What Munich means

What Munich means

by digby

If a deal with Iran is struck, we will inevitably start to hear shrieking from the right wing about "Munich." Paul Waldman does a great job of unpacking what that's all about for those who might not be perfectly aware of the sub-text:
Many of us roll our eyes and poke fun at endless Hitler analogies, but in this case their use is extremely revealing. If you believe that the negotiations with Iran are the equivalent of those in Munich in 1938, what you're basically saying is that war with Iran is inevitable, so we might as well get started on it right away. After all, it isn't as though, had Chamberlain left Munich without an agreement, Hitler would have retired and gone back to painting. The whole point of the "appeasement" argument is that the enemy cannot be appeased from his expansionist aims, and the only choice is to wage war.

That's what Iran hawks are arguing: We shouldn't pussyfoot around trying to find a diplomatic solution to this problem when there's going to be a war no matter what.

Let's be clear here though. They also want there to be a war no matter what. Iran has been a thorn in the hawks' sides since 1979. Also too: oil, Israel, all the rest. If you could sit down with a bunch of these guys over bourbon and cigars the end game would likely be occupation for the entire middle east. (After all, John McCain said outright that he'd be happy if we stayed in Iraq for a hundred years.)

The misplaced WWII analogies all stem from the notion that America single-handedly won the war (not true) and that our occupation after the war, which continues in some respects even today with military bases stationed all over Europe, is something that can and should be replicated in other areas where it's our job to keep a lid on bad things happening. (In other words, the entire world.) Despite all the lessons of the post war world they have have questioned the desirability of a world in which all this is our responsibility. Even worse, they've never grappled with the clear fact that we are not capable of doing this. WWII did not prove the American military to be populated with comic book heroes with supernatural powers who swept in and mowed down the enemy. That's Hollywood it's not reality. And in any case, it should be the very last thing on earth anyone should ever want to repeat. It was a horror of epic proportions.

But the dreams of All American omnipotence and glory are hardwired into the right and very strong in the culture at large. And it's dangerous as hell. Everyone should want to negotiate peace as the default position. If there's anything on earth that should be avoided unless there is absolutely no other choice, it's war. You'd think that would be common sense but this rather silly belief in America's godlike military power is leading a whole lot of people to take us into some very dangerous territory.