It seems we have been ignoring history and are once again entering a perilous time. What is looming before us is the possibility of war.
Writes Victor Davis Hanson:
The world is changing and becoming even more dangerous — in a way we’ve seen before.America's diplomatic and military strength has waned, not because of our country's inherent weakness but because our leaders wanted it that way, assuming that by appeasing our enemies that they wouldn't hate us any more. But history shows that appeasement encourages our enemies to take more drastic measures because they know we aren't likely to stop them. All one needs to do is look up Neville Chamberlain to see how well his efforts to appease Adolph Hitler worked to stem the tide of war. (Hint: It didn't. It merely bought a few months time for Nazi Germany to complete their preparations for the invasion of Poland, kicking off World War II.)
In the decade before World War I, the near-100-year European peace that had followed the fall of Napoleon was taken for granted. Yet it abruptly imploded in 1914. Prior little wars in the Balkans had seemed to predict a much larger one on the horizon — and were ignored.
The exhausted Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires were spent forces unable to control nationalist movements in their provinces. The British Empire was fading. Imperial Germany was rising. Czarist Russia was beset with revolutionary rebellion. As power shifted, decline for some nations seemed like opportunity for others.
The same was true in 1939. The tragedy of the Versailles Treaty of 1919 was not that it had been too harsh. In fact, it was far milder than the terms Germany had imposed on a defeated Russia in 1918 or the requirements it had planned for France in 1914.
Instead, Versailles combined the worst of both worlds: harsh language without any means of enforcement.
The subsequent appeasement of Britain and France, the isolationism of the United States, and the collaboration of the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany green-lighted Hitler’s aggression — and another world war.
We are allowing weak adversaries to dictate terms to us as if by doing so they'll make nice. They won't. They will demand more, and if we don't give it to them, they'll take it by force. Think Putin's moves on Ukraine along with his threats to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and previous actions against Belarus and Georgia. What did we do? Nothing. China is also becoming more aggressive, as is Iran. This despite the fact that even with our shrinking military we are far stronger than any of them.
Should war come and we end up on the receiving end, we will only have our own leaders to blame, with a lion's share going to President Obama for all his efforts to cripple the US all in the name of some deluded idea of “fairness”. (Not once has TOTUS ever explained what he means by “fair”. I have a feeling it's far different from anyone else's.) The problem is that should war come, he won't be able to explain to the millions of dead why he sacrificed them all in the name of some twisted ideology that has no relation to reality.