The Other Charlotte notes that the Democrats–in the person of Howard Dean with a non-denial from the Kerry camp–have already begun to place blame for the terrorist bombing in Madrid on Bush.

Somebody noted that Osama Bin Laden must be toasting the results of the bombing and subsequent election in Spain with non-alcoholic bubbly.

This is a good time to think about the roots and results of the peace movement and appeasement.

The Weekly Standard some time ago had a wonderful article on the origins of appeasement. I’ve been ransacking the site for the article but to no avail. Perhaps somebody with better skills can find it.

As remembered, the gist of the piece was that appeasement and the peace movement sprang not from Vietnam but from the trenches of World War I.

Europe was so traumatized by the horrors of modern warfare and the loss of a generation of young men that World War I became the war to end all wars.

What is root of appeasement?

Behind the slogans and idealism, it’s fear.

We have plenty to fear in a world where terrorists literally call the shots in an election in a democracy.

But what must we do with our fear?

Tony Blankley, the indispensable Washington Times op-ed czar, recalls another moment of fear in Europe: 

‘On Jan. 20, 1940, four months after Hitler invaded Poland, Churchill gave a world address to urge the neutral nations of Europe to abandon appeasement and rally round the Union Jack and the French Tricolor (France was still in the fight then) as the surest path to safety against the Nazi onslaught: ’At present their [the neutrals] plight is lamentable; and it will become much worse. They bow humbly that if  he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear–I fear greatly–the storm will not pass. It will rage and it will roar, ever more loudly, ever more widely.’ The European neutrals, however, continued to appease–until, in the spring, they were devoured.’

Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan is alarmed by the ‘moral nihilism’ in Europe’s response to the carnage in Spain.

Responding to an editorial in the left-wing Guardian newspaper, Andrew writes:

‘In Europe, there are no bad guys, even those who deliberately murdered almost 200 innocents and threaten to murder countless more. Ask yourself: If the Guardian cannot call these people ’bad guys,’ then who qualifies? And if the leaders of democratic societies cannot qualify in this context as ’good guys,’ then who qualifies? What we have here is complete moral nihilism in the face of unspeakable violence.’

Andrew also finds the newspaper’s suggest response to the horror in’a seminar…inadequate:

‘While hundreds lie dead, the most important thing is to stick on your lapel name-labels, hurry down to the nearest Marriott lobby, and have a seminar. Above all, after an atrocity of this scale, it is vital that the perpetrators of such evil not ’be hunted down and smoked out of their lairs.’ Heaven forbid such an action. That would be the American way, after all.’