I hear a lot of people these days ridiculing those who oppose war with Iraq (and war in general) as "Chamberlain's" or "appeasers", with the implication being that the current situation is as bad as appeasing Hitler at Munich.
I guess my question is, is and was appeasement actually wrong?
I would say absolutely not.
Although Germany had certainly violated the Versailles Treaty in several different ways, the Versailles Treaty was not actually fair to Germany. Germany was not the only one responsible for WW1, nor did they commit actions that were any worse than those committed by all the other participants (the worst being, in my opinion, conscription and shooting deserters, which all sides did).
Sure, Germany had united with Austria, and seized the Sudetenland, and reoccupied the Rhineland, but these were not actions that were any of France's or Britain's business. You might argue from a hindsight perspective that the ultimate goal was to take down France (which might or might not be true), but that is hindsight talking. Chamberlain and the rest couldn't have known this - unless they were psychic, that is.
So, in reality, the appeasement of Germany was nothing more than the major powers of Europe disengaging themselves in a matter that was really none of their business, and making every possible effort to maintain the peace.
If, instead, had British and French troops had attacked Germany, they would have been just as much in the wrong as Germany (Germany in the wrong for occupying the Sudetenland and their internal policies, Britain and France being in the wrong for invading Germany). Using force in a manner other than outright self defense, in relations between nations, is never, ever justified, and it would not have been in this case, either.