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Rightwingers say Geneva deal is… Munich

Israel/Palestine
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Neville Chamberlain, British PM in 1938 at time of Munich Pact

Neville Chamberlain, British PM in 1938 at time of Munich Pact

Guess what– the Iran deal is like the west capitulating to Hitler at Munich in 1938.

Bill Kristol said so. So did Bret Stephens and Charles Krauthammer [link]. So has Cal Thomas at Fox:

A better analogy would be the 1938 Munich Pact, which gave Hitler part of Czechoslovakia in the vain hope that war could be avoided. It is worth noting that several of the nations that were signatories in Munich, namely Germany, France and Britain, are also part of the current deal with Iran.

From Oliver Willis and Samantha Wyatt at Media Matters:

Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro denounced the Iran nuclear deal in a post titled “Worse Than Munich,” as “the most ignominious moment in western foreign policy in decades,” and compared it to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 appeasement of Hitler in Munich…

In a post on National Review Online, Daniel Pipes wrote that the Iran deal “will be remembered along with Munich,” calling it a policy “disaster” for the Obama administration:

Two other voices:

— Emily L. Hauser (@emilylhauser) November 26, 2013

 

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31 Responses

  1. braciole
    braciole
    November 26, 2013, 1:16 pm

    By making this comparison they just demonstrate how ignorant and stupid they really are. Perhaps sane, intelligent people will now ignore them just like sane intelligent people should ignore Pamela Geller**** now that they know how batshit racist she is. The ironic thing is that the real appeasement at the moment is Americans (just where were they in 1938?????) and certain others giving into that rabid dog Netanyahu every time he wants to further colonize the West Bank.
    **** – BTW, did you hear that the leader of her political party du jour (well some time ago), the EDL (English Defence League) quit because he discovered that the membership was batshit racist. What the f*&^ did he expect?

  2. Krauss
    Krauss
    November 26, 2013, 1:50 pm

    The next 6 months will define the Obama legacy in many ways.

    Domestically, you have Obamacare. If the exchanges don’t work by 6 months, i.e. enough people with no insurance sign up, then the cost structure becomes haywire and it will essentially doom his presidency.

    On foreign policy, the enforcement of the Syria deal as well as the completion of an Iranian rapprochement will be decided in this timespan.

    But I’m less concerned with Obamacare or Syria. I think those have a good degree of working out. The Iranian issue is different. I think we’ll see a lot of crazed comparisons to Nazi Germany going ahead. You can count on Menendez and/or Mark Kirk to echo these statements as well as loyal tools like McCain/Graham.

    AIPAC is already calling for more sanctions, per Zaid Jilani:
    http://t.co/iV4vXZk6DV

    The goal, as he notes, is to kill this. So we’re already seeing a battle with the Israel Lobby. Maybe the press will talk aloofly about “hardliners in Washington and Gulf states” instead of the Israel Lobby in order to obscure the issue(and the opposition coming from within Washington)?

    Either way, Congress does seem to have more power on these issues than I thought. I always heard a president is more or less independent of Congress on foreign policy. While that is still true to a large extent – i.e. a president can choose to not enforce laws on the books and de-facto nullify them – Congress apparently has ways of overriding some of those executive desicions. Which is why Kerry went to Capitol Hill to lobby lawmakers.

    When the history books of the Obama presidency will be written, my question is, have there been any presidency as colored by battles with the Israel Lobby as this administration?
    I can’t remember any. Unlike so many of them who battles with the lobby and lost, Obama survived in 2012, in large part because of demographics as well as the radicalization of the GOP.

    Finally, a word about Palestine. It will be important to see what the movement is on the issue in the primararies. Clinton will sell out the Palestinians, as usual, but if there’s a de Blasio-esque candidate, will he or she take a progressive stance? My guess is, like the real de Blasio, no. But in some ways, what happens with the grassroots is even more interesting.
    In the 2012 democratic convention, they had to vote three times to get Jerusalem into the plank. They were too divided. Will they outright lose the vote this time?

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      November 26, 2013, 2:09 pm

      P.S.

      About the fact that the Obama era has seen more battles with the lobby than any other and survived, for a variety of reasons, I wonder how this will color the debate on foreign policy in liberal circles going forward?

      Israel is becomming more racist, more religious, more fanatical and less liberal. The opposite is true with America. Similarily, even a mainstream guy like Kerry says that the window of a 2SS is “closing within a few years”. While we know it is dead already, and you can be sure people running in the primaries for 2016 will say the exact same thing – in a few years – it’s still notable how a central plank of Israel’s argument; we’re just like you we just did a mistake with the settlements, but it’s really complicated but just give us time – that argument will die.

      And also, unlike Bush in 92, the lesson for American politicians is that while the lobby will be a pain in the ass, it is no longer seen as monolithic. This is especially true if you’re a Democrat. You have strong demographic winds in your back. The main issue is to get the funding in the primaries, really, but once you’re in the general election, if you lose pro-Israel money, it isn’t going to doom you like before. Romney outspent Obama and was showered with pro-Israel money. Didn’t help.

      And finally, the legacy of Obama’s terms will also necessitate a discussion of the lobby. He was hounded by reactionary and racist elements in the Jewish community from day one. Remember that story of the Jewish communal macher in Atlanta who wrote a pathological newsarticle advocating Mossad to take him out or else Israel will not survive? That kind of craziness is more common than people think.

      How will historians handle these episodes? In my view, they have to acknowledge the existance and the power of the Israel lobby. And also, as a bonus, I wonder how much and to what extent Obama will write about this? My guess is that he will. No other constituency in American politics have worked as hard to destroy him.

      He could always point to the Koch bros and say, those are after me, and get support from both the base and the establishment and finally from the liberal media. If Obama went ahead and said “the Israel lobby is real and it’s not a pro-American movement” he’d be attacked as the spiritual heir of Louis Farrakhan. But in his memoirs, I’m guessing he could be more forthright.

      He already spoke of “a strain within the Jewish community that says if you’re not a Likudnik somehow you’re not pro-Israel enough”. I wonder if he’ll expand on this. And what that’ll mean for future presidents. Because you can’t really sweep the Israel story under the rug which is to this day so common to do when explaining Bush the first’s loss to Clinton. Sure, he broke his tax pledge, but any real discussion about the lobby’s fury at him is still verboten.

      It’s not uncommon to still hear people talk about Bush I’s “Jewish problem” as if he invoked anti-Semitism when he talked about him being “a lonely guy with all these lobbyists running around”. That was his cardinal sin; you don’t mention the lobby. But with Obama, where it has been so overt for so long, how can you not, especially as he has survived these attacks? And going forward the next year or so, his epic fights with the lobby will define his legacy in many ways on foreign policy. He is breaking with U.S. policy for the last few decades, which is why AIPAC is already declaring war. They don’t care anymore. Now it’s all about destroying Obama.

    • lysias
      lysias
      November 26, 2013, 3:30 pm

      Ike had to do battle with Lyndon Johnson and most of the rest of the congressional leadership in 1956-7 to pressure Israel into withdrawing from the Sinai. He made a speech to the American people, and won. David Nichols has written about it: Eisenhower 1956: The President’s Year of Crisis–Suez and the Brink of War.

    • RudyM
      RudyM
      November 26, 2013, 9:21 pm

      Maybe the press will talk aloofly about “hardliners in Washington and Gulf states” instead of the Israel Lobby in order to obscure the issue(and the opposition coming from within Washington)?

      Saw a Wall Street Journal headline this week that was somewhat along the lines of “Iran Deal Met With Skepticism.” I didn’t get a chance to read the actual article.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 27, 2013, 6:38 am

        @RudyM
        Re headlining “hardliners in Washington and Gulf States”–Fox channel has already done this, and MSNB went with “GOP, Gulf States, and Israel.” CNN did its own version–none of these three news/infotainment cable channels discussing the iran deal have mentioned the lobby.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      November 27, 2013, 8:00 am

      i.e. a president can choose to not enforce laws on the books and de-facto nullify them – Congress apparently has ways of overriding some of those executive desicions. Which is why Kerry went to Capitol Hill to lobby lawmakers.

      Not really. A veto is a veto, but Obama doesn’t want to be put in a position of having to use it, which is why Kerry went to Capitol Hill to lobby lawmakers.

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    November 26, 2013, 1:57 pm

    Keep these quotes together. Collect all the Munich analogies.

    And then collect all the Hitler/Nazi analogies.

    And then ask why it is said to be impermissible to use such analogies w.r.t. Israel.

    Double loyalties are one thing, but double standards are quite another. Or do I have it backwards?

    BTW, refresh my memory: wasn’t Germany (and not France, England, etc.) in those days the preeminent military power in Europe? And, today, aren’t (ahem) USA, Russia, EU the preeminent military powers (and not Iran)? Just asking. Might be germane to the Munich analogy.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      November 26, 2013, 2:12 pm

      The main problem is that Iran is not Nazi Germany. It isn’t a military superpower.
      Nor has it threatened to go after all Jews.

      Fundamentally, this is a regional power struggle for hegemony. It isn’t about wiping out one or the other.
      Bibi invoked the Holocaust, as he always does, but his own intelligence establishment has rebuffed these comparisons.

      The reason why Iran wants the bomb is simple: Israel won’t be able to threaten to bomb it every other day. It will decrease Israel’s hegemony. I’m still surprised why so few mainstream media outlets have talked about this. It’s true that they don’t endorse the Iran = Nazi Germany luncacy, but they are remarkably coy about the actual reasons why Israel is opposed to this. If anything, the NYT editorial page has become a lot better on the issue recently. But still.

      • lysias
        lysias
        November 26, 2013, 3:32 pm

        To discuss Israel’s real reasons, they would have to discuss Israel’s nuclear weapons. And that they have been extremely reluctant to do.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        November 26, 2013, 11:05 pm

        And the LORD spoke to his people and said

        “You muppets, you have strayed from the path of righteousness AGAIN, just like in the old days and I must smite you again. I really don’t like this crap over and over but you never learn.

        So I shall remove your regional hegemony. BTW forget about the burnt offerings for a while, okay ? “

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 27, 2013, 6:43 am
    • philweiss
      philweiss
      November 26, 2013, 2:47 pm

      Good point, Pabelmont

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      November 26, 2013, 4:01 pm

      Rather Israel are the military threat in middle east and the Munich agreement goes on every day that west accept this regime to expand and threat the region.

    • EUR1069
      EUR1069
      November 26, 2013, 5:37 pm

      Damn right, pabelmont. Munich my ass. Geneva 2013 was Munich 1938 backwards: the mightiest military power in the ME equipped with 300+ nukes & pushing a yet another war was NOT given what it wanted by an international conference.

  4. Jeff Klein
    Jeff Klein
    November 26, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Let’s see:
    At Munich the major European powers agreed to placate an aggressive and rising military country by allowing it to annex a part of it’s neighbor. They were reluctant to confront its violation of treaties — and anyway they expected it to fight a proxy war against their common enemy to the East, rather than against themselves. Of course, the winner of Munich soon grabbed the whole of its neighbor anyway, and there was no stopping its military aggression in the end.

    So today, if it’s Munich, just who is who?

  5. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    November 26, 2013, 3:02 pm

    I can’t say I’m surprised. Shapiro, Krauthammer, Thomas, Krisol, Pipes… these are not exactly deep thinkers. It’s always the 1930s to them, and there is always a “Next Hitler,” and the people they disagree with are always Chamberlain in Munich, because their whole approach to these things is based on a fantasy in their heads. They don’t actually understand the history they’re discussing, but are pretending that they’re some kind of policy superhero. It’s pathetic, but predictable.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      November 27, 2013, 6:52 am

      @Woody
      I’m so sick of Charles Krauthammer being trotted out as the great guru of foreign policy on FOX, and ditto for Bill Kristol on FOX and MSNBC and CNN. Once in a blue moon, MSNBC has Zbig on…

  6. just
    just
    November 26, 2013, 5:08 pm

    When an agreement is reached with Iran, they bring up 1938 Munich.

    When somebody fights them back, they bring up 1972 Munich.

    If Munich is so bad, why aren’t they their ultimate enemy? Both massacres were horrible, but can the Zionists in this world ever see the truth and accept responsibility for what they do/have done?

    Seems the answer is no– they just hearken back to history and accept no accountability for their own heinous actions. Oh, and why do they contort actual history when it comes to the indigenous Palestinians?

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      November 26, 2013, 5:27 pm

      Just: The Israelis don’t have to accept responsibility for what they have themselves done — at least not as long as the nations can be restrained (by all the AIPACs, etc.) from acknowledging these facts. If the MSM in USA, EU refuse to print the truth about Israel, then (in an Orwellian sense) it is NOT true. So why worry?

      What GOLIATH does is blatantly state some inconvenient truths about Israel (truths that Alterman at the Nation has told us are, from a factual standpoint, mostly true) and what we need is for a lot of people who matter to read GOLIATH and start talking about it — and mentioning its unpleasant truths so that the VERY ACT of mentioning these truths becomes mainstream and “liberal” or “progressive”, tending thereby to take some of the “EP” out of “PEP” if you will.

      Why, by 2020 Terry Gross — if still alive and broadcasting — may even admit some of this stuff. Maybe the NYT as well. who knows?

      • just
        just
        November 26, 2013, 5:46 pm

        You are correct, of course.

        Thanks, pabelmont.

  7. Hostage
    Hostage
    November 26, 2013, 7:19 pm

    Let’s be serious. The most appropriate analogy to the Munich agreement would have to be the circumlocutions of our own government about the necessity for – “”mutually agreed swaps that take into consideration the changed realities on the ground”. Those policy statements are only employed to countenance unilateral Israeli annexations and crimes of aggression and make any territory acquired illegally by war non-negotiable.

    • just
      just
      November 26, 2013, 7:28 pm

      I try not to curse out loud, but my mind is filled with expletives.

      So the thieves go unpunished while we endorse their punishment of and the thievery from the lawful owners of the land(s)– the indigenous Palestinians and others? So if Israel decides to build 10,000 “homes” for settlers and those that make aliyah, it’s a-ok by us because Israel is in a constant war of their own making? And, btw– NO RIGHT of RETURN for the indigenous folks.

      So “nice”, so “moral”. Precious, indeed.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    November 26, 2013, 7:35 pm

    RE: “Rightwingers say Geneva deal is… Munich”

    MY COMMENT: Neener, neener, neener; I told you so!http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/united-states-forward.html#comment-614599

  9. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    November 26, 2013, 9:56 pm

    A final deal with Iran is not yet here and many obstacles remain. Tracing the history that has brought us to this point I include:
    1. Rabin’s handshake with Arafat- Although the Oslo process is in disrepair and disrepute, it is useful to recall that it was not only Netanyahu who has focused on the threat from Tehran. When Rabin shook hands with Arafat he made it quite clear that he was willing to compromise with Arafat because the Palestinians were not an existential threat, but Tehran with their nuclear ambitions was. Aligning Israeli policy on the Palestinians closer to the US position vis a vis the West Bank and Gaza was an attempt by Rabin to compromise on one issue in order to achieve closeness with the US in order to fight the potential of an Iranian bomb.

    2. The war against Iraq- In the aftermath of 9/11 the American people were willing to pay a price to achieve something in the middle east to assuage their anger, to utilize American power to achieve some goal. Due to the PNAC and the election of Cheney/Bush, the something that was chosen as the goal was the removal of Saddam Hussein. This was not the first choice of Israel, which at the time made muffled noises how the real goal ought to be Iran and limiting their nuclear ambitions, but it was not Israel that dictated that war, it was Cheney who had adopted the PNAC’s ideas (Likud ideas) as his own. (Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel at the time, and leader of Likud at the time, was not strictly on the same page as the PNAC, though the PNAC, was in large part a Likud/Netanyahu effort.) The choice of that war versus other “projects” in the Middle East, meaning emphasizing Iraq rather than Iran, and the fact that that war was if not a failure then certainly an outlandish drain on American resources, blood and will, turned the American people away from any further foreign adventures and prepared them instead to seek the peaceful way out.

    3. Sanctions. I am no historian when it comes to sanctions, but it seems that sanctions could have been/ may still be a useful tool to change Iranian policy. The success of the sanctions (the fact that Iran is hurting and wants a deal) might mean that this has in fact given Obama a strong enough hand to negotiate a good deal or it might mean that Obama was given a strong hand and he blew it.

    4. The election of Obama and not McCain or Romney. It is highly dubious whether either Republican candidate who ran against Obama would have signed onto this deal. So, the fact that Obama is president and not one of the two other men, is almost certainly one of the determining factors in the attempt to negotiate an agreement with Iran.

    I think the Munich language is off the charts. I think there is certainly room for thinking people to have their doubts about Iran and about the process and about this stage in the process. I think “Munich” is an exceedingly easy analogy to use and not very profound as anything but a scare tactic and a way to attack Obama. But I think there is certainly room for supporters of Israel to feel that Israel has been left vulnerable by this deal or will be left vulnerable by the deal to come. Munich did not give Czechoslovakia any hope of survival and the strengthening of Iran that this deal portends is not nearly the same as the effect of strengthening Herr Hitler that Chamberlain achieved. A thorough analysis of how strong Iran and Hezbollah and Iran will emerge from this process would be useful. The shorthand of Munich is simple and simple minded.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      November 26, 2013, 10:58 pm

      “Aligning Israeli policy on the Palestinians closer to the US position vis a vis the West Bank and Gaza was an attempt by Rabin to compromise on one issue in order to achieve closeness with the US in order to fight the potential of an Iranian bomb.”

      WTF

      Rabin wanted to buy time for YESHA, garner some respectability for the project and keep the goys on side and thus secure the eternal Jewish victory in the Jewish Disneyland.

      So the bots won.
      Now what ?
      Eternity is very long especially for those with attention deficit disorder.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      November 27, 2013, 7:02 am

      @ yonah

      Your are correct re Israel’s first choice was that the Bush Jr attack Iran; Israel was mollified as Iraq would be a cakewalk and then the US would take out the Iranian and Syrian regimes. Also on your points 3 & 4. And your concluding paragraph too.

    • eljay
      eljay
      November 27, 2013, 9:16 am

      >> … sanctions could have been/ may still be a useful tool to change Iranian policy. The success of the sanctions (the fact that Iran is hurting and wants a deal) …

      Sounds like sanctions are what need to be applied against the colonialist, expansionist, belligerent, intransigent and supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel.

      >> But I think there is certainly room for supporters of Israel to feel that Israel has been left vulnerable by this deal or will be left vulnerable by the deal to come. Munich did not give Czechoslovakia any hope of survival and the strengthening of Iran that this deal portends is not nearly the same as the effect of strengthening Herr Hitler that Chamberlain achieved.

      Ah, yes, poor Israel. Always the victim. Nuclear weapons-free Iran is hurting from crippling sanctions, while the nuclear-armed, colonialist, expansionist, belligerent, intransigent and supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel enjoys the military, politicial, economic and financial backing of the United States, but Iran is Hitler’s Germany while Israel is poor little Czechoslovakia. :-(

      Aggressor-victimhood is…well, you know what it is.

  10. Peter in SF
    Peter in SF
    November 27, 2013, 4:35 am

    The 1993 Netanyahu op-ed cited by Max includes this bit:

    Within nine months, Israel is to withdraw from all West Bank cities. Soon after, it will transfer to the Palestine Liberation Organization all remaining land save Jerusalem and the settlements (roughly 5 percent of the territory), although it is obvious these Israeli islands, isolated in a P.L.O. sea, will not last long.

    Twenty years later, we see how prescient Bibi was.

  11. Shingo
    Shingo
    November 27, 2013, 8:04 am

    It is worth noting that several of the nations that were signatories in Munich, namely Germany, France and Britain, are also part of the current deal with Iran.

    It is worth noting that these same right wing nutcases were singing France’s praises 2 weeks ago.

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