Summer is the season for World War II anniversary celebrations: May 8, Victory in Europe Day; June 6, D-Day; Aug. 15, Victory in Japan Day. But one WWII anniversary day is rarely celebrated: Sept. 29.
This year, Sept. 29 will be the 67th anniversary of the signing of the Munich Agreement by (in order as their signatures appear on the document): Adolph Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini.
Today's politicians please take note: History tends to remember harshly those statesmen who sell out their and other nations -- even if it is done under cover of impeccable diplomatic language and with the best of intentions to assure the peace.
The Munich Agreement called for the "cession to Germany of the Sudetan German [sic] Territory [of Czechoslovakia]." Paragraphs 3 and 5 of the Agreement established an "international commission" composed of Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Czechoslovakia to work out the final details, oversee the various plebiscites and guarantee the resultant borders.
But on that same day, Sept. 29, Germany's insincerity was already manifest. On that day the four signatories issued an "Annex to the Agreement" in which Germany and Italy withdrew their support for the international commission's work (which they had agreed to earlier in the day when they signed the main agreement) -- pending resolution of "the question of the Polish and Hungarian minorities in Czechoslovakia."
Needless to say the "international commission" did nothing the following March 15, 1939, when Germany swallowed the rest of Czechoslovakia. Only then, when it was too late, did Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain -- who had been proud of his efforts to appease Hitler -- finally realize the plight Britain and the world were in.
But a week after the Munich agreement -- Oct. 5, 1938 -- Chamberlain, on the floor of the House of Commons, had been much more up beat -- even exuberant: "The path which leads to appeasement is long and bristles with obstacles. The question of Czechoslovakia is the latest and perhaps the most dangerous. Now that we have got past it, I feel that it may be possible to make further progress along the road to sanity."
If one substitutes the name Iraq for Czechoslovakia, above, the resultant language probably would closely approximate what President Bush's Iraq war opponents would be saying the week after a "successful" Iraq exit strategy had been completed -- especially the phrase "further progress along the road to sanity." Can't you just hear Sen. Boxer making such a statement?
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.