maybe the whole "bailout brouhaha" is a distraction from something far bigger and more important?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Linda Muller <>
Date: Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 10:59 PM
Subject: [BRIGADE] PJB: An Amicus Brief for Neville
An Amicus Brief for Neville
By Patrick J. Buchanan
September 29, 2008

On Sept. 30, 1938, 70 years ago, Neville Chamberlain visited Adolf
Hitler's apartment in Munich, got his signature on a three-sentence
declaration and flew home to Heston Aerodrome.

"I've got it," he shouted to Lord Halifax. "Here is a paper which
bears his name." At the request of George VI, Chamberlain was
driven to Buckingham Palace, where he joined the king on the
balcony to take the cheers of the throngs below. An unprecedented

Then it was on to 10 Downing Street, where, to choruses of "For
He's a Jolly Good Fellow," Chamberlain declared: "This is the
second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to
Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time."

This was Munich, the summit of infamy, endlessly invoked as the
textbook example of how craven appeasement leads to desperate war.

That is the great myth. And like all myths, there is truth to it.

Chamberlain had indeed signed away the Czech-ruled Sudetenland to
Germany, rather than risk a new war like the one of 1914-1918 that
had taken the lives of 700,000 British and 1.3 million Frenchmen.

Modernity spits on the name of Neville Chamberlain. Yet, consider
the situation confronting the British prime minister that September.

The seeds of Munich had been planted at the 1919 Paris Peace
Conference, in the treaties of Versailles, St. Germain and Trianon.

Though Germany agreed to an armistice based on Wilson's 14 Points
and principle of self-determination, millions of Germans had been
consigned to alien rule. Some 3.25 million Bohemian Germans
(Sudetenlanders) were handed over to Prague, as were 2.5 million
Slovaks, 800,000 Hungarians, 500,000 Ukrainians and 150,000 Poles.

Germans will be "second class" citizens, President Masaryk told his
parliament. Not a single German was in the National Assembly that
drew up the constitution. Repeated protests by the German minority
to the League of Nations were made -- to no avail.

Lloyd George said the Czechs had lied to him at Paris when they had
promised to model Czechoslovakia on the Swiss Confederation, with
autonomy for ethnic minorities.

By the 1930s, most British and the Tory government believed an
injustice had been done to the Sudeten Germans that must be
rectified by diplomacy if a new war was to be averted.

After the Saar voted 90 to 10 to rejoin the Reich, and Austria had
been annexed, the Sudeten Germans began to agitate for secession
and annexation by Germany. And as Chamberlain wrote his sister, he
"didn't care two hoots whether the Sudetens were in the Reich or
out of it." The issue was not worth a European or world war.

As Britain had no alliance with Prague nor any vital interest in
East-Central Europe, where no British Army had ever fought before,
what was Chamberlain even doing in Munich?

He feared that if war broke out between Czechs and Germans, and
Prague invoked its French alliance, a Franco-German war might
follow, dragging Britain in as it had in 1914.

Three times that September, Chamberlain flew to Germany to
negotiate the peaceful transfer of the provinces of Czechoslovakia
where Germans were in the clear majority. After his second trip, to
Bad Godesberg, where Hitler had threatened to march, Chamberlain
had ordered mobilization of the fleet.

Hitler had backed down and urged Chamberlain to continue his
pursuit of a negotiated settlement, which was finalized at Munich.

Why did Chamberlain not tell Prague to defy Hitler and commit
Britain to fight for a Czech Sudetenland?

Because Britain was utterly unprepared for war. The Brits had not a
single division in France, no Spitfires, no draft and no allies
save France. Britain's World War I allies were gone. Italy was with
Hitler. Japan was now hostile. Russia was lost to Bolshevism.
Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa were unwilling to
fight, if the issue was keeping Germans under Czech rule.

And the Americans had gone home. Indeed, FDR had warned, "Those who
count on the assured aid of the United States in case of a war in
Europe are totally mistaken." Roosevelt's aides informed Paris
that, if war broke out, America, under the neutrality acts, would
not even deliver the planes France had already purchased.

Why should Britain declare a war it could not win for a cause --
Czech control of 3.5 million Germans -- in which it did not
believe, a war certain to bring death to millions and the ruin of

We Americans did not go to war for the Czechs in 1938, or the Poles
in 1939, or the French in 1940, or the Hungarians in 1956. Last
month, Russia marched into Abkhazia and South Ossetia -- the
Sudeten lands of Georgia. Did we declare war?

If the Russian majorities in east Ukraine or Crimea demand the
right to secede and return to Mother Russia, will we go to war to
keep these millions of Russians under Ukrainian rule?

If not, upon what ground do we stand to condemn Chamberlain?

Chamberlain's failure was that he trusted Hitler at Munich, as his
great rival Winston Churchill would trust Joseph Stalin at Moscow,
Tehran and Yalta.



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