“History shows that we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea.”
Those words were written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Thursday in the New York Times, in arguing for appeasement towards Kim Jong-un.
It was also the perfect symbol of everything that was wrong with Barack Obama’s feckless foreign policy — and it explains why the world that President Donald Trump inherited is so dangerous and unstable.
The Obama administration believed it was worth living in the shadow of terror and nuclear aggression as long as the U.S. could maintain a dignified posture that could not provoke anyone.
That is why they abandoned missile defense in Europe, allowed Russia to invade Ukraine, dismantled international sanctions against Iran, and let the Chinese build fake islands in the South China Sea.
But everywhere, their policy has only invited more aggression.
Rice’s arguments reprise exactly the case that Winston Churchill’s opponents made against him throughout the 1930s — that Britain could learn to live in the shadow of fascist Europe, and that it did not have the ability to fight back in any case.
In blaming Trump’s rhetoric for escalating the crisis, she repeats what Churchill’s opponents said about his war talk. They only realized he had been right all along when it was almost too late to save the country.
In her long and disastrous career, Rice has advocated inaction when intervention would have saved lives. During the Rwandan genocide, she counseled President Bill Clinton to avoid using that term, and helped stop the U.S. from responding.
In Benghazi, the Obama administration failed to make any effort to save U.S. diplomats and security personnel — and then Rice lied shamelessly to the American people, blaming a YouTube video for the attack.
Rice complains that Trump told North Korea that “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if they threaten the U.S.
Trump’s warning is no different from what John F. Kennedy told America’s enemies in his inaugural address — that “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” He also added: “We dare not tempt them with weakness.”
Obama and his administration were obstinately ignorant about the history of the appeasement policies they pursued — and which Rice continues to push.
What is “unprecedented and especially dangerous” is not President Trump’s reaction, but the fact that North Korea can now launch a nuclear-armed inter-continental ballistic missile at us.
And we have Rice and Obama, as well as the bipartisan diplomatic failures of previous administrations, to thank for it.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.