The Real Lesson of the Rhineland

William Kristol, one of the big kahunas of neoconservatism, has an op-ed in today’s Washington Post criticizing the Obama administration for “accepting” Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. (Of course, Kristol doesn’t use the word “alleged.”) I don’t have time to respond to all his points, but his opening paragraph gives me an opportunity to repost one of my most popular columns from my early days at the Hazleton Standard-Speaker. Here’s the prompt from Kristol:

In March 1936, Hitler occupied the Rhineland. The French prime minister, Leon Blum, denounced the act as “unacceptable.” But France, Britain and the rest of the world accepted it. Years later, the French political thinker Raymond Aron commented, “To say that something is unacceptable was to say that one accepted it.”

Comparing Iran to Nazi Germany plays fast and loose with history to a dangerous degree, as I explained in May 2008:   Continue reading “The Real Lesson of the Rhineland”