Deja Vu, all over again…

History, contrary to popular belief, does not really repeat itself… sadly, however, it frequently rhymes.

Back in 1938 on this date, Neville Chamberlain, returning from Munich, proclaimed that this meeting had produced “peace in our times.” Now, President Obama, when not traveling to Copenhagen to collect accolades, continues in this grand tradition, believing that talking with tyrants, making concessions to dictators, can bear fruit.

Chamberlain defended his appeasement in a speech before Parliament:

“The first is this: We did not go there to decide whether the predominantly German areas in the Sudetenland should be passed over to the German Reich. That had been decided already. Czechoslovakia had accepted the Anglo-French proposals. What we had to consider was the method, the conditions and the time of the transfer of the territory. The second point to remember is that time was one of the essential factors. All the elements were present on the spot for the outbreak of a conflict which might have precipitated the catastrophe. We had populations inflamed to a high degree; we had extremists on both sides ready to work up and provoke incidents; we had considerable quantities of arms which were by no means confined to regularly organised forces. Therefore, it was essential that we should quickly reach a conclusion, so that this painful and difficult operation of transfer might be carried out at the earliest possible moment and concluded as soon as was consistent, with orderly procedure, in order that we might avoid the possibility of something that might have rendered all our attempts at peaceful solution useless. . . .

. . . To those who dislike an ultimatum, but who were anxious for a reasonable and orderly procedure, every one of [the] modifications [of the Godesberg Memorandum by the Munich Agreement] is a step in the right direction. It is no longer an ultimatum, but is a method which is carried out largely under the supervision of an international body.

Before giving a verdict upon this arrangement, we should do well to avoid describing it as a personal or a national triumph for anyone. The real triumph is that it has shown that representatives of four great Powers can find it possible to agree on a way of carrying out a difficult and delicate operation by discussion instead of by force of arms, and thereby they have averted a catastrophe which would have ended civilisation as we have known it. The relief that our escape from this great peril of war has, I think, everywhere been mingled in this country with a profound feeling of sympathy.”

Let’s see… responding to the ultimatum by giving in, albeit with enough of a political circus to reduce the ultimatum to “a method…” a disdain for “victory,” and solving a problem by selling an ally piecemeal to its enemies.

Sounds a little like Mid-East Peace and the Iranian nuclear program negotiations, among other things, come to think of it.  How do you say “Sudetenland” in Persian?

8 replies
  1. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    It is so IRONIC that with history, it ends up getting compared to what is going on today. President Obama with wanting to meet the dictator of Iran who not only denies that what happens against the Jews back during  World War 2 but even THREATENS another nation and its peoples with nukes. This is why I often compare Obama with the UK's Neville Chamberlain and fine Obama could end up being the early 21st century version of Chamberlain.

    • Wyndeward
      Wyndeward says:

      Actually, Sammy, if you'd actually read the blog post, rather than simply looking at the pictures, the central figure in the historically comparison is Neville Chamberlain, not the Austrian paper-hanger.

  2. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    I read the post, I put Chamberlain in context, looked at the picture and came to the conclusion. This issue and how it gets twisted into the current state of affairs in the world has been worn rather thin. Eventually Iran, if it really wants the "bomb" will make it (not too hard to do, really).

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I will always be "hung up" on the atrocities of liberal socialist dictators, past and present.   Hilter, Stalin, Pol Pot, take your pick.  If Obama want to be Chamberlain, he forgets history.  If he wants to meddle in the legal affairs of state in Honduras, he is supporting the likes of Chavez and Castro in the region.  If he wants to apologize for American exceptionalism, then he has a twisted view of the role of the U.S. in world history.


    Do you see any good in his ignorance and naivete?  I don't.

  4. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    In reading history one learns that there have been many great powers that played a large role  world and then….. Probably they also thought they were exceptional and then……Is the US going to be the exception in what seems to be the flow of history?

  5. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I believe that American exceptionalism is demonstrable through America's considerable contributions to science, technology, agriculture, you name it.


    Obama and his ilk don't believe in the possibility that the U.S. can be exceptional, and hence, the apoligies, the bowing and scraping to dictators, and the belief that other systems of governing, i.e. socialism, is superior, and must be applied to our "backward" society.  Half the battle is believing, the other is striving.

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