by Armando Simón
With the fall of China to Mao, Soviet capture of eastern Europe and asserting pressure on Turkey and Greece, and the invasion of South Korea, America put together a series of treaties whereby it would come to the aid of a number of countries in order to arrest Communist imperialism. Even though many of these treaties were for mutual assistance, the reality turned out to be over the decades that the defense treaties were one sided. Nonetheless, the treaties were a foundation, and the excuse, for American action in throwing back Communism. However, now that there is no Soviet Union, these treaties hang like a millstone around America’s neck, both politically and in the cost of maintaining a military presence on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. In the case of the Philippines, we were accorded a golden opportunity with the ascent of Duterte becoming president in that he unilaterally declared an end to the partnership, an offer which we should grab and run. Patrick Buchanan has made a similar argument in regards to South Korea.
Perhaps this new approach that I advocate can best understood by our present, correct, policy towards Venezuela. As in Turkey recently, a botched military coup gave the ruler the opportunity and the excuse to impose a quasi-dictatorship. Hugo Chavez decided to turn his country into a semi-Marxist state, a policy accelerated by his successor, Maduro. Even though Venezuela was rich because of its enormous output of oil, it followed the usual pattern of Marxist countries and Venezuela is now financially bankrupt and internally a zombie. Now, during the Cold War, America would have been justifiably alarmed at this state of affairs because Venezuela would have outflanked NATO and would have provided the Warsaw Pact with oil, and so it would have been justified in eliminating the threat. But that is not the case now and the American government’s policy has been that it is not our concern if the Venezuelans have chosen suicide; we will simply stand by on the sidelines—and laugh. This attitude came as a shock to both Chavez and Maduro who expected, and eagerly welcomed, hostility from, and confrontation with, “the Yankee imperialists” and were instead humiliated by being ignored and laughed at. And, personally, I have to confess that I have no sympathy for the Venezuelans who are suffering so much under Maduros since for decades they had toyed with the idea of Marxism, had engaged in anti-American demonstrations, and had come close to murdering Vice President Richard Nixon. Call me callous. I don’t care.
Compare that correct policy with the tar baby called Afghanistan. We went in there for the sole purpose of tracking down and wasting the s.o.b. responsible for 9/11. It took years to do so, but it finally got done. Once we riddled Osama with enough holes to make him look like a sponge, we should have left the country and let the Afghan savages continue to kill each other. We did not originally go into that pigsty to rebuild the country in our own image, to turn the Afghans into good little Americans, to improve the lives of women or goats. However, once our bureaucracies got involved, our presidents were told that we had to turn Afghanistan into a wonderful place, and we sank an ocean of money into that excuse for a country (in 2015, Afghanistan received a total of $3,072,502,383). Donald Trump tried to withdraw from that country, but the Deep State said it was not possible because it would take too long to withdraw our weapons. Then, pseudo-President Biden ordered a rout, leaving billions of dollars in equipment to the Taliban.
But back to the Pacific. Since these bilateral defense treaties in the Pacific have become obsolete with the collapse of the Soviet empire, they need to be either formally ended, or, insist that the other partner pay fully for the cost of defending them. It will be argued that with an increasingly aggressive China, we should maintain these treaties as is. However, there are two counterpoints to this argument. First, again, our direct security is not in danger in the western Pacific. Second, it must be accepted by America that the best way to hold back China is by stop feeding the monster that China has become—through crippling trade agreements in favor of that country (carried out by our brilliant politicians—Republicans and Democrats both) that has made it incredibly wealthy while simultaneously destroying our own industrial capacity—all in the name of “globalization” and “free trade,” slogans that the corrupt, worthless, brain-dead RINOs and Democrats salivate over.
The overall point is (1) that defense treaties should be for our benefit, or at most, a two-way street, and, (2) once the objective is achieved (such as the elimination of the Soviet Union, or the death of Osama bin Laden), then terminate the treaties. To continue the original policies is absurd.
Armando Simón is the author of A Cuban from Kansas, Very Peculiar Stories and The U.