Mark Steyn: Barack Obama’s Iran Deal Trumps Neville Chamberlain Blunder


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We in the United States who fret, legitimately, about the dumbing down of the populace and the lack of knowledge of history among the “educated” are most concerned that Barack Obama’s surrender to, uh, nuclear arms deal with Iran is history repeating itself.  Bad deals are part of world politics (and baseball, thanks Annie Savoy), and this one is no different, however, the primary comparison is unfair, says one legendary conservative commentator.

As a preface to the quote below from Mark Steyn, back in 1938, a bumbling British Prime Minister by the name of Neville Chamberlain made a Faustian deal with Adolph Hitler in which he ceded a portion of what was then Czechoslovakia to Germany.  That appeasement move proved to be the stepping stone Hitler and his Third Reich needed to begin the invasion of Eastern Europe in their quest for world-wide dominance.  It is widely considered to be one of the worst deals ever made in foreign relations.

“I think actually that’s rather unfair to Neville Chamberlain,” [Mark] Steyn told [Sean] Hannity. “He got the central question of the 1930s wrong, but he was an honorable man who believed he was acting in the interests of his country and the British Empire which he loved.”

“When Churchill became prime minister he kept Chamberlain on and had him chair the War Cabinet in his absence,” Steyn said. “And Churchill wept over Chamberlain’s funeral casket, and claimed he was an honorable man who just happened to be wrong.”

“I don’t think you can say that about Obama. I think what Obama did is significantly worse than what Neville Chamberlain did,” Steyn continued. “I don’t think, in effect, Obama was negotiating on behalf of the United States. I think what happened at these talks is that he and the Iranians were, in a sense, negotiating together to anoint Iran as the regional power in the Middle East and to facilitate Iran’s re-entry — the biggest planetary sponsor of terrorism, to facilitate its re-entry into the global community. That’s what Obama was there doing.”

“I think that’s the other difference between Obama and Chamberlain. The horrors of the — of what Germany did were not known to Neville Chamberlain,” Steyn said. “And in a sense, the appeasers of the 1930s did so because of the horrors of the first World War and the lost generation, and they didn’t want that to happen again. And it’s because we know they got it wrong, that history won’t give us the same opt out card. Because we should have known better because it had happened before.”

Video is available at The Daily Caller.

Chamberlain’s motivations can be debated.  The commenter “sinsofsolorempirefan” on Free Republic, said of Chamberlain’s 1938 deal, “It had more to do with Britain’s military weakness. Chamberlain felt he needed more time to rebuild Britain’s military strength after years of neglect by his predecessors, and when he came home after the Munich agreement worked to bolster Britain’s defences and prepare industry for mass production of armaments. He also introduced peacetime conscription in April 1939 for the first time in British history. He knew war was probably coming, he just knew that Britain wasn’t ready for it at the time. Britain was in a better (though as it turns out, not quite good enough) position to declare war in September 1939 when the Nazis invaded Poland.”  (With the world’s largest navy at the time.  Okay.)

Be that as it may, Barack Obama’s Iran deal DOES lay out the red carpet for Iran’s re-entry in to the world community, and it DOES erase Iran’s fiduciary isolation put into place ten years ago by former Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush John Bolton that froze $150 million in assets which will now be available to the mullahs.  That cash DOES open the floodgates to the possibilities of buying conventional weapons on the open and black markets from anyone who will sell them to Iran.  And it does make very real the possibility of a gigantic game of “keep away” with Iran being able to lob anti-ship missiles at Navy vessels and oil tankers sitting in the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Caspian Sea, and any other body of water serving as a conduit of commerce or military action, never mind shooting aircraft from the sky.  As bad as Chamberlain’s laying down was, that deal was not nearly so full of sinister implications.  In 1938, they didn’t know what Hitler was truly up to or his capabilities.  The world knows what Iran is capable of, and just how much respect they have for international agreements and codes of conduct.  There is no excuse for even sitting down at the negotiating table with them.

When it comes down to it, Barack Obama made a deal with the devil that the rest of us are going to have to live with long after he is gone.  Yes, it is very possible that this is the opening salvo in what will become World War III, and it will be imperative that the west win it.  Again.

Too bad Obama bankrupted us.  We’re going to need to fire up the war machine again with zero cash and less than perfect credit.

Additional perspectives on just how bad this deal is, Ben Stein had some interesting thoughts, and multiple writers at American Thinker have pieces available today.


About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.