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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Appeasement 2006

There's an excellent opinion piece on Ynet today that implicitly makes a comparison that Ariel Sharon was once smart enough to make - between 1938 Czechoslovakia and 2006 (2001 when Sharon made it) Israel. Many of you may recall that at the time, US President Bush was not happy with the comparison.

But this time, Bush may agree with the comparison, because it's not the United States that is cast in the role of the allies, and not Bush himself who is cast as Neville Chamberlin. Rather it is British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who are being accused of forgetting history. And with good reason.
Almost 70 years after that shameful appeasement, it appears the successors of those leaders haven't learned a thing.

It may have been the Saudi desert's heat, or possibly skyrocketing oil prices that caused the British foreign minister to express public interest in "normal relations" with the Hamas government – the one that a day earlier characterized the terror attack in Tel Aviv as a "legitimate act of revenge."

It appears Chamberlain's black umbrella was the only thing missing from Jack Straw's photos with the corrupt, fanatical Saudi royal family.

And what lesson did the Russians learn from the Molotov-Ribbentrop disgrace? "Give us concrete evidence of a military nuclear program in Iran, and then we can talk about sanctions."

The Kremlin is inundated with documents and testimonies regarding what is taking place under Iranian soil. It is no secret Israel also took an active part in the gathering and persuasion work. But who needs classified intelligence evidence when the crafty leader from Tehran is presenting "good news" about progress in uranium enrichment and openly demands his country be treated as a nuclear power? What additional proof does the new Russian czar need, and how much sand does he think is still left in the hourglass?

Now, Moscow hopes that assistance in uranium enrichment for "peaceful purposes" would push the bomb away from the hands of the ayatollahs. And in any case, they assure us, they're still far from getting there, and even if they do get there, they'll never push the button.

Is anyone willing to take that chance? Can we even imagine life here under the shadow of the Iranian bomb, when any minor operation in Gaza or Lebanon, and possibly in Chechnya and the Muslim suburbs of Paris or London, leads to an implied, not-quite-conventional threats?

Read the whole thing.


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