Sunday, February 16, 2003

Not quite the History we had in mind

Andrew Dodge calls the demonstrators appeasers. I think this is entirely unfair to the pro-war types. Why last time we threw away appeasement and fought against an unpleasant chap with a moustache the country was bankrupted, strategically dependent on America, soon to be bereft of an Empire and actually in a strategically far more precarious situation than it entered with all these Slavic hordes on the Elbe without the Eastern distraction that the Krauts had.

Of course few of the 750 000 were actually saying that anything should be given to Saddo, so quite what they were supposed to be appeasing we are left to wonder. I always admired Andrew Dodge's ability to pick up the nonsense in commonly thrown around phrases, but he seems to have missed the absurdity of the apeasement jibe.

The next time we faced a nasty chap with a fuzzy lip we didn't go to war with him. Stalin was contained, and it took more than forty years to unseat his succesors, but we actually emerged stronger from that confrontation with a functioning economy and everything. But this wasn't appeasement. We didn't give Stalin what he wanted, outside Eastern Europe and large swathes of Asia. It wasn't appeasement, you see, it was a Cold War. I suppose it can be summed up thus (with apologies to John Fortescue):

"Appeasement never prospers; what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none would say it were appeasin'"


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