Looking back through history, you can take several periods of time and see that maybe we aren’t any different than we were those decades ago. After all, at one point in the 1930s, we were engaged in a slow recovery from a depression, while Europe was especially hard hit with rampant inflation and the spread of fascism. Meanwhile in Asia, Japan was running roughshod over China, and we were hearing about the Rape of Nanking, the sinking of the USS Panay. All of this was about the same time we were dealing with the annexation of Austria, Czechoslovakia, and the collapse of the Versailles Treaty. The only difference between then and now is that we’re hearing about things faster, and with greater stridency. The names have changed, the alliances are different, but the concepts are with us regardless of decade. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find comfort in any of this, especially since to me, we’re just repeating history.
Knowing this, I would find far greater comfort in knowing that this time we’re going to do something without waiting for the worst to force us to do something. We shouldn’t need a December 7th or a September 11th to awaken from our torpor and hope that the world will “do the right thing” without us. Unfortunately, many with the power to stop things early, before the costs become too high in lives, appear to have never read a history book. I’m not saying that this is a time for bombastic action, but it clearly isn’t a time for sitting on thumbs either. There are a lot of options in the global/historical playbook, but the one we know that absolutely doesn’t work is appeasement....... ~ Michael S. Pauley