Speaking to the House of Commons in 1948, Winston Churchill, paraphrasing philosopher George Santayana, made a critical point: “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” In his book, “While England Slept,” Churchill makes the case World War II could have been avoided had England’s weak and feckless prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, not tried to appease Germany’s power-hungry despot, Adolf Hitler.
We now have President Joe Biden taking Chamberlain’s approach with three contemporary tyrants: Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Communist China’s Xi Jinping and Iran’s “supreme leader,” Ali Khamenei. As Chamberlain learned, appeasing tyrants never works. It’s like trying to placate a hungry crocodile.
Biden and his advisors should immediately read Churchill’s book. The Biden boys have failed to heed Churchill’s warnings about weakness and appeasement. The American people are now at far greater risk than pre-WWII England.
The parallels between the lead-up to WWII and what is happening now with Russia, Communist China and Iran are staggering. In the 1930s, Hitler rearmed Germany and formed an “Axis” with fascist leaders in Italy and Japan; they all launched military campaigns to expand control over territory their respective governments considered important. The “international community,” aka the “League of Nations,” proved powerless to stop aggression on three continents.
Fast-forward to the present. Putin’s Russia covets Ukraine and is preparing to seize that nation by military force if necessary. The People’s Republic of China, led by the despot Xi, is bent on annexing Taiwan and eventual world domination. Khamenei, the theocrat ruling Iran, is determined to acquire nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them in order to destroy Israel and Tehran’s “Great Satan” — the USA.
These three dictators have as much regard for Biden as Hitler had for Chamberlain: none. Chamberlain naively believed diplomatic palaver would prevent war. Many in Washington thought trade restrictions on Tokyo would curb aggression in Asia. History proves both assumptions were wrong.
Putin, Xi and Khamenei scoff at diplomacy. Diplomacy is but a process all three use to buy time and make promises they won’t keep. They are interested in outcomes, not processes.
All three dictators are the most powerful political authorities in their respective countries. Each of them is head of state, commander in chief of their nations’ armed forces and each exercise total control over intelligence services. All three dominate the executive, legislative and judicial branches of their governments. Worse, all three despots are now cooperating in ways dangerous to our national security.
Russian and Chinese military units are engaged in joint training exercises, officer exchanges and collaboration on military and dual-use research and development. China is assisting Iran’s nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missile programs. Russia is providing advanced radars and anti-aircraft/missile systems to protect Iran’s nuclear sites.
All three of these tyrants view Biden as a stumbling, bumbling weakling backed by militarily-neutered NATO nations. Putin can cut off fuel supplies to NATO states and they will rush to make excuses for his aggression. Meanwhile, the PRC is building up all aspects of its military, outpacing the U.S. in ship building and military aircraft production, as Biden’s woke Pentagon uses America’s military to test arcane social justice theories.
Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan demonstrated to the world our president lacks resolve. By abandoning U.S. citizens and allies to a ragtag band of terrorists, he showed Putin, Xi and Khamenei they have nothing to fear from this administration. The absence of fear means we are unable to deter their aggressive ambitions. Let us pray Biden’s appeasement and accommodation don’t lead to war.
Oliver L. North is a combat-decorated U.S. Marine, No.1 bestselling author, founder and CEO of Fidelis Publishing LLC and Fidelis Media LLC. Find out more about him at www.olivernorth.com. David Goetsch is a Marine Corps veteran, member of the Florida Veteran’s Hall of Fame, professor of business, Christian counselor, and author of 77 books. Find out more about him at www.david-goetsch.com. Order their new book, “We Didn’t Fight for Socialism” at www.olivernorth.com or Amazon.com.