Saturday, May 17, 2008

A public service

(This post is intended as a general public service, but may benefit W apologists more than others. If you're going to scream, "APPEASER!" at the top of your lungs, you ought at least know the history!)
from Modern History Sourcebook:
The following is the wording of the statement that Neville Chamberlain waved when he stepped off the plane after the conference in Berlin had ended on 30 September, 1938.
"We, the German Führer and Chancellor, and the British Prime Minister, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognizing that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for two countries and for Europe.

"We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.

"We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe."
Chamberlain read this statement to a cheering crowd in front of 10 Downing St. and said:
"My good friends this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace in our time."
[Excerpted from "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." ]
And the contents of the agreement?
Munich Agreement
The Munich Agreement (Czech: Mnichovská dohoda; Slovak: Mníchovská dohoda; German: Münchner Abkommen) was an agreement regarding the Sudetenland Crisis among the major powers of Europe after a conference held in Munich, Germany, in 1938 and signed in the early hours of September 30. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia in the face of territorial demands made by German dictator Adolf Hitler. The agreement, signed by Nazi Germany, France, Britain, and Italy permitted German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland was of immense strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defenses were situated there.

Because the state of Czechoslovakia was not invited to the conference, the Munich Agreement is commonly called the Munich Dictate by Czechs and Slovaks (Czech: Mnichovský diktát; Slovak: Mníchovský diktát). The phrase Munich betrayal (Czech: Mnichovská zrada; Slovak: Mníchovská zrada) is also frequently used because military alliances between Czechoslovakia and France were not honored.
The settlement gave Germany the Sudetenland starting October 10, and de facto control over the rest of Czechoslovakia as long as Hitler promised to go no further. On September 30th after some rest, Chamberlain went to Hitler and asked him to sign a peace treaty between the United Kingdom and Germany. After Hitler's interpreter translated it for him, he happily agreed.
[Wikipedia entry, Munich Agreement; emphasis added]
Note: if Hitler had in fact gone no further, Chamberlain might well be remembered as one of the great statesmen of the 20th century.

Instead, Hitler took Chamberlain's eagerness for peace-at-any-cost as a sign of weakness. The following September, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII.

By mid-wiving the Munich Agreement, Chamberlain sacrificed an autonomous nation to Germany without even consulting the sacrificial victims; and ran rough-shod over existing binding international treaties, denying to Czechoslovakia the international support it thought it had previously secured.

This is quite a bit more than simply "talking" with the bad guys. This is bending over backwards to give the bad guys whatever they ask for in return for vague and unenforceable promises of future good behavior.

"Talk" and "diplomacy" were successfully employed by Nixon in China, and by Saint Reagan with the Soviet Union. I somehow don't believe that any in W's Administration, or any in Senator McCain's campaign, will soon be labeling Nixon & Saint Reagan "appeasers".

Stop the madness.

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