Monday, March 15, 2004
Romano Prodi, the chief of the European Commission, puts it as bluntly as anyone: "It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists," Prodi said. "Terrorism is infinitely more powerful than a year ago." This is classic appeasement. And it's also demonstrably untrue. Al Qaeda has been seriously weakened since 9/11, thanks almost entirely to those countries, especially the U.S., that chose to confront it. But it seems clear to me that the trend in Europe is now either appeasement of terror or active alliance with it. It is hard to view the results in Spain as anything but a choice between Bush and al Qaeda. Al Qaeda won.
One might ask Prodi what is the answer to dealing with Islamicist terrorists? If we could identify something that they wanted that was compatible with Western civilization, we then might have a path to a solution. While I am doubtful that there are such things, suppose that Allah (no, not that Allah) whispered into our ear a list of specific concessions that would satisfy these killers. Like Chamberlain at Munich, our options would at least then be clear: We could give them what they want and hope they stop killing, refuse to give them what they want and still hope they stop killing, or refuse to give them what they want and hunt them down where they live. Prodi, who purports to speak for Europe, categorically rejects the third option. I'm guessing he also rejects the second option, which leaves giving them what they want and hoping for the best. My suggestion is that he carefully articulate for the rest of us what the terrorists want, and then detail a specific plan to give it to them. We can all then decide whether it is a plan we are -- or are not -- willing to support.
Until the appeasers explain to the rest of us specifically what the terrorists will want to stop killing, how the West might give it to them, and why they will not then make further demands, the appeasers are just blowing wind.