Why you can’t trust communist regimes

Published 7:04 pm Sunday, May 20, 2018

Two years ago, in Atlanta, Georgia, I went to go see Donald Trump speak during the presidential campaign. He openly talked about dealing with North Korea, noting the possibility of peace negotiations. What was there to lose? As we’ve learned from this week’s diplomatic spat with Kim Jong-un, totalitarian leaders cannot be trusted to commit to any agreement. At this point, it might be smarter to walk away rather than pursue that Nobel Prize for a peace accord that won’t be honored by the North Korean regime anyway.

The peace summit proposed for Helsinki later this month is in jeopardy, and all talks between both Korean governments are off. The reason any peace agreement is in jeopardy is National Security Adviser John Bolton. He announced that the agreement sought with North Korea would resemble that of Libya, who willingly gave up its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un remembers better than Bolton what happened to Moammar Gadhafi, the Libyan leader who signed the deal. After slaughtering protesters during the Arab Spring, he was ousted by NATO forces and executed by rebels. It was not the smartest analogy to make, though Gadhafi did earn his fate, being responsible for hundreds of Americans and other Westerners who died at the hands of terrorism by his security forces and terror groups who trained in Libya, both being responsible for attacks on commercial airplanes, airports, and other targets. Having seen what happened to Saddam Hussein (who didn’t have nukes), or Gadhafi, who gave up his nuclear ambitions, what do you think Kim Jong-un would do?

But Bolton’s blunder may have inadvertently saved the Trump Administration from making a “bad deal.” Whatever flattery the two could heap upon each other would be a pair of empty gestures. Actions speak louder than words. And Communist governments have a poor track record of sticking to deals. During the Cold War, we learned the hard lessons of accepting a 38th Parallel border before North Korea’s invasion of South Korea, the Geneva Accords over South Vietnam that were never honored by the Northern government, the SALT II Treaty signed by Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev just before the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, and these are just a few cases. That’s why President Ronald Reagan was smart to walk away from talks with Yuri Andropov in Geneva. Even Reagan’s deal with Mikhail Gorbachev (the INF Treaty) denuclearizing Europe, is under siege by Vladimir Putin.

Speaking of Putin, the ex-KGB officer now in charge of Russia is another leader cut from the same cloth as his former masters, who should not be trusted. He is still the same man who threatened to kill pro-democracy demonstrators moving against the old spy agency as the USSR crumbled, even as he claims today to be an ardent Christian and friend of the USA, with no territorial ambitions whatsoever in East Europe, the Middle East or Central Asia.

Trump should also stop trying to help Chinese Communist President Xi Jinping and his ZTE technology company, long identified by the U.S. government as playing a role in espionage and was recently sanctioned by the Commerce Department on charges of stealing American intellectual property.

Warming up to Russia’s Putin, helping China’s ZTE company get jobs at the expense of its American company rival Apple, crafting a deal with North Korea that might involve “denuclearization” at the expense of the withdrawal of the U.S. Eighth Army from South Korea and making our ally less secure are all examples of our government’s newfound confidence in Communist regimes, or those led by ex-Communists. But such faith is unwarranted, lest we make the same mistakes from the past in trusting the Soviet Union, Mao Tse-Tung, North Vietnam or North Korea at unfortunate junctures during the Cold War.