The Boys Who Cried "Munich"

I shit you not. ||| Breitbart.comWas it really only 55 days ago that the
world—including the part inhabited by Republicans—rolled
its collective eyes
at U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
bizarrely mischaracterizing the decision whether or not to bomb the
regime in Syria as our latest “Munich
,” referencing the deservedly infamous 1938 Neville
Chamberlain/Edouard Daladier hand-over of Western Czechoslovakia to
Adolf Hitler without Czech input and despite the fact that Paris
was a military ally of Prague? Go ahead, watch Kerry haunt our
consciences with the warning that the eventual outcome of the
August/September Damascus deliberations would amount to

As conservative Rod Dreher
at the time,

If American cruise missiles don’t fly into Damascus, will Assad
annex the Mideast equivalent of the Sudentenland? I am aware that
he is a nasty piece of work, but I am not aware that he is an
expansionist whose desires for Syrian lebensraum
threatens America’s vital interests.

Not even two months later, Munich is back with a vengeance, and
this time it’s conservatives leading the charge against the

six-country deal with Iran
over its nuclear program.

I'm sure she thought temporarily lifting economic sanctions from Iran was worse than letting Hitler swallow her homeland. ||| WikipediaIn The Wall Street
Bret Stephens declared the agreement somehow
Than Munich
,” based on a sliding scale that takes into
consideration the comparative weakness of Britain and France. (As
long as we’re doing historical comps here, it’s worth noting that
2013 Iran is to 1938 Germany what a flea is to a Tyrannosaurus
Rex.) You can calibrate Stephens’s precise level of foreign policy
seriousness with this passage:

After World War II the U.S. created a global system of security
alliances to prevent the kind of foreign policy freelancing that is
again becoming rampant in the Middle East. It worked until
President Obama decided in his wisdom to throw it away.

Over at, Ben Shapiro also produces a “Worse
Than Munich
” verdict, which suggests that the next Mideast
crisis two months from now will generate such interventionist
headlines as “Twice As Bad as Munich,” or for the
space-conscious, perhaps “Munich Cubed.” Here’s Shapiro’s

[I]n truth, the west’s appeasement of Iran is significantly
worse than its appeasement of Hitler in 1938, for a variety of
reasons. First, as of 1938, Hitler had not yet made clear his plans
to exterminate European Jewry. He was still attempting to ship
European Jews out of Europe; the Final Solution was not formally
adopted until 1941. Iran has made clear its desire to wipe Israel
off the map. Its current leader, supposed moderate Hassan Rouhani,
has refused to acknowledge the Holocaust as historically
accurate, participated
in a rally
calling for Israel’s destruction, and according to
Iranian press reports, stated, “The Zionist regime is a wound that
has sat on the body of the Muslim world for years and needs to be
removed.” Yet the Obama administration wants to pretend he is a

Sure, Hitler demanded—successfully!—that whole swaths of other
countries be ceded to him without their consent, and yes, if Iran
tried that with a neighbor it would be blown to smithereens by
history’s most powerful military, but that Rouhani character
participated in a rally!

This illustration is more intellectually serious than the blockquoted text to its left. |||Heritage Foundation foreign
policy VP James Carafano headlines his National Review
objection as “Munich
.” Watch Carafano’s tank think:

The British think the deal with Iran makes sense. Then, again,
it was a British government that believed Munich meant we could all
get a good night’s sleep now.

The Russians laud the deal. But it was a government in Moscow
that believed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact solved all its

Our White House likes this deal. But, our White House also
thinks its policies in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria have been just

I happened to be on The Blaze network with Carafano the other
week talking about this very subject (he sincerely believes we’re
heading for a nuclear winter in the Middle East), and I had the
chance to ask him: OK, President Carafano, what would YOU do to
more boldly confront this situation?
His answer? Give
sanctions more time to work. While I appreciate an answer that
doesn’t involve immediate U.S. bombardment, the Hitler
analogy begs the question: If Nazis they truly be, how can anything
be appropriate short of war?

Establishmentarian hawk Charles Krauthammer engages in neither
grade inflation nor apples-to-apples comparison; instead, simply
is the worst deal since Munich

Of course, it is no such thing. The Yalta Conference of
consigned a whole half-continent to subjugation under an
evil communist empire, and American diplomats have been apologizing
ever since
. Agreeing to temporarily lift economic sanctions on
a single country is not within the same moral time zone as
sentencing entire nations to a half-century of abject

More Munich/Chamberlain/appeasement talk from
Rep. Tom Cotton
(R-Arkansas), William
John Bolton
Cal Thomas
Daniel Pipes
, and Beverly Hills Courier Publisher

Clif “One F” Smith
. More historical Reason pushback on
the analogy, and the unsound places it has taken U.S. foreign
policy, here.

Ach, yo. ||| Radio PragueBad historical analogies do not convert the
targets of their criticism to good international decisions. But
they do suggest an
intellectual rot
among those who are once again
banging the drums
for preventative Middle Eastern war. All
recent history points to treating their most recent claims with a
prophylactic skepticism, and recognizing their go-to
as a crude, ahistorical gimmick to escalate military

Bonus cinematic history trivia: Did you know
that the great Czech movie director Miloš Forman was
this close
to making a French-financed film about the
ill-fated agreement, titled
The Ghost of Munich
, with a screenplay co-writing
credit by Václav Havel himself? Alas, the 2008 financial crisis
doomed the

from Hit & Run

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