The Iranian Crisis and the American Left
As the Iranian Crisis deepens, make a daily visit to RegimeChangeIran, where Dr. Zin works mightily to keep a comprehensive list of links and updates on the news and commentary concerning Iran.
And be sure to read Billmon’s take on the crisis.
Billmon is the first “son of Kos,” and an important voice among the lefty blogs who has also crossed over into MSM in the pages of the Los Angeles Times. His post on Iran —in part a reaction to one of mine— perfectly illustrates why the left cannot be trusted with the conduct of the country’s foreign policy or the maintenance of its national security. His is a post worth studying closely.
Incredibly, though my analogy which he refers to is to the inaction of the French and the British to Hitler’s reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936, Billmon begins his piece by arguing that it is wrong to invoke the appeasement of Munich, which occurs 30 months after the Rhineland crisis. Nice work, that, and it allows Billmon to sidestep the crucial point which is that inaction in the face of provocation leads to more provocation.
Next, Billmon minimizes the threat:
I found Hugh Hewitt comparing Iran’s enrichment of several teaspoons of uranium to Hitler’s march into the Rhineland.
Then, Billmon notes that Iran is within its rights:
Hitler’s move was in direct violation of the Versailles Treaty, Iran’s move flouts only a non-binding “request” from the U.N. Security Council
and besides, “you can make the case” that the villain here is the U.S.:
*It is the United States that may (again) be planning for aggressive war. (For what that might mean legally for the planners, Google: “Hossbach Conference” and “Nuremberg”)
*It’s the United States, not Iran, that appears willing to violate the Nonproliferation Treaty to further its budding nuclear alliance with India.
*More to the point, it’s the United States, not Iran, that currently has both the weapons and the doctrine in place to launch a nuclear first strike on a non-nuclear state.
Having amde the case that the U.S. is acting like Hitler’s Germany, Billmon backtracks with the convenient “But that’s not the argument I want to make here.” In fact the argument Billmon does want to make is that Ahmadinejad is dangerous, but not that dangerous –yet:
What Ahmadinejad is not, however, is the absolute dictator of an advanced industrial state with a first-rate military. To pretend that he currently poses the same kind of threat to the world (or even to the Jewish people) that Hitler did in 1938 ‘” or that he will pose such a threat any time within the next decade ‘” is ridiculous. It also discredits the very legitimate concerns that the world should have about Iran and the future of the Iranian revolution.
Again, what I and others have argued is not that the parallel is to 1938, but to the spring of 1936 when a still-weak Hitler bluffed the West by recoccupying the Rhineland. When Hitler ordered the reoccupation, “the Wermacht was only a shadow of its future self,” accoridng to William Manchester in Alone. Goring talked a great game, but there was no way Germany could have resisted the action of France and England had any action followed.
Strangely, Billmon acknowledges the history but not the analogy:
[The allies] cowered before [Hitler’s] initial, hollow threats, letting him march into the Rhineland when they could have squashed the German army like a bug. Is it any wonder Hitler’s popularity soared, allowing him to crush all domestic opposition and take the first steps towards the Final Solution?
Rather than apply this lesson to the present, in a matter of a few sentences, Billmon’s poisoned logic is denouncing Clinton and “the Cheney administration,” “our divinely ordained president,” and “the price of hubris.”
Where does this “logic” end? In the minimization of the threat, a call to inaction, and of course, a dark prediction of “everybody dead” if force is used:
The good news, such as it is, is that Ahmadinejad’s end-times ideology doesn’t seem to include any grand territorial ambitions: no “Greater Iran” (Iran is already a greater Iran), no lebensraum in the east. We also have time ‘” time to see how things shake out, to see if the ayatollahs can hamstring their troublesome protege, to see if the democracy movement can make a political comeback. Time for Ahmadinejad to lose some of his popular shine as Iran’s internal problems worsen. Time for our own hardline warmongers to be booted out of power.
But unfortunately, our divinely ordained president may not be prepared to wait (and the last sentence of the preceding paragraph appears to be one of the reasons.) Which means at this point we probably should be worrying less about what happened in Munich in 1938, and more about what happened there in 1972, when the German police moved in and tried to disarm the terrorists.
Multiply that carnage by a thousand, or a million, and you’ve got more than a political slogan; you’ve got a war.
In a word, Billmon ends with an appeal for a policy of appeasement, the very slander Billmon set out to rebut.
You can take the writer out of Munich, but you can’t take Munich out of the writer.
Billmon has given you a lens into the mind of the left, and I think a pretty good picture of how the Reids/Kerrys/Kennedys/Boxers/Bidens see things.
It is incoherent. It refuses to deal with history fairly, or with facts squarely, and it always blames America.
Now compare Billmon’s “analysis” with Mark Steyn’s essay on Iran. Make a note of every inconvenient fact that Billmon ignored.
And then ask yourself, do you want the left, or the center-right, conducting foreign policy and if necessary, war policy, in the age of a near-nuclear Iran?