I can still remember Stella Coulson, even though it’s been almost 40 years.
She was a widowed farmer in the delightful farming community we lived in, thirty miles SE of Bulawayo, on the road to Beitbridge, the main crossing point into South Africa. At the time, we lived in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
There was a prolonged terrorist war going on at the time, which affected rural areas more than cities. Today, the war is depicted as a racial conflict between the majority black population and the ruling minority whites. It was not as simple as that. 78% of the “white” army was black, rising to 82% by the end of the seven-year conflict. There was also a great deal of tension between the two main tribes, which complicated everything.
Stella Coulson thought that everything could be resolved “if only we could sit down with the terrorists over a cup of tea and discuss our differences”!
I’ve heard similar comments on both sides of the Atlantic about ISIS.
Compromise is very much a part of the Anglo-Saxon mindset and heritage. It’s deeply ingrained in our culture and our national psyche.
Another term for it is “appeasement.”
In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Munich for discussions with Hitler and returned promising “peace in our time.” A year later, Britain and Germany were at war. All Chamberlain had achieved was a few months of peace by throwing Czechoslovakia to the German wolves. I do not know whether tea was on the table during his discussions with Hitler but the outcome showed clearly the pointlessness of discussions with people who are clearly unreasonable. They want what they want and won’t stop until they get it!
To a certain extent, I can understand Chamberlain’s thinking. And even Stella Coulson’s. When you want peace, it’s hard to imagine that others don’t. But they really don’t! There are plenty of lessons from history that illustrate this.
Although Anglo-Saxons may always be ready to compromise, terrorists will not stop until they get everything they want. They are driven by a desire for power and money. Religious extremism may be the driving force, or rather an excuse. Power and wealth are the main objectives.
And that’s what ISIS is all about – religious extremism, power and wealth. They established a Caliphate a few weeks ago, an area as big as Great Britain, and now want to see it expand until it encompasses the entire Muslim world. Long before that goal is realized, they will pose a serious threat to the West. It can be argued they already do.
When Stella Coulson’s dream was realized and the Rhodesian government did sit down with the terrorist leaders, it led to the end of Rhodesia and an almost total white flight.
Meanwhile, appeasement is alive and going strong in western countries, where there are plenty of Stella Coulsons.
Last Saturday, the National Cathedral in Washington DC, the closest equivalent to England’s Westminster Abbey, hosted a Muslim service. One female member of the church protested, pointing to a statue of Christ on the cross, reminding everybody that salvation is only possible through Him (Acts 4:12) and that a Muslim worship service in the cathedral desecrated the historic church. She was promptly removed.
Sadly, the parents of Peter Kassig, the latest hostage beheaded by ISIS, will be holding a combined Christian-Jewish-Muslim funeral service.
We are likely to see a bad case of appeasement when discussions with Iran end this month. Meanwhile, Washington is pressuring Israel to appease the Palestinians over their demands, which will seriously weaken the Jewish nation. President Obama’s executive order on immigration also shows an attitude of appeasement There’s an estimated 11 million illegal aliens. Every single one has broken the law. The solution? Give half of them the right to stay here legally. This will only mean more people entering the country illegally, hoping for a similar future amnesty. Why have laws at all?
When a future Edward Gibbon writes a monumental definitive tome on the “Decline and Fall of the Anglo-Saxon Empire,” he or she will marvel at how quickly Islam gained a foothold in our countries, following September 11th. You would think 9/11 would have been a wake-up call. Instead, we’ve seen tens of thousands convert to Islam and hundreds enthusiastically volunteer to fight with ISIS. It is also remarkable that the first newly elected president after 9-11 had definite Muslim connections, through his father and the school he attended in Indonesia.
This is a classic example of what the Prophet Isaiah was talking about in Isaiah 30:10 “And (say) to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.”