Now Israel knows how Czechoslovakia felt in 1938

In early 1938, as the tepid reaction to the German Anschluss with Austria had shown, the governments of France, and the United Kingdom were set on avoiding war at any cost. The French government did not wish to face Nazi Germany alone and took its lead from the British government and its Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain believed that Sudeten German grievances were justified and that Hitler’s intentions were limited. Britain and France, therefore, advised Czechoslovakia to concede to the Nazi demands. Czechoslovakia resisted, countering that Hitler’s aims were far from limited, arguing that Hitler’s proposal would ruin the nation’s economy and lead ultimately to German control of all of Czechoslovakia. The United Kingdom and France issued an ultimatum, making a French commitment to protect Czechoslovakia contingent upon acceptance. On 21 September, Czechoslovakia capitulated to French and British pressure. The next day, however, Hitler added new demands, insisting that the claims on Poland and Hungary also be satisfied.

On 28 September, Chamberlain appealed to Hitler for a conference. Hitler met the next day, at Munich, with the chiefs of governments of France, Italy and Britain. The Czech government was neither invited nor consulted. On 29 September, the Munich Agreement was signed by Germany, Italy, France, and Britain. Even as Chamberlain arrived home in the U.K. waving the treaty signed with Hitler and proclaiming that the deal had brought “peace in our times” Hitler’s war machine was gearing up, all the plans were in place, and 6 months later in March 1939 Germany fully took over Czechoslovakia.

All of Czechoslovakia’s allies were silent. France, the U.K., and even Russia had all given warm promises that they had the Czech’s back but those were just soothing words masking their behind the scenes dealings with Hitler. We all know what came after the allies sold Czechoslovakia down the river without a backward glance. Poland fell to Germany in September 1939 and then nation after nation and Chamberlain’s London was pounded by German bombs daily in the Blitz.

How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.

—Neville Chamberlain, September 27, 1938, 8 p.m. radio broadcast

What will be the words of John Kerry and President Obama as they wave the agreement just signed with Iran, an agreement with worse terms than Chamberlain and allies knuckled under to Hitler at the Munich conference and how will history judge them?

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7 responses to “Now Israel knows how Czechoslovakia felt in 1938”

  1. David K from Philly says :

    Oy. Part of me wants to believe this is the real deal with Iran. But, the overwhelming majority of me – the realist that knows just how duplicitous humans can be – knows this is a huge mistake.

    I hope, for the sake of the world, that I’m wrong.

    I hope, even though Iran is among the worst violators of human rights, that they respect humanity enough to commit to not making nuclear bombs.

    I hope, even though Iran sits on roughly 10-15% of the world’s oil supply, that they truly only want nuclear enrichment for energy.

    I hope, even though the leaders of Iran have consistently and recently spoken of war against the US, the West and Israel, that they really want peace.

    I hope, even though Iran is a completely theocratic state where ultimate power resides with the ayatollah alone, that the charming president Hassan Rouhani isn’t really just a puppet.

    I hope, even though Obama’s popularity is low even among his supporters, that this isn’t just a desperate attempt by his administration to change the political narrative in their favor.

    I hope, even though the UN is a hugely anti-Western, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organization, that the UN inspectors charged with verifying Iran’s compliance with any agreement actually do their job and do it well.

    As you can probably tell, I don’t really have that much hope for this. But, I’ve been surprised in the past. Time will tell if this was the right course of action.

    That said, I do have one piece of morbid hope in a reality that I’m nearly certain will come to fruition. If, because of this deal, Iran fails to abide by it’s commitments, war is all but inevitable. Once begun, many will die and nations will rise and fall. When the finally dust settles and the bodies are buried, there will be peace. At least for a few years. Assuming humanity survives.

    David K from Philly

  2. David K from Philly says :

    On a lighter note, I made this: http://www.livememe.com/f9n8qqp

    Enjoy!

    D K from Phl

  3. israeliminx says :

    I’m not the only one making this comparison. See Breitbart news; http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/11/24/Obama-worse-than-Munich

    • Lynne says :

      Yes. I think world leaders have gone insane.

      • David K from Philly says :

        I just made a snarky comment about John Kerry (that happened to be equally snarky about George W. Bush … just to be fair) on Facebook. One of my liberal friends posted back that what Kerry did was historical and that I’m just an Obama hater (which happens to be true, but is irrelevant here).

        It’s like… hello… Iran has been seeking nukes and lying to the world for DECADES. And, on dozens of occasions, they’ve used good faith diplomacy as cover for advancing their nuclear weapons program. They called for the destruction of Israel as early as last week and systematically support terrorist organizations.

        But, yanno, my opinion of Kerry and this deal has NOTHING to do with any of that. I’m just an Obama hater.

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