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Cliché Diplomacy: “Peace Through Speech”

In wake of revanchist Russia’s invasion of Georgia, a sovereign democracy allied with the United States and Europe, the stunned Bush administration’s response to this failure of “quiet diplomacy” and “engagement” policy with Comrade Putin – he of the soulful eyes – was initially one of stammered clichés, each of which is revelatory, juvenile and injurious.

Consequently, to further the cause of liberty and security, we are compelled to dispel the clichés fostering the failed policy of “peace through speech”; reassert the doctrine of “peace through strength”; and advance concrete actions to punish Russia for invading Georgia.

Regarding the clichés, first let us dispense with “Democracies don’t attack democracies.” Though belied by the War of 1812 (as but one example), this canard persisted until it came to rest in pieces beneath the boot heels of Georgia’s Russian invaders.

Next, we must refute how “This type of aggression is unacceptable in the 21st Century.” Excuse me, but welcome to the “end of the end of history”! It is insane to presume an arbitrary millennial date prevents nations from using force to attain perceived gains. For years it has been evident Comrade Putin disagrees with this false assumption; thus, who could be shocked this inanity has gained as little credence in Moscow as the Kellogg-Briand Pact once gained in Berlin?

Finally, let us end the myth aggressor nations measure their “international standing” in the same vein as do western democracies. Russia does not seek to be liked. Russia seeks to be feared. In sum, through intimidation and coercion Russia seeks what it cannot accomplish through cooperation and negotiation – the political subordination of central and eastern Europe’s sovereign, U.S. allied democracies within what Russia deems its “near abroad.” To gain this end, Russia invaded Georgia. In making this decision, Comrade Putin anticipated “The West’s” tepid words; and Comrade Putin didn’t give a damn. In fact, he was counting on them to bolster both his own domestic power within Russia and his nation’s external power over central and eastern European nations, who would be less than reassured by a weak-kneed US and EU response. (No doubt, too, Comrade Putin is laughing hysterically over some “sophisticated” foreign policy “experts” claiming the West’s harsh rhetoric will only inflame the situation. It looks like the Left hasn’t lost its “cold war” mindset, either!)

Frankly, the above clichés reveal the rot within both the administration’s and the Republican Party’s present foreign policy. Conflating the truth of Reagan’s dictum of “peace through strength” with the hope of “peace through speech”, the GOP has forgotten that words won’t stop tanks.

But “peace through strength” will. Nations must know pursing strategic aims through aggressive measures will cause them more harm than good. Then, if an aggressor nation miscalculates and strikes regardless, the harm to the aggressor nation must swiftly and surely outweigh its coveted benefits.

Therefore, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, individually and collectively the United States and our allies must:

  1. Ensure the removal of all Russian troops, weapons, and intelligence officers from Georgian soil.
  2. Secure Russian reparations for the damages incurred by Georgia due to this illegal invasion.
  3. Invite Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to address a joint session of the United States Congress and reaffirm the bond of solidarity between the free peoples of our democracies.
  4. Offer a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia and the Ukraine.
  5. Suspend high-level NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meetings until all Russian troops, weapons, and intelligence officers are removed from Georgian soil; and Russian reparations for the damages incurred by Georgia due to this illegal invasion are tendered.
  6. Authorize Georgia, Ukraine, and all non-NATO central and eastern European allies to receive the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) the same preferential treatment as NATO+3 (Australia, Japan, and New Zeeland).
  7. Authorize large-scale Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance to central and eastern European NATO allies.
  8. Accelerate European Union accession and partnership negotiations with Ukraine and Georgia.
  9. Bar Russia from the G-8 until all Russian troops, weapons, and intelligence officers are removed from Georgian soil; and Russian reparations for the damages incurred by Georgia due to this illegal invasion are tendered.
  10. Refuse consideration of Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) until all Russian troops, weapons, and intelligence officers are removed from Georgian soil; and Russian reparations for the damages incurred by Georgia due to this illegal invasion are tendered.
  11. End Russia’s PNTR status and further sanction Russia with Column Two Tariffs until all Russian troops, weapons, and intelligence officers are removed from Georgian soil; and Russian reparations for the damages incurred by Georgia due to this illegal invasion are tendered.
  12. Provide the Economic Support Funding (ESF) to Georgia to repair their infrastructure, which will be repaid by Russian reparations for the damages incurred by Georgia due to this illegal invasion.
  13. Reauthorize programs under the Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act.
  14. Assert that continued, large-scale, organized cyber attacks constitute an act of aggression.
  15. Direct the Department of Interior’s United States Board of Geographic Names to refer to the Kuril Islands by their Japanese name.
  16. Call upon the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia, to a non-aggressor nation.

Well, there I go again, revealing my “cold war” mentality. Maybe the “peace through speech” sophisticates are right. Let’s pass some vapid resolutions accusing Russia of not being an international team player; importune Comrade Putin to return the soul behind his eyes to its rightful owner; and hope this rabid bear is coaxed back into hibernation.

Still, one must wonder if the Georgian people would appreciate the irony that our quiet diplomacy is premised upon loud publicity not their pained reality?

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