As promised in a post this morning, I made a guest appearance on BBC’s WORLD Have Your Say program at Noon (Central). To my surprise, the appearance afforded me the opportunity to exchange views on the subject of diplomacy versus appeasement with some real foreign affairs heavyweights, including Daniel C. Kurtzer, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
Sitting across a virtual table from Ambassador Kurtzer, I was able to offer several observations on the subject. Below are links to some of the web sites from which I drew several key points for the on-air discussion:
From the BarackObama.com section about Iran…
- Diplomacy: Obama is the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. Now is the time to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior. Obama would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation. Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress.
- Some seem to believe we should negotiate with 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 only I could have talked to Hitler, all of 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.
- Diplomats buy and sell; appeasers just give things away. And that difference is something Barack Obama has yet to learn.
- An appeaser is someone who is willing to compromise his nation’s interests without obtaining an equal or greater concession from the adversary. History’s most famous appeaser, Neville Chamberlain, gave the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938 and received nothing in return. Having been appeased — and thus given time to further build his military might — Hitler attacked a year later, conquering Poland and igniting the largest and most murderous war in history.
- In Churchill’s more literary definition, an appeaser is someone who feeds the crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
To listen to the podcast of today’s program, visit this site.