Sunday, April 09, 2006


Some thoughts on appeasement

I stand accused of appeasement – and I have no clue why. I must have written something that suggests I am for appeasement, but if I did, I do not recall those words, nor can I find them.

Perhaps because I am anti-war, and particularly opposed to the Iraq war and nuking Iran, then I must, by extension, be for appeasement. What is this appeasement thing, anyway? Are there but two alternatives, war or appeasement? Are sanctions, being not-war, appeasement? Is the only way to deal with madmen such as Ahmadinejad to nuke them?

If there are other alternatives to war that are not appeasement, was the Iraq war necessary, or could it be best described as Churchill described WWII, as an unnecessary war? It is true that I think of the Iraq war as an unnecessary war.

Here's a Churchill quote on appeasement: "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last."

It seems to me I can't accurately be described as an appeaser, as the loudest criticism of my position is that, because I believe the Iraq war is a mistake and don’t want to nuke Iran, I don’t care about the safety of the citizens of this country. It is true that I consider some risk of terrorism on American soil as unavoidable. I also think the Iraq war has not reduced that risk one iota.

Perhaps appeasement comes in many guises. Perhaps appeasement is just one of many acts of willful blindness to the actual risks that will result from whatever choices are made. Chamberlain, for example, was willfully blind to the likely outcome of the Munich Agreement.

In the same vein, I think pro-war voices in this country are willfully blind to the likely outcome of their choices - more risk of terrorism here in the US, and everywhere else, not less.

If there is willful blindness in this country, it is in feeding the crocodile of war the children of other nations, hoping against hope that it will not eat ours.

Or at least not more than a few thousand here and there.


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