Diplomacy 101: Weakness Invites Disrespect

Protests Grow in Iran

Protests Grow in Iran

The Foreign Ministry communicated Iran’s “protest and displeasure” over statements by U.S. government officials about the outcome of last week’s presidential vote, Iran’s news agency said. Meanwhile, North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile toward Hawaii in early July, a Japanese news report said Thursday. What do both of these stories have in common? Sit back, relax, relax, enjoy, and let the Beefboy do, what the Beefboy does best, and that’s break it right on down for you!

President Bush removed the “State Sponsor of Terrorism” label from North Korea, which allowed the Munchkin King, Kim Jong-il, to acquire frozen assets and fund this latest round of underground nuclear tests and long range missile tests. President Obama offered an olive branch to Iran, and has issued extremely weak statements about Iran’s little bogus election, and his attempt to stay out of the process have been met with “protest and displeasure” by their Supreme Leader.

Let’s turn back the clock a bit and look at two other Presidents and how a display of strength had positive results. In October of 1962 President Kennedy ordered a blockade of Cuba to prevent missiles from being delivered. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, America’s alert level went to Defcon 2, for the only time in history, but Russia backed down due to Kennedy’s resolve and thanks to him we don’t have Russian missiles sitting off our coast. On June 12, 1987, against the warnings of his advisors, President Reagan spoke at the Berlin Wall and said, “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Russia tore down that wall in 1989 and the Soviet Union collapsed two years later.

The lesson that Kennedy and Reagan taught us, and Presidents Bush and Obama failed to heed, is that strength demands respect, and conversely weakness invites disrespect. Given the nature of the opponents that we face, and the turmoil in the world, we need to remember the words and actions of our Presidents who stood their ground and didn’t play nice with dictators.
We are increasingly confronted with regimes that understand nothing but power. When we show them kindness, it is interpreted as weakness. North Korea and Iran only understand the consequences of facing true strength. In a contest of strength, NATO is an 800 pound gorilla, while Iran and North Korea is a banana.

I understand the sentiment behind offering what President Obama calls “an unclenched fist” to our enemies, but some people only see the light when you break their nose. It’s time for President Obama to man-up and lay down the law. Terrorists, and countries like Iran and North Korea, need to be reminded who is running the show around here.

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