Cue the doves in places like Prague, Warsaw, Moscow, Tehran, and Caracas. Peace is at hand. Peace in our time. Central Europe, the region that has provided the kindling for so many of the conflicts that have burst forth into full flame for nearly 100 years, is once again safe from its protectors. Pardon me while I pause to fan myself as I tear up. We have been once more delivered – we, as in all humanity, that is – delivered from the mean old policies of Dubya, and company. The good guys know better. Trust them.
Pardon the preacher in me (it is, in fact, my day job), but I can’t help but think of a scripture, one that has an ominous ring to it, in light of the recent decision by the Obama administration to back away from the previously proposed and planned nuclear missile shield in and around the Czech Republic and Poland.
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them…” I Thessalonians 5:3 (KJV)
One might call what we are seeing these days Yogi Berra-like foreign policy, as in “It’s déjà vu all over again.” We are underestimating Iran and appeasing Russia – all in the same fell swoop. Remarkable!
Okay, one more time. The year is 1938, and there are some very bad people who are being underestimated by some very, supposedly bright, but actually just incredibly naïve people. Though it happened more than 70 years ago it is still relevant. Its relevance is reinforced each and every time those who play with matches and kindling ignore the obvious-to-anyone-with-a-brain lessons. The story will cease to be relevant when the world finally figures it out. My advice is: Don’t hold your breath.
In fact, the long ago, yet up-to-date, fiasco is known now simply by the city-name-as-a-metaphor, Munich - apologies to that wonderful Bavarian city, a place unfortunate enough to have been an international and diplomatic crime scene. David Faber, the grandson of former British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan, and a former Conservative Member of Parliament (1992-2001), has written a fresh, factual, engaging, definitive, and, well, haunting account of what happened back then.
The book is called, Munich, 1938: Appeasement and World War II.