A President’s Appeasement Politics

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American intellectual Will Durant’s The Lessons of History—co-written with wife Ariel and published in 1968, when the Soviet Union posed a threat to the United States—still offers insightful lessons, especially concerning American-Muslim relations.

In the chapter titled “History and War,” the Durants posit some hypothetical speeches and approaches concerning war.  First, an imaginary U.S. president says before the leaders of communist Russia:

If we should follow the usual course of history, we should make war upon you for fear of what you may do a generation hence….  But we are willing to try a new approach.  We respect your peoples and your civilizations as among the most creative in history.   We shall try to understand your feelings, and your desire to develop your own institutions without fear of attack.  We must not allow our mutual fears to lead us into war, for the unparalleled murderousness of our weapons and yours brings into the situation an element unfamiliar in history.  We propose to send representatives to join with yours in a persistent conference for the adjustment of our differences, the cessation of hostilities and subversion, and the reduction of our armaments….  Let us open our doors to each other, and organize cultural exchanges that will promote mutual appreciation and understanding….  We pledge our honor before all mankind to enter into this venture in full sincerity and trust.  If we lose in the historic gamble, the results could not be worse than those that we may expect from traditional policies.  If you and we succeed, we shall merit a place for centuries to come in the grateful memory of mankind.

Once the imaginary president concludes, “the general smiles,” write the authors, and retorts:

You have forgotten all the lessons of history and all that nature of man which you described.  Some conflicts are too fundamental to be resolved by negotiation; and during the prolonged negotitiations (if history may be our guide) subversion would go on.  A world order will come not by a gentlemen’s agreement, but through so decisive a victory by one of the great powers that it will be able to dictate and enforce international law, as Rome did from Augustus to Aurelius.  Such interludes of widespread peace are unnatural and exceptional; they will soon be ended by changes in the distribution of military power.

Now, consider how well this hypothetical exchange, written in 1968, applies to the current situation between the U.S. and the Muslim world:

First, the “imaginary” president has become all too real, in the person of Barack Obama.  Above and beyond his so-called “historic Cairo speech,” where he reached out to and cloyingly flattered the Muslim world, everything this man has subsequently said and done—from expunging all references to Islam in U.S. security documents, to ordering NASA to make Muslims “feel good” about themselves—far exceeds the expressed outreach of the imaginary president.

Next, the situation has changed in a way that makes it even more naïve and irrational for the U.S. to be so appeasing of the Islamic world.  Whereas the U.S.S.R was a nuclear-armed superpower—making dialogue and cooperation logical, practically risk-free options, since, as the imaginary president concluded in his speech, the alternative was war, anyway—that is not the case with the Islamic world, which is currently militarily inferior, and thus need not be appeased.

Quite the contrary, by giving one’s opponent time and freedom, “subversion would go on,” as the imaginary general correctly points out, whether Muslim nations like Iran grow to become nuclear powers, or whether Muslims in the West work to subvert their host nations.  This threat of subversion is especially apt considering that Islam’s own teachings promote subversion and deceitful tactics.

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  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    OBAMA & CARTER

    Obama's Moslem outreach appeasement speech in Cairo, the equivalent of Jimmy Carter's "we have overcome our inordinate fear of communism" speech in 1977, is, like Carter's speech, a failure that has only served to embolden the enemy who saw it as a sign of weakness. When the Egyptian government took American citizens hostage last year (without a peep of protest from the Moslem Brotherhood) and released them for a $6 million ransom it showed the utter contempt they had for this pathetically weak president and his appeasement policies.

    • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

      the other contempt they have

      • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

        the utter contempt

    • wctaqiyya

      Well said. Very well said.

    • intrcptr2

      Once upon a time, a utopian minded president woke up and sent a squadron of Marines to retrieve a warship that had managed to get taken through subterfuge. We lost the Philadelphia, but we paid no ransom to Muslims until Carter/Reagan agreed to in 1981.

      The Marines today proudly sing about the victory won on the shores of Tripoli, when Jefferson refused the ransom the local pasha had been extorting from hapless merchants (And us). Carter seems now to have completely crossed into zombie Mohammad land. I think it unlikely that Obama will ever revive from his stupor.

  • effemall

    Excellent piece. I particularly like the analogy: "Slow motion suicide." I sometimes wonder, however, if Obama's "outreach" is, indeed, outreach or a compulsive stance by a man with the heart of a Muslim. I feel a good case could be presented in an impeachment trial that much of his effort has been treasonous.

    • Charles Hamilton

      I agree, effemall. But it is worse than that. Obama's policies at home are designed to ruin this country, from destroying our energy capability, financial sector, and private business to making us weak militarily and in commerce. If he wanted to bring our country low, he could not do better than he is doing. He explains in his book about his rejection of colonial powers which he got from father, and he sees the US, along with Britain, as a colonial power. Remember he returned the Churchill statue as soon as he was elected? He may have been born in Hawaii, but he is his father's son.

  • reflecting 1a

    These developments need to be looked at positively. The civilizational conflict will come sooner rather than later. The West is famous for sticking its head in the sand. Especially if the sand has oil in it. This kow-towing to a seventh century ideology can't go on much longer without a breakdown of the modern nation state concept. And
    there's too much vested interest in keeping it—by approximately 3/4ths of the wolrd's population. Soon the West will have to marshall its idealogical and intellectukal resources to lay out the perimeters and strategies of the struggle. The religious crime of 9/11 still hasn't been avenged.
    I've read the Durants book several times. It's a very thin book. Everyone should read it. Like life, it doesn't have any pat anwers. It constantly states positions of which the quotes in this article are a good example.

    • Drakken

      That time is coming to us a lot sooner than anyone expects, it will start in Europe and quickly spread here, it will make the Balkans pale in comparrison, then maybe we might be able to gain some rationality and sanity from it.

  • John C. Davidson

    What bothers me the most is all the Veteran groups that have remained silent about these policies. The moment we allowed the Chinese to come across the border during the Korean war our resolve vanished & frankly, we haven't won one since.

  • Ghulam Muhammed

    Raymond Ibrahim's argument that since Islamic world is not as lethal as the Soviet Communist Russia was, Islamic world should not be given the choice of dialog, assumes that Islam's threat to the West is on par with the Communist threat that depended on fire-power as one of the main instrument to achieve its world dominance goals. That is big fallacy. Islam is not equipped and poised to take on the West militarily and even as a cultural and moral force, has always depended on assimilation by example. The West, unfortunately has been so taken over by decadent forces, that its silent majority is open to alternatives. Islam is just one of that alternative. The change that is characterized as 'slow motion suicide' is in fact suicide of the decadent elements that are choking the civilised world. Nobody should mourn that suicide.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      It seems to me the Byzantine empire had your opinion. Where did it get them?

      I for one am not proud to have a president following in the foot steps of Neville Chamberlain.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Obama is the worst thing to happen to America in it's collective history, he heads the diseased
    leftist/Islamist criminal organization called his administration. The only remedy is for America to
    have awakened by November and vote all ant-American forces out of our government. Then the
    work of reunification in America by purging the leftist/Islamist curse, border to border and coast to
    coast. Imprisonment and deportation of our enemies within must happen and will if you cosider
    the future of your posterity without a revival of American values and life…………..William

  • sneed5

    "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto." Thomas Jefferson

    This would be a good time to start pulling out of all the countries in which we have our noses and U.S. taxpayer money. We should cut off the funds we give them, reinforce our defenses here at home, put all of the troops we withdraw on our borders, get busy drilling for oil and natural gas, produce more coal, and strive for more renewable energy(with no taxpayer subsidies)! We should begin to keep within the states the amount of money sent to the Federal government, and send the Federal government the amount the states normally keep. To a man, all countries of the world hate us!! So I say, let them go on their own and let's take care of our own people. We are now being held hostage by the Islamists!! Let's leave the rest of the world to it's own devices!!

    France has already been taken over by the Muslims! What has to happen before we awaken and find that we have been taken over too! We should be aware of this cancer!

    • RoguePatriot6

      Wishful thinking.

      The environmentalists and others that blindly follow will never allow it to happen. They too are part of a larger plot to destroy this nation, part of the "fundamental change" that's taking place. I guess next time some fool steps up on stage and starts talking about "fundamental changes" big alarms will start blaring.

      • Kendrick1

        "Wishful thinking."

        So, acquiescence is your solution! One would think that with a user name like RoguePatriot6 would define your character, rather than your true "where the chickens roost!"

        • RoguePatriot6

          Before you refer to me as a "chicken" or "my true character being where the chickens roost" I suggest you examine the intent of my last comment.
          This whole theme of "fundamental change" should have raised huge red flags the first time we heard it but like most tyrrany the truth about it comes out after the fact largely due to press manipulation or control of it. Second, I was merely pointing out that a large number of environmentalists are in cahoots with those who wish us harm by prepetuating our dependence on them for oil. Some of them knowingly and willingly and some unknowing. As we speak they are solidifying their positions and power by establishing their philosiphy as law. If they could, they would probably deem mining and drilling for coal and oil illegal today.

  • iskender

    Hello,
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    (which is the improvment of the other islam-documents.com, once based in Tunisia).

    There is thousands of texts (around 20 000) about the origins of islam, with a critical, humanist, democratic and scientific view (and even ironical). It is now the bigger "sourcebook" on that subject, with often unpublished documents: Muhammad biographies (SIRA), the main books of traditions (HADITH) , muslim chronicles (TABARI…), companions biographies (TABAQAT), quranic verses, quranic commentaries (TAFSIR). It is sometimes funny, or stupid, ugly, frightening, but always interesting!

    A new version is now available, improved and corrected: around 3700 pages. We are working for a new version published every year.

    All is in french. so sorry. but you need to read it to understand muslim thinking and acts. It is a rare opportunity to reach genuine information from islamic doctrinal texts.

    Now, you won’t tell again: we just don’t know…

    Bye. Take care.

  • Marvin E. Fox

    Muslim extremists have been in the forfront of Muslim battles for decades. The extremists have had support from some Mulim governments, Iran, Libya, and Syria for instances. Most of the time the governments have chosen to stay in the background and let the extremists carry the Muslim actions. I don't know where Obama got the idea that Muslims are just misunderstood religious people seeking an equal place in the world among all other religions. The Muslim , so called extremists, swear to be following the will of God and his prophet to establish a world wide Caliphate. Appeasement is a Muslim victory. Appeasement is a suicide pact with ourselves.
    Marvin E. Fox

  • RoguePatriot6

    There biggest and most deceptive weapon by Jihadists has been the useful idiots that see no danger and hop on the bandwagon. What is ironic about this whole sick game is the endstate where those that blindly yet actively supported the subversion will be discarded like last week's refuse.

  • StephenD

    "As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." – H.L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)

    I have nothing to add to this. This says it all.

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  • KKKK

    WilliamJamesWard spoke well-this osama-obama is the WROSE possible thing to happen to America in her hsitory, and the onyl way out is to VOTE HIM OUT in november. i certianly wilL!