style="margin-top:40px; BROADSIDES

June 07, 2006

"The March of Folly"
Yesterday marked the 62nd anniversary of the beginning of the end for Adolf Hitler. On the shores of France, thousands of American and British troops were cut to pieces as the D-Day invasion commenced; but even more made it through. It would be nearly another year and thousands of more lives before the Allies crushed the Third Reich.

The consequences of the rise of Nazi Germany and the war to destroy it are staggering. The death toll estimates are nearly incomprehensible -- 21,000,000 civilians and 20,000,000 military personnel. The political aftermath was just as devastating. Eastern European nations were liberated of their Nazi overlords only to be enslaved again as Soviet puppets. The world was, in effect, divided in two; the Cold War was on and would rage for nearly 50 years.

And it was all the result of a single act of appeasement in 1938.

In that year, Hitler annexed Austria to Germany and made it known that his next target was the Sudetenland portion of Czechoslovakia. In an effort to stem Germany's aggression, English Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, hat in hand, met with the Fuhrer in Munich in September. That meeting produced a "non-aggression" pact in which Hitler was given control of the Sudetenland in exchange for assurances that he wouldn't invade any other countries. Upon returning to England, Chamberlain declared that the Munich Non-Aggression Pact represented "peace in our time."

Six months later, Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia. Six months after that, he invaded Poland, prompting England to declare war on Germany. And by the time Hitler ventilated himself six years later, over 40,000,000 people had been killed.

Historians still debate whether the agreement to sacrifice the people of the Sudetenland to appease Hitler was demonstrative of Chamberlain's naivete or his cruelty.

But what's not debatable is that appeasement of tyrants is a hopeless and dangerous policy, and usually exacerbates the very behavior the appeaser is seeking to quell.

This is something President Bush has maintained throughout the War on Terror. He and other administration leaders have repeatedly said that negotiating or appeasing terrorists and their patrons is bad policy and that doing so merely encourages more attacks.

So it was something of shock to see this AP report yesterday:

A package of incentives presented Tuesday to Iran includes a provision for the United States to supply Tehran with some nuclear technology if it stops enriching uranium _ a major concession by Washington, diplomats said.

The offer was part of a series of rewards offered to Tehran by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, according to the diplomats, who were familiar with the proposals and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were disclosing confidential details of the offer.

This report, assuming it's true, is so stunning on so many levels that it's hard to decide where to begin to address it.

First, it's obviously a policy of appeasement and, just like Chamberlain's "pact" with Hitler, doomed to fail. Second, the Iranian theocracy has a long history of accepting diplomatic overtures from the United States only to sucker-punch us during the handshake. And third, this very policy was applied by the Clinton Administration to North Korea's pursuit of nukes; I griped about the results of that agreement in 2002:

And Clinton left little doubt which end of the political spectrum he prefers when, in what ranks as one of the strangest moments in presidential history, he publicly offered condolences for the 1994 death of North Korea's monstrously brutal Stalinist dictator, Kim Il-Sung. Clinton punctuated his condolences in a dangerous fashion: he moved to implement a mindnumbingly bad agreement negotiated in 1994 by That Simpleton Jimmy Carter several weeks before Kim arrived at the gates of Hell. As this New York Post editorial explains, the agreement provided that the U.S., South Korea and Japan "would build North Korea two modern 'light water' nuclear reactors" in exchange for Pyongyang halting its nuclear weapons program -- the idea being that a light water reactor would not yield weapons-grade plutonium.

Of course, North Korea agreed to the deal. And, of course, North Korea didn't abide by the deal. "It was a bad deal then and it's a worse deal now," the Post writes. "North Korea has not frozen its weapons programs. And it turns out that the modern reactors -- whose construction is due to start this week -- will produce weapons-grade plutonium anyway."

And here's the kicker: the United States continues to honor its side of the Carter-Kim agreement and is assisting North Korea, a charter member of the Axis of Evil, with the reactor construction! As the New York Post insists, President Bush should cancel this remnant of Bill Clinton's fetish for communists, and move to replace North Korea's deadly regime.

If it's true that the United States is going to give Iran, the world's top patron of terrorism, nuclear technology in exchange for a promise to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, it's a sure bet that Iran will 1) promptly break the agreement and 2) acquire nuclear weapons more quickly than they otherwise would have.

Appeasement didn't work with Hitler. It didn't work with North Korea. And it won't work with Iran's mad mullahs. In fact, a policy of appeasement always achieves the opposite of the appeaser's goals.

In her book The March of Folly, historian Barbara Tuchman examines instances of governments throughout history pursuing "policy contrary to self-interest" -- what she terms "folly."

Let's hope this AP report isn't accurate. But if it is, then President Bush has fallen in step with the long march of folly.

  • B. Sides @ 9:35 AM
  • Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11


    SFC Paul R. Smith MoH Tribute
    CPL Jason L. Dunham MoH Tribute
    LT Michael P. Murphy MoH Tribute
    MA2 Michael Monsoor MoH Tribute
    MSG Woodrow W. Keeble MoH Tribute
    PFC Ross McGinnis MoH Tribute
    Coalition to Salute America's Heroes
    Statues of Servicemen Fund
    VFW Military Assistance Program
    Fisher House
    Wounded Warrior Project
    Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund
    Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
    Adopt A Platoon
    Marines-Law Enforcement Foundation
    Special Ops Warrior Foundation
    America's Heroes of Freedom
    Adopt A Sniper
    Operation USO Care Package
    Operation Military Pride
    Books For Soldiers
    Freedom's Angels
    Vets For Freedom
    Gathering of Eagles
    Faces of the Fallen

    James Lileks
    Leaning Towards The Dark Side
    Michael Yon
    Taco's SandGram
    Ranger Up
    One Marine's View
    Michelle Malkin
    Bob Parks
    Jackie Mason
    Ron Silver
    Sgt. Stryker
    Tim Blair
    Jeff Jarvis
    Internet Haganah
    Little Green Footballs
    Rightwing Sparkle
    Power Line
    Virginia Postrel
    Kyle Smith

    Tech Central Station
    Drudge Report
    World Tribune
    Free Republic
    Global Security
    Society for Internet Research
    Terrorism Knowledge Base

    G. Gordon Liddy
    Bill Cunningham
    Quinn & Rose
    Laura Ingraham
    Mark Levin
    Rush Limbaugh
    Dennis Miller

    New York Post
    Washington Times
    Opinion Journal
    Washington Post
    The American Spectator
    London Telegraph
    Financial Times
    Times of London
    Jane's Defense

    Milton Friedman
    Thomas Sowell
    Claudia Rosett
    Victor Davis Hanson
    Mark Levin
    Larry Elder
    Mark Steyn
    Pete du Pont
    Charles Krauthammer
    Walter Williams
    David Horowitz
    Ann Coulter
    R. Emmett Tyrrell
    Michael Ledeen
    Larry Kudlow

    Reagan Presidential Library
    Landmark Legal Foundation
    Hoover Institution
    Protest Warrior
    Cato Institute
    National Center for Policy Analysis
    National Taxpayers Union
    American Enterprise Institute
    Americans Against Hate
    National Rifle Association
    National Right to Work Committee
    Reason Foundation

    Declaration of Independence
    The Constitution
    The President
    U.S. Judiciary
    Department of Defense
    U.S. Central Command
    National Archives
    Library of Congress
    CIA World Factbook

    Institute of Official Cheer
    The Simpsons
    Callahan Online
    Tucker Max
    The Onion
    Day by Day
    The New York Times

    June 2002
    July 2002
    August 2002
    September 2002
    October 2002
    November 2002
    December 2002
    January 2003
    February 2003
    March 2003
    April 2003
    May 2003
    June 2003
    July 2003
    August 2003
    September 2003
    October 2003
    November 2003
    December 2003
    January 2004
    February 2004
    March 2004
    April 2004
    May 2004
    June 2004
    July 2004
    August 2004
    September 2004
    October 2004
    November 2004
    December 2004
    January 2005
    February 2005
    March 2005
    April 2005
    May 2005
    June 2005
    July 2005
    August 2005
    September 2005
    October 2005
    November 2005
    December 2005
    January 2006
    February 2006
    March 2006
    May 2006
    June 2006
    July 2006
    September 2006
    October 2006
    November 2006
    December 2006
    January 2007
    February 2007
    March 2007
    April 2007
    May 2007
    June 2007
    July 2007
    September 2007
    October 2007
    November 2007
    December 2007
    January 2008
    February 2008
    May 2008
    June 2008
    July 2008
    September 2008
    November 2008
    December 2008

    design by maystar
    template via blogskins
    powered by blogger

    Powered by Blogger