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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Morally Paralyzed

John Bolton is reporting that the Hitler of our time, Mahmoud Ahmadineijad, is coming ever closer to developing nuclear weapons. It calls to mind one of the great articles by the great Thomas Sowell concerning another time in history when people had a chance to avert a catastophe but instead stood by and did nothing, acting "morally paralyzed" rather than actually doing something to avert it...

"No leader of a democratic nation was ever more popular than British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain -- wildly cheered in the House of Commons by opposition parties as well as his own -- when he returned from negotiations in Munich in 1938, waving an agreement and declaring that it meant "peace in our time."

We know now how short that time was. Less than a year later, World War II began in Europe and spread across the planet, killing tens of millions of people and reducing many cities to rubble in Europe and Asia.

Looking back after that war, Winston Churchill said, "There was never a war in all history easier to prevent by timely action." The earlier it was done, the less it would have cost.

At one point, Hitler could have been stopped in his tracks "without the firing of a single shot," Churchill said.

That point came in 1936 -- three years before World War II began -- when Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland, in violation of two international treaties.

At that point, France alone was so much more powerful than Germany that the German generals had secret orders to retreat immediately at the first sign of French intervention.

As Hitler himself confided, the Germans would have had to retreat "with our tail between our legs," because they did not yet have enough military force to put up even a token resistance.

Why did the French not act and spare themselves and the world the years of horror that Hitler's aggressions would bring? The French had the means but not the will.

"Moral paralysis" came from many things. The death of a million French soldiers in the First World War and disillusionment with the peace that followed cast a pall over a whole generation."

It would seem that we in the West have become so paralyzed that we could fail to act in order to protect our own people in the face of madmen. Who is Iran likely to use the bomb against? Isreal and the United States. Who is going to stand up to the Hitler of our time? Germany? Britian? France? I'm sorry but I don't see Chairman Zero ever standing up to this threat and instead I expect a Chamberlain-esque policy of negotiations with people who have sworn to wipe the best example of democracy and strongest supporter of women's rights in that part of the world.


Gandolf said...

I agree with you JD,over time this has become a very serrious situation.

To be honest im not sure what the best answer really is.Use of violence can also sometimes produce other serrious ongoing backlashes that might even serve to make matters worse.

Would you agree maybe the whole problem hasnt only just been caused through the presence of Iranians or through their leader Ahmadineijad ?.Would you agree maybe other folks are responsible for maybe not quite handling matters quite as good as they might have?

Most often it usually takes two to decide to tango dont it?

Is this a situation that suggests just how important it is to always be prepared to tread very carefully with much thought of grave situations that can arise later on if you dont?.

JD Curtis said...

Thanks for your comment.

I think that it's important to differentiate between the Iranian people who skew largely pro-American and the mullahs that actually pull the strings over there.

We have a ton of Iranians here in the US. especially in California. What ever solution we come up with, it won't be easy.