Appeasement unto Death

The Islamic fury directed at some European countries after the publication of the Mohammed cartoons made their populations recoil in shock and fear. Their reaction is not surprising, since they assumed they had done nothing to deserve this kind of odium.

But this is precisely the source of their trouble — with the exception of Great Britain they had nothing. They had done nothing when Islamists called for the death of the West. They had done nothing when Islamists declared war on western culture. They had done nothing when Islamists attacked.

Hoping to escape the fury of those harboring hatred for their way of life, the west European democracies chose appeasement over confrontation. Faced with fanaticism, they cowardly took the easy route.

And now that which they have tried to ignore threatens to devour them.

When evil stares you in the face, you better not pretend it is not there. If you do, of one thing you can be certain — sooner or later it will come to bite you. Standing up to fanatics entails unpleasantness and in the short run appeasement seems the more prudent way, but in the end it invariably carries a price. Appeasement does not avert confrontation; it only delays it. And in the interim the evil grows stronger and more audacious.

World War II claimed some fifty million lives. Most of them could have been saved had the western powers united to remove Hitler in 1935 or 1936 when they still could. They could have and should have seen what was coming. The signs were right there before their eyes. But they did not want to see and instead tried to convince themselves that the evil was actually not all that bad. A voice in the wilderness cried foul and urged them otherwise. But Churchill was ignored and the price was the greatest tragedy the world has seen.

During the course of its existence, The Soviet Union killed twenty million people. It sponsored world communism which claimed the lives of nearly sixty million more. It unleashed the Cold War which almost brought the world to an end. In 1918 the clear—minded understood that communism had the potential to bring about horrible things. Had the western democracies come together then, they could have cut down the struggling Bolsheviks before they had time to entrench themselves. But they did not, and the evil just grew and grew and in the end it almost swallowed everything.

A wise man once said that evil flourishes when the good remain idle. History is his witness.

The Old Continent has stubbornly refused to learn — or rather has foolishly forgotten — this lesson. So much so that one almost begins to suspect the existence of a civilizational death wish. Twice in the last century its vacillation brought it to the brink of annihilation. Western Europe did not confront the Bolsheviks and it did not stand up to Hitler. It had to be dragged into fighting the Cold War and even then it was only a lukewarm warrior at best. There was even a moment when Western Europe was all but dead. Overrun by fascism, the flame of its once great civilization flickered only weakly in the English Isles. And even there it was not due to the resilience of a culture rising in defense of that which it held precious, but to the fortitude of a single man. That man understood that there can be no conceding to evil. He understood that appeasement is unto death. It was he who said that 'an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.'

The Europeans stood by when Islamists called for their destruction. Perversely, they have even chastised those who try to do defend them. Now they are paying the price.

They should be neither shocked nor surprised at this. Such is the nature of things that if you ignore evil, it will come back to haunt you. That time has come for the Europeans. They are not victims — their troubles are largely of their own making. Will they finally stand up and fight to save themselves? Or will they continue on their suicidal course of appeasement?

The point of no return seems to be approaching fast. This, indeed, may be Europe's last chance.

Vasko Kohlmayer defected from Communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. He can be contacted at vasko_kohlmayer@msn.com.

The Islamic fury directed at some European countries after the publication of the Mohammed cartoons made their populations recoil in shock and fear. Their reaction is not surprising, since they assumed they had done nothing to deserve this kind of odium.

But this is precisely the source of their trouble — with the exception of Great Britain they had nothing. They had done nothing when Islamists called for the death of the West. They had done nothing when Islamists declared war on western culture. They had done nothing when Islamists attacked.

Hoping to escape the fury of those harboring hatred for their way of life, the west European democracies chose appeasement over confrontation. Faced with fanaticism, they cowardly took the easy route.

And now that which they have tried to ignore threatens to devour them.

When evil stares you in the face, you better not pretend it is not there. If you do, of one thing you can be certain — sooner or later it will come to bite you. Standing up to fanatics entails unpleasantness and in the short run appeasement seems the more prudent way, but in the end it invariably carries a price. Appeasement does not avert confrontation; it only delays it. And in the interim the evil grows stronger and more audacious.

World War II claimed some fifty million lives. Most of them could have been saved had the western powers united to remove Hitler in 1935 or 1936 when they still could. They could have and should have seen what was coming. The signs were right there before their eyes. But they did not want to see and instead tried to convince themselves that the evil was actually not all that bad. A voice in the wilderness cried foul and urged them otherwise. But Churchill was ignored and the price was the greatest tragedy the world has seen.

During the course of its existence, The Soviet Union killed twenty million people. It sponsored world communism which claimed the lives of nearly sixty million more. It unleashed the Cold War which almost brought the world to an end. In 1918 the clear—minded understood that communism had the potential to bring about horrible things. Had the western democracies come together then, they could have cut down the struggling Bolsheviks before they had time to entrench themselves. But they did not, and the evil just grew and grew and in the end it almost swallowed everything.

A wise man once said that evil flourishes when the good remain idle. History is his witness.

The Old Continent has stubbornly refused to learn — or rather has foolishly forgotten — this lesson. So much so that one almost begins to suspect the existence of a civilizational death wish. Twice in the last century its vacillation brought it to the brink of annihilation. Western Europe did not confront the Bolsheviks and it did not stand up to Hitler. It had to be dragged into fighting the Cold War and even then it was only a lukewarm warrior at best. There was even a moment when Western Europe was all but dead. Overrun by fascism, the flame of its once great civilization flickered only weakly in the English Isles. And even there it was not due to the resilience of a culture rising in defense of that which it held precious, but to the fortitude of a single man. That man understood that there can be no conceding to evil. He understood that appeasement is unto death. It was he who said that 'an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.'

The Europeans stood by when Islamists called for their destruction. Perversely, they have even chastised those who try to do defend them. Now they are paying the price.

They should be neither shocked nor surprised at this. Such is the nature of things that if you ignore evil, it will come back to haunt you. That time has come for the Europeans. They are not victims — their troubles are largely of their own making. Will they finally stand up and fight to save themselves? Or will they continue on their suicidal course of appeasement?

The point of no return seems to be approaching fast. This, indeed, may be Europe's last chance.

Vasko Kohlmayer defected from Communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. He can be contacted at vasko_kohlmayer@msn.com.