When Negotiation Is Merely Appeasement
We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analysing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will. I cannot believe that such a programme would be rejected by the people of this country, even if it does mean the establishment of personal contact with the dictators. –Neville Chamberlain
I found reading the words of the man who nearly brought destruction to the British Isles and Europe in the years leading up to World War II to be both enlightening and astonishing. Then-Prime Minister Chamberlain sounded not too dissimilar from how the American and European Left sound today. Whether speaking on the need to see things from the other’s point of view–no matter how barbaric–or the infallibility of diplomacy, it was like I was reading the latest missive from DailyKos or the most recent editorial in the New York Times.
Chamberlain was thankfully succeeded by a man of strong will and stronger judgment. One who was neither afraid of being blunt in words nor being decisive in action:
We ask no favours of the enemy. We seek from them no compunction. On the contrary, if tonight our people were asked to cast their vote whether a convention should be entered into to stop the bombing of cities, the overwhelming majority would cry, “No, we will mete out to them the measure, and more than the measure, that they have meted out to us.” The people with one voice would say: “You have committed every crime under the sun. Where you have been the least resisted there you have been the most brutal. It was you who began the indiscriminate bombing. We will have no truce or parley with you, or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst – and we will do our best.” –Winston Churchill
In later years, Churchill criticized Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement, saying that it is nothing more than feeding others to a crocodile, hoping you’ll be the last to be consumed. What makes appeasement so dangerous–particularly from the Chamberlains of the world–is that they themselves may not realize what they are asking for:
This is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. –Neville Chamberlain
Central to their misguided belief is that peace is always possible. How they justify this central premise, I have never heard articulated in a logical manner. Men fight for many reasons. Sometimes they fight over property. Sometime over some slight–real or imagined–made by one against the other. But sometimes they fight because they hate the other with every fiber of their being. As in the case of the proverbial Hatfields and McCoys, it is entirely likely that conflicts of the latter kind are rooted–somewhere in the fog of antiquity–in disputes of a more tangible nature. Whatever their origin, when it comes to pass that one group defines themselves by their very hatred of the other, such matters become irrelevant.
Diplomacy can only provide a solution when the discord is directly tied to a given action or series of actions. When a state fights another, not because of who they are but because of what they did. In such cases, negotiation can provide the means to provide redress for the offending parties. The source of agitation now removed, peace is possible, indeed likely.
When the catalyst for one state’s aggression against the other isn’t what they did but who they are, there can be no peace. There can exist for a time an uneasy ceasefire. A hostile and brooding silence. But the roots of the conflict remain in place. Such an untenable situation is hardly to be desired, yet this is the limit to what negotiation can bring us. For while agreements between ambassadors and heads of state can silence the guns, they cannot change the hearts and minds of people.
What the West, Israel, and the parts of the East not already fallen face with Islamofascism is precisely the latter situation. Only intentional ignorance could lead one to any other conclusion. From the attempt to push Sharia in France and England, to the hostility of several immigrant muslim activism groups in the West, to of course the words of their own leaders, one can be left in little doubt as to the intentions of Islamic leaders. Just as Mohammed himself preached death to non-Muslims, so too do these groups. They hate the way we pray (or don’t pray), they hate the freedom we allow women even more than the freedom we allow men. They hate us for no reason but the fact that we are not them. And though many Muslims may not feel the same way, far too few will stand up against the despotic tyrants who cage their people and seek to murder us in our beds. There is no possibility of peace with men who hate you for who you are. Only an ephemeral and strained armistice.
If this is your goal, then by all means, engage in talks that will usher in your temporary truce. But know what it is you are asking for. Know that as long as you leave the men who hate you in power, they will be plotting your destruction, even as you drop your guard for the ‘peace’ you have bought.
Crossposted from Indian Cowboy