No joke. In a terrific column on the seductive delusions of appeasement, Barry Rubin of Israel’s Gloria Center highlights the headline above, from an article published Dec. 21, 1924, in the New York Times. As Rubin notes, it sounds like satire. In fact, it sounds so much like satire that I double-checked in the Times archives. (Subscription only, but here it is). The Times described the paroled Hitler as “a much sadder and wiser man” expected to “retire to private life and return to Austria, the country of his birth.”
Rubin (author of a new book on “The Truth About Syria“) points out that the many concessions of today’s prevailing Western diplomacy reflect much the same mindset, that “the leaders of Hamas, Hizballah, Syria, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhoods, al-Qaida, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan, etc., will no doubt be tamed, abandon public life, and go back to their homes.”
Nor has the Times changed its tune. Rubin quotes from a June 30th NYT editorial: “Few countries can afford the luxury of limiting their diplomacy to friendly countries and peace-loving parties.” (Note, just in case you missed it, Condi’s many carrots for Kim Jong Il reportedly include $2.5 million for the recent Potemkin show of blowing up the cooling tower at the aging Yongbyon reactor).