THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 474, June 29, 2008
"These are beings perfectly willing to kill
you and your children for your own good."
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
For several days, I've been reflecting on the term "appeasement" as it is being used by the Bush and McCain crowds in an attempt to justify further interventions in, say, Iran. This term comes into the political lexicon owing to what, in hindsight, proved to be errors on the part of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his negotiations with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s.
Chamberlain agreed with Hitler that there were significant numbers of German speaking persons living in the Sudetenland area of then-Czechoslovakia. So, Chamberlain agreed that Germany could take the Sudetenland. When Hitler then invaded and seized the rest of Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain felt betrayed by Hitler, who had vastly overstepped the terms of the agreement.
Later, Chamberlain's policy was condemned as appeasement. Appeasement was defined by the authors of the 1940 book Guilty Men as the decision to give up small nations to Hitler's war machine in the forlorn expectation that Hitler wouldn't also seize big countries, like Poland. Chamberlain was able to survive that invasion, but was forced to resign when Hitler invaded the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in May 1940.
But, who has been given approval by the international community to invade countries? Not Iran. Not Iraq. The United States war machine was appeased by the United Nations, the British, and many other nations in 2001 when, rather fatuously, it claimed that invading the least prosperous country in the world, with the least organized military apparatus, Afghanistan, was necessary to retaliate for the 11-September-2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Of course, the reality is that the nationality of most of the identified hijackers was Saudi Arabian. The USA did not opt to invade Saudi Arabiaperhaps because it already has extensive troops and bases there, perhaps because the Bush White House is on kissing terms with the Saudi royal familybut, rather, made the extraordinary claim that the Taliban government of Afghanistan was harboring the al Qaeda network and Osama bin Laden. Seven years later, bin Laden is still at large, and the occupation of Afghanistan continues to be a disaster on the ground.
It was appeasement to allow Bush to invade Afghanistan, just as it was appeasement to allow Hitler to occupy the Sudetenland. It was appeasement to allow Bush to invade Iraqa country with no connection to the 11-Sep-2001 events, with no weapons of mass destruction, and suffering from a dozen years of economic sanctions. Iraq, when it was invaded, had a tiny military which promptly surrendered or fled. It had no air force. It had no navy. Most of all, it had no missiles or aircraft capable of even threatening the United States with conventional weapons, let alone nuclear, chemical, or biological ones.
Obviously, appeasement doesn't work. Bush now wants to invade Iran, which may be likened to Poland or France in our example. Other nations have said that they would regard an invasion of Iran as a cause for war with the United States. The question is whether our contemporary Hitler is going to go ahead with an invasion of Iran, anyway. The international community has emasculated itself by appeasing Bush in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I won't neglect to mention the appeasement of Bush by allowing his Ethiopian proxies to invade Somalia.
The problem with all these conflicts, in Somalia, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan is that occupying other countries has not brought the criminals of 11-Sep-2001 to justice. Occupying other countries has weakened the USA, exacerbated monetary inflation, put American tax dollars to work building infrastructure in Iraq while levees, dams, and bridges in the USA have been collapsing, and has made the USA the enemy of freedom all over the worldsomething we were getting away from after learning the lessons of Vietnam.
I believe that the Boston Tea Party should make a non-interventionist foreign policy, such as Ron Paul outlines in his book Revolution: A Manifesto the centerpiece of our party's program, and the top plank in that document.
And, I would go further than simply opposing the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by USA troops and the occupation of Somalia by American proxies. I would also call for ending the occupation by USA troops of Germany and Japan, which are peaceful places, as well as the ending of the occupation of the Korean peninsula by USA troops which should be replaced by South Koreansmore than wealthy enough to defend their own territory.
It is time to close down all the overseas bases of the United States and bring all the troops home. Our strategic aircraft, submarines, and navy can meet any challenge, anywhere in the world, from existing USA territories. The allies of the USA in NATO, SEATO, and other treaty organizations can defend their own territories and protect American shipping interests.
The time to be the world's policeman has ended. It is time to tend to our own homes and gardens. The awful stink of corruption, of death, of mutilation, in short of war, must be brought to a swift end now.