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->''"First they came for [[UsefulNotes/{{Socialism}} the socialists]], and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a socialist.\\
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a trade unionist.\\
Then they came for [[UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}} the Jews]], and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Jew.\\
Then they came for me -- and there was no-one left to speak for me."''
-->-- '''Martin Niemoeller'''

A new BigBad is on the march. Time for the forces of good to stand up and fight. Unfortunately for the heroes, the man in charge of their particular political organization has Head-in-the-Sand Management, and sees no reason to do this. Perhaps he literally doesn't see the threat. Perhaps he doesn't think that the threat is a problem for their specific country. Perhaps he thinks the villain can be talked into leaving them alone or bought off in some way. In any event, he's going to do his best to get in the way of doing anything productive to fight the villain. Head-in-the-Sand Management is usually not portrayed as himself a bad guy, just willfully blind to the problem.

May also be an ObstructiveBureaucrat. Frequently used by the villain for their EvilPlan, in which case, expect a HeelRealization when they recognize the threat and their role in it. May cause PacifismBackfire. Compare with TheQuisling, a leader who is literally in the employ of the villain. Opposite number to the ReasonableAuthorityFigure. See also DividedWeFall and WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong Compare NoObjectPermanence, for when someone believes anything they can't see doesn't exist.

See OstrichHeadHiding for the AnimalStereotype and UrbanLegend that ostriches literally hide their heads in the sand.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'': The government tends to take this approach, only humoring the Survey Corps but primarily being concerned with maintaining the Status Quo even while humanity is slowly dying off.
* The Earth Federation slowly started to have this hat starting in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'' where they remain unsupportive to the Anti-Earth Union Group and Karaba in facing Neo-Zeon since they don’t have much resources but they willingly abandoned many civilians during the Dublin ColonyDrop. It doesn’t help that they made a deal with Neo-Zeon. Then in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'', they gave Char some gold and an asteroid just to stop him [[TemptingFate from doing more colony drops on Earth]]. But anyone who is familiar of Char such as Bright Noa and Amuro know that he’s still going to drop the asteroid and they’re right. The Federation’s attitude increasingly became worse in the Late Universal Century that they’re completely useless against the [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91 Crossbone]] [[Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam Vanguard]] and [[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam the Zanscare Empire]].
* Season 2 of ''Anime/PsychoPass'' has the Sibyl System who were ignorant on the danger that Kirito Kamui imposed most especially when he kidnapped an Inspector, created a hostage situation which resulted to many casualties and killed many of their Enforcers so he can steal their Dominators. And yet, Sibyl kept their heads and focused on trying to darken Akane’s Psycho-pass instead. Later on, it’s revealed that Sibyl knew that Kamui is dangerous and were unable to comprehend his entity which explains their inaction against him. But it’s already too late when [[spoiler:Kamui gains the upper hand and judges the system by forcing them to remove their brains with high crime coefficients]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Guardians of the Universe in the ''Franchise/GreenLantern'' mythos frequently fill this role, most recently in the ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'' event, where all save two refuse to believe in the prophecy and the coming of the War of Light until it is too late.
* The same stick you could use to find someone who used CulturalPosturing in ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' could also be used who also used this trope, at least with the original continuity. Quite notably, the Kingdom of Acorn and the entire Echidna race were like this very heavily.
** Harvey Who, the head of the Kingdom of Acorn's intelligence agency, delivered a powerful TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to Elias Acorn when the latter came to get his aid in trying to reclaim the throne from Naugus. He kept warning them over and over not to trust certain people and that bad things were coming, but Maximilian Acorn, the previous king, refused to listen, rather listening to the Source of All's guidance and all of Mobius paid the price. When he realized Elias had a lot better head on his shoulders, Harvey agreed to help.
** The Brotherhood of Guardians were even worse with H.I.T.S. management. They entrusted the safety and welfare of Angel Island to a naive and inexperienced teenager who was easily duped by a tyrannical warlord and when said warlord and other threats attack the island, they don't do a damn thing about it.
* ''ComicBook/{{Annihilation}}:'' Of the three major intergalactic powers involved, the Skrulls are involved with the war from day one, the Shi'ar aren't involved at all, and the Kree are being lead by House Fiyero, who just weaselled their way into power, and don't care too much about the war, even once it's reached their doorstep. And making matters worse, House Fiyero even sides with the Annihilation Wave toward the end.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'': The Equestrian government during [[DarkMessiah Talonhoof's]] assault. When it first becomes clear he's enslaving and brutalising ponies, they do nothing. When he starts massacring their outer territories, they ignore it, and in some cases even call the survivors liars. When his armies are almost at their doorstep, they try to appease him, even when their ambassadors come back either in pieces, or not at all. They try surrendering, even when it's clear Talonhoof wants nothing less to kill every single pony there is, and he's never going to stop.
* ''Fanfic/QueenOfShadows'': This is how [[HeroAntagonist Lord Rokutaro]] and his followers feel about the Imperial Court of Japan, who seem willing to completely ignore [[TheEmpire the Shadowkhan's]] conquest and enslavement of the southern islands, and why they are acting to confront the Shadowkhan themselves before they conquer all of Japan.
* ''Fanfic/BeautifulFictionsBabylon'': Fuhrer Hakuro deals with the terrorist terrorizing Central by completely ignoring her and refusing to give Mustang any back-up when he tries to deal with the problem. When it becomes apparent that homeless people were brutally murdered or sometimes eaten, he notes that Central is [[KillThePoor better off without them.]]
* ''Fanfic/FireEmblemAwakeningInvisibleTies'': In chapter 7, Chrom calls Emmeryn out on constantly focusing on diplomacy while Gangrel freely sends raiding parties into Ylisse to cause chaos, and finally takes the initiative to confront the raiders himself when she won't listen to him. It takes Gangrel kidnapping Maribelle and trying to ransom her for the Fire Emblem for Emmeryn to finally get it through her thick skull that no, Gangrel ''won't'' listen to reason and ''has'' to be stopped by force.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In a non-military example, the President and Vice President ([[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed who are clearly George W. Bush and Dick Cheney]]) in ''Film/TheDayAfterTomorrow'', particularly the latter. Neither is ready to accept (perhaps with some good reason) or act on the scientific predictions of doom in a century or so for half the world.
* The Jedi Council in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' prequels, particularly the first one. Even after they recognize the problem, they are hard-pressed to not act like idiots. In fact, they seem to discover there is a growing conspiracy in the Republic in ''each'' film, seemingly at the same time Palpatine has another rise in power, but choose to ignore all the signs or put two and two together until the third film.
** Count Dooku leaves the Jedi because of this, among other reasons. When he later turns up as the leader of an enemy movement, the Jedi and Chancellor Palpatine STILL sit on their butts until the very last second. Palpatine has an excuse (he's the BigBad and Dooku is secretly his minion). The Jedi don't.
** Chancellor Valorum appears to be this, too, but it's in fact another case of Palpatine pulling strings, in this case to make Valorum appear ineffectual when he was in fact pushing for intervention and had directly sent the Jedi to investigate in the the first place.
--->'''Amidala:''' I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee!
** Padme qualifies as well. She leads a cadre of senators who want to defeat the proposed Republic bill to create a standing army. It really isn't her pacifism, but the fact that, given who the Republic is dealing with, she should know better. The Trade Federation quickly curbstomped her planet only ten years before and they're the ones bankrolling Dooku, along with a dozen other similar organizations. Though the fact she didn't trust then-Chancellor Palpatine's {{Cincinnatus}} routine might have played a part.
*** Later on, when Anakin confesses his genocidal ways to Padmé, she consoles him, telling him he's not as bad as he thinks he is. [[DoomedByCanon Predictably, this does not end well]].
** The New Republic in the sequel trilogy is guilty of this. So far they decided to simply support the Resistance instead of sending their fleets to aid them in fighting the First Order. This allowed the First Order to build their new superweapon which they used to destroy the Republic capital in the Hosnian system.
* Mayor Phlegmming in ''Film/OsmosisJones''.
* The Prime Minister in ''Film/QuatermassAndThePit''.
* King Théoden flirts with being this briefly in the film version of ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]'', initially refusing to help Gondor, until the [[GondorCallsForAid beacons are lit]] and he decides to send in TheCavalry. His reticence is justified however, since Gondor had increasingly refused to aid ''them'' in recent years, something he calls Aragorn [[ShutUpKirk out on]] when he brings up their BindingAncientTreaty. It's implied his decision is partially because he wanted to make a point that at least ''Rohan'' still had the honour to live up to their commitments.
* ''Film/JuanOfTheDead'': Rather than deal with the zombies, the Cuban authorities claim that they are [[BlatantLies dissidents being paid by the U.S. government]] and organise a protest in front of the U.S. embassy. A large group of un-armed people gathering in one place during a zombie outbreak goes about as well as you think it would.
* The Archon in ''Film/{{Immortals}}'' is sure that he can negotiate with King Hyperion, right until the moment where Hyperion kills him.
* In ''Film/PacificRim'', when Jaegers start actively losing the war against Kaiju, the UN's response is to redirect all their funds and efforts into building massive walls blocking the Pacific Ocean from the rest of the continents. Even after a Kaiju tears through Australia's wall like tissue paper (it later gets killed by Australia's Jaeger pilots), they outright state their intention is to continue building the wall instead of continuing the arms race against the Kaiju.

* Creator/DavidWeber: The liberal and pro-peace political parties in any of his novels are written as naïve people who believe in the "peace at any cost" philosophy.
** TabletopGame/{{Starfire}}
** Literature/HonorHarrington
** ''Literature/InFuryBorn''
** But not the [[Literature/TheWarGods Bahzell]] series. There the pro-peace liberals are the good guys - because they're trying to bring an end to a pointless CycleOfRevenge style vendetta between the two cultures that's been going on for over a thousand years so that they both can better prepare to face the real enemy.
* Cornelius Fudge in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' books and films first becoming glaringly apparent in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix The Order of the Phoenix]]''. He ended up getting the sack after the true nature of the threat became apparent, lingering, like Chamberlain, as an advisor to his successor. It's possible that Fudge was intended to sit in for Chamberlain, who had a similar approach to the rise of Hitler until [[FromBadToWorse it got worse]].
** Brilliantly parodied in ''Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical'' when Voldemort breaks into Fudge's office to take over the Ministry of Magic:
--->'''Voldemort:''' Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic!\\
'''Fudge:''' I ''still'' don't believe you're back.\\
'''Voldemort:''' Believe this, Fudge! Avada Kedavra!\\
'''Fudge:''' Oh, heart attack... surely. ''[dies]''
** Another example is found in ''VideoGame/LegoHarryPotter'': The whole stance of the guy is summarized by him putting his hands over his ears and going "bla bla bla".
* None of the Trojan leadership in ''Literature/TheIliad'' ever listens to [[CassandraTruth poor Cassandra]] (though that was [[JustifiedTrope divinely ordained]]).
* The Board of Trustees of the First Foundation in the first part of the novel ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' of Creator/IsaacAsimov. They represent a specific part of the decadence of the galactic empire: the excessive reliance on a greater authority.
* Prince (later King) Meurig of Gwent in ''Literature/TheWarlordChronicles''. He starts out by convincing his fellow Gwentians to back out of the war with Powys, which any realist would see would quickly lead to Dumnonia becoming a Powysian puppet-state, thus surrounding Gwent on three sides. In the second book, while king, refuses to intervene in a civil war in Dumnonia in support of Arthur, potentially leaving governance in the hands of a group of Saxon-backed conspirators. In the third, he refuses to join with the other British nations in resisting the Saxon invasion of Dumnonia, which proves a bridge too far: his father Tewdric returns to the throne briefly to resist the invasion. The series' framing device makes clear that Meurig's kingdom was within his lifetime mostly conquered by the Saxons.
* Mr. Desjardins, the Chief Lector of the House of Life in ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'', spends most of the first book either ignoring or seeming not to care that Set is about to destroy the world, being more concerned with killing the god-hosting heroes. He eventually graduates to DividedWeFall.
* ''Franchise/StarTrekNovelverse'':
** The Literature/StarTrekTheNextGenerationRelaunch novel ''Before Dishonor'' features a character who negotiates with the all powerful Borg which has assimilated Janeway and has Earth by the balls. Who then quotes Chamberlain...and [[TooDumbToLive is promptly blasted to smithereens.]]
** The Governance Kernel of the Sentry Coalition, in the ''Literature/StarTrekTitan'' novel ''Synthesis''. They refuse to listen to the warnings of [=SecondGen=] White-Blue and [=FirstGen=] Zero-Three regarding an impending incursion of massive proportions by the [[EldritchLocation Null]]. White-Blue is frequently dismissed as unduly alarmist.
* The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse gives us the Fallanassi, who are such pacifists that, even when billions of people are dying, they refuse to take up arms.
** The New Republic hardly does anything useful, and its senators are either corrupt or easily manipulated by the latest threat to the galaxy, and most of the time they either hamper or ignore the heroes warnings of next galactic threat. Such as the Yuuzhan Vong.
* Lord Darlington in ''Literature/TheRemainsOfTheDay'' is one of the proponents of appeasement in the 1930s.
* The Pre War Presidential Administration in ''Literature/WorldWarZ'', who ignored the solutions to preventing the looming global zombie outbreak, instead performing a few token solutions that ranged from unhelpful to genuinely harmful (i.e. allowing a bogus vaccine to pass through the FDA). When interviewing the former Chief of Staff, [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Grover Carlson]], Max Brooks calls him out on this.
* ''Every. Single. Character'' with access to military resources in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. After thousands of years, the Others have returned and are raising an army of the dead beyond the Wall? What imaginations the men of the Night's Watch have. Zombies or not, there's definitely an invasion underway and the Wall is hopelessly underdefended? Great, that should keep the King in the North busy and out of the fighting for the Iron Throne.
** A better example of this trope might be Cersei's attempts to rule Westeros. She undermines Tyrion as often as she can [[EvilIsPetty purely out of spite,]] and when given the opportunity [[StupidEvil she gets rid of all the experienced councilors and replaces them with toadies who are unable or unwilling to give her useful advice (which she seldom listens to anyway).]] Despite the aforementioned civil war threatening the destruction of her entire family, and the DeadlyDecadentCourt containing a large number of highly skilled opponents who will grab more power as soon as they can, she ignores all the long-term problems and focuses only on her own impulsive decisions. [[spoiler: As of the end of book five, this has come back to bite her REALLY hard]].
* The White Council in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. The Merlin and his people want to appease the Red Court (by offering them Harry's head), when it's fairly clear that the vampires ''want'' a war. They also completely deny the possibly of a rogue faction within the Council, despite mounting evidence. [[spoiler:At least some of this behavior was probably due to a traitor using mind magic to subtly influence their decisions as the Merlin seemed to have pulled up his head out of the sand and was preparing to go on the offensive in Literature/{{Changes}}.]]
* Zeus/Jupiter from ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' and ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'' is aware of the rising threat of the Titans and Giants, but tries to deny and ignore it until his fellow gods force him to confront it with irrefutable evidence. By the time he decides to take action is is too late and he has to rely on mortal heroes which is partially what galls him in the first place.
* The ''Literature/AgeOfFire'' series has the Hypatian Directory (a mix of Parliament and a bureaucracy) acting like this when the Red Queen of [[TheEmpire Ghioz]] declares war. They write off the reports of her barbarian allies invading as a common and unimportant matter, even as their own lands are being overrun. And when they finally accept what's happening, they immediately surrender [[spoiler: (not that it saves any of them)]].
* In ''Literature/TheInitiateBrother'', Emperor Akantsu refuses to accept that the barbarian incursion he [[UriahGambit secretly invited]] has actually turned out to be a full-scale invasion. As the barbarian army advances through the empire, he insists that it's small and insignificant - you see, the forces retreating ahead of the barbarians are rebels, and are only ''pretending'' to be fleeing as an excuse to advance towards him. He sends first his guard commander and then his son to deal with the situation, and they both tell him that the barbarian threat is real... so they're traitors too, obviously. He does eventually see the truth, but is defeated and killed without ever accepting any responsibility for being so catastrophically wrong.
* In ''Literature/StarksWar'', the army's top brass is pretty much incapable of understanding or accepting anything that doesn't fit what they were planning to do anyway. The enemy has defenses which would complicate a planned advance? Our troops are dying in scores because we keep charging right into enemy heavy artillery fire? No, sergeant, our intelligence reports assure us that you're just imagining it, and clearly, the plan can't be wrong. Further comment from the ranks is not required.
* ''Literature/WingsOfFire'': Queen Magnificent of the [=RainWing=]s completely ignores Glory's permission to find the missing dragons in their village, saying that it's not her loss. [[spoiler:This is what gets Glory to challenge her for the [=RainWing=] throne]].
* In ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'', Jonathon's father King Roald was known for being a peacekeeper and wanted to avoid confrontation at all costs. On one hand, he did not punish Alanna for lying about her gender to be a knight. But on the other hand, he forgave [[spoiler: Roger]] who had attempted to kill the Queen.
* President Yancey and the other Neo-Confederate leaders in ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'', who refuse to accept the seriousness of the situation and deal forcefully with the [[DirtyCommunists Commune]] when they launch their bid for power. They are saved by protagonist John Rumford and his allies in the Confederate military, who are willing to [[NukeEm do what it takes]] to win.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* President David Palmer on ''Series/TwentyFour'' is accused of being this by his Vice President in season two, though he turns out to be right.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** In the History and Lore videos on The Vale, Petyr Baelish, admittedly biased, regards this as the chief failing of the Vale, noting that their geographical defenses have kept them isolated from matters of real concern, like making peace with or destroying the Hill Tribes and it feeds them an unjustified sense of security and superiority.
** In the series proper, amoral MadScientist Qyburn accuses the Maesters of this, directly accusing them of being behind Westeros' MedievalStasis. Initially, this seems to be just a NeverMyFault justification for his ForScience attitude, but then comes TheReveal in season 7. Namely, that the Maesters know, and have always known, that the White Walkers ''are'' real, but they see no reason to bother with alerting the rulers of Westeros because they assume that the Wall in the North will keep them at bay as it has done for centuries.
** Tywin's review on Tytos Lannister's rule. The eldest son had to step in when brewing, unattended conflicts were mismanaged for far too long.
* Used many times in all incarnations of ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Chamberlains can be found liberally sprinkled among Starfleet's admiralty, the Federation's civilian leadership, and the councils of many alien worlds. The stick they wield is the Prime Directive, originally drafted to prevent the Federation from imposing its will on defenseless alien species, now ironically [[StartXToStopX aiding and abetting the very same]].
** Website/SFDebris uses this trope when discussing the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Demilitarized_Zone DMZ]], the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Neutral_zone Neutral Zone]], or the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Maquis Maquis]].
** [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in the popular ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "In the Pale Moonlight." Sisko sells his best arguments for why the Romulans should stop aiding the enemy, while Dax role-plays as a Romulan proconsul. If it goes this badly in ''rehearsal'', just imagine how unpleasant the real deal would be.
--->'''Dax''' ''(as Romulan)'': From where I'm sitting, the Dominion isn't a threat to me. I have a non-aggression pact with them. They're my allies.\\
'''Sisko:''' You're not going to put your faith in some ''piece of paper'', are you?\\
'''Dax:''' Not at all: I've been watching them very closely since the beginning of the war, and so far, they've kept their part of the bargain...\\
'''Sisko''': They're violating your territory ''almost every day!'' What kind of an ally is that?!\\
'''Dax''': So they're crossing my backyard to give the Federation a bloody nose. I can't say that makes me very sad.\\
'''Sisko:''' ''(getting incensed)'' You can't be naive enough to think that the Dominion is going to stop with the Federation! When they're finished with us, they're coming after '''you'''!\\
'''Dax:''' That's speculation--\\
'''Sisko:''' The Founders see it as their sacred duty to bring order to the galaxy -- ''Their'' order! Do you think they'll sit idly by while you keep your chaotic empire right next to their perfect order? No! If you watch us go under, then what you're really doing is signing your own death warrant!
* ''Series/SeaQuestDSV'': Secretary General Arthur [=McGath=] of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SeaQuest_DSV United Earth Oceans Organization (UEO)]] refuses to consider military action regardless of the threat.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** In the second-season finale, as the station is gearing up for possible conflict with the newly (re-)military expansionist Centauri, a high-level diplomat comes to the station from Earth...and reveals that he's there to make a ''non-aggression treaty'' with the Centauri. ''He even says "peace in our time."'' However, while he was serious in his intent, he was chosen for this task by superiors who were working with the Shadows (who didn't want their pawns fighting).
** Early in the fourth season, the Drazi and Hyach ambassadors who want to prevent Delenn and her few remaining supporters from continuing attacks on the Shadows. They believe that if the Army of Light doesn't antagonize the Shadows, they might well go back to sleep for another thousand years, but if Delenn and company press on, it will drag everyone down into the abyss. As is usual with this trope, the Drazi and Hyach ambassadors aren't evil... they're just wrong.
* Happens a few times in ''Series/StargateSG1'', notably Kinsey and Woolsey (though the latter got character development). Repeatedly, when there ''is'' an {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}, their problem is that they don't think that the enemy of the season is a real threat.
** It gets worse after the introduction of [[NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering the I.O.A.]], who insist on inflicting ridiculous policies on SGC personnel, all whilst ignoring the various major threats that are posed to annihilate Earth or the galaxy at any given moment. For the most part, the SGC personnel seem to consider the I.O.A. to be [[AuthorityInNameOnly a joke organization]] and are well aware that it's members are such [[SlaveToPR slaves to PR]], they'd never want to be seen [[ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike complaining]] about Earth being saved ''because'' they were ignored.
* In the original ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'', the President worries about offending the Cylons, brushing off some very concerning warnings, only to lead his people into an ambush that nearly accomplishes the genocide of his entire people. [[spoiler: The [[TheQuisling chief peace broker]] was working for the Cylons the whole time.]]
* The former [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]] is referred to in an episode of ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' when Jerry is assuring George that an executive at NBC won't cancel their pilot just because Kramer threw up on her.
-->'''Jerry''': Vomit is not a deal breaker. [...] If Hitler had vomited on Chamberlain, Chamberlain still would have given him Czechoslovakia.\\
'''George''': Chamberlain? You could stick his head in the toilet, he still would have given you half of Europe!
* ''Series/VeronicaMars'' can't seem to meet an authority figure who isn't a complete horse's ass with the exception of her father when he is temporarily reinstated as sheriff ([[spoiler:after Sheriff Lamb's death]]).
* ''Series/YesMinister'', when Humphrey lists the "Five Standard Excuses", includes this bit:
--> '''Humphrey:''' Fourth, there's the excuse we used for the Munich agreement: It occurred before certain important facts were known, and couldn't happen again.\\
'''Hacker:''' What important facts?\\
'''Humphrey:''' Well, that Hitler wanted to conquer Europe.\\
'''Hacker:''' I thought everybody knew that!\\
'''Humphrey:''' Not the Foreign Office.\\

* Music/DanielAmos: In the short story that accompanies the album ''Music/{{Alarma}}'', one scene has the Reverend James Cursory reassure his church congregation. He tells them that everything is okay, that there are no problems at all--and the rampaging giant outside is just their imaginations. All they need to do is sing and feel good, and their imaginary problems will go away! The giant levels the church while they’re singing.

[[folder:Tabletop Game]]
* Happens frequently in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', depending one which side of the galaxy, many Imperial worlds are governed by corrupt and inept rulers who ignore any signs of possible danger thinking that sending a few thousand Imperial Guardsmen can stamp it out. Only for the threat to have escalated into near unstoppable, whether its an Ork WAAAGH!!!, a Chaos horde, or a Tyranid Hive Fleet, the imperial rulers would mostly remain oblivious to it, or just flee the system.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Referenced in ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} IV'', where after meeting a rival civilization for the first time and you don't immediately declare war on them, your response is "There shall be peace in our time!" It's a very rare game indeed when such optimism isn't proven to be misplaced.
* Much like the later council in the ''Star Wars'' prequels, the plot of the ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' series is kick-started by the Jedi Council being content to sit and wait as Mandalorian armies ravage the Republic, with a number of Jedi going against their wishes and following Revan off to war. What's left of the council continues this sort of behavior in the second game - when the Exile find them on your own, they're reasonable enough, but bring them all back together on Dantooine and they [[spoiler: immediately turn on the Exile, out of fear because the Exile became a Force ''[[HumanoidAbomination black hole]]'' after Malachor V, declaring them to be Sith and contemplate having the Exile killed.]]
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', the Trooper storyline has you go after a highly competent and ruthless Sith general. [[spoiler: After a lot of hard work, luck and HeroicSacrifice you succeed in capturing him. You are given a medal and told that the Republic has traded the prisoner back to the Empire for some trivial concessions. ]] There is an undeclared war going on with the Sith Empire that the Republic is losing but the Senate sees no reason to be concerned and things that they can still negotiate with the Sith.
* In the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series, the Council has this attitude towards the Reapers despite Shepard repeatedly telling them that they're coming, especially Sparatus, and Shepard has the opportunity to not only [[WhatTheHellHero call them out on it]], but can even [[spoiler:refuse to save them in the first game, not that their replacements are any better]]. All three quickly do a 180 in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' when the Reapers finally arrive, and amusingly turian Sparatus is the most supportive of the three. Salarian Valern requires Shepard to [[spoiler:rescue him from Cerberus]], and the supposedly reasonable asari Tevos first states that, "The cruel and unfortunate truth is that while the Reapers focus on Earth, we can prepare and regroup," then refuses to give Shepard a vital clue until it is already too late. [[spoiler:This ends up resulting in LaserGuidedKarma when Thessia falls to the Reapers about as fast as Earth did once the Reapers actually reach it.]]
** Lampshaded during the Citadel coup attempt. When you tell them [[spoiler:Udina]] sold them out to Cerberus, Tevos admits that every time they've doubted you before (i.e. every time you've spoken to them except when you proved Saren's treachery), it hasn't ended well for them.
** During the ''Citadel'' DLC, an easy-to-miss part of the background [[spoiler: reveals that the council was flat-out lying to Shepard; they actually ''did'' believe in the Reapers and the more believable explanations they parroted at Shepard were just excuses for them to ignore a problem they could barely comprehend, let alone handle.]]
* Grand Cleric Elthina of the Kirkwall [[TheChurch Chantry]] in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. You can warn her about anti-Qunari fanatics abusing her seal, but she doesn't act against them until [[spoiler: the Viscount's son is murdered and violence is all but inevitable.]] Her refusal to take a stand in the Mage-Templar conflict leads to both sides becoming radicalized - the Templars turn Kirkwall into a borderline police state, while cornered mages turn to blood magic in droves. [[spoiler: Anders gets so fed up that he blows up the entire Chantry with her in it, forcing the issue.]]
** Viscount Dumar also tends to take a very quiet route in regards to the Qunari. He clearly doesn't like them and doesn't like his son hanging around with them, but his only actions amount to sending Hawke to try and appease them. Part of the problem is that the Viscount doesn't want to do anything lest he [[SlaveToPR incur the wrath]] of the nobles, but neither can he take a direct approach as the Arishok refuses to say anything to him other than "Begone", forcing him to rely on Hawke, as the ''only'' person in Kirkwall the Arishok considers [[WorthyOpponent worthy]] of his attention. [[spoiler: After the murder of his son by Chantry zealots hoping to frame the Qunari, he [[DespairEventHorizon stops caring]] altogether, leading to the situation deteriorating rapidly, the Qunari beginning a military coup of the city and his subsequent execution by the Arishok]].
* The Argent Crusade and Cenarion Circle with regard to the Horde trampling on their stated purposes in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* The Arcane Council of ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' is the governing body of the Asura. They accept the Inquest and will side with them on most matters, even in the face of overwhelming evidence against them. This includes when an Inquest agent openly attacked the Council and they decided to have the event sent to a sub-committee rather than censure the attacker. They also chose to bury information on the Elder Dragons consuming magic so they could protect themselves rather than help defeat them.
* The undead endings of ''VideoGame/AgeOfWonders'', when the PlayerCharacter comes to their senses and sees [[{{Necromancer}} Inioch]] for [[OmnicidalManiac what he is]]. [[spoiler:In one version, the PC realizes this too late and their own forces come to kill them; in the other the PC escapes, knowing Inioch will hunt them endlessly.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' the leaders of the Dimension of Lame [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20040608 jump head-on into this trope]] when they're attacked by DemonicInvaders. Their entire defense strategy consists of two phases: first, ask the demons to stop killing them ''really nicely''; second, if the first phase doesn't work, ask the demons to stop killing them really nicely ''a few million times''. Sending them fruit baskets is optional, but a plus. This is somewhat justified by it being a dimension of {{Actual Pacifist}}s, to the point where the most violently psychotic person in the entire dimension is [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone horrified]] when he stubs a demon's toe. And when two people come to the reluctant conclusion that fighting might be necessary, they implement that plan by ''arguing with each other'' in an attempt to scare away the demons.
* ''Webcomic/TheTrenches'': [[PointyHairedBoss Mr Credenza]].
-->'''Credenza:''' What you're telling me is incredibly frustrating and I don't like hearing it.\\
'''Isaac:''' That's why I brought it to your attention, sir.\\
'''Credenza:''' No, this is what's frustrating. That you are bringing it to my attention.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An alarming number of examples to be found within the world of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Long Feng, the EvilChancellor of Ba-Sing-Se, has elements of this. While he's clearly aware of the war with the Fire Nation, he seems more interested in keeping it under wraps than actually doing anything about them, and he spends far more time scheming against the Avatar, the world's last realistic hope, than against his enemies.
*** Though he's not a completely straight example, as he ''is'' portrayed as outright evil, and he's very ruthless in enforcing his own power- he just doesn't want to jeopardize it.
** The leadership of the Northern Water Tribe also falls under this, having spent 85 years of a 100-year world war doing absolutely nothing following an earlier skirmish with the Fire Nation. They only rouse themselves to fight off a second invasion of their fortress-city, and after that they resume doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the series (contributing no forces to the last-chance invasion on the day of Black Sun, for example), although quite a few of them, including their greatest waterbender, were busy rebuilding the Southern Water Tribe. The second case is quite justified though, as said battle brought heavy losses on the Northern Water Tribe, putting them in no condition to fight an offensive war.
** On a much smaller scale than the above, the leader of the village in "Avatar Day" seems more interested in executing the Avatar for crimes committed in a past life than in helping the Avatar save the world, until Fire Nation soldiers arrive on his doorstep.
** All in all, the reason the Two Nations were losing the war became increasingly clear over the course of the series.
** A Subverted example from "Return to Omashu" would be King Bumi who when Fire Nation troops attacked immediately surrendered and simply cackled about doing nothing, but subverted in that he was simply waiting for another moment to strike.
** Also subverted with the Earth King. He was practicing Head In The Sand Management because he genuinely didn't know about the war (thanks to Long Feng). When he discovers it, he laments how long it took for him to act and immediately works with Aang to help coordinate an invasion plan.
** The order of the White Lotus, a secret society dedicated to harmony between all three kingdoms, and including every Master of every discipline from the show, sat out the war until the literal last day.
* Raiko from the sequel series ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' arguably counts as this. He refuses to help to Korra free the Southern Water Tribe from the Northern Water Tribe because it's something that does not directly involve the Republic, and when told later on of Unalaq's evil plan to free the terrible Vaatu from his prison he still declines because he feels it's better to simply try to prepare for the worst-case-scenario and ready Republic City's forces to try and weather the storm. Naturally, due to his lack of help, Korra fails to prevent Vaatu's escape, and Republic City's defenses are utterly ''useless'' against the hybrid form of Unalaq/Vaatu, who would have '''destroyed''' the city had Korra not arrived in time to stop them. Raiko, of course, wasted no time spinning things to blame Korra for the mess. Subverted in the fourth season, when he recognizes the threat posed by Kuvira and the Earth Empire and mobilizes all United Republic defenses to stop her. Ironically, he then has to deal with this trope from Fire Lord Izumi, who doesn't want to commit to a first strike given her nation's history, and Tenzin, who's a pacifist and also won't condone a preemptive attack.