Lynn Olson’s article in yesterday’s Washington Post is no doubt a clever attempt at marketing her new book, but its premise is rather silly. It would seem that one would set an easy task for themselves by arguing that President Bush is no Winston Churchill, but Olson takes it a step further by calling Bush another Neville Chamberlain. My first thought was, I can see how he could be compared to Chamberlain, given his dimplomatic daudling in Iran and capitulation to North Korea. But Olson uses an entirely different set of arguments. Among them is her contention that Bush is like Chamberlain because of his use of unilateralism.
In the months leading up to World War II, Chamberlain and his men saw little need to build up a strong coalition of European allies with which to confront Nazi Germany — ignoring appeals from Churchill and others to fashion a “Grand Alliance” of nations to thwart the threat that Hitler posed to the continent.
Churchill, of course, was arguing for a “Grand Alliance” to confront Germany militarily, while opponents of the Iraq War were arguing for a grand alliance to confront Saddam diplomatically so America could avert military action. No matter what your position on the war, this distinction is pretty obvious.
Steven Hayward has a good takedown of another one of Olson’s absurd claims.
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