Posts Tagged 'isolationism'

Napoleonic Appeasement

It is not easy to fathom the mindset that believes Obama has found a path to peace in our times. We call it appeasement because that is what Neville Chamberlain, its best-known advocate, proudly called it.  Appeasers believe that every opponent is a reasonable person suffering only from an inferiority complex, in need of friendly outreach and professional counseling.  It is a twin error with isolationism, which is the belief that we have enemies only because we have friends.

We tend to frame appeasement in 1930’s Hitlerite terms.  Since the reductio ad hitlerum is properly suspect (one only needs to counter that “Iran is not Hitler”), it may be useful to look for other examples.

In the early years of the 19th century, European leaders were perplexed by the problem of an aggressively revolutionary France.  The Chamberlains and Obamas of the day thought that they could cut deals with Napoleon.

Here are some prescient words from a 1954 doctoral thesis on the subject.

The defenders of the status quo therefore tend to begin by treating the revolutionary power as if its protestations were merely tactical; as if it really accepted the existing legitimacy but overstated its case for bargaining purposes; as if it were motivated by specific grievances to be assuaged by limited concessions.  Those who warn against the danger in time are considered alarmists; those who counsel adaptation to circumstance are considered balanced and sane… 

“Appeasement”… is the result of an inability to come to grips with a policy of unlimited objectives. But it is the essence of a revolutionary power that it possesses the courage of its convictions, that it is willing, indeed eager, to push its principles to their ultimate conclusion.

It does not take much vision to see in these words the thinking of the Islamic Republic of Iran:  “a revolutionary power that it possesses the courage of its convictions, that it is willing, indeed eager, to push its principles to their ultimate conclusion.”

Think about today’s leaders in the West (including Mr. Obama), “…treating the revolutionary power as if its protestations were merely tactical...” As if “Death to America!” and “Erase Israel from the Map” were just political sloganeering!

“…as if it really accepted the existing legitimacy but overstated its case for bargaining purposes…”  As if Iran really wanted to live in peace with its neighbors, or anyone else (except other Shiite Muslim theocracies, of which there are thankfully none yet)!

“…as if it were motivated by specific grievances to be assuaged by limited concessions…”  As if the Mullahs really wanted only to build nuclear power plants, so they could end their reliance on foreign oil!  (Has any diplomat ever asked Iran why it wants or needs ANY nuclear capacity?)

“Those who warn against the danger in time are considered alarmists”, as Mister Netanyahu, Joe Lieberman, and other voices in the Wilderness know only too well.  Someday (heaven forfend), their names may be listed on a tragic honor roll along with that of Winston Churchill.

As for the wishful optimists, the “balanced and sane” folks who counsel “adaptation to circumstance”, well, you know who they are.

[If you are interested in the name of the doctoral student who wrote the above analysis, it is Henry Kissinger, in A World Restored; Europe After Napoleon: The Politics of Conservatism in a Revolutionary Age.  It is well worth a read.]
As always, I’d be interested in your reaction.  Just click the “Leave a comment” button up top, and have at it.
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Anti-Israel Lies Effectively Refuted…Again!

The Helena (Montana) Independent Record published a viciously anti-Israel op-ed on Monday, August 19, by a “writer” from San Diego named Steve Kowit.  Entitled “Israel no beacon of democracy diversity,” it retailed the usual lies and libels:  Israel treats the poor harmless Palestinians so cruelly, they are just like the Nazis.  If you need to read more of this stuff, here it is.

Fortunately, our friend David Smith responded immediately, and the IR (that’s the local’s name for the paper) printed it at once, this Wednesday.  His rebuttal, “More lies published about Israel,” can be read here.

I wish every two-bit purveyor of the New Protocols of the Elders of Zion received such quick and forceful refutation.

 

What Can History Teach About War?

An outstanding essay by Victor Davis Hanson is currently up on PJ Media here and here.  It is a two-part (so far) study of the history of wars, and the interplay of Greek tragedy – victory leading to hubris and overreaching and failure.  Part 1 analyzes WWII and Korea, while the second looks at the Peloponnesian War, and draws conclusions to describe our present situation.

It is outstanding, and you ought to read the whole thing.  But here is the conclusion. Continue reading ‘What Can History Teach About War?’

Moderate Terrorists Make Peace!

So, let’s see what else has been happening while US forces finally caught up Osama Bin Laden.  

Well, here on a back page of the newspaper I read that the Palestinians have finally negotiated a peace agreement…with themselves.  The Hamas terrorists in Gaza have formed a “unity” alliance with the Palestinian Authority/Fatah government in the West Bank, so that they can work together for their common aims.  The story did not mention what those aims are.

There are, at least in theory, some big differences between Hamas and the PA/Fatah.  Hamas is an openly terrorist organization, committed to the total destruction of Israel, and deeply hostile to the US.  Fatah? Well, not so much. 

The Fatah-controlled PA is generally regarded as “moderate”, meaning that they changed their constitution in recent years to erase their commitment to Israel’s destruction.  Fatah recently gave up promoting suicide bombings of civilians when Israel built a wall to keep them out.  This is why Fatah/PA is considered “moderate”: so much so that, in the interests of peace, the US now gives $400 million a year to Fatah/PA, and provides it with military training.  

So now moderate Fatah/PA and terrorist Hamas are united.  What does that make them? Moderate terrorists, I guess.  And how different are they?  Take the Bin Laden killing, for instance. Ismail Haniya, the leader of the Hamas government, called it a “continuation of the United States policy of destruction” and “state terrorism that America carries out against Muslims.”  The PA officially applauded the US action, but Fatah’s official military arm, The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade,  echoed Hamas: Continue reading ‘Moderate Terrorists Make Peace!’

A French Lesson

File this under “Never Thought I’d See the Day…”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has publicly rebuked Obama’s airy internationalism in the face of the Iranian threat.  The US media seems to have missed the story.  It happened on September 25, and Breitbart has it.

Sarkozy Mocks Obama At UN Security Council

Sarkozy: “We live in the real world, not the virtual world. And the real world expects us to take decisions.” 

“President Obama dreams of a world without weapons … but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite… Continue reading ‘A French Lesson’

The Next Holocaust

I have just finished reading an interesting and disturbingly timely book. Why We Watched: Europe, America, and the Holocaust, by Theodore S. Hamerow, a history professor at the University of Wisconsin, chronicles and analyzes a story too rarely told:  why the USA and Western European democracies exerted so little effort to prevent Hitler’s genocide of the Jews of Europe.

Hamerow gives full credit to the supreme efforts made by the allies in the war to defeat Hitlerism – once the allies belatedly recognized that their appeasement and isolationism would not avert the danger of further territorial aggression.

But he focuses on the numerous instances when the US and Britain failed to take available steps to assist Hitler’s victims.  The public silence about the death camps.  The repeated failure to offer wholesale welcome to refugees.  And, above all, the refusal to divert even limited military resources to disrupting the railroad networks supplying the death camps.

In the final analysis, there were three reasons why the West only watched the Holocaust.  Continue reading ‘The Next Holocaust’

Obama’s Isolationism Unveiled

OUTREACH TO ENEMIES, PUSHBACK TO ALLIES

Health Care Reform and the recession have kept America’s attention firmly riveted on the new administration’s domestic direction.   But something much bigger is happening in the world, and it is going largely unnoticed.

The sole superpower is withdrawing from world affairs.

It is quickly becoming clear that President Obama’s foreign policy has a simple but astonishing goal: to rid us of both enemies and allies. Continue reading ‘Obama’s Isolationism Unveiled’


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