Some Democratic-party groups are renouncing their once-egalitarian idols, the renaissance genius Thomas Jefferson and the populist Andrew Jackson. Both presidents, some two centuries ago, owned slaves. Consequently, the two men have been suddenly deemed unworthy of further liberal reverence.
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
The 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?
The now-concluded Iran nuclear negotiations predictably reflect ancient truths of appeasement.
While members of the Obama administration are high-fiving each other over a deal with the Iranian theocracy, they should remember unchanging laws that will surely haunt the United States later on.
Seventy-one years ago, the British, Canadians, and Americans landed on the Normandy beaches to open a second ground front against Nazi Germany.
Operation Overlord — the Allied invasion of Western Europe — proved the largest amphibious operation in military history, dwarfing even Xerxes’s Persian invasion of Greece in 480 B.C.
America’s descent into the Dark Ages will not end well. It never has in the past.
by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media
History is not static and it does not progress linearly. There was more free speech and unimpeded expression in 5th-century Athens than in Western Europe between 1934-45, or in Eastern Europe during 1946-1989. An American could speak his mind more freely in 1970 than now. Many in the United States had naively believed that the Enlightenment, the U.S. Constitution, and over two centuries of American customs and traditions had guaranteed that Americans could always take for granted free speech and unfettered inquiry.
May 8 marked the end of World War II in Europe 70 years ago — a horrific conflict that is still fought over by historians.
More than 60 million people perished — some 50 million of them in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and China.
The pre-war Soviet state in the 1920s and 1930s had killed perhaps 20 million of its own citizens in purges, exiles, collectivizations, forced famines, and show trials. Then it lost an estimated 25 million soldiers and civilians to the German army on the Eastern Front. Hitler’s Germany by late 1942 had occupied almost 1 million square miles of Soviet ground.
Why did Rome and Byzantium fall apart after centuries of success? What causes civilizations to collapse, from a dysfunctional fourth-century-B.C. Athens to contemporary bankrupt Greece?
The answer is usually not enemies at the gates, but the pathologies inside them.
What ruins societies is well known: too much consumption and not enough production, a debased currency, and endemic corruption.
Americans currently deal with all those symptoms. But two more fundamental causes for decline are even more frightening: an unwillingness to pay taxes and the end of the rule of law.
Once again our leaders are needlessly appeasing a hostile state that shows them nothing but contempt.
The Western capitulation to Adolf Hitler in the 1938 Munich Agreement is cited as classic appeasement that destroyed Czechoslovakia, backfired on France and Britain, and led to World War II.
It is disheartening to listen to Obama and his administration voices childishly reiterating that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam because it does not represent the majority of Muslims or what Westerners perceive as normative values distilled from the Koran.
No radical ideology, religious or otherwise, starts out coherently, much less representing the majority; but it eventually can if appeased and left unchallenged.
Obama and European leaders are repeating the mistakes of their 1930s predecessors.
by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
World War II was the most destructive war in history. What caused it?
The panic from the ongoing and worldwide Depression in the 1930s had empowered extremist movements the world over. Like-minded, violent dictators of otherwise quite different Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and the Communist Soviet Union all wanted to attack their neighbors.
Yet World War II could have been prevented had Western Europe united to deter Germany. Instead, France, Britain, and the smaller European democracies appeased Hitler.