Our foreign policy weakness has ushered in strange days indeed. As a result, small-time presidents and rogue nations are actually trying to tell us what to do, and in some cases openly threatening the U.S.
Take North Korea, for example, where our cancellation of food aid in response to their recent rocket launch has led to the promise of “retaliatory measures.” In other words, the leadership of that country is threatening to do something to the U.S. if we don’t keep propping them up via handouts.
While there are a number of things at play here, it’s important to note that the North Korean people only know what their government allows them to know. So the population in that country has no idea their rocket launch was a dismal failure, nor do they know the world condemned the launch in the first place. But there’s a chance they are going to figure these things out if their government loses the ability to feed them, and that ability depends on the continued good graces of the United States. Thus, in desperation, North Korean leaders have demanded that we keep giving them food or else.
This is a good time to stop and rethink the way we dispense aid to these countries, because it seems the handouts are emboldening the weak presidents and rogue nations that benefit from our benevolence. After all, it was just yesterday that Afghan President Karzai demanded tribute, telling us he wants $2 billion annually once U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan.
I don’t think we’d be going too far to demand a modicum of freedom for the people of the countries receiving aid from us. Nor do I think we would go too far in demanding that countries like North Korea cease developing weapons they could use against South Korea, and other U.S. allies, in a moment of desperation. These countries should also be made to understand that if they parade anti-American sentiment to curry favor with America’s enemies, as both the North Koreans and Karzai have repeatedly done, the flow of food and money ends immediately–no questions asked.