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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Paying Extortion—Danegeld never works

Listen to Kipling, then a brief observation...

A.D. 980-1016
It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."
And that is called asking for Danegeld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Danegeld
And then you'll get rid of the Dane!
It is always a temptation for 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."
And that is called paying the Danegeld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Danegeld
You never get rid of the Dane.
It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: --
"We never pay any-one Danegeld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!"

So it is with any extortion. A child who throws a tantrum in the grocery store because he wants that cereal, now... and gets it (because Mom or Dad don't have the guts to stand up to a two-year-old) is little different in principle to the islamofascist murdering savage who blows up civilian non-combatants (men, women and children) to get attention for his "cause." Both have learned that the powers that be have deemed that they will get what they want if they cause enough trouble.
People who will let children and savages dictate their behavior to them are just a tad on the dim side: they'll be paying Danegeld forever.