What Churchill Would Make of Obama’s Iran Appeasement
Posted By Daniel Greenfield, frontpagemag.com, January 17, 2014
In the fall of ’38, the motion was submitted to approve the government’s policy “by which war was averted in the recent crisis and supports their efforts to secure a lasting peace.”
The policy was the carving up of Czechoslovakia and the war being averted was World War II. Of that, Winston Churchill said, “Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.”
Echoing that old Munich motion, the pro-Iran left is calling the nuclear deal that lets Iran keep its nukes and its targets their Geiger counters, Obama’s “achievement”. Any Democrat who challenges it is accused of obstructing the only foreign affairs achievement Obama can claim.
“Cory Booker wants to torpedo a major Obama achievement,” the New Republic shrieked. On MSNBC, Chris Hayes accused sixteen Democratic senators who wanted tougher measures on Iran of seeking a war to sabotage “Obama’s greatest foreign policy achievement” out of “fear” of the Israeli lobby.
Hayes and MSNBC were only echoing another famous Democrat, Joseph P. Kennedy, who warned of opposition to Munich by “Jew media” making noises meant to “set a match to the fuse of the world.”
Samuel Hoare, the Home Secretary, of whom King George V said, “No more coals to Newcastle, no more Hoares to Paris”, warned against those who wanted a sterner tone to bring an end to Hitler’s program of conquest as today’s Hoares warn against those who want to bring an end to Iran’s nuclear program.
“If at the very time when we were attempting… to obtain a peaceful settlement, we had accepted the advice of those who said you must face Herr Hitler with a public ultimatum,” Hoare warned. “If we had made an ultimatum… Europe would to-day have been plunged into a world war.”
Today the Hoares warn that stiffening sanctions against Iran and demanding an end to its nuclear program will lead to war. For years, the Hoares of the Democratic Party insisted sanctions were the only way to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Now the Hoares say sanctions will alienate Iran and lead to war.
Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the alternative to the nuclear deal would be war. Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, warned that the failure of the deal will force Obama to, “choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to continue.”
Since the deal allows Iran’s nuclear program to continue, it’s a buffet of three choices, all three of which lead to conflict of some kind. The only variations are in the date and in the capabilities of the enemy.
That was the problem with Munich.
Hitler had already been making plans for a war with Britain and France that would commence three or four years after finishing off Czechoslovakia. The only thing that the Munich Agreement accomplished was to speed up Hitler’s timetable from three years to one by letting him finish his business with the Czechs earlier than he had planned.
Winston Churchill spoke. “I will… begin by saying the most unpopular and most unwelcome thing… we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat.”
Lady Astor, whose Nazi sympathies were infamous, interrupted him with a cry of “Nonsense”. The Member for Berlin had written to Joseph P. Kennedy that Hitler would have to do more than “give a rough time” to “the killers of Christ” before she would launch “Armageddon to save them.”
“The wheel of history swings round,” she wrote. “Who are we to stand in the way of the future?”
Churchill, like William F. Buckley, believed however in standing athwart the history of totalitarians, their Reichs, their People’s Republics and their Caliphates and yelling stop.
“£1 was demanded at the pistol’s point. When it was given, £2 were demanded at the pistol’s point,” Churchill retorted. “Finally, the dictator consented to take £1 17s. 6d. and the rest in promises of good will for the future.”
That is the sum of all negotiations with totalitarians, whether it is with Nazi Germany, Communist Russia or Islamist Iran.
“Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Obama said in 2012. Now there isn’t even a policy of containment.
Obama’s foreign policy achievement consists of letting Iran do nearly everything nuclear it wants in the hopes that it won’t go all the way. Containment has given way to appeasement. Iran gets nine tenths of its nuclear ambitions at gunpoint in the deal and will take the rest when it pleases at nukepoint.
“We have been reduced in those five years from a position of security so overwhelming and so unchallengeable that we never cared to think about it,” Churchill said, “reduced in five years from a position safe and unchallenged to where we stand now.”
In five years of Obama, the United States has also been reduced, its security stripped away and sold to win the approval of its enemies. It’s locked into the same policy of offering worthless security guarantees to its allies and then selling those allies down the river to prevent them from calling on those guarantees and exposing their worthlessness.
That was the Chamberlain policy that Churchill was denouncing. That is the Obama policy with his chalkboard of worthless red lines whose bluffing powers he is determined to protect.
“Having secured resources which will greatly diminish, if not entirely remove, the deterrent of a naval blockade, the rulers of Nazi Germany will have a free choice open to them in what direction they will turn their eyes,” Churchill said.
Similarly the nuclear deal cuts off most options for America and its allies and endows Iran with a great many options. And once it does have nuclear weapons, its options will be nearly unlimited.
Chamberlain’s rejoinder to Churchill reduced a practical problem to a philosophical one.
“It seems to me that there are really only two possible alternatives. One of them is to base yourself upon the view that… friendly relation… with totalitarian States are impossible, that the assurances which have been given to me personally are worthless, that they have sinister designs and that they are bent upon the domination of Europe,” he said, reciting true facts with the air of a conspiracy theory.
If that were indeed the case, Chamberlain argued, “There is no future hope for civilisation or for any of the things that make life worth living.”
Peace stopped being a rational program and became a philosophical one. A world where dictators could not be successfully appeased was not a world worth living in. The appeasement of Iran follows that same self-pitying mysticism.
For Churchill negotiations were a practical policy with a practical end, but supporters of appeasement had made negotiations into a moral absolute so that practical issues could be ignored and the dismantling of Czechoslovakia could be rationalized for the greater good of peace.
Any contradictory information was drowned in enthusiasm for peace with Hitler, which became indistinguishable from enthusiasm for Hitler.
If peace depended on Hitler and the entire hope of civilization rested on Hitler’s willingness to live in peace, the Chamberlains and their Hoares had to believe in Hitler to believe that life was worth living.
Their modern counterparts substitute the Supreme Leader of Iran for the Fuehrer, or leader, of Nazi Germany, but otherwise they make the same mistake.
To believe in world peace, they must believe in Hitler, in Stalin and in Khamenei and believe that regimes which ceaselessly talk of war, build weapons of war and torture and murder their own people on a whim somehow share their hopes for peace.