The New Face of Appeasement

Political cartoon: "Good boy! ...See, I give nice doggie a bone and he goes away! ... OK?!" by Brookins

 

2015/03/10 • Analysis & Opinion, Featured

It is time to give Neville Chamberlain a rest as the sole poster child for appeasement. Yes, he appeased Hitler in a hopeless quest to avoid war. He even was honest enough to say that was what he was doing. But when Hitler violated Munich and seized all of Czechoslovakia, he offered security guarantees to other countries who felt threatened.

Then, when the Nazi leader invaded Poland, Chamberlain listened to those in his own party who demanded he stand up to Hitler, brought Winston Churchill into his government, and declared war. And in the months that followed, months that some called “the phony war” because Hitler paused before moving West, the British prime minister promoted rearmament.

Hitler walking over the spineless leaders of democracy by British cartoonist David Low

Hitler walking over the spineless leaders of democracy by British cartoonist David Low

As wrong as Chamberlain was to think that he could win by appeasing a dictator like Hitler, he actually looks remarkably statesmanlike in comparison with some contemporary heads of state. When Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and seized Crimea, they refused to take action or even use those terms, even though he now takes very public credit for what he did.

When they rushed to Minsk to reach an agreement that Putin then ignored, they decided that the best course was to go back to Minsk and sign another agreement, even though the Kremlin leader was violating it before the ink was dry, allowing Putin’s forces to continue their expansion into Ukraine.

And when Ukraine asked for weapons to defend itself against Russian aggression, they worried more about not offending Putin than about protecting a democratic country from an invader and if yesterday’s reports are to be believed finally decided not to provide such arms to allow Ukraine to defend not only itself but the principles on which the West says it operates.

At every step of the way, these Western leaders have argued that the situation now is different because “Putin isn’t Hitler” as if that were the relevant standard and because Russia’s possession of nuclear weapons means that they can’t stand up to him, thus sending a dangerous message to Iran and others that if you have such weapons, you can do what you like.

Moreover, they have assumed that economic sanctions are an indication that they are in fact “standing up to Putin,” even though it has long been established that the Kremlin leader doesn’t care what happens to his own people and will only use their suffering to build up his power by blaming everything on the West.

And Western leaders have comforted themselves with the notion that the increasingly short attention spans of their electorates will mean that no one will talk about Ukraine as soon as it disappears from the news. At least, in the 1930s, what Chamberlain was doing is because neither he nor anyone else could forget what had happened in the trenches of World War I.

At the beginning of September 1939, when Chamberlain still was trying to find a way out short of war, Churchill famously complained that the Poles had been suffering and dying as a result of Hitler’s aggression for three days. One should ask oneself: how many months will the Ukrainians suffer until the West acts as well as Chamberlain finally did on September 3rd?

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

 

Edited by: A. N.

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  • puttypants

    Bravo Churchill. History continues to repeat itself. Now that most europeans have figured out neither the USA nor Germany, France or Italy are going to help Ukraine. Where are the rest of you. It shows those countries don’t have democratic values all they believe in ins money. Also you must know by now NATO is worthless. Everyone get together and protect each other. Forget the USA they are left with no friends anywhere. Obama has drastically hurt Ukraine as well as the USA. He said he would be a president for all the people but he is just a president for Black Americans. He is ruining America’s power in the world.

    • Michel Cloarec

      You have 170 comments, I have 10 times more in the last 10 months.(only in Euromaidan) Because believe me on other medias there is plenty BS from supported left and right wings and there I am present also. Nobody has come with a solution. Neither do I ! And so it is for you ! What to do ?
      What is the meaning of this possibility to write comments on Euromaidan ?
      Is it to critic systematically US and EU ?
      I know that the Minsk 1 was a big failure. I know that Minsk 2 doesn´t look very hopefull. But what do we have ? just sit there , cross our arms, critic our different gvnt and wait untill putin crushes Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Finlande to satisfy his russkymir and his dreams of EuroRussia.
      Boris Nemtsov died for his beliefs . Ukraine and those supporting Ukraine in its sovereign rights must understand that there are people thinking that democracy is the only solution. Minsk 2 is the only chance. I know that since 15/2 , 64 soldiers have died . But I am convinced that Petro Poroshenko untill now has managed , and that it is not directly more weapons he needs.
      Russia, Kremlin and the POK (prisoner of Kremlin ) has invested in a huge propaganda machine, and invested in fundings L and R wings all over Europe . So we must also use this propaganda technic to make sure that the agressors understand that it is not a free way to destruction which is waiting for them. I would call that resistance ! And resistance could be as harmfull than different battles.
      One positive thing is that lately there have been more new posts and you belong to them, thanks ! 10 months ago we were not that many and I remember what a job it was to meet the agressions of the trolls . So in some ways we managed to attract more people to this fight against terror.
      P.A:Goble has down a great job and been a stimulance at high degree.

      • puttypants

        Michel Cloarec….I’m asking myself where are all the other Ukrainians who should be out on the internet responding to Putler’s trolls. I see a few of the same people over and over again. Why. I try to get on as often as possible and try to comment on US sites…however, I’m overwhelmed for example on the NYT website…HuffPost…full of Putler trolls…that shouldnt be if there were more of us we could be kicking their asses…so Where are all those patriotic Ukrainians? Why so little interest? I’m starting to wonder if there is something about this war that I absolutely don’t know???

        • Michel Cloarec

          On EuroMaidan press there are mostly foreigners, even some living in Ukraine.
          I think that it is the meaning !
          On Kiewpost, which is the worst place for trolls there are mostly Ukrainians, unfortunatly some of them are Kremlin trolls.
          On UA Today it is about the same situation.
          That´s where the Ukrainians patriots are.
          On Novorossia today the trolls are mostly from Spain (mercenaries fighters alongside terrorists.)
          Moscow time had to close the comments.
          So does Reuters.
          So there are activities !
          So it is only to continue, get more people to comment. I think it is about 50-50 .
          And it is true that there is something about this war we do not understand !
          But keep on the good work !

  • John H Newcomb

    Transcript of PM Chamberlain’s declaration of war: http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/ww2outbreak/7957.shtml?page=txt

  • Dirk Smith

    YEP. Sums it all up. Ukraine is the frontline of defending Europe and civilization.

  • Rods

    Well said.

    IMO one of the most shameful things that our current crop of spineless amoral Western politicians have done (with a few exceptions) is to use Putin’s ‘plausible deniability’ as a dark satanic cloak for appeasement and inaction. They are always making speeches and legislating on every sort of equality, human and minority rights and are positively vocal, expending enormous political capital on any perceived or actual injustice to their target audiences. But the reality is they don’t care about these rights, this is shown by ignoring the people’s violated rights in another democratic country, Ukraine, where they have shown by their actions, that their only interest in anybody’s rights is based on how many extra votes are in it for them!

    As Merkel and the clown Hollande are busy selling out Ukraine by the sqkm, and by proxy Obama and Cameron, they say there is no military solutions as Russia is stronger, but so was Russia stronger than the forces in Afghanistan but with the US supplied weapons the costs got so high, in an unwinnable war, and in the end Russia was forced to withdraw. There are many wars throughout history where the weaker side has won including Vietnam.

    I would say the reverse where the appeasers say there is no military solution, where we have seen with Minsk I and II, that in reality, there is no meaningful political solution, while the costs of aggression are so low for Putin and it is only when these human as well as economic costs get high enough that he will have to come to the negotiating table, so there is a meaningful settlement.

    What these weak Western politicians seem to have forgotten is that it is only Ukraine at the moment paying a heavy human price for Putin’s aggression. As Putin gets more and more confident and as a result tests the West’s resolve in other European countries. How are Obama, Cameron, Merkel and Hollande going to explain their weakness and failures to the bereaved of their countries as it becomes a NATO war in the Balkans, Baltics or Poland?

    History, quite rightly, has treated Chamberlain with contempt and derision and I hope this is the fate for our current crop of politicians, yes politicians, not leaders as that requires vision, a moral compass and taking the lead for the common good of humanity, when fighting on behalf of other people for justice.

    Ukraine and the Ukrainian people deserve better than this current crop of politicians, so I hope by their united efforts, steadfastness, and sacrifice that they prevail over this blatant Russian aggression and invasion. Glory to Ukraine.

    • Randall Cook

      I disagree with your claim that ”ruSSland is militarily stronger”–it has more fanatical POLITICAL drive, but the ruski military, sucks–in morale, quality of military training, and especially in the armaments and equipment fields.

      • Czech Friend

        hear hear, yes! Stop making Putin’s run down military as a serious threat. They are only in numbers as a cannonfodder.

    • chios

      “so was Russia stronger than the forces in Afghanistan but with the US
      supplied weapons the costs got so high, in an unwinnable war, and in the
      end Russia was forced to withdraw.”

      Nice to compare Ukraine with Afghanistan….
      Is that your “role model”?
      They are now fighting to get the US out of their country, without much chance of success, and still fighting for their independance, they know the game, and like a good fight more than anything else.

      But Ukraine? You are like Afghanistan?
      Just wondering…

      .

  • Brent

    I’ve come to the belief that it is an insult to Chamberlain, one of history’s most infamous “appeasers” to refer to the likes of Merkl, Hollande and Obama as his contemporary equivalents.
    >Chamberlain and England never armed Germany, but Merkl and Hollande’s countries have helped arm Russia
    >Chamberlain and England never refused to arm any country with defensive weapons, yet Merkl and Hollande and Obama have all refused to give Ukraine any weapons even to help them defend themselves.

    My apologies Neville, you had a much bigger spine and more brains and at least were able to admit you failed. My apologies for mentioning you in the same breath as our current Three Stooges of Appeasement.

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      At this point the farce has developed to typical repetitive macchiavellian historical proportions.

      It is a BLACK AND WHITE story of EVIL AGAINST GOOD. It is a story of Abominable cowardice, abominable betrayal, abominable appeasement on the part of the West.

      A neo fascist, illegitimate, unelected (“elected” by massive electoral fraud) dictator and his neo fascist regime
      (78% of the Russian Duma are neo nazi, neo fascist and /or extreme right nationalist)
      invades a neighboring sovereign nation.

      He invades to punish it, to reconquer it for the crime of rising up en masse in a people’s revolution, overthrowing a murderous russian puppet who embezzled over 100 billion dollars of state funds.

      In response, the West –all its politicians and all its media- rushes, scurries to kneel behind the mass muderer Putin and get a long brown tongue.

      Ukraine does not need to ASK NATO for help because great Britain and the USA together with France and China are LEGALLY BOUND by the Budapest Memorandum to do WITHOUT ANY ASKING all that is necessary to drive russian invaders and their murderous terrorist proxies out of Ukraine, which includes Crimea, and to secure Ukraine’s borders.

      This implies not just the LEGALLY BINDING RESPONSIBILITY to supply Ukraine with overwhelming modern weaponry but also to provide ALL the “boots” on the ground as well as air and naval power needed to quickly accomplish this.

      So any talk of perhaps, maybe one day considering to eventually propose to possibly discuss the idea of deciding to supply arms to Ukraine” is simply ILLEGAL AND CRIMINAL-
      a negation of international law and Legally binding obligations.

      As putin, the illegitimate neo fascist dictator pursues his goal of creating another NORTH KOREA ON A MASSIVE SCALE, the entire post-decadent and now degenerate West, scurries to appease the criminal russian dictator, but offers NO HELP WHATSOEVER to Ukraine.

      The left and the neo nazis of Europe have revealed their true fundamentally identical twin nature. They have revealed their pervert love affair, publicly sodomising each other and entering into a three-way love affair with putin.

    • Jens A

      Chamberlain and the British (together with may other countries in the League of Nations) did actually deny arms to Abyssinia and Spain. Merkel do support Ukraine, but you must understand that she is a pacifist, daughter of a priest and German with all what that implies of anti militarism today.

      Hollande on the other hand, do support … France. Orban loves Putler. Tsiritsa in Greece even received money from Putler. So did Le Pen. UKIP supports Putler.

      Poland, UK, Lithuania (she is brilliant!) and I think Denmark, do support supply of arms to Ukraine and I think the UK, Poland and Lithuania has. Denmark only gave money so you could make arms on your own factories. But we did give you some of the money for just that.

      So, it is not right to say that we all are appeacers. Some are and some are disgusting Putler supporters. But Ukraine do have friends and I dream of the day when the little dwarf stands trail in the Haag! When he is in jail, I wish him a VERY long life. If not, then let it be short.

      • Milton Devonair

        Allies?

        “Did Israel Help Spark the Russia-Georgia War in 2008?

        According to a leaked e-mail from
        an analyst at the intelligence firm Stratfor, Russia and Israel engaged
        in a deal in 2008 in which Jerusalem provided the Kremlin with secret
        codes for Georgian UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in exchange for
        information on Iranian missile systems. In the e-mail, a Stratfor
        analyst says “Israel and Russia made a swap – Israel gave Russia the
        ‘data link’ code for those specific UAVs; in return, Russia gave Israel
        the codes for Iran’s Tor-M1s.” In 2008, that ‘data link’ code was
        allegedly used by the Russians to take down a Georgian drone flying in
        Georgian air space, a defining moment in the months before the war.

        http://www.thewire.com/global/2012/03/did-israel-help-spark-russia-georgia-war-2008/49371/

  • Dirk Smith

    Now we fully understand why Obama removed Churchill’s bust out of the White House.

    • evanlarkspur

      It takes 42 obamas to equal one Churchill. Obama was tired of being reminded of how anemic, weak-willed and feckless he is every time he walked past that bust. Real men are inspired by greatness; weak men threatened by it. The bust had to go.

  • Czech Friend

    I still believe that Obama? Merkel, Hollande and of course the psycho Putin are all very selfish, self-serving politicians. One of them, the Russian is a thug who broke all the rules maybe also knowing the rest lack some serious spine.

    I blame Merkel not from appeasement but from direct cooperation with Putin’s Russia. Her country benefited from doing business with Russia ruled by mafia and apparently EU had been ok with that.

    Sanctions don’t work with Putin because there are NO sanctions. If they were we’d see different results.

    I think current Western leadership consists of tragic mix of corruption and ideological appeasement (like Mogherini stressing EU will ALWAYS force for cooperation instead of confrontation, no matter what). Try to bring up children with such a conviction and see how you last.

    The point is that unlike Putin’s stooges and apologists us “warmongers” want to show the KGB rat we are not afraid of him because we are in fact stronger. And we are not afraid to use that strength. And we better be prepared.

    Becuase the other twisted logic says: If you are good to the lunatic and don’t provoke him he will finally see the error of his ways and becomes our friend again. And if he attacks…well, NO he will never do that if we don’t provoke him!

    I am an anti Putin warmonger a supporter of democracy and freedom and supporter of free people of Ukraine!

    • chios

      @Czech friend, I am somewhat puzzled by your “declaration of identity ”

      I am an anti Putin warmonger” and
      “us “warmongers” want to show the KGB rat we are not afraid of him
      because we are in fact stronger. And we are not afraid to use that
      strength. And we better be prepared.”

      This is a language “we”, the europeans, are NOT prepared for, just because, the foundation ot EU is to make war impossible. Think about it for a moment…

      “a supporter of democracy and freedom”
      “Mogherini stressing EU will ALWAYS force for cooperation instead of confrontation…”

      And she is right, in my opinion, or do you prefer the death and destruction that has come back to Europe since the maidan uprising?

      Democracy is many things, but first, it is a way to live peacefully, with majority rule AND respect for the rights of the minority..be it in Ukraine or anywhere else…

      This said, I also can be a
      “supporter of free people of Ukraine!”
      I perfectly understand the separatist drive of lesser countries more or less “absorbed” by more powerfull ones, like Catalonia versus Spain, or Scotland or Ireland versus England, and Ukraine versus Russia.
      But, there are more civilised ways to assert your independance, your difference, your identity than just start sending the tanks and hoping to be stronger than the ones who have a different view.

  • http://www.krantvannederland.nl/ Cees Boogaart

    In http://uatoday.tv/society/ukrainian-opinion-was-it-a-mistake-for-ukraine-to-surrender-its-nuclear-arsenal-in-the-1990s-413993.html I wrote my answer to that seeing
    the prediction from 20 years ago..also wrote that in http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/03/01/time-for-some-straight-talk-on-nato/ that giving nukes to old enemy and known agressor in (east)europe russia was a delibarate move of the USA, to benefit their defenceindustry, with or without secret agreement with kremlin. Ukraine and (East)-Europe would have been safe if Ukraine had kept their nukes.

    USA now wants EU/NATO on a request of Iraq president to intervene on daesh, but remain deaf on logical request of Ukraine seeing Budapest Memorandum.
    Ukraine lays in Europe and NATO is North Atlantic (read europe) treaty organization, and Iraq IS NOT.

    I fear, and with me I think Baltic and other ex-sovietstates, that art.5 of NATO treaty will be NO “red line” cause USA and Germany make the rules for EU and NATO.

    March 2014 I wrote in dutch media when green men appeared in Crimea, this can be a cubacrisis or Yuguslavia. USA president Obama is not JFK, so it will be the bosnian war all over again??

    Then both USA and Germany is too blame, and it will be the end of NATO and EU, which was founded to keep Germany who had started 2 World Wars.. but its now the EU of Germany, so the next step after with max sanctions at once and helping Ukraine to reform EU to a EF, and NATO (without USA) to a ETO with EU and ex-sovietstates members and possibly even ex-RF members.

    Thats my prediction, and if I’m wrong about the USA/Germany part, I will publically apologize, but I think both USA and Germany are the ones to apologize and with russia/kremlin will be at Intl. court in the Hague, for crimes against humanity if not warcrimes.(certainly in case of russia/kremlin)