Appeasement or Not?
In the article speaking to the enemy (The Economist, May 24th 2008), the author argued about the diplomacy of negotiating with political opponents. Two different opinions towards this topic were stated at the beginning of the article. Those who are against negotiating with political opponents regard it as compromise and appeasement, while the others argue that communicating with the enemy can act as a tactic to help adjust one’s policies and make them better. In the author’s argument, it was stated that the necessary meetings and negotiations with political opponents will bring benefits for the regime and should not be ruled out. Several different examples were discussed in the article. For instance, Mr. Bush regarded the negotiation with terrorists as appeasement while Mr. Obama opposed; Neville Chamberlain’s mistake was not that he talked to Adolf Hitler but that he failed to fight against him. Other examples were concerned about the conflicts between the United States and Iraq, Iran, and Israel, problem with North Korea, and Gordon Brown’s meeting with Dalai Lama. In a nutshell, the author believed negotiation with political opponents, if conducted well, were not compromise and would bring benefits.
I agree with the author’s opinion, but could not agree with some of the examples and arguments used. It is true that negotiations with political opponents are necessary for any government to know one another better, so as to adjust its own policy. But there was some ambiguity of the concept of “enemy”.
First, negotiation with other regimes could help widen the insight of oneself and understand more about the rest of the world. The crucial factors that determine the policies include geography, population, history, culture, religion and so forth. Thus many differences in political beliefs are understandable and should not be the reason against negotiation. On the other hand, when a government makes the effort to negotiate with another one...