Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Who's the New Hitler?

For years, we have listened to well-intentioned supporters of the Iraq adventure make the "if you could stop Hitler" case.  That is to say, they assert that Saddam Hussein was like der Fuehrer, except that we had the chance to stop him before the Anschluss (and, by extension, before the Final Solution).

Lately, we have heard a variation on this argument used by opponents of Senator Obama.  Not long ago, a certain officer in a certain branch of the armed services, shortly before destroying Father A. in badminton, asserted baldly that Obama's willingness to talk to Ahmadinejad without preconditions "is exactly what Neville Chamberlain did."

Let's just call time on this piffle, shall we?  It is every bit as silly as the left's knee-jerk assertion that every conservative is a fascist.  (Do you notice they don't do that so much anymore?)  Chamberlain's mistake had nothing to do with preconditions; it was in believing that the rise of Nazism was a response to the Treaty of Versailles (which it may have been) and that diplomatic efforts to soften those terms could solve the problem (which they couldn't).  But in any case, although Saddam was a monster and Ahmadinejad is, at the very least, a creep, neither one is Hitler.  And do you know why?  Hitler commanded the most powerful army in Europe.   England's decision to declare war on Germany -- a decision that Chamberlain ultimately made -- was very nearly suicidal, and certainly would have been without help from Russia and, eventually, America.

So the situations are not remotely comparable.  America now may bear some passing resemblance to the late British Empire, but the nasties in the Middle East are not Hitler -- they are simply the nasties in the Middle East, the same ones who kept the Brits busy back in the day.

But here's our point, and -- fair warning -- it's a scary one.  There is one world leader who controls a truly significant army, including numerous nukes attached to long-range missiles.  This leader is clearly determined to project his nation's power into neighboring countries, by force if necessary, and he does not appear to take diplomatic dissuasion seriously.

If we really want to play "you could stop Hitler," we need to attack Russia.

Click the link for a quickie comparison of Putin's underreported prewar machinations in East Ossetia to Hitler's in Czechoslovakia.  Think about it long and hard, and the odds are you will feel considerable sympathy for the much-vilified Mr. Chamberlain.

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