Did we not learn anything from Munich Agreement?

Faisal Al-Shammeri
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For those who have never heard of the Munich Agreement it's stated purpose was to guarantee peace, a preservation of the status quo for the international world order, and above all to finally settle any outstanding German grievances in Central Europe with the aim of avoiding another World War.

Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy got together to discuss what was then called “the Sudeten Crisis” and how it could be mediated with the aim of avoiding war at all costs. It was thought that after National Socialist Germany had been able to receive the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia that there would be no further territorial demands made by Germany, and thus with this “final request” being granted to them conventional wisdom said that Germany would now begin to join the global community, with a hopefully less belligerent tone.


What Munich really did was leave Czechoslovakia shrunken, its frontier lands seized by Germany including some of Europe’s most formidable border defensive works, helpless, completely vulnerable to the subsequent invasion that would culminate only months later.

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At Munich, Great Britain and France all abandoned the only democracy in Central Europe and most importantly the ultimate impression the Munich Agreement left with German leadership was that the western powers were weak, ineffectual, and incapable of meeting, let alone providing real substantive merit to their defense pacts among their partners in Continental Europe.

The acquisition of Czechoslovakia allowed Germany to acquire the most strategically important lands in Central Europe, opening the door to the eventual German march into Eastern Europe when World War II began. Czechoslovakia was the real test run, and Germany would be proven right again some six months later when they invaded Poland to hardly any offensive measures undertaken by Great Britain or France.

The conventional wisdom that prevailed at Munich was beyond disastrous. With hindsight we can now see that it was the inflection point in diplomatic affairs at the time because it only encouraged Adolph Hitler and The German leadership to push for more, much more. After all it had violated every major treaty that it had entered into once Hitler assumed power. Germany was banned from having an Army larger than 100,000.

Substitute Syria for Sudetenland, nuclear program for conscription, Iran for Germany and suddenly it seems as if history may be repeating itself

Faisal Al-Shammeri

The Versailles Treaty

Four years after the announcement of conscription The German Army was some 3,500,000 strong on the eve of the Invasion of Poland. It was banned from having an Air Force. No problem, Germany announced it was going to create one anyways resulting that by the time World War II broke out Germany had the most modern Air Force in the world. Germany was bound as a signatory to the Versailles Treaty.

Hitler came to power and simply ignored it. The point is that despite what Germany said, what Germany did was an absolute cause for concern and this discrepancy should've been apparent well before the deadliest war mankind had ever known broke out.

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And because Germany was not stopped early, despite its blatantly flagrant disregard for honoring its agreements, eventually what was a weak, economically collapsed, unemployed and despair-oriented Germany in 1932 would only nine short years later be at the very gates of Moscow with the most powerful Army that the world had ever seen, and Continental Europe completely subjugated to Germany.

The point is, World War II and the rise of Germany should’ve never happened. Step-by-step on the way to bringing Germany “back” into the global community was coupled with conventional wisdom.

The problem was people with good intentions were sitting across the table from ruthless opportunists who would compromise any principle, without scruple, to achieve their aims. Substitute Syria for the Sudetenland, nuclear program for conscription, Iran for Germany and suddenly it seems as if history may be repeating itself.

The Sudeten Crisis

Much like the Sudeten Crisis, the conventional opinion surrounding the nuclear deal with Iran summed up the justification for it by saying that if it were to not be implemented then war would be the inevitable outcome. Really? Perhaps powers of perception fail from time-to-time but what does one call Syria? Iraq? Yemen? And who has the most direct involvement in these theatres of war? Iran does.

Who keeps the Butcher of Damascus open for business by providing military advisers, uniform soldiers and non-Syrian volunteers to fight against the Syrian people? Iran does. Who continues to arm terrorist organizations like Hizbollah? Iran does. Who provided the mortars and rockets that targeted Saudi citizens and turned Najran into a frontline city? Iran does.

Who targets embassies with hooligans and delinquents? Iran does. Who currently has some 160 juveniles on death row in the world today? Iran does. Who has executed over 73 juveniles between 2005-2015? Iran has. Who is holding ballistic missile tests in flagrant violation of this nuclear deal before the ink has dried on this deal? Iran does. Who has calls Bahrain their fourteenth province? Iran does.

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The really ironic thing is that now a nuclear program that was never supposed to be in existence has been given legitimacy by the P5+1 and its right to exist for ‘peaceful purposes.” Does one see a pattern of peace of goodwill in the above-mentioned factual pattern of Iranian behavior? Like National Socialist Germany the discrepancy between what is said for official consumption and what is actually done is quite disturbing.

The tree that is this deal bears many, many more rotten fruit on its limbs. How about giving Tehran some $150 billion? Is any of that money going to help keep Damascus in the field against The Free Syrian Army? Is any of that money going to go to Hizbollah? Will any of it end up going into the hands of Houthi’s? Or will it be used to subsidize ongoing terrorist operations throughout the Middle East?

In an interview US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that terrorists could end up with “some” of the billions Iran will receive in sanctions relief from the Iran nuclear deal. He continued: “Right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor at this point in time. I’m sure at some point some of it will.” Just on the basis of that comment is anyone reassured by this nuclear deal?

And of course who can forget the advanced missile technology that Iran will be given, all for “implementing” the nuclear deal? And if these are just some of the down-to-earth questions that one should consider regarding this nuclear deal then is it really in anyone’s interest that it's implemented?

Iran’s behavioral pattern

Perhaps it should be put succinctly but directly as well, but in looking at the factual evidence of Iran’s behavioral pattern since it has come into existence in 1979 is this someone who you can sit confidently across the table from knowing that they will keep their word? If anything what the nuclear deal really does is provide a relatively simple path where Iran will be free to build a bomb after 15 years.

Some 1,200 years ago, the word takwin, followed a unique path to a brief moment of notoriety. Shiite alchemists used it to describe the creation of artificial life. In his ninth century “Book of Stones,” the Persian Jabir Ibn Hayyan wrote – using a secret script and codes – about the creation of a homunculus.

“The goal is to deceive all, but those who love God.” In many ways this has been the tactical approach to this nuclear program, that again, was never supposed to even be in existence. It could be argued that this principle of Ibn Hayyan has been the modus operandi of Iran ever since 1979 regarding how it postures itself in the region and on the global stage.

The seizure of the Czech border lands was an inflection point for Europe and the world. After Germany marched into Prague in March of 1939 it was obvious, albeit very late, that Hitler was just a sheer imperialist who would use brute force to seize what he though was rightfully Germany’s.

By the time it was done some 75,000,000 people were dead throughout the globe, with the fire and sword ranging from the open waters of The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, North Africa, the Arctic Circle, China, Papua New Guinea, Burma and even Bangladesh.

It did not need to happen, and should’ve never happened. Among other things this should be a lesson from Munich that people never forget. Revolutionaries, like the Bolsheviks in Russia or the National Socialist German Workers Party (more famously known as Nazi) in Germany prescribe to the following principle that whatever decision that must be made at that moment to advance the cause must be taken.

That whatever means needed to obtain the desired outcome are justified, and irrespective of morals or opinion, and must be acted upon. Iran has taken the same approach. Revolutionary movements tend to do what they say and Iran has put a lot of time into practicing what they preach.

Their aim is complete hegemony of the Middle East and Arabian Gulf, and this nuclear deal goes a long way toward attempting to implement that.
Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst based in Washington DC. He tweets @mr_alshammeri.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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