July 3, 2008
Each day we're told that radical Islamists, terrorists, and assorted extremists are going to moderate, so why not negotiate with them, appease them, defuse their grievances, have dialogue, and then everything will be okay.
But, those who are doubtful, argue, shouldn't we have learned from history that militant ideologies are not prone to compromise and ruthless dictators don't change their stripes.
You cannot appease them, they don't go away; displays of weakness make them more aggressive.
Oh, no! Not the Nazi analogy again!
And yet what can you say when confronted with this New York Times headline of December 21, 1924:"Hitler Tamed By Prison; Released on Parole, He Is Expected to Return to Austria."[This is not a satire. See for yourself at: http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70A17F73F5B12738DDDA80A94DA415B848EF1D3&scp=1&sq=Hitler+tamed+by+prison+article&st=p]The correspondent explains that Hitler, once a demigod for the extreme right, was released on parole from the Landsberg fortress where he had been sent for trying to overthrow the democratic German government in what has come to be known as the Beerhouse Putsch.Prison, the article continues, seems to have moderated him.
The authorities were convinced that he presented no further danger to the existing society. In fact, it was expected that he would abandon public life and return to his native land, Austria.Well, that problem was certainly solved easily.
And also the Times learned its lesson, hasn't it?As the newspaper explained in a June 30 editorial:"Few countries can afford the luxury of limiting their diplomacy to friendly countries and peace-loving parties.
National security often requires negotiating with dangerous enemies."Right. And believing their protestations of moderation, making concessions to them, ending sanctions, blaming ourselves for problems, and never using force is the actual content of such negotiations.
Then the leaders of Hamas, Hizballah, Syria, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhoods, al-Qaida, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan, etc., will no doubt be tamed, abandon public life, and go back to their homes.Henry Kissinger once told the joke--or at least is credited for doing so--that it is very easy to have the lion lay down with the lamb, as long as you put in a new lamb every day. Kissinger no doubt little expected at the time that this would become the democratic world's favored strategy.
No surprise that the main villain for the politically correct West is Israel, the lamb that refuses the honor.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online.