“We must not rush to war.” PM Neville Chamberlain, 1938

True enough. But if we help the enemy to get ready and give it time,
war will rush at us. 

Neville Chamberlain

Here is an excellent video about Neville Chamberlain’s “peace process” with Adolph Hitler. It provides details about the thinking of both parties and how it changed during Chamberlain’s three German visits to negotiate with Hitler during the Summer and early Fall of 1938. Although long (1:28:40), it is well worth watching to learn more about what happened and why. That remains important today.

Chamberlain was the youngest son of a prestigious political family and — until he became his family’s first Prime Minister — overshadowed by his father and brother. He needed to do something as Prime Minister to cement his legacy, and personally preventing another big war in Europe was the way he chose to do it. Surely, his powerful intellect and awesome personality could bring success.

During his third German trip to visit Hitler in September of 1938, Chamberlain realized that things were going badly and that his political future and hence his legacy were at stake. He also realized that the only way to achieve his goal was to sacrifice Czechoslovakia and to persuade France to sacrifice her as well — although France was obligated by treaty to assist Czechoslovakia militarily if Germany invaded.

Based on his naive acceptance of Hitler’s claim that he had no further aspirations for conquest in Europe, it seemed a reasonable price for another country, Czechoslovakia, to pay.

Czechoslovakia was informed by Britain and France that it could either resist Nazi Germany alone or submit to the prescribed annexations. The Czechoslovak government, realizing the hopelessness of fighting the Nazis alone, reluctantly capitulated (30 September) and agreed to abide by the agreement. The settlement gave Germany the Sudetenland starting 10 October, and de facto control over the rest of Czechoslovakia as long as Hitler promised to go no further. On 30 September after some rest, Chamberlain went to Hitler and asked him to sign a peace treaty between the United Kingdom and Germany. After Hitler’s interpreter translated it for him, he happily agreed. [Emphasis added.]

On 30 September, upon his return to Britain, Chamberlain delivered his infamous “peace for our time” speech to crowds in London.

. . . .

Though the British and French were pleased, as were the Nazi military and German diplomatic leadership, Hitler was furious. He felt as though he had been forced into acting like a bourgeois politician by his diplomats and generals. He exclaimed furiously soon after the meeting with Chamberlain: “Gentlemen, this has been my first international conference and I can assure you that it will be my last”.[23] Hitler now regarded Chamberlain with utter contempt. A British diplomat in Berlin was informed by reliable sources that Hitler viewed Chamberlain as “an impertinent busybody who spoke the ridiculous jargon of an outmoded democracy. The umbrella, which to the ordinary German was the symbol of peace, was in Hitler’s view only a subject of derision”.[24][context?] Also, Hitler had been heard saying: “If ever that silly old man comes interfering here again with his umbrella, I’ll kick him downstairs and jump on his stomach in front of the photographers.”[23] In one of his public speeches after Munich, Hitler declared: “Thank God we have no umbrella politicians in this country”.[23]

Hitler was furious because he had wanted to take Germany to war immediately, as befitted his great military nation. By signing the Munich documents he had delayed his war, if only briefly. Hitler had also increased his chances of winning when the big war came, as he felt confident it would.

Chamberlain soon had to pay a higher price than Hitler’s derision: his Premiership and whatever honor he may have had. Britain, France and the rest of Europe, as well as the United States following Japan’s “unexpected” attack on Pearl Harbor, had to pay much higher prices. The costs would have been far less — in deaths, injuries, funds, other resources and suffering at home — had Britain or France, even in late 1938, used very little military force to thwart Hitler’s aspirations. It was then the view of many high-ranking German officers that Germany remained unprepared for war. Taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the Munich agreements, Germany continued to prepare for War and was better prepared than Britain and her allies when Germany began the war.

Clinton testifies

But what difference does it make now?

It makes a big difference even now, as Bill Whittle explains in this video.

We do not have a Churchill or anyone even remotely like him. We have instead Lord Obama the Feckless.

Obama Banard College REV

The United States of Obama is now engaged in a “peace process” with Iran with the stated goal of preventing her from constructing and using nukes.

Obama and Iran nukes Iran is no less dangerous now than was Hitler’s Germany in 1938. Nor is she a more reliable “partner for peace.” The United States of Obama and the other members of P5 + 1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council) continue to diddle with Iran while hoping to be able to claim to have brought Peace in Our Time. Meanwhile, Iran continues to improve her missiles capable of delivering nukes to attack Israel as well as parts of the United States and Europe while she continues to pursue her other strategies to become a full nuclear power. She also benefits greatly from funds received through diminished sanctions. Effective sanctions will be very difficult, if not impossible, to restore if

there is no “deal,”

there is a “deal” but Iran violates it,

she continues to pursue her “nuclear weapons for peace” strategy without violating the “deal” “seriously” or

we merely fail to notice what she has done.

Iran is not our only problem in the Middle East. Islam is rampant, dangerous, contagious and now has deep roots well beyond the Middle East. China is not our “friend” and our number of friends continues to decrease as President Obama continues to demonstrate His fecklessness. Nor do China’s efforts to “reclaim” islands in the South China Sea augur well for peace in our time.

Despite such problems, the United States of Obama continues to emasculate our military, as did President Truman’s Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson. It was then done, as it is now done, in favor of more popular social spending.

According to historian Walter LaFeber, Truman was known to approach defense budgetary requests in the abstract, without regard to defense response requirements in the event of conflicts with potential enemies. Truman would begin by subtracting from total receipts the amount needed for domestic needs and recurrent operating costs, with any surplus going to the defense budget for that year.[7] From the beginning, Johnson and Truman assumed that the United States’ monopoly on the atomic bomb was adequate protection against any and all external threats.[7] Johnson’s unwillingness to budget conventional readiness needs for the ArmyNavy, or Marine Corps soon caused fierce controversies within the upper ranks of the armed forces.[8] From fiscal year 1948 onwards, the defense department budget was capped at the amount set in FY 1947 – $14.4 billion, and was progressively reduced in succeeding fiscal years until January 1950, when it was reduced yet again to US $13.5 billion.[9]

President Truman eventually found unacceptable the sorry state into which Secretary Johnson’s actions (on Truman’s behalf) had put the U.S. military, but only after our “unexpected” need to defend an ally, the Republic of Korea, arose when North Korea invaded under the guidance of, and with substantial help from, Joseph Stalin in June of 1950.

U.S. reverses in Korea and the continued priority accorded to European security resulted in rapid, substantive changes in U.S. defense policies, including a long-term expansion of the armed forces and increased emphasis on military assistance to U.S. allies. Preoccupied with public criticism of his handling of the Korean War, and wishing to deflect attention from the peacetime defense economy measures he had previously espoused, Truman decided to ask for Johnson’s resignation. On September 19, 1950, Johnson resigned as Secretary of Defense, and the president quickly replaced him with General George C. Marshall.

Assuming arguendo that Iran does not now have nukes and delivery systems, if and when she gets them will President Obama acknowledge — as President Truman eventually had to do — that He had screwed up and take decisive action to rebuild a fighting military — rather than a politically and ideologically correct multicultural entity — before it becomes too late? Ditto if and when war breaks out with China or another nation?

The flowers of Scotland are dormant at best, if not dead. How about those of the United States of America? Will they revive and bloom again? When? How? Merely hoping for change for the better will not bring it.

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About danmillerinpanama

I was graduated from Yale University in 1963 with a B.A. in economics and from the University of Virginia School of law, where I was the notes editor of the Virginia Law Review in 1966. Following four years of active duty with the Army JAG Corps, with two tours in Korea, I entered private practice in Washington, D.C. specializing in communications law. I retired in 1996 to sail with my wife, Jeanie, on our sailboat Namaste to and in the Caribbean. In 2002, we settled in the Republic of Panama and live in a very rural area up in the mountains. I have contributed to Pajamas Media and Pajamas Tatler. In addition to my own blog, Dan Miller in Panama, I an an editor of Warsclerotic and contribute to China Daily Mail when I have something to write about North Korea.
This entry was posted in al Qaeda, Apathy, Appeasement, Atomic bomb, Bill Whittle, Chamberlain, Churchill, Cult of personality, Department of Defense, Emasculation, England, Foreign policy, Formerly Great Britain, Freedom, Iran, Islamic rage, Korean Conflict, Libruls, Middle East, Military, Muslim Brotherhood, Nuclear weapons, Obama, Obama's America, P5+1, Peace in our time, Peace process, Political Correctness, Unified State of Obama and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to “We must not rush to war.” PM Neville Chamberlain, 1938

  1. Tom Carter says:

    Current efforts to deal with Iran and its potential to build and employ nuclear weapons can only be definitively judged as wise or foolish in the future, depending on outcomes. The same was true of British and French diplomacy vis-a-vis Germany in 1938, although it didn’t take long for their foolishness to become obvious. The significant difference today is the presence of a small but powerful nation, Israel, which is capable of acting unilaterally and will do so whenever it feels that it must. Interesting times.

    Our military capabilities today are not so much a factor of spending more or less dollars as a factor of whether the forces we have are capable of fighting and winning expeditionary wars. That means no more long-term gigafuckups like Iraq and Iran, with almost open-ended, large scale involvements in places like Iraq and Afghanistan without a clear mission. We have to be able to rapidly deploy combined arms forces, kick the requisite asses, and get the hell out. No more huge permanent airbases and minicities with air conditioned buildings, fancy briefing centers, gyms, bowling alleys, McDonald’s, Burger Kings, and large numbers of contractors. The kind of military we have built and continue to build can do that if it’s allowed to focus on training and readiness as opposed to PC social engineering.

    • The significant difference today is the presence of a small but powerful nation, Israel, which is capable of acting unilaterally and will do so whenever it feels that it must. Interesting times.

      I hope, and suspect that you are right, despite the widespread condemnation she would have to endure from “the world community” — which she already receives in great abundance.

      The kind of military we have built and continue to build can do that if it’s allowed to focus on training and readiness as opposed to PC social engineering [Emphasis added.].

      What do you think might be the likelihood of that?

      • Tom Carter says:

        There’s not much likelihood of positive change until after January 20, 2017. Then we’ll see. Despite everything, we’re still capable of taking on and defeating any other military force in the world on a man-to-man basis and often on an outnumbered basis. However, we can deteriorate to a level that might raise questions. The erosion is in progress.

  2. NEO says:

    The thing is, Chamberlin, bad as he was, did work quite hard after Munich on rearming the country, if he hadn’t Churchill would have been in a bad fix. Making swords into Chevy Volts, while hiding one’s head in the sand is a somewhat different proposition, I fear.

  3. Pingback: The US President’s foreign policy leaves Ukraine’s chocolate king in a box |

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