August 14, 2007

A Micro-Lesson On Appeasement

Rudyard Kipling understood the futility of appeasement. In his poem "Danegeld (AD 980-1016)", he wrote the oft-quoted words, "once you have paid him the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane." Now appeasement has a more modern lesson, thanks to a woman in Brunswick who thought she could outwit burglars by giving what they wanted:

A cottage owner in Germany tried to ward off burglars by leaving canned foods on her doorstep, but robbers found the offerings so tasty that they broke into the house to get second helpings, German police said on Tuesday.

The woman who owns the cottage and adjacent garden in Brunswick, western Germany, had left a note for potential burglars not to bother breaking into her cottage but to help themselves to the canned foods on her doorstep, police said.

"The polite appeal that they treat themselves apparently just increased the appetite of the hoodlums," the police said in a statement. "The perpetrators not only took the canned foods but broke open the door and took cucumber salad and sausages."

Holiday cottages get burglarized often in this area. Occupancy is usually limited to the weekends, and during the week, burglars know that the houses will make easy targets. Like any predator, they target the weak and unprotected.

Instead of securing the cottage or working to catch them in the act, this woman decided to keep them from breaking in -- by giving them what they wanted. Appealing to the sense of fair play with criminals turns out to be a waste of time. Instead of sating their appetite, she whetted it instead, and they showed no gratitude towards their benefactor at all in selecting their target.

Appeasement never works. Burglars always want what hasn't been left outside on the doorstep. Danes always want more Danegeld, poetically speaking. Terrorists and tyrants once rewarded for their violence expand the use of it, until they achieve an abject surrender or someone finally decides to fight back.


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Comments (13)

Posted by Fox2! | August 14, 2007 8:09 AM

The only way to deliver the Danegeld is with the grey geese.

Posted by FedUp | August 14, 2007 8:10 AM

This wasn't a democrat perchance?

Posted by fdcol63 | August 14, 2007 8:39 AM

Why do I think the owner is the type of person who will now plead for "clemency" for the thieves, arguing that they are merely "disadvantaged, misunderstood, and oppressed people" who "merely sought to improve their financial condition" - and who will also now appeal to the rest of her neighbors to not only leave foodstuffs on their own doorsteps, but that they should also just leave their doors unlocked to prevent the burglaries in the first place?

Posted by ET | August 14, 2007 8:49 AM

This is similar to efforts in our part of south Texas to appease the steady stream of illegal aliens that break into and trash rural homesteads. Even leaving the houses open and stocked with food does not work; the homes are often vandalized anyway.

Ranch owners almost invariably end up securing their homes like fortresses and also decide to call the Border Patrol at the sight of any illegals on or near their property. This practice works best, too, because word gets out that certain ranches are dangerous to the illegals' freedom, and those areas are then avoided.

Posted by RBMN | August 14, 2007 8:52 AM

It worked about as well as when (years ago) I gave a medical charity a contribution, to get them off my back. Boy, was that a stupid strategy. They went from calling me once a month, to calling me once a week and apparently inviting other organizations to call me. I went on a sucker list somewhere, and got about five times as many calls. Finally stopped after about two years.

I guess that's why nice guys finish last. They're too busy pulling people's hands out of their pockets.

Posted by rbj | August 14, 2007 9:17 AM

She should have left them botulism tainted cans. A nice case of food poisoning might help them see the error of their ways.

Posted by Jim | August 14, 2007 9:25 AM

Perhaps that German lady has finally learned reality, the hard way - after a lifetime of indoctrination by the Euro leftist philosophy....and she will, regrettably, but with firm resolve and determination, decide that she might be better off if she just goes ahead and exercises her second amendment rights guaranteed to all German citizens, and arms herself......oh, wait. Nevermind. Forgot that our betters in Western Europe are far more "advanced" than us in that department. Oh well, with her limited options, I guess the lady better just hope that stronger deadbolts and a nicer selection of canned good might work better next time.

Posted by Kyle Haight | August 14, 2007 11:53 AM

Kipling's poem is also applicable more broadly. I think the third verse speaks to our current will-to-fight (or lack thereof) when faced with the threat of Islamic totalitarianism:

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:—
“Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

Posted by NahnCee | August 14, 2007 12:30 PM

I'm also betting the nice German lady isn't Jewish, and comes from one of the many families who had absolutely no idea what was going on at Auschwitz, nor what those clouds of funny-smelling black smoke signified.

Posted by Richard Romano | August 14, 2007 1:23 PM

What a powerful reminder of how we must treat those who do evil -- we must punish them, not reward them.

Posted by Jesus | August 14, 2007 4:51 PM

Stupid Christian.

Posted by pst314 | August 14, 2007 5:05 PM

"Even leaving the houses open and stocked with food does not work; the homes are often vandalized anyway."

Would these be those same "good, honest, hard-working immigrants who only want a chance to get ahead"? /sarcasm

Posted by Will Becker | August 14, 2007 7:37 PM

Just like the Islamic terrorists, if we treat them nice they will treat us nice back. It don't work that way. No amount of diplomacy will work against an enemy determined to kill us.

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