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May 15, 2008

A Note About Appeasement
Posted by Michael Cohen

So today in Israel our increasingly loathsome President felt the need to invoke the death of 6 million Jews in attacking the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. "Stay Classy" Mr. President.

He used that favorite "A" word of the neo-conservatives, appeasement, and intimated that Barack Obama's desire to speak to the Iranian government was akin to the appeasement of Nazi Germany by Neville Chamberlain.

Many people have made the argument that it's despicable for the President to attack another politician on foreign soil or that he is lying about Barack Obama's foreign policy record or that his own Secretary of Defense wants to talk to Iranian leaders . . . I could go on.

All of this is correct, but something else deserves mention: Neville Chamberlain didn't appease Hitler because he talked to him - he appeased him because he gave him half of Czechoslovakia. Or as George Costanza famously declared about Chamberlain: "You could hold his head in the toilet [and] he'd still give you half of Europe."

Ordinarily this wouldn't matter much, but something tells me we should get used to listening to conservative commentators making the Obama-Chamberlain appeasement argument, including this moron who got eviscerated on Chris Matthews tonight. (check out the link, its a train wreck not to be missed).

If people want to quibble with Obama's pledge to meet with foreign leaders. Fine. But let's get one thing straight: it's not appeasement.


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You're exactly right. I'm not used to quoting Chris Matthews but I believe he said tonight that "appeasement is giving things away to the enemy, not talking to the enemy."

You beat Matthews to the punch.

But your point can't be stressed too often. In most cases, people should be talking to their enemies. It's a way of making them... not enemies. That's not the same thing as giving the bully your lunch money every day.

I don't think the territory ceded under the Munich pact was anywhere close to 50% of Czechoslovakia. These maps seem to confirm that.

This might be considered nitpicking because it doesn't really affect the point. But to me it seems like the same kind of carelessness with historical fact that is being rightly criticized.

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But your point can't be stressed too often. In most cases, people should be talking to their enemies. It's a way of making them... not enemies. That's not the same thing as giving the bully your lunch money every day

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