[(Continued from p.9)]Israeli citizens. True to their vow to attack and kill any and all Jews, these brave 'militants' have turned their guns on small children and proudly claim responsibility for the murder of a 7 year old. Meanwhile, our diplomats redouble their efforts -- urging restraint on Israel!
Learning nothing from history, our State Department and Iraq war allies have persuaded President Bush to pursue a diplomatic response to the genocidal Islamo-Nazis who hate us and wish to destroy Israel and America. Why is it so hard to draw useful lessons from history? Winston Churchill astutely suggested it is because of something deep in human nature -- the yearning to believe that all people are naturally good -- peace-seekers who merely need to be reasoned with. It is a belief that seems impervious to evidence. It is self-flattering to hold it because no one wishes to be seen as harsh and negative. It is the reigning assumption of contemporary liberalism: human nature is naturally good, though sometimes deformed by misunderstanding, mistreatment and deprivation. Neville Chamberlain was not an evil man. He was a peace seeker, animated, according to Churchill, his severest critic, by noble intentions and motives. He decided Hitler was a man he could trust. One can't help being reminded of President Bush, who felt good vibes when he gazed into the eyes of Vladimir Putin and Abu Mazen.
Forcing Israel to accept a "roadmap to peace" will inflame the savages just as Chamberlain, at Munich, inflamed the Nazi war machine.
How is it that serious, intelligent, well meaning men can fall so readily under the spell of tyrants and Jew hating savages? Where and how does such wishful denial of reality arise? Churchill quotes the one minister in Chamberlain's cabinet, Mr. Duff Cooper, who resigned over the Munich agreement. Duff Cooper said: "The Prime Minister has believed in addressing Herr Hitler through the language of sweet reasonableness. I have believed that he was more open to the language of the mailed fist."
Why were the Duff Coopers and Churchills so rare and so reviled? The Gathering Storm, Churchill's first volume history of World War II, essays an answer. It is a somewhat overlooked fact that Churchill was an extremely shrewd observer of his fellow human beings. He begins with the theme of the volume: how the English-speaking peoples, in their unwisdom, carelessness and good nature, allowed the wicked to rearm. Churchill is true to this theme. He is determined to present not just a history of the war, but a treatise on human nature. He makes clear over and over again that "good nature," the wish to believe that all men are basically good, that all grievances can be addressed with reasoned benevolence failed when it encountered radical evil in Hitler.
And so too, such a view of human nature is doomed to failure when it comes to present-day Islamo- Nazis. Forcing Israel to accept a "roadmap to peace" will inflame the savages just as Chamberlain, at Munich, inflamed the Nazi war machine. Chamberlain's road map to peace with Germany included the following declaration: "We, the German Fuehrer and Chancellor, and the British Prime Minister...regard the Agreement signed last night...as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again. We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe."
Chamberlain returned to England announcing "peace for our time." Following the war, at the Nuremberg trials, the Czech representative asked Marshal von Keitel: "Would the Reich have attacked Czechoslovakia in 1938 if the Western powers had stood by Prague?" Marshal Keitel answered: "Certainly not. We were not strong enough militarily. The object of Munich was to get Russia out of Europe, to gain time, and to complete the German rearmaments." Churchill accords full weight to Chamberlain's sincerity, his craving for peace, his moral stance, then adds: "Religion and virtue alike lend their sanctions to meekness and humility, not only between men but between nations...The Sermon on the Mount is the last word in Christian ethics. Everyone respects the Quakers. Still, it is not on these terms that Ministers assume their responsibilities of guiding States...If the circumstances warrant it, force may be used. And if this be so it should be used under the conditions which are most favourable. There is no merit in putting off a war for a year if, when it comes, it is a far worse war or one much harder to win."
Churchill concludes with his accession to power. Having made the point over and over that well meaning, peace seeking people paid no heed to his warnings, and in fact resented him and heaped scorn on him, he writes the following comments: "...I cannot conceal from the reader of this truthful account that as I went to bed at about 3 a.m. I was conscious of a profound sense of relief. At last I had authority to give directions over the whole scene...My warnings over the last six years had been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me...I was sure I should not fail. Therefore although impatient for the morning, I slept soundly and had no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams." (Emphasis in original.)
How striking that Churchill's grim realism was accompanied by optimism! Indeed, indeed, when dealing with people who announce their wish to kill you, facts are far better than dreams.
Stephen Rittenberg is a psychiatrist. This article was posted on the web site Horsefeathers, which he hosts with fellow-psychiatrist Yale Kramer.
Outpost - 10 - July-August 2003