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« Portland May Day 2008: Kinda Tired | Main | Spring Flood of Voting in Oregon »

May 19, 2008

Forensic Researcher on Appeasement Fraud at the Seattle Times

-Patrick S Lasswell

My good friend Andrew Nisbet who puts corporate frauds in jail professionally is an extremely accomplished man; Vietnam Veteran, scholar, poet, fencer, community activist, Republican Dead-Head, raconteur, and judge of fine whiskey to name but a few of his attributes. He also suffers from a severe form of dislexia that prevents him from writing without great difficulty and frustration; so when he takes the time to write, I know it is something important. Last Friday's infamous opinion piece in the Seattle Times inspired him to write the following.

Having read all eight paragraphs of this op-ed and its addenda, a few printable comments seem called for. The story of the Munich Conference of 1938 is not the story appeasement. The story of appeasement, in Europe begins with the failure to enforce the disarmament clauses of The Versailles Treaty against Weimar Germany. Once Hitler had come to power we have the failure to prevent German rearmament, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, the lack of affective opposition to the Italian conquest of Abyssinia, the Peace Ballot of 1935, the remilitarization of the Rhineland, the lack of action following the attempted coup in Austria, the failure to act after the assassination of the primer of Austria, the failure to act before or after the annexation of Austria, the ineffective response to the Italian and German intervention in the Spanish Civil War and then there was Munich. Hitler had made his goals clear in word and deed since his emergence in 1920 but his speeches, his actions and the complete failure of any concessions to change his goals were all ignored and Czechoslovakia was betrayed. Was it ‘unreasonable’ to hope that eighteen years of speeches and actions might have been taken into account? It is a cruel irony that opposition at almost any of these points might have caused Hitler’s fall from power and prevented World War II. Indeed, the German General Staff attempted to get the British and French to block Hitler at Munich so they could remove him from power. It would be nice to think that the German occupation of what remained of Czechoslovakia ended appeasement but this was not the case. Britain and France did not meet their commitments to defend what was left of the Czech state. During the Polish crisis of September of 1939 the cry went up, ‘do you want our boys dying for Danzig?’ Chamberlain, three days after German tanks rolled into Poland remarked, “Up to the very last it would have been quite possible to have arranged a peaceful and honourable settlement between Germany and Poland.”

In Asia the record of the attempts to appease Imperial Japan is just as lengthy and just as bleak.

Now can we learn anything from this beyond, Hitler was a bad man? There are four fairly obvious lessons.

* You can not negotiate reasonably with someone who is not prepared to be reasonable.
* What people say they want is at least an indicator of what they will attempt to do.
* What people have done in the past is a predictor of what they may do in the future.
* Concessions mistaken for weakness make it harder, not easier, to negotiate.

Maybe these points have no use in understanding how you must think about negotiations with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, but I have the feeling that few people other than Mr. Ramsey will find this to be the case.

Since the Seattle Times does not have the courage of their own convictions enough to post fact that is contrary to their fantasy, I sought permission to post his remarks here.

Comments

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 05/19/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Very interesting. Thanks for printing this and linking the original Op-Ed. The comments at the Seattle Times are also very good. It makes me feel better to know so many people see the holes in Mr. Ramsey's piece.



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