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47


L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 47, May 30, 1999

META WORDS:
Kosovo appeasement Munich myth
APPEASEMENT IN KOSOVO

by Victor Milán
vicmilan@ix.netcom.com

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

          One of the most pernicious of Twentieth Century political myths concerns Neville Chamberlain's "appeasement" of Hitler with the Munich Pact of 1938. And in America, when that word "appeasement" is trotted out, you know it's in support of the United States' undertaking some intervention which is villainous, stupid, destructive of our interests, or All of the Above.
          Which, naturally, means we're hearing it a lot lately. A prime example: an editorialist in the May 20, 1999 Washington TIMES summons up the overworked ghost of Chamberlain to scare us about the price of not "beating" Milosevich over Kosovo. (For brevity's sake, I'll skate over the fact that anybody who thinks Milosevich could conceivably pose a Hitleroid threat - conquering Europe! - is as ignorant, down to the very DNA, of modern military realities as anyone who thinks a "ground war" in Yugoslavia could result in anything but disaster to the interloper.)
          So it's an interesting irony that the Kosovo catastrophe casts a brand new light on the entire concept of "appeasement ŕ la Munich."
          What was "appeasement?" Hitler interceded in the then-country of Czechoslovakia, claiming that he had a right and indeed moral duty to safeguard the interests of the large German minority living in its Sudetenland province. Neville Chamberlain did not, as often reported, simply acknowledge a fait accompli at the Munich conference; he endorsed Hitler's intervention, thereby in effect giving away territory that wasn't his.
          Let's look at that again: you have a nation recognized by the other nations of the world, Czechoslovakia. You have a minority in that nation which claims to be hard done by: the ethnically German Sudetenlanders. You have a separate nation - Hitler's German Reich - intervening by military force in a nation with which his was not at war, and which had not attacked his, on behalf of a downtrodden minority.
          Hitler's seizure of the Sudetenland, widely at the time and universally since, was denounced as an act of aggression, which was why Chamberlain was reviled for giving it his imprimatur. Under the laws and usages of nations, then and now, that condemnation was correct. Hitler attacked a sovereign nation that was doing nothing to threaten him, on the basis of its alleged mistreatment of a national minority within its borders.
          You know where this is going. Flash forward six decades. A Yugoslav minority - like the Sudeten Germans, a majority in its own province - claims mistreatment by the central government. A foreign entity intervenes militarily in the sovereign's affairs on behalf of that minority.
          The situation is the same. NATO - which really means the US and the UK, which really means the US, since the UK's actual role consists of the furious yapping of Clinton's neutered attack Chihuahua and cocaine buddy Tony Blair - is attacking the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia on the basis of no threat to any nation beyond Yugoslavia's internationally-recognized borders. This is, unmistakably, a war of aggression - a thing men were condemned at Nuremberg for undertaking. It is also, incidentally, an explicit violation of NATO's own charter.
          So, if the whole mythopoetic construct of "appeasement" is anything but nonsense (and nonsense it is, but here we're forcing the statists to live with the ramifications of their own rhetoric and faux-reasoning, which at the very least is fun) the message is clear: anything less than decisive military action by the nations of the Earth to deter the naked aggression of William Clinton and his comic-opera NATO cohort constitutes Munich-style appeasement - of an authentic tyrant who without question poses an enormously greater threat to world peace (not to mention American liberties), in deed and capability, than Slobodan Milosevich.
          For you slow-on-the-uptake types out there, what I'm saying is: by the exacting standards of our own political mythology, we deserve to be nuked.
          So to all who shout "appeasement" whenever the US fails to poke its nose into places it does not belong: here's authentic appeasement of authentic aggression. What will you do about it?
          Will you put your money where your myth is?


Prometheus Award-winner Victor Milán is hard at work on an epic novel of your near future, The War For America. Freedom can win.


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