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September 21, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

The Rhetoric of Dictators

No song for today's message. The Star-Spangled Banner resides within me every day.

I'm much too much of a proud American to listen to the BS of dictators. Recently, two of them have been prominently shown on TV and all over the newspapers and web sites. Unlike the citizens of their unlucky foreign countries, I don't have to listen to the dictators. I've heard what they have had to say before, they're words were pretty boring and stupid then.

I know there are people who think those dictators should be appeased, taking the slow (unproductive?) diplomatic route to changing their influence. Those folks must be fans of Neville Chamberlain, the 1930's British Prime Minister, who spoke with Hitler and accepted a piece of paper from him that promised, peace for our time. Tens of millions of people later died because of such nonsense.

I look forward to the day when these current dictators are gone and their supporters vanquished. They are all dangerous people and too many people have died already at their hands. Yet nothing happens to those dictators or their countries in response. That inaction against dictators is one more example of the cannon fodder principle of appeasement at work once again.

I'm curious to know what are the criteria to use force to end threats? Is it a certain number of people being killed at once to reach some sort of threshold? Is there a cumulative number that must be reached? I know from my own lifetime that a couple hundred Marines killed in Beirut in 1983 during a peace mission to protect Palestinians wasn't enough to go to war, but that about 3,000 people killed in multiple locations on September 11, 2001 was. So the number to trigger military retaliation is somewhere between those two numbers. Maybe if only, 2,500 people died on September 11th, we would not be at war? Is that a fair question to ask?

I don't think so. My trigger number is one! But then again I'm not a diplomat or an appeaser in such matters. I don't believe in the "cannon fodder" approach to threats or in dealing with dictators. We have ways to eliminate the threats, maybe one day we will use them effectively and show the world the day of dictators is past. Until then, more people will die needlessly for appeasement's sake. More people will die to give diplomacy more time, to keep "peace for our time."

I don't believe or support appeasement. I realize and clearly understand that during war, there is no peace to keep.

And so it goes...


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