April 20, 2018

A modern example of appeasement

Someone thoughtlessly said that the bigger a fire or quarrel is, the more fun it is.

A fire or quarrel should be put under control when it is small. It is too late to extinguish a fire or calm down a quarrel when it has become too big.

Iran has been developing nuclear power programs against international public opinion. Iran acts contrary to worldwide wishes to discontinue its nuclear power programs which lead to its possession of nuclear weapons.

The United States and the European Union have begun imposing economic sanctions to Iran in order to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Economic sanctions are necessary and effective because they would bring about social unrest in Iran, psychologically. The Iranian government will begin to worry about continuing to hold its power.

There is no room for doubt about Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, even if Iran insists its nuclear programs are aiming at the peaceful use of nuclear power.

The best way to stop Iran from possessing nuclear weapons is to adopt the United Nations Security Council resolution. This resolution would require Iran to renounce its nuclear power programs, including the development of nuclear weapons, by force.

Such a resolution will be rejected as usual through vetoes by Russia and China. These undemocratic nations are always enthusiastic supporters of autocratic governments or governments that act against international opinion.

Instead, Israel might be thinking of attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel should be worried about Iranian possession of nuclear weapons because it directly threatens the existence of Israel. If Iran becomes a nation possessing nuclear weapons, its neighboring nations will innovate nuclear weapons. As a result, military and political situations in the Middle East will become more dangerous and unstable.

Taking various elements into consideration, Israel has the option to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities by using air forces.  The attacks align with Israeli national interests. Israel attacked Iranian nuclear reactors to prevent further nuclear power development in 1981. Israel will do anything to protect its independence and national interests.

“War is an evil. But it’s sometimes a lesser evil than a policy of appeasement,” Niall Ferguson wrote in a recent article in Newsweek. A prime example of appeasement was during the Nazi regime. Neville Chamberlain, former prime minister of Great Britain, took a policy of appeasement against Adolf Hitler. As a result, the appeasement allowed Nazi Germany to invade Czechoslovakia and Poland.

This appeasement led to World War II.

War is indeed an evil. If the world accepts the Iranian demands for nuclear programs which develop nuclear weapons, the situation in and around the Middle East will be even worse than it is now. If people in the world allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons, it is similar to an appeasement against Iran. The world should not take any policy of appeasement about spreading nuclear weapons in any parts of the world.

The U.N. charter asks its member nations to restrain the use of military powers and to preserve the territorial integrity, which are less important than decreasing nations that possess nuclear weapons. A lesser evil is sometimes necessary. When a fire or quarrel is small, it is the best policy to extinguish and calm down that fire or quarrel. This way of thinking about fires or quarrels should be applied to the Iranian nuclear programs aiming at the possession of nuclear weapons.

Akira Komatsu is a senior global journalism major and a staff writer for The Journal.

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