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Appeasement is not the Answer

by LA Man Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 5:49 AM

Appeasement is not the answer

Appeasement is not the answer (Op-Ed)

By lightning struck twice

Wed Feb 19th, 2003 at 07:01:13 PM EST

In the soon to be escalated war of words between Iraq and the United States of America, the argument has been presented that appeasement is not the answer.  There are some people who stubbornly resist both common wisdom and common sense and continue to believe that appeasement will work, but what will be the cost of their actions?

"It is us today. It will be you tomorrow" - Halie Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, to the League of Nations after being attacked by Italy in 1936.



Recently an article appeared on this site that presented an interesting viewpoint, arguing that the appeasement by the UK may have worked out rather well for the Allies had they continued to pursue that strategy instead of standing up to the Nazis.  To summarize in brief, the idea presented by novelist Christopher Priest was that Germany would likely have pursued a strategy of attacking Russia instead of Europe and may not have had the same consequences for the Europeans that appeased him.

However that is a moot point when comparing that situation to the current situation in Iraq -- the real point is that unchecked aggression would quite likely lead to more aggression.  A power-crazed leader eager to use his military to attack won't stop once his bloodlust has been triggered.  It is amazing that the world seems to have lost this valuable lesson in less than 60 years.

What can clearly be learned from history is that the United Kingdom is wrong to appease the United States of America in these final days before war.  Today, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is making the same mistake that former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made in 1930's by thinking that the warmongering will end after "just this one more country."

Some might argue that this is not appeasement, because America will stop after conquering Iraq.  However this is unlikely because the nationalistic urges of the blindingly patriotic American people actually causes the popularity of Mr. Bush to go up when his actions threaten world peace and their own sense of security.  Just as in Israel, America will provoke more terrorism against it leading to more "retaliation", and the cycle continues to the benefit of the elected politicians thanks to nationalistic fervor.

If that is not yet enough proof, consider that Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan are already larger potential threats than Iraq.  Imagine what the White House spin machine could generate to convince his supporters when there is actually a slight degree of non-imaginary risk to the country?  Unfortunately, this "War on Terra" is not going to end with Iraq.

It is a near certainty that these countries are on the chopping block in the near future, and where will the US take their war machine after these have been obliterated?  Would they attack countries that oppose them, or perhaps the soft targets that neighbor them as some right-wing pundits and publications have suggested?  History has shown that is a path that aggressors often take; the only question is how long it will be until it happens.

You might laugh this off as improbable, but it was likewise improbable that Hitler would start a two-front war against Europe and Russia.  The lesson is that we learn from this is that the world cannot let a country to start mass invasions without the expectation that they will take it to the next level in the future.  The strategy of appeasement cannot work and should not be pursued in this case.

My suggestion is to follow the very successful strategy employed by General Colin Powell after the defense of Kuwait in 1991.  Saddam Hussein led an aggressive war against Kuwait and the world united to repel him.  By containing this potential threat to his own country and solidly defeating him, the United Nations showed even a lifetime warmonger like Hussein that he could not continue attacking other countries.  Since then he has not pursued war against his neighbors and even made a degree of peace with longtime foe Iran.

Of course, defending Iraq against the United Sates would be far more costly in both lives and dollars than what it would be worth.  Rather, the world should unite and denounce this new militarism, and cast shame upon the major appeasers like the UK, Spain, and Australia.  Lastly, sanctions or boycotts should be considered along similar lines to the pressure placed on South Africa to end the apartheid.  Peace-loving people around the world can only hope that this is enough to stop the United States of America because it is too late.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 9 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
war is not the answer either irpy Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 6:34 AM
lightning didn't say it was careful reader Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 6:41 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 7:02 AM
who's parroting what? careful reader Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 7:18 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 7:24 AM
No dirt; you're forgiven careful reader Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 7:52 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 8:05 AM
Re: Appeasement is not the answer InsanityFactory Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 11:33 AM
Timothy Jones is smarter than you Your conspiracy theory is correct! Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 1:27 PM

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