We decided to run this article even though the author had clearly expected a more swiftly pro-Iranian outcome in Geneva this weekend. We have no doubt, unfortunately, that this article will nevertheless prove useful in weeks to come, when all the allies sign a piece of paper removing the sanctions against Iran while not forcing it to demolish its nuclear works.
75 years ago in Munich, September of 1938, desperate to avoid war, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland (part of Czechoslovakia). In return, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler promised not to make any further territorial demands in Europe.
On October 5, 1938, addressing the House of Commons in his rebuttal to the gleeful Chamberlain, Conservative MP Winston Churchill warned that the consequences of the Munich Pact were not limited just to the abandonment of Czechoslovakia, but disastrous for Europe and the world.
“We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude which has befallen Great Britain and France. Do not let us blind ourselves to that. It must now be accepted that all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will make the best terms they can with the triumphant Nazi power… The road down the Danube Valley to the Black Sea, the road which leads as far as Turkey, has been opened.”
Fast forward 75 years and 450 kilometers to the north-east, to Geneva, Switzerland. U.S. President Barack Obama, desperate to avoid a war, and Iran, desperate to ease the international sanctions, appear to have reached an agreement in yet another ill fated accord; Hollow Peace in exchange for broken promises. In an eerie similarity to the the second item of the Munich Pact “The United Kingdom, France and Italy agree… without any existing installations having been destroyed, and… without damage to the said installations.”
This agreement allows the centrifuges of Iran to remain intact, and keep spinning happily towards a bomb just like it allowed the Nazi war machine to continued pressing on. Like Czechoslovakia, Israel was abandoned, and like Europe, the Middle East will become prey to the nuclear armed Ayatollahs.
All one needed to do to guess the inevitable results of this high stakes geopolitical game was examine the players. On one side of the board the smiling Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, and on the other side U.S. diplomat Wendy Sherman. The outcome of the talks was predictable from the outset. He is his country’s top negotiator, she is a social worker and child’s welfare advocate. Not much of a match. After all, it was the Persians who invented the game of chess. The international sanctions were working so relaxing them for a period of 6 months in order to test Iran’s civility, without any true Iranian concessions fails the test of logic. The entire show was a deceitful betrayal of Israel and was designed to allow Secretary Kerry to return home triumphant, and for the Obama administration to be able to flaunt another peaceful solution to a world crisis and divert some attention away from the health care debacle.
Churchill warned about dealing with Nazi-like regimes “… But never will you have friendship with the present German Government. … there can never be friendship between the British democracy and the Nazi power, that power which spurns Christian ethics, which cheers its onward course by a barbarous paganism, which vaunts the spirit of aggression and conquest, which derives strength and perverted pleasure from persecution, and uses, as we have seen, with pitiless brutality the threat of murderous force. That power cannot ever be the trusted friend of the British democracy.”
In the Middle East, as in Europe of the late 30’s, the drums of war will keep on beating. Abandoned by it’s ally, isolated, deceived and betrayed Israel has been on a brink of an existential crisis. The American capitulation to the Ayatollahs only serves to confirm that Obama is willing to sacrifice Israel. Like his aimless meandering in the politics of the Middle East for the past few years, this move too demonstrates that his assurances are but empty promises. Except that Israel, the country where “never again” flows in the veins of every man, woman and child, is no Czechoslovakia. With it’s back against the wall, Israel may act sooner rather than later to prevent Iran from having the bomb. This agreement will also have a negative impact on the peace negotiations with the Palestinians and any considerations of Israeli concessions leveraged by US assurances and promises. Israel has been leery about American promises in the past, easing the international sanctions while leaving the centrifuges intact, to be set in motion at the Ayatollah’s command, will deal a death blow to any remaining American credibility. The Saudis and the Turks understand the reality of the Middle East, and they are unlikely to follow in the footsteps of Poland and France.