Posts Tagged ‘Munich’


March 16, 2014

No, it’s not 1938, because in 1938, Britain and France confronted the fascist dictators, without their, then, ingrate progeny, the USA.

Yes, it’s 1938 in all other ways: Russian dictator Putin has instigated a combination of vicious alarm, demented propaganda, false justifications, brutal invasions, referenda with transparent boxes, and annexations, seasoned with total contempt for international law, that is very similar to what German dictator Hitler pursued in 1938.

In 1938, the (so called) democracies did not act perfectly: the Nazis could have been terminated without the carnage of 3% of the world population killed by the war that followed. Indeed the top German generals had asked Britain and the USA to help by declaring that they would adopt the same tough line as France.

Not only the Anglo-Americans leaders declined to do so, but, instead, they betrayed the trust the German generals had put in them, by denouncing them, his subordinates, to Hitler. (Don’t be surprised if standard historians, well fed by their plutocratic universities, are careful to never mention this fact; I should make a list of the 100 most inconvenient and never mentioned facts of WWII.)

Just as in 1938, the democracies do not know what to do, in 2014, because they are still in a placid state in which they fear war more than anything else, and the invading dictator knows this. That makes the corrective action that the democracies need to take, obvious.

The aim of this essay is to show how to avoid more of a parallel between 2014 and 1938 than we have already achieved.  This is not easy, because the exact same psychological dynamics are in place in 2014, as in 1938. Placidity encouraging ferocity, ever more.

The fascist instinct has taken over a great power, once again.

I did not acquire this opinion in the last 5 weeks: my From Russia With Hate, nearly 6 years old, saw the present Russian war hysteria coming.

March 1938: The Nazis want to annex Austria. Austrians don’t really want this. Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg calls a vote March 13. Nazis are angry: what if Austrians voted against the Anschluss?  March 10, Schuschnigg is forced to resign, and is replaced by a Nazi, while Hitler’s divisions enter the country “at its invitation”. The Austrian army surrenders.

April 10: the Nazis organize referenda in Austria and Germany to approve the annexation. They win by 99.7% and 99.08%, respectively. (Notice the resemblance with Crimea’s 97%.)

That’s what Goebbels, laughing, called “Total Democracy”.

Correctly, the Western powers have declared that Putin’s referendum in Crimea, organized in similar circumstances, after a military occupation, to be null.

At this point, in April 1938, having got away with something enormous (the invasion of a country), without having fired a shot, Hitler underwent a neurohormonal change, and started to feel that he could get away with anything. He had to show that he could bend the world to his will (lest his generals assassinate him, which they tried to do repeatedly, for years, with remarkable bad luck.)

Similarly, Putin has to show his generals and plutocrats, that he, and he alone, can get away with anything.

Unsurprisingly, then, Hitler declared that the Sudeten Germans inside Czechoslovakia were also an oppressed minority and needed to be protected inside Greater Germany. Czechoslovakia, a Slavic nation with its own language, just delivered from a long German oppressive occupation by the Versailles Treaty of 1919, was determined to fight. Its protector was mighty France.

However, France had three problems, in this order: Washington, London, and Berlin. (See note)

The first error of democracy in 1938: the USA was collaborating with Hitler rather than with France and Britain. (See note on USA duplicity) OK, with its racial oppression of people of color, the USA was not a fully representative democracy, and many of its racist leaders could only be sympathetic to the racist Nazis (in particular, the U.S. Army was segregated and “inter-racial” marriages outlawed in many states).

In any case, in 1938, officially in the interest of peace, the British Kingdom and the French Republic persuaded the Czechs NOT to defend themselves against Hitler. Big mistake. When France was invaded in May 1940, half of the Wehrmacht’s tanks were Czech (they had been seized by the Nazis, or produced meanwhile, in Czechoslovakia).

First lesson: A successful invasion makes the invader stronger. Hitler became ever stronger by invading ever more. In such a case, the earlier the war, the better. At this point some in Russia still doubt Putin’s wisdom. The more Putin invades without firing a shot, the more devotees he will have.

Let’s not tell the Ukrainians NOT to defend themselves violently from the Kremlin’s maniacal dwarf.

Maniacal? Putin’s main idea is that the disappearance of “the USSR was the Twentieth Century greatest tragedy”.  (Even Hitler did not dare say something that stupid, such as the disappearance of the Second Reich was the Twentieth Century greatest tragedy.)

Hitler’s argument for the annexation of the Sudeten was that there were three million Sudeten German in Czechoslovakia, and they wanted to live in Fatherland Germany (OK, he used “Vaterland”). Never mind that there was no free media in Germany to present another discourse.

His true reason was that Hitler wanted to invade all of Czechoslovakia, and re-establish Germany as the master of Eastern Europe.

Putin’s argument is that there are two millions in Crimea, and they want to live within Mother Russia. Never mind that there is no free media in Russia, or that this will-to-Russia is actually fundamentally racist.

Putin’s true reason is that Putin wants to invade all of Ukraine (the detailed preparations for the annexation are known).

Second Lesson: When a dictator’s has tipped into the Dark Side, expect the worst. That’s the wise thing to do. Putting one’s head in the sand to protect one’s neck is naïve.

Hitler was superficially correct, about the Sudeten: the Germans there were really German, they happened to be living where the natural, mountainous border of Czechoslovakia was.

Putin is obviously wrong: 40% of Crimea is made of people who fear Putin and his kind. 12% of Crimea is made of Tatars who sneaked back, as survivors of Stalin’s genocide on 1944. They do not have tender memories of their assassins.

The Czechs had excellent fortifications. They could have defended themselves at a cost higher than the Nazis could have paid.  (See Note on fortifications.)

The Czechs fortifications were nearly as good as the French Maginot line. That was breached nowhere (and caused huge losses to the Mussolini’s fascists army in the Alps.)

The British were understandably afraid to confront Hitler in 1938: they had only a few divisions, and no modern air force. In appearance, the French were ready militarily, but did not look forward another world war, after getting several millions killed or mutilated in the First World War. (See military and strategic notes).

There was a military problem: what was the French army exactly supposed to do if Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia? The French army faced the “West Wall” (= Siegfried Line). Thanks to their enemies in Washington and London, the French had been prevented to establish their military frontier on the Rhine in 1919.

In 1944-45, the Allies, with a combat-experienced, five million men army, facing no more than 50 small German divisions, would take 6 months to break through the Siegfried line, although the democracies had air supremacy, and much more of everything than the Nazis (who were reduced to diluting their explosives, and make their mines to wound rather than kill).

So the 45 French divisions that squeezed in a very small front in September 1939 could not make a decisive attack.

Similarly, it has been said that it would be folly to oppose Putin militarily. The same was said when Hitler invaded the Rhineland, or Spain, in 1936.

The French Prime Minister had no illusion in 1938. As he stepped from his plane, he was applauded for having preserved peace at the Munich Conference. He muttered: ”Les pauvres, s’ils savaient.” (“Poor little ones, if they only knew.”)

What the French PM knew was that Hitler had crossed a psychological Rubicon, a tipping point signaling the collapse into the Dark Side. Hitler had changed to a different neurohormonal regime, where dominance is exerted in a lethal way. Hitler had decided that the Franco-British could not do a thing, and were unwilling to impose their will. (Hitler knew also that his allies in the USA would insure on-going collaboration with the corporations of the USA.)

Similarly, Putin has decided that Obama is weak. Certainly someone who needs a teleprompter to speak is no strong in his head. It is as if he advertises that he is a puppet, reading what his masters wrote

Certainly Putin noticed this. And who are Obama’s masters? Plutocrats, the very people Putin barks orders to. Thus, in this dog eats dog hierarchy, Putin is top dog, Putin noticed.

Hitler went through the same exact logic… Except he failed to notice that the power of the American plutocrats who had made him, and enticed him, rested on a nation-continent, the USA, the power and nastiness of which he grotesquely underestimated.

Similarly, Putin even more grotesquely underestimate the power of the USA and the European Union, combined.

On March 22, 1939, Hitler annexed much of Lithuania. The Germanoid mobs were hysterical with nationalistic bigotry. The West was tolerant of this madness… Not realizing for a moment that it meant the minorities therein would be hated with as much folly.  True, German speaking people were in a majority, but they had clearly sunk into the deepest evil.

On February 22, 1938, PM Chamberlain had admitted to the British Parliament: ”We must not give false hopes to small states by promising them the protection of Society of Nations (SDN, ancestor to the UN undermined by the USA) because we know nothing of the sort can be done.”

After annexing part of Lithuania, 1939, Hitler crossed a new step in his neurocognitive degeneracy. He said in a discourse, on March 23: “We don’t want to hurt anybody, but it was necessary to put an end to the suffering that the world imposed on the Germans in the last twenty years… From now on the Germans from Memel are part of the Reich… Even if the rest of the world does not like it.”

The glory and might of Hitler was at its apogee. The world trembled in front of Nazi Germany. All of Hitler’s annexations had happened without a shot fired. Was not Hitler a genius? A liberator? Who could deny his love of the Vaterland?

Six years later to the day, one German out of ten was already dead. Millions more would die. Entire German cities had been wiped out. Territories that had been German for 7 centuries were lost forever. Nazi Germany had become synonymous to infamy.

Same story, potentially, now.

A difference, though: we know history, and are keen not to repeat the same mass neurohormonal disaster in the same way. The time to stop the vengeful Russian mind-set is now.

Hyper nationalistic Russians are explaining the degeneracy of their homeland (a place with no free press) by twenty years of Russian suffering imposed by the world, invented just the same as the twenty years of German suffering that Hitler had invented by 1938.

Retrospectively, the Franco-British plea to the Czechs to accede to Hitler’s demand has been seen as an enormous mistake. “Munich” for years was the butt of jokes. It is time to remember this.

What could have stopped Hitler? His generals told us: only the knowledge, among his most serious supporters, that a catastrophic war was in Germany’s future, if Germany kept the same leadership.

What is the solution that this allows us to draw with Putin? Putin heads a coterie of plutocrats, many of whom will pay a heavy price if the West goes to war.

Those who support Putin have to understand that the West will go to war if Putin stays in power. And the time is now. Not in a month or two, after Putin has annexed more territory.

Let’s not forget that the hyper nationalistic drive in Crimea, just as in annexed German majority areas in the 1930s is oriented against minorities. Then non-German, now non-Russian. Basically Russians want to kill Tatars, same as in 1944.

Human rights, and civilization need a credible military threat. A threat that the people who support Putin believe. A threat that their world will die. As simple as that.

That should start with sanctions that hurt… the West. The USA ought to immediately lift their embargo on gas and oil to the Europe Union, and the Europeans should turn off all the trade to Putin. For starters. Also discrete but efficient military equipment ought to be sent to the Ukrainian army.

As it is obvious that, if undeterred, Putin will invade the rest of Ukraine just as his mentors Stalin and Hitler used to annex, invade and deport. Putin, just like Hitler, will lose when shooting starts.

Patrice Aymé


1)      USA duplicity note: in 1938, France and Britain alone confronted Hitler, Japan, Italy, and Stalin knowing full well that, as in World War One, in 1914-1917, the USA were keener to exploit the situation for its own profit, to start with. A proof of duplicity: Roosevelt replaced the anti-Nazi ambassador, Dodd, by a pro-Nazi.

2)      Note on fortifications: In 1940, the Nazi army, going through Luxembourg, hit the French fortifications at their thinnest, thanks to intelligence provided by the Prince of Wales; however, the Nazis suffered huge losses crossing the Meuse, had to use suicidal charges, and nearly gave up.

3)      Military Note-unpreparedness of Britain: Britain had no army, and no air force; it was rushing flat out to build itself a modern air force, but it won’t be ready for another two years; same for some armor.

4)      Strategic note: The enormous sacrifice of 1914-1918 had saved France and the French Republic. However France had not recovered the natural borders of France on the Rhine, which had grievous military consequences, both in 1914 and 1940. Even worse: Anglo-American interference had lined up on the side of re-nascent German fascism after 1918, entangled with Wall Street and USA corporations. Hence the lack of enthusiasm of the French to die for the same racket.

Victimization Is Instinctive

February 1, 2014

Collaboration With Victimization: A Sin To Ruin Civilization.

Victimization is a powerful instinct that encourages masters to become ever more abusive. All masters have it. All those who submit to it, encourage it some more.

Thus victimhood is another drawback of a society with masters and servants, as victimization tends to make it ever more so.

Where does the Dark Side, this gift that enables us, come from? From a set of evolved behaviors that our brains naturally engaged in, from the very way they are. Those behaviors were fruitful in the last thirty million years or so. They enabled our uppity primate ancestors, in their quest for the conquest of everything.

We grew, and changed as a genus, into what we are.

White House Resident Obama says all the time “it’s not what we are” after describing how the USA are. He is living in total denial, so his presidency has consisted into crawling modestly at the feet of great plutocrats, and accomplishing nothing. Why? Because beggars, supplicants and victims, per their nature, accomplish little, except for living in denial. They instinctively resign themselves to be emergency food supply, and finding consolation that way.

(An animal being devoured, flooded with endorphins, does not suffer that much, thus allowing the predator to not suffer an  injury. Injuring a predator is ecologically disruptive!)

Victimhood, and thus impotency, has been the defining characteristic, and great advantage, of Christianity, with its tortured hero hanging from nails, pathetically moaning. That’s why Roman emperors loved to give birth to Christianity, to victimize the population some more.

The end result of all this victimization and victimhood glorified: the quasi-collapse of civilization until the “Franks”took over. That “Frank” meant “Ferocious” (and thus free) is no coincidence: the Franks were the exact opposite, and opponents, of victimhood. As Consul, King and Imperator Clovis pointed out, “if my Franks had been there, this would not have happened”. By “this” he meant all this pathetic moaning on a cross. The Franks did not recognize victimhood as a valid moral posture, that’s why they were able to restart civilization.

Real philosophers are more interested by what we are, than in denying who we are, Obama style.

Instead of claiming that there are no waves on that beach, when periodically a wall of water sweeps ashore, learn to surf them. So goes wisdom.

We are predators, the most efficient predators that ever were. In practice that means our species, for at least 2 million years ate, dominated and killed whatever was in the way. And that did not happen by accident, but by will, and because such is our good pleasure. We got the psychology to kill and dominate.

This domination became total during the Neolithic. Before the Neolithic, in the Middle Earth as anywhere else, lions (or lion like) species were the most numerous (and thus massive, literally) species. Humans exterminated the lions from all the places suitable for rising cattle, and, so doing, as cattle exhale prodigious quantities of methane, modified the climate, avoiding a little re-glaciation.

Thus the concept of “Anthropocene” (the geological age of man) is entirely justified, and we entered it more than 10,000 years ago.

The first megafauna to disappear was that of Australia, when it was invaded by Homo Sapiens hybridized with Denisovans.

In general what does a predator do? Kill. Kill what? Preferably the weak, the sick, the dumb. Most predators engage in a period of observation of the potential prey to determine who the weak are. Predators chose their prey among those who look like the best victims, they are attracted by victims, excited by victimhood. This is a very strong “instinct”… There is a pulsion, even among a simple an animal as a shark, to focus aggression on victims.

That instinct of victimization is no doubt present in humans. That does not mean that it’s simply a sin, something to bemoan, and claim loudly on rooftops that will have nothing to do with it. One may as well bemoan the weather and rain. Because one has no control of it, and, however disagreeable on the moment, it is also a good thing.

What it means is that any system of thought or mood that brandishes victimhood and martyrdom as if it were sainthood is accomplice to aggression. Including, of course, non-violence made into a religion.

Nietzsche perceived this, somewhat confusedly, and riled against victimhood as a religion.

Non-violence (and hate of the British) made Gandhi a self-declared friend of Hitler. This is no anecdote, and it’s no ancient history: Gandhi’s attitude led to the partition of India, and thus a threat of nuclear war (and thus the obstinate desire of Obama to stay in Afghanistan to keep on messing up with Pakistan!).

Now it is increasingly perceived that the Munich conference of 1938 and the Yalta conference of 1945 encouraged Hitler (with the first one) and Stalin. Both Munich and Yalta showed Stalin that, the more a dictator ordered the West imperiously, the more he got.

At Munich and Yalta, leading democracies started to behave like trembling victims, and that excited the predators.

In neither case that was justified: in 1938, the French and Czech armies could have held off the Nazis, while Britain rearmed. At Yalta, the Western Allies, had under their command 16 million soldiers (to Stalin’s 600 divisions). But both Churchill and Roosevelt were weak and close to death. Having excluded the fierce and dashing De Gaulle, who would have no doubt stiffened their spine, was a huge mistake.

(General De Gaulle, heading the hastily constituted French Fourth Heavy Armored division, nearly cut-off the Panzer army in May 1940, and nearly killed the entire Nazi Panzer command, including its chief Gen. Guderian… So De Gaulle was a real combatant, differently from Churchill and FDR. I recognize this, although I don’t like him.)

Except of course, Munich and Yalta were not really a mistakes, from the plutocratic point of view. Whatever weakens democracy is good to plutocracy, so Munich and Yalta were irreplaceable. Indeed, to this day, Russia is an unabashed plutocracy headed by a KGB agent, a spiritual son of Stalin. (And, early on, American plutocrats financed, advised and helped not just Lenin, but also Stalin… However counter-intuitive that is.)

A more recent example? Abe is the Prime Minister of Japan. He, somewhat rabidly, honors World War Two mass murdering criminals of the worst kind (the kind entangled with the worst infamy).

What should the West do? Acting as it has been doing, like a trembling victim again? Chosing the path to victimhood again?

Or lodge a formal protest and withdraw Western ambassadors from Japan for “consultation“? Of course the latter. Japs who have learned nothing important, are apparently still around, calling holocausts they conducted before, heroic, while worshipping the worst souls known to man.

(Japan killed more than 35 million citizens of other countries in World War II, most of them civilians, while losing only two millions or so, most of them soldiers in the Japanese army, from disease. Crying oversized crocodile tears about Hiroshima and Nagasaki won’t change that reality.)

Those Japs have to learn civilization is their master, and it has a sword, and even a few nukes, and the will to use them. At the first clear occasion. Playing trembling victims excusing themselves with Japan at this point would be an exact repeat of what happened in the past: encouraging victimization by behaving like victims.

The plutocrats that led Japan until 1945 were morally identical to the Nazis, albeit with even fewer excuses, and the fact that the Japanese government still does not get that basic monstrosity in 2014 is more than alarming: it turns civilization again into a trembling victim. Again.

Victimhood is no strategy in the defense of civilization. It only invites predation on civilization. And that is also true with all and any inexcusable drift towards the Dark Side (Obama, his drones, and his NSA being another obvious inexcusable drift).

Martyrdom and victimhood are deeply inhuman. They behoove not who we are and how we evolved into the crown of creation.

Patrice Ayme’


October 24, 2008


For decades, the USA has refused to talk to Iran. The USA was upset that its toy had acquired a life of its own. The USA asked France, Britain and Germany to talk in its stead. Interestingly, the same trio was at Munich, having a serious disagreement, and the USA then, already, was out there, sitting it out, refusing to get involved. As it turned out, the USA waited long enough, not talking to the Nazis as a government, for the situation to rot so much that it produced a lot of delicious carrion the USA has feasted on ever since.

Now, the three big European democracies are united, and talk to Iran, trying to reason with it. And the USA  is back in the same game, of making a big show of not talking to the miscreant that causes the problem. One may only wonder if this absence of American expression  is not also because the USA wants the situation to rot again. Last time, for the Second World War, it worked pretty well, as far as the USA was concerned. But that is, of course, a very dangerous game to play, for the entire planet.

The Second World War killed more than 72 million people and would certainly not have happened, or would not have happened the way it did, if the USA had been involved in a timely manner, instead of waiting until Japan and then Hitler decided to get the USA into the war!

American strategists may believe that the USA is still an island, and that is correct. But it’s now within easy reach of enemies, and not just of a rag tag group of fanatical cave dwellers.

We will presently demonstrate why it is that the USA should join its European Allies, and talk to Iran directly, as Obama has proposed.

Some have objected that talking is a symptom of weakness, as if to be mute was a manifestation of strength… Although they wrap themselves in the robes of history to make their point, history is not about fashion, or wrapping, or warping, but about what really happened.

Opponents of talking to Iran often brandish the talks of France and Great Britain with Hitler and Mussolini in Munich in 1938 as the epitome of the pitfall of talking. Before going any further, let’s reiterate that the greatest problem with Munich was that the USA WAS NOT IN MUNICH. If Roosevelt had been talking to Hitler directly in Munich, by the side of France and Britain, things would have turned out completely differently.

For starters, the USA would have had to choose sides: Mr. Uncle Sam, do you side with democratic, republican, enlightened France as she bares her breasts and rises the old Red, White and Blue to defend humankind against the old fascist scourge? Or, Mr. Uncle Sam, do you keep on doing business with the Nazis, as your corporations and plutocrats, and Wall Street have been doing intensely ? (This sort of trading with the enemy carries to this day, since several major US corporations have been doing big business with the Ayatollahs.)

We of course do not doubt that the USA would have chosen France, to side with, because not only France is the Ally and Friend of the USA since ever, but she is also the national Parent of the USA, and its philosophical Parent, since the empire of the Franks is where Western Civilization started (and, among other Western nations, even the England of the Magna Carta and Parliament started; the Franks even started Aragon, that is Spain, and created Western Europe, as one State of Law and empire ~ 800CE). 

So, when push came to shove, the USA would have chosen its roots rather than its bloody, greedy, racist, fascist plutocrats, the ones working with Hitler, (and the descendants of whom bug us to this day while presiding to our destinies!). 

Thus comforted by Uncle Sam, France would have been ready to go to war at Munich, and Hitler would have known it. The USA may have had a tiny army (around 150,000 men, whereas the French army, with the reserves, was six (6) million), but everybody knew the USA was the top industrial and economic power in the world. Opening the floodgates of US help to France would have invited an immediate repeat of WWI, namely the capitulation of the fascist Germanoid State. 

If Hitler had seen the USA backing France (instead of backing Nazism), he would have known that France was going to attack. Then he would have backed off, losing prestige, or persisted, risking Germany. In either case, the aristocratic German and Prussian generals, already exasperated and deeply worried by the ignorant little corporal of dubious and certainly non-German pedigree, would have made a coup. The generals knew well Germany did not have a chance, and, besides, hated Hitler. (Soon they were plotting to shoot him in the face.)

Conversely, as it was, France went to Munich with a much greater force than Hitler’s, but the label of “enemy belligerent”, that Uncle Sam had perfidiously plastered on her, weighed heavily on her conscience, and undermined her determination. Fighting Nazism was one thing. Fighting the USA was not a moral option; fighting one’s progeny, France had done with England, and it lasted five bloody useless centuries, France had no desire to repeat the performance with her unruly and inexperienced child across the pond.

The fact that Britain had fully converted to the anti-Nazi cause only six months before, and had no army, and no air force, did not help much either. France remembered fighting completely alone (besides the courageous help from the tiny Belgian army) in the first crucial weeks of the First World War against the entire German army, an immense Teutonic juggernaut, massed in a multi million men monster. France was not looking forward to a repeat performance. (French dead and seriously wounded in the First World War had exceeded six million, more than 15% of the population.)

Munich has long been equated to “raising the white flag”. Such a naive, but traditional “wisdom” denotes a superficial knowledge of history, infused with enough erroneous data to reach handily completely erroneous conclusions. To believe one has “wisdom” when one has no knowledge, and one just repeats what one has heard other parrots say, that’s hubris.

True, PM Chamberlain came back and notoriously claimed:” Peace in our time”. But at the same time, Chamberlain was spending enormously on fighters and bombers, so much so that Britain was able to out-gun the Nazis in the skies, not only above England, but also above Germany herself. Meanwhile, PM Daladier, Chamberlain’s French colleague, arriving at his own airport, under thunderous applause, said: “Les pauvres, s’ils savaient!” (“Poor devils, if they only knew!”). Thus, Chamberlain and Daladier tried to make Hitler believe they were playing along, when in truth they were preparing for a world war. 

It is true that in Czechoslovakia, the Munich accords came to be known as a “dictate”, or a “betrayal” (they thoroughly violated the military defense treaty between France and Czechoslovakia). Although France had partially mobilized, it forced Czechoslovakia to surrender to Hitler its Sudetenland territory that had a majority of Germans. (Czechoslovakia sticks smack inside the core of Germany, an obvious irritation before the EU; the Sudeten Germans were expelled after WWII.)

In truth, though, Munich was an indispensable preliminary to the Second World War. If nothing else, it gave time for Britain to mass produce enough of a brand new, superior air force. (Churchill hysterically agitated to mass produce real quick an obsolete air force; wisely, Chamberlain held off for the most advanced technology.)

But Munich did even more. It provided the two large democracies with the Casus Belli they needed. They knew the war would kill millions, and put the survival of democracy in play. The French and British politicians came from the best schools, they had studied their history. They knew that Spartan, Persian and Macedonian fascisms had destroyed Greek democracy durably, and that democracy has stayed destroyed for 22 centuries. They knew the risks. Their hearts were heavy. But first, they had to occupy the highest moral ground possible. They knew the texts, they knew the history. They knew Athens had failed to occupy the highest moral ground in a timely manner when confronting Sparta, and that led to the catastrophe. They were determined to not repeat that mistake. They wanted their moral position to be unassailable. (Besides, the Franco-British leaders needed time to gather an unbeatable mechanical force. As it was, with an enormous quantity of bad luck, betrayal, and a plethora of unfathomable mistakes by the French Haut Commandement Militaire, they barely made it. If they had come up a few squadrons of Spitfires short, it would have been curtains.)

When at war, democracies, to stay in one solid piece, have to release the full power of the People, in agreement with itself (that’s what the Roman fascii symbolize).  That means the war has to be perceived as completely just by the People. And that means a good reason for having war. The Romans, under the republic, called that a “Casus Belli”, and paid careful attention to having one always, before going to war. The reason that France and Britain were able to declare war to Hitler while occupying the high moral ground, was precisely because they had talked to him first. They put him in a conceptual cage, and robbed him of all and any moral advantage, real or imagined, for all to see, including the increasingly shocked German population, that saw its beloved Reich turn into an abyss in search of a cataclysm.

For years prior, Hitler had been good at dividing his opponents. In 1934, he made a pact with Poland, and one with Britain in 1935 (which violated the Versailles Treaty). By 1937 the business opportunities presented by Hitler and his monster Reich had incited the USA to pass laws dealing with the democratic French republic as if it were an enemy belligerent of some sort (because France was exhibiting no obvious signs of affection towards Hitler, contrarily to the USA, and viewed anti French American maneuvers as one more attempt by Hitler to surround France; in 1939, France found herself de facto at war with the Nazis and their two main allies, that were feeding them with oil and weapon systems, the USSR, and the USA; that was a bit much, even for the French).

As France and Britain talked to Hitler in Munich, they consolidated the British conversion to an alliance with France against Hitler. The talks also forced Hitler to formally engage himself to some agreements. At this point, Hitler was stuck, it was the end of his malevolent dance. Either he respected the accords, and he lost prestige, and that is grave in a regime that rests on terror. Or then he violated the accords, for the whole world to see, and Britain and France had their Casus Belli. Whereas most of the German establishment was satisfied by the Munich agreement, Hitler saw that he had been entrapped, and he was furious.

As it was, Poland, observing that Britain was following France, taking a firm stance, got encouraged to make a formal military assistance treaty with the French republic, and Britain was in the fine print in the appendix.

Next, of course, Hitler, observing that he was in the process of being surrounded by France and Poland, while Britain was scrambling to build a modern air force, had to strike. So he attacked Poland, after rushing a love pact with his pal Stalin. Britain and France declared war, 45 French divisions attacked the Siegfried Line (“Westwall”), and while Poland fought to death, American capitalists of the Wall Street type, rushed anti-knock additives Hitler desperately needed for his air force. But I digress.

The point is this: Hitler was entrapped by talk. No talk, no entrapment. If one had kept ignoring Hitler, as the US government was doing, Hitler would have got his world war when he wanted, when he was going to be ready, in 1945, with huge quantities of new, terrific weapons that were on the Nazi drawing boards. In 1939, Hitler was not ready, not at all. 

There is force in speech, power in thought. Before acting, think, and then talk.

If nobody had talked to Hitler, the survivors would be living under the Great Nazi World Reich. Only those who have no brains, and no morals, fear speech. Winking at destiny may satisfy a professional seductress, but does not make for a better world. Only expression can bend destiny, and, in humans, that starts with speech.

So indeed, seen from the purely military point of view, the USA should talk to Iran. The worst that can happen is that the USA learn to sort out its thoughts.

Patrice Ayme

P/S 1: In 1940, the Nazis were nearly powerless against heavy French or British tanks. In the two tank battles that were fought in 1940, one against the British, one against the French, the legendary Panzers were severely defeated. Many of the Nazis weapons systems were of foreign origin (USA), and obsolete relative to what the Nazis had in mind. Those systems had to be mass produced in 1939-40 to address the problem posed by 100 French divisions and 3,000 French tanks.

P/S 2: In 1953, the CIA used Muslim Shiite fundamentalists it had organized, excited and financed, to throw out the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister. Mossadegh. Mossadegh wanted to keep more oil revenues inside Iran, to the great anger of Anglo-Saxon oil men.  Thus, if somebody should be really upset, it should rather be the Iranians.

P/S 3: So, in 1953, the U.S. secret services cooperated with the Shiites. Nowadays, not talking to the Ayatollahs has been most useful to them. Are the USA still secretly allied to them? In Munich, the non presence of the USA made possible the on going march of Nazi Germany to war, and it discouraged the German generals from making a coup against Hitler (they were ready, and they would, six years later). Thus in Munich, it looked as if U.S. diplomacy had decided war was in the best interest of the USA. And so it, indeed, was (W.W.II made the USA into the super power). Thus the question: was the refusal of the USA to talk with Iran, a way to make the situation with Iran worse? 

P/S 4: So should Britain and France have made an agreement with Hitler at Munich? None of what we wrote above really answers this question. Militarily, Great Britain was not ready. France was ready enough, and Czechoslovakia was very ready behind its Sudeten fortifications. Hitler was not ready at all. There is no doubt that a grand coalition of France, Britain and Czechoslovakia (especially if Poland had joined) would have defeated the Nazis. The problem was not military, it was philosophical. And then what next? Dealing with a resentful Germany preparing round four with France? It was better to make sure the Nazis would capture the most hellish ground first.

Ironically, when Hitler attacked France with 2,000 tanks, about half of them were Czech (since Hitler had occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia in the meantime). Facing them were 3,000 French tanks, some so heavy the Germans could not destroy them. 

P/S 5: The fact remains that the Sudeten Germans really existed, and they did not like to be in Czechoslovakia. That would have made it quite a bit self contradictory for Britain and France to go to war to impose the violation of the right of self determination. 

P/S 6: As it was the USA provided no help to France whatsoever, in 1939-1940. Not even one single bullet, but the USA rushed in a formal recognizance of the illegal, unconstitutional Vichy collaborationist organization as the legitimate French government, which it was not. That was part of a multi year, long term effort, strangely similar to Hitler’s, to finish France as an independent country; Roosevelt actually prepared the occupation of France in 1944, but, basically, the armies prevented him to do so. The French army was reconstituted by 1944, and many US military men esteemed and befriended their French colleagues. The strident, and eerily accurate warnings of President Eisenhower about the “military-industrial complex are worthy of the best vehement Left Bank French intellectuals. Maybe Ike talked too much to the French during the war…