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Sunday, May 18, 2008 

The Real Danger Is Fascism Not Appeasement

"Like Newt Gingrich and the Conservative Revolution of the early 1990's that blamed liberalism for the Columbine Massacre, President George W. Bush and the Neo-Conservatives are now trying to smear and destroy the idea of appeasement-the policy of giving concessions in exchange for peace. By linking appeasement with an isolated event before World War II and claiming it caused the Jewish Holocaust, President Bush has discredited himself and not "the real comfort of appeasement." Throughout history it has been appeasement that has prevented thousands of conflicts, averted nuclear wars (Korea, Vietnam, The Cuban Missile Crisis), and established a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt at Camp David.

Several days ago President Bush spoke before the Israeli Knesset and said, (in relation to diplomatic talks with Iran, Hamas, Syria, and Hezbollah), "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

President Bush was specifically referring to Britain's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's 1938 visit to Munich when Adolf Hitler threatened to regain the Sudetenland. In order to preserve peace, Chamberlain gave-in to Hitler's demands. Chamberlain's policy of appeasement prevented war until one year later when German troops invaded Poland. Hitler's vision for a hegemonic and unified German-speaking people, along with a powerful and dominant military, however, started much earlier. It began at the end of World War I and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles when Germany was severely punished, forced to pay war reparations, and portions of its territory were seized.

As a result, Germany experienced political instability and a smoldering vengeance towards the Allies. Hitler's fascism-an aggressive, patriotic and militant nationalism, resonated with most Germans and right-wing political groups. With their anti-communist rhetoric, goals of rearming Germany, and threats in overturning the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler and the Nazis eventually rose to power. In 1936 with support from conservatives, Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland with German troops. He then announced his Anschluss (unity) plan annexing Austria and later the Sudetenland, both former German territories. When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and seized the Baltic Port of Danzig, also once a part of Germany, Britain and France declared war.

It was not appeasement but fascism, masquerading as liberty and self-determination for all German-speaking peoples in the Rhineland, Austria, Sudetenland, and Poland, that caused World War II and the Holocaust. Hitler also wanted "to make Germany secure and preserve the racial community and enlarge it" which was "conditional upon the need for space" and resources, as stated in the 1937 Hossbach Memorandum when he met with his military staff. One could also argue that because of appeasement, Britain bought more time to institute a draft and speed up its rearmament programs preventing Hitler's goal of invasion and conquest. Furthermore, was it not a lack of appeasement, when the Allies forced the Versailles Treaty on Germany and the Ottoman Empire, that started World War II and many of the present day conflicts in the Middle East?

Finally, remember when President Bush rejected Hans Blix's appeasement to forgo a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to continue its inspections (there had been over 700 with no cases of weapons of mass destruction); and when he denounced Saddam Hussein's appeasing overtures weeks before the bombing of Iraq; and when he degraded President Ahmadinejad's appeasing letter to the United States. President Bush has yet to understand that fascist and hegemonic ways of thinking are the real enemies, along with the belief that the United States can conquer and Americanize the Middle East with its powerful military and corporate security forces.

If President Bush's message was supposed to be a trial balloon, it has instead turned into a bombshell. Until he sees the real enemy as poverty, humiliation, unemployment, illegal military occupations, and the refugee crises from past and present wrongs, the Middle East will continue to experience turmoil and wars. Yet, history has proven and will show that appeasement and the establishment of diplomatic relations, instead of fascism and aggression, will bring justice and peace to the Middle East. If you do not believe me, just ask former President Jimmy Carter, Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin."
Dallas Darling

(Dallas Darling currently teaches U.S. and World History and writes for World News. He was a pastor in rural America for ten years and worked in a Guatemala Refugee Camp, the barrios of Panama, and in Mexico. Dallas was active in the Central American Peace Movement and currently works with Pastors For Peace in delivering humanitarian aid to foreign countries. He has a Masters in Pastoral Theology and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Religion. Dallas is a regular contributor to www.worldnews.com. You can also read more of his articles at www.beverlydarling.com.)

Forgive the digression but I'd very much like to learn of even one thing that Bush can consider his legacy.

Something he can look back on and say "I made that possible and look how it's benefiting America."

Trudeau had the Constitution.
FDR had the New Deal
What's Bush's legacy after nearly 8 years in office?

A very interesting article. You cannont force democracy at the end of the barrel of a gun or with the threat of using nuclear weapons.

Mister Darling just flew right on past the Six Day War in which the Egyptian military was shredded, he missed the 1973 Arab Israeli War(Yom Kippur) war and the bombing of Iraq`s nuclear facility also.
I regret also that he failed to mention that Anwar Sadat was asassinated by the same radicals Bush referred to in his speach.

Contrast this with Jimmy Carter sitting on his hands and failing to respond effectively against an act of war by Iranian revolutionaries who still hold absolute power in Iran. I can not believe how such distortions end up on Blogs.

George had more than enough justification and evidence for what he said.

Fascism? Wasn`t it Joseph Stalin who said that diplomacy comes at the end of a gun barrel? Your Mr. Darling needs to check his extremism.

bill wise said...
A very interesting article. You cannot force democracy at the end of the barrel of a gun or with the threat of using nuclear weapons.

8:21 AM, May 19, 2008

I have heard and read too much about the emerging Iraqi government to believe the US or any other nations involved in Iraq are forcing democracy on the Iraqis:One of the first things the Iraqi government did was to declare Islam as the national religion(bye bye democracy) which cancelled any chance the Iraqi government would mirror Western democracies anytime soon.

What is happening is the Iraqis themselves are fed up with Muslim nut cases killing their brothers and sisters indiscriminately. A stable Iraq, prosperous and pumping oil at peak production would be a nightmare for a lot of Arab despots in the Middle East.

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