Chamberlain v. Churchill: Round Two

The recent circus of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress warning of what a deal with Iran regarding its nuclear weapons program would entail is a flashback to 1938. Today’s leaders, President Barack Obama and PM Netanyahu, are carbon copies of the leaders of that time period, British Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill respectively. Today’s circumstance of a nuclear Iran is a repeat of a similar moment before World War II. With the deadline to reach a final agreement passed and negotiations now entering a new phase aimed at reaching a deal to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions by the end of June, it imperative to reflect the recent circumstance.

Obama is comparable to Chamberlain because of their common feature of leadership: appeasement. If Obama agrees to what has been proposed to Iran, labeled by many critics, “a bad deal,” it would mirror Chamberlain’s agreement with Adolf Hitler conceding the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany, which annexed the rest of the country and invaded Poland the following year. According to a Huffington Post interview with Ali Vaez of the conflict-prevention NGO International Crisis Group, the current proposed deal consists of Iran reducing its number of centrifuges from 20,000 to a number between 6,000 and 8,000. It also will reduce Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile from about 8,000 to less than 1,000 kg. In return, sanctions that have been imposed on Iran as a result of its nuclear program will be incrementally lifted, allowing economic relief. Finally, Iran must accept rigorous inspections. Reacting to the 2013 Joint Plan of Action, an interim deal with Iran, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Fox News said, “This is a sham from beginning to end. It’s the worst deal since Munich.” This “sham” consists of Iran retaining the right to enrichment along with a relaxation of sanctions. The current proposal to reach a permanent agreement would consist of more appeasement, such as the “Sunset Clause,” where an agreement would expire after a decade. At that moment, it would lift all restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and remove all sanctions. This would allow for the Iranian government to be treated “the same as any other non-nuclear-weapon state that is a non-proliferation treaty member in good standing.”

Netanyahu is comparable to Churchill because of their common feature of leadership: courage. Toward the beginning of his Congressional address Netanyahu stated his purpose as “a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.” He even referenced to what consequentially happened after that 1938 pact, saying, “Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II. So, too, Iran’s regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world.” Netanyahu’s language mirrored Churchill’s 1940 speech to the UK’s House of Commons, known as “We Shall Fight on the Beaches.” Churchill warns of great military disaster and of a possible Nazi invasion. One month before this speech, Churchill declared the goal of defeating Germany even if the United Kingdom had to fight alone “however long and hard the road may be.” In his speech, though Netanyahu acknowledged that the U.S. stands with Israel, “Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

An Iranian nuclear bomb would be the impetus to a Third World War, where the following decision would have to be made: Attempt to negotiate an acceptable deal with Iran or leave Israel no choice but to act on its own and attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran is attempting nuclear world domination and annihilation of Israel. Obama is coddling this threat while Netanyahu is vicariously attempting to rescue humanity. At the end of the day, a final nuclear deal with Iran with the current proposal would be not just the worst since Munich, but in the history of mankind, one which may cause its sunset. History is known to repeat itself. But in this situation, it might be its ending.

About the Author
Jackson Richman is a student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Former fellow at The Weekly Standard. Once shadowed at the Jerusalem Post.
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