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Category Archives: History

Setting the Record Straight on Britain, America, and World War II

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

While in London last week, President Obama waded into the upcoming British referendum about whether the United Kingdom should stay in the European Union.

Controversy followed his lecture about the future of the Anglo-American relationship should Britain depart the EU. Obama also implied that without an EU, the United States might again be dragged into European squabbling, as it had been in the prior world wars.

Americans might take this occasion to reflect on Britain’s role in World War II.

Before the war, the League of Nations had done nothing to deter the future Axis powers from invading or annexing Albania, Austria, China, Czechoslovakia, and Ethiopia.
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World War II Amnesia

 

Seventy-seven years ago, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, triggering a declaration of war by Great Britain and its Empire and France. After Hitler’s serial aggressions in the Rhineland, the Anschluss with Austria, the Munich Agreement, and the carving up of Czechoslovakia, no one believed that a formal war over Poland would lead to anything greater than yet another German border grab. The invasion of Poland would likely be followed by loud but empty threats for Hitler to stop, and a phony war of inaction and grumbling.

But after dismembering Poland, and dividing its spoils with the Soviet Union, Hitler unexpectedly absorbed Denmark and Norway the next spring. Then in May 1940, he successfully invaded Belgium, France, Holland, and Luxembourg. He tried to bomb Britain into submission. The conflict eventually spread to the Mediterranean and became truly a “world war” in 1941 with the surprise Axis attacks on the Soviet Union and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
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The Horrors of Hiroshima in Context

 

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Tough Choices of Overseas Intervention

Victor Davis Hanson // Tribune Media Services

The United States has targeted a lot of rogues and their regimes in recent decades: Muammar Gadhafi, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, Mohamed Farrah Aidid, Manuel Noriega and the Taliban.

As a general rule over the last 100 years, any time the U.S. has bombed or intervened and then abruptly left the targeted country, chaos has followed. But when America has followed up its use of force with unpopular peacekeeping, sometimes American interventions have led to something better. Read more →

Barack Churchill, 1939

“Certainly we do not need a disproportionate response to Herr Hitler that initiates a cycle of violence on both sides. We need to tamp down the rhetoric.” 

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

Photo via PJ Media

Photo via PJ Media

I have nothing to offer you, except blood, sweat, and arugula.

Winston Churchill, well before he became prime minister in May 1940, was busy all through 1939 prompting the British government to prepare for war — and then, as first lord of the Admiralty, helping to direct it once it broke out. But what if Churchill had been Barack Obama? What would Britain’s foremost opponent of appeasement have been like?

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Is the West Dead Yet?

The West is paradoxically dominant on the global stage and eroding from within.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

History’s Complexity Should Discourage Liberals’ Cheap Retroactive Morality

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Iran, the Munich Comparison, and the Abuse of History

The Iran Deal is not Munich, but the same foolishness of Western leaders is close enough to warn us what happens next. And it will not be good. 

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

obama_chamberlain_iran_8-2-15-1The Iranian deal has called to mind the Munich Agreement of 1938. Then Britain and France signed away the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia, in hopes that Adolf Hitler would be content with absorbing the German-speaking Sudetenland borderlands and cease further territorial acquisitions. But that appeasement only accelerated Nazi atrocities, from Kristallnacht at home to the dismemberment of all Czechoslovakia and, the next year, the invasion of Poland.

Is the Munich disaster a sound analogy for the current proposed agreement with Iran?

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Appeasing Iran Ignores the Lessons of History

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
Photo via conservativebyte.com

Photo via conservativebyte.com

The now-concluded Iran nuclear negotiations predictably reflect ancient truths of appeasement.

Could World War II Have Ended Sooner than It Did?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
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