04/13/2014

#kiev US republicans have more heart for Churchill than for appeasement over Ukraine (history lesson)

"Given the echoes of the 1930s being heard today, it is useful to review the events of 1938. Austria was annexed into the German Third Reich on March 12, 1938. The annexation took place the day after agitation by the Austrian Nazi Party and German demands—swiftly followed by German invasion—ousted the legitimate government in Vienna. A referendum on the union between Austria and Germany—scheduled for the next day—was cancelled. A month later, the Germans held their own referendum; under the watchful eyes of the Wehrmacht and without ballot secrecy, Austrians voted for union. The Anschluss took place a few months before the twentieth anniversary of the German surrender in World War I and violated Germany's post-war treaty obligations. Interestingly, Russia's annexation of Crimea took place just twenty-three years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, an event Putin has labeled the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century."

Two weeks following the Anschluss, Winston Churchill strode into the British House of Commons and stated: "[A] country like ours, possessed of immense territory and wealth, whose defences have been neglected, cannot avoid war by dilating upon its horrors, or even by a continuous display of pacific qualities, or by ignoring the fate of the victims of aggression elsewhere. War will be avoided, in present circumstances, only by the accumulation of deterrents against the aggressor." I have watched this famous island descending incontinently, fecklessly the stairway which leads to a dark gulf... If mortal catastrophe should overtake the British nation and the British Empire, historians a thousand years hence will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs. They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory—'gone with the wind.

Back in 1938, the pace of events quickened, and by the end of September the great powers were agreeing to strip Czechoslovakia's strategic industrial and banking regions from the country without its consent, awarding the so-called Sudetenland to the Third Reich in a further effort to slake Hitler's thirst for conquest and avoid a Europe-wide war.

While the majority of Britons supported Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler as an act of statesmanship in the pursuit of peace, Churchill, back in the Commons on October 5, laid out the truth of the matter: "[a]ll is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness. She has suffered in every respect by her association with the Western democracies and with the League of Nations, of which she has always been an obedient servant."

Churchill acknowledged the popularity of Chamberlain's appeasement but correctly labeled it a defeat:

I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost, who never flinched under the strain of last week—I do not grudge them the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road...

Churchill then prophetically warned his countrymen and his audience across the Atlantic of the consequences of the appeasement policy: "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 vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."

After a decade of disarmament followed by appeasement, Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939—swiftly followed by Stalin, who sought to secure his share of the spoils. Fortunately, the United Kingdom and its allies were able to turn to the man who had foretold of the calamity and who possessed the courage and fortitude to hold the forces of darkness at bay during that perilous time while what remained of the Free World frantically rearmed to meet the challenge. Having given the warning for so many years, Churchill alone had the credibility to rally the British people and eventually the English-speaking peoples.
http://nationalinterest.org/print/commentary/what-would-w...

they have control over the congress and will probably increase that influence during the coming elections - it is also a way for the traditional republicans to take back the party from the lunatic teaparty bunch who has been quite isolationist but at the other side is quite supportive of the US military who are becoming more and more openly critical of Obama and want to send more troops to Eastern Europe soon.

This makes it for Obama quite difficult because at one side he can't lose Ukraine after having lost Crimea without losing political and international credibility (and having a bigger problem at his hand with China this time) and at the other side show that he was wrong in believing that his appeasement policy of Putin has brought any good (which is going to the dustbin in recent weeks faster than it was set up)

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