Op-Ed: Chamberlain, Munich 1938: How... Incredible It Is . .
Mark LangfanThe writer, who specializes in security issues, has created an original...
On 1 September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland with Stalin soon to follow, and World War II began in force. During the next six years, close to 85 million people died.
As Obama hints that Israel will cause WWIII if Iran is not allowed to slip out of the sanctions that have slowed its pursuit of a nuclear arsenal, one need only remember back 75 years. In 1938, the world also teetered on the precipice of World War II.
In 1938, the quintessential appeaser, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, excoriated the embattled Czech Prime Minister Benes as the cause of a world war if Benes did not accede to Hitler's demandsand agree to expose his country to occupation by Nazi Germany.
Chamberlain "blackmailed" the self-defensible Benes into becoming an indefensible victim. Chamberlain morphed genocidal war-maker Hitler into a smiling 'peace-maker.' Chamberlain intoned the same false 'logic' that Obama uses today: Agree to the murderer's terms, or he will occupy and murder more of you.
William L. Shirer, the greatest of World War II historians, lived the events as a news reporter and later recorded his epic history “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" ("The Rise and Fall"). In Chapter 12, "The Road to Munich," Shirer recounts the predatory actions taken by Chaimberlain that forced PM Benes to cede the Czech Sudetenland to Hitler.
The Sudetenland was the mountainous western half of Czechoslovakia that had some ethnic German population. That mountainous Czech Sudetenland served as a defensive bulwark against a Nazi German attack eastward into Czechoslovakia. Without its mountain topographic defenses, the eastern remainder of Czechoslovakia was defenseless in the face of further Nazi occupation - which occurred several months later.
Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia was not only the key to Hitler's overall military strategy, but also specifically Hitler's Eastern Theater. Poland is to the immediate north of what was then Czechoslovakia. In fact, at the time, Hitler stated that "Czechoslovakia was a knife pointed at Germany’s heart, or a Soviet aircraft carrier ready to launch air attacks on Berlin."
This meant that with the Sudetenland mountains in Czech hands, Hitler could not have confidently attacked Poland or the Soviet Union because the Czechs would have, from the Sudetenland, likely helped and allied with the Poles and/or the Soviets to attack Hitler's supply lines stretching eastward into Poland or the Soviet Union.
Hence, Czechoslovakia had to be occupied by Hitler before any German attack on the Poland or the Soviet Union could be militarily countenanced. Chamberlain's Munich Pact militarily enabled Hitler's attack on Poland and assured its occurrence and the ensuing World War II.
To put it bluntly, Chamberlain's "peace" talk insured Hitler's war walk.
Shirer records in "The Rise and Fall" that on September 27, 1938:
"Also, the Prime Minister [Chamberlain] promptly sent off a message to Pres. Benes [of Czechoslovakia] in Prague warning that his information from Berlin "makes it clear that the German Army will receive orders to cross the Czechoslovak frontier immediately if, by tomorrow [September 28] at 2 P.M. the Czechoslovak Government have not excepted the German conditions."
Having warned the Czechs, Chamberlain could not refrain from admonishing then, in the last part of the message, "that Bohemia would be overrun by the German Army and nothing which another power could do would be able to save your country and your people from such a fate. This remains true whatever the result of a world war might be." ( The Rise and Fall, pg. 402-403)
"Thus Chamberlain was putting the responsibility for peace or war no longer on Hitler but on Benes. And he was getting a military opinion which even the German generals, as we have seen, held as a responsible." (Ibid)
Shirer continues to relate that later that night at 11 p.m. Chamberlain continued his private harangue of Czech PM Benes and that Chamberlain "added a further warning: The only alternative to this plan would be an invasion and a dismemberment of the country by force, and Czechoslovakia, though a conflict might arise which would leave lead to incalculable loss of life, could not be reconstituted in her frontiers what ever the result of the conflict may be." (Ibid)
Shirer records that Chamberlain didn't stop his "Benes will bring the world to war talk" there. In a public harangue, in radio broadcast to the entire British Empire at 8:30 p.m., Chamberlain stated:
"How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches . . . here because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing! . . .
"I would not hesitate to pay even a third visit to Germany if I thought it would do any good.
"However much we may sympathize with a small nation confronted by a big and powerful neighbor, we cannot in all circumstances undertake to involve the whole British Empire in a war simply on her account. If we have to fight it must be on larger issues than that. . ."
On 30 September 1938, Czechoslovakia capitulated to Chamberlain's demands that it be partly occupied by Hitler.
On 10 October 1938, Nazi Germany occupied the Czech Sudetenland.
With the Sudetenland firmly in his pocket, Hitler showed his cards on November 9-10 by executing Kristallnacht, murdering over 90 Jews and arresting over 30,000 German and Austrian Jews, sending them to their death in Nazi Concentration camps.
On 16 March 1939, without a shot fired, the Nazi German Wehrmacht (army) occupied the remaining eastern half of Czechoslovakia.
On 23 August 1939, as an "unintended consequence" of Chamberlain's Munich Pact with Hitler, the Western appeasement frightened Stalin into signing the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact so as to gain the Soviets some time, and insure Hitler struck the West first.
On 1 September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland with Stalin soon to follow, and World War II began in force.
During the next six years, close to 85 million people died.
Fast forward to 2013. President Barack Obama, his Press Secretary Carney and the State Department, areall advocating for Obama's plans to confirm Iran as a nuclear-state over the strident, reasonable objections of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and all of America's Persian Gulf Sunni allies.
As did Chamberlain, Obama has cast the embattled Bibi as the "war-maker."
On November 12, 2013 Carney stated:
"The American people do not want a march to war, . . they justifiably and understandably prefer a peaceful solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This agreement, if it's achieved, has the potential to do that. The alternative is military action, if pursuing a resolution diplomatically is disallowed or ruled out, what options then do we and our allies have to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon?"
AFP reported Obama's statements several days later as follows:
"What we have done is seen the possibility of an agreement in which Iran would halt advances on its program, . . .We can buy some additional months in terms of their breakout capacity. Let's test how willing they are to actually resolve this diplomatically and peacefully, . . ."
And Obama said that his intention "always was to bring the Iranians to the table so we could resolve this issue peacefully."
But he critically added, "No matter how good our military is, military options are always messy, are always difficult, always have unintended consequences, and in this situation are never complete in terms of making us certain that they don't then go out and pursue even more vigorously nuclear weapons in the future."
"If we're serious about pursuing diplomacy, there's no need for us to add new sanctions on top of the sanctions that are already very effective and that brought them to the table in the first place."
AFP interpreted Obama remarks succinctly, stating that Obama appeared to make his most explicit suggestion yet that military action -- if diplomacy fails -- would have dangerous effects and only fuel an Iranian desire for nuclear weapons.
In other words, it's Israel's fault no matter what happens.
On 15 November, the State a Department's Psaki said, “I think we're looking at multiple tracks here, including our continued pursuit of seeing whether a diplomatic path is possible. The alternative in our view is a path to war, . . .We think the path to diplomacy is the right path,” she added.
Earlier on 15 November, Netanyahu had tweeted: ”The proposal enables Iran to develop atomic bombs and build long-range missiles to reach the U.S. and Europe. Iran is getting everything and giving nothing.”
So there you have it. Obama threatens that Israel is to be the cause of a world war if Israel merely argues for tougher, safer terms.
Israel believes Iran should not be rewarded for enriching Uranium that can only be used to build nuclear bombs. In fact, Obama is rewarding Iran for its illegal uranium enrichment by not only allowing Iran to keep its enriched uranium stock, but also by recognizing Iran's right to enrich uranium in the first place.
Instead of Obama's discussing the substance of Bibi's objections to see where some of the deal-sheet terms could be strengthened or clarified, Obama and his henchmen have attacked their ally, Israel. Obama has escalated the dispute and used a false "talk or war" talking point to cast Bibi, and Israel, as warmongers for opposing what Bibi believes is a dangerous Iran deal. Tougher nuclear terms don't mean "war."
Obama's cosmetic attack on Bibi only highlights the substantive weakness and failures of an Iran deal that Obama can't explain because it's unexplainable. If Obama had reason and common sense on his side, Obama wouldn't need his "war" fireworks.
Ironically, Obama is adamant about the need for "Gun control" and issuing laws violating Americans' constitutional rights to "bear arms." But, on granting a terrorist-designated Country the right and ability to have a nuclear weapons that could kills hundreds of millions of people and result in Iranian hegemony over the world, Obama falls all over himself to enable Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
And ominously , just as Chamberlain's Munich appeasement of Hitler enabled his successful military attack on Poland, Obama's Geneva appeasement of Iran enables a military attack on Israel. Israel is a "one-bomb" country.
Obama's Iranian "diplomacy" is not a march to peace, but "March of Folly" which will bring nothing less than the eradication of Israel and of Western Civilization. Or, to 'paraphrase' Chamberlain, "How horrible, fantastic, incredible it [will be] that we should be digging [graves] here because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom [Obama understood] nothing."