The Iranian mullahs and the Holocaust-denying Mahmoud Ahmadinejad want to destroy Israel and inflict as much damage to the United States as they can. They say so over and over again. They hate our way of life, our freedoms and our tolerance. Unfortunately, there's no obvious and easy way to handle the Iranian regime, just as there was no obvious and easy way to handle Hitler in the late 1930s.Also yesterday, at the Daily Telegraph of London, Janet Daily argued that "fascistic" was an accurate characterization of Islamic fundamentalists, a point offered in rebuttal to the ridicule in Britain of President Bush's reference this week to the "Islamo-fascist" threat from Al-Qaeda. Daly agrees with Barone that the liberals are in disarray: "This is a critical moment. What we must call the "free world" will either decide that it must unite unequivocally against a force so dark that it is almost incomprehensible to democratic peoples, or else succumb to a daydream of denial that is nothing more than appeasement."
At least Neville Chamberlain was made of sterner stuff. His Tuesday was the Munich agreement in September 1938, when he and the French persuaded Czechoslovakia to give up its borderlands to Hitler. He was cheered by vast crowds eager to avoid the horrors of war. His Thursday came in March 1939, when Nazi troops marched into Prague.
Chamberlain proceeded to build up Britain's military forces and to embark on a vigorous diplomacy to cabin Hitler in. He realized instantly that he had been, as Winston Churchill was to say in his funeral oration in the House of Commons, "deceived by a wicked man." He prepared to call Churchill, his bitter critic on Munich, into government. Chamberlain's diplomacy ultimately failed: Hitler wanted war too much. But Chamberlain stayed true to his countrymen, yielding his place to Churchill and strenuously supporting him when Britain was in peril.
Can we expect as much of our Left? It seems doubtful. Our Left criticized George W. Bush when The New York Times revealed that the National Security Agency was surveilling telephone calls from al-Qaida suspects overseas to the United States. Now it appears that the United States surveilled the British terrorists, and that they made phone calls to the United States. The Left cried foul when The New York Times revealed that the United States was monitoring money transfers at the SWIFT bank clearinghouse in Brussels. Now it appears that there was monitoring of money transfers by the British terrorists in Pakistan. On Tuesday, the Left was gleeful that it was scoring political points against George W. Bush. On Thursday, it seemed that the supposedly controversial NSA surveillance contributed to savings thousands of lives.
Joseph Lieberman is being criticized for saying, "I'm worried that too many people, both in politics and out, don't appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy that faces us -- more evil, or as evil, as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet communists we fought during the long Cold War. We cannot deceive ourselves that we live in safety today and the war is over, and it's why we have to stay strong and vigilant."
That view didn't prevail on Tuesday. But it sure made sense on Thursday.
Hat tip goes to Betsy Newmark for the Barone reference.