by Bruce Thornton
Hoover Institution
January 28, 2014
During the recent foreign policy crises over Syria’s use of chemical weapons and the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran, the Munich analogy was heard from both sides of the political spectrum. Numerous critics of Barack Obama’s diplomatic discussions with Iran evoked Neville Chamberlain’s naïve negotiations with Adolph Hitler. The weakening faith in American goodness that afflicts millions of Americans, and the use of diplomacy to camouflage that failure of nerve and provide political cover for the leaders charged with protecting our security and interests, are a reprise of England and France’s 1938 sacrifice of Czechoslovakia. That similarity and the lessons it can teach about the dangers of the collapse of national morale and the risky reliance on words rather than deeds are what continue to make Munich a useful historical analogy.



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