Although Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy’s recent announcement that he would support the Iran nuclear deal was widely expected, the statement of the leading Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Florida was quite noteworthy because one reason he listed for his support was a near-identical phrase first coined in praising appeasement of Adolf Hitler in 1938.
In proclaiming the Iran agreement means “peace in our time,” two-term Rep. Murphy also earned a reprimand from an internationally-recognized scholar on the policy of appeasement that opened the door to World War II.
Murphy, by using the phrase, has "failed to grasp one of the most elementary morality tales in modern history," British historian Graham Stewart told me.
Stewart is the author of the internationally-acclaimed “Burying Caesar," considered one of the premier studies of British prime minister and appeasement architect Neville Chamberlain.
By invoking almost the same words as Chamberlain to describe the Iran agreement, Murphy may well fuel charges of its opponents of that the nuclear deal is tantamount to appeasing Tehran’s terrorists in the 21st century in the same way as western Europe appeased the most notorious terrorist of the 20th century.
The debate over the controversial Iran agreement, read Murphy’s statement on Aug. 31, “has proven to me that America and Israel are fortunate to have so many passionate, diverse voices who all want the same things: a nuclear-free Iran, a secure Israel, and peace in our time.”
“Peace for our time” is what Chamberlain proclaimed upon returning to London after signing the Munich agreement with Hitler on Sept. 30, 1938. With the United Kingdom, France, and Italy signing along with Germany, the agreement permitted Germany’s annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia inhabited primarily by German speakers.
While Chamberlain and others hoped that giving into Hitler’s partial annexation of Czechoslovakia would satisfy his territorial ambitions, they were quickly proven wrong. Within a year, the German tyrant seized all of Czechoslovakia and in September 1939, he launched the invasion of Poland that commenced World War II.
"When in 1938 the British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, returned from his meeting with Hitler,” historian Stewart told us, “and, to cheering crowds, announced his belief that his act of appeasement to Nazi Germany at the expense of Czechoslovakia's territory and security meant ‘peace for our time,’ he soon found himself like a character in an Greek tragedy.
“He lived just long enough to see his words rebound against him and his misplaced hopes in the gentlemanly values of a rapacious dictatorship shattered — with calamitous consequences for much of the world.”
As for a present-day politician invoking almost the same words to support the Iran agreement, Stewart said: “In echoing Chamberlain's unfortunate phrase, Rep. Patrick Murphy has either failed to grasp one of the most elementary morality tales in modern history or he has a sharp sense of irony."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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