Friday, July 14, 2006
When History bites back
Once, there was a small nation created by international consensus from the ashes of a world war. It included two main nationalities and it was the only free nation in the region, surrounded by larger neighbors who resented it and coveted its land, which they felt rightfully belonged to them. In spite of that, it became a prosperous and free republic, and its citizens enjoyed one of the highest living standards in that part of the world.
As a result of the hostile attitude of its neighbor countries, this tiny country had developed a well trained and superbly equipped military, with advanced weapons and its own arms industry. It was also allied with the Western democracies both by its values and by strategic and practical necessity.
One of this small country's warlike neighbors had a number of its former natives in a part of the tiny nation and began orchestrating riots and other terrorist activity among them in an effort to subvert and conquer their neighbor. When the government of the small country attempted to restore order, the larger nation accused it of violating its former nationals' human rights and committing an "occupation."
A propaganda campaign was begun, claiming that the small country had committed "war crimes" and violated international law. Huge, violent demonstrations were organized by leaders of the larger nation to agitate for the "independence" of their former countrymen.
The larger nation claimed that it could not control the popular anger in the "street" and that it would be forced to go to war and plunge the region into chaos. The case was frequently made that the small country was "racist" and should never have been created at all.
A quartet of nations, including the Western democracies the small nation was allied with, came together to find a solution and a peace plan was created for a two-state solution -- without the input or agreement of anyone from the small country.
The peace plan involved a trade of land for peace, with the former nationals of the larger nation to have an independent state on a large part of the small country`s land.
No one in the Quartet would have considered repatriating the natives of the larger nation back to their original home country, or giving them some of the larger nation`s territory to live on.
When the leaders and diplomats of the small nation protested at this one-sided settlement, they were bullied into acceptance with threats of withdrawal of all aid and military assistance by the very western allies they had counted on for support in preserving their freedom. Instead, they were offered guarantees for the security of their remaining territory.
They were likewise abandoned by the international body that had brought them into existence in the first place. They reluctantly accepted the Quartet`s diktat, counting on the guarantees they were given for their security and territorial integrity. Certain politicians in the small country were even happy at the settlement, since the "occupation" was ended and peace preserved. And the international community congratulated them on making sacrifices and bold moves for peace.
After Munich, Czechoslovakia was forced to withdraw to indefensible borders, leaving a large part of its superb defenses and arms works in the hands of "Slovakia," a German satellite.
Less than a year later Slovakia became Germany`s bridge for invasion, and the tiny country was crushed between Hitler`s Germany and Poland. The international community did nothing to honor its guarantees, nothing whatever...and alone, without a single voice being raised in protest, the Czechs were destroyed.
When the Western democracies threw Czechoslovakia to the wolves they eliminated Hitler`s worry about a strong adversary on his eastern border, paved the way for the Molotov -Ribbentrop Pact with Stalin's Russia and virtually guaranteed World War Two. Had the West stood by Czechoslovakia, Hitler would never have dared to move.
Those who favor bullying Israel into a so-called peace settlement would do well to remember the last time the West betrayed a strong ally to preserve "peace in our time." They might want to consider what a victory of this kind for the forces of Islamic fascism might mean to the West and preserving its freedom.
And the Israelis would do well to remember that all the security guarantees in the world are no substitute for defensible borders and a strong military. And that `security' is not something that can be left to others.
History bites back, especially to those who forget its lessons.