I hope I'm wrong, I know I'm afraid.
Through trade with evil leaders we have strengthened them and with our immoral occupation of Iraq we justified the same behavior for others.
There is a popular theory that peaceful democratic nations can spread democracy and peace through trade with totalitarian nations and monarchy's. These 'trade optimists' who believe in this idea are comforted by the fact that Russia 'depends' on Western Europe for revenue from selling its natural gas. And too they feel safer because China 'depends' on revenue from the mass quantities of goods they sell the USA and other western nations. Likewise, our ally Israel is supposedly kept safer because democratic nations buy oil from cruel monarchs in the Middle East.
But who is dependent on who here? And once a nation is rich and strong how can the world expect that nation not to treat its neighbors and the global community the same way it treats its own people. Undemocratic pseudo slave states, given the power, will enslave others. As Russia and China have maintained and increased the size of their military's the world has taken false comfort in free trade as a buffer against war. China continues to support North Korea despite their constant pounding of war drums concerning South Korea and we continue to depend on China as our manufacturing base despite their aggressive military maneuvers. And hear how quiet they are about today's news...
The sad results could be the following chain of events...(I pray I'm wrong).
Russia invades Ukraine
North Korea invades South Korea
China takes Hong Kong and declares that Hawaii is theirs.
In the ensuing chaos Israel strikes Iran starting war throughout the Middle East.
Finally, global nuclear war.
I always wondered why Russia and China were so quiet about our invasion of Iraq. Now I know why, they saw it as a permission slip for invasions of their own. The world (through trade) has been feeding some very mean dogs and now they are tired of waiting to be fed.