Quote Of The Day

“The voices of appeasement are familiar to historians, for we have heard them loudly, especially within the twentieth century. Intellectuals have done more than their share to convince others that standing up to aggression is a practical and moral mistake. Be nice, thoughtful, and considerate, the argument goes, and the murderers, thugs, and bullies will respond in kind; war is about misunderstanding–and a failure to ban all guns. In this framework of reality, the Romans were responsible for their own downfall for failing to be reasonable and kindly toward the Huns. Four centuries of Muslim jihad preceded the crusades, but it was the crusaders who were to blame for poor relations with Islam. If we had been more considerate of Hitler, the argument often continues, he would have been reasonable and gentle toward us. No doubt FDR was the father of Japanese kamikaze attacks, for he had made the Japanese military even angrier by resisting their military actions. If only we had only placated Stalin; Truman was responsible for the Cold War because he stood up to the kindly leader, making the Soviet Union more aggressive. As I said in an earlier piece (“Appeasement 101”), the major failure here involves a misunderstanding of human nature. It is not a problem for most people; it is apparently a response in large part of those raised in permissive, affluent, and secular households who simply cannot understand the violence and rebellion that lurks in all our hearts. —Thomas C. Reeves, historian writing in the History News Network

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