Esther Goldberg has written an excellent article titled The Realism of Moral Imbeciles
Hoping our enemies will treat us extra nice.
Goldberg’s point is that by abandoning the moral clarity that used to characterize American foreign policy, the new “realism” is derailing American interests around the world:
“When did America forget that it’s America?” asks Natan Sharansky. He contrasts U.S. negotiations with the Soviets—where every concession was given only upon extraction of a commitment with respect to human rights—to today’s negotiations with Iran, where the U.S. pleads with a tyrannical, repressive regime to accept our largesse without conditions: money, international legitimacy, a nuclear arms deal which practically guarantees protection against an Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities.
In our hemisphere, contrast the U.S. negotiations with the Soviets with the Obama administration’s dealings with Cuba, in what
“was not a negotiation … [i]n was in fact, a unilateral decision. We didn’t want anything in return”
The Cuban Communist regime, which controls everything in the island-prison, especially tourism, received nearly three million tourists last year, and $300million in trade with the U.S. The regime arrested dissidents at a rate of approximately 800 per month in 2014.
Following Pres. Obama’s fateful Dec. 17, 2014 announcement giving the Castros what they wanted, what is the result? As of the end of April, there were 1,618 arrests, but according to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, or CCDHRN,
the lower count was accompanied by a spike in police violence against Cuban dissidents.
Thats the way they keep the number of arrests down.
In 2008, Obama promised
“My policy toward Cuba will be guided by one word: ‘libertad.’ … “The road to freedom for all Cubans must begin with justice for Cuba’s political prisoners, the right of free speech, a free press, freedom of assembly, and it must lead to elections that are free and fair,” … “That is my commitment.”
Six years later, wanting a legacy (i.e., “Obama ended the embargo”) and knowing that the Cuban regime will not cede an inch on repression, “realism” won over moral clarity.
That’s how things get done in the era of moral imbecility.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American news, politics, and culture at Fausta’s blog.