Neoconservatives Dust Off “Appeasement” Argument

A familiar neoconservative talking point reared its head again yesterday. Jonathan Tobin, the executive editor of Commentary magazine, attacked the P5+1’s outreach to Tehran and their interest in reviving the Geneva fuel swap proposal as “appeasement.”He wrote:

just when it seemed as if he were making some real progress on isolating Iran, Obama sends Ahmadinejad a signal that he is in no real trouble after all. Dating back to the Bush administration’s own feckless diplomacy on Iran’s nukes, Tehran has happily exploited theWest’s efforts to appease it.

Tobin wasn’t the only voice this week to riff upon the tune that diplomatic outreach to Tehran is appeasement and, in some cases, comparable to Neville Chamberlain’s attempts to negotiate with Adolf Hitler.

The history of labeling the opponents of preemptive war “appeasers” or “Neville Chamberlains” is a rich one. Countless opeds from 2002 and 2003 offer a reminder of the similar arguments which were employed to push the U.S. into invading Iraq.


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