Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 8-Sep-2013
8-Sep-13 World View -- Would America not defend Israel after all?

Web Log - September, 2013

8-Sep-13 World View -- Would America not defend Israel after all?

John Kerry: 'This is our Munich Moment'

This morning's key headlines from

John Kerry: 'This is our Munich Moment'

On Saturday in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the world was facing a "Munich moment," referring to Neville Chamberlain's 1938 meeting with Adolf Hitler, and returned to London brandishing an agreement with Hitler for "Peace in our time":

"This is our Munich moment.

We in the United States know, and our French partners know, that this is not the time to be silent spectators to slaughter.

This is the time to pursue a targeted and limited but clear and effective response that holds dictators like Bashar Assad responsible for the atrocities which they commit.

This is not the time to allow a dictator unfettered use of some of the most heinous weapons on earth."

President Barack Obama also referred to the lead-up to World War II when he said that not coming to Britain's aid was not the right thing to do:

"I'm not drawing an analogy to World War II other than to say that when London was getting bombed, it was profoundly unpopular, both in congress and around the country to help the British. Doesn't mean it wasn't the right thing to do."

Both Kerry and Obama were, in fact, drawing analogies to WW II. Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement toward Hitler was extremely popular, but was later recognized as historically disastrous, as Britain was in full-scale war the following year. When I was growing up in the 1950s, my school teachers all vilified Chamberlain for his appeasement of Hitler. And Obama makes the point that, just as Chamberlain's appeasement policy was extremely popular, any American plan to aid Britain as London was being bombed by the Nazis was extremely UNpopular. It was only after Pearl Harbor was bombed that helping Britain became acceptable to the American public.

I've written about so many truly astonishing things that have happened in the last ten years, and this situation has got to be among the two or three most astonishing. It literally takes my breath away.

On the one hand, you have President Obama, who spent 20 years in avid adoration of his mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose theme was "God Damn America! God Damn America!", but who was elected president on a surge of popularity because of his hatred of President George Bush.

On the other hand, you have John Kerry, who testified before the Senate in 1971 that America's soldiers were a bad as Nazis, and who reaffirmed his 1971 statements in 2006, at the same time he was saying that any American soldier who ended up in Iraq was stupid. Obama appointed Kerry as Secretary of State because they shared the same views about America.

So you have two people, the epitome of anti-Americanism and the hatred of American values, who have suddenly done a 180 degree turnabout and adopted the most American of pro-World War II values, that it's America's responsibility as Policemen of the World to protect human life and alleviate suffering, even if it means using military force, especially when doing so might prevent a wider war. If these two have been botching foreign policy, it's because they've been at war with themselves.

But that's only half of the astonishment.

The other half is that we are, in fact, reliving the late 1930s, a "Munich moment," a time when appeasement is suddenly extremely popular, and a willingness to help people suffering horrific deaths is extremely unpopular. And the history of the 1930s tells us that such appeasement leads to war.

Some people have written to me to complain that al-Assad is no Hitler, and this time it's different because al-Assad isn't annexing territory as Hitler was doing.

But that's wallowing in details and not looking at the big picture. What Hitler and al-Assad have in common is committing psychopathic atrocities on a large scale, treating the international community contemptuously, and openly driving the region and the world to a major war.

And what's Russian president Vladimir Putin's role in all this? Putin has already used military force to annex parts of Georgia, and other regions in the Caucasus and in central Asia are being threatened. Even if al-Assad alone isn't annexing territory, his ally Putin is, and if Putin were contemplating any way to gain control of Syria, we'd have no way of knowing it until it happened.

Forces gathering momentum in the Mideast

There are powerful forces gathering momentum across the world, converging on Syria -- Sunni jihadists from Pakistan to Nigeria to Dagestan are going to fight in Syria. Shia jihadists from Iran and Hezbollah are going to fight in Syria. Russia is pouring advanced weapons into Syria. Millions of refugees are pouring out of Syria into neighboring countries. The entire Sunni/Shia and Arab/Jew fault lines are inflamed throughout the Mideast.

And in the middle of all this, the psychopath Bashar al-Assad shocks the entire world by perpetrating a horrific chemical weapons attack, and the psychopath Vladimir Putin helps him.

As I've said in the past, it's my opinion that Syria has already passed a tipping point, headed for a major conflict that will engulf the entire region. That's going to happen no matter what the U.S. does. Furthermore, the U.S. will be drawn into this conflict sooner or later.

So that's the context in which a decision has to be made whether to strike at Syria, in one form or another. If we do nothing -- if we "appease" al-Assad, and allow him to use chemical weapons freely with no restrictions -- if we "appease" Putin, and allow him unrestricted use of Russian weapons and military -- will we be drawn into a larger war? Based on my understanding of history, there's no doubt in my mind that we will, and that the West will be blamed for appeasement.

In fact, I believe that the last two years have proven that. America has been appeasing al-Assad for two years, ignoring his psychopathic attacks on his own people, and the result has been disastrous for the region, getting worse every day.

So what if we do take some military action? Two years ago, that would have been extremely effective. But what about today? Will that immediately trigger a larger war? I don't believe so. Despite all the bluster, Russia will not launch a strike at American assets. Iran and Hezbollah are both in generational Awakening eras, and they won't be triggered into a major war, in my opinion. Most of the threats of war from Iran and Hezbollah are just posturing. I don't want to underestimate the threat of a terrorist act on an American embassy or other American or Israeli asset, but that threat always exists no matter what we do. And I do believe that America showing some strength instead of ceaseless dithering and confusion can have some deterrent effect, as it has had for decades, and may even curtail al-Assad's use of chemical weapons for a while.

So is appeasement of the psychopaths al-Assad and Putin the right or wrong policy? There are too many unknowns to reach a conclusion, the worst unknown being that neither Obama nor Kerry has a clue what's going on in the world, and are completely rudderless. As I've said, the Mideast is headed for a major war along numerous fault lines -- Sunni versus Shia, Arab versus Jew, Arab versus Arab (Saudi Arabia versus Qatar), just to name a few. As we continue to relive the late 1930s, the only thing we can be sure of is that we're headed for the worst world war in the world's history. And all we can do is hope the country survives. BBC and Irish Independent

Would America not defend Israel after all?

Since WW II, we've signed mutual defense treaties with numerous countries, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand (ANZUS treaty), the Philippines, Israel, Europe, Iceland, and others.

President Obama made the point, quoted above, that when our close ally, Britain, was being brutally bombed by the Nazis, it was extremely unpopular for America even to consider helping our close ally, and so we didn't.

So are any of the treaties we've signed worth the paper they were written on? If Israel, or the Philippines, or Japan, or any other country with whom we have a treaty were attacked and asked for our help, would providing that help be so unpopular with the American people, that America would be completely paralyzed?

Here's a quotation of unknown origin that I heard today on the BBC: "Peace is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading."

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 8-Sep-13 World View -- Would America not defend Israel after all? thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (8-Sep-2013) Permanent Link
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