September 14th, 2009 21:19 EST
Chamberlain and Obama?
Neville Chamberlain was by all accounts a kind and clever man, an idealist with the best of intentions. Eminently civilized, he always took high tea at the prescribed time. A confident and highly experienced negotiator, he truly believed that he could successfully appease Hitler and Nazi Germany. His desire for peace was profound and authentic. And he was dead wrong.
Likewise, Barack Obama, has a seemingly limitless faith in his ability to negotiate with our avowed enemies, to prod and persuade the likes of Ahmadinejad, Assad, Chavez and Putin. He appears to believe that if we hedge our country`s bets and keep our adversaries close to the vest, our enemies will be appeased and our friends will remain loyal - if insecure - partners in peace.
"Peace in our time," so declared Chamberlain after sacrificing Czechoslovakia to Hitler`s Panzers in March 1939. This seminal event should have destroyed any rationale for appeasement - Czechoslovakia`s fate preordained that of wider Europe.
Observing Obama and his non-interventionist acolytes, one wonders: has Obama met Chamberlain? Is he still convinced that Iran`s nuclear ambitions are for ploughshares, that its leaders` eliminationist proclamations have nothing in common with those of Hitler, or Stalin, or Pol Pot?
If so, there is hope that all is not lost. Obama has shown focus and fortitude in Afghanistan, increasing troop strength and commitment. To his credit, he knows full well that a Taliban victory there would further destabilize an already unstable region - including nuclear Pakistan - with catastrophic results to follow.
Thus, the real question is not if Obama has met Chamberlain. Rather, it is what did he learn from him? While his multitudinous advisors and czars pull him to the left, he has shown a marked ability to learn on his feet, to assimilate changing political realities. His fate and the fate of our country depend, in large measure, on whether he successfully veers from his leftist origins toward the opposing trends of our time.
Dealing weakly with Nazi Germany`s rise contributed mightily to the 50 million casualties of the Second World War. Will Obama`s appeasement-laden overtures similarly result in unmitigated disasters over the next decade?
The jury is still out.
By Leslie Sacks
Image: Chamberlain meeting with Hitler, 1939.