There is an iron law in history. Appeasing xenophobic or totalitarian regimes invariably leads to disaster. Far from avoiding conflict, it emboldens extremists to escalate their demands to levels which make conflict inevitable.
Had then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain stopped appeasing the Nazis, we might have avoided World War II, or at least been better prepared and possibly substantially reduced casualties.
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, besmirched by liberals as a warmonger and Cold War warrior, assumed a hardline position against Soviet expansionism which led to the collapse of the Evil Empire.
His philosophy, expressed in a speech he delivered back in October 1964 to launch his political career, resonates eerily with the current situation:
“There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is one guaranteed way you can have peace — and you can have it in the next second — surrender.
“Every lesson in history tells us that the greatest risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face — that the policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, then eventually we have to face the final demand, the ultimatum. And what then? You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin — just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? …
“The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis did not die in vain. Where then, is the road to peace? It is a simple answer. You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, ‘There is a price we will not pay,’ ‘There is a point beyond which they must not advance’ … We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”
Thirty-three years ago, when the Iranians invaded the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and kidnapped diplomats, President Jimmy Carter, instead of confronting the ayatollahs, “reached out” and sought to “engage” them. All he achieved was to embolden the radicals and intensify the humiliation of the U.S., ultimately costing him the presidency.
Now we witness President Barack Obama and his acolytes repeating the same mistakes. His first international initiative was to address a gathering in Cairo which included members of the then illegal Muslim Brotherhood. His message was that he was going to reverse the “harsh” approach of his predecessors by reaching out and engaging all levels of the Muslim world. To further placate the Islamists, he diplomatically distanced the U.S. from Israel.
Obama also refused to condemn the Iranian ayatollahs’ regime when it brutally suppressed the people during the Green Revolution. He sided with the “democratic” Islamic street mob against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a long-standing U.S. ally, and then sought to “engage” with the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, which is emerging as a far more repressive regime than its authoritarian predecessor.
On the 11th anniversary of 9/11, on the pretext of outrage against an obscure and primitive anti-Muslim film which “insulted” the Prophet Muhammad, radical Muslims orchestrated a global campaign to rally mobs throughout the Islamic world to launch violent riots against U.S. embassies.
An assault on the U.S. Embassy in Libya resulted in the murder of the U.S. ambassador and diplomats while the replacement of the U.S. flag with the black flag of al-Qaida.
The initial U.S. response was to grovel and repeatedly condemn the anti-Muslim film (in which it had no involvement) rather than the riots, the slaughter of innocents and failure of governments to adequately protect foreign embassies.
This kowtowing to Muslim violence has precedents — the 1989 Salman Rushdie outrage, the riots over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, the killings following allegations of U.S. troops desecrating Qurans, and similar incidents used to exploit the primitive Islamic street.
Despite the fact that the U.S. provides Egypt with $2 billion of aid annually, the police stood idly whilst Cairo’s U.S. Embassy was attacked by mobs chanting “we are all Osama.”
President Mohammed Morsi waited 24 hours before making a mealy-mouthed criticism (on Facebook!) of the violence. He also warned the world of future reprisals over “insults to the prophet,” and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood actually had the gall to call for more protests and demand a further U.S. apology.
Morsi will soon be hosted by Obama in Washington, where he will request that the U.S. president release Sheik Omar abd al-Rahman, a former ally of Osama bin Laden, who is serving a life sentence in prison for conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center.
By failing to adequately condemn Morsi’s tepid response to the embassy outrage or postpone his visit, Obama is signaling to Islamic radicals that by employing violence and killings, they will succeed in intimidating the infidels and impose on them their objective of criminalizing any criticism of Islam.
I do not support the U.S. First Amendment, which provides that, unless it engenders immediate violence, unlimited freedom of expression is sacrosanct. As a Jew whose people have suffered for 2000 years from vile defamations, obscene lies and blood libels, I believe that carefully drafted legislation should provide protection for groups or individuals against demonstrable lies which generate incitement to hatred and racism. This also applies in many European countries and neither undermines democracy nor meaningfully curtails freedom of expression.
It would be outrageous to be restricted by Shariah-validated blasphemy laws and denied the right to expose criminal behavior carried out in the name of Islam. We would be prohibited from condemning capital punishment for the conversion of Muslims to other faiths, stoning adulterers to death, employing female circumcision, cutting off limbs from thieves, public floggings, and more.
We would also be forbidden from exposing state-sponsored denial of freedom of religion, the desecration of churches and synagogues, and pogroms against Christians, Copts and Jews — all of which are today ongoing phenomena in many Islamic countries.
As Jews, we would be obliged to remain silent in the face of Islamic state-sponsored anti-Semitism, including TV dramas of lurid Jewish stereotypes employing the blood of Muslim children to bake matzot on Passover, and imams in mosques continuously depicting Jews as descendants of apes and pigs and urging the faithful to murder them.
We live today at a time when the forces of Islamic extremism are testing our resolve to stand up and resist their efforts to achieve global supremacy of their evil totalitarian ideology. Currently, the Obama administration’s policy of appeasement even prohibits use of the term “Islamic terrorism.”
If we continue burying our heads in the sand and minimizing the threat emanating from these barbaric reincarnations of the Dark Ages, we will be paving the way for our children to inherit a world which has reversed the great advances of Western civilization, especially the Judeo-Christian heritage.