A “Munich Moment” in Syria?

by Kevin Jon Heller

Yes, according to Secretary of State John Kerry:

Secretary of State John Kerry told House Democrats that the United States faced a “Munich moment” in deciding whether to respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.

In a 70-minute conference call on Monday afternoon, Kerry derided Syrian President Bashar Assad as a “two-bit dictator” who will “continue to act with impunity,” and he urged lawmakers to back President Barack Obama’s plan for “limited, narrow” strikes against the Assad regime, Democratic sources on the call said.

Kerry’s derisive comments on Assad and his reference to the 1938 Munich agreement between Adolf Hitler and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain — after which Chamberlain infamously declared it would lead to “peace for our time” — showed the hard line the White House is taking in its drive for congressional approval of the Syrian resolution.

If the decision to attack Syria is the US’s own Munich moment, does that mean Britain should have responded to the threat of Nazi aggression by launching a small-scale attack on Germany, one carefully designed to slightly degrade the Nazis’ military might without eliminating Hitler or substantially assisting the Czech resistance?

Just asking.


2 Responses

  1. …and kept their options open, and in any case not concluded any deal, yes, maybe. Maybe.

  2. and will the U.S. support criminal prosecution in an ad hoc tribunal, if the not ICC, at some point in the future? or will the Obama Administration (see Ben Davis posts) continue to refuse to enforce the laws of war by prosecuting those who are, often by their own admissions, beyond a reasonable doubt reasonably accused of crimes againsst humanity (secret detention) and war crimes (waterboarding, use of dogs against naked and hooded detainees, death threats during interrogation, use of the cold cell until a person starts to turn purple, etc.)? Some of Obama’s and Kerry’s understandable outrage regarding Assad’s alleged war crimes could be marshalled in support of enforcement of the laws of war in this country!

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