Monday, November 25, 2013

Matt 24 watch, 229h: A Neville Chamberlain moment -- "Mr. Masaryk, you happen to believe in Dr. Benes, I happen to trust Herr Hitler."

Some months after the infamous "peace for our time" Sept 30 1938 statement at the London airport captured in this photograph (which gives more context than the usual ones):

. . . Hitler proceeded to occupy what was left of Czechoslovakia.

As Chaim Weizmann, who succeeded Herzl as head of the Zionist movement and who would become first president of Israel noted in his biography (HT: Brian Thomas of TOI):
Neither the Jews nor the Czechs will forget the words of Chamberlain on the occasion of Hitler’s occupation of the Czech capital.  Why should England risk war for the sake of ‘a far-away country of which we know very little and whose language we don’t understand?’   Words which were swallowed down by a docile Parliament many members of which must have known very well that the Czech Republic was a great bastion of liberty and democracy, and that its spirit and its institutions had all the meaning in the world for the Western Powers.   It was, apart from everything else, a colossal insult to a great people.   And I remember reflecting that if this was the way the Czechs were spoken of, what could we Jews expect from a Government of that kind?
Weizmann then continued, as Thomas cites:

When Jan [Masaryk, son of the founder of the Czechoslovak Republic and a friend of Zionism as his father was before him]  arrived at our house that evening he was almost unrecognizable. The gaiety and high spirits which we always associated with him were gone. His face was the colour of parchment, and he looked like an aged and broken man. My wife, my children and I felt deeply for him – perhaps more than anyone else in London – and without saying too much we tried to make him comfortable.  For a while he was silent, then he turned to us and, pointing to the little dog he had brought with him, said: ‘That’s all I have left, and believe me, I am ashamed to look him in the eyes.’   Once he had broken the silence he went on talking, and what he told us was terrible to listen to. He had had a conversation that morning with the Prime Minister, and had taxed him with the deliberate betrayal of Czechoslovakia. ‘Mr. Chamberlain sat absolutely unmoved. When I had finished he said: “Mr. Masaryk, you happen to believe in Dr. Benes, I happen to trust Herr Hitler.”There was nothing left for Masaryk but to get up and leave the room.

A great democratic country, a magnificent army and a superb munition plant [--> Skoda, the first class weapons forge of the former Austro-Hungarian empire . . . ] had been delivered to the future conqueror of Europe, and a people which had fought valiantly for its freedom was betrayed by the democracies.  It was cold comfort to us to reflect that the misfortunes which had befallen Czechoslovakia were in a way more poignant than those we faced – at least for the moment.  We could not tell what the future held in store for us; we only knew that we had little to expect in the way of sympathy or action from the Western democracies. [Trial and Error, The Autobiography of Chaim Weizmann, pp 493-591. Cited by Brian Thomas.]
We have, I fear, come to just such a sad and evil day, across this past weekend. 

A weekend, frankly, of willful folly and betrayal.

Just ignore the fancy rhetoric of the spinmeisters trying to make a silk purse out of a pig's ear. 

The pivotal issue is that Iran is now at nuke threshold, the Non-Proliferation Treaty is dead, and within two weeks once the Mullahs deem the pause sufficient, enough highly enriched Uranium can be refined to make the first bomb. Where, rest assured, the Iranians already have in hand Khan's bomb designs. and the ballistic missiles to put them on. And God help us if they have designs for suitcase or backpack demolition nukes to sponsor nuclear suicide terrorism. (Don't even bother with the child's play of dirty bombs that scatter radioactive materials.)

And -- absent a miracle (for which, let us pray for an undeserved mercy) -- the predictable price for willfully ignoring such a history as has been cited will not merely be in toil, and sweat and tears, rivers of tears, but in blood. END