Wednesday, December 09, 2009



British government Ministers told: Don't call Islamic extremists Islamic extremists

We read:
"Ministers have been BANNED from using words like Islamist and fundamentalist - in case they offend Muslims. An eight-page Whitehall guide lists words they should not use when talking about terrorism in public and gives politically correct alternatives. They are told not to refer to Muslim extremism as it links Islam to violence. Instead, they are urged to talk about terrorism or violent extremism.

Fundamentalist and Jihadi are also banned because they make an "explicit link" between Muslims and terror. Ministers should say criminals, murderers or thugs instead. Radicalisation must be called brainwashing and talking about moderate or radical Muslims is to be avoided as it "splits the community".

Islamophobia is also out as it is received as "a slur that singles out Muslims".

The guide, produced by the secretive Research, Information and Communications Unit in the Home Office, tell ministers to "avoid implying that specific communities are to blame" for terrorism. It says more than 2,000 people are engaged in terror plots.

The guidance was branded "daft" last night by a special adviser to ex-Communities Secretary Hazel Blears. Paul Richards said: "Unless you can describe what you're up against, you're never going to defeat it. Ministers need to be leading the debate on Islamic extremism and they can't do that if they have one hand tied behind their back."

Source

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is not very surprising. If you're a Brit, why would you want to perhaps insult the people who are in the process of taking full control of your country? After all, is not the strategy of appeasement a British invention?

Anonymous said...

Isn't neutrality a form of appeasement - a strategy intially adopted by the US in the face of Nazism. Britain changed the policy to declare war on Germany, the US waited until Germany declared war on it!!

Anonymous said...

What about the IRA? Britians other home grown terrorist. I don't recall their name being put off limits due to it's inflamatory nature.

Anonymous said...

That's because members of the IRA are perfectly happy to go home at night and get drunk at a pub like your average Brit. Muslim extremists, however, will instead blow up the pub.

Joey said...

Anon 2:49 AM
The U.S. was not exactly neutral before entering the war. We supplied Britain with much war materials through "lend-lease" and many Americans fought for Britain in the RAF.

Tall Tailor said...

You cannot defeat Rumpelstiltskin till you name him. That's the whole point of the tale.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't neutrality a form of appeasement"

Neutrality does not include aiding and abetting, whereas appeasement does.

Anonymous said...

7:50 - I'm talking about the period of "appeasement" before Britain entered the war in 1939, when the US was just as much "appeasing" by its neutrality and isolationism. Why is only Britain accused of "Appeasementism".

3:25 - The US could also be seen as aiding and abetting Nazi Germany by the trade and business etc it conducted up to at least 1939.

Anonymous said...

Poor Neville Chamberlain, history has treated him unfairly when he was only trying prevent a repeat of the horrors of World War I. As it was, the defeat of Germany was a pyrrhic vistory for Britain at least, but a noble sacrifice for the sake of later generations.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:47,

I'm talking about the period of "appeasement" before Britain entered the war in 1939, when the US was just as much "appeasing" by its neutrality and isolationism. Why is only Britain accused of "Appeasementism".

The US is not accused of "appeasement" because it did not negotiate or sign the Munich Agreement of 1936 in which the Sudetenland was annexed by Germany. "Appeasement" in this context is "to yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles."

There is a difference in appeasement and neutrality.

The US could also be seen as aiding and abetting Nazi Germany by the trade and business etc it conducted up to at least 1939.

Only if you change the definition of "aiding and abetting." Even so, we are talking about government policy, not the policies of companies.

It should also be remembered that the US did not sign the Treaty of Versailles as Wilson felt it was too harsh on the Germans. The US was told by the powers of Europe to stay out of their affairs and as they had borne the brunt of the fighting in WWI, they would dictate the terms. The US signed a separate treaty with Germany. Wilson's feelings on the treaty of Versailles were prophetic as the terms were a rallying point which helped bring Hitler to power.

Europe basically said "go away" to the US and now people like yourself say "where were you?"

You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

So if the US "washed its hands" of European affairs, perhaps Britain could have washed its hands of Continental affairs with the same indifference. So Britain (or Chamberlain) is blamed for trying to avert another World War with various trade-offs, while the US thinks itself virtuous for doing nothing at all - HAH!

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, it was the French who demanded the crippling reparations from Germany after WWI that led to its economic collapse and the consequent rise of Nazism; then France folded immediately when Nazi Germany attacked it, causing the British expeditionary forces to be cornered at Dunkirk.

Anonymous said...

So if you want to talk about government policy, the US didn't officially oppose Nazi Germany until almost 1942! Yes, you can't argue both ways or all ways - is it the policy of government, or the policy of companies, or the action of individuals and private organizations when you talk of opposition to Hitler?

Anonymous said...

So if the US "washed its hands" of European affairs, perhaps Britain could have washed its hands of Continental affairs with the same indifference.

I'm sorry, but what colonies has the US had in Europe?

So Britain (or Chamberlain) is blamed for trying to avert another World War with various trade-offs,

The attempt to avert another war was noble. This is not about his efforts or his intentions. It is about the results. The cost - a whole region of people and resources given to a despot without the approval of those people - was too high. There is absolutely no doubt about that. It is an historical fact and certainty. The US was not even present at the 1938 Munich Conference and neither were the Czechs. Chamberlain's proclamation that he had secured "peace in our time" was ultimately proven wrong and should serve as warning to those who say we should talk to and appease dictators and terrorists today.

while the US thinks itself virtuous for doing nothing at all - HAH!

It is not a matter of virtue. It is a matter that we were told to stay away. We did. Even then we responded to pleas from England for material and supplies which resulted in the the Lend Lease Act with England and later the Soviet Union to help combat Hitler before we were drawn into the conflict.

Anonymous said...

So if you want to talk about government policy, the US didn't officially oppose Nazi Germany until almost 1942! Yes, you can't argue both ways or all ways - is it the policy of government, or the policy of companies, or the action of individuals and private organizations when you talk of opposition to Hitler?

The US didn't declare war on Germany until 1942. Policies were in place supporting the war against Germany were in place before that.

That means that opposition was taking place on the personnel level as men signed up in the British military once after September 1939, business levels as companies stopped doing business with Germany but continued to do business with England and on a governmental level with the Lend Lease Act.

Anonymous said...

The lend-lease policy was charging Britain a lot of money and requiring it to give the US concessions and access to its bases, etc., etc. This could be seen as cynically taking advantage of Britain's vulnerability and weakening the British Empire as a future competitor in the post-war world, which the US certainly did! Of the major combatants in WWII, the US gained the most and lost the least. The stimulus led it out of a depression to become a world superpower.

Anonymous said...

If the US didn't agree with Hitler's annexations (whether or not Britain or anyone else agreed to it), why didn't they oppose it more demonstratively (or did they at all)? That is what I mean by doing nothing; while at least Chamberlain tried to stop Hitler's territorial ambitions going any further.

Anonymous said...

The lend-lease policy was charging Britain a lot of money and requiring it to give the US concessions and access to its bases, etc., etc.

You mean that the US just should give it's products and resources away? It was a lot of money because there were a lot of goods sent.

This could be seen as cynically taking advantage of Britain's vulnerability and weakening the British Empire as a future competitor in the post-war world, which the US certainly did!

Or, it could be taken that without Lend Lease, England would be speaking German right now.

Of the major combatants in WWII, the US gained the most and lost the least. The stimulus led it out of a depression to become a world superpower.

The depression was world wide, so the whole war was a "stimulus" if one wants to believe that a war makes a domestic economy strong. (Ask Germany and Japan how that turned out.)

Of the major combatants in WWII, the US gained the most and lost the least.

So let me get this straight... you think that Chamberlain's appeasement was all an evil plot to make the US a super power? Is that really where you are going with this?

Or can you simply not accept that England's appeasement of Germany was a major step that led to WWII?

Anonymous said...

That is what I mean by doing nothing; while at least Chamberlain tried to stop Hitler's territorial ambitions going any further.

1) What part of "stay out" do you not understand? The US wasn't invited to the Munich Conference. We weren't there. Now I suppose you will blame the US for being told to stay away and not showing up. Later, the US government denounced the annexation but going much further would have resulted in a rift with England. It was the perception of a rift that Hitler wanted to exploit throughout the war and here you want to have it before the war.

2) Chamberlain had a funny way of trying to stop a war - just give a despot what they want and the heck with the people that you are making slaves.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the US also agree to handing over to another despot the same regions of Europe after WWII in order to make a peaceful settlement - pot-kettle!

Anonymous said...

Didn't the US also agree to handing over to another despot the same regions of Europe after WWII in order to make a peaceful settlement - pot-kettle!

No.

Anonymous said...

Lend-lease. The US knew the UK was fighting a proxy war (it was in the US interest too that Hitler was defeated), so why charge Britain so much or anything at all.

It was just fortuitous that Hitler indirectly caused the US to become a superpower. "It's an ill wind .... etc."

Chamberlain didn't cause WWII or at least Hitler had already embarked on a major war with his neighbors and with a view to a war with the Soviet Union. Perhaps it would have been better for Britain if the Chamberlain government had ignored what Hitler was doing on the Continent so long as he didn't directly interfere with British interests. Apparently Hitler never wanted a war with the British Empire. Well we can't re-write History with 20-20 hindsight!

Anonymous said...

7:22 - Ever heard of Yalta? Perhaps not - look it up!

Anonymous said...

so why charge Britain so much or anything at all.

Because there is a cost of goods.

It was just fortuitous that Hitler indirectly caused the US to become a superpower.

Yet I thought it was a cynical US plan. That is the problem with conspiracy theorists - you deal with one part of their assumptions and they try to raise another.

Chamberlain didn't cause WWII

There is not a single serious historian that would not say that Chamberlain's actions were a major step in the path toward WWII. Cause it? No. But when strength was needed, he showed a lack of strength. When moral courage was needed, he appeased.

Well we can't re-write History with 20-20 hindsight!

Then please stop trying to do so.

Ever heard of Yalta? Perhaps not - look it up!

Yalta was not what you claim it to be, however. Even assuming that it was, perhaps you missed that Churchill was there? Signing the same agreement?

Anonymous said...

Yes Churchill was there together withRoosevelt and both allowed Stalin to have soviet control over eastern europe for the sake of world peace, including Poland despite the irony of Poland's independence being the cause of Britain and France declaring war on Germany in accordance with the previous treaty.

Hitler would surely have gone on invading his neighbors whatever Chamberlain had agreed to or not agreed to. How can Chamberlain be blamed for advancing WWII that way, though he was committed to protect Poland's integrity in the face of German aggression.

Does Britain get no credit for standing up to Hitler at great cost to itself when it had very little support from anyone else (and even had to pay for that)?

Anonymous said...

Yes Churchill was there together withRoosevelt and both allowed Stalin to have soviet control over eastern europe for the sake of world peace,

Revisionist history. Yalta divided up areas of control and occupation. It was not about world peace.

Hitler would surely have gone on invading his neighbors whatever Chamberlain had agreed to or not agreed to.

Maybe. Maybe not. We will never know, will we? We do know this. Hitler was ready to roll into the Sudetenland without the Munich Agreement. Had he done so, the war would have started earlier. That means that Hitler would not have had time to organize and militarize the factories in the Sudetenland nor use the raw materials of the area to further arm and bolster the military. We also have to question if, under the pressure of an early war, would Hitler have been able to enslave, persecute and kill an estimated 300,000 Jews in the Sudetenland.

How can Chamberlain be blamed for advancing WWII that way, though he was committed to protect Poland's integrity in the face of German aggression.

But he didn't protect the integrity of the Sudetenland. That is what he is blamed for. That failure allowed Hitler to believe that he could invade other nations with impunity. After all, no one in the region had stepped up to stop him.

The Munich Agreement is widely viewed and accepted as a major milestone on the path that led to WWII.

Does Britain get no credit for standing up to Hitler at great cost to itself when it had very little support from anyone else (and even had to pay for that)?

Who ever said that England gets no credit? That is simply ridiculous to even insinuate that I or anyone here has put that forth.

I am still confused as to why you feel that a country that is at war should not have to pay for goods from another country. Would you have been happier if the US had said "nope - sorry. No goods for you!" Or is it your position that while your citizens are working in factories and getting paid, US citizens should work for free to support a war that initially did not concern them?

Would you have rather the US said "we are going to need these goods and materials so you are on your own?"

Britain deserves a lot of credit. No one would deny that. The leadership of Churchill during the war was a beacon to many countries. Dowding was brilliant during the Battle of Britain. Many of their admirals were quite good as well. However, their most popular and well known general, Bernard Law Montgomery was much better suited for tactics used prior to and in the First Word War. He should have been relieved many times and at least two of his failures (Market Garden and the Falaise Gap) caused the war to last longer than needed. He also was horrible during the Normandy invasion (Caan on D-Day? HAH!) and during the Battle of the Bulge was even more worthless.

Britain has a long list of which to be proud during WWII. Chamberlain and Montgomery and not on that list.

Anonymous said...

I have said before that as the UK was also fighting for the ultimate benefit of the US as well, it should not have been indebted so much that the population was reduced to severe rationing for years after WWII was over and still paying off war loans to the US into the 1980s, meanwhile the US was entering a period of great prosperity thanks to the advantageous position it won from the War.

As Hitler made a persuasive case for "merely" reuniting lands of the former German empire, Chamberlain might have been accused of being too precipitous in taking military action before Hitler actualy invaded Poland. You are expecting Chamberlain to foresee all outcomes, and even if he could I think he was in a no-win situation.

I also think that FDR and Churchill were effectively appeasing Stalin by agreeing to his having half of Europe as a sphere of influence (a much greater area than Chamberlain "gave away") in order to prevent another war over territory with the Soviet Union. Chamberlain lost his gamble, and FDR and Churchill came very close to losing theirs too as the Cold War often came close to being a Hot War.

Anonymous said...

I have said before that as the UK was also fighting for the ultimate benefit of the US as well,

You are free to postulate that as theory as much as you like. It doesn't mean it is true in any sense of the word.

As Hitler made a persuasive case for "merely" reuniting lands of the former German empire,

The "persuasion" was his army on the boarder. I guess you feel that a robber with a gun (ooops. Sorry. A knife) is making a good case to give up your property.

You are expecting Chamberlain to foresee all outcomes, and even if he could I think he was in a no-win situation.

Frankly, it doesn't matter that he could or could not see all outcomes. It is clear that he could see the exact outcome that occurred. He actions are a milestone on the path to war. Many historians have argued that if Chamberlain had said no to Hitler at Munich, the war would not have lasted as long or have been as costly in terms of causalities and money.

I also think that FDR and Churchill were effectively appeasing Stalin

You may think that, but your view is revisionist history concerning what happened at Yalta.

Sean said...

Ministers have BANNED Islamists and fundamentalists - in case they offend actual human beings. There, fixed it for you.

Robert said...

The big lesson from Chamberlain's failed appeasement of Hitler is that appeasement of an aggressive tyrant does not avoid war. It only makes the inevitable war bigger, bloodier, and more costly. Islam is that aggressive tyrant today, and war is inevitable. The only question is, are you going to fight Islam now, while you have the advantage, or later, after Islam has built up a sizable advantage, including with your own resources given to them to postpone the war? Winston Churchill recognized these truths when he said:

"If you will not fight when you can win easily and without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly, then you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: You may have to fight with no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

A corrolary is that "Weakness and cowardice are provocative." They simply embolden aggressive enemies, who become still more aggressive. England and France waited until they had to fight with all the odds against them, and only a precarious chance at survival before they realized that Hitler was never going to stop his aggression unless they stopped him. The same is true of Islam today, only they are more at the point where Europe's victory over Islam is sure and not too costly, if they stand up to the menace and use their advantage now. But if they keep allowing the Islamic enemy to grow stronger and stronger, including off of Europe's own resources, while Europe gets weaker and weaker, Europe will wake up one day to find out they have war with Islam on their hands anyway, and a far bigger one than the ones they sought to avoid.

Anonymous said...

People who use terms like "revisionist history" and "conspiracy theories" are themselves adopting a biased view, as there is no one official or orthodox view of historical events or even recent events, especially one favoring one's own country or politics or religion, etc. Events can be looked at from many points of view and many angles, and anyone really interested in history would not just dismiss other people's perspectives out of hand and rather rudely as some do here just because it doesn't suit their prejudices and preconceived notions.

Anonymous said...

Some could say what business was it of Chamberlain or Britain to interfere with what Germany was doing on the Continent other than complain, if it wasn't directly threatening Britain. If Chamberlain went to war with Hitler in 1936 he would have been called an imperialist war monger no better than Hitler who could have claimed he was merely defending the borders of the German-speaking people, etc., etc.
Hitler never wanted a war with Britain as he saw Britain and Germany as having their own spheres of influence and being of the same ayrian or germanic heritage. He even wanted to emulate the British empire with a new German empire. Britain ended up beggering itself to defeat Hitler (whether or not other countries are grateful for its efforts) and maybe its self-interest would have been better served making a pact with Hitler at the outset, which Hitler would have been glad of in order to be free to wage war on the Soviet Union, then perhaps Nazism and Communism would have wiped each other out and we'd be a lot better off today without all the horrors of WWII and the Cold War. Isn't history fun!

Anonymous said...

Sorry forgot about Japan, that's another case to mull over.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps most of us should be grateful to Hitler for our very existence, as WWII so altered everyone's movements that those born after WWII would not have been conceived in the same way.

Anonymous said...

To say that there is no such thing as "revisionist history" or "conspiracy theories" is a denial of reality.

Those who bring forth such histories and theories often start with the premise and work backwards. If calling them on that flawed premise is "rude" and "dismissive," then so be it.

Anonymous said...

"history" is often just propaganda interpreting events in favor of one's own country or race or religion or politics, etc. It is clear that different countries have a different take on WWII for instance, as is shown in this string of comments where the american posters are uncritical of the US role but highly critical of Britain's.
btw. saying other people are denying reality can just as easily be said back, and begs the question what is "reality" - like "truth" it has many sides.

Use the Name, Luke said...

Who is criticizing Britain's role?

As far as I'm concerned—and I'm sure most posters would agree—Britain was critical to winning the war in Europe. While their strategic location as an island nation within range of Europe was important, it would have meant nothing without the British people buckling down both fighting off Germany's attacks and their raw endurance through the worst of the air raids and shortages. Personally, I highly respect the British during the actual fighting during WWII, and I suspect I am not alone, despite what you think.

However, we are criticizing an individual: Neville Chamberlain. More specifically, we are criticizing his attitude of appeasement which provided cover for Hitler's growing threat to the rest of the world.

For example, you may not be aware that the German commanders were under secret orders to turn back at the slightest resistance as they were entering the Rhineland. Because of Neville Chamberlain and his ilk, there was no resistance. As a result, the German people fell more strongly under Hitler's spell. It made them think that the rest of the world thought there was truth to the propaganda that they had a right to unite the world (or at least Europe) under the banner of the Third Reich and more importantly that it would be peaceful.

Just think, a very small amount of resistance early on would have weakened Hitler's support amongst the German population and considerably shortened, if not eliminated (unlikely) the war in Europe. That's why Chamberlain's attitude of "peace at any cost" (which turned out to be millions upon millions of lives) is so widely vilified.

Anonymous said...

So why didn't Americans see this and support Britain with more than just selling them them arms and materials - yes, making a profit on them? (or some would say - let the Brits take the flak til the situation becomes more advantageous to us/US")

Use the Name, Luke said...

Here's some good reading on the subject:

HyperWar: British War Economy, Chapter IX

Anonymous said...

Thank you Luke for posting that. Everyone who has posted on this thread should read this very carefully.

Anonymous said...

And then read through this whole thread again.