The people I have in mind are the ‘goo-goo genocidaires,’ the willfully blind reformers, civil society activists, clergy, students and others whose foolishness and ignorance was a necessary condition for tens of millions of deaths in the last hundred years. Unreflective, self-righteous ‘activists’ thought that to espouse peace was the same thing as to create or safeguard it. As a result, tens of millions died. Unless this kind of thinking is exposed and repudiated, it is likely to lead to as many or more deaths in the 21st.Mind you, like most American adorers of Churchill, he is not exactly right about what was happening in Britain in the thiries (rearmament did go on, you kno, despite the Labour Party and the unions). But you can't argue with this comment:
These days we are pretty good at pillorying the bad guys in America’s history: Tories, slave owners, segregationists, opponents of womens’ right to vote all get nailed in our textbooks. But somehow the creeps and frauds of the peace movement get a free pass. “We are the folk song army,” the satirist Tom Lehrer once wrote, mocking the moral pretensions of ‘peace activists’; “Every one of us cares. We’re all against poverty, war and injustice — unlike the rest of you squares.”Appeasing Iran, Mr Mead thinks will not give us peace any more than previous appeasements did. In fact, all it is doing is helping to oppress the people of Iran and allowing some nasty bullying in the Middle East.
It is just not true, historically speaking, that ‘peace movements’ lead to peace or, for that matter, support policies that will bring peace. More often than not, the opposite is true. Winston Churchill was a grizzled old British imperialist of the worst kind, but if Britain had listened to him instead of to its peace campaigners in the 1930s there most likely would never have been either a World War Two or Cold War. We can be very grateful that Ronald Reagan and the NATO leadership turned a deaf ear to the nuclear freeze movement; had those besotted idealists had their way the Soviet Union and the Cold War might be still with us today — along with nuclear arsenals much larger and much more dangerous than anything the US and Russia now have.
Not so long ago we had a word in our society for tiger-strokers: people who thought that if you soothed the savage passions of irrational dictators by treating them with respect and giving them treats then the dictators would become less dangerous.
We called them ‘appeasers’.