Leftist reminds us why pacificsts can’t be trusted on foreign policy issues

Nick Baumann over at Slate, a hard core leftist, has an unbelievably stupid post up titled “Neville Chamberlain was right“, where he makes the insane assertion that Chamberlain, the man that let Hitler rape Czechoslovakia and emboldened him to actually think that he could do whatever he wanted, because the diplomatic types, in an effort to avoid conflict, would turn a blind eye to his efforts. No, I am not making that up. This idiot actually wrote an article where he makes the case that Chamberlain did the right thing by kowtowing to a bully. Baumann writes:

Seventy-five years ago, on Sept. 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, handing portions of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler’s Germany. Chamberlain returned to Britain to popular acclaim, declaring that he had secured “peace for our time.” Today the prime minister is generally portrayed as a foolish man who was wrong to try to “appease” Hitler—a cautionary tale for any leader silly enough to prefer negotiation to confrontation.

But among historians, that view changed in the late 1950s, when the British government began making Chamberlain-era records available to researchers. “The result of this was the discovery of all sorts of factors that narrowed the options of the British government in general and narrowed the options of Neville Chamberlain in particular,” explains David Dutton, a British historian who wrote a recent biography of the prime minister. “The evidence was so overwhelming,” he says, that many historians came to believe that Chamberlain “couldn’t do anything other than what he did” at Munich. Over time, Dutton says, “the weight of the historiography began to shift to a much more sympathetic appreciation” of Chamberlain.

First, a look at the military situation. Most historians agree that the British army was not ready for war with Germany in September 1938. If war had broken out over the Czechoslovak crisis, Britain would only have been able to send two divisions to the continent—and ill-equipped divisions, at that. Between 1919 and March 1932, Britain had based its military planning on a “10-year rule,” which assumed Britain would face no major war in the next decade. Rearmament only began in 1934—and only on a limited basis. The British army, as it existed in September 1938, was simply not intended for continental warfare. Nor was the rearmament of the Navy or the Royal Air Force complete. British naval rearmament had recommenced in 1936 as part of a five-year program. And although Hitler’s Luftwaffe had repeatedly doubled in size in the late 1930s, it wasn’t until April 1938 that the British government decided that its air force could purchase as many aircraft as could be produced.

All of this factored into what Chamberlain was hearing from his top military advisers. In March 1938 the British military chiefs of staff produced a report that concluded that Britain could not possibly stop Germany from taking Czechoslovakia. In general, British generals believed the military and the nation were not ready for war. On Sept. 20, 1938, then-Col.Hastings Ismay, secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defense, sent a note to Thomas Inskip, the minister for the coordination of defense, and Sir Horace Wilson, a civil servant. Time was on Britain’s side, Ismay argued, writing that delaying the outbreak of war would give the Royal Air Force time to acquire airplanes that could counter the Luftwaffe, which he considered the only chance for defeating Hitler. British strategists, including Ismay, believed their country could win a long war (so long as they had time to prepare for it). This was a common belief, and doubtless factored into Chamberlain’s calculations.

Seriously? What a douche you are Baumann. Whether England was ready for war or not, bowing to Hitler’s pressure to allow him to annex his neighbor’s property served only to encourage Hitler to pursue that war Baumann claims England was not ready to fight. Here is a revelation for you Baumann:. Germany was not ready for war in 1938 either.

Hitler bluffed, nobody called that bluff, and he then did the next logical thing in his mind: he got bolder. When he won that easily he took away the lesson that the other European powers, so afraid of war, would do anything to avoid conflict. Queue a series of events that all but guaranteed a war that Europe was never going to be prepared for. Chamberlains weakness all but assured Hitler would push things to the point where war became inevitable. No serious historian would make the case otherwise. No country is ever ready for war when it comes knocking at the door, but the ones that refuse to fight when it is obvious that the fight is coming unless the enemy understands the costs, are the ones that guarantee conflict.

So I ask myself WTF is this idiot trying to make a point about? We finally get it towards the end of this ridiculous article.

Historians often find themselves moving against popular opinion. In the case of Chamberlain, though, the gap between public perception and the historical record serves a political purpose. The story we’re told about Munich is one about the futility and foolishness of searching for peace. In American political debates, the words “appeasement” and “Munich” are used to bludgeon those who argue against war

Revisionist douchebags, especially the pacifist kind, that think they are suddenly being clever and see something nobody else was able to for over 7 decades, suck. Peace at all costs brought Chamberlain’s England, and for that matter the world, a horrible and costly war. Had England told Hitler there would be consequences and war would come if he violated a sovereign nation, Hitler would have thought twice about his “Anshluss” policy. Hitler was the equivalent of your average high school bully. Attempts to negotiate peace with a bully always fail. Anyone incapable of understanding this principle should never be allowed near the leavers of power.

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  1. Mook

    That’s the thing with leftist filth, they mock conservatives and libertarians over legitimate obvious common-sense concerns, and then when conservatives turn out to be dead-on right, they’re silent and later try to dishonestly revise history as with Chamberlain. Hal had a good related post to this yesterday with Obamacare. Virtually every conservative concern over Obamabare, concerns mocked at the time by liberals, all turned out to be true.

    “Only crazy rethuglican wingnuts could possibly believe that Obama would send thousands of weapons to Mexican drug gangs. Stop watching Faux news wingnuts!”

    “IRS intentionally targeting conservative groups for harassment? You Repukes are delusional!”

    Conversely, the craziest paranoid shit you can imagine about the left, actually turns out to be true. See IRS targeting of conservatives, govt. intentionally sending weapons to drug gangs, and gutting of Medicare to fund Obamacare as prime examples. In the case of Medicare cuts, Democrats actually DID what they have accused Republicans of wanting to do for decades. It’s unbelievable really.

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    I think in the “crazy paranoid shit” dept we can safely exclude space aliens, illuminanti, earthquake machines, fluoride in the water is so you can be tracked via sattelite, chemtrails, and other tinfoil hat stuff.

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  3. Hal_10000

    Well, there is some historical debate about that. Schirer gets into this in depth in his book. It’s clear that Chamberlain’s decision was based more on his feeling that England was unprepared — militarily and politically — for war than any delusions of Hitler’s ambitions.

    The problem is that there are several pieces of information that weigh more to me in this debate. The Czechs were ready to resist and held easily defensible ground. There was some dissension in the German ranks and it wasn’t clear that they were ready for a war either (information that was not given to Chamberlain). In the end, the decision was a terrible one, but there is some debate about it.

    The one thing i have gotten sick of though is the abuse of Chamberlain as a historical example. If we don’t invade Iraq, we’re like Chamberlain. If we don’t bomb Iran, we’re like Chamberlain. If we don’t bomb Libya, we’re like Chamberlain. If we don’t attack Syria, we’re like Chamberlain. Enough.

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  4. CM

    “Seriously? What a douche you are Baumann.”

    Alex are you saying the historical view of Chamberlain DIDN’T in fact change, and that Baumann is making it up?

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  5. AlexInCT *

    Alex are you saying the historical view of Chamberlain DIDN’T in fact change, and that Baumann is making it up?

    Absolutely not CM. My point is that no country is ever ready for war. Even Germany was not ready for war in either 38 or 39. Their Blitzkrieg left a lot of people thinking Germany had seriously butched up and was indistructable, but all things considered it wasn’t until 1941 when Germany was really ready for war, and then, they fucked that up by invading Russia and letting Hitler manage that conflict through a bunch of politically appointed puppet generals.

    The point I make is that you don’t get to choose when you are ready for war if the other side wants to start one. And do you think had the other European powers told Hitler they would kick his ass if he fucked with Czechoslovakia, that he would have felt he could then invade Poland and everywhere else? Hitler was your prototypical bully. Had they kicked him in the balls in 38, I am certain he wouldn’t have started that war.

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  6. CM

    It sounds like you’re arguing against what the historians have come to realise, rather than Baumann.

    “Seriously? What a douche you are Baumann. Whether England was ready for war or not, bowing to Hitler’s pressure to allow him to annex his neighbor’s property served only to encourage Hitler to pursue that war Baumann claims England was not ready to fight. Here is a revelation for you Baumann:. Germany was not ready for war in 1938 either.”

    You’re pretending to disagree with Baumann, but from what I can tell Baumann is just explaining what historians have determined. If the historians share the viewpoint that he had little choice then Baumann is just promoting that. But you make it sound like Baumann is going against the dominant historian position, or is just making it up for political purposes.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    “If we don’t invade Iraq, we’re like Chamberlain. If we don’t bomb Iran, we’re like Chamberlain. If we don’t bomb Libya, we’re like Chamberlain. If we don’t attack Syria, we’re like Chamberlain. Enough.”

    Here Hal let me add a few from your previous ramblings.

    If we don’t elect Obama “we’re like Chamberlain”

    If we don’t bail out those companies that are too big to fail “we’re like Chamberlain”

    If we have comprehensive immigration reform “we’re like Chamberlain”

    If we don’t raise the debt ceiling “we’re like Chamberlain”

    If we allow the sequester to happen “we’re like Chamberlain”

    And your newest crocodile tear rant, if we defund my boy Obobo and his ego-trip “we’re like Chamberlain”

    The only surprising part of this post is that Alex, in an effort to mock someone at Slate, soiled his hands long enough to point out how these prog-tards think.

    Your equivocation of Baumann and any of his ilk is “par for the course” around here for the past several years.

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  8. stogy

    So General Alex would have somehow invaded central Europe with his under-prepared, under-equipped two divisions, without effective air support, and insufficient naval forces, against the advice of his own generals and admirals, and left Britain without any substantial home defence?

    Which route would you have proposed for getting there? Or would you just have opened a Western front through France or neutral Holland?

    I’d love to see how that would have played out.

    “The point I make is that you don’t get to choose when you are ready for war if the other side wants to start one.”

    Smart generals choose their battlefields to maximize their capabilities and minimize their losses. And if you are pretty sure you aren’t going to win, you employ delaying tactics until you can gather additional resources so you can improve your chances..

    But that wouldn’t fit with your anti-leftist rant, would it?

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  9. CM

    Can’t argue with rigid frothing-at-the-mouth ideology using logic or detail stogy. Apparently it’s Baumann’s fault that these (clearly socialist scum) “historians” changed their mind. Or something.
    MY maybe you need to re-send Hal the set of rules and allowable opinions so he can think about falling back into line. ;-)

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  10. AlexInCT *

    So General Alex would have somehow invaded central Europe with his under-prepared, under-equipped two divisions, without effective air support, and insufficient naval forces, against the advice of his own generals and admirals, and left Britain without any substantial home defence?

    Way to miss the point Stogy, but what I expected. I don’t think the European powers would have needed to invade anything had they told Hitler that going into Czechoslovakia would have meant war. Hitler would have backed down. As I pointed out, Germany was not ready for war either. Their navy was a joke, and except for two pocket battle cruisers that for all intents and purposes, and despite the romantic stories, didn’t do much, remained that way, even when the war started. The Luftwaffe was not ready, as they were still out in Russia working out designs and manufacturing. And even their Wehrmacht was lacking in cohesion and equipment. The buildup came in 1940, after Hitler came to believe he could do whatever he wanted. When the European powers showed weakness, Hitler took from that display of weakness that they wouldn’t stand up against him at all. So he decided Germany could just take whatever it wanted. That’s why WWII became inevitable.

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  11. AlexInCT *

    You’re pretending to disagree with Baumann, but from what I can tell Baumann is just explaining what historians have determined.

    No he is not. These historians being quoted are completely bypassing the logical conclusion that was prevalent – that had Chamberlain not compromised, Hitler wouldn’t have come to believe he could get away with what he did – and they are doing it to push an agenda. Baumann is giving lip service to idiots that are trying to rewrite history. This is more of the same shit the left has engaged in since the KGB started giving them their talking points. These idiots aren’t smart enough to even realize they are being used.

    I point you to the case of Saddam Hussein, whom twice had people feed him bad information. The first time the GHB administration failed to make it clear to him that invading Kuwait on the way to Saudi Arabia was not going to be tolerated – for whatever reason – and that cost him. The second time the French & the Russians told him they could protect him through the UN, and that fell apart. Had Saddam been told in clear terms that his ass would be kicked, whether we could do so or not at the time, if he did what he did, I believe he wouldn’t have risked his ass, and we would have avoided the mess we got.

    Bullies understand force and the threat of force. Weakness has the same effect that blood in the water has on sharks. Even Obama, or the people around him, understand that principle to some degree, as his stupid red line in the sand on Syria, and the subsequent need to act or come of like the pussy he is, showed us all. His problem was that Assad saw him for the pussy he was and called him out.

    If you want to make the argument that Hilter would have seen Chamberlain for the liberal pussy he was, and would still have gone on to invade Czechoslovakia, then we can have that discussion. But let’s not pretend Chamberlain was anything but a fucking weak ass moron that wanted peace at all costs, and that’s why he abdicated and all but assured a world war.

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  12. Hal_10000

    I agree with that assessment, Alex. Schirer did too. He believed that the air forces of France and Britain were strong enough to keep London and Paris from being bombed. And he also thought the extensive fortification in the Sudeten areas would have made for a very tough fight. Hitler spent the next year massively building up his military to the point where he was much stronger when he eventually did start a war.

    Ironically, the French were the only one not fooled. Deladier saw exactly who Hitler was and knew it was only a matter of time.

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  13. AlexInCT *

    I agree with that assessment, Alex.

    People forget that prior to Chamberlains’ abdication, Germany was bound by the Treaty of Verssiales, which left it with nothing but a token military force. Sure, Hitler had already started circumventing some of the limitations of this treaty by going to Russia to research new aircraft, tanks, and other military equipment, and the Germans were developing some serious new technology and tactics that proved decisive once they started fighting, but they didn’t throw out all convention and really rebuild their military capability until after Hitler saw Chamberlain for a giant pussy and concluded nobody would stop his buildup.

    Ironically, the French were the only one not fooled. Deladier saw exactly who Hitler was and knew it was only a matter of time.

    I wonder what would have happened had the allied forces at the time acted on this information. Would things have been worse, or better? Would Hitler just have held power for a few decades until someone else came along and supplanted him, or would he still have started a global war? Hindsight is however 20-20, and not really that dependable, but it makes for some interesting conversations.

    Chamberlain made a bad call. And he did it for all the wrong reasons. Trying to pretend that he had legitimate reasons now is nothing but an attempt to rewrite history, and then, for a specific agenda that I think will make it even more likely that the wrong decisions will be made someday in the future and cause us to experience another nasty and unnecessary war.

    You never deal with bullies from a position of weakness. Especially when you could easily, or even if not easily, eventualy, have the upper hand. It gives them all the wrong clues, and always backfires. Look at Iran, where we are doing it right now, and have been doing it for a decade or more.

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  14. Starving Writer

    This debate reminds me of the Harry Turtledove “The War That Came Early” series of novels that proposes this precise scenario. It basically tells World War 2 from the premise that the Munich conference failed and Hitler went ahead and invaded Czechoslovakia.

    So far five novels of that series has been published, with at least one more on the way. Check it out!

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  15. Section8

    Whether Britain was prepared or not did he make this statement?

    Chamberlain returned to Britain to popular acclaim, declaring that he had secured “peace for our time.”

    If so, than he sold it to the population that he achieved success rather than this is the best we can do in this situation no matter how you spin it. Also, historians changed their tune in the 50s? We’re just finally hearing about it because of some writer at Slate?

    Give me a break. Anyhow, I don’t give a fuck about Europe other than we need to get our forces out of there, and shouldn’t have gone there in the first place.

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