Monday, September 24, 2012

When You Appease Tyrants, They Just Hate You Even More

Ion Mihai Pacepa
The State Department contends that the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the three American officials who defended him was an unplanned, spur-of-the-moment reaction to a low-budget film called Innocence of Muslims. That is nothing more than a fairytale lullaby designed to put American outrage to sleep. The only reaction to this fantasy seems to have been among the Muslim terrorist leaders, who understand it as a go-ahead to attack our embassies all around the world with impunity. Our embassy in Pakistan is now under siege. Thousands of other “angry” Muslims are now screaming “Death to America” and burning American flags in front of our embassies in Egypt, Indonesia, Sudan, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Yemen, Germany, and Great Britain, to mention just a few.

During the years I spent at the top of the Soviet bloc intelligence community I unfortunately came to know many tyrants quite well, and I learned for a fact that they despise appeasers. In April 1978, President Jimmy Carter hailed Romania’s communist tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu as a “great national and international leader.” I was standing next to the two of them at the White House, and I could hardly believe my ears. A few hours later, I was in the car with Ceausescu, driving away from the White House. He took a bottle of alcohol and splashed it all over his face, in reaction to having been affectionately kissed by the U.S. president in the Oval Office. “Peanut-head,” Ceausescu muttered in disgust.

Three months later, President Carter signed my request for political asylum, and I told him who Ceausescu really was, and how he had reacted to that kiss at the White House. On the memorable day of July 19, 1979, however, I watched the TV news with disbelief, as President Carter did it again. He affectionately kissed Leonid Brezhnev on both cheeks during their first encounter in Vienna.

Brezhnev also despised appeasers, as I also knew for a fact. Five months after the infamous Carter-Brezhnev kiss, a KGB terrorist squad assassinated Hafizullah Amin, the American-educated prime minister of Afghanistan, and replaced him with a Soviet puppet. Then the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and President Carter feebly protested by boycotting the Olympic Games in Moscow. This new sign of American weakness gave rise to the Taliban regime and Osama bin Laden’s terrorism.

In the 1990s, the U.S. government virtually ignored bin Laden’s first assault on the World Trade Center, the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole. During that same period, we entrusted our national security and foreign policy tasks into the hands of the United Nations — which responded on May 3, 2001, by ejecting the United States from its Human Rights Commission.

We had barely set foot in the 21st century, when bin Laden’s terrorists unleashed a relentless war against our country, with the disastrous terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Soon after that, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), expelled the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (AEIA), and let loose a venomous anti-American campaign. “Let’s exterminate our sworn enemy U.S. imperialists!” reads a slogan inside North Korean jet cockpits, sailors’ cabins, and army guard posts.

When Ronald Reagan became president, the U.S. was being treated with contempt by most petty tyrants around the world. The Soviet Union was on the march in Angola, Vietnam, Cuba, Ethiopia, Syria, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, and, of course, Afghanistan. President Reagan reversed all these trends by calling the tyrants and their tyrannies by their real names, and treating them as such. Remember his “Evil Empire”? The Soviet press agency TASS said those words demonstrated that Reagan was a “bellicose, lunatic anti-Communist.” But it was precisely that “lunatic anti-Communist” who won the 44-year Cold War and returned America to greatness.

Unfortunately, in 1993 we got another wishy-washy president, who reinstated Carter’s policy of appeasing Communist tyrants. On April 22, 2000, during a Holy Week, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, President Bill Clinton’s marshals forcibly seized and returned to Communist Cuba a six-year-old boy who had miraculously escaped alive from a boat that had sunk with his mother, who had been trying to free her only child from Castro’s tyranny.

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