Here is a foreign policy blog to keep an eye on, The Diplomad 2.0, which is interesting for a number of serious reasons but also because it is an American at the US State Department writing even though the blog address extension is “au”. But it is the substance that’s striking and I share his sense of hopelessness at the idiocies that surround us. The particular article which was brought to my attention at Instapundit is titled, Obama and an Edouard Daladier Moment. And as he asks, who was this virtually now forgotten Daladier chap? In his effort to resurrect this name, his relevance is made all too clear.
Daladier, a classic leftist politician of the era, became Prime Minister three times. French politics were rough and tumble, with alliances made and dissolved, and little attention paid to foreign policy. There was a general refusal to acknowledge that Germany was re-arming and preparing for another round. Daladier was a voice in the wilderness. He saw the threat coming from Germany and became particularly alarmed by the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Unlike many others of his time, and today, he understood that Communists and Nazis comprised two sides of the same totalitarian coin. Daladier became PM for the last time in April 1938. By this time, the West’s appeasement policies towards Hitler were firmly set. Daladier desperately tried to convince Britain’s Neville Chamberlain to take a firmer stance against Hitler. Chamberlain would have none of it, and France’s parlous military state prevented Daladier from striking out on his own. Chamberlain had decided to yield to Hitler’s demand for the Sudetenland, and to the effective dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. Daladier argued against this, but found himself helpless to do anything but go along. To his life-long shame, Daladier became a signer of the September 1938 Munich Agreement, the now universally recognized monument to appeasement. Heading back home from Munich, Daladier assumed angry French patriots would rip him to shreds. He, instead, got a hero’s welcome. Enthusiastic crowds sang his praises, prompting him to turn to an aide, and utter the famous, bitter, and prophetic words, “Ah, the fools! Why are they cheering?”
Not that they’re cheering at the moment, only paying no attention at all as the world we knew is falling apart with the West led by someone even worse than incompetent. A fine post this one on a blog I will continue to follow.