Appeasement in the sense of paying money and tribute to those who threaten our collective security is a policy that has been prudently adopted by any number of different societies in the past. ...Yes. It is funny to see the religious way in which warmongers interpret history: appeasement always wrong and stupid. War always right. This is simplistic. Of course, understanding that history is complex (and even more complex when it is current events, not yet history), does not make one a peacenik. Case in point: Harris:
Secondly, appeasement makes sense when there is a good chance that the evil to be appeased may collapse of its own accord, either through a lack of internal stability or through its own inherently aggressive nature.
In the case of Hitler, there was the very real hope that he would aim his aggression at Stalin's Russia, with the result that the two evil systems would end by weakening and even perhaps destroying each other. In which case, why do anything to divert his attention from the East?
Furthermore, there was also the hope that Hitler might be toppled as a result of Party bickering, or through a military coup, or by the bullet of an assassin. The Weimar Republic, after all, had been in constant turmoil - perhaps Hitler was only a passing phase of political stability against a backdrop of anarchy.
And leave us with the third and final rational basis for appeasement, and that is military weakness - or, more precisely, a fear that any threat made to deter aggression will be in vain, in which case it is deemed far better to appease and hope for the best, than to bluff and be certain of the worst.
I offer these reflections not to justify those who are asking us to appease Saddam Hussein, but to condemn them. Had Chamberlain possessed the might of the U.S., and the collective will of its people, Hitler would have been obliterated long before Munich. To make excuses for tolerating an evil on the order of Saddam Hussein when you possess the military might to crush him is not appeasement, but blind folly.What collective will is that? The 17% of Americans who know how many Iraqi citizens were among the 9/11 hijackers?
And what appeasement? "Appease" Saddam? What has he demanded? The Rhineland? Czechoslovakia?
I suppose the warmongers would say, that failing to comply with UN resolutions (even though they rightfully disdain the UN), is Bad, and if we let it go, it's "appeasement". OK - if so, then why don't the reasons for "appeasement" just discussed apply? Harris focuses on weakness - it's a good idea to appease if any attempt not to has no will/firepower behind it, and the bluff will be called. From this he seems to conclude that if you do have the will/power, then you should not appease. No. All you can conclude is that you have the option not to.
Now look at the other options. Number one is that appeasement should be a policy option since it has been used successfully in the past. OK. This doesn't help much in determining when to apply it.
Reason two, though, is helpful: it is quite likely that the Iraq "threat" (such as it is) will self-destruct. Saddam is getting old, and he has insured that his regime will die with him. He needs only to be contained for another 10-20 years, and poof. No Saddam.
Really, though, the argument is silly. There is no question of "appeasement" of Saddam. The only grounds for the war that stand up are as a charity mission to liberate the Iraqi people.