Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Peace Racket

How should democracies respond to aggression? Hold dialogue. Make concessions. Apologize. Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 capitulation to Hitler at Munich taught—or should have taught—that appeasement just puts off a final reckoning, giving an enemy time to gain strength. The foundation of the Peace Racket’s success lies in forgetting this lesson. Peace studies students discover that the lesson of World War II is the evil of war itself and the need to prevent it by all possible means—which, of course, is exactly what Chamberlain thought he was doing in Munich. What they learn, in short, is the opposite of the war’s real lesson.

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