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Monday, November 30, 2009

Barack Obama and Neville Chamberlain

In the Weekly Standard, Matthias K√ľntzel, a Hamburg-based political scientist, compares US President Barack Hussein Obama to Neville Chamberlain.
Obviously, the new American president would like to be better loved by the global public than his predecessors. Obama sees himself as the anti-Bush. He personifies the attempt to placate anti-Americanism through concessions to America's enemies. He does not want to disappoint the hopes for peace that he repeatedly raises in his speeches and that won him his hollow Nobel Prize. Since Tehran will not change, he prefers to change his view of the Iranian regime. "This is not about singling out Iran," Obama insisted after the negotiations in Geneva. "This is not about creating double standards." The president sounded as if he were trying to convince himself and convince the world that the mullahs' regime is a government like any other.

The West is not deterring the mullahs. Instead, the mere prospect of their nuclear capability is deterring the West. Ahmadinejad and his friends sense their chance. They are putting pressure on the democratic nations to drop Israel in exchange for a tempering of Tehran's hostility. They are using the entire repertoire of intimidation, ridicule, and insult in an attempt to transform the Jewish state into what the Czech Sudetenland was for France and Great Britain in 1938: the price to be paid for "peace in our time."

Similar mechanisms led British prime minister Neville Chamberlain to acquiesce to the Munich Accord that ceded the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany. Chamberlain felt the pressure of the memory of the First World War, while today the memory of the (far less costly) Iraq war weighs on Obama. Chamberlain was well aware of the pacifist mood in Europe that would gain expression in the euphoric celebrations after the signing of the agreement. Of course, Chamberlain wanted to prevent a war. But his policy resulted in the opposite of what it aimed to accomplish. Obama does not want war either. But it is to war that his present approach is leading.

Whereas Chamberlain's policy led to a conventional war, the current policy of the Obama administration is conjuring up the threat of a nuclear war. Nobody can be sure that a nuclear-armed Iran will allow itself to be disarmed and deprived of its power without using its nuclear weapons. In that case, the world may be faced with the choice of either submitting to Islamism or defeating it--albeit at an unimaginable price.
And Kuntzel isn't the only one. A week after calling Obama 'Carteresque' MSNBC's Chris Matthews says that Obama is "too much Chamberlain and not enough Churchill.

Let's go to the videotape.

What could go wrong?

The transcript is here.


At 9:32 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

These people voted him in. I don't feel much sympathy for their plight if their leader unleashes a world war as a result of his policies.


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