posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 03:47 PM
I want to say some things about the word "appeasement," which has been tossed around on this thread, usually followed by "doesn't work," or the
mere unstated implication that appeasement is a bad thing.
The negative connotations this word has gained since 1939 are yet another of the nasty little gifts bequeathed to us by Adolf Hitler, along with
nuclear weapons, the Cold War, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, none of which would have existed without the Nazi regime, or at least not in the
form we have them today.
Appeasing Hitler was, as it turns out, a bad idea. But in general, there is nothing wrong with appeasement. Appeasement is the cornerstone of
diplomacy. One partner to the negotiations has demands; the other partner meets those demands as far as practicable -- i.e., appeases the negotiating
partner -- in exchange for concessions in return. Without appeasement, there is no recourse except for war. And only when one is dealing with a
Hitler is war inevitable.
When dealing with the anger of the world Muslim community, including but FAR from limited to its terrorist expression at the extremes, there are some
ways we can and should appease that anger, and other ways we should not. The Muslim community has legitimate grievances and demands, and also ones
that, in my judgment, are not legitimate. It is legitimate to demand that the West stop supporting tyrants in Muslim countries, stop exploiting these
countries' cheap labor and ripping off their natural resources, stop encouraging genocidal acts either between Muslims or towards Muslims by
non-Muslims. And it is completely legitimate to demand the evacuation of Western occupation forces from Muslim countries.
It is not, in my belief, legitimate to demand that Western newspapers and other media censor themselves of all ciriticism of Islam, the Prophet, or
God. But it is also my belief, very sincerely held, that if we were to meet the legitimate demands of Muslims, the illegitimate demands would cease
to matter. Media criticism or ridicule of Islam strikes nerves because it seems to express the contempt for Muslims that our actions in the Middle
East demonstrate. Without those actions, it would be shrugged off.
Appeasing Hitler by giving him the Rheinland (which was part of Germany after all), and approving the Anschluss with Austria (which was accomplished
bloodlessly and with approval of most Austrians), was only wrong because he was a nutcase bent on launching a horrible war, and the added territory
and population only made him stronger. They were perfectly legitimate demands in and of themselves, and we know it was a mistake only in hindsight.
Islam in general is not like Hitler; although a few Muslims may be like him, they lack Hitler's dictatorial power and so we may safely appease the
legitimate demands of Muslims, thus lowering the appeal of the extremists. And that is what we should do.
Deporting all Muslims who simply exercise their rights of free speech and petition of the government for redress of grievances will only enflame the
situation. Foreigners, regardless of religion, who commit crimes, yes, those should be deported (if not imprisoned). But not people who merely
engage in a peaceful protest. That is not only wrong and against who we are as a culture, it is also ultimately self-defeating.
[edit on 20-3-2006 by Two Steps Forward]