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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Five Minutes To Midnight:" From Cox & Forkum

The quoted link above will take readers to The Intellectual Activist where this piece appears, as well as an excellent cartoon from the "dynamic duo."

I have noticed a recent trend in war commentary, starting a few weeks after the beginning of the current conflict in Lebanon. The trend began with a series of analogies between recent events and the events of the 1930s, leading up to World War II.

In the August 2 Washington Times, for example, Kenneth Timmerman referred to the Lebanon War as "Islamofascism's 1936." Just as the Spanish Civil War that began in that year was a preview of World War II—the 1937
bombing of Guernica was Hermann Goering's test of the ability of aerial bombing to destroy cities—so Timmerman argues that the Lebanon War is a preview of a larger conflict: "Iran…is testing the international community's response, as it prepares for a future war." (TIA Daily readers may remember that Jack Wakeland made a similar point in the July 19 edition of TIA Daily.)

For others on the pro-war right, the preferred analogy is 1938, the year in which Western appeasement of Hitler emboldened him to further attacks. That year's
Munich Agreement—the "diplomatic solution" to a German-fomented crisis in Czechoslovakia, abandoned Czechoslovakia to Hitler in exchange for promises that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain claimed would guarantee "peace for our time." On August 7, the headline of a Washington Times editorial asked: is the Bush administration's proposed diplomatic solution for Lebanon an attempt to secure "Peace in Our Time?"

Over at National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg picks 1939,
wondering if Israel will fall to a Sunni-Shiite pact, just as Poland fell to a Nazi-Soviet pact, while John Batchelor, writing in the New York Sun, is more ecumenical, citing analogies to 1936, 1938, 1939, and even America in 1941.

British commentator David Pryce-Jones, in his blog at National Review Online,
sums up the general sense of things:

"I have often wondered what it would have been like to live through the Thirties. How would I have reacted to the annual Nuremberg Party rallies, the rants against the Jews, and Hitler’s foreign adventures which the democracies did nothing to oppose, the occupation of the Rhineland and Austria, Nazi support for Franco in the Spanish civil war, and the rest of it. Appeasement was then considered wise, and has only become a dirty word with hindsight…."

"Now Iran is embarked on foreign adventures in Iraq and Syria and Lebanon. It is engaged on all-out armament programs, and is evidently hard at work developing the nuclear weapon that will give it a dimension of power that Hitler did not have…. Appeasement is again considered wise."

What these commentators are picking up is not an exact parallel to any one event of the 1930s—hence their scattershot of historical analogies. Instead, what they are picking up is a sense of the overall direction of world events: we are clearly headed toward a much larger, bloodier conflict in the Middle East, but no one in the West wants to acknowledge it, prepare for it, or begin to fight it.

Robert Tracinski is quite correct. We are in zero hour with Iran, and time is running out. The Penatgon today announced that Iran will have the bomb within five years if things continue as they have. If that does not scare the Hell out of everyone watching this issue, I do not know what will. Yes, I said "scare," and I will explain why.

We have seen no action from the United Nations Security Council other than Russia and China throwing temper-tantrums over sanctioning Iran. The United States, along with the original EU-3, want to have negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear program. Today was the deadline for Iran's answer to the demand from the United Nations. Thomas and I have talked about this all day (scroll down for the previous posts today), and based on what we have seen thus far today, negotiations will not work. Iran does not care.

They do not truly care at all for the incentives that have been offered (read: bribes to end their enrichment). They do not care what the United Nations will do (read: absolutely nothing). They are stiull enriching their uranium. They will continue to do so, even while we negotiate with them. The only thing that Iran wants, one they will receive through negotiations, is time. And seconds are ticking off that clock. Indeed, we are five minutes to midnight, and we are still acting as though we have all the time in the world.

Time, ladies and gentlemen, is a commodity we do not have. And if we twiddle our thumbs too long, the conflict that could erupt in the Middle East will be precisely the sort that Mr. Tracinski is speaking of. And it will be one of the worst nightmares we will ever face.



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