Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 16, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

"PEACE IN OUR TIME"....Here's something I'm curious about. This Reuters picture has been posted a bunch of places in the blogosphere, always with the implication that the kids holding this poster must be really stupid. Don't they know that "Peace in our time" has been considered the ultimate expression of appeasement in the face of evil ever since World War II? It's hardly a slogan likely to make their point that we should leave Saddam alone.

What I'm curious about is this. It doesn't seem likely that the slogan is an accident: "Peace in our time" is a peculiar grammatical construction and it's unlikely that some protester just accidentally stumbled across it. On the other hand, given that the placard-writer did know where the quote came from, why paint it on the sign? Overall, I can think of four possibilities:

  • It's just a coincidence; the placard writer didn't realize where the slogan came from.

  • The slogan writer knew the origin of the quote, but is too historically illiterate to realize its meaning.

  • The slogan writer knew the origin of the quote, but thinks that using it makes some subtle and (to us) inexplicable point.

  • The placard is actually being held by a pro-war demonstrator trying to make a sarcastic point about the anti-war folks, but the Reuters editor was too dim to realize it.

Any other ideas?

Kevin Drum 4:03 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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