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Myths of appeasement

Appeasement did not spring from military weakness. 1930s Britain was well armed

By David Edgerton   February 2006

Since 1945, every British military intervention abroad has been justified by the invocation of a particular history of the interwar years. The terms “appeasement,” “Munich,” and “Hitler” are deployed to convince doubters of the wisdom of campaigns against Nasser, Galtieri, Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair have been particularly keen on learning the lessons of their own versions of history.

When Blair presented his notorious Iraq WMD dossier to the House of Commons on 24th September 2002, he said that we knew, “from our history that diplomacy not backed by the threat of force has never worked…

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