Appeasement has many colors and takes many forms.
In the last few days, it has taken the form in Europe of shifting the focus of the push for sanctions from Russia to Syria. Just Syria.
Angela Merkel of Germany floated the idea in the press that she was going to push for further sanctions against Putin and Russia because of the ongoing Russian war crimes in Aleppo. EU foreign policy coordinator Federica Mogherini took sides against her, announcing such sanctions were not under consideraiton. Leaders of the German governing coaliton met, with SPD chief Sigmund Gabriel and SPD Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, joined by Bavarian CSU leader Horst Seehofer, pulling the rug out from under Merkel’s sanctions idea –if it ever existed — and the idea was dropped. She is scheduled to meet with Putin in Berlin on Wednesday, October 19.
The unity of the Atlantic alliance was undermined days earlier. French President François Hollande took the gutsy stand of insisting that if Putin came to Paris for a planned visit on October 19, it would only be to talk about Syria, and would not include the dedication of a Russian Orthodox Cathedral on the Seine River, as originally planned. Putin canceled.
Secretary of State John Kerry promptly undercut any alliance unity on being tough with the Russians over Aleppo by traveling to Lausanne, Switzerland to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and others, on October 15.
Then Merkel, lacking support for further sanctions against Russia within her governing coaltion, within the EU, and apparently from the U.S. as well, caved in to the appeasers who are part of her coalition. She was to meet with Putin on Wednesday in Berlin — for the first time isnce the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.
Meanwhile, the drive to take Mosul back from ISIS has begun, drawing the world’s attention away from the failure of the EU and the U.S. to take action against Russia for its war crimes in Aleppo and Syria.
Go figure. Without U.S. leadership, the world spins increasingly out of control, and away from the influence of democratic societies.
In the meantime, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is visiting China, as part of an apparent effort to realign his country’s foreign policy away from the United States and toward Beijing. If this happens, it will signal the loss of a key ally in a nation that is infinitely more important to the U.S., and to peace and security in Asia, than Vietnam ever was.
With a weak U.S. leader in Obama, the situation in the Philippines has come to this.
Lack of leadership and weakness has spread. Appeasement of Russia, or China, is the new leitmotif for the U.S., Europe, and the other civilized nations which follow their lead.
The Trenchant Observer