Czechoslovakia on Their Minds

By Hadar, Leon | The American Conservative, August 25, 2008 | Go to article overview

Czechoslovakia on Their Minds


Hadar, Leon, The American Conservative


Neocon news flash: Hitler invades Georgia.

NEOCONSERVATIVES and their useful idiots in the American media have been on overdrive this August, rewinding to their World War II analogies and applying them to the fast-forwarding world of global politics. Exhibit A: the obvious likeness of the 2008 Bering Olympics to the 1936 Berlin Games. Hitlergram of the Month was the parallel drawn between Nazi-era filmmaker turned propagandist Leni Riefenstahl, who was invited by the Führer to film the Olympics in Berlin-the result being the technically and aesthetically impressive documentary "Olympia"-and the celebrated Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who was commissioned by his government to produce the magnificent opening ceremonies of the Beying Olympics. The power of analogy, there for the China-bashers' taking.

But no neocon narrative is complete without Czechoslovakia. Imagine your average Weekly Standard subscriber taking a free-association test and being asked to state the first words that come to his mind when he hears "Czechoslovakia" Rest assured, he would respond with "Munich," "appeasement," "Chamberlain," or "umbrella." And let's not forget "Hitler." Thus can anyone clamoring for U.S. military intervention in, say, the former Yugoslavia or the Persian Gulf, mount a successful media and public-relations campaign by identifying his chosen victim (the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo, or Kuwait, or the Kurds) with Czechoslovakia and associating his preferred "aggressor" (Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein) with Hitler. Those Americans who resist pressure to deploy U.S. troops abroad to save the victim from the aggressor are appeasers leading the world into another Munich.

Here we go again. The details of who did what to precipitate Russia's war against Georgia are not very important," explained leading neocon foreign-policy ideologue Robert Kagan-who insists that he isn't a neocon at all-in a column in the Washington Post three days after the eruption of hostilities between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia. "Do you recall the precise details of the Sudeten Crisis that led to Nazi Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia?" he asked. Kagan, one of the chief advisers to Republican presidential candidate John McCain, wants to kick "revisionist" Russia out of the G-8 and establish a League of Democracies as part of a strategy to contain the growing threat from Moscow. Kagan's answer to his rhetorical question in his column titled "Putin Makes his Move" (wink, wink-like you-know-who made his move 70 years ago): "Of course not, because that morally ambiguous dispute is rightly remembered as a minor part of a much bigger drama."

That would also be our new drama in which "little" Czechoslovakia becomes "tiny" Georgia, the South Ossetians stand in for the Sudeten Germans, Mikheil Saakashvili is Eduard Benes, Putin does Hitler, and we, of course, are required to reprise the role of Churchill. But according to Kagan the dramatist, there is a danger that well be tempted to beat our swords into umbrellas: "Now, as then, however, [feelings] are being manipulated to justify autocracy at home [in Russia] and to convince Western powers that accommodation-or to use the once-respectable term, appeasement-is the best policy."

The U.S. military is fighting two major wars in the Broader Middle East-perhaps three soon, if we follow the neocon advice to strike Iran-paid for by the central bankers in Bejjing, Tokyo, and Seoul. What sense does it make for Washington to risk a costly diplomatic conflict and perhaps a military confrontation with Russia over a local dispute in the Caucasus?

It makes perfect sense to Georgia's president, Mikheil Saakashvili. After carefully studying his Neoconseruatism for Dummies guide-required reading for any leader of a "color revolution" seeking U.S. dollars and troops-he began trying to convince Americans to "save" his country from the Russian "revanchists" by comparing Georgia to Czechoslovakia in 1938, warning that the defeat of Georgia at the hands of the Russians would be a blow against Western interests and values worldwide. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Czechoslovakia on Their Minds
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.