From Chamberlain to Biden, Lessons in Appeasement

E. Rowell:  Klatzkin describes the problem inherent in appeasing a nation led by psychopaths.  However our current day appeasers are also psychopaths.  Their actions are cold calculations for personal benefit only.  They have not the slightest concern for the well being of others, including their countrymen.  Israel’s space for existence lies between two psychopathic nations, that of Iran and her proxies, and that of the current government of the US.
by Shmuel Klatzkin, AMERICAN SPECTATOR     April 20, 2024

Neville Chamberlain, Sept. 30, 1938 in London (meunierd/Shutterstock)

To recognize appeasement, it’s best to learn from a master.

One must not mistake Neville Chamberlain for a Nazi. He wasn’t. His antisemitism was that of T. S. Eliot — an offended sensibility, a mild disgust at there always being some untidy trouble attending them. He was a prim Englishman who dressed the part of the aristocracy, but who was more of an accountant than a man of leisure and noblesse oblige. He was secretive and manipulative when in power; he was easily threatened by brilliance and outspokenness, separately, and doubly threatened when both qualities were combined, to excess, in Winston Churchill.

If civilization doesn’t bring forward those personalities who can read the psychopath and respond adequately, it will fall.

Though he is famous for appeasement, he did draw a line, unexpectedly, and held to it. In the fall of 1938, he fervently believed that he and Hitler had saved the peace of Europe at Munich, and that Hitler could be trusted when he said that the Sudeten territory the Allies had carved off of Czechoslovakia and given him was the last of Germany’s territorial ambitions in Europe.  Then when less then six months later, Hitler gobbled up the rest of the country, after a slight delay, Chamberlain declared himself as having been bamboozled, and he drew a red line in front of where Hitler was heading next — Poland. When Hitler invaded Poland that September, Chamberlain did not pull an Obama and just pretend he had never made a commitment. He sent Germany an ultimatum, and by September 3, Britain was at war.

But even at war, Chamberlain, along with his French ally, continued to behave as if he was still conducting a negotiation, and it affected the British war effort.

Churchill had been brought into the government the moment the war started, and he was full of ideas on how to put the Nazis on their heels. Churchill oversaw the water aspect of the war, and the Germans began in his department, by striking at where Britain was most vulnerable – its sea lifeline. The Germans dropped mines all over the shipping lanes and their submarines started the terrible work.

Churchill sought to take away the momentum from the Nazis, and his thinking ran inventively, as was his wont. He put forth the plan of fluvial mines — launching hundreds of floating mines into the Rhine River to disrupt the river traffic that carried so much of Germany’s goods. It was a fine idea, but Chamberlain dithered for months, and when his government okayed it, the French dithered further, worried that such an escalation would unnecessarily provoke Hitler into the kind of serious fighting that the Allies dreaded.

Churchill proposed seizing the initiative in the air. Again, Chamberlain and the French demurred — Hitler might respond by bombing them, and there would be casualties.

Churchill soon turned his eyes to another area. Germany imported its iron from Sweden. Some of the ore was shipped from Sweden, but British submarines operated in the international waters of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia. The ore could also be shipped from neutral Norway’s port, Narvik. There, bands of small islands sheltered the coast for hundreds of miles, and the German cargo traffic could be safely routed through the sovereign Norwegian waters, immune from British interference.

Churchill chafed at having to allow Hitler the iron his war effort needed. He urged Chamberlain to risk the confrontation with Norway and use the British fleet to interdict the supply. Chamberlain delayed for a long time, wanted to do it right, asked the Norwegian government, and accepted their no for an answer. By the spring of 1940, though, Chamberlain was at last convinced, but the Germans used that inter island passageway to send an invading fleet which swiftly put Norway under the Nazi thumb and gave the German navy many fine advanced bases on the Atlantic.

The urge to appease is strong. If one is not dealing with a psychopathic nation, it is a healthy urge, Restraint runs deep in civilization; it is almost definitional.

But the psychopath knows how to coax restraint from others while disguising his own aggressive aims until he has operational advantage. If civilization doesn’t bring forward those personalities who can read the psychopath and respond adequately, it will fall.

Look at the urge to appease today. At last Iran has removed all doubt as to its intentions. But the headlines speak of Biden and his gang, the ever-appeasing Europeans, and of course, the Secretary General of the UN all urging restraint on Israel. Clearly, that is the key. Always pull your punches. Always seek the one further concession that will make the crazy guy your friend. And today’s virtue signaler has a trait Chamberlain transcended — they export the predictable evil consequence of their pusillanimity onto others. They will not directly suffer the consequences of leaving Hamas intact. Their wives won’t be tortured and raped; their grandchildren won’t be butchered or traumatized; their children won’t have to risk their lives to stop them, while all the while being slandered by comfortable, spoiled, coddled fools as being genocidal criminals.

Chamberlain did believe he could escape war. In the end, he recognized he was wrong, resigned his leadership, and spent his waning life-energy in the war effort, eaten up by cancer long before victory came.

Our present-day appeasers have exhibited all the delusory smugness that characterized early Chamberlain. Perhaps they have it in them to realize their inadequacy as leaders, as he did, and to devote whatever energy and talents they have left to helping defeat the world menace they have themselves nurtured through their woeful, blind self-absorption.

April 21, 2024 | 1 Comment »

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  1. Satirical metaphor: This Monty Python Skit contains the clip of Chamberlain waving a piece of paper and proclaiming “peace in our time.” I think this also applies to the October 6th mentality of key echelons of Israeli intelligence and IDF which is what the above article is about.

    “The Funniest Joke in the World” (also known as “The Killer Joke”)

    right after 5’04″”