This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- John Kerry: ‘This is our Munich Moment’
- Forces gathering momentum in the Mideast
- Would America not defend Israel after all?
John Kerry: ‘This is our Munich Moment’
On Saturday in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said theworld was facing a “Munich moment,” referring to Neville Chamberlain’s1938 meeting with Adolf Hitler, and returned to London brandishing anagreement with Hitler for “Peace in our time”:
“This is our Munich moment.
We in the United States know, and our French partners know, thatthis is not the time to be silent spectators to slaughter.
This is the time to pursue a targeted and limited but clear andeffective response that holds dictators like Bashar Assadresponsible for the atrocities which they commit.
This is not the time to allow a dictator unfettered use of some ofthe most heinous weapons on earth.”
President Barack Obama also referred to the lead-up to WorldWar II when he said that not coming to Britain’s aid wasnot the right thing to do:
“I’m not drawing an analogy to World War II other thanto say that when London was getting bombed, it was profoundlyunpopular, both in congress and around the country to help theBritish. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing todo.”
Both Kerry and Obama were, in fact, drawing analogies to WW II.Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement toward Hitler wasextremely popular, but was later recognized as historicallydisastrous, as Britain was in full-scale war the following year. WhenI was growing up in the 1950s, my school teachers all vilifiedChamberlain for his appeasement of Hitler. And Obama makes the pointthat, just as Chamberlain’s appeasement policy was extremely popular,any American plan to aid Britain as London was being bombed by theNazis was extremely UNpopular. It was only after Pearl Harbor wasbombed that helping Britain became acceptable to the American public.
I’ve written about so many truly astonishing things that havehappened in the last ten years, and this situation has got tobe among the two or three most astonishing. It literally takesmy breath away.
On the one hand, you have President Obama, who spent 20 yearsin avid adoration of his mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright,whose theme was “God Damn America! God Damn America!”, butwho was elected president on a surge of popularity becauseof his hatred of President George Bush.
On the other hand, you have John Kerry, who testified before theSenate in 1971 that America’s soldiers were a bad as Nazis, and whoreaffirmed his 1971 statements in 2006, at the same time he was sayingthat any American soldier who ended up in Iraq was stupid. Obamaappointed Kerry as Secretary of State because they shared thesame views about America.
So you have two people, the epitome of anti-Americanism and the hatredof American values, who have suddenly done a 180 degree turnabout andadopted the most American of pro-World War II values, that it’sAmerica’s responsibility as Policemen of the World to protect humanlife and alleviate suffering, even if it means using military force,especially when doing so might prevent a wider war. If these two havebeen botching foreign policy, it’s because they’ve been at war withthemselves.
But that’s only half of the astonishment.
The other half is that we are, in fact, reliving the late 1930s, apopular, and a willingness to help people suffering horrific deaths isextremely unpopular. And the history of the 1930s tells us that suchappeasement leads to war.
Some people have written to me to complain that al-Assad is no Hitler,and this time it’s different because al-Assad isn’t annexing territoryas Hitler was doing.
But that’s wallowing in details and not looking at the big picture.What Hitler and al-Assad have in common is committing psychopathicatrocities on a large scale, treating the international communitycontemptuously, and openly driving the region and the world to a majorwar.
And what’s Russian president Vladimir Putin’s role in all this? Putinhas already used military force to annex parts of Georgia, and otherregions in the Caucasus and in central Asia are being threatened.Even if al-Assad alone isn’t annexing territory, his ally Putin is,and if Putin were contemplating any way to gain control of Syria, we’dhave no way of knowing it until it happened.
Forces gathering momentum in the Mideast
There are powerful forces gathering momentum across the world,converging on Syria — Sunni jihadists from Pakistan to Nigeria toDagestan are going to fight in Syria. Shia jihadists from Iran andHezbollah are going to fight in Syria. Russia is pouring advancedweapons into Syria. Millions of refugees are pouring out of Syriainto neighboring countries. The entire Sunni/Shia and Arab/Jew faultlines are inflamed throughout the Mideast.
And in the middle of all this, the psychopath Bashar al-Assad shocksthe entire world by perpetrating a horrific chemical weapons attack,and the psychopath Vladimir Putin helps him.
As I’ve said in the past, it’s my opinion that Syria has alreadypassed a tipping point, headed for a major conflict that will engulfthe entire region. That’s going to happen no matter what theU.S. does. Furthermore, the U.S. will be drawn into thisconflict sooner or later.
So that’s the context in which a decision has to be made whether tostrike at Syria, in one form or another. If we do nothing — if weno restrictions — if we “appease” Putin, and allow him unrestricteduse of Russian weapons and military — will we be drawn into a largerwar? Based on my understanding of history, there’s no doubt in mymind that we will, and that the West will be blamed for appeasement.
In fact, I believe that the last two years have proven that. Americahas been appeasing al-Assad for two years, ignoring his psychopathicattacks on his own people, and the result has been disastrous for theregion, getting worse every day.
So what if we do take some military action? Two years ago, that wouldhave been extremely effective. But what about today? Will thatimmediately trigger a larger war? I don’t believe so. Despite allthe bluster, Russia will not launch a strike at American assets. Iranand Hezbollah are both in generational Awakening eras, and they won’tbe triggered into a major war, in my opinion. Most of the threats ofwar from Iran and Hezbollah are just posturing. I don’t want tounderestimate the threat of a terrorist act on an American embassy orother American or Israeli asset, but that threat always exists nomatter what we do. And I do believe that America showing somestrength instead of ceaseless dithering and confusion can have somedeterrent effect, as it has had for decades, and may even curtailal-Assad’s use of chemical weapons for a while.
So is appeasement of the psychopaths al-Assad and Putin the right orwrong policy? There are too many unknowns to reach a conclusion, theworst unknown being that neither Obama nor Kerry has a clue what’sgoing on in the world, and are completely rudderless. As I’ve said,the Mideast is headed for a major war along numerous fault lines –Sunni versus Shia, Arab versus Jew, Arab versus Arab (Saudi Arabiaversus Qatar), just to name a few. As we continue to relive the late1930s, the only thing we can be sure of is that we’re headed for theworst world war in the world’s history. And all we can do is hope thecountry survives. BBC and Irish Independent
Would America not defend Israel after all?
Since WW II, we’ve signed mutual defense treaties with numerouscountries, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and NewZealand (ANZUS treaty), the Philippines, Israel, Europe, Iceland, andothers.
President Obama made the point, quoted above, that when ourclose ally, Britain, was being brutally bombed by the Nazis,it was extremely unpopular for America even to consider helpingour close ally, and so we didn’t.
So are any of the treaties we’ve signed worth the paper they werewritten on? If Israel, or the Philippines, or Japan, or any othercountry with whom we have a treaty were attacked and asked for ourhelp, would providing that help be so unpopular with the Americanpeople, that America would be completely paralyzed?
Here’s a quotation of unknown origin that I heard today on the BBC:around reloading.”