"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Monday, August 07, 2006

Appeasement Back in Style

David Pryce-Jones asks:

I have often wondered what it would have been like to live through the Thirties. How would I have reacted to the annual Nuremberg Party rallies, the rants against the Jews, and Hitler’s foreign adventures which the democracies did nothing to oppose, the occupation of the Rhineland and Austria, Nazi support for Franco in the Spanish civil war, and the rest of it.
As he points out, appeasement was in vogue then; which is somewhat understandable considering the devastation raught by WWI.

We often hear the refrain about learning the lessons of history; it is often pointed at those in favor of the Iraq portion of the war on terror. However, we rarely hear it attributed toward those in favor of appeasement. What lessons can be learned from Neville Chamberlains leadership in Britain?

Perhaps it shouldn't be under the sole ownership of either side in this debate, although I would say those in support of aggressive actions in this day and age should be accorded a little bit more credit. History is replete with examples for both sides. Recent history lessons, in my view certainly do offer up many fine lessons in the argument against overly aggressive appeasement. Certainly in the run to the Iraq war, if no where else.


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