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If It Were Only Iran That Needed to be Appeased

Reader comment on item: Appease Iran?

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Sep 25, 2008 at 16:02

Understanding appeasement in the modern context is actually not a hard thing to do, especially when understands that it is, as mentioned in the post, ‘a particularly British thing to do.' After all, it is the British that brokered the ‘peace' that never was for a very practical reason; they did not want a repeat of the Great World War. Memories were still tender and touchy over that and no one in recent modern times ever faced someone like Adolf Hitler. Diplomacy for other nations, on the other hand, was more traditional, one hand on the table, the other under the table with a sword. What Chamberlain did not see was Hitler's other hand.

In the Twenty-first century version of diplomacy, appeasement is easily seen for what it was, a delaying tactic (the Middle East has a term for it-hudna). For if one lesson was learned about Chamberlain's experience, it only works when both sides have equal interests in seeking peace, something missing in Hitler's intentions. How does that compare to Iran's intentions? There is no question, if one listens to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Farsi, as he speaks of his vision of a greater Islamic world.

In the simplest terms, he has been presented to the religious elite of the Islamic Revolution as the one who will regain global presence for Iran, maybe not to the extent of Darius-Cyrus or the Khosroes of the Persian past, but to the extent that dominant control of the oil resources (read control of the oil cash flow through the straits of Hormuz) in the region, and one can get a pretty good idea how much world influence that bears.

But it now goes further than the Middle East, for if Iran presents the south Asian enigma to be reckoned with, then what of Russia exerting a renewed ambition for global dominance, or that of post-Olympic China enjoying a belated emergence into the world trade market while seriously trying to catch up to 21st century standards for public health and other issues. Taiwan still represents a thorn in their side that will likely be resolved by the sword hand after the failure of appeasement to let Taiwan continue independently. The Russians no longer recognize d├ętente, and the Chinese remain inscrutable about the true intentions they have.

So appeasement, all the academicians' rhetoric notwithstanding, is still not a popular tact in the approach to solving the world's problem, for one truly basic reason, that no one trusts the other.

The Russian's have demonstrated their failing to embrace a world they distrust, and have distrusted since the break-up of the former Soviet Empire. They do still employ one means of impressing their intentions globally, which is to make alliances with enemies of their enemies, such as Syria, Venezuela and others like Iran (and eventually Iraq) who have serious international issues with the United States. That list of nations hosts legions of such hostiles to the United States, too many to keep track of in this simple observation.

So while Iran may have an immediate moment to spotlight their thinly veiled hostilities towards the United States, and do not forget Israel as a closely allied object of their mutual contempt, the place we really need to be watching is the Syrian border, where there has been no viable attempt to mollify their intentions, that a greater Syrian national presence has been fluctuating and seething to expand its influences, starting with the Golan. With Russian and Iranian assistance, no amount of appeasement is going to help there.

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