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Fine theory but these little nasty facts...

Reader comment on item: Appease Iran?

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Sep 25, 2008 at 15:49

If Dr. Pipes defines "appeasement" as "the policy of appeasing dictators", then his quoting Paul M. Kennedy's thesis (and implicit agreement with it) seems to me to be very strange indeed. First, excepting Hitler, what sort of evil dictators were the good British appeasing all those seventy years, if I may ask?

The British stood behind the most tyrannical jihadist regime in Europe - that of the sultan of Turkey and were the reason why the Russians failed on so many occasions to put an end to the Western-backed Turkish jihad in Europe. The British were in continuous and violent quarrels and close to declaring war to "democratic" post-imperial France as was the case during the Fashoda crisis of 1898. What sort of appeasement did they show during the Boer war conducting "the scortched earth policy" with concentration camps ? True, later when their ugly behaviour became known to the world public opinion, this policy changed but at that time Boers' gold and diamonds were firmly in British hands so they could afford some generosity to the beaten foes.

"Moral: After the Evangelical movement swept England in the early nineteenth century, British foreign policy contained a strong urge to settle disputes fairly and non-violently."

When early in 1878 the Russians arrived at the vicinity of Constantinople, the British mobilized their navy and forgetting the Bulgarians horrors that had made them neutral, if not favourable to the Christian Russians at the beginning of the war, these "good evangelical Christians" began a campaign of vilification of Russia and of "moral" and military support for Turkey! The result was the survival of the jihadist Ottoman Empire and Cyprus as a new British colony. Thus "fairly and non-violently" they got what otherwise would have required much British blood and -what was worse- money bringing no such splendid results as teh lesson of the Crimean war showed.

>Economic: As the world's leading trader, the United Kingdom had a vital national interest in avoiding disruptions to commerce, from which it would disproportionately suffer. <

True... until one day a new emerging power started threatening Britain's commercial domination (Germany) and WWI turned out to be a golden opportunity for Britain to ruin Germany's economy and impose a hunger blockade on her. War is not just about lossses. It is also about profits.

>Strategic: Britain's global empire meant it was over-extended (making it, in Joseph Chamberlain's term, a "weary titan"); accordingly, it had to choose its battles sparingly, making compromise an accepted and routine way of dealing with problems.<

Let's name some of Britain's battlefields - Central Asia (to stop Russia's approaching India), the Far East (supporting Japan in 1904 to beat Russia), the Near East (partitioning Turkey's empire to get hold of the routes to India; getting Palestine to favor the Arabs at the expense of the Jews making their coming to the Promised Land next to impossible just soon before and during the holocaust ...

>Domestic: The extension of the franchise made public opinion a growing factor in decisionmaking, and the public did not care for wars, especially expensive ones.<

In 1914 it turned out that the British were quite easily and willingly brain-washed by deceptive and aggressive internal propganda (See Ponsonby's excellent study "Falsehood in wartime"). Until 1916 no conscription in Britain was necessary. There were enough enthusiastic volunteers to go to "war to end war" while those that objected to Britain's involvement in this alien war on the continent were put to jail, as happened to B. Russel.

In short my point is that conflicts and recent history of Europe can't be used as a reliable model to extrapolate or from which to learn about the nature, dynamics and potential of the present and future conflict between Islam (be it Iran's or Saudi Arabia's or any other Moslem despotic regime's version of Islam) and the West. The old Europe that perished in 1945 consisted of nations that basically belonged to the same culture and shared roughly the same or very similar values and traditions. Fascism was a transitory and exceptional phenomenon generated by WWI as was the communism. The one lasted for 12 years, the other 70 while Islam is 1400 years old and as aggressive, blood-thirsty and oppressive and anti-Western, anti-Enlightement, anti-rational as ever.

The enemies of today are different from the era of the British Empire's intrigues and vicissitudes. They come from a totally alien civilization and are driven by values and beliefs that contradict and exclude ours. Appeasing them is equal to suicide. Both Russia and Germany survived their totalitarianisms. But Europe or Israel as we know them will not survive Islamisation and/or Islamic military or demographic victory just as all the pre-Islamic cultures that were conquered by Islam in the Near East perished with Islam's victory. Where are the Jews in Arabia? Where are the Zoroastrians of Iran? How many Christians are left in North Africa?

Submitting....

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