The Appeasers

Winston Churchill:  "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

They like to call themselves "realists," but their proper name is "appeasers."  They follow in the hollow footsteps of Neville Chamberlain, who signed an agreement with Hitler, believing it signalled "peace in our time."  But it only encouraged the Fuhrer to believe that there was no will in the West to resist the onslaught of Nazi terror, and thus hastened the onset of the Second World War.  As Churchill darkly told Chamberlain upon his return to London, "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."

A group of today's appeasers sent a letter to President-elect Obama just before the Inauguration (so that it was apparently drafted during the Gaza fighting), calling on him to negotiate with Hamas.  Others, such as the British Government, are undertaking negotiations with Hezbollah.  Vice President Joe Biden wants talks with the Taliban.  The pro-Israel Washington Institute wants to tone down the language we use, recommending we stop using phrases like "war on terror," "global insurgency," even "the Muslim world." The president himself wants talks with Iran, as do numerous columnists, such as the New York Times's Roger Cohen.  Secretary of State Clinton has dispatched diplomats to Damascus to talk to Bashar Assad.

The rationale for this surge in talks was provided in a recent issue of Newsweek, whose cover was in Islamic green, with a title in both Arabic and English:  “Radical Islam is a Fact.  Get Used to It.”  The lead essay was produced by Fareed Zakaria, and called for a more "sophisticated approach" to the Islamic world.  Zakaria argued that many of the radical Islamist groups are not part of a unified global movement against the West, that they had "local" grievances, and that these grievances could be dealt with one by one, presumably leading the groups to make peace with us.

The top "local grievance" is invariably the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Thus, General Scowcroft, one of the artisans of the failed policies of the George H.W. Bush Administration (the one that confessed failure to grasp "the vision thing"), and one of the signatories of the letter to Obama, blandly remarked "I see no reason not to talk to Hamas."