Monday, May 10, 2010

Peace for Our Time: How Did That Work Out Again?

The phrase "peace for our time" was spoken on 30 September 1938 by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his speech concerning the Munich Agreement. It is primarily remembered for its ironic value. The Munich Agreement gave the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler in an attempt to satisfy his desire for Lebensraum ("living space") for Germany. The German occupation of the Sudetenland began on the next day, 1 October 1938. Less than a year after the agreement, following continued aggression from Germany and its invasion of Poland, Europe was plunged into World War II.

“Peace for our time”, how's that working out for you? One of President Obama's many advisers should to ask the president that question and soon. Just how's that policy of appeasement of Islam working out for you? Can it be that in Barack Obama we are witnessing the second coming, not of Christ, but of Neville Chamberlain himself, the very embodiment of appeasement?

In the 1930's Mr. Chamberlain received praise from large numbers of the British people for his earnest willingness to avoid war by believing the promises of Nazi Germany. Every time they promised that one more piece of land was all they wanted, Chamberlain took them at their word and told the British people they had avoided armed conflict. As Germany moved into Austria, Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of England, acquiesced. As they took the Sudetenland, Chamberlain negotiated the worthless settlement that he presented as a basis for “peace in our time.”

We now know that Chamberlain's appeasement policy left England weak and unprepared for war. The task of waging war against Germany just became all the more difficult. It seems that making good foreign policy, containing and combating tyranny, and staring down evil are not things for weaklings. Talking a fanatic out of his religious and /or political beliefs rarely works. Relying solely on one's powers of persuasion and rhetoric, even as finely tuned as Mr. Obama’s, usually leads to delusion, failure, or worse, collapse. The task of confronting evil requires a strategy of strength rather than a policy of appeasement. Regrettably, it does not seem to be in President Obama’s skill set.

President Obama inaugurated a “re-booting of America's image” in the Muslim world in his Cairo speech. He has treated us to Muslim celebrations and declarations in the White House for Ramadan. The president has hosted an “Entrepreneur Summit” for Muslim leaders. He has made speeches on the inspiring splendors of Islam, “one of the world's great religions.” The President has even gone to great lengths to praise an Islamic cartoonist for creating pretend superheroes skilled in the art of collaboration and peace, skills supposedly rooted in the Koran. Meanwhile, American cartoonists at South Park live in fear of actual violence and censorship as Comedy Central suffers under threats by terrorist crazies like and Faisal Shahzad. Mr. Obama should be telling cartoonists in our country not to fear telling the truth about Islam rather than encouraging a Kuwaiti cartoonist speech.

Not yet convinced that Barack Obama is channeling his inner Neville Chamberlain. Appease and wish the problem away. O.K., let’s see:

Just in the past six months America has experienced:

  • A terrorist assault on one of our own military bases by Major Nidal Hasan. This attack occurred in spite of the numerous red flags over the past decade as Mr. Hasan made his way through American government-provided education and military training.
  • A near disastrous airline terror attack by the Underwear Bomber on Christmas in Detroit. Tragedy was avoided when a Dutchman dove across the aisle of the plane to smother the flaming underwear. Never mind that would-be terrorist had purchased a one-way ticket with cash, carried no luggage, and had spent time in terrorist training. Secretary Napolitano's team somehow had allowed him on a plane and never given it a second thought.
  • The planting of a car bomb in Times Square by a man who had been on our watch list for ten years, had received citizenship from our immigration bureaucracy, had recently spent five months in Pakistan, and had trained with terrorist groups. Somehow, Napolitano's excellent leadership allowed the team at JFK airport to screen thousands of passengers on that day without even detaining Faisal Shahzad, a wanted terrorist who walked right through security and onto a plane to head home to the Middle East.

What the President and his team bring to national security and the fight against Islamic terror is a combination that spells danger and disaster. He is a leader who naively thinks the problem of terror can be wished away by summits and speeches. He has also created a government bureaucracy that changes its policies only after each security failure. A deadly cocktail doomed to failure.

In our mindless quest for Political Correctness we can just thank God that the Islamists thus far have sent poorly trained and ill prepared bumblers to attack us. Ineptitude has repeatedly come to our rescue: bombers who do not know what they are doing. This has been matched by our own ineptitude at recognizing and addressing the problem (radical Islam's hatred of Western culture).

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