Don’t Blame Trump

President Trump’s grievances about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are not his, not new, and definitely not influenced by the 2016 election or Russia.
President Trump’s grievances about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are not his, not new, and definitely not influenced by the 2016 election or Russia.

In the middle of the Peloponnesian war, Athens faced a simple but existential dilemma. Melos, an island in the middle of the Aegean, was a Spartan ally, and the existence of an independent, unconquered, and even neutral island allied with a rival land power was an unacceptable scenario for a maritime hegemon like Athens.

The Athenians dispatched a group of emissaries to discuss Melian surrender. What took part is perhaps one of the most memorable chapters of an ethical debate still relevant to modern times. The Melians pleaded ideals, and even threatened that the gods would punish Athenian hubris if they took over a noncombatant people.

The Athenians, proponents of realism, reminded the Melians that at the end of the day, Melos is an island, and the Athenians are in control of the sea. Politics, especially great power politics, isn’t about what “ought to be,” but rather what “is.” The simple reality was that Athens was a mighty maritime power, and if the Melians wanted protection, they must have it from Athens, or Athens would take them over.

The rest, as they say, is history. The Melians refused, and the Athenians wiped Melos off the map. The Spartans decided against aiding Melos. As the ancient historian Thucydides wrote of the Athenian stance: “The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.” In a great power world, institutions and values depend on the whims and fancies of great powers.

As President Trump heads to a fractious North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit then a meeting with Russia, it’s important to evaluate two myths that are constantly circulating in media. In the last three weeks, there hasn’t been a single day without an article lamenting that Trump is bringing about the breakup of the “liberal order” simply because he has told European countries that freeriding is over.

[Interesting Read]

See Also:

(1) ‘THIS IS NOT FAIR!’ Donald Trump RAGES at EU leaders ahead of NATO summit in Brussels

(2) House Ways and Means Committee Votes to Refer Lois Lerner For Criminal Charges

(3) Somebody At DOJ Isn’t Telling The Truth About Rosenstein’s Threats

(4) #PermitPatty Showcases the Dangers of Overregulation

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BTDT
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BTDT

It’s time for Judicial Watch to go after Mueller’s emails.

BTDT
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BTDT

Trump and NATO…… Tough Love Another version of “being cruel to be kind”. To show somebody some tough love today will save them heartache in the future but may cause a small amount of upset for the reciever immediately after the “Tough Love” has been dispensed. They would suffer more if you let them get on with their life with no interference from third parties. If you didn’t witness Trump telling NATO leaders what they’ve needed to be told for decades and by successive U.S. Presidents but weren’t, then please make it a point to do so. What a breath… Read more »

FredR
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FredR

Sadly, we must add Canada to list of military freeloaders.