Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Imminency of a Threat.

Going over the blog by Wretchard on pre-OIF intelligence I was struck by the following comparison that came into my head.

Remember Hurricane Katrina? Many leftists (and one doesn't have to go to the extreme edge, it is a fairly mainstream leftist notion) blame Hurricane Katrina on President Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocols, that global warming will cause more and stronger hurricanes than in the past. The leftists note an uptick in both hurricane frequency and strength as proof of what happens when Kyoto doesn't get signed. So, the left is making a direct threat connection between failure to sign the Kyoto Protocols and damage to our Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Now, we had a situation where a man using the nation he subjugated started two wars with neighbors. Instigated Palestinian suicide murderers, gassed his own population, was pursuing nuclear weapons, and had it out for the USA.

Now to be sure the threat of hurricanes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts (in addition to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean islands as a whole) is real and imminent. But, is the signing of a silly piece of paper going to do anything about that threat? The left is convinced it will (if so then why didn't Bill Clinton submit the protocols for senatorial approval? Perhaps because the US Senate said 95-0 it did not like the protocols) The left says hurricane frequency and strength are rising, perhaps but many hurricane experts say the hurricane numbers are returning to norms established early last century. That is perhaps it was the last thirty (or so) years of less frequent and strong hurricanes that were out of the norm.

Now, yesterday I quoted a piece by Michael Ledeen talking of a British soldier who spared the life a wounded German corporal in WWI. That corporal was none other than Adolf Hitler. The lessons of Europe's treatment of Hitler are very educational and all of us are should pay attention to what those are. Of course, we can all forgive the British soldier for his act of mercy.

The left is fond of saying Saddam was no threat to the USA and therefore should not have been disturbed. Saddam proved himself to be unpredictable and a dangerous man. Was he a threat? Yes he was. Was he an imminent and dangerous threat? No, but is it not cheaper to fix a small problem than a large problem?
They hatched a plot to arrest Hitler the very moment he gave the actual invasion order. According to their plan, Berlin would be sealed off by special Army units to prevent the SS from interfering. Other units, aided by anti-Nazis in the Berlin Police, would seize important government buildings while top Nazis such as Göring, Goebbels and Himmler would be arrested. Assuming this all worked, Hitler would be hauled before a special court and charged with leading Germany toward a military disaster.

But there was one big if in this whole scenario. The plan would only work if both England and France maintained a belligerent attitude toward Hitler and made it known to the world that they would fight to preserve the little Czech republic. This would serve to convince the German people that certain defeat awaited Germany if it attacked Czechoslovakia and would justify the overthrow of Hitler.

To insure that Britain and France understood how high the stakes were, the conspirators sent agents to England to secretly inform Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain that Hitler was planning to attack Czechoslovakia. They also informed the British of their intentions to overthrow Hitler and requested that both Britain and France adopt an openly aggressive stance toward Hitler.

However, major problems prevented this from happening. First, the messengers were not taken seriously by the British who found themselves unable to trust the same Germany Army which had been steadfastly aiding Hitler since his takeover of power in 1933. Secondly, Prime Minister Chamberlain had his own peace agenda in mind and was willing to negotiate to the hilt to prevent another European war.
Source: The History Place - The Triumph of Hitler
In the end
Upon arriving back home in London, Chamberlain declared: "The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem which has now been achieved is in my view only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace."

Few politicians in England disagreed. Winston Churchill voiced the loudest single protest, calling the Munich Agreement "a total, unmitigated defeat."

Back in Germany, the Army generals who had been preparing to oust Hitler gave up in complete dismay. All plans concerning the overthrow of the Führer were shelved. The generals now resigned themselves to follow Hitler into the abyss that lay ahead for Germany.

On Saturday, October 1, the German Army rolled into the Sudetenland on schedule. Many of the Czechs living there fled their homes in panic with only the clothes on their back.

Once again Hitler had gotten everything he wanted without firing a single shot. Incredibly, this time he would have welcomed a fight. Somewhat exasperated, he said: "I did not think it possible that Czechoslovakia would be virtually served up to me on a plate by her friends." [emphasis added]
Source: The History Place - The Triumph of Hitler
Resorting to bloodshed and war is never a light option but it is quite clear Chamberlain & Daladier's deal here was nothing but a fools bargain save a few now and cast to death millions later is what it amounted to. Do you wait until a threat is mortal until you try to do something about it? Did the Allies give Hitler what he wanted? No, but they should have.