LETTER: Spare us the Munich comparisons
In 1939, Neville Chamberlain, prime minister of Britain, and Adolf Hitler, chancellor of Germany, entered into a non-aggression pact at Munich.
Chamberlain returned to London waving the agreement and trumpeting "I bring back peace in our time." The ink was barely dry on the agreement when Hitler invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia. World War II followed.
Through the years, Munich has been pointed to as the classic example of what happens when aggression is "appeased." In 1964, Lyndon Johnson and the Washington policy-makers determined that unless the Viet Cong Communists were stopped in their tracks, all of Southeast Asia would be overrun. We could not afford another Munich — hence the Vietnam War.
After thousands of lives lost and untold sums of money spent, we lost Vietnam to the Viet Cong. Forty years later, not only is Southeast Asia not overrun by Communists, Vietnam and the U.S. are united against China. The Vietnam war was a colossal foreign policy blunder.
In 2003, Munich was resurrected by George Bush. The cry went out — if Sadam Hussein is not stopped, he will overrun the Middle East — there must not be another Munich. The invasion of Iraq followed. Thousands of lives were lost and trillions of dollars spent. We ended up destroying the balance of power between Iraq and Iran, making Iran a mid-east super power, and dismantling the Bathist Party in Iraq, thereby laying the ground work for ISIS.
For a third time in the past 75 years, Munich is being invoked by the neo-cons who oppose the Iraq Nuclear Accord. After two foreign policy catastrophes, they are out to make it three in a row. If the accord is rejected, a calamity of biblical proportions will follow. No one can forecast the consequences, but it is generally agreed they will be dire.
It is time to consign Munich to the dustbin of history. It has no relevance or application in the contemporary world.
J. ROSS MCGINNIS