Daniel Butenschøn

Archive for the ‘meninger’ Category

A time to appease

In meninger on juni 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Appeasement-politikken før Den andre verdenskrig har blitt stilt i et grelt, etterpåklokt lys, skriver Yale-historikeren Paul Kennedy i The American Interest. Med amerikansk makt strukket til bristepunktet mener han det er på tide å revurdere denne praksis. Bare ikke si selve ordet høyt.


“APPEASEMENT!” WHAT a powerful term it has become, growing evermore in strength as the decades advance. It is much stronger a form of opprobrium than even the loaded “L” word, since Liberals are (so their opponents charge) people with misguided political preferences; but talk of someone being an Appeaser brings us to a much darker meaning, that which involves cowardice, abandoning one’s friends and allies, failing to recognize evil in the world—a fool, then—or recognizing evil but then trying to buy it off—a knave. Nothing so alarms a president or prime minister in the Western world than to be accused of pursuing policies of appeasement. Better to be accused of stealing from a nunnery, or beating one’s family.

So it is a rather risky enterprise even for an academic to ask, in a scholarly way, whether acts of appeasing a rival might not sometimes be a good thing. You wanted to continue negotiations with Saddam Hussein? Appeaser. To avoid criticizing Chinese policies in Tibet? Appeaser. To wriggle out of Afghanistan? Appeaser. To give in to French air controllers’ wage demands? App . . . Well. Before such abuse of the term gets worse, perhaps we should all take a small History lesson.

Hvordan sport ble digert

In meninger on april 18, 2010 at 9:47 pm

En gang var det bare lek. Nå er det et evigvarende drama, en såpeopera hele verden følger med på. Tim de Lisle i Intelligent Life finner ut hvordan det skjedde.

En ettermiddag i 1966 nordvest i London vant Englands landslag fotball-VM. Innen de slo Vest-Tyskland ved hjelp av et tvilsomt mål var det for sent for avisenes søndagsutgaver. Først mandag morgen kunne Fleet Street registrere øyeblikket i all sin prakt. The Mirror, den mest populære dagsavisen i Storbritannias historie, visste hva et historisk øyeblikk var når de så et. Førstesiden kunngjorde triumferende: ”A BOUNCING BABY GIRL FOR PRINCESS ALEX”. Å vinne verdensmesterskapet var ikke like viktig som fødselen til Marina Ogilvy, Dronningens inngiftede kusine.