German scorpion, Russian frog guarantee no peace for our time
A fable for all times.
A frog and a poisonous scorpion arrive at a raging, storm swollen river at the same time; both want to cross to safety on the other side. The scorpion, who can't swim, turns to the frog asking for a ride on its back.
"No, you'll sting me and I'll die," replies the frog.
"Oh, no," the scorpion counters. "If you drown and die in the river, I'll drown and die, too, so I wouldn't do that."
Agreeing that this is logical, the frog allows the scorpion to hop on its back and then jumps into the river to swim across to the other side.
Suddenly, in the middle of the river, the scorpion stings the frog. Dying from the poison, the anguished frog asks the scorpion, "Why did you sting me? You promised me you wouldn't, and now we're both going to die."
Before drowning, the scorpion answers, "I'm a scorpion. I couldn't help myself; it's in my nature."
This fable — and its numerous, basic lessons — comes to mind today, August 23, the 80th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. On this date in 1939, communist Soviet foreign minister Molotov and German foreign minister Ribbentrop, representing two ostensible enemies, signed their infamous treaty of non-aggression.
The pact had two parts. An economic agreement, signed on August 19, 1939, provided that Germany would exchange manufactured goods for Soviet raw materials. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union also signed a ten-year nonaggression pact on August 23, 1939, in which each signatory promised not to attack the other.
A week later, on September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany, under Hitler, attacked Poland; the Soviet Union, under Stalin, annexed eastern Poland. Two days later, France and Great Britain, realizing there would be no "peace in our time," declared war on Germany. Offering no resistance, France fell quickly and easily. The slaughter of World War ll began.
Later, the German scorpion, true to its nature, attacked...the Soviets. It seems Hitler never intended to uphold the non-aggression pact he had his agents sign.
During the spring of 1941, Hitler initiated his eastern European allies into plans to invade the Soviet Union.
Hitler had always regarded the German-Soviet nonaggression pact as a tactical and temporary maneuver. On December 18, 1940, he signed Directive 21 (code-named Operation Barbarossa), the first operational order for the invasion of the Soviet Union. From the beginning of operational planning, German military and police authorities intended to wage a war of annihilation against the Communist state as well as the Jews of the Soviet Union, whom they characterized as forming the "racial basis" for the Soviet state.
German forces invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, less than two years after the German-Soviet Pact was signed.
Such international shock and surprise then.
The U.S. entered the war five months later, after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Eighty years later, understanding the poisonous nature of the Iranian scorpion, determined not to be a naïve, gullible frog, President Donald J. Trump (R) pulled the U.S. out of the sure to have been disastrous President Barack Hussein Obama (D)'s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal or the Iran deal.
In dealing with the scorpions of Communist China, Russia, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and other poisonous or even unpleasant critters around the world, Trump is also determined not to take this country and our decent allies into deadly deals and acts accordingly.
So on the 80th anniversary of the suicidally, naïvely deadly, misnamed Soviet pact with Germany, remember scorpion Germany.
And never forgive, never forget.