Iran and The Munich Analogy

On Nov. 25, 2013, a Wall Street Journal editorial by Bret Stephens called the current negotiations with Iran “worse than Munich, referring to the infamous Munich Agreement of 1938 where Great Britain and France sold out Czechoslovakia to appease Hitler.

Stephens’ editorial generated a vigorous reaction. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson derisively retorted, “But even commentators who should know better are resorting to the empty Munich analogy.”

Peter Beinart, a detractor of Israel, wrote in the Daily Beast on Nov. 26, 2013 after the Geneva conference, “U.S. and Israeli hawks are rushing to call the interim nuclear agreement a capitulation and Obama another Chamberlain. It’s another sign the doomsayers don’t know their history.”

Beinart scoffed at the “Nazi analogy” as “laughable” and contended that Iran “lacks the ideological power” because of its economic weakness and offered reassurance that Iran “is not suicidal.”

But David Goldman, who also uses the pen-name Spengler, refuted Beinart’s smug assurance that Iran will not risk lashing out in “The Dead’s Envy for the Living,” where he observed,

Dying civilizations are the most dangerous, and Iran is dying. Its total fertility rate probably stands at just 1.6 children per female, the same level as Western Europe, a catastrophic decline from 7 children per female in the early 1980s. This has created what one analyst calls an “apocalyptic panic” that fuels Tehran’s aggression.

He continues,

Iran’s theocracy displays the same apocalyptic panic about its demographic future that Hitler expressed about the supposed decline of the so-called Aryan race. Unlike Hitler, whose racial paranoia ran wild, Iran’s presentiment of national death is well founded on the facts.

Iran is not so ready to go gently into that demographic night, however. It lashes out against enemies real and imagined, and the enemies it imagines in its worst nightmares are the Jews.

This week (Jan. 31- Feb. 7, 2014), leaders of the EU and the United States met in Munich with Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran, to further iron out details of an agreement. Israel is not party to these discussions.

Read the full article on the Munich Analogy in American Thinker about the basis for making the analogy and what sentiment is shared by those who dismiss it.

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