Appeasement

Teela Brown
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Appeasement

Post by Teela Brown »

Morning, folks. Reading the most recent Walter Williams article at the Jewish World Review made me wonder if there are examples of appeasement that _have_ worked. Surely there must be some examples of appeasement working against a significant foe. Does anyone know of any?

Williams writes:
During the late 1930s, France and Britain hoped that allowing Adolf Hitler to annex Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia would satisfy his territorial ambitions. This was after a long string of German violations of the terms of the Versailles Treaty ending World War I. Appeasement didn't work. It was seen as weakness, and it simply emboldened Hitler.

At the Yalta Conference, near the end of World War II, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt thought they could appease Josef Stalin by giving away Eastern Europe and making other concessions that ultimately marked the beginning of the nearly half-century Cold War and Soviet/China expansionism. War-weary Westerners hoped that brutal tyrants would act in good faith. Failing to stand up to Stalin resulted in unspeakable atrocities, enslavement and human suffering.

... According to Professor R.J. Rummel's research in "Death by Government," from 1917 until its collapse, the Soviet Union murdered or caused the death of 61 million people, mostly its own citizens. Since 1949, communist China's Mao Zedong regime was responsible for the death of 35 million of its own citizens.

History never exactly repeats itself, but the vision of earlier appeasers was part of the West's vision of how to deal with Saddam Hussein. After devastating defeat in the first Gulf War, Iraq agreed to coalition peace terms. After documents were signed, every effort was made by the Iraqis to frustrate implementation of the terms, particularly U.N. weapons inspections.

Western appeasers, most notably Europeans, were quite willing to respond to Saddam Hussein's violation of peace terms in a fashion similar to their earlier counterparts' response to Hitler's violation of the peace terms of the Versailles Treaty. Had Britain or France launched a military attack on Germany between 1934 and 1935, when Hitler started his arms buildup in violation of the Versailles Treaty and before he fully developed his military capability, he would have been defeated and at least 50 million lives would have been spared.
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/w ... 082504.asp
----> XØX

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
--Thessalonians
iSeth
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Post by iSeth »

Don't you think the Saddam = Hitler (or Stalin) analogy is a bit tired?
I don't think he had any better intentions that any evil dictator, but he did not have those kind of capabilities. He was contained, the world is better off without him, but it sucks that the US is stuck trying to rebuild a hostile counry.
how was anyone proposing to appease him? All the evidence suggests that he was effectively contained by the imperfect sanctions.

Now, if W had said "We will not allow brutal dictators to run parts of the world we think are important and Saddam is the worst so we'lll go after him first" then we could have had a reasonable debate about whether or not it was worth it (I would have been open to that debate). But starting a war based on obvious lies and calling anyone who disagrees with you an appeaser is just plain wrong.
Teela Brown
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Post by Teela Brown »

I'm sorry, iSeth. Did you answer the question? Do you have any examples of appeasement working in a significant way? You'd probably need to stick with historical examples, since contemporary examples have not yet been proved.

I essentially agree with you about the brutal dictator-exterminator thing.
iSeth
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Post by iSeth »

Maybe I took too much umbrage at your original post, but doesn't calling it "appeasement" basically define it in a Neville Chamberlain sorrt of way as unsuccessful? Appeasement seems to mean unsuccessful negotiating (the other guy got everything). Does it ever get someone out of a sticky situation? of course. Does it ever work in global geopolitics? I don't know of an example.

What about the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt? Sinai was given back to Egypt in exchange for peace (yeah I know it's more complicated, but it always is). They are still relatively peaceful 25 years later (though Egypt could have a civil war any day and the new government might attack Isreal).
Teela Brown
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Post by Teela Brown »

Negotiation after hostilities is predicated on trust*, while appeasement is based on hope**.

If you see appeasement as necessarily negative, then perhaps it is, but if you can provide examples of it working, then perhaps it isn't _always_ negative.

My mind is open.

*Leave me the hell alone because if you don't, I have proved that it will cost you much more than you can expect to gain. Trust me.

**If I ignore this, perhaps it will stay over there where it doesn't bother me too much. I hope! I hope! I hope!
iSeth
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Post by iSeth »

So how do you draw the line between appeasement and containment?
Teela Brown
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Post by Teela Brown »

iSeth wrote:... though Egypt could have a civil war any day and the new government might attack Isreal.
Only if Egypt or Israel perceives significant weakness in the other and has forgotten the lessons from their past. Please see my sig.

What nation returns territory taken in war, without being forced to?
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"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
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WOOF
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Post by WOOF »

Appeasement certainly didn't work for Saddam .
He got rid of his weapons,
allowed inspectors in ,
didn't fly his planes,
ceede the Northern part of his country
to an ethnic minority,
and let the UN take over the sale
of his most important resource.

Now he sits in a cell.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
$tevie

semantics

Post by $tevie »

In my mind, attacking Iraq is a form of appeasement, since their connection to terrorism was hypothetical, as contrasted with the Saudis who have proven connections.

So attacking Iraq was intended to appease US citizens with the "hopeful" idea that it actually had anything to do with our safety from further domestic attacks, and the "hopeful" idea that the Saudis will take steps to clamp down on their terrorists if we don't rock the boat.

I do not believe this "solve a problem that may exist instead of a problem that really does exist" policy could be called very successful, however. I don't see bin Laden in custody, nor Homeland Security laying off staff members, nor do I think the terrorists will now "leave us the hell alone".
Teela Brown
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Post by Teela Brown »

iSeth wrote:So how do you draw the line between appeasement and containment?
Containment depends on compliance and verification, else it is worthless.

Does "house arrest" work if the perp removes his anklet to break in next door, sells drugs from home, or continues to beat his wife?
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J Marston
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Post by J Marston »

Everything is in th evocabulary.

Teela's comment that
Containment depends on compliance and verification, else it is worthless
is pretty close to the truth, especially because it uses the more neutral term "containment." And there are lots of examples of successful containment: the Byzantines and the Ostrogoths, the U.S. and the Soviets, to give just two examples from different ends of the historical scale. Both required some short-term sacrifices (some with terrible consequences), but in the long term the stronger society and bigger economy was able to weather the storm.

Containment does have its downside: both the Peloponnesian War and WW I were caused by "containment" policies that were backed up with hair-trigger recourse to force. Any failure to "contain" was seen as an immediate and undeniable threat, and the result were horrific.

Diplomacy, and war, need to be flexible. Diplomatic pressure can accomplish miracles (Zimbabwe, South Africa), but it can also fail spectatuclarly (Hitler most obviously). War can also accomplish miracles (though the cost is often very high), as demonstrated in the American Revolution or The War of the Spanish Succession.

Justinian once said, "We should spend as much for peace as we do for war," but few governments have ever practiced that. We did that in Egypt in the 1960s and had great success; but the same approach isn't working so well with Kim Jong-il.
SteveAx
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Appeasement

Post by SteveAx »

If you see appeasement as necessarily negative, then perhaps it is

Of course it has negative connotations. The word is inescapably linked to Neville Chamberlain and that's why Williams uses it as a rhetorical device.

The Hitler/Saddam comparison is a joke in this regard. Saddam's rag-tag depleted armed forces dominating the world? Give me a break.

Williams also thinks he can make meaningful comparisons between a powerful nation state that is conquering its neighbors and non-state terrorists. This is silly.

Painting Israel as the undersized wimp in the region that needs protection is a joke too. Name one country in the region that Israel couldn't whip with one nuke tied behind their backs.

Let me flip the question around: Can you bring up an example where in the long term, a nation was successful against a popular insurgency?

Look, this one's simple: The hawks were wrong about nearly everything on this one (can you name a single thing BushCo was correct about when it comes to Iraq?). Painting the other choice as "appeasement" does not change that.
-S

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Post by unwelcome guest »

WOOF wrote:Appeasement certainly didn't work for Saddam .
He got rid of his weapons,
allowed inspectors in ,
didn't fly his planes,
ceede the Northern part of his country
to an ethnic minority,
and let the UN take over the sale
of his most important resource.

Now he sits in a cell.
You are confusing "appeasement" with Hussein's conditions of surrender to the UN.

And besides, when did he get rid of his weapons?

Yes, he catalogued his arsenal according to those aforementioned terms, but never got around to surrendering them to the UN or documenting their destruction.
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Re: Appeasement

Post by Guest-Host relationship »

SteveAx said:
Painting Israel as the undersized wimp in the region that needs protection is a joke too. Name one country in the region that Israel couldn't whip with one nuke tied behind their backs.
Maybe one at a time, but could Israel whip them all? It's not as if the friendly Arab states in the region ever thought about ganging up on Israel (certainly not in 1948, 1967 nor in 1973).

Hamas and Hezbollah are bankrolled by Syria and Iran, while weapons are smuggled from Egypt through Gaza. And that support is not an act of war?
Jeff_A
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Re: Appeasement

Post by Jeff_A »

Teela Brown wrote:Does anyone know of any?
It's easy to define warfare. The trouble I'm having finding examples to your question is seperating appeasement from diplomatic negotiations. For instance, have we been appeasing China with WTO membership and normalized trade relations? Or how about North Korea or Iran, are we appeasing them by not demanding an immediate end to their nuclear arms programs?
tighelander
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Post by tighelander »

Didn't Israel help create Hamas to divide the Palestinians?
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Re: Appeasement

Post by Guest-Host »

Jeff_A wrote:
Teela Brown wrote:Does anyone know of any?
It's easy to define warfare. The trouble I'm having finding examples to your question is seperating appeasement from diplomatic negotiations. For instance, have we been appeasing China with WTO membership and normalized trade relations? Or how about North Korea or Iran, are we appeasing them by not demanding an immediate end to their nuclear arms programs?
Appeasement is an unequal trade of favors for security between a belligerent and a non-belligerent state. In other words, a bribe, ransom, Danegeld.

Giving North Korea fuel oil and a nuclear reactor in return for a promise not to enrich uranium was an act of appeasement; they threatened to develop a nuclear arsenal unless we satisfied their demands, so we opened our wallet and gave them what they wanted, without getting anything in return. North Korea simply took a break from committing aggressive acts; they didn't give the U.S. anything of value in return for our goods.

On the other hand, China is neither threatening us nor making demands. However, they have failed to meet WTO standards for human rights. The US is guilty of looking the other way.

If we threatened North Korea and Iran with war unless they dismantled their nuclear programs, we would not be attempting to extort anything from them except a stance of non-belligerence. That would be surrender on their part. If we asked them to cede territory, or resources, or good favor, we would be asking them to appease us.
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Post by Guest-Host »

tighelander wrote:Didn't Israel help create Hamas to divide the Palestinians?
No.

However, according to Wikipedia, Israel's recognized Hamas as a legitimate political organization before it was hijacked by the late Sheikh Yassin and became a violent, terrorist organization.

Hamas was funded directly and indirectly during the 1970s and 1980s by various states including Saudi Arabia and Syria. The political/charitable arm of Hamas was officially registered and recognised within Israel at this time. Most experts agree that while Israel never supported Hamas directly, it did allow it to exist to oppose the secular Fatah movement of Yasser Arafat. The group abstained from politics throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, concentrating on moral and social issues such as attacks on corruption, administration of awqaf (trusts) and organizing community projects. Towards the mid-1980s, however, the movement underwent a takeover by the militant faction led by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. For a while, he preached immediate violence and was arrested by Israel for that. However he was released when he promised to stop the preaching, and the movement was allowed to continue.
Jeff_A
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Re: Appeasement

Post by Jeff_A »

Guest-Host wrote: Appeasement is an unequal trade of favors for security between a belligerent and a non-belligerent state. In other words, a bribe, ransom, Danegeld.
I think I follow your reasoning and examples. I also think it reinforces my opinion that finding specific examples of warfare is easy, finding specific examples successful appeasement is not easy and is somewhat debatable. North Korea hasn't launched a nuclear attach, so has that appeasement worked or just delayed what some would say is inevitable? Time will tell, I guess.
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WOOF
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Post by WOOF »

"And besides, when did he get rid of his weapons? "

We looked in his mouth.

They must be in his pants.

Have we looked in his pants?

Check his pockets.

Where are those fearful weapons

primed to destroy us in 45 minutes ?
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
Teela Brown
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Re: Appeasement

Post by Teela Brown »

Jeff_A wrote:North Korea hasn't launched a nuclear attach, so has that appeasement worked or just delayed what some would say is inevitable? Time will tell, I guess.
It is too soon to tell about Korea, which is why I suggested historical examples.
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Re: Appeasement

Post by Guest »

North Korea hasn't launched a nuclear attach, so has that appeasement worked or just delayed what some would say is inevitable? Time will tell, I guess.
When Clinton and Carter negotiated the so-called "Agreed Framework," North Korea did not have a weapon to threaten us with.

Not only did the DPRK receive oil and a reactor, but also the time in which to build a nuclear weapons program. The CIA now assumes that NoKo is in possession of nuclear arms.

This parallels the mistake made by France and Britain at Munich in 1938; at the time, Germany was not ready to stand up to either nation. But within a year, they were strong enough to make their move.
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