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Cool it with the war metaphors

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This is not 1938. Bashar al-Assad is not Adolph Hitler. He lacks the ambition and the means. Barrack Obama is not Neville Chamberlain. John Kerry is not Lord Halifax. Rand Paul is not Robert A. Taft. It may be wise to oppose U.S. bombing of Syria in retaliation for its use of chemical weapons, or it may not, but raising the World War II metaphors by describing doubters as “appeasers” or “isolationists” only serves to elevate the issues beyond all reason. Using those particular labels is more than a sticks and stones issue. They belittle the horrors of the past to the point of irrelevance, and exaggerate the horrors of the present to the point of silliness.

“Appeasers” were the timid leaders of Europe in the fourth decade of the last century. They were mostly old men who 20 years before had sent their nation’s sons to the slaughter and gained nothing for it. As witnesses to a holocaust, with death burning in their collective memory, they were so fearful of a new war they only hastened the onset of the deadliest conflict in history by serving up innocent countries to their ravenous enemy.

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