That’s a brilliant op-ed a geopolitical savant named Paul Kane has penned in the New York Times today.
He suggests, in an example of true “out of the box” thinking, that President Obama should get our economy going with a little diplomatic legerdemain: “He should enter into closed-door negotiations with Chinese leaders to write off the $1.14 trillion of American debt currently held by China in exchange for a deal to end American military assistance and arms sales to Taiwan and terminate the current United States-Taiwan defense arrangement by 2015.” True, that would consign 23 million people on Taiwan who live in a democracy to suffer under a Communist dictatorship that doesn’t even allow its people to use Google freely and consigns dissidents to hellacious prisons or mental hospitals. But, hey, what’s a little freedom compared to a trillion bucks?
This is such a stroke of genius that I suggest we extend its logic to other American allies. Let’s give Iran the OK to incinerate Israel in return for all the free oil we could use for the next century. Or why not give Russia the go-ahead to re-occupy Eastern Europe in return for all the vodka we can drink? And then let’s give North Korea permission to conquer South Korea in return for all the kimchi we can eat.
Eventually we might find, however, that selling out our allies for a mess of pottage is not such a great bargain. Actually we’ve found that out before: see “Munich, 1938.” The news of that little incident doesn’t seem to have reached the New York Times op-ed page.