While I think much of our cold war policy deserved a serious revamping after 1991–including, for example, our generous foreign aid to Israel and the continued stationing of troops in Germany–in general, the remaining Communist regimes should have remained “outlaw nations,” kept in their place by US trade policies. Instead, starting in the early 90s, we have traded with China most of all in the empty hope that this would get China to liberalize; instead, all it has done is impoverish our other, freer trading partners, hurt our domestic manufacturers, and given them the cash to build a first class navy.
20 Dec 2014 by Roman Dmowski
I think America should not trade and should otherwise isolate rogue, illberal nations like China, Cuba, Vietnam, Venezuela etc. I mean our leadership class loses it over the mild kleptocratic and human rights issues in Russia today, even though it’s undeniable Cuba is a prison nation that is many times less free, sponsored terrorism and terrorists and never distanced itself from that, spied on US, has a gross human rights record, sponsors anti-American regimes like Ortega’s Nicaragua and Chavez’s Venezuela, etc. In other words, it is a de facto enemy of the United States and its own people.
We should only trade with such nations when they make specific commitments under penalty of sanctions to improve their behavior internally and externally. Instead, we have arbitrarily traded with some and not others and done so in this case with the most mild forms of concession by the Cuban regime.
I basically think we should isolate and impoverish unfree nations and only trade with them when they make specific commitments under penalty of sanctions to improve their behavior internally and externally. We should be less concerned with democracy than with the rule of law and friendliness to the United States and the international system. Here, instead, we have empowered and increased the prestige of one of the most backwards, leftist, basket case nations in the world. Obama will find some support not only on the left but among the “Chamber of Commerce” wing of the Republican Party. But he will also, as with his equally unforgivable abandonment of Mubarak in Egypt, shown that the United States is an unreliable, diffident partner, as likely to appease its enemies as it is to abandon its friends. And finally, he has shown that America’s realism in his case is only in the service of the most narrowly defined concept of American interests, as if we do not have some interest in isolating regimes that are actively hostile to our entire national worldview.