Friday, May 11, 2018

"Peace in Our Time": The Neville Chamberlain Statecraft Naivete Award

Neville Chamberlain was the prime minister of England 80 years ago or so, during the time of the ascent of Adolf Hitler to become the Nazi dictator, and for starting World War II by invading Germany's neighbors after committing not to.

Chamberlain had traveled to meet with Hitler three times in late 1938, ultimately resulting in the Munich agreement.  Hitler had been using the "plight" of Germans living in the Sudetenland, then a part of what was Czechoslovakia, as a pretext to invade there on their behalf.  Chamberlain sought to contain Hitler's ambition by allowing a plebiscite in the region whereupon, if it passed, the Sudetenland would be annexed into Germany.

Hitler offered to state that he would not thereafter invade Czechoslovakia and gave his assurance in the Munich agreement and a separate agreement privately sought by Chamberlain.  The prime minister then flew back to England, and famously declared that England would have "peace for our time.

Yeah, sure.

Of course, Hitler had no intention of staying his hand or slowing his armies, and the rest, I'm sorry to say so cliched, is indeed history.

The legend of Neville Chamberlain, whose embarrassment at being flummoxed by Hitler fortunately was short-lived (but only because Chamberlain did not live even two years after the meetings), is still discussed and still alluded to 80 years later.  The word of evil people, we learned through him, is worth nothing.

This lives again this week as President Trump has pulled the United States out of the Iran "agreement" (it wasn't a treaty, since it was never ratified by Congress and the Democrats there filibustered any attempt to have it brought up for approval that it wouldn't get) that Barack Obama and John Kerry had foisted on us.

It is pretty evident, after the Israeli presentation this past week dramatically showing Iranian cheating on the nuclear research side of the "agreement", that the Iranians simply had no intent to comply, but merely to hide what they were continuing to do under the lax inspection terms allowed by Kerry.  The Iranian regime was given time, billions of dollars, and relief of the crippling sanctions that had been in place previously.  But we already knew that, or surely suspected it.

The word of evil people is worth nothing.

What did we get out of the agreement?  Well, nothing.  The rest of us knew it then, and sane souls did what they could to prevent the agreement from taking force.  But there's nothing much worse than a leftist on a mission, with unchecked power and a few billion or so in crisp taxpayer dollars, and no regard for Constitutional restraints on foreign dealings.

So today, thanks to a brilliant reader recommendation, we end the week by bestowing the inaugural Neville Chamberlain Memorial Statecraft Naivete Award to John Kerry, mercifully former Secretary of State, for continued belief that the Iranians would ever accede to the terms of the deal and stop their nuclear program.

Although Barack Obama did receive a nomination as a co-recipient, it was not shown that there was adequate naivete involved.  He knew what he was doing, he knew the Iranians wouldn't follow the deal, and he knew that -- or thought that -- he would just get "credit" for it, flying Teflon-coated through his legacy years worshiped by his toadies and sycophants.  Kerry, on the other hand, was just stupid.  He clearly thought giving away the store to Iran was a good thing for the USA, and there is just no excuse for thinking Iran would comply.

Congratulations, Mr. Kerry.  Your award consists of a century of people laughing at you.

Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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