Appeasing Bullies

Wherever there are bullies, people who are willing to throw their weight around and intimidate weaker people to get what they want, there are people who will do everything they can to appease those bullies. At certain times in our past, the United States has been a champion that stood up to bullies like the Germans and Japanese in World War II. The last year, however, has been characterized by America rolling over for bullies and hoping they will start playing nice if we give them everything they want.

In early 2014, Ukraine suffered civil unrest, eventually culminating in a revolution that removed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich from power at the end of February. Taking advantage of the turmoil and upheaval, Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean peninsula, a territory of Ukraine, just days after the establishment of the new Ukrainian government. This illegal, aggressive action was condemned by much of the international community, including the United States and our allies in Europe, but other than imposing a few useless economic sanctions on Russian businesses, nothing was done. Meanwhile, Russia has spent the year integrating Crimea into its territory and firming up its control of the peninsula.

In April, a Russian attack plane made a dozen close-range, low-altitude passes at a Navy warship, the guided missile destroyer Donald Cook, in the western Black Sea. The Russian fighter did not respond to the destroyer’s radio queries or warnings and continued to buzz the ship until eventually flying away. This was an intentionally provocative and hostile act, and our government once again did not respond in any significant way to this belligerent attempt at intimidation.

In July, Russian-backed (and, many think, Russian-controlled) separatists in Ukraine shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 with a surface-to-air missile. This passenger airliner was destroyed and crashed, killing all 298 people on board, including one American citizen, eighty children, and several prominent medical researchers en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. A lot of politicians got on television and said a lot of pretty words in condemnation of this barbaric act, but once again, there were no consequences for the perpetrators.

It is time to begin asking some hard questions. Why is our government continuing to have any friendly contact with these villains? Countries like Russia and China have goals of world domination, and we continue to trade with them, providing them with access to our technology, making them wealthier, and making our eventual inevitable conflict with them more dangerous for everyone. If these nations continue to act in an antagonistic and aggressive manner, eventually American troops will be put in the position of needing to defend our interests, and when that happens they will be fighting against American-developed technologies paid for with American wealth.

President Obama has said that he wants to avoid escalating the conflict with Russia, in the interests of peace and economic prosperity. However, President Putin of Russia has no such qualms about escalating the conflict. As we have seen from the past year, he feels like he is the king of the world, and knew he could invade and annex part of a sovereign nation without any consequences from the United States. Like a bully on the school playground, Putin knows that intimidation and violence work to keep the weak in line.

America needs leaders who will stand up to bullies. Whether they are on the playground or on the UN Security Council, appeasing bullies only leads to them demanding more and more. America needs to stand up and say “Enough!” If you are sick and tired of a weak President, then I urge you to vote for a change in 2016 by casting your write-in vote for Art Drew for President of the United States.