Betsy gives us another history lesson with the help of scholars Victor Hanson and Clifford May:
First, Victor Davis Hanson looks at the pattern of appeasement today against Islamic terrorists. He compares the mood of denial now to that of the 1930s.
But nevertheless it is still surreal to reread the fantasies of Chamberlain, Daladier, and Pope Pius, or the stump speeches by Charles Lindbergh (“Their [the Jews’] greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government”) or Father Coughlin (“Many people are beginning to wonder whom they should fear most — the Roosevelt-Churchill combination or the Hitler-Mussolini combination.”) — and baffling to consider that such men ever had any influence.
Not any longer.
Our present generation too is on the brink of moral insanity. That has never been more evident than in the last three weeks, as the West has proven utterly unable to distinguish between an attacked democracy that seeks to strike back at terrorist combatants, and terrorist aggressors who seek to kill civilians.
It is now nearly five years since jihadists from the Arab world left a crater in Manhattan and ignited the Pentagon. Apart from the frontline in Iraq, the United States and NATO have troops battling the Islamic fascists in Afghanistan. European police scramble daily to avoid another London or Madrid train bombing. The French, Dutch, and Danish governments are worried that a sizable number of Muslim immigrants inside their countries are not assimilating, and, more worrisome, are starting to demand that their hosts alter their liberal values to accommodate radical Islam. It is apparently not safe for Australians in Bali, and a Jew alone in any Arab nation would have to be discreet — and perhaps now in France or Sweden as well. Canadians’ past opposition to the Iraq war, and their empathy for the Palestinians, earned no reprieve, if we can believe that Islamists were caught plotting to behead their prime minister. Russians have been blown up by Muslim Chechnyans from Moscow to Beslan. India is routinely attacked by Islamic terrorists. An elected Lebanese minister must keep in mind that a Hezbollah or Syrian terrorist — not an Israeli bomb — might kill him if he utters a wrong word. The only mystery here in the United States is which target the jihadists want to destroy first: the Holland Tunnel in New York or the Sears Tower in Chicago.
In nearly all these cases there is a certain sameness: The Koran is quoted as the moral authority of the perpetrators; terrorism is the preferred method of violence; Jews are usually blamed; dozens of rambling complaints are aired, and killers are often considered stateless, at least in the sense that the countries in which they seek shelter or conduct business or find support do not accept culpability for their actions.
Yet the present Western apology to all this is often to deal piecemeal with these perceived Muslim grievances: India, after all, is in Kashmir; Russia is in Chechnya; America is in Iraq, Canada is in Afghanistan; Spain was in Iraq (or rather, still is in Al Andalus); or Israel was in Gaza and Lebanon. Therefore we are to believe that “freedom fighters” commit terror for political purposes of “liberation.” At the most extreme, some think there is absolutely no pattern to global terrorism, and the mere suggestion that there is constitutes “Islamaphobia.”
Give Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran credit for this, too: They understand the equally perverse psychology of Europe, the U.N. and the “international community.” Two years ago, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 demanded that Hezbollah disarm. Hezbollah refused to comply. In response, the international community shrugged its collective shoulders.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah has been taking delivery of increasingly advanced weaponry from Syria and Iran — while U.N “peacekeepers” in southern Lebanon avert their gaze.
These peacekeepers remain silent even as Hezbollah fires those missiles at Haifa, the one city in the Middle East where Jews, Christians, and Muslims most successfully coexist. And when Hezbollah uses the otherwise useless U.N. peacekeepers as human shields and some are killed, the U.N. and Europe are outraged — not at Hezbollah for this blatant violation of international law but, again, at Israel.
Hezbollah’s leaders figured correctly that it would not be long before Europeans would be calling for a cease-fire — one that would reward Hezbollah by allowing it to remain armed, effectively repealing U.N. Resolution 1559, and to acquire new and better weapons for future use.
Many Europeans and some Americans also are calling for Syria and Iran to be offered “incentives” in exchange for helping to end the conflict they started. What if Syria and Iran accept such tributes, promise to rein in Hezbollah and then don’t? That’s the nice thing about appeasement: The appeasers always have something more they are eager to give and the appeased always have something more they are eager to receive.
I heard that Olmert's approval rating is 75% right now. It seems the Israeli people have reached the point of Screw Em. This is the place the terrorists have to be afraid of, whenever their enemy begins to get tired of the game. Think it can not happen? My father was in Nagasaki five days after the bomb fell. Yes it can happen and when it does, when the appeasement ends, it tends to end with a fury.
And Sadr might want to stop and think about what happened to his family and what sent him running to Iran holding up his skirts like a little girl and screaming for help. It can happen again. If we don't get him, some vengeful Sunni might.
Observations on Tonight’s Debate
40 minutes ago