Much has been written about the long history of appeasement of Saddam that eventually led to war. All Western countries bear some of the blame; yet there were some of them – ‘the Good Guys’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘us’) – that eventually rebelled against appeasement and insisted on opposing and ending the evil, while others – ‘the Weasels’ – did their utmost to have it continue.
But has it occurred to you that even as the Weasels were appeasing Saddam they were, at the same time, appeasing us?
Look at it from the Weasels’ point of view: Iraq invades Kuwait. A regrettable incident, and one very likely to
alarm every decent person in the world provoke certain warmongers. So, the appeasing Weasels forces of moderation pretend to go along with the liberation of Kuwait cowboys’ cathartic acting-out, but as the price of their acquiescence they extract a promise that the good guys warmongers “have no further territorial ambitions” – i.e. will not liberate Iraq. This ensures that no lasting good will have been done stability. A classic appeasement manoeuvre, n'est ce pas?
But, as usually happens, though the appeasement seemed to work in the short run, it merely built up much more trouble for the future. No sooner did we fulfil the letter of our promise – incidentally betraying the thousands of Iraqis who tried to take that opportunity to liberate themselves – than our pesky cowboy demands started up again. First we demanded a surrender treaty requiring Iraq to give up all its weapons of mass destruction. Then it was Security Council Resolutions enforcing this, then no-fly zones, and so on inexorably through the years until eventually we could be appeased no more.
Every act of appeasement of the bad guys was also an act of appeasement of us. And it had the same effect on us: a sullen but temporary acquiescence. We were willing, for a while, to take the chance (however slim we considered it) that we could achieve our objectives by that method, and so not have to resort to war. But our objectives themselves did not change. How on earth could being appeased ever change anyone's objectives? So ours remained good, just as Saddam's remained bad, and the Weasels’ remained weasely. And inevitably it all unravelled, and in the end a few hundred thousand more people had been murdered than would have been if either we or Saddam had rejected the appeasers’ whiny siren song in the first place.
And here is a marked difference between this appeasement and classic appeasement: Chamberlain was trying to cope with the threat posed by Hitler. King Aethelred with that of the Vikings. They feared invasion, violence, oppression and the destruction of their liberties. Today's Weasels are trying to cope with us. Because they fear insignificance.