Thursday, June 26, 2008

As "engagement" strengthens in North America, is it weakening in Eurasia?

Throughout the first Cold War, the peoples and nations who were most adamant about ending Soviet Communism tended to be those who had the most experience in dealing with it. Soviet refugees, occupied nations, and badly disillusioned socialists formed the unexpected core of anti-Communism, and kept it going during its darkest hour (the 1970s). A generation earlier, it was Western Europe that all but begged the United States to lead the anti-Communist alliance that would become NATO. The situation with Communist China is, obviously, different, but today I saw echoes of the same pattern on the world stage.

First, the bad news: North America seems to have all but capitulated. Compounding the bad news from Canada, President Bush has decided to take Beijing's Korean colony off the list of terrorist sponsors (CNN, NRO - The Corner, Washington Post, Washington Times), despite the fact that the Stalinist North said nothing of substance about its uranium enrichment program (which started this whole thing back in 2002), and of course, there was no movement on the issue of Japanese and South Korean abductees (One Free Korea). Making matters worse, this is all based on information that Kim Jong-il sent not to the United States, but to Communist China (BBC and Washington Times). It is an appalling end to a weak policy from the President.

Not that the United States and Canada are alone on this - Taiwan has begun internalizing the Communists' Falun Gong War (Between Heaven and Earth) - but as the leader of the free world, the U.S. in particular should be immune to this sort of thing. In fact, the strength of ordinary Americans themselves was enough to stop the Communists' attempts at intimidation in New York City (Epoch Times); one can only shudder to think what might have happened had Mayor Bloomberg taken the Tainan approach.

Absent such strength on the global stage, the cadres are continuing their advance. They are now trying to apply revisionist history to Darfur (Washington Times), turning the Olympics into a weapon for "smashing the separatist plot of the Dalai Lama clique" (BBC and the Epoch Times).

Yet with all of this good news, the cadres may face trouble in their closest and most geopolitically profitable relationship - the one with Russia. After years of being Communist China's largest arms supplier, the Russian government is starting to wonder if it is "supplying weapons to an army that may turn against it tomorrow."

No military has been closer to Beijing than the one based in Moscow, yet now, as Communist China is starting to reverse engineer the weapons they have imported (and even export their version to other nations, like Pakistan), Moscow is getting skittish. Russia isn't alone either; several Asian neighbors of Communist China have responded to Beijing's charm offensive by demanding to know why the United States hasn't stopped it (Daniel Twining in the Weekly Standard):
Asian leaders broadly seek closer relations with Washington, scold their U.S. counterparts for neglecting the region, are deeply insecure about any hint of an American pullback, and increasingly identify democratic political values as the basis for closer cooperation with America and each other.

Once again, the closer one is to the Communist regime, the more one is worried.

The parallels to the first Cold War here, in particular the pre-NATO era, is striking. Once again, front-line nations looking eerily across the divide at a rising tyranny are looking to a somewhat indifferent United States for help. As for Russia, its journey will be much longer, and may never come to fruition, but if it does, it would deal a hammer-blow to the Communists' geopolitical objectives.

Either way, we are once again seeing that those with the most exposure to Communism (in this case, the Chinese version) are the most worried about it (that especially applies to the Chinese people themselves - Boycott 2008 and Washington Post - even as the outside world misses it - Newsweek). As with the Soviet Communists before them, the Chinese Communists may very well sow the seeds of their own destruction not by how they treat their enemies, but their friends and neighbors.

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