Back in September, John Kerry told Washington Democrats that America faced a “Munich moment” in deciding how to respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. He called Bashar al-Assad a “two-bit dictator” who would commit more atrocities unless he was stopped.
Right idea, wrong war. The real Munich moment of our times is taking place in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin is on the march, and there’s no telling how far he’ll go if he’s allowed to gobble up Crimea without paying a serious price. That is the lesson of Munich, the infamous agreement in 1938 when Britain’s Neville Chamberlain struck a deal with Adolf Hitler that Chamberlain claimed would lead to “peace for our time.”
Virtually every president faces a Munich moment, usually more than one. It is a test of courage and wisdom over hope and rationalizations. More often than not, it involves Russia. From Stalin and Khrushchev in Soviet days to Putin now, the Bear is either asleep or ravenously hungry.
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