Mideast carnage: Appeasement and history's lessons

Candidly Speaking: 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.

Egyptians protest at US embassy 390 (photo credit: Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters)
Egyptians protest at US embassy 390
(photo credit: Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters)
There is an iron law in history. Appeasing xenophobic movements or totalitarian regimes invariably leads to disaster, encouraging escalating demands to levels which either culminate with surrender or make armed conflict inevitable.
Had Chamberlain not continued appeasing the Nazis, we may have avoided World War II, or at least been better prepared and suffered substantially reduced casualties.
President Ronald Reagan, besmirched by liberals as a warmonger, assumed a hardline position against Soviet expansionism which led to the collapse of the Evil Empire. His philosophy, reflected in the following extracts from the 1964 speech which launched his political career, resonates eerily with our 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 up and retreat, then eventually we have to face the final demand – the ultimatum. And what then?You and I 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? The answer is simple. You and I must 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 US Embassy and kidnapped diplomats, president Jimmy Carter, instead of confronting the Ayatollah regime, “reached out” and sought to “engage” it. All he achieved was to embolden the radicals and intensify the humiliation of the US, ultimately costing him the presidency.
Now President Barack Obama and his acolytes are repeating the same mistakes. His first international initiative was to address a gathering in Cairo which included members of the then-illegal Muslim Brotherhood. He undertook 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 US from Israel.
When the Iranian ayatollah regime brutally suppressed the people during the Green Revolution, Obama remained silent. He sided with the “democratic” Islamic street mob against Mubarak, a longstanding US ally, and then sought to “engage” with the ruling Muslim Brotherhood regime which is far more repressive 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,” radical Muslims launched a global campaign to inflame mobs throughout the Islamic world to engage in riots against US embassies.
The assault on the US Embassy in Libya resulted in the brutal murder of four US diplomats including the US ambassador, who was tortured while the US flag was substituted by the black flag of al-Qaida. The initial US response was to grovel and repeatedly condemn the anti-Muslim film (in which it had no involvement) rather than the riots, the slaughter of the innocents and failure of governments to provide adequate protection to their embassies.
This kowtowing to Muslim violence has precedents – the 1989 Salmon Rushdie outrage, the riots in reaction to the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, the killings following allegations of US troops desecrating Korans and similar incidents used to exploit the primitive Islamic street.
Despite the fact that the US provides Egypt with $2 billion of aid annually, the police stood idly while the Cairo US embassy was attacked by mobs chanting “we are all Osama.” President Mohamed Morsy, who prior to being elected had denied that al-Qaida was responsible for 9/11, waited 24 hours before making a mealy-mouthed criticism of the violence (on Facebook!). He also warned of future reprisals if “insults to the Prophet” were not suppressed.
In addition, the ruling Muslim Brotherhood called for more protests and had the gall to demand further US apologies.
Morsy will soon be hosted in Washington by Obama. He intends to request that the president release Osama bin Laden’s former ally, Sheikh Omar abd al-Rahman, serving a life sentence in prison for conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center.
By failing to adequately condemn Morsy's tepid response to the embassy outrage or postpone his visit, Obama is signaling Islamic radicals that employing violence and killings will succeed in intimidating infidels. As it is, the Obama administration even prohibits use of terms like “Islamic terrorism.”
The Islamists are also seeking to impose on us laws which would criminalize criticism of Islam. As a Jew whose people have suffered for 2,000 years from vile defamation and obscene lies and blood libels, I am not a devotee of the US First Amendment which provides that unlimited freedom of expression is sacrosanct unless it engenders immediate violence. I believe that carefully drafted legislation should provide protection for groups or individuals against demonstrable lies which generate incitement to hatred and racism. This applies in many European countries and neither undermines democracy nor meaningfully curtails freedom of expression.
However, it would be outrageous to extend this to sharia-validated blasphemy laws which would deny the right to expose criminal behavior implemented 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 of thieves, public floggings, etc.
We would also be forbidden to expose state-sponsored denial of freedom of religion, the desecration of churches and synagogues, pogroms against Christians, Copts and Jews - all of which are daily occurrences in many Islamic countries.
Nor would these sharia-endorsed laws inhibit Islamic state-sponsored anti-Semitism or prohibit current demonic Arab TV dramas of lurid Jewish stereotypes employing the blood of Muslim children to bake matzot on Passover. Not to mention imams in mosques repeatedly depicting Jews as descendants of apes and pigs and urging the faithful to murder them.
Today, the forces of Islamic extremism are testing our resolve to stand up and resist their efforts to globally extend their evil totalitarian ideology. 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.The writer’s website can be viewed at www.wordfromjerusalem.com.He may be contacted at ileibler@leibler.com