignoring contemptuously our diplomatic statements of “concern,” or other finger-wagging scoldings?
For example, one of Blinken’s tasks, Matt Pottinger writes in the Journal, during his visit was to repeat Joe Biden’s warning to China two years ago not to provide Russia with materiel and resources to support its war in Ukraine. Biden had also claimed that if Xi continued to do so, “he made sure the Chinese president understood he would ‘be putting himself in significant jeopardy’ and risking China’s economic ties with the U.S. and Europe if he materially supported Russia’s war.”
Of course, nothing significant followed Biden’s stern but empty warning. The Secretaries of Commerce and the Treasury did threaten to impose economic sanctions, which apparently concentrated Xi’s mind briefly. But according to the Journal, “In 2023, when the Biden administration applied only token sanctions on Iranian entities that provided thousands of kamikaze drones to the Russians—drones that have saturated Ukrainian air defenses and caused widespread carnage—the Chinese probably decided that Mr. Biden’s bluster was a bluff. In March 2023, Mr. Xi visited the Kremlin in a bold show of solidarity with Mr. Putin. It turned out to be a watershed in Moscow’s war, effectively turning the conflict into a Chinese proxy war with the West.”
Indeed, two years later as Blinken complained to the Chinese last week, their dismissal of Biden’s warnings has led to China becoming “overwhelmingly the No. 1 supplier” of Russia, and the Wall Street Journal pointed out, “fundamentally changed the course of the war.”
Then there’s North Korea, an earlier beneficiary of Western appeasement. The Norks established the modus operandi, now being used by Iran, for gulling the West by playing the “diplomatic engagement” game until they could present the world with a fait accompli of several nuclear weapons. The history compiled by the Arms Control Association documents how the canny Kims survived over three decades of sanctions and flabby threats; pocketed “incentives” and other numerous “quids” without delivering the “quos”; participated in numerous negotiations and summits, and signed a plethora of “agreements” that they have serially violated. Their aim all along had been obvious: possession of nuclear weapons that can be delivered on missiles capable of reaching the U.S. --->READ MORE HERE
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