A look at history indicates that there may even be hope for Barack Obama, the arch appeaser of our generation. The British papers are now feasting over reports that M15, Britain's covert intelligence agency funnelled reports to Neville Chamberlain, Britain's Prime minister prior to Winston Churchill indicating what Hitler's private and candid opinion of him was, according to verbatim transcripts of conversations behind closed doors.
Along with mocking references to Chamberlain's trademark umbrella, Hitler reportedly referred to Chamberlain with an anatomical epithet which I will leave imprecisely translated as (ahem) "proctological phenomenon". More pointedly, he mocked his feebleness and lack of willingness to defend territory and principle. Thaindian News elaborates as follows.
"The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, “underlined three times in red pencil Hitler’s reported description of Chamberlain as an ‘a*******’ (arschloch)”, says the book, which was published Monday.
The report made a “considerable impression” on Chamberlain, who was known to be infuriated by mockery and disrespect.
Chamberlain, who carried out a policy of ‘appeasement’ toward the Nazis, was also mocked by Hitler for his trademark umbrella as a symbol of his feebleness, says the book."
More conventional assessments of the seriousness of the Hitler threat failed to impress Neville Chamberlain. Hitler's assessment of the British PM's lack of resoluteness even failed to sway him. What ultimately woke him up was when his overblown vanity was punctured with reports of a sophomoric schoolyard style insult. It seems that the men who control the destiny of nations are ruled by rather trivial concerns.
President Obama is known to be prone to vanity. In his mind, it seems that his own charisma is a radiant light that will blind all of his opponents. It has not worked out that way. America in 2009 seems a lot like Britain in 1938, with the fog of wishful thinking blinding the vision of vain little men.
The Sudetenland short term cost of the illusory peace of 1938. The long term casualty was most of Europe. What will be sacrificed for the vain hopes of 2009? What will be the down payment? Whose house will fall as a consequence of our blindness? It is hard to shake the uncomfortable feeling that a look back at 1938 is a look at our future. Sphere: Related Content