I’ve come out of my cave long enough to catch the VP debate, and I have to blog about what I’ve just heard Joe Biden say. In being asked about foreign policy, he remarked that we should “listen to our friends and allies” about “sitting down with the leaders of these dangerous nations to diplomatically solve the issues at hand.”
Translation? APPEASEMENT. Time for a history lesson.
World War I was brutal. It was bloody, it was huge, and it was unbelievably unpopular in the United States. 20 million people total died, another 20 million badly injured; it was nasty as nasty can be. The assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (yeah, the band got its lousy name somewhere) only sparked the fumes that were already building between Germany and Britain. Germany, along with Austria/Hungary and the Ottoman Empire (what is today the Middle East, Muslim countries) fought the majority of Europe and nearly won.
It was so ugly that nobody wanted to even think of acting on the threats made in the treaty Germany was forced to sign when they surrendered. In 1918, Germany was driven into an agreement that forbade military expansion and annexation and demanded enormous reparations; this was humiliating for the German people. So when Adolf Hitler came along, his firey, passionate, I-promise-you-change speeches were extremely popular. Nobody wanted to stop the guy when he took a risk sending a small contingent of soldiers–on bicycles–into the Rhineland in flagrant disobedience of the Treaty of Versailles, which banned Germany from occupying a region between Germany and the Belgium/France border. France had 12 entire divisions ready to march in, and all they’d have had to do is walk in and look at the Germans…they would have turned and fled.
That might’ve stopped Hitler. But since nobody wanted to fight, they just said, “oh, it’s just the Germans going into their own back garden.” Then, with a little more time, Hitler decided to take military action against Czechoslovakia; Neville Chamberlain of Britain scurried out to Berchtesgaden, met with Hitler, and deliberately left the Czech people out of the negotiations. He came back to London like some kind of conquering hero, waving the Munich Agreement and proclaiming “peace in our time.”
The Munich Agreement was the most unbelievable thing Britain and the other allies could have allowed; it handed all of Czechoslovakia over to Germany for the sole purpose of making Hitler happy. If he was happy, they figured, they wouldn’t have to go to war.
Appeasement only emboldened Hitler and we all know how it ended. With every move he made, he was more brazen than before and became exponentially stronger. He started out with a Germany that was nearly destitute from a previous war and built it into a nearly unstoppable war machine that almost swallowed Europe whole. We look back at it and feel pride that we beat him; at the time, the whole world was scared to death that he’d win. He almost did. And appeasement helped him get there.
You can only talk so much before the world leader-version of the schoolyard bully has to be beaten down. Saddam stood a good chance of becoming the next Hitler. Ahmadinejad could, too, if he sees fit. There are plenty of people in this world who’d like to see America fall, and Biden, Obama and the Pelosi-led Democratic party will talk us right into the chasm.
I look at it this way: if someone comes into my house and threatens me, I’ll point my .40 cal Ruger at him and tell him to get out. If he refuses to do what I tell him, I’m going to squeeze the trigger and let God sort out the mess. Talk softly and carry one hell of a big stick. Not being at war does not mean we’re at peace. It only means we’re holding our breath. I want to know what Biden and Obama intend to do when talk doesn’t work any more and Iran is pointing nuclear warheads at one of those “friends and allies” we should be listening to.
Because as I recall, we did listen to those friends and allies before…their way of dealing with things gave us Hitler.