The Same Old Song And Dance: The Appeasement Ball
…We have been reduced in those five years from a position of security so overwhelming and so unchallengeable that we never cared to think about it. We have been reduced from a position where the very word "war" was considered one which could be used only by persons qualifying for a lunatic asylum. We have been reduced from a position of safety and power – power to do good, power to be generous to a beaten foe, power to make terms with Germany, power to give her proper redress for her grievances, power to stop her arming if we chose, power to take any step in strength or mercy or justice which we thought right – reduced in five years from a position safe and unchallenged to where we stand now.
When I think of the fair hopes of a long peace which still lay before Europe at the beginning of 1933 when Herr Hitler first obtained power, and of all the opportunities of arresting the growth of the Nazi power which have been thrown away, when I think of the immense combinations and resources which have been neglected or squandered, I cannot believe that a parallel exists in the whole course of history.
—Winston Churchill, speaking before the House Of Commons, 05 October 1938
There was no parallel then, Bub, but there is now, in 2015…
From the Washington Free Beacon, Matthew Continetti writing:
A beautiful day: warm, sunny. A garden in bloom filled with the laughter of children. Frolic beneath the whitewashed façade of a stately and classic old house. A friendly man in dress shirt and trousers reads aloud. Then: screams.
The young ones listening to the man are terrified. Bees have been spotted. The kids are afraid. The man, a father of two, projects calm. He pauses from his book—Where the Wild Things Are—and says, “It’s okay guys. Bees are good. They won’t land on you. They won’t sting you. They’ll be okay.”
Doesn’t work. The bees are buzzing, menacing. A few of the kids cry out. The man changes his strategy. He admonishes the children. “Hold on, hold on, you guys are wild things,” he says. “You’re not supposed to be afraid of bees.” Laughter from parents, normalcy restored. The man resumes his tale.
An amusing interruption of an otherwise placid White House Easter Egg Roll? Undoubtedly. But some in the press said more was going on, that this encounter between the innocents, President Obama, and the swarm held a more profound significance.
“‘Bees are good,’ Obama says as children scream,” read the Politico headline. “Perhaps no president in history has made a stronger case for protecting pollinators than Barack Obama,” wrote the Washington Post. “Obama trying to reassure children about bees is a perfect metaphor for his foreign policy,” pronounced a writer for Vox.com, who most recently confused New Hampshire with Vermont.
I say Vox.com is right. “Bees won’t sting you” is an apt slogan for Obama’s attitude toward the world. But I say too that his attitude is patronizing, unrealistic, dangerous. Bees do sting. And kill. And the real wasps of the world, the terrorists and criminals and psychopaths and autocrats, with their knives and box-cutters and bombs and guns and tanks and missiles and rockets and ICBMS—they sting, they hurt, they kill even more. They won’t be “okay.”
“If you stay calm and more or less ignore the bee,” writes Vox.com, “the odds are that things will be fine.” Sure, someone one day will be hurt, even die. “But panicking at every bee sighting would be counterproductive.” In the real world of states and ideologies and nuclear proliferation, “America’s superpower status should make us willing to embark on new diplomatic initiatives and avoid counterproductive panics over minor issues.”
Hmmm…where have I heard this kind of thinking expressed before?
Oh yeah: in the 1930’s in Western Europe and Britain.
There was a very popular song back then, entitled: Let’s Misbehave. The political version back then was known as: Let’s Appease.
So, here we are seventy-plus years later and it’s the same old song and dance.
That one back in the 1930’s lead to a conflagration.
And so will this one — except this one will be nuclear.
Flash Forward to a few years from now…
[Cue the band]
‘OBAMA’ to IRAN:
It’s just the same old song and dance
The same old song and dance
Turns out you never cared at all
Turns out you bounced me like a ball
Whoever thought I’d fall
For the same old song and dance?
It’s just the same old smooth routine
The same old moonlit scene
Turns out you only used those eyes
Simply to sell me all those lies
I really went king-size
For the same old song and dance
Impeach the Bastard…NOW.