January 28, 2003
Here the new appeasement takes on its second form. It does not seek, as in the 1930s, to appease dictators. The object now is to appease other objectors to war – half-hearted allies such as Germany, the “Arab street”, liberal opinion at home and, above all, the legalists in the UN and other international organisations.
The new appeasers’ cry today is for a “second” (but implicitly a third and fourth) Security Council resolution authorising military action against Saddam and, without that, no intervention. The appeasers believe that they have found, in the UN Charter, means to prevent the democracies resorting to force in almost all circumstances. . . .
The history of appeasement does not change. Hitler was once a weak little man – and it was the concessions of the appeasers of his day that allowed him to grow strong. Once Saddam has his nuclear weapons, he will beat the drum of war. It will be a war that the new appeasers, like the old appeasers who rallied to Churchill after Hitler’s first blitzkrieg, will bitterly regret that they did not fight when they had the chance to win.
Read the whole thing, as they say.