In September of 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the prime minister of Great Britain met with Adolph Hitler in Munich, Germany. They signed The Munich Agreement, a settlement permitting Nazi Germany's annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia. When he returned to England, he held up a piece of paper and declared: "Peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time."
Winston Churchill responded: "We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude ... We have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road."
The Munich Agreement is regarded as an act of appeasement toward Germany that preserved Hitler's power. A year later, Britain was at war. Five years later, six million Jews were dead.
Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he would veto any legislation that called for new economic sanctions against Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry reached an interim agreement last November in which Iran agreed to freeze and roll back aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relaxed economic sanctions.
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Is this agreement appeasement of Iran? Peace with honor? Peace for our time? Or are we in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude?
P.S. Does Harvard teach history?
Christopher D. Clayton
Hilton Head Island