Thursday, November 03, 2005

March, 1939

This post is a question.

I realize that the present global crisis and World War II are only partially comparable. But I am wondering:

Throughout the 1930s during Hitler's rise, the West maintained the hope that appeasement would contain the Nazis in Germany. Chamberlain claimed victory for appeasement in 1938 when he and Hitler signed the Munich Agreement.

In March, 1939, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, in spite of the Munich Agreement. This date is largely recognized as the point at which appeasement was no longer viable -- that only force could counter fascism. And then a few months later, Hitler invaded Poland, and World War II began in earnest.

Throughout the first half of this decade, appeasment has been the weapon of choice to counter Iran's nuclear ambitions. In addition, Europe's handling of its burgeoning Islamic immigrants for the past few decades -- corralled into dreary welfare cities -- has been another kind of appeasement, meant to assuage the passions of Muslims in places like France, the Netherlands, England and Germany.

So this week I am wondering: Is November, 2005 similar to March, 1939?

This week, appeasment has delivered two unfortunate results. First, Iran has elected a new, ultra-Islamofascist president, who has now recalled what it considers to be its 'moderate' ambassadors from Europe, while stepping up uranium production. There is no longer any realistic hope that European carrots will prevent an Iranian bomb. And second, Europe itself is seeing an intifada explode on its own soil. France is burning as I write this. The Netherlands is in a state of high tension, one year after Van Gogh's murder. European immigrants are teaming with passion and fury, with a fire not unlike the ones that raged in Europe 60 years ago.

Is this the point at which Europe collectively recognizes that appeasement has hit a dead end? Misguided policies always reach a point of no return. Is it now?