WASHINGTON, August 9, 2015 – Sir Nevile Henderson, Britain’s ambassador to Hitler’s Germany, was at a dinner hosted by the German-Anglo Society in 1937, and he said:
“In England, for instance, far too many people have an entirely erroneous conception of what the National Socialist regime really stands for. Otherwise, they would lay less stress on Nazi dictatorship and more emphasis on the great social experiment which was being tried out in Germany.”
The following year, diplomatic representatives of England, France and Italy agreed to cede a swath of Czechoslovakia to Hitler.
It was done in the name of racial politics. Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland had a large population of ethnic Germans.
Winston Churchill condemned the concession in the House of Commons,
“The utmost my right honorable friend the Prime Minister [Neville Chamberlain] has been able to secure by all his immense exertions… for Czechoslovakia in the matters which were in dispute has been that the German dictator, instead of snatching the victuals from the table, has been content to have them served to him course by course.”
Churchill acknowledged that his view was “the most unpopular and most unwelcome thing” for the British public.
In a letter to the Glasgow Herald, E. Shaw wrote,
“None of the ex-Cabinet Ministers [Churchill once served as First Lord of the Admiralty] who spoke of the bellicose attitude of Herr Hitler seemed to realize that their speeches were more violent and provocative than any the German leader has ever uttered… my duty at the next election is a very clear one – namely, to vote for a sane and civilized Government which will carry out Mr. Chamberlain’s ideals and make this country safe for civilized people to live in.”
Did letter writer E. Shaw survive the battles of Dunkirk, of Britain, of El Alamein; the sinking of the HMS Prince of Wales off Singapore or the HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait?
We’ll never know.
■ It is the first trait of the “civilized” to assume the uncivilized capable of civility, especially when someone else – in this case Czechoslovakians – are thought to be the only ones to suffer any breach of, well, civility.
Two years later, it was Sir Nevile’s sad duty as Britain’s ambassador to Germany to deliver his government’s written ultimatum to the leader of Nazi Germany’s “social experiment”: If the Third Reich did not withdraw its military forces from Poland, a state of war existed between the two nations.
Disgraced, Sir Nevile retired from Britain’s diplomatic service shortly thereafter, watching from the relative safety of his island home Hitler’s “social experiment” inexorably lead to global war and the Jewish Holocaust.
Last July, more than 100 former U.S. ambassadors wrote an open letter to Congress urging that they support President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
“We are satisfied that the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] will put in place a set of constraints and inspections that can assure that Iran’s nuclear program during the terms of the agreement will remain only for peaceful purposes… As with any negotiated settlement, the most durable and effective agreement is one that all sides will commit to and benefit from over the long term.”
The retired ambassadors failed to mention, like Britain’s Sir Nevile 78 years ago, that Iran’s totalitarian social experiment assures an end to secondary commitments that negate the Islamic state’s first commitment to a final solution where Israel’s Jews are concerned.
“To those who oppose the Iran [nuclear] agreement, I ask, ‘What is the alternative?’ War on 75-million people? Destabilization of the entire Middle East? Unimaginable bloodshed?… To those concerned, rightfully so, about the spread of international terrorism, the solution is not to reject diplomacy but to embrace it in the hopes of building common ground and global cooperation,” wrote Marcy Winograd to the Santa Monica Mirror. “Additionally, if we are serious about anti-terrorism, we must reduce our foreign military presence, which now includes 800 bases in 70 other countries. Who among us would want a foreign military base in Santa Monica?”
■ It is the second trait of the “civilized” to view the realities of this world without context. If the United States has bases in 70 countries, it’s because armed men and not paper-thin agreements keep the peace.
It is no coincidence that ISIS exploded on the world stage shortly after Obama adopted a policy based on, “Who among us would want a foreign base in… ?”
You fill in the blank.
“You were given a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war,” said Churchill in the House of Commons on Chamberlain’s return to London, a document in hand with Hitler’s guarantee of peace.
■ It is a third trait of the “civilized” to dismiss the invisible reality that touches all our lives in its many forms and degrees of intensity: evil.
Like it or not, war with Iran is inevitable, all wishful thinking and diplomatic overtures to the contrary. No paper agreement will stop Iran’s totalitarian ambitions than it did Hitler’s.
■ It is a fourth trait of the “civilized” to grant the forces of evil time to build its machines of war and insure that when the conflict finally comes, millions perish.