Obama is no Neville Chamberlain

Let’s retire Neville Chamberlain’s umbrella.  It’s become a pretty threadbare symbol over the years.

In negotiating with Hitler in Munich in September 1938, as historians in the ’70s and ’80s pointed out, the British prime minister believed he was acting on the Wilsonian principle that a people had a right to govern itself, and that consigning the “Sudeten” Germans to Czechoslovakia had been one more injustice perpetrated at Versailles.

More important, Britain was not prepared for war.  The nation, in the first place, had to defend a global empire.  And unlike Germany, it was only slowly recovering from the Great Depression, and had severely curtailed military expenditure.  At the beginning of 1938, only two infantry divisions and one mobile division were available for a Continental expeditionary force.  Also, until 1937, defense planners believed that “the bomber will always get through” and predicated British air strategy on deterrence.  That meant that English cities were going to get hit.  Planners expected daily strikes of 700 tons of bombs, with a knockout blow against London of 3,500 tons, and 50 casualties per ton.  Chamberlain believed he was buying time to prepare the country’s air defenses.

Of course, the revisionists of the ’70s and ’80s went too far, as revisionists always do.  The appeasers of the ’30s did not take Mein Kampf seriously, particularly Chapter 14 of volume 2, Hitler’s exposition of Lebensraum.  They regretted the persecution of German Jews but felt that this was an internal matter in which they couldn’t interfere.  Above all, they underestimated the opposition to Hitler within the military and the diplomatic and intelligence services, which was paralyzed by repeated concessions to the Führer.

But let’s remember that Hitler never chanted “Death to Britain.”  Hitler had not organized terrorist attacks on British forces, nor were his proxies killing civilians across the world.  He did not proclaim that the annihilation of a British ally was “non-negotiable.”  And he was not a militant believer in a political religion whose followers had twice invaded and ravaged Europe, a religion whose followers today profess their disdain for Western values and Western culture.

Like Andreas Lubitz, the president knows what he’s doing.  He does not believe that the Iranians, the world’s third greatest oil exporters, are interested in generating nuclear energy.  He does not believe that the mullahs will fail to cheat on any agreement, or fail to use the revenue flowing in with the lifting of sanctions to fund global terrorism.  He does not believe that there will be much will to reimpose sanctions on the part of countries profiting from trade with Iran.

What the president is depressed about as he takes the country lower and lower is America’s arrogance and America’s role as a neo-colonialist exploiter.

The prospective agreement with Iran is not appeasement.  It’s suicide.

At least we have 85 days to break through the cockpit door, not 13 minutes.

Let’s retire Neville Chamberlain’s umbrella.  It’s become a pretty threadbare symbol over the years.

In negotiating with Hitler in Munich in September 1938, as historians in the ’70s and ’80s pointed out, the British prime minister believed he was acting on the Wilsonian principle that a people had a right to govern itself, and that consigning the “Sudeten” Germans to Czechoslovakia had been one more injustice perpetrated at Versailles.

More important, Britain was not prepared for war.  The nation, in the first place, had to defend a global empire.  And unlike Germany, it was only slowly recovering from the Great Depression, and had severely curtailed military expenditure.  At the beginning of 1938, only two infantry divisions and one mobile division were available for a Continental expeditionary force.  Also, until 1937, defense planners believed that “the bomber will always get through” and predicated British air strategy on deterrence.  That meant that English cities were going to get hit.  Planners expected daily strikes of 700 tons of bombs, with a knockout blow against London of 3,500 tons, and 50 casualties per ton.  Chamberlain believed he was buying time to prepare the country’s air defenses.

Of course, the revisionists of the ’70s and ’80s went too far, as revisionists always do.  The appeasers of the ’30s did not take Mein Kampf seriously, particularly Chapter 14 of volume 2, Hitler’s exposition of Lebensraum.  They regretted the persecution of German Jews but felt that this was an internal matter in which they couldn’t interfere.  Above all, they underestimated the opposition to Hitler within the military and the diplomatic and intelligence services, which was paralyzed by repeated concessions to the Führer.

But let’s remember that Hitler never chanted “Death to Britain.”  Hitler had not organized terrorist attacks on British forces, nor were his proxies killing civilians across the world.  He did not proclaim that the annihilation of a British ally was “non-negotiable.”  And he was not a militant believer in a political religion whose followers had twice invaded and ravaged Europe, a religion whose followers today profess their disdain for Western values and Western culture.

Like Andreas Lubitz, the president knows what he’s doing.  He does not believe that the Iranians, the world’s third greatest oil exporters, are interested in generating nuclear energy.  He does not believe that the mullahs will fail to cheat on any agreement, or fail to use the revenue flowing in with the lifting of sanctions to fund global terrorism.  He does not believe that there will be much will to reimpose sanctions on the part of countries profiting from trade with Iran.

What the president is depressed about as he takes the country lower and lower is America’s arrogance and America’s role as a neo-colonialist exploiter.

The prospective agreement with Iran is not appeasement.  It’s suicide.

At least we have 85 days to break through the cockpit door, not 13 minutes.