by Austin Bay
February 12, 2003
The 1930s were a tough time for Winston Churchill. Exiled toParliament's backbench, Churchill used elegant pen and eloquent tongue tomake the case for British rearmament. He warned the world about AdolfHitler -- and suffered personal attack from press and peaceniks for hisvisionary understanding of evil men, their aims and the consequences ofappeasing them.
The contrast between Churchill and Prime Minister NevilleChamberlain -- the man who gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler -- couldn't beclearer.
"Peace in our time," Chamberlain promised Britain as he waved auseless Munich agreement in front of news cameras. Oh, he had the rhetoricof peace, the spin. The "feel good" posturing bought a few months of fakebliss.
Chamberlain judged himself by his "good intentions," but hispeace march and mantra were lies. Terrible events proved Chamberlainmorally, intellectually and spiritually bankrupt. Now, his name's a synonymfor sellout to the vicious and genocidal.
Churchill spoke the truth when the truth was treated withdisdain by self-described morally superior intellectuals. Churchill was alsoprepared to act. Defending lands where one can tell the truth ultimatelyrequires blood, sweat, toil and tears. They are the price of real peace.
History never repeats itself -- time moves on, inexorably. Somethemes, however, like terrifying musical phrases, reoccur, often in ahorrifying crescendo. We call those crescendos the times that try men'ssouls, and in these moments we learn a great deal about our leaders andourselves.
The challenge of confronting evil men, the challenge of backingnoble words with courageous actions, the challenge of creating peace byblood, sweat, toil and tears instead of appeasing vicious dictators -- thesechallenges face each generation.
The Chamberlains of today -- they call themselves the "antiwarmovement" -- are as deeply in denial of the stakes and consequences offailing to defeat Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda's global terror machineas Neville and the neutralists were in the 1930s when they kowtowed toHitler.
Our nouveau Nevilles ooze with the same self-absorbed "peacecant," a monolog of conspiracy theories utterly detached from reality. Manyso-called peace rallies are so barmy they exist beyond parody. After thegray-beard prof-type delivers an epithet-laden rant asserting President Bushand America are more dangerous than Saddam and bin Laden, several hundred50-ish women disrobe and spell "No War" with their naked bodies. Peace inour time?
It's dumbfounding that many on the "peace left" claim to promoteinternational, multilateral action, particularly in the United Nations, forthey oppose the very policies that would strengthen the UN's ability topromote peace.
In the 1930s, when Fascist Italy smashed Ethiopia and Japansavaged China, the League of Nations complained and did nothing. The Leaguebecame a laughing stock. Failure to act when challenged by murderous tyrantskilled it.
Failure to confront the tyrants of today will kill the UnitedNations. Finishing Saddam is about enforcing multilateral resolutions. Inthe wake of Desert Storm, U.N. Security Council resolutions mandated thatSaddam give up his weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The United Nations made a commitment to force Saddam's regime toabide by the rules of a civilized world and eliminate his WMD and deliverysystems. But Saddam has made a mockery of disarmament and the resolutions.
Anyone who claims to believe in multilateral action has tosupport Saddam's removal or conclude that the U.N. resolutions which shapedDesert Storm were a charade. And if they were a charade, then prepare for aworld where the power of evil men is magnified.
Secretary of State Colin Powell provided evidence that Iraq helped Al Qaeda murder the a US official in Jordan. So the master of the terrorstate and Al Qaeda's terrorists do consult and connive. That deadlyconnection must be severed before we face a nuclear 9-11.
Thus, U.N. words must be supported by forceful deeds.
Who's going to join the United States in finally fulfilling thatcommitment?
The answer is, those with the spine and courage to defenddemocracy, to extend liberty to Iraq's oppressed and to create theconditions that promote peace in this imperfect world. It's the swath ofthis generation inspired by Churchill, not the angry, crank offspring ofNeville Chamberlain.