Is anyone really buying Mein Kampf?
Please, American blowhards: No more analogies to 1938
The 1938 conference between Chamberlain and Hitler is misunderstood. And the blowhards who constantly evoke its memory are dangerous.
Rare is the occasion when you can invoke Munich without embarrassment. Indeed, it is probably fair to say that although the Munich Agreement was signed only 75 years ago this month, it has nevertheless been the most overused analogy in human history. The problems with deploying it to make an argument about current events are numerous. A few of them:1. Very few political movements are as bad as Nazism.2. Just because you are dealing with bad people doesn't mean military force is the answer.
IN APRIL 1945, there was a parliamentary by-election in Motherwell, a steel town east of Glasgow and a seemingly safe Labour seat. Since the day almost five years earlier when Winston Churchill formed the great all-party government that waged and won the war, there had been a “party truce.” Special elections had been uncontested among the coalition partners (Tory, Labour, and Liberals), though that didn’t stop independents or downright cranks from running—and sometimes winning.
When Francois Hollande, the newly elected president of France, arrives today in Berlin for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it will kindle memories of the long history of Franco-German partnership in leading the European Union. In France, it may even trigger the traditional condescension Parisian politicians feel towards their neighbors: the lumbering German economic giant that relies on French diplomatic, military, and nuclear savoir faire to achieve political clout. Increasingly, however, such sentiments are mere nostalgia.
When Rupert Murdoch acquired The Times of London and The Sunday Times in 1981, he also acquired a board of “independent national directors”-among them, the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper. Two years later, by way of a shady German tabloid, The Sunday Times bought the rights to a series of newly discovered journals supposedly written by Adolf Hitler. Some of us thought this didn’t so much just smell fishy as reek, coming as it did after a long line of similar forgeries.
Now this is a pretty striking about-face: The world's most high-profile climate change sceptic is to declare that global warming is "undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today" and "a challenge humanity must confront", in an apparent U-turn that will give a huge boost to the embattled environmental lobby. Bjørn Lomborg, the self-styled "sceptical environmentalist" once compared to Adolf Hitler by the UN's climate chief, is famous for attacking climate scientists, campaigners, the media and others for exaggerating the rate of global warming and its effects on humans, and the
Last month, rapper Kanye West interrupted an MTV Video Awards ceremony to protest the selection of Taylor Swift for “Best Female Video.” So widely did the fallout from this episode spread that President Obama soon weighed in against West (“He’s a jackass”). Obama himself would soon become the subject of a similar award-related imbroglio, when he was bizarrely chosen as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Pat Buchanan's most recent column has landed him in a whole mess of trouble. In it, he argues that not enough blame has been put on the Poles and the British for starting World War II, and that Hitler's intentions were largely benign. Of course, this isn't exactly surprising; Buchanan has a long, sordid history of misremembering the war. TNR has been following this for years, and below you'll find some of our most damning reporting on the man. All in the Family (10/02/00).