Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Remember the Munich Agreement?

I came to think that a reminder of some historical events could be on it's place in these all cuddly relation reset times:
(Pics and facts from Wikipedia).


Neville Chamberlain
, announcing the Munich Agreement:
“[T]he settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine[..]"My good friends, for the second time in our history a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time."
Winston Churchill, denouncing the Munich Agreement: "We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude...we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road...we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: "Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting". And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time".

The Lessons of Munich: In
international relations, the Lesson of Munich asserts that adversaries will interpret restraint as indicating a lack of capability or political will or both. The name refers to the appeasement ( the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and compromise, thereby avoiding an armed conflict which would be expensive, bloody, and possibly dangerous) of Hitler's Nazi Germany in negotiations toward the eventual Munich Agreement. Many scholars argue that Neville Chamberlain's capitulation to German demands guaranteed eventual war as Hitler believed he could do as he pleased without the other Great Powers going to war to stop him. Steven Chan describes the moral as "appeasement discredits the defenders' willingness to fight, and encourages the aggressor to escalate his demands."

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The men who rule Russia and China are bad. The men who rule the United States, Great Britain and France are also bad. The difference between the two types of men have nothing to do with inherent goodness in one or badness in the other. The difference is found in traditions that either concentrate power in the hands of a few individuals, or distribute power under a system of checks and balances. The latter mitigates human evil; the former intensifies human evil. The one system presents the political criminal with an opportunity; the other system limits the harm that he can do.

In terms of nuclear weapons, it is childish to suppose that leaders of systems based on the concentration of power will agree to an honest reduction of their nuclear forces. Without any system of checks and balances to regulate them, they will follow their nature - which is to accumulate and concentrate more power in their own hands. Internationally this means that they will cheat on any arms control agreement involving nuclear weapons; or they will rely on lethal biological weapons which have been outlawed in those countries where power is checked and balanced.

It is childish for Americans and the U.S. president to strive for universal nuclear disarmament. Once the Americans tie their hands with a treaty, the United States will be disarmed. On the other side, where laws do not constrain the ruling elite, a treaty is merely a piece of paper. As the Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin once said: "Treaties are like pie crusts, meant to be broken." Because of the speed with which rockets travel, and the destructive force of a nuclear warhead, countries without such weapons can be stripped of sovereignty and plundered.

Children will deny the danger is real. They believe in the power of positive, utopian ideals. They denounce common sense as reactionary, as an obstacle to world peace. "If we do nothing, then nuclear war is inevitable," they cry. But in reality, nuclear war is inevitable because fools are inevitable; and we are very great fools indeed.

Childish people who cannot look at the world through adult eyes, who righteously see themselves as the saviors of mankind, are actually our destroyers. Their program promises peace, but delivers the exact opposite. Their speeches drip with the honey of good intentions, but their actions unleash the world's dictators from the chains of Mutual Assured Destruction. In a world where the global economy is shrinking, the outcome won't be pretty.

Friday, October 09, 2009 12:46:00 a.m.  
Blogger Eistein G. said...

Seems about right, I admit

Sunday, October 11, 2009 9:01:00 p.m.  

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