May 23, 1986
To call the recent air strike against Libya an act of U.S. terrorism is to ignore a very important distinction. Terrorism is perpetrated against innocent civilians by those who wish, for their own purposes, to live in and control an uncivilized world. President Reagan's air strike against Libya was ordered to show these people and the world that America is determined to live in a civilized world, even if forced to use what is in fact an uncivilized means to do it. No other means seem to have been successful in getting the message across.
December 9, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama on Thursday forcefully rejected Republican accusations that his foreign policy was timid and amounted to a policy of "appeasement. " "Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever is left out there, ask them about that," the president said during a news conference. He also defended his efforts to block Iran from building a nuclear weapon, saying Tehran was now isolated and facing tough international sanctions thanks to the work of his national security team.
April 22, 1986 |
I keep hearing voices. Not the kind of voices Joan of Arc heard. These aren't supernatural but, in their way, they are just as eerie, for they are the echoes of voices that were speaking half a century ago. In March 1936, when Hitler's troops occupied the Rhineland, violating the Versailles Treaty, the voices said, "Well, the Versailles Treaty was really much too harsh. And what harm can German troops do in the Rhineland? After all, by treaty, they're forbidden to be armed. " In March 1938, when Hitler annexed Austria, the voices were saying, "Austria and Germany really should be united.
March 8, 2003 |
It's only March, but we can safely award the 2003 trophy for most risible editorial pronouncement. It goes, as usual, to the New York Times, whose Tuesday editorial calling for the Bush administration to negotiate directly with North Korea (the U.S. has refused to do so until North Korea stops its nuclear program) ends with the following pronunciamento: "The place for insisting that bad North Korean behavior will not be rewarded is at the negotiating table. " Read that again and savor it. This is transparently, definitionally wrong.
February 20, 2006 |
It is easy to damn the 1930s appeasers of Hitler given what the Nazis ultimately did when unleashed. But history demands not merely recognizing the truth ex post facto, but also trying to reconstruct the rationale of something that now in hindsight seems inexplicable. Appeasement in the 1930s was popular with the European public for a variety of reasons. All of them are instructive in our hesitation about stopping a nuclear Iran - or about fighting radical Islamism in general. First, Europe had nearly been destroyed during the Great War, a mere 20 years prior.
March 22, 2004 |
When confronting an existential enemy - an enemy that wants to terminate your very existence - there are only two choices: appeasement or war. In the 1930s, Europe chose appeasement. Today Spain has done so again. Europe may follow. One can understand Europe's reaction in the 1930s. First, it could almost plausibly convince itself that Hitler could be accommodated. Perhaps he really was only seeking what he sometimes said he was - the return of territory, the unification of the Germanic peoples, a place in the sun - and not world conquest.
May 14, 1993 |
In Britain, it is the political left that is banging the drum hardest about enlarging the war in the Balkans and dishing it out to the Serbs. Take Ken Livingstone, often derisively termed "Red Ken" in the Conservative British press. In the House of Commons, he stridently denounces what he calls Western "appeasement" of Serbian aggression against the Bosnian Muslims. The British Labor Party, whose radical wing Livingstone inhabits, essentially shares his positions, as do Britain's middle-of-the-road Liberal Democrats, who have just seen a huge boost to their political fortunes in county elections in England.
June 21, 2003
No tolerance for harassment of students Re: "Alliance is looking out for rights of gay pupils," June 14: I was struck by how unfortunate it is that the need exists for these kinds of clubs, but how obviously necessary they are. Peer pressure is a very powerful force, and school can be a horrible, terrifying experience for anyone who is labeled "different" by the status quo, for whatever reason. Violence can take many forms, not just physical, and though physical wounds will heal, the psychological wounds are worse and can last a lifetime.
April 25, 2002
IN RESPONSE to Kathleen Sjogren's April 19 letter on Quaker teachings of nonviolent principles: You plead for peace but completely ignore the simple truth. Peace was not free, peace did not come by appeasement and peace was not offered by any enemy anywhere at any time! It was secured only through unfortunate bloodshed. Of course, there is the rare occasion of diplomacy. But I am confident that history shows that peace has always been short-lived. War has proven to be more common than peace.
May 24, 2010 |
It is perfectly obvious that Iran's latest uranium maneuver, brokered by Brazil and Turkey, is a ruse. Iran retains more than enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. And it continues enriching at an accelerated pace and to a greater purity (20 percent). Which is why the French foreign ministry immediately declared that the trumpeted temporary shipping of some Iranian uranium to Turkey will do nothing to halt Iran's nuclear program. It will, however, make meaningful sanctions more difficult.