Neville Chamberlain, without the umbrella

posted at 10:00 am on May 9, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

After the win in North Carolina, Barack Obama fulminated about what the victory meant for America. On foreign policy, Obama said, it was a recognition that the US should talk to its enemies, in the same manner as FDR, Truman, and Kennedy did. At the time, I noted the strange claim and its complete ignorance of history, and today, Jack Kelly continues the history lesson for a constitutional scholar who clearly skipped 20th-century history:

I assume the Roosevelt to whom Sen. Obama referred is Franklin D. Roosevelt. Our enemies in World War II were Nazi Germany, headed by Adolf Hitler; fascist Italy, headed by Benito Mussolini, and militarist Japan, headed by Hideki Tojo. FDR talked directly with none of them before the outbreak of hostilities, and his policy once war began was unconditional surrender.

FDR died before victory was achieved, and was succeeded by Harry Truman. Truman did not modify the policy of unconditional surrender. He ended that war not with negotiation, but with the atomic bomb.

Harry Truman also was president when North Korea invaded South Korea in June, 1950. President Truman’s response was not to call up North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung for a chat. It was to send troops.

Perhaps Sen. Obama is thinking of the meeting FDR and Churchill had with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in Tehran in December, 1943, and the meetings Truman and Roosevelt had with Stalin at Yalta and Potsdam in February and July, 1945. But Stalin was then a U.S. ally, though one of whom we should have been more wary than FDR and Truman were. Few historians think the agreements reached at Yalta and Potsdam, which in effect consigned Eastern Europe to slavery, are diplomatic models we ought to follow. Even fewer Eastern Europeans think so.

When Stalin’s designs became unmistakably clear, President Truman’s response wasn’t to seek a summit meeting. He sent military aid to Greece, ordered the Berlin airlift and the Marshall Plan, and sent troops to South Korea.

Given the importance that Obama places on this approach to foreign policy — he seldom fails to mention it as an example of the “change” he’ll bring to Washington — one wonders why the media hasn’t pressed him on this rationalization. Obama isn’t merely saying that he’ll reinstitute diplomatic relations with Iran, which would emulate our relations with the Nazis and the Japanese prior to Pearl Harbor. Obama wants to have meetings without preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has publicly spoken of his desire to annihilate a key ally of the US, as well as Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro, and any number of thugs and tyrants. When did FDR, Truman, and Kennedy do that? Answer: never.

As I pointed out on Wednesday, even diplomatic contact didn’t help FDR with Japan and Germany. The Japanese used diplomatic negotiations as a stalling maneuver to get its Imperial Navy in place to destroy our Pacific Fleet in 1941. Our diplomatic relations with the Nazis only encouraged America Firsters and Nazi sympathizers like Charles Lindbergh to claim that Hitler had no animus towards the West and that he could be a bulwark against Bolshevism.

Maybe Obama could ask the Czechs how well unconditional talks worked for them during Munich. Neville Chamberlain insisted on holding peace talks to avoid war in Czechoslovakia, which could have defended itself as long as it held the fortifications in the Sudetenland long enough for Britain and France to beat Germany from the rear. Instead, Chamberlain carved up Czechoslovakia without its permission, and six months afterward, Hitler swallowed the rest of it whole. FDR, meanwhile, remained steadfastly neutral diplomatically until 1939, when he began clandestine support for the UK.

Negotiations with tyrants almost always leads to appeasement, which only postpones war until the tyrant is strong enough to wage it most effectively. It results in many more deaths and far more destruction because it gives the initiative and the timing to the tyrants, while building their credibility at home. William Shirer noted that the Germans were astounded when Hitler repeatedly bluffed the West during the years from 1935 to 1939, figuring each bluff would be called and Hitler destroyed as a political force. By the time he rolled into Poland unopposed except by the outmatched Poles, who expected actual military assistance from Britain and France, Germans would follow Hitler anywhere, convinced of his invincibility.

That’s what Obama’s “new approach” to foreign policy promises. It’s Neville Chamberlain without the umbrella. It certainly isn’t FDR or Truman.


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Comment pages: 1 2

So, lemme’ see if I got this straight…

McCain feels sorry for Mexicans.

Obama feels sorry for the whole world, including our enemies.

So much heartache…So little time

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 2:14 PM

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 12:55 PM

And McCain was finished with. Right?

Oldnuke on May 9, 2008 at 2:15 PM

If you are confronted by a lion, and allow it to eat your leg, how are you better off? If the lion enjoys the leg, he will come back for more…..

Think_b4_speaking on May 9, 2008 at 1:26 PM

The Europeans had seen lions all around in August 1914 and went to war for reasons that were hard to recall by the mid 1930′s. Quicker action against Hitler would likely have been the right move. Less action and more diplomacy in 1914 would have been better for everyone–and rendered Adolf Hitler a historical non-entity.

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 2:17 PM

We have certainly sent ordinance into Pakistan.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 1:25 PM

You were in the Army, right?

baldilocks on May 9, 2008 at 2:24 PM

“Border security first”

This is what he said in the talk, that CNN mis-reported.

This is what he says on his web-site.

This is what he told O’Reilly.

Why is this always left out of the dialogue?

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 2:29 PM

You were in the Army, right?

baldilocks on May 9, 2008 at 2:24 PM

That’s what they told me anyway. The food was awfully damned bad so I know it wasn’t the Navy or Air Force.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 2:31 PM

“Border security first”

Leaving this out of the dialogue amounts to a lie…A lie of omission.

This blog, and others, are guilty as hell of this.

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 2:33 PM

You were in the Army, right?

baldilocks on May 9, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Oh I get it now. You are correcting my spelling. You did nut half to speil all dat gut to be in da Army.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 2:35 PM

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 2:17 PM

I doubt that. More likely some changes to the treaty of Versailles and a little different treatment of Germany by the allies would have done a lot more than going to war earlier.

Oldnuke on May 9, 2008 at 2:37 PM

“Border security first”

Leaving this out of the dialogue amounts to a lie…A lie of omission.

This blog, and others, are guilty as hell of this.
franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 2:33 PM

This is a tactic, we’ve come to expect from Liberals, and the Liberal MSM…Leaving out facts, giving an incomplete picture of the puzzle.

Disgusting

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 2:41 PM

The food was awfully damned bad so I know it wasn’t the Navy or Air Force.
MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Have you ever eaten Navy sea-rats? Not quite as bad as c-rat lima beans and ham but still pretty sad. Luckily we didn’t get them very often.

Oldnuke on May 9, 2008 at 2:45 PM

The funniest play on Neville Chamberlain’s name, by the way, is Never Chainberlin. I wonder if we can do anything similar with Barack Obama.

HTL on May 9, 2008 at 12:37 PM

I like the wordplay. I wouldn’t contend that Chamberlain was a good Prime Minister or that the Munich Agreement was anything but a failure. However, certainly by 1938 Great Britain was in a very tough position. An invasion of Germany and removal of Hitler might not have succeeded, or have been costly and unpopular. The United States would have been more likely to have remained isolated and the Soviet’s more capable of exploiting a war-torn and bankrupt Europe to export Marxism.

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 2:48 PM

“Border security first”

This is what he said in the talk, that CNN mis-reported.

This is what he says on his web-site.

This is what he told O’Reilly.

Why is this always left out of the dialogue?

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 2:29 PM

Actions speak louder than words. We use that on Obama,..no reason we shouldn’t hold McCain to the same standard. Juan Hernandez as a campaign advisor, and McCain’s willingness to court La Raza don’t square with “Border security first”. We might also remember he waffled when asked if he would sign the Shamnesty bill if it came across his desk as President. He just said it wouldn’t come across his desk. He isn’t to be trusted on the immigration issue. He is playing identity politics. I’ll vote for him, but I don’t trust him.

a capella on May 9, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Ed, your comparisons are excellent, and our concerns about Obama are more than valid.

You could also have mentioned JFK’s contrasting positions in your commentary. Although perhaps not as forcefully as FDR and Truman, JFK’s actions and diplomacy also did not fall into the same wimpy/naive/clueless/foolish category as Chamberlain. For example, JFK was very prepared to use force during the very tense standoff with the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis. The military at that time was on a very high readiness posture, DEFCON TWO I believe, which is just short of open warfare. This was a far cry from mere appeasement talk.

There is also a huge difference between telephone or cable communications, and unwise/untimely face-to-face formal visits, which tend to lend credibility to rogue regimes.

ET USN 71-78 on May 9, 2008 at 2:54 PM

I doubt that. More likely some changes to the treaty of Versailles and a little different treatment of Germany by the allies would have done a lot more than going to war earlier.

Oldnuke on May 9, 2008 at 2:37 PM

I certainly agree that the Treaty of Versailles was the main political mistake that allowed Hitler’s rise to power. Much of my skepticism about stopping Hitler after 1936 relies on the French suddenly doing something competently. The French were most responsible for screwing up the Versailles Treaty in the first place. To think that they’d suddenly act capably is to assume a change in character.

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 2:54 PM

a capella on May 9, 2008 at 2:50 PM

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating…I guess, until I’m blue in the face.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform is DOA…No matter WHO is elected.

It was SOUNDLY defeated before…It would be SOUNDLY defeated if it rears it’s ugly head AGAIN.

It’s off the table…Kaput…Get it outta’ your li’l pea-brains…It’s not an “issue”

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Have you ever eaten Navy sea-rats? Not quite as bad as c-rat lima beans and ham but still pretty sad. Luckily we didn’t get them very often.

Oldnuke on May 9, 2008 at 2:45 PM

“The Navy gets the gravy, but the Army gets the beans, beans, beans, beans.”

My only experience eating navy food was at Camp Tien Sha near Danang and it was like real food.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:01 PM

a capella on May 9, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Congress folded like a Cheap-Suit on this issue.

What makes anyone think they’d entertain it again?

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:02 PM

It’s off the table…Kaput…Get it outta’ your li’l pea-brains…It’s not an “issue”

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 2:55 PM

I think you may have been inhaling too much of that hope stuff.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:03 PM

What makes anyone think they’d entertain it again?

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:02 PM

McCain.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:04 PM

There is also a huge difference between telephone or cable communications, and unwise/untimely face-to-face formal visits, which tend to lend credibility to rogue regimes.

ET USN 71-78 on May 9, 2008 at 2:54 PM

If we gave credibility to Russia and China in the 1970′s, did that have a negative impact? In the meantime we’ve denied credibility to North Korea and Cuba, but their communist leaders have been entrenched and untouched by the economic reform that has hit much of the world. I’m not in favor of giving away something for nothing, but isn’t it possible that we are the greater center of gravity and might change another nation more than they’d change us?

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Congress folded like a Cheap-Suit on this issue.

What makes anyone think they’d entertain it again?

Besides that, If McCain is elected, what makes anyone believe Democrats won’t oppose anything he suggests?

You can RELY on THEIR predictability.

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:08 PM

For example, JFK was very prepared to use force during the very tense standoff with the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis. The military at that time was on a very high readiness posture, DEFCON TWO I believe, which is just short of open warfare. This was a far cry from mere appeasement talk.

ET USN 71-78 on May 9, 2008 at 2:54 PM

You should read H.R. McMaster’s book, “Dereliction of Duty”. He has a much different take on it and Kennedy.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:10 PM

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating…I guess, until I’m blue in the face.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform is DOA…No matter WHO is elected.

It was SOUNDLY defeated before…It would be SOUNDLY defeated if it rears it’s ugly head AGAIN.

It’s off the table…Kaput…Get it outta’ your li’l pea-brains…It’s not an “issue”

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 2:55 PM

With a Democrat majority Congress, McCain or Obama in the WH, and a significant voting bloc represented by La Raza to be courted? Sure,..I believe you. How about this? The day McCain dumps Hernandez because of his open border views, I’ll agree with you.

a capella on May 9, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Since we are not allowed to say Hussein, let’s rename him to:

Barry Chamberlain Obama

faraway on May 9, 2008 at 3:17 PM

a capella on May 9, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Comprehensive Immigration Reform has become the new Third-Rail in politics…NO politician, looking to get RE-elected, will touch it with a Ten-Foot pole…Republican, or Democrat.

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Comprehensive Immigration Reform has become the new Third-Rail in politics…NO politician, looking to get RE-elected, will touch it with a Ten-Foot pole…Republican, or Democrat.

And, may I add…McCain’s motormouth, notwithstanding.

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:25 PM

This was a far cry from mere appeasement talk.

ET USN 71-78 on May 9, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Just a couple of very many “tid bits” from H.R. McMaster’s book -

“In deference to Rusk’s concerns, the president (Kennedy) authorized flights no closer than 24 miles from Cuba’s shoreline. Those peripheral reconnaissance missions were ineffective, as distance and camera angle blurred photos beyond utility. Finally Kennedy authorized a U-2 overflight for October 14.”

“Robert F. Kennedy’s secret negotiations with Soviet ambassador Anatoli Dobrynin, during which time he discussed a quid pro quo arrangement involving the withdrawal of U.S. Jupiter missiles from Turkey … …”

Sounds to me like great hesitation followed by what could reasonable be called appeasement.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Just so we’re clear here.

I’m not about to throw the Foreign Policy Baby out with the Immigration Bath Water.

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Comprehensive Immigration Reform has become the new Third-Rail in politics…NO politician, looking to get RE-elected, will touch it with a Ten-Foot pole…Republican, or Democrat.

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:21 PM

You underestimate politicians. If they can’t get what they want one way they will just try another. Meanwhile, no border fence and no crack down on scofflaw employers by the feds continues.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:34 PM

I’m trying to think of a time in recent memory when a Middle Eastern country or culture actually negotiated in good faith (Israel excepted). Nothing comes to mind. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist or hasn’t happened, but I’m drawing a blank. Anyone care to help?

Badger91 on May 9, 2008 at 3:34 PM

Just so we’re clear here.

I’m not about to throw the Foreign Policy Baby out with the Immigration Bath Water.

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Just so we’re really clear here.

I’m not about to throw the Immigration Policy Baby out with the Foreign Policy Bath Water.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Comprehensive Immigration Reform has become the new Third-Rail in politics…NO politician, looking to get RE-elected, will touch it with a Ten-Foot pole…Republican, or Democrat.

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:21 PM

It isn’t going to just go away. It will be back in some form, probably worse than the one that was voted down. I direct you to the attempted earmark for La Raza in the housing bailout scam bill presently underway in Congress. It was detected as an earmark, then redirected into a slush fund. Malkin has it on her site. I have more faith in the greed/ambition quotient for politicians than you. La Raza wants amnesty and will settle for nothing less. It is a simple business transaction. Buyers and sellers.

a capella on May 9, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Anyone care to help?

Badger91 on May 9, 2008 at 3:34 PM

I think you are on your own with that one.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Predictability…A One-Act Play

[ring - ring - ring]

“Hullo…This is Nancy Pelosi…How may I help you?”

“Hi, Nancy…John here…I’d like you to introduce an Immigration Reform bill.”

“Tell ya’ what, John…I’ll tell you, the same thing I told Bush…Go F**k yerself.”

[click]

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:42 PM

C-rats peanut butter…place on camp stove unopened…enjoy the chaos.

Limerick on May 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM

For example, JFK was very prepared to use force during the very tense standoff with the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis. The military at that time was on a very high readiness posture, DEFCON TWO I believe, which is just short of open warfare. This was a far cry from mere appeasement talk.
ET USN 71-78 on May 9, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Of course he was, there weren’t really a lot of options open at that time. His meetings/talks with Khrushchev in 1961 went a long way toward convincing Nikita that Kennedy and the US were weak and wouldn’t resort to action that would lead to US casualties. This view was strengthened by Kennedy’s botch of the Bay of Pigs later that year. Diplomacy with dictators only works when backed up by strength of arms and the will to use them and only then if said dictator absolutely understands and believes that to be true.

Oldnuke on May 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM

just for sh*ts and giggles…here’s Obama as Chamberlaine

uptight on May 9, 2008 at 3:48 PM

La Raza wants amnesty and will settle for nothing less. It is a simple business transaction. Buyers and sellers.

a capella on May 9, 2008 at 3:38 PM

You can take that to el Banco Gringo and be sure to press dos para Espanol so that you can get some practice learning your new language. Meantime do not forget to send in muchas contribuciones for Juan el Vengativo’s campaign. Dollars only. No pesos for now. Muchas Gracias.

VinyFoxy on May 9, 2008 at 3:52 PM

franksalterego on May 9, 2008 at 3:42 PM

Are you saying that Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t present an immigration reform bill because she might not get re-elected?

Oldnuke on May 9, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Border Security First my butt! Where’s the fence? Our President promised a fence for Border Security! Where is it? John McCain has no intentions of securing the border and if you buy that you are gullible to a fault!

sabbott on May 9, 2008 at 4:01 PM

Ring…Hello, this is Nancy Pelosi.

Hello Nancy this is John McCain.

Hi John. Since Obama kicked your butt in the election, what can I do for you?

Lindsay Grahm and I would like to re-submit Immigration Reform and since you guys picked up a lot of seats during my crushing defeat, we think we can win this time.

Ok, John you submit it and we will slide it through on top of some other bill so the American people don’t know what is happening.

Laughter on both sides…done deal!

sabbott on May 9, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Not quite accurate.

if Neville Chamberlain had behaved like Obama does he would have come home wearing a swastika lapel pin and signing Horst Wessel Lied.

Nahanni on May 9, 2008 at 1:41 PM

heh

funky chicken on May 9, 2008 at 4:29 PM

Just because he says he’s willing to talk to our enemies, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t act strongly in the face of aggression.

Tom_Shipley on May 9, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Yeah right, Obama’s a pacifist and he’ll act just as “strongly” to our enemies aggressive actions as Carter and Clinton did…with an inept and symbolic response and more TALK!

You also fail to note that FDR did communicate with Hitler via telegram.

Tom_Shipley on May 9, 2008 at 10:41 AM

FDR probably told them to surrender or die where Obama would tell them they needed to get in touch with their inner child in order to examine why they are so angry or ask them what it was WE DID to anger them, then he’d invite them to come TALK some more!

Yeah, it would also emulate our relations with the U.S.S.R. prior to the wall falling. What exactly is your point?

Tom_Shipley on May 9, 2008 at 10:41 AM

You’re comparing apples with oranges; the situation we faced in the cold war with Russia and the situation we face with Iran are completely different and require a completely different approach. For example, the MAD doctrine adopted during the cold war with Russia will not work with the Mad Mullahs in Iran as they want to bring about the end of days to usher in the “missing Imam” and bring about the ruling of the world under Sharia “law.”

It seems the main substance for you tying Obama to Chamerlain is the fact that Obama says he’s willing to talk to our enemies.
Tom_Shipley on May 9, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Talking is fine provided you do it from a position of strength and not weakness. However when you’re dealing with a culture like the Iranians (or Arabs in general) that believes anyone willing to talk or negotiate is “weak” then talks and negotiation is futile.

This is especially true when the entity you’re talking or negotiating with has an agenda and ideology for which there is no possibility of finding some middle ground through negotiations and it should be obvious to most people (especially Obama) what our enemies agenda and ideology is, which is the destruction of the “little Satan” (Israel) and the destruction of the “big Satan (America) resulting in the ushering in of the “missing Imam” and the establishment of the Caliphate under Sharia “Law” worldwide. With this in mind continued negotiations or “talks” is merely a stall tactic being used by our enemies to allow them to become stronger as time is wasted on negotiations and talk.

As a good leader one has to recognize when it is past time for negotiations and talk or when negotiations and talk are futile due to your enemy’s ideology and agenda and when it’s time for really forceful action! Based on the track record of recent democrap presidents and based on Obama’s vision, words, and ideas he has espoused during his campaign regarding foreign policy he obviously doesn’t recognize the futility of negotiating or talking with our enemies, therefore he is NOT A GOOD LEADER!

There’s NO reason to believe Obama would not respond forcefully if a country like Iran invaded another country.

Tom_Shipley on May 9, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Not true, if one looks at past responses by other recent like-minded pacifist democraps like Carter and Clinton then it would be reasonable to expect Obama would NOT respond forcefully should Iran invade another country or directly or indirectly (through proxies as they are doing now) commit an act of war against us.

For example, what was Clinton’s response to the attack on the USS Cole (an obvious act of war) or the first attack on the world trade center, or Osama outright declaring war on us? The answer to this question is easy, Clinton DID NOTHING! These examples alone are enough for most reasonable people to believe Obama would NOT respond forcefully!

Liberty or Death on May 9, 2008 at 4:32 PM

The main problem with Obama is that no one has any idea how he’d handle foreign policy.

spmat on May 9, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Obama’s Role Model — Diplomacy that nearly destroyed the world!
http://rotstar.blogspot.com/2008/05/obamas-role-model-diplomacy-that-nearly.html

Yalta was considered a diplomatic disaster that enslaved millions in Eastern Europe. Roosevelt, who called Stalin, “Uncle Joe,” failed to recognize the evil that would lead to the deaths of 15 to 20 million Soviet citizens — Time Magazine (13 April 1998) (Some estimates as large as 52 million with 30 million being the median estimate).

I can’t recall when Truman talked to our enemies, other then perhaps their surrender after he dropped the atomic bomb . Truman lead the UN into Korea and did so without talking to our enemies — they were boycotting the UN — rather then talk he gave ultimatums and took action to remove our enemies from South Korea.

As a matter of fact Truman has his own Doctrine (The Truman Doctrine) that supported our allies financially and militarily against Soviet (our enemies) influence. This lead to what was known as the Domino Theory and formed much of the Cold War doctrine that lasted for decades (a variation of which Bush uses to push democracy).

Along with The Marshall Plan The Truman Doctrine helped feed the Soviet reaction that led to the Berlin Blockade. It was only the show of determination and strength — redeployment of B-29′s to England, the same bombers that dropped atomic weapons on Japan — that prevented escalation of the conflict during the 11 months of the airlift.

Kennedy escalated Vietnam as a part of Truman’s doctrine and while he did speak to Kruschev during the Vienna Summit it was considered a failure that caused the players (Kennedy and Kruschev) to push the world toward the most dangerous nuclear stand off in history — The Cuban missile Crisis.

(About Vienna, Kennedy later claimed of Khrushchev, “He beat the hell out of me.”)

If this is what Obama has in mind, getting the hell beat out of him by Kim and Mahmoud I don’t want anything to do with it! I should just start digging the shelter now!

LifeTrek on May 9, 2008 at 4:53 PM

I like the wordplay. I wouldn’t contend that Chamberlain was a good Prime Minister or that the Munich Agreement was anything but a failure. However, certainly by 1938 Great Britain was in a very tough position. An invasion of Germany and removal of Hitler might not have succeeded, or have been costly and unpopular. The United States would have been more likely to have remained isolated and the Soviet’s more capable of exploiting a war-torn and bankrupt Europe to export Marxism.

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Invasion of Germany wouldn’t have been necessary. Had the Brits lived up to their treaty obligations with the Poles and sent their military as they should have, the entire war may have been nipped in the bud. The Brits did send bombers over Nazi troops… filled not with bombs, but instead with pamphlets asking the Nazis to pretty please with sugar on top to stop invading.

Out of fear of annoying the Nazis, the Brits left the vastly outmatched Poles to fend for themselves, first against the Germans then the Soviets who invaded a month later. Still, they held out for three months and were the only German occupied country in WWII not to formally surrender.

Hollowpoint on May 9, 2008 at 5:09 PM

Invasion of Germany wouldn’t have been necessary. Had the Brits lived up to their treaty obligations with the Poles and sent their military as they should have, the entire war may have been nipped in the bud.

Hollowpoint on May 9, 2008 at 5:09 PM

By the time Hitler invaded Poland his military was formidable. Even if Great Britain had fought Hitler to a standstill in Poland, absent an invasion and defeat of Germany, you’d still have Hitler in power and merely “contained”. He wasn’t the type of guy to resign.

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 5:40 PM

By the time Hitler invaded Poland his military was formidable. Even if Great Britain had fought Hitler to a standstill in Poland, absent an invasion and defeat of Germany, you’d still have Hitler in power and merely “contained”. He wasn’t the type of guy to resign.

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 5:40 PM

Contained = not invading = no WWII. Even if it were temporary, it would’ve bought the Brits and other European countries time to arm and prepare- something Chamberlin tried to do with appeasement and diplomacy but resulted in horror.

Hollowpoint on May 9, 2008 at 5:51 PM

The main problem with Obama is that no one has any idea how he’d handle foreign policy.

spmat on May 9, 2008 at 4:52 PM

The fact that he plans to cut and run from Iraq should give us a pretty good idea.

AZCoyote on May 9, 2008 at 6:10 PM

The main problem with Obama is that no one has any idea how he’d handle foreign policy.–spmat on May 9, 2008 at 4:52 PM

The fact that he plans to cut and run from Iraq should give us a pretty good idea.–AZCoyote on May 9, 2008 at 6:10 PM

Obama’s an open book. He will concede whatever is demanded. He is Jimmy Carter II. He will tax every American business out of business. He will tax every working American out of their security. He will appease whatever any foreign nation demands. He will obey whatever his management designs. That is how he got on the ticket, and how he will always perform, according to the most destructive power.

maverick muse on May 9, 2008 at 7:07 PM

Contained = not invading = no WWII. Even if it were temporary, it would’ve bought the Brits and other European countries time to arm and prepare- something Chamberlin tried to do with appeasement and diplomacy but resulted in horror.

Hollowpoint on May 9, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Even without Poland Hitler could have continued his military buildup and extermination of Jews. Containing but not eliminating Hitler might have been worse than what ultimately happened.

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 7:15 PM

Even without Poland Hitler could have continued his military buildup and extermination of Jews. Containing but not eliminating Hitler might have been worse than what ultimately happened.

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 7:15 PM

Impossible to say, but I suspect it would’ve been uncovered far sooner- rounding up Jews into camps would be a lot more conspicuous without a war going on. There’s a reason that he waited until WWII was under way before he started the genocide.

Hollowpoint on May 9, 2008 at 7:32 PM

“There’s NO reason to believe Obama would not respond forcefully if a country like Iran invaded another country.” by Tom Shipley on May 9, 2008 at 10:41 AM

RESPONSE: “Not true, if one looks at past responses by other recent like-minded pacifist democraps like Carter and Clinton then it would be reasonable to expect Obama would NOT respond forcefully should Iran invade another country or directly or indirectly (through proxies as they are doing now) commit an act of war against us.”
“For example, what was Clinton’s response to the attack on the USS Cole (an obvious act of war) or the first attack on the world trade center, or Osama outright declaring war on us? The answer to this question is easy, Clinton DID NOTHING! These examples alone are enough for most reasonable people to believe Obama would NOT respond forcefully!”
by Liberty or Death on May 9, 2008 at 4:32 PM

EXACTLY. Bears repeating. This “Tom Shipley” bears “all the marks” of the kind of “apologist” who says after a disaster, “well, at least we gave him a chance to be better.”
What a crock - particularly at such a critical turning point in history.

Lockstein13 on May 9, 2008 at 7:52 PM

Impossible to say, but I suspect it would’ve been uncovered far sooner- rounding up Jews into camps would be a lot more conspicuous without a war going on. There’s a reason that he waited until WWII was under way before he started the genocide.

Hollowpoint on May 9, 2008 at 7:32 PM

I agree that the cover of war enabled Hitler to ramp up his genocidal efforts. However, the Nuremberg laws were enacted in 1935 and Kristallnacht was 1938 while the rest of Europe was hoping to appease him. He likely could have gone quite far before a foreign power used force to stop him. Certainly Stalin and Mao presided over atrocities without direct intervention by the U.S. or Europe.

If Hitler had been stalled by the Brits before their invasion of Poland, another few years of military advances might have enabled him to attack Great Britain with jet aircraft and V2 rockets. German physicists were working on the atomic bomb. Perhaps without the Manhattan Project they would have won the race.

dedalus on May 9, 2008 at 8:18 PM

Obama CANNOT be allowed to become POTUS.

the man’s background is red and have any of you guys spoken to any of his committed “supporters”. holy crap its a “movement” not an election. its a cult. be afraid. 4 years of this crap will tear this nation apart.

some of the obama supporters i’ve spoken to remind me of laurie berenson. the same virulence exists in obama’s die hards. google laurie berenson…MRTA…Peru.

after a fierce battle in lima one nite she was captured by peruvian security forces and i will NEVER forget when the Peruvian army put her on display for the media…she was a violently anti american spectacle (in chains, screaming, and spitting on the reporters ). i thought to myself who cares if she’s american there is no redeeming value left in her this Marxist bitch she deserves a bullet. but fujimori was under pressure and took pity.

get to know some of the obama supporters if you can and i’m not talking about the republican backers but some of the “grassroots” folks.

its the virulence. be afraid of the virulence guys.

elduende on May 9, 2008 at 8:34 PM

You should read H.R. McMaster’s book, “Dereliction of Duty”. He has a much different take on it and Kennedy.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:10 PM

I didn’t say or even imply JFK did things right, just that he recognized talking alone would not accomplish anything of value. JFK is not one of my heroes, but he is head and shoulders better than Obama.

Sounds to me like great hesitation followed by what could reasonable be called appeasement.

MB4 on May 9, 2008 at 3:26 PM

JFK may also have implemented some objectionable Rules of Engagement, but at least he did forcefully resist leaving any Soviet missiles on Cuba. As I recall, naval blockades are tantamount to acts of war. Also, I’m not sure that clandestine communications and negotiations that resulted in us removing our missiles from Turkey in return for the Soviets removing theirs from Cuba amount to appeasement. The result of those communications seems more like compromise, not “something for nothing” appeasement.

ET USN 71-78 on May 9, 2008 at 9:06 PM

obama CANNOT be allowed to become POTUS

the man has a red past. 4 years of this man will tear this nation apart. listen to his supporters. this is not an election it is a “movement” more akin to a cult.

i encourage anyone who has an opportunity to do so to go ahead and insinuate yourselves into a pro obama crowd of supporters and just listen to how they speak.

i’ve had ample opportunity to do so and the things they say as well as the subtle virulence which infects their speech remind me of laurie berenson.

google…laurie berenson…peru…mrta.

find obamas true believers the “grassroots organizers” and listen to them. this is not about “change” and “hope” its about marxism.

i remember i think it was in 1995 after a vicious urban battle with the MRTA, peruvian security forces captured american Laurie Berenson and put her on display for the media. I will never forget the virulence with which this chained and violently anti American marxist screamed and spit on the reporters. it was a spectacle. i remember the peruvians would not walk near her like a rabid dog.

the thing that i will always remember is the virulence. the chavistas in venezuela speak like this too. there’s a latent fanaticism here folks.

be afraid of the virulence.

NO OBAMA! this country already has too much on its plate without giving marxism a trojan horse into the white house.

elduende on May 9, 2008 at 9:46 PM

ET USN 71-78

Yes JFK was prepared to fight but his early actions and the Soviets preceptions got us into the Cuban Crisis.

Well President Kennedy had plenty of charisma and was very likable, but while I liked him (as I do Mr. Obama), the perception of what he actually was by foreign leaders created a danger for America. I worry about the results of having an exciting, likeable, but politically and leadership inexperienced and untested president during a time of crisis/war. Those untested and or appearing weak give perception that they are not strong in regards to America’s security.

I was 18 when President Kenney was killed and I remember vividly that he faltered on the Bay of Pigs in Cuba by withdrawing the air support, backed off of confronting the USSR on the illegal Berlin Wall construction and was judged by Mr. Khrushchev in their face to face meeting, according to his memoirs, to be weak which led to the Cuban Missile Crisis. And our present enemies have less of an understanding of our culture and politics than did Premier Khrushchev and his advisors. Therefore they may make major judgments on what they see and hear from and about a candidate. Unfortunately that may result an escalation of our enemies actions, as in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and risk the possibility of an over reaction by an unsure president needing to show his/her strength.

In politics and world affairs, as at the school playground, perceptions are the reality.

amr on May 9, 2008 at 10:15 PM

Isn’t immigration policy part of foreign policy? We’re being invaded by a foreign country. More than 10% of that country’s citizens are already here.

—————

Hitler was an Anglophile. He didn’t want to attack England, and put it off as long as he could.

To argue that Chamberlain was buying time is not credible.

misterpeasea on May 9, 2008 at 10:36 PM

Tom_Shipley:

An honest question with zero snark inflection for you; what gives you confidence that the Big O will have anymore success at all than the EU3 which spent 3 YEARS talking to iran. What happened with all that? Iran got more and more defiant and a lot closer to its ultimate goal of becoming a nuclear jihadi firecracker stand.

At what point would you concede that talk has run its course and becomes useless? Is there a point for you? We’re way past that point with iran, as far as I’m concerned. They’ve repeatedly declared war on us and our allies. They fund, supply, and wage proxy wars thru syria, hamas, hezb_allah and the mahdi army, and they openly threaten the other powers in the region.

At what point would you deem it prudent to stop talking and take some direct and effective deterrent action? Talking has gotten us nowhere and that will not change.

I’m all for peace. But we will only have peace through strength. This is no time in history to be percieved a candy-ass on the world stage. Weakness is provocative. Our enemies will take advantage, if they can.

Obama is tap water weak.

be afraid of the virulence.

NO OBAMA! this country already has too much on its plate without giving marxism a trojan horse into the white house.

elduende on May 9, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Yep. We need to be constantly mocking them and exposing their true intentions. Regular America isn’t going to go for marxism once they find out what it really means.

Boy was McCarthy ever right, though. We were (and are) infested with communists and marxists that have now effectively permeated our educational institutions, broadcast media, and culture almost completely. Much to our great detriment.

We need to ceaselessly mock them with clever parody and satire. Use laughter to drive home the salient points. Political cartoonists are most effective with this, in my opinion. Something so good it goes viral on the net. Make the marxists the equivalent of troofers, if at all possible.

The trojan horse analogy was spot on, elduende. Stealth candidacy indeed. Good post.

Great thread, HA commentators! Learned a lot. Lots more to learn.

techno_barbarian on May 9, 2008 at 10:47 PM

B. Hussein O. is a total pansy. Can anyone on this thread bowl a 37?

Barry is perfect for the Dhimmicrat party.

He’s anti-white, anti-semite, anti-Israel, anti-military, anti-American, anti-Christian; and, pro-Marxist, pro-abortion, pro-killing born babies who weren’t successfully aborted, pro-massive government.

(All this stuff has come out in his own books, speeches, associations, and voting record. It’s up to the Republicans to patch it all together during the campaign.)

In other words, PERFECT, for the Dhimmis.

Mojave Mark on May 10, 2008 at 10:50 AM

There is one way in which Neville Chamberlain and Barack Obama differ: Neville had no historical “Hitler” with whom to compare the potential threats he faced, whereas Barack has the entire 20th century worth of evil dictators with whom to serve as a reference for future dictators and the threat they pose.
In 1938, no one could believe that someone, especially from such a developed, educated society that had produced some of the finest universities, seminaries, philosophers, and scientists, could possibly do some of the things Hitler did, regardless of all the warning signs, not to mention Hitler’s own speeches and writings to the effect.
Obama has this as a historical reference and chooses to ignore it. If he were any other civilian, I’d call him naive. Since he’s running for Commander-in-Chief, I call him dangerous.
This country needs a rough, serious-minded, patriot with a vision beyond his 4-year term and a few battles with this country’s enemies under his belt, not some Harvard Law sissy.

Send_Me on May 10, 2008 at 11:14 AM

Barack has the entire 20th century worth of evil dictators with whom to serve as a reference for future dictators and the threat they pose.

Send_Me on May 10, 2008 at 11:14 AM

The 20th century gave us lessons for dealing with dictators in WWII and in the Cold War. Both wars differ significantly from the current war, but perhaps WWII more so.

dedalus on May 10, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Great – bad history added to the mix. News flash: Germany abandoned all efforts to produce an atomic bomb long before the Manhattan Project succeeded in building one. German scientists came to believe that it simply couldn’t be done.

corona on May 10, 2008 at 3:30 PM

The 20th century gave us lessons for dealing with dictators in WWII and in the Cold War. Both wars differ significantly from the current war, but perhaps WWII more so.
dedalus on May 10, 2008 at 11:59 AM

All wars are different to a certain degree (i.e. weaponry; specific mission; training, leadership, and motivation of the enemy; available troops and resources; type of terrain; time available, to name a few.) However, the principles of warfare are pretty much constant. Insurgencies are not a new concept. In fact, it is one of the oldest forms of warfare known to man. Whenever faced by insurmountable odds, especially in terms of materiel, manpower, and training, an insurgency is the way to go. How did Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Ernest “Che” Guevara, Fidel Castro, Mussolini, Kim Il Sung, Francisco Franco and many others all attempt, and in some cases succeed, in coming to power? First, they would seek to convert, gathering like-minded people close to them, then when they had enough power, they would squash all dissidents. They would try winning popular support, making promises of a better future, sometimes appealing religion, sometimes nationalism, most times attempting to unite the populace against a perceived common enemy. When enough support was won, they would strike militarily, taking over the government by force. Insurgencies start as wars of information, propaganda, and ideas. Upon taking power they would turn the country into a police state, using tools of fear, both in quelling opposing thoughts actively, and by rewarding those who would turn in their neighbors.
The United States has fought on both sides of insurgencies in the last century, in some cases directly related to the Cold War (supporting insurgents in Afghanistan during the Soviet Invasion, half-way supporting the Cubans in a pitiful attempt to overthrow Castro, and the counterinsurgencies of Vietnam, Lebanon, Central American, and Iran.) It would wise to learn from these successes and failures.

Send_Me on May 10, 2008 at 3:58 PM

Great – bad history added to the mix. News flash: Germany abandoned all efforts to produce an atomic bomb long before the Manhattan Project succeeded in building one. German scientists came to believe that it simply couldn’t be done.

corona on May 10, 2008 at 3:30 PM

I don’t believe the Germans gave up their quest for the atomic bomb. They were moving a large quantity of heavy water from Norway to Germany later in the war, which never made it to Germany, thanks to a commando raid on the ship.

Also, late in the war the Germans sent two submarines to Japan to share technology and nuclear material. I think one sub ended up in US control and was off-loaded and examined at a naval base on the east coast. I don’t remember if the other sub was sunk enroute to Japan or if it made it. I do remember this second sub was actually enroute when Germany surrendered, and chose to continue its mission rather than turn around and surrender.

ET USN 71-78 on May 10, 2008 at 4:12 PM

Great – bad history added to the mix. News flash: Germany abandoned all efforts to produce an atomic bomb long before the Manhattan Project succeeded in building one. German scientists came to believe that it simply couldn’t be done.

corona on May 10, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Sure, but not relevant to a discussion of the Brits containing Hitler without invasion beginning in 1938. The German Army’s decision to not invest heavily in an atomic bomb was driven by its short-term needs–needs that were very short-term and urgent once the U.S. and Soviets joined the fight. The Germans discovered nuclear fission in 1938 and Hitler was interested enough in the bomb that he had Werner Heisenberg pursue it.

dedalus on May 10, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Send_Me on May 10, 2008 at 3:58 PM

Good points. Certainly David Petraeus seems to understand insurgencies very well. Wish he had been in command from the get go.

Fighting the previous war is a mistake that commanders too often make. Probably the reluctance of the Europeans to deal with Hitler was a result of over-learning the lessons of WWI. Al Qaeda is unlike challenges in the past in important ways–not being tied to a nation, not relying on infrastructure that can be destroyed, being able and willing to strike the U.S. civilian population domestically. I agree that the more we learn from history the better, but we also need to unlearn some lessons in order to face an unprecedented challenge.

dedalus on May 10, 2008 at 4:32 PM

You must have missed a documentary that was recently aired about that raid in Norway.

The conclusion was that the loss of innocent life was even more tragic precisely because the Germans had already abandoned their A-bomb program.

corona on May 10, 2008 at 5:51 PM

You must have missed a documentary that was recently aired about that raid in Norway.

The conclusion was that the loss of innocent life was even more tragic precisely because the Germans had already abandoned their A-bomb program.

corona on May 10, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Didn’t catch the documentary. I know that the Nazi’s weren’t as close to the A bomb as FDR and the military commanders feared. Not sure I follow your point on things being worse because the Nazi’s didn’t get the A bomb.

dedalus on May 10, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Truman would be rolling in his grave if he knew that Bush and other Republicans continued to try and compare themselves to past Democrats in times of war. Based on what Truman said about Nixon, who was comparatively liberal, one can only imagine what Harry would have to say about Bush and his cheer leading squad. Truman would dislike Bush with a passion.

…probably the reluctance of the Europeans to deal with Hitler was a result of over-learning the lessons of WWI. Al Qaeda is unlike challenges in the past in important ways–not being tied to a nation, not relying on infrastructure that can be destroyed, being able and willing to strike the U.S. civilian population domestically …

You’re right, comparing al Qaeda to the Nazis is a huge mistake that the right continues to repeat. The war on terror won’t be won through conventional warfare. This isn’t a topic of debate among military leaders. It’s a different type of war that ultimately will be resolved through other means, not by the number of tanks that the US can deploy to other countries.

bayam on May 10, 2008 at 9:44 PM

Certainly David Petraeus seems to understand insurgencies very well. Wish he had been in command from the get go.

Petraeus may in fact be an outstanding general, but the problems in Iraq didn’t stem from incompetence among the officers running the war on the ground. Keep in mind that General Abizaid, for example, spoke Arabic fluently and had an exceptional understanding of the enemy.

If you look at the past wars, take the Civil War for example, the best generals emerged from success on the battlefield (Grant). Why didn’t that happen in Iraq, given the large numbers of commanders on the ground? The answer is simple- those leaders had their hands tied by incompetent policies coming out of the White House.

So while Bush would like you to think that Petraeus saved the nation from the US military, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Patraeus was allowed to fight with more troops and to start forming alliances with tribal leaders- requests made by every prior general fighting the war but denied by the Bush brain trust.

The surge put more troops on the ground- what McCain and many generals had been demanding for years before Bush finally relented. It wasn’t a set of new strategies that no one has considered before Patreaeus took charge. So don’t assume that US military leaders are largely incompetent other than Petraeus. Not so simple.

bayam on May 10, 2008 at 10:10 PM

bayam on May 10, 2008 at 9:44 PM

Yes, Truman and your other Democrat examples are rolling over in their graves, but it’s because of their own party’s present-day reluctance to confront our enemies! And don’t forget that even FDR had to fight his own party to pull them kicking and screaming to prepare us for WWII.

Also, Gen. Petraeus did rise to the top through the ranks in Iraq. He performed brilliantly in one area of Iraq before returning to command the whole country. And there was a change in strategy at the same time the surge commenced, which included much more realistic Rules of Engagement as well as keeping coalition soldiers out in the countryside instead of cloistered in the huge main bases most of the time.

And to think Pres. Bush managed to accomplish this shift in strategy in spite of the unrelenting efforts by some Democrats in Congress wanting to prevent this from happening so they could declare defeat; how pitiful!!

ET USN 71-78 on May 11, 2008 at 1:01 AM

OK, so Obama’s not too good on historical stuff, but, still, compared to his knowledge of economics, he’s a regular history professor!

morganfrost on May 11, 2008 at 5:27 PM

And to think Pres. Bush managed to accomplish this shift in strategy in spite of the unrelenting efforts by some Democrats in Congress wanting to prevent this from happening so they could declare defeat; how pitiful!!

What are you talking about- with 70% popular support, Bush could have changed tactics on a dime. It took McCain, Gingrich, Hagel, and others to pull Bush, kicking and screaming, into reality. The Democrats have never controlled wartime policies or strategy in Iraq. Bush and Cheney believed that the dead-enders were in the throes of defeat, so more no troops were needed. Rumsfeld in particular, remained adamently opposed to sending more troops into Iraq. But let’s ignore the facts and blame Democrats!

Voters in 2008 won’t be so blinded by their personal political beliefs.

bayam on May 11, 2008 at 7:21 PM

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