Keep Right--A PLAUSIBLE PEACE FOR UKRAINE

"We regard the agreement signed last night (The Munich Agreement), and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples to never go to war with one another again." Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister, September, 1938

The Munich Agreement, which saw Britain and France abandon their treaty obligations to Czechoslovakia and allow it to be dismembered by Nazi Germany, is widely seen to be the ultimate act of appeasement which directly led to World War II. In it, Chamberlain sought to give the Czech Sudetenland to Germany in return for Hitler's promise that this was his last demand for foreign territory in Europe.

"Land for Peace" is a frequent formula employed by diplomats and dictators for resolving armed conflict. If, as is the case with Israel and the Egyptian Army after the Camp David Accords of 1978, such an agreement is made from a position of strength (the Israeli Army had never lost a war), then it can be a basis for a long-term quelling of hostilities.

If, however, it is a desperate act borne of weakness, it only whets the appetite of the predator. As Britain's great Imperial poet, Rudyard Kipling, once wrote, "Once you have paid him the Danegeld (ransom), you'll never get rid of the Dane (Viking raider)". Giving in to a bully only encourages his ongoing threats.


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