Let President Obama’s Honor Remind Us Appeasement Will Not Produce Peace
Today President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. Good for him; it is nice to see our President honored.
But now more than ever, the always noble effort to attempt nonviolent solutions should not be confused with appeasement, or the granting of tolerance, free reign, and even materials to evil, rogue regimes and actors.
With a vicious and determined enemy in the present leadership of Iran, which is working furiously to attain nuclear capability and could have it in the coming months, we must support President Obama in taking seriously his responsibility, as leader of the free world, to keep the peace. If he understands the potential nightmare facing the world, starting with the people of the middle east and radiating outward, should a rogue regime like the one in power in Iran obtain nuclear weapons, he will, if he is a man of peace and moral courage, do everything in his power to prevent that regime from attaining nuclear weapons.
Pacifism is a noble attitude, and one to honor in those called, for instance, to lives of religious worship or of humanitarian service. But it is a luxury that our President, as leader of the free world–leader of not an idealized world, but the world as it exists–cannot afford. It is a luxury that the free world, at this juncture, cannot afford.
In “The Gathering Storm,” his memoir of the years leading up to World War II, Winston Churchill made the point that, had the nations of the free world been united in containing Germany, a massive world war could have been averted. Instead, individuals including former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain chose the path of dialogue with Hitler, and emerged from negotiations with the assurance of “peace in our time.” How lovely the words and assurances, and how hollow. In the end, actions always speak louder than words. The world got not peace but the worst violent bloodshed humanity has known.
A great leader, and a man–or woman–of peace, governs with wisdom. Ideally he or she has the tools and influence to keep the peace through nonviolent means. But should force become necessary as a last resort, he or she will have the courage to employ it in service of the greater good. In the present case, should it become necessary, assembling an international force to disarm Iran’s nuclear program would be the greatest contribution to world peace that President Obama could make.
Let us ardently hope receiving this award bolsters our President’s standing to work with other nations in not only talking of peace but in taking the necessary action required to keep peace in our time and that of our children.