Kosovo appeasement Munich myth
APPEASEMENT IN KOSOVO
by Victor Milán
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
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
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
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.