Saturday, May 07, 2005

After Munich - After Iraq

In 1938-39 Europeans thought that peace had been achieved after they capitulated to Hitler and let him occupy the Sudentenland, and then all of Chezkoslovakia.
Chamberlain set out on two missions to meet with Hitler: One at Berchtesgaden and another at Godesberg. Chamberlain's background was in business and he felt as though Hitler could be handled like any other negotiation. The key to success was to determine his opponents bottom line; and, if possible, give it to him. Once Hitler is satiated, he will cease to be a problem. When Hitler revealed that the Sudentenland was his final territorial request, Chamberlain came to believe it was a small, if unseemly, price to pay for the prevention of a continental war. It never occurred to Chamberlain, as was feared by Churchill, that Hitler was lying. He asked for the bottom line and got it. What Churchill would have taken with an enormous grain of salt, Chamberlain gladly swallowed without issue. By the time the four powers (Britain, France, Italy, and Germany) met at Munich, Czechoslovakia's fate was already sealed. The Munich Conference was about how to give Hitler his prize rather than whether or not he deserved it.
One of my main reads, Juan Cole, now points out that things are pretty dicey in the MidEast these days.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Will Iran get the Bomb?
It seems pretty obvious that Iran will get the nuclear bomb and there is not much anyone can do about it. I'm not saying it is a good thing. I'm just saying that I can't imagine what would stop it.
Thus, it is now fairly certain that Muslim Iran will get the Bomb and join the ranks of, among other States, Muslim Pakistan. Arrayed against these two Muslim States is Israel and its backer, the U.S. Cole goes on to review how all this happened and how difficult it will be, if impossible, to stop them from getting the Bomb. Its an interesting read. It doesn't even mention the other nemesis, North Korea.

Iran will have the Bomb, just as Hitler got all of Europe, while we have been tied up trying to do something in Iraq that no one is quite sure of at this time. Of course, maybe Bush has calculated that, when the balloon goes up and Iran nukes Israel, no one will remember Iraq. Probably true.

But we do remember Munich.

Could Bush and Blair be our Chamberlains?

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