Events cascade. In September 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Accord, giving German-speaking Czechoslovakia to Germany. There were no shots fired, Germans swept in, and an appeasing Western leader bowed out and declared “peace for our time.” Not healthy, he was soon dead.
Western weakness obvious, Germany’s military ready, seeing opportunity and possessed of ideological purity, indifferent to ignominy, the Nazis – ruthless, unapologetic – took free Poland within the year.
From there, they took Europe, until – at length, owing to American resolve and friendship between Chamberlain’s successor, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt – everything changed. A second major foe in the Far East attacked. America stood up, and from that moment, the die was cast.
Here we are again. The ideological foe is not fascism but an uneasy alliance between the world’s largest autocracy and biggest Communist nation. The immediate protagonist is a belligerent on Ukraine’s border. The long game is not just Russian-speaking Ukraine but toppling NATO, empowering China.
The cascading effect is, again, predictable. If Russia’s incipient action in Ukraine is ignored or weakly condemned, the appeasing Western leader – President Biden – will say he avoided war. At what cost? He will mutter, mumble, bluff, and events will cascade.
North of Ukraine, in NATO allies Lithuania, Latvia, and again Poland – there will be fear because the US is weak. Biden ran from Afghanistan, terrorized by Taliban shadows. The world knows it. No excuses boasts, or rhetoric can cover the shame and condemnation from American allies.
In the Far East, as in the early 1940s, a hard-bitten, militaristic, ideologically motivated adversary will take heart, seeing room to spread Communism’s shadow, grab land. What was a worry over artificial islands and Hong Kong will become appalling, direct threats on Taiwan and surrounding allies.
All this goes to one source: A combination of profound mismanagement, ideological disarray in the Democrat Party, character weakness in the Biden White House, running from conflict. Afoot is public corruption and arrogance, ignorance of basic diplomacy and security princ9iples, ideological flirtation with socialism. On top of all that, America’s allies and adversaries see a tottering, unhealthy president.
Less than six months after Chamberlain signed the Munich Accord, he was dead. A weak leader has not the capacity to credibly confront threats like Hitler, Putin, or Xi. Not long after the post-war Yalta conference, in which sickly FDR tottered and ceded Eastern Europe to Communism, he was dead.
What does all this tell us – relevant for today? Wars are sometimes predictable and preventable. Credibility is central to the process of preventing wars, like deterring crime. Without belief that the consequence is real, without fear of a swift, meaningful call to account, the belligerents will act.
When one does, others follow. When little blowback is expected, appeasement goes straight to aggression. More nations, kinds of freedom, and humanity are sacrificed. If Biden and Democrats do not sit up, understand history’s power, danger in ignoring it, intentions of Russia and China, war will follow.
As night follows day, weakness invites aggression. As values are tested and leaders falter, equivocate, misspeak, wobble, and waver, darkness extinguishes the light. There is time to stop this ominous, approaching era of aggression, autocratic and Communist opportunism, but sand is low in the glass—events cascade.
We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...
Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.Donate Now